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Published: February 16th 2014
El Arco at Cabo San Lucas
With our awesome friends!
I'll never forget my first impression of Cabo San Lucas. We drove straight from the airport to the hotel in a rental car. As our friends walked into the hotel's reception office to check in, my curiosity pulled me in a different direction... I passed the foyer and I stepped out into the open patio, then my jaw dropped. I saw my first glimpse of the most breathtakingly beautiful panorama of the bright blue ocean, the waves crashing on the beach shore, the sun shining, and palm trees swaying in the wind. The views here are so stunning that it made my heart skip a beat. This was our first time in Mexico, and our first time taking a beach-y style trip. However, for our four friends that were with us, it was probably around their tenth time... and now we understand why. Our trips are usually centered on history and culture, but I think I have fallen in love with the "tropical destination" style travel too, and we will try to incorporate more of them in our future trips.
Initially, when our friends asked us to join them on this trip, they thought we'd say no. Victor and I
Cabo San Lucas
This is what my first impression of Cabo was like!
Love at first sight!! Stunning views!
had recently moved into our first house together, and we were in the middle of some major home renovation projects, which left us with very little wiggle room financially and time-wise for last minute travelling. What convinced us to go to Cabo were the discounted airline tickets they found which were a steal of a deal. Our friends also had special privileges at the hotel we stayed at, which they'd share with us. It didn't take that long to convince us to go. Like the famous quote from The Godfather, "they made us an offer we couldn't refuse" Hahah!
On Traveling with Friends:
It was always on our "travel wish list" to take a trip with friends, and we saw this as a perfect opportunity to make it happen! The friends that we traveled with are two married couples who live in the same city we do, and who we've been good friends with for a long time. We all have a lot in common, like our age and our heritage, and we're also in the same "place" in our lives. Victor and I have always thought of them as the kindest, funnest, and sweetest
Is it just me, or does this place look like heaven?!
people. We pride ourselves on having great friends!
Victor and I often talked about the possible pros and cons of travelling with friends in general. The positive aspects of travelling with friends were that we'd be sharing our exciting experiences abroad with others. We were afraid of the possible negative aspects. For example, what if your friends were late all the time and caused you to miss planned tours or scheduled meal reservations? What if you disagree on every activity, every restaurant, and every decision about your trip abroad? Or worse, what if they made the whole trip unbearable by being in a bad mood the whole time?
I think all six of us shared the same thoughts and fears for this trip, especially considering we were going to be spending over four days and nights together. When our trip was drawing to an end, we all openly expressed how pleasantly surprised we were that our time together was actually a great success! Everyone was very respectful and considerate of each other's needs, which meant there were just about zero disagreements about anything. We all had so much fun in each other's company. I'd say it was perfect.
Best of all, we all grew closer as friends because of this great once in a lifetime experience we shared together! Yummy Yummy Food in my tummy!
I have to say, the food in Mexico was really yummy!! More tasty than I remember Mexican food being in the States. We all had the added advantage of speaking Spanish fluently, which meant we could communicate better with the waiters/waitresses about the menu. We took advantage of the fact that we were near the ocean and ordered a lot of different sea food entries. One restaurant in particular had our tummies and taste buds dancing and singing. It's called Mariscos Las Tres Islas. Thank goodness for the person who suggested we go there for dinner. If you are ever in Cabo San Lucas you must go there! Scroll through my pictures on this blog and you'll see some tasty plates! They specialize in sea food and authentic Mexican food.... it was amazing. The service there was one of the best we've had, and the seasonings used in the food blend perfectly together. The margarita I ordered there was loaded too, oh yeah!! Besides the occasional sea food, we also tried
Love is in the air!
many other Mexican dishes during our stay that we loved. Sometimes I'd see foreigners going in to eat at the more local restaurants. To be honest, those are often the places with the best food, so don't be afraid to eat there if you are ever in this area... just be careful with the drinking water if you have a sensitive stomach! The Star Attraction: El Arco! The Arch!
The most popular place to visit in Cabo are the beautiful rock formations which extend out into the ocean. One of them forms an arch which is known as "El Arco." It is also known as "Land's end" since it is at the southern most tip of the Mexico Baja California peninsula. This place is very well worth your visit. You'll see many sea lions hanging around this area too. The way you get there is by getting a local boat/company to take you there. There's no need to reserve a boat unless you want to, but I suggest you go to the marina in Cabo and ask around for quotes, since many locals are there offering competitive prices to take you. In our case, we were offered a
Funny beach pictures at Chileno Beach
Having fun trying various silly poses at Chileno Beach
tour to El Arco for $10 USD per person, and afterwards we'd be dropped off at the beach nearby known as Lover's beach for two hours so that we could go swimming and enjoy the area on our own. Lover's beach is connected to the Divorce beach... funny names for beaches! You can swim at Lover's beach where the water is clear blue and the sand is soft and good for enjoying the sun. Divorce beach has really rough waves and currents that are dangerous to swim in, so the disclaimer is not to go in! At one point, our husbands went off on a swimming adventure off of Lovers beach, while us ladies lounged on our towels and caught some sun rays. We saw this as an added advantage of travelling with friends: the crazy guys do their crazy thing together... and the girls could relax together! Its a win-win situation! Going Whale Watching in February!!
Besides catching great travel deals, another reason we took this trip was because February is the best time for many different species of whales (grey, blue, & humpback) to go on their seasonal migration from Alaska down to the South. On
Whale Watch Cabo
Whale watching with Whale Watch Cabo
their migration path, they stop in the shallow waters of Cabo to mate and give birth to their baby whales. This means lots of whale activity near the bay, and lots of natural whale sightings! This was a first for all of us, and was definitely on our travel wish list! We booked a reservation with Whale Watch Cabo, which is a pricier whale watching company to go with but they have top notch reviews on Tripadvisor and offer free professional pictures taken by a marine biologist of your tour including all the whales you saw, which means you can really sit back and enjoy the whales! Going with a cheaper company might mean you will be packed into a tiny boat with over 20 people; we saw such a tour near by and the people didn't look too comfortable, so make sure you choose your tour wisely.
The funny thing about whale watching is that it is kind of like a "high speed police chase"... once you think you know where they are you have to then chase after them to catch up with them (from a safe distance of corse!) We cut through the choppy ocean water
ATV Adventure, arriving at the shore
The moment we arrived at the beach, we took these cool pics and saw a whale breaching in the distance!
at high speeds until we found the whales, and WOW was it a wonderful experience! We were just a few feet away from them. We got to witness many of their courting rituals. As the males are trying to compete for a single female to mate with, they will slap their fins against the water to show their strength and power. We watched as they surface for air and then they'd go deep into the ocean to mate again. We loved when they would come up for air and blow through their spout, which creates a rainbow. At one point, a huge school of dolphins randomly swam by us at top speeds, jumping up and riding over the waves. A couple of them jumped super high, the same way you see them on the Discovery Channel. "Don't tell me this isn't 100 times better than Sea World" our guide said, and we all laughed in agreement. Our ATV Adventure, and our incredible "Pinch me moment" on the trip:
Our crazy adventurous husbands couldn't help themselves when they heard there was an ATV adventure tour in Cabo. So we signed up for it one afternoon for two hours. We
were picked up near the Cabo marina and driven out to a remote area where there is a long stretch of rugged land perfect for an ATV off roading adventure, complete with nine feet tall cactus and desert canyons. Once we had our helmets strapped on and our bandannas tied on as barriers from the dust, we all got on in pairs and drove off at high speeds. I have uploaded several videos of our experiences below. There are many twists and turns on the ATV trail, which make it very fun to drive over. When ever there was a high drop, it felt like we were riding a bumpy roller coaster. Not the best activity for people with motion sickness!
Sometime after completing the rugged dirt path, we managed to make it to the beach! We drove over the sand dunes in search of the beach shore. When we made it to the shore, we all stopped and got off to admire the gorgeous view in front of us. This beach was essentially untouched, no tourists or locals.... not even a single boat in sight. A remote virgin beach left to be discovered. The sun shining so brightly
was just hours from setting, and we could see in the distance that a whale was enjoying it too. The whale jumped up and breached the ocean several times, and in that instant we knew this was a "pinch me moment".... a perfect moment in time that needed to be sealed in our memory, forever. No words I write will ever convey just how special that moment truly was, at least for me. Seeing that whale jump in the distance is what made the ATV ride worth it... I was in a blissful state of mind ever since. More Happy Times in Cabo
We had a really fun time exploring Chileno beach one day. We took as many funny beach pictures there as our imaginations could come up with. If you come to this beach you will see many locals and foreigners alike, and I would suggest you bring snorkel gear because the shallow waters are teeming with fish, and the waters are clear and turquoise in color. It's because of this nice quality of the water that the beach is a IMNC certified protected beach in Mexico. There are some gorgeous beach views from the top of
the rocks too, it's a great spot to take panoramic pictures.
We also really enjoyed our time at our hotel too, which included a gorgeous infinity pool, Jacuzzi, and large patio with access to the beach. The Sheraton was a very great choice for our stay. It is located a perfect distance from the San Jose del Cabo airport, and downtown Cabo San Lucas. On our last night there, we all dressed up in white clothing and made a formal dinner reservation at one of our hotel's gorgeous restaurants. We took some really nice sun set pictures by the shore, and then a random strong wave suddenly swept my sandals away, which was kind of funny because all efforts to recover them were unsuccessful, and most of us ended up wet because of it! The sandals will be missed... lol!
I am so glad we did this trip, and even more glad that our friends came up with the great idea to come here and wanted us to join them. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is a magical place to go with friends. The beaches are gorgeous, the people are so friendly, and the food
Cabo San Lucas
With our awesome friends!
is delicious. And from what I saw, it is generally safe for foreigners. The day we left, I could almost feel a longing in my heart.... I just didn't want to leave such a beautiful place. I really want to go back to the beach again soon, preferably one that has gorgeous blue waters the way Cabo does. I had no idea how much I would miss it. Try making Cabo your next travel destination, and try doing it around winter time because you will get a chance to see the whales migrating and the temperature will be very nice this time of year... not too hot, and not too cold. I wish we were in Cabo San Lucas right now! A Special Thank you to our friends Paola, Julian, Naty, and David for their wonderful company and friendship. We love you guys!
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