Los Cabos Mexico Travel Diary
Mexico is a great WINTER escape! We love Mexico’s warm climate, vibrant culture, arts & crafts, ancient history, food (especially hot salsas) and BEACHES!
Now Mexico is an amazing country, but visit to Mexico comes with its own set of challenges! Every time we visit, we think now we are more experienced and will not repeat the same mistakes. But BOOM! We get to experience something completely different and unexpected each time (some of the unpleasant situations down below at the end)! Our trip to Los Cabos this time was no exception!
Losing My Carry-on Bag at SeaTac International Airport
It all started at the SeaTac International Airport. Well, this experience is not related to Mexico, but related to TRAVEL in general! Right after security check-in, someone accidently took my carry-on bag instead of his/her own (immediately after bag comes out of scanner)! Now that was a big shock, because we knew it right away! We filed a complaint right at that time and we were hoping that person will realize this earlier and will return my bag before flight departure. But sadly that never happened! Everything I needed for this trip was in that bag. I only had clothes that I was wearing on an airport and nothing else (Well that means, you will see me wearing some of my hubby’s clothes and locally bought clothes in this post). Also we reached Cabo on an evening of 24th December and most of the shopping areas were closed on a day of Christmas! I am GRATEFUL that few shops were open and I found few dresses from the market called “Plaza Artesanos” that I could happily wear in this trip and also in future.
I love to shop handcrafted items whenever we visit Mexico but I had never imagined that I have to go for shopping in such a DESPERATE situation :( That entire chapter of losing my bag was crazy, funny, confusing and frustrating situation at the same time!
We learned a lesson to put a name, e-mail and phone number tag in each and every bag now onwards. May be, I will also create some EYE CATCHY TAGS to attach to our luggage for future travels too!
Now over to the beautiful and memorable places we have visited while in Cabo San Lucas!
The Arch of Cabo, Lovers Beach & Divorce Beach
Lovers beach (Playa del Amor) is the most beautiful swimming beach in Cabo area which is only accessible via short boat ride. You can get a ride from Cabo Marina very easily. They also give you tour to some interesting places like Arch of cabo (El Arco), Sea lion rock and then drop you off to the Lovers beach. They can also give you ride back to Marina at your desired time if you have spoken for it while booking your trip.
Other side of the Lovers beach is called Divorce beach (Playa del Divorcio) which is a very short walk from Lovers beach! Ocean current on this side of beach is dangerous so it is not appropriate for swimming. But water colors and beauty is even more mesmerizing. We saw one Sea Lion swimming close to the shore over this side.
The most fascinating features of these beaches are the amazing rock formation, which you can see in many pictures.
There are no restaurants/food vendors on this beach so plan your visit accordingly. We packed our lunch and did picnic over here so that we can spend more time.
Balandra Beach & La Paz
We did a day trip to La Paz from Los Cabos to visit one of the most beautiful beach in the area called Balandra beach. This place/beach is magical! Words or pictures don’t do this place a justice! We spent our entire afternoon there and then headed to the town of La Paz in the evening.
Town of La Paz was very lively at night, which reminded us of a bustling area of Waikiki beach in Oahu. I also bought one handmade Mexican hat from here as prices here are 1/4th of the prices at Cabo.
Santa Maria Beach
Santa Maria beach is a lovely swimming beach in Cabo San Lucas. My son had lot of fun in the water here. He practiced to keep his body facing down for snorkel in the water at this beach.
You can also rent beach umbrellas and chairs on the beach if you are planning to spend more time here.
We had a car flat-tire incident happed in the parking lot at this beach, which we believe was a scam (find out more about it below). So be careful out there if you are driving a rental car.
There is one thing I would say about this beach: SUPER DUPER CROWDED! There are so many restaurants on a beach and also there were so many walking vendors over here. So if you go there, you don’t necessarily have to carry your own food.
This beach is also considered one of the good swimming beach in Cabo area. Ocean water is clear here and waves are not scary. But my hubby said, you can smell petroleum oil in the water here (may be because of the boat docking area on a beach).
UTV Ride with Cabo Adventures
We had an awesome UTV ride with Cabo Adventures. The place they run all the activities was around 1 hour away from our resort, but they provided shuttle pick up service so it was very convenient for us.
Just an FYI, if you want to do UTV/ATV ride on the beach then this is not the place for you. Because their UTV/ATV ride path is through desert with some driving in water streams (which we believed was manmade not natural) at the end.
Both me and my husband took turns driving UTV and we let my son sit in the front for half of the time. It was a unique thrilling experience for my kiddo (he is so much into actions and adventures these days). Also you get extremely sandy/muddy while riding, so don’t wear your favorite clothes for UTV/ATV ride.
In addition to UTV ride, they introduced us to these smart parrots (picture below)! And they also gave us demo on “plastic recycling” and “paper making from camel poop”. All these activities are so much fun and super informative for kids and my son really appreciated these demos.
I should also mention that they serve you free Mexican buffet style meal with any activity! And their food was really… really… delicious!
Thursday Art Walk at San Jose del Cabo
We had a great time exploring all the art galleries and shops at Thursday night here. I bought a handwoven plastic bag from the market. Also, you can negotiate the prices with shop owners here. This is a great place to buy souvenirs/handcrafted items along with Plaza Artesanos market which is also very close by.
Club Regina Los Cabos Resort for Stay
I must say, we had the most wonderful time here! All the rooms at this resort here are facing an ocean on the east side. So we were able to enjoy sunrise every single day right from our condo! Plus you can see countless whales swimming in the ocean right from your balcony (I believe that is because migratory whales move to the area during winter months)!
Entire staff of the resort is always smiling and they are genuinely happy to help you and make your stay as comfortable as possible. We dined few times in the resort and we really liked the food, especially we have a strict vegetarian diet requirements.
Resort’s location is not in a main touristy area so this place is perfect if you want SOLITUDE!
Below are some unpleasant situations happened to us while in Mexico at popular destinations. Not all of these happened to us on this trip but some of them happened in past trips. Knowing them in advance makes you more prepared.
Airport Rental Car Problem
Airport car rental is always an interesting matter in Mexico. When you go to the rental car agency (especially at airport), they don’t give you a car without paying hefty amount for insurance even though your credit card covers everything.
Now we were prepared for that this time based on our previous experiences! But this time, they said they don’t have any car for us even though we booked/paid for the car through Expedia way in advance. Instead they were trying to give us an upgraded car with 3 times more money then what we have paid for! We wasted more than 2 hours at rental car agency talking and negotiating and then finally decided not to get the car. Now after going through all that trouble, we waited more than 1 month to get our money back from Expedia (for service we didn’t get) and that also happened after multiple phone calls back and forth.
Anyways we were able to get the rental car (without demand for insurance money) through our resort’s connection after couple days from a good rental car company. So all worked out pretty well for us in the end.
But the moral of the story is: Don’t get surprised if you are asked to pay extra money at Airport car rental in Mexico.
Traffic Police Scam
Luckily this didn’t happen to us this time (may be because we didn’t get/rent a car from airport). But in the past we were pulled over by cops (or con artists? who knows!) once in Mexico City and once in Puebla city.
So what happens is this: They pull you over for no apparent reason, ready with their translation app and ask for hefty amount of money. At the end they take whatever cash you have and let you go. They just waste your time, get your money and give you so much stress!
In Mexico City what we noticed was, cops were literally pulling over everyone driving out from car rental agency! So if you are renting a car from airport rentals then just be extra careful. In touristy areas rental cars are the main target and these “so called cops” have a way to identity which car is a rental car. Some of my hubby’s colleagues at work also had similar experiences in past at different places in Mexico. You can also google search about “Cop scamming Mexico”, learn about different people’s experiences and get better prepared if you decide to drive in Mexico.
Flat Tire SCAM at Santa Maria Beach
Well this was an incident we say, “Didn’t see that coming!”
When we came back to the parking lot after having fun time at the beach, there were few men trying to fix something in a car next to our car with their car’s hood open. Just as we reached to our car, they showed us that our car has a flat tire with big nail in the front tire. We were shocked when we saw that, because our car was working just fine, and at that day we only traveled small distance from our resort to Santa Maria Beach. Anyways that group was so much kin to help us with seriously suspicious behavior (we believed they were con artists), and so we decided not to get their help. Instead we called our rental car agency and a mechanic came in quickly to change our flat tire (we could have done it by ourselves but bolts of the tire were extremely tight and most importantly it was getting dark!). Those men were still lurking around in the parking lot with strange behavior when we left the parking.
At the end we had our flat tire replaced and we were able to visit one last place (Thursday Art Walk) we wanted to visit before we return our rental car.
Overall we had a great time in Cabo, Mexico. Although we encountered some unpleasant experiences, many kind people we met and good experiences overweigh everything else! And that was our journey!