We recently spent a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Cabo San Lucas (population 56,000) is a city at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, in the municipality of Los Cabos, in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico.
In 1974, the Mexican government created the infrastructure to turn Cabo San Lucas into one of the most attractive tourism centers in Mexico. The dusty desert town is now a popular holiday destination, thanks to the many gifts nature has given it: warm, dry climate, clear warm waters, beautiful sandy beaches, and abundant fish.
Cabo San Lucas is one of our favorite holiday spots. It offers a fun, casual atmosphere, plenty of restaurants, amazing golf courses and great nightlife.
Many of the restaurants are basically tourist traps where no self-respecting Mexican would ever consider dining (but we did, since we are not Mexican, and we are definitely not self-respecting):
We also managed to eat in a few restaurants that felt more authentic and had a strong presence of locals.
Of course, no trip to Cabo is complete without a visit to the local Wal-Mart for some bottled water. Tap water in Mexico is considered unsafe for tourists to drink, although resorts and reputable restaurants supposedly purify their water. Don’t be alarmed, prices are in Pesos:
A visit to Cabo San Lucas offers an interesting contrast between the beauty and abundance of the tourist resorts, and the surroundings, which are mostly poor, neglected and rundown. Even downtown Cabo San Lucas, with its clubs and restaurants and shops, has many underdeveloped areas and doesn’t measure up to similar cities in the United States in terms of infrastructure.
Last year I had a very hard time enjoying the resort, after an unplanned detour to a small, poverty-stricken nearby town.
This year, the contrast between the amazing sights, smells and textures in the beautiful resort:
And the rundown dustiness surrounding it:
Was just as striking, but I reminded myself that tourism is actually very good for the area and its residents.
So I relaxed, enjoyed my cold beers and large margaritas, and had some fun. After all, that’s what vacations are for.