Wow, what an amazing place! Los Cabos has so much to offer and I’m definitely going to recommend my parents to come here one day. Quick breakdown of the highlights for those who took one look at the length of this blog and decided to just enjoy the pictures…
1) Isla Espiritu Santo- wild dolphins, snorkelling eye to eye with sea lions
2) Humpback whale watching- so many sightings including seeing the whole body of one as it flew through the air.
3) Flying Mantarrays in Cabo Pulmo- who knew that they could jump, let alone backflip out of the water?
4) Epic “scenic route” road trips braving the rocky coastal “road”
First stop in Cabo San Lucas, Fisherman’s. A really cute little restaurant overlooking the marina, selling impressive clamato Micheladas: beer, tomato juice, chilli, salt, lime, seafood, shrimps, oyster and celery. In the evening, we hit the bars full of gringos running about the streets just as you’d imagine how spring break would be, something I managed to avoid in Cancun. First we went to a cool small bar called Knotty’s for a couple of drinks before we headed to the main attraction,El Squid Roe. It was huge inside with loads of quirky American things like number plates and retro posters. Really cool place with an upstairs section overlooking the downstairs dancefloor which created an amazing atmosphere.
Monday, ROAD TRIP! 3 hours driving from Cabo San Lucas to reach Playa Tecolote. We stopped off in Todos Santos to take a picture outside Hotel California, the inspiration behind The Eagles song. Sweet. The road trip took us through La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, and the views were amazing. It reminded me of our Vegas road trip, just this time with more cacti and incredible views of the sea. I think this day was probably the highlight of our trip for me. We paid $550 pesos which is roughly 25/30 pounds for our unforgettable 4 hour trip to Isla Espiritu Santo.
There was just the 4 of us and our guide on our little lancho boat and as we made our way to the Island, nature lady Rosie, who always spots things, saw some dolphins. The first wild dolphins that I have seen in Mexico and it was so cool to see them swimming in and out of the water around our boat. Our tour was to different parts of the Island, and around every corner the natural beauty was just so impressive. After sailing the seas for a little while exploring the outskirts of the island by boat, we came across another group of dolphins, this time there were much more of them and they kept swimming underneath us which was amazing.
We then visited a little island/big rock close to la isla which looked like endless candle wax, and I thought that this was the attraction until we heard the distinct grunts of the sea lions. They told us that we would either see 500 or none, and they were right, this little island was full of sea lions, either lazing about, fighting with each other, or playing in the sea. Amazing to watch! Then our guide stopped the boat and told us to jump in and snorkel with them… wow.
The water was freezing, and the visibility was really low at first, but as we swam closer to the island and closer to the sea lions we were able to see them swimming right by our sides. Unbelievable! So surreal and just amazing. Then, a young and curious sea lion came to play with us. So cute, swimming in and around us, and clapping it’s fins together. At one point it came right up to my face, maybe a hand’s distance away, and we were staring at each other eye to eye before it clapped its fins and did a little twirl. Absolutely incredible, definitely one of my best experiences ever.
Time for lunch (chicken salad, marlin tostadas, sandwiches) in one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, I know I have said that a lot about Mexico, but this seriously was beautiful. We arrived to a deserted beach, and to the sound of nature. Absolute silence surrounded us, and we only had the feint sound of the ocean water touching the island to interrupt our thoughts. Complete and utter silence, it was so strange. Crazy how much difference background noise makes, I can’t really describe it, it was just pure silence apart from us wading in the still, clear sea. The sand of the beach was softer than the beaches of Tulum/Cancun, I didn’t think that that was even possible?! It really was idyllic and the views surrounding us were so beautiful, as if they had been taken straight from a professional, photoshopped picture in the travel magazines I drool over… Paradise, with the mountains enclosing the bay as we watched the sun go down. Perfection.
We continued the tour around the island to find other interesting places. We went to an enclosure where the encompassing edges of the Island looked really ghoulish and spooky; black, grey with jutted edges. We also came across a random face in the wall and a place where hundreds of pelicans had set up camp. Literally hundreds of them flying in the air and/or nesting on the branches separating the lagoon from the sea.
Such a diverse and interesting place to visit, definitely my highlight and I can’t recommend it enough… so much to do and see, google the island for more information if you’re interested and check out aerial pictures to give you an idea.
The next day, Tuesday, we took the scenic route along the coast rather than the motorway to reach Cabo Pulmo, without knowing that the journey would take an extra 2 hours along with all of my energy. It required 3 hours of full concentration, and I have never had to concentrate that much whilst driving, so many rocks and bumps and ditches to avoid, not to mention steady cliff driving. The long and winding road was amazing with so many breath-taking views, until it reached a point where the road turned to gravel and dirt for the remaining two and a half hours.
At one point we had to get out of the car to assess the situation as there really was no way our little car was going any further, even the jeeps wouldn’t have made it across this particular point in the “road.” While we were checking it out, these massive wasps came from nowhere, attracted to the orange/gold colour of our little trooper of a car. They were terrifyingly big and brought out the most girlish screams from everybody as we quickly jumped back into the car. So funny, yet terrifying things… something out of a horror film if they had been any bigger.
We finally arrived in Cabo Pulmo, and embarked on another boat trip where they stopped off at random points for us to jump in and snorkel in one of the three living reefs in the Americas. Nothing compared to the reefs of Cancun, and the water was freezing, but it was still pretty cool to see different species of fish. As we made our way over to another sea lion island we were on the lookout for whales and flying mantarrays. I never knew that they could jump, but wow, they can actually fly!
The most impressive was a really big one which did a double backwards somersault thing showing us both sides of its body (the flash of white which we had initially mistaken for the blowout of a whale.) Later on we then saw groups of little baby mantarrays jumping out of the sea together, soaring through the air, amazing and just ridiculous! When they are swimming on the surface you are able to see just the tips of their fins which could easily be mistaken for a shark. We came across about 20+ by the end of the trip.
We were treated to the familiar sound of the barking sea lions as we reached their home inCabo Pulmo Marine Preserve. The sea lions were all sleeping on this rock all squished together with some on top of the other, like sardines, it was adorable. Of course there was the odd pair fighting, but it was so cute to see their little sleepy faces together, they look so lazy. Then it was like from the children’s song “there were ten in the bed and the little one said, roll over, roll over” as suddenly the sea lion sleeping on the edge of the rock was harshly pushed off it, and went crashing down into the sea, still with his eyes closed. Ah it was so funny, bless him.
We took the highway/motorway back on our return to Cabo San Lucas, and stopped off in San Jose to have dinner in the popular restaurant, The Hangman. We enjoyed an interesting hot chocolate with a Mexican twist, fried bean soup and tasty tacos, different from the standard ones such as “Pollo a la Española” Spanish style chicken. Mmm.
Wednesday was the day we visited the most famous tourist attraction of Los Cabos, el Arco. The arch, a natural formation in the rocks, which together with “Land’s End” a large cluster of impressive rock formations (including the tiny rock which is the furthest southern point of Baja California and is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez,) combine to provide a spectacular backdrop to the brightly coloured ocean and beautiful beach.
We all rented Kayaks and it took us quite a bit of time, passing mantarrays and sea lions on the way to reach el Arco. Next to the arch there is a split in the rock formations where the sand between leads to two beaches either side; one called Lover’s Beach, and the other, Divorce beach. Nice.
Thursday it was time to try our luck at whale watching as the season is coming to an end in Baja California. WOW. We saw so many! In particular, we continued to see the humpbacks of a family of 3 with a little calve. One of the highlights was seeing their tales one after the other, finishing with the big tail of the macho whale. Amazing.
The favourite part was definitely listening to the hydrophone and the cries of the whales, when all of a sudden the noises became louder as if something was about to happen. I thought that they were really close to the boat or something and that was when I turned to my left and saw the entire body of a humpback whale flying through the air before crashing down.
How lucky to have seen not only whales, whale’s tails, but also one jumping through the air. Amazing. The professional photographer managed to capture it as it came crashing down. In the evening we ate at an Italian restaurant with the nicest lasagna… so good, that we went back the next day for lunch with the nicest pesto bruschetta to boot. Normally I don’t eat tomatoes, but since I’ve been here, I eat them with nachos and now bruschetta. Mmm.
On Friday we enjoyed the sunset booze cruise with Cabo Escape tours. This involved an open bar on the top deck with waiters handing you countless numbers of delicious cocktails and fajitas on the bottom deck. Great evening with lots of tequila shots, cocktails, music and a crazy harlem shake at the end when this little kid was busting out all of his moves in the middle of the dancefloor.
The last day in Los Cabos we spent at Billygan’s – another beach bar/restaurant full of drunk gringos and weird competitions such as who can put on a frozen t-shirt first. The beaches in Cancun don’t have any beach bars or restaurants like the ones we’ve been enjoying here in Los Cabos, as the beaches in Cancun are lined with hotels. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the comfy sun beds eating more tasty nachos with a bucket of beer right in front of the incredible view of the mountains and the sea.
Also, I received my first ever comment from a stranger the other day on my Monterrey blog 😀 All thanks to the power of twitter, and my blog is now featuring in its 6th online newspaper gig. Woo, not just my family read this it turns out and that put a massive smile on my face! So a massive thank you, if you’re still reading these things from time to time.