At the southernmost point of the Baja California coast in Mexico sits Cabo San Lucas, a paradisiacal locale that seems to subsist primarily from the steady tourism industry there.
Mention of Cabo San Lucas and springtime elicits images of hundreds of scantily clad, inebriated co-eds participating in the acclaimed Spring Break activities that American college students are well known for worldwide. What a surprisingly large amount of people don’t know is that there is more to Cabo and the surrounding area than participating in wet t-shirt contests, spending your parent’s money on shots of Patrón, and dancing on the pool deck ‘til daybreak.
After a few days of lazing around the grounds of our hotel, occasionally wandering up the coast to a deserted beach to take a few waves with the local groms, I did a little research about the best ways to see the surrounding area. Having no previous intimate knowledge with the nearby sights and the winding dirt back-roads to access them, my mom and I decided to hire a guide, Carlos, to show us around to some of his favorite spots. We started out our journey from a sandy local surf spot called “Zippers”. From here Carlos drove us along Mexican Highway 1 north until we turned off onto a dirt road headed toward a small town by the name of Miraflores. Once we left the main highway, Carlos gave me the wheel, proclaiming that we were now outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement.
The dirt roads weaved through a variety of small villages and adjacent mango plantations until we reached a series of hot springs that Carlos described as a bit of a local secret. The road leading to the hot springs involved some relatively sketchy switchbacks on a road that had recently experienced a good amount of erosion from some recent rains, certainly not passable conditions for most vehicles and perhaps a contribution to the secluded nature of the springs. Each pool held a different temperature point starting around 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper pool, cascading one after another all the way down to the cool creek running below, a refreshing contrast to the sweltering desert heat.
A ways on down the road sat the turnoff for Cañon de La Zorra or “Fox Canyon”, where a short hike brought us to a glorious oasis of a pool beneath the trickle of a waterfall. The deep, chilly, pool again offered another refreshment to balance the heat of the sun. Seeking a bit of excitement, Carlos and I scrambled to the top of the waterfall in search of a good perch to jump. He pointed across the pool to a point about seventy feet up, above a part of the pool that sat laden in weeds, maybe two feet deep. He explained that in the past (when the water level was higher) he watched a guy toss a double backflip off of that spot. We weren’t feeling quite that adventurous, so we elected to hop the casual 30-35 footer above the deepest part of the pool.
At this point in the day, our hunger had started to set in and we started to head back to the quiet town of Miraflores. Here, Carlos’s friend greeted us with fish tacos filled with fresh tuna that he had caught in the ocean earlier that very day, along with a few of his signature guava, hibiscus margaritas. As a very picky Mexican food connoisseur hailing from San Diego, seemingly the fish taco capital of the States, I can honestly say that these fish tacos rivaled any I’d ever had before. The serene location certainly helped – eating the fresh tacos surrounded by a canopy of tropical trees and among a group of roaming farm chickens certainly set a better stage than the interior of a place called Rubio’s in a SoCal strip mall – but the food spoke for itself. It was top notch.
After sufficiently satisfying our palettes, we headed back out towards the main highway, passing a delivery truck delivering what surely had to be a month’s supply of Tecate Light to the local town store. Back on the open road, Carlos took a pit stop to show us the official Tropic of Cancer line of latitude before dropping us back at our hotel, thoroughly content with day of desert exploration around Cabo San Lucas.
To some, Cabo is simply the party capital of North America, a place to listen to Ying Yang Twins throwback jams and dance in epilepsy-inducing environments where tequila pours out of the emergency fire sprinklers on special occasions. But for those looking for a bit more, those who lack the desire to pump fist among troves of sweaty, partially coherent youth, Cabo also delivers a land laden with natural beauty.
The travel company that Carlos worked for is called High Tide Sea Expeditions.
My review is listed here.