When people picture Los Cabos, they tend to think about spring break and drunken debauchery. But as I discovered on a recent trip down, there is much more going on than a lively bar scene where the Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific Ocean. Although Cabo San Lucas is the more well-known of the two Cabos, I found San Jose del Cabo to be more quaint and inviting. The whole town has a homey, communal feel to it and around every corner there is a cool art gallery or delicious restaurant to discover.
What surprised me most about this trip was all the amazing food I had the opportunity to indulge in. Los Cabos is truly a foodie's paradise, even internationally renowned chefs are heading on down to the Baja peninsula! A meal at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market restaurant at the exclusive One & Only Palmilla resort and an exciting cooking class with Chef Fabrice Guisset at the laid-back but luxe Las Ventanas resort were two highlights of my recent trip.
Check out the video below of the famed Los Cabos arch formation and click through the slideshow to learn all about this popular Mexican seaside escape.
Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: A Rosewood Resort
Truly a window to paradise as the name implies, Las Ventanas is a breathtaking hotel. The zen vibe adds to the resort's appeal, and with everything from a first rate spa to cooking classes with world-renowned chefs on the list of activities, you can do as much—or as little—as you'd like at this ultra-luxe resort. Fergie recently told us that her fave activity at Las Ventanas is the ceviche class offered with Chef Fabrice Guisset.
Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach
This hotel boasts breathtaking views. Built on the side of a steep hill, every single room at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach is a suite and faces the ocean, providing an uninterrupted view of the beautiful water and horizon. I enjoyed a spectacular and unique lunch here, which made me understand why it was rated as The Best for Food in the Americas in 2008 by the Condé Nast Gold List. You have to see it for yourself to believe it!
Sheraton Hacienda del Mar
The traditional Spanish hacienda style of this resort welcomes you from the second you pull up to the grand entrance. The architecture may make you stop to admire this hotel, but the food here is what will make you stay. Pitahayas is the only restaurant on the Baja peninsula to receive the coveted five-star diamond award, and they have managed to pull off that impressive feat for two years in a row! The hotel also has an incredible wine cellar featuring an impressive selection of vino from around the world, but the local (and delicious!) Mexican wines were the most pleasant surprise.
Owned by the lovely and generous Enrique Silva, Tequila restaurant is located in the exceedingly quaint San Jose del Cabo. With an extensive selection of (you guessed it!) tequila and delicious food made with fresh produce grown at Silva's organic farm, you can't go wrong at this local favorite. Whatever you do, do not leave this restaurant without trying the Tamarindo margarita! It was the best I've ever had.
Calle Manuel Doblado, San Jose del Cabo. (624) 142-1155
Market Restaurant at the One & Only Palmilla
I was expecting a lot from master Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market restaurant at the One & Only Palmilla, and the experience did not disappoint. Consistently rated as the best resort in Mexico, One & Only gets its fair share of accolades, but the food was what made the exclusive resort stick in my mind. At Market, you can watch the chef's hard at work preparing dishes in an open air and immaculate stainless steel kitchen, or hide away in a nook as you enjoy your world-class meal. If only to catch a glimpse of the grand entrance (think Survivor, complete with huge bonfire and torches), it's worth a trip to this restaurant.
One & Only Palmilla Resort, KM 7.5 Carretera Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo. (866) 829-2977
La Panga Antigua
This lovely restaurant features contemporary Mexican cuisine with a concentration on the wonderful fresh seafood available and fished from the nearby seas. Chef/co-owner Jacobo Turquie graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York and the gorgeous restaurant exudes a classically regal colonial feel, making it incredibly popular for locals celebrating special events.Zaragoza # 20 Centro, San José del Cabo. (624) 142 4041
Cooking Class at Los Tamarindos Organic Farm
Enrique Silva, owner of Tequila restaurant in San Jose del Cabo, also runs a small organic farm called Los Tamarindos. He will begin to offer cooking classes there at the end of Nov. when the tourist season picks up, and I would strongly suggest you take him up on the offer. The classes will range in topic from Pre-Hispanic food (think ancient indigenous recipes featuring insects!) to modern, contemporary Mexican cuisine and will run around $100.
SOMMA Wine Spa at Fiesta Americana Resort
Vinotherapy has been popular in Europe for quite some time and as the ancient Romans used to say, "In wine, there is truth." They were probably referring to the drinking of wine rather than the slathering of wine-infused substances all over the body, but really, who's complaining either way? The SOMMA spa at Fiesta Americana is one of only 6 wine spas in the world and provides a green oasis of calm and quiet in a (very) family-oriented resort. Treatments range in price from about $90-$300.
Barcos Que Cantan
The fleet of boats used by Barcos que Cantan are luxurious Turkish schooners. As soon as you pull into the port at Cabo San Lucas, it's hard to miss the exquisite wood sail boats. And the experience only gets better as you pull out into the bay. Sail past the famous Arch rock formation and watch the friendly sea lions play. The cherry on top? A wonderful meal cooked by the onboard chef and served up by the extraordinary staff, plus an open bar!