Cabo’s East Side
Because It’s So Close Yet Feels So Surreally Far
John Steinbeck loved the raw beauty of the Baja Peninsula’s little-visited east coast, on the Sea of Cortés: empty beaches, expanses of dune, sleepy villages, cardon cactus–studded landscapes, and barely a hotel in sight. But most travelers have long headed west from Los Cabos International Airport to the Pacific side’s boho-chic town of Todos Santos (now home to the sceney Hotel San Cristobal) and the many five-star pleasures in Cabo San Lucas: the grand stalwart One&Only Palmilla and the Resort at Pedregal (and, soon, a new Nobu).
But that flow is about to change direction. Viceroy, the Luxury Collection, and Montage all recently planted their flags on the peninsula’s east side, and Zadún, only the fourth Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in the world, opens this March on a secluded two-mile stretch of beach in San José del Cabo. Farther on, a bumpy dirt road brings you to the oasis that is Costa Palmas, home to the Four Seasons, which is slated to open next year, as well as a members-only beach club, a 250-slip marina, a yacht club, a golf course, and an 18-acre working organic farm. ( The first Amanin Mexico, the Amanvari, arrives in this gorgeous semi wilderness in 2020, with pavilions on stilts that resemble spaceships poised amid the sand and cacti.)
The promise (at last!) of infinity pools, world class spas, and gourmet restaurants may be what lures you here, but the calm, swimmable waters of the Sea of Cortés (parent alert: There is no undertow along this coast), the spectacular diving in Cabo Pulmo Marine National Park (Mexico’s premier marine sanctuary and protected reef ), and the tiny village restaurants where the grandmas hand-toss tortillas are the reasons you’ll keep coming back.
TO BOOK: Zach Rabinor can create a complete Baja circuit for you, connecting Cabo, Loreto, La Paz, Todos Santos,and Espiritu Santo, organizing along the way “Africa-worthy” experiences such as gray whale watching over Magdalena Bay from a Cessna. ZACH@JOURNEYMEXICO.COM (J.M.)
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