CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (Reuters Life!) - The booming resort area of Los Cabos, at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, has attracted anglers, divers, golfers and sun worshippers in recent decades.
They have been lured to the sun-baked mecca by idyllic weather, outdoor diversions and warm, crystalline waters.
Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a short stay in Los Cabos, a region where mountains, desert and sea converge.
6:00 p.m. - Get settled at your hotel, most likely on the scenic stretch between San Jose and Cabo called “The Corridor,” or in Cabo itself. Choices range from luxury chains like Westin and Hilton to independent budget operations such as Hotel Tesoro in the Marina. Options abound at most price levels.
7:00 p.m. - Head to the Marina where tourists join locals lolling at dozens of outdoor cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
8:30 p.m. - A good choice for dinner is the Baja Lobster Company. Try to get a table on the deck, order lobster tacos and take in the scene below as you sip a margarita made with seemingly countless offerings of top-shelf tequila.
10:00 p.m. - Shops stay open late, especially on weekends, so take an after-dinner stroll through Cabo’s compact downtown. The flea market, with a score of stalls laden with Mexican handicrafts and other souvenirs, is a fun spot and a great place to pick up small gifts.
Midnight - If a nightcap is in order, head back to the Marina and have a drink by the waterside, swaying to the beat emanating from clubs sharing their music with the late-night strollers.
8:00 a.m. - Stick to coffee or tea at your hotel and then take a quick swim or walk on the beach, because you’ll want to save a lot of room for the Cabo institution that is Mama’s Royal Cafe.
10:00 a.m. - On Miguel Hidalgo, sometimes called Cabo’s restaurant row, Mama’s offers a dizzying array of stuffed French toast and dozens of fluffy omelettes with intriguing fillings, all served on a charming bougainvillea-shaded patio. Or you can opt for huevos divorciados — a pair of enchiladas, one each with green or red salsa topped with fried eggs, accompanied by beans and fresh fruit.
Noon - Take a walk on nearby Medano Beach, Cabo’s main strand where jet skis criss cross the bay and parasailers glide overhead. Good natured skippers will implore you to choose their water taxi service for the trip to Lovers Beach, the stretch of sand tucked into the rocky formations at Baja’s southernmost tip that leads from the Sea of Cortez to the mighty Pacific nearby.
2:00 p.m. - After a swim on the main beach, head to Lovers Beach in a glass bottomed skiff, for about $10 roundtrip. The captain will provide a narrated tour during the short trip, pointing out intriguing rock formations.
Be sure to walk a few minutes across the pristine sand to the Pacific side for a look at Divorce Beach. Accessible only by boat, you’ll marvel at the strange rock formations that would seem more familiar in a canyon of the southwest U.S. The water taxi will return at the previously agreed time to pick you up and drop back on Medano Beach.
4:00 p.m. - Happy hour starts early in Cabo. Choose from a string of outdoor cafes and enjoy two-for-one margaritas or steeply discounted Mexican beers.
If happy hour just isn’t your thing, rent a jet ski for about $60 and tour the harbor, zipping past cruise ships and yachts.
8:00 p.m. - Feast with the locals at the reasonably priced MigueLocos on Miguel Hidalgo, where you can start with coconut shrimp or tortilla soup, a Cabo favorite. Fish is offered with a variety of sauces. Try the fresh-tasting green, or cilantro sauce. The chicken mole also has a well-deserved reputation.
10:00 p.m. - After dinner take another stroll through town, or along Medano beach.
Midnight - If you are in the mood for a final drink, the beach cafes have cozy firepits where you can sit back and watch the moon rise over the sea.
10:00 a.m. - Take a drive up the Corridor, where about halfway to San Jose on the west side of the main road you’ll find the blown glass factory, where artisans practice their craft. Be sure to check out the 40 percent off back room, where stacks of tiles, plates and other Mexican handicrafts are on sale at bargain prices.
Noon - Stop for lunch at the Sirena del Mar resort. Enjoy an al fresco lunch on the terrace high above the sea. Next go to the private cove for some snorkeling or relaxing.
3 p.m. - Drive up to San Jose del Cabo and wander the central square, which is anchored by the church Iglesia San Jose, followed by some shopping.
5:30 p.m. - Stop at the landmark Sunset da Mona Lisa restaurant and sip a mojito on the terrace while enjoying free hors d’oeuvres and breath-taking views.