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Los Cabos Spotlight

Gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and limitless fun: You'll love Los Cabos

By Jordan Simon

December 7th, 2006

Few destinations are as iconic as Los Cabos, located at the southernmost tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California) meet. The very name conjures images of Hemingway and John Wayne duking it out with marlins and Jimmy Buffett downing margaritas. Though Cabo wasn't really developed for tourism until the 1980s, Hollywood's A-List has made a beeline here since the 1940s. Today, the Who's Who ABC starts with Aniston, Berry, and Clooney. They're no longer roughing it: Los Cabos has become one of the world's premier golf and spa destinations, with sumptuous resorts and restaurants to match, in addition to the sportfishing that made it famous.

No other place offers a mosaic that's quite as unique: ravishing desert woven with startling ribbons of green, the jagged Sierra de la Laguna peaks cleaving the peninsula, and sapphire sea lined with boulders evoking abstract sculptures. That rugged eco-friendly terrain is a magnet for adrenaline junkies, who attack any incline with consummate abandon, from A (ATVs) to Z (ziplines through thick forest). Of course, the surrounding waters offer their own recreational delights, from whale-watching between November and March to surfing and scuba diving in crystalline water – although the most X-treme aquatic activity might be drinking in the tidal wave of watering holes. Los Cabos offers wildlife and wild life in abundance.

Los Cabos encompasses two main towns and a connecting 19-mile Tourist Corridor rimmed with posh resorts between them. Mellow historic San José del Cabo offers superb shopping and dining around the picture-postcard Spanish colonial town square, Plaza Mijares. Cabo San Lucas is the formerly drowsy fishing village turned brash, rambunctious sibling. The closer you get to the latter, the more gringo-fied the flavor (stateside visitors comprise 95% of guests); fast-food outlets and mini-malls litter the landscape, though even the Mickey D's and Saab dealerships are done up in faux-adobe style. Fortunately, the region is determined to balance development with environmental stewardship, and its proximity to the US means the dollar is accepted almost anywhere.

Given the wealth of recreational activities – day and night, winter, summer, spring or fall – where should you stay and play? If you have a three-day weekend we recommend restricting activities to your resort (especially if it offers golf and/or spa options), with a half-day snorkel trip and night out in hedonistic Cabo San Lucas. With five days, you can expand your horizons to venture offroad via ATV or horseback. A week permits taking trips to unspoiled colonial towns like Todos Santos, and even a multi-day adventure tour to the East Cape.

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