Los Cabos :: Where is Everybody?

by Richard Frisbie

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday June 25, 2009

EDGE correspondent Richard Frisbie just returned from losing his virginity in Los Cabos, Mexico. What? Virginity-losing? Well, metaphorically anyways, after years of pining for a trip, he seized the swine flu moment for his first time in Los Cabos, Mexico that saw a few other firsts as well...

One person's misfortune is another's opportunity. Someone mentions that pigs have the flu and no one buys any pork. I'll be grilling pork all summer because of that lunacy. Then someone sneezes and an entire country is boycotted. They might as well close Manhattan! I'm all alone on miles of pristine Mexican beach wondering "Where Is Everybody?" Now is the time to travel to Mexico!

Los Cabos, Mexico - Baja California Sur

Cabos has been on my mind since I read John Steinbeck's "Log of the Sea of Cortez" and Edward Abbey's "Baja!". Whale-watching, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, hiking rugged islands floating in vast blue waters surrounded by miles of beautiful beaches - Baja! Somehow I knew I'd get there, I just didn't know when. Then - Voila! Opportunity knocks! The cheapest airfare coupled with a smorgasbord of specials and discounts from the best hotels means I couldn't afford to stay home! Can you?

A Hotel (or two) With A Heart

Las Ventanas al Para?so

Las Ventanas al Para?so is an exclusive hotel stunning in its beauty. They offer free upgrades as available and a fabulous spa experience. The big feature for me was a cooking class with Chef Fabrice Guisset at a station on the edge of his walled herb garden. Fresh heirloom tomato salad, red snapper baked in a hoja santa leaf, and a delicious selection of desserts were all carefully prepared in front of us, with the chef darting into the herb garden whenever he needed fresh ingredients. Talk about clean, fresh food! The chef and I really hit it off, he's a sweetheart of a guy. When I left he gave me his recipes and the Ventanas' signature red glass heart. It's hanging in my window at home. Each day when the morning sun fills the heart with light I think I'm back at his table in Cabos again.

The Marquis Los Cabos Hotel

The Marquis Los Cabos Hotel shows it has its heart in the right place by donating 5% of the hotel's annual revenue for the staff's health care and education in its Marquis University. It helps, on average, twenty employees a year obtain primary schooling and bachelor degrees. Plus, the hotel is beautiful. One of their deals is an upgrade to an ocean view or oceanfront casita with a private plunge pool. That's how I found myself in a second story suite bigger than my home, with two oceanfront decks and a spiral staircase to my rooftop banquette with a plunge pool! It was heaven! The rhythm of the waves lulled me to sleep each night and awakened me every morning. I swore I would never leave the room, but I did!

Art & Culture

Los Cabos (or just Cabos) refers to the Southern tip of Baja that includes the luxury resort town of Cabo San Lucas to the south, and the quieter colonial city of San Jose del Cabo to the north. The 30 or so mile stretch between them is known as the Corridor. When you are looking for action, go south to Squid Row and other bars where the spring breakers hang out. For culture go north, especially on Thursdays. That's when the Art Gallery Walk in San Jose del Cabo takes place. The gallery and restaurant owners joined together to coordinate an open gallery walk around this charming community boasting many international artists. Wine and good spirits flow as the engaging artists show off their work. When it is time to take a break, the La Panga Antigua Restaurant offers an historical retreat with the best margaritas around! This is your opportunity to mingle with the locals and learn what Mexico is all about.

Call Me Spaboy!

It seems like every hotel has a spa these days and they all try to outdo one another with their amenities and decor. Don't get me wrong, I love a good massage, but - I'm a guy's guy - and all that fru fru stuff is wasted on me. At Las Ventanas al Para?so I had a neck massage in a gazebo on a chaise next to a pool filled with bougainvillea blossoms. The aroma of burning incense and the melodious tones of the crystal Tibetan bowls completed the spiritual and very uplifting spa experience. But, to me, the most important aspect was that my neck felt great when it was over.
At the Marquis I had a massage on the beach, lulled into peaceful bliss by the sounds of the surf. I walked through their other facilities, which were extensive and elaborate, but my suite was so grand I returned there to shower and Jacuzzi.

Call Me Cowboy

I love horses, but horseback riding wrecks my back. Nevertheless, I let the very Spanish equestrian (not Mexican cowboy) Se?or Valente Barrena lead me through the dusty high desert hills above the beach to a truly spectacular vantage. Below us the dry mountains cascaded down to the distant shoreline. Then, after a particularly rigorous ride back, I stripped and enjoyed the hot baths, outdoor showers and naked lounge areas of the Esperanza spa. The masseuse really worked out the kinks caused by my inexpert bouncing in the saddle. I could have stayed there all afternoon with the guys, but they were only serving "healthy" drinks when what I really wanted was some tequila. Isn't tequila what spaboys, I mean cowboys drink?

Sea Food

The Baja is peninsular in shape, separating the Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Cortez. It's tip is called Land's End, which is marked by a natural arch that I didn't get to photograph. I did get to see it while hanging over the side of a racing yacht, though! One of the exciting adventure options while visiting Los Cabos is to sign up for the America's Cup Yacht Race. Twice a day two teams of tourists compete against each other sailing aboard the Team New Zealand NZL 81 and NZL 82 racing yachts. Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed onboard the boats, but it is one of the few places in the world where landlubbers like myself can sail on real America's Cup contenders with a real crew of America's Cup sailors. Sailing with and rubbing elbows with all these tanned guys with sexy accents (Aussies & Kiwis) was thrilling on so many levels. Racing around the bay is an exhilarating experience made perfect by the fact that my guys won the title of hottest sailing crew! If anyone cares after that, we won the yacht race, too. (Oh, and we also ate a lot of fish.)

Lost Virginity Under A Rainbow Flag

The Marquis Hotel offered a sunrise yoga lesson the first morning of my visit. Never having had a yoga lesson before, I gamely signed up and lost my yoga virginity. We took a long stretching walk on the beach and then went to the mats. After an hour of positions with names I'd never heard of, we were instructed to take the lotus position to contemplate and reflect on ourselves and the world around us. I liked the image the instructor gave us. Sitting there on the beach, with the rhythm of the crashing surf as a metronome for my breathing, she said slowly over the course of about ten minutes:
"Look out at the ocean. Notice the deep blue color. Follow it to the curve of the horizon. Now, close your eyes. Imagine the blue and the curve as a ball. Concentrate on the image. See stars above it, you see the earth - the earth with all the different peoples of the world on it - all the different peoples together. See the rainbow over their heads. All the peoples of the Earth are living in harmony under a beautiful rainbow. All the world is at peace.

See it . . . . Live it . . . . Breathe it . . . . Know it . . . .

When you go...

Tourism Los Cabos

Marquis Los Cabos (from $297 night)

Las Ventanas al Para?so (from $515 night)

Casa Dorada (from $199 night)
Conveniently located on the beach in the heart of Cabo San Lucas

Esperanza Hotel & Spa (from $475 night)

America's Cup Yacht Race (Cabo Adventures)

La Panga Antigua Restaurant

Cuadra San Francisco Cabo Horses

Richard Frisbie is a bookseller and publisher in New York State whose food & wine travel articles appear in LGBTQ and regional periodicals, as-well-as at Gather.com, Globalfoodie.com and GoNomad.com. He accepts free copies of books for review, restaurant meals to critique, bottles of wine and liquor for tastings, and all-expense-paid trips in exchange for articles about the destinations. He is paid for these articles. Richard promotes informed, authentic information about food, wine and travel, and does not allow the financial arrangements and/or sponsorship to affect his judgment. You can email him at: [email protected]