Av. Santa Maria de la Ribera, Los Cabos
Worlds apart from the crowds that often consume Cabo San Lucas, Costa Palmas is the 100 percent private, white-sand, translucent-blue-sea, nature-filled escape you probably didn't know existed. The one-thousand-acre property is surrounded by orchards, organic farms, and forests on one side and calm water as far as the eye can see on the other (the Sea of Cortez is famously still)—arguably one of the most beautiful spots we've ever been lucky enough to visit. The Four Seasons and Aman have properties here. Both give guests the option to chose between secluded private residences (custom-built for indoor/outdoor living with the softest daybeds, rainfall outdoor showers, fireplaces...you get the idea) or the more traditional resort experience—you can't go wrong either way. The marina accommodates boats up to 250 feet long, the spas blend in with the greenery they were built into, the golf course is second to none, and the five restaurants are fueled with bounty grown in the aforementioned organic fields.
Calle Sin Nombre, Animas Bajas, 23407 San Jose del Cabo
Whether you come for a meal at the farm-to-table restaurant, or to check-in and unplug in one of the twelve tree houses on the property, this place is a bucket-list must. Situated on twenty-five acres of farmland up a winding dirt road adjacent to Flora Farms, design-forward hotel offers some of the most incredible amenities (note: tree houses, fifteen feet off the ground, each with their own alfresco shower, plus terrace with palm grove views) and experiences like hiking, yoga, and access to roam the totally gorgeous on-site farm. The staff and owners are incredibly hospitable, so much so that you'll jump right into their awaiting Mezcal tasting upon arrival.
Calle Paseo Malecón San Jose, San José del Cabo
Perhaps one of Mexico's most interesting hotel openings of 2016, this 205-room property designed by local architect Miguel Angel Aragonés has a hypermodern aesthetic that differentiates itself from others in the region. The overall experience here is totally customizable—from the personalized in-room indoor/outdoor lighting concept which is at the guest's discretion, to room service, which is available at the touch of tablet. The design is marked by sharp lines, cream marble and travertine, Italian-made Poliform furnishings, and a stately infinity pool. As for the guest rooms? With their floor-to-ceiling windows and private outdoor space, each one appears to float on water. While the hotel has no less than five restaurants on property, it's worth leaving the campus one afternoon to head to nearby Flora's Farm, an area staple, known for its farm-to-table dishes and laid-back vibe.
When the pro surfers come down to Cabo, they surf Zippers. Situated minutes from downtown San José del Cabo, this legendary break is great if you’re an experienced surfer and even better if you’re more interested in watching the action with a cold one in hand, from the safety of the aptly named beachside taco-and-burger spot, Zipper’s Bar and Grill. Another solid break, La Roca, is within paddle distance. Rent gear or set up a lesson at Costa Azul surf shop. Enter from the parking lot off Highway 1.
Surf in Cabo
Surfincabo, San José del Cabo
These guys will set up everything from professional coaching sessions, to beginner lessons, to guided stand-up paddle board tours, to gear rentals if you’re going at it alone, but their real claim to fame are the week-long Scorpion Bay surf camps. Designed to accommodate groups of advanced surfers, these trips include lodgings, some meals, and super knowledgeable guides.
Old Man’s Break
Cabo Surf Hotel
Along with Zippers and The Rock, this mellow break—particularly well suited for longboarders and beginners—sits on the beautiful Costa Azul. Conveniently, the paddle-out point is on the beach in front of Cabo Surf Hotel where you can rent gear and sign up for lessons at the Mike Doyle Surf School.
Next to Misiones del Cabo Resort
The name "Monuments" is a reference to El Arco and the surrounding cliffs—both clearly visible from the break. It’s a very rocky spot with a lively urchin population to keep an eye on even at high tide, so it’s best suited for the experienced surfer (if you didn’t lug your own boards get a rental at any of the shops in Cabo San Lucas). Getting here is easy: just type in hotel Misiones del Cabo into the GPS and tell the guard at the gate you’re looking to surf. You'll want to park above the break, next to Misiones del Cabo Resort.
Mario Surf School
23301 Cerritos Beach, Todos Santos
The instructors at this Todos Santos-based surf school have a low-key yet effective approach to teaching. They set up shop daily at Los Cerritos beach where the waves are tame and the conditions perfect for first-timers who want to learn the basics along with supervised practice for those with a little more experience. Day-long guided surf excursions to off-the-radar beaches and stand-up paddleboarding tours are also available.
La Pastora Break
While there's a sign marking the entrance to Pastora, the series of breaks on the outskirts of Todos Santos, compared to more prominent Los Cerritos and Las Palmas on the Pacific side, is not the easiest to find so ask a local for driving directions. Once you do get here, enjoy a nearly empty beach, meaning never fighting for your turn in the lineup (there are no lifeguards on duty, so buddy up!). For board and wetsuit rentals reach out to Mario Surf School.
Benito Juarez 1717-3 (Plaza 1717), San José del Cabo
This little coffee spot in downtown San Jose looks like it might be more at home in Brooklyn than Mexico—the modern interior features minimal wooden stools and a gleaming white espresso machine. The patio is set up with scattered tables that are great for chatting with locals while snacking on a panini or breakfast sandwich (which are always made fresh). Ask about the smoothies.
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