Like its east coast cousin Cancun, Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas has a rep for going wild during spring break. While that scene still thrives downtown where the nightclubs cluster, the city is also chic ‘n’ chill enough to draw Jennifer Aniston back year after year. On a recent trip to the tip of the Baja California Peninsula, we crafted our own five-ingredient recipe for a zen weekend in Cabo.
Location, location, location: On the flipside of Cabo’s famous arch is Grand Solmar at Land’s End. Tucked right up against the rocks, the resort is concealed from the rest of Cabo’s hubbub. The waves crash against the landform providing a free show within walking distance of the rooms. But perhaps the best part is a stay here gives guests access to the property’s eight pools, plus the tiered pool and Jacuzzi at its sister hotel next door.
Day trippin’: Just laying by the pool all day is perfectly fine, but if the sightseeing pangs strike, head up to Todos Santos (translation: “All Saints”), a 90-minute drive north along the coast. The town attracts an eclectic mix of surfers, artists, spiritualists and fisherman—naturally, goods and services related to those professions abound.
Special treatment: A massage is the obvious choice, but the Playa Grande Spa offers a uniquely South American ceremony known as Temescal that’s far more memorable. Led by a Shaman, the sweat lodge experience restores both body and soul, including exfoliation preceded by the sharing of something one wants to let go of in life. More superficially, it’s brilliant at treating tequila-related hangovers.
Give-back factor: Away from the glitzy seaside resorts, poverty is real problem in Cabo. Rather than turn a blind eye, Solmar Resorts through its Solmar Foundation funds a shelter and centres for job-training, seniors and drug-addicted children. Complimentary guided tours are available to see the facilities firsthand.
Choice souvenir: In addition to all the “take me back” photos there will be to #tbt, there’s another way to keep relieving the Cabo vibe: toting home some Mezcal, tequila’s sultry, smokier sister. But don’t do duty free at the airport, according to resort bartender Alfonso Enríquez, Walmart (?!) is the best place to buy a bottle and Mezcal Amores is one of his picks.