May 21st, 2017
Happy Sunday, friends!
After a quick photoshoot this morning, and an equally as quick cleaning of the house (my little brother arrives in town tonight); I decided to sit down and finally recap our recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!
While it’s a popular destination for tourists, we tried to do a few things “off the beaten path” and I cannot wait to share them with you!
The hotel we stayed at was the Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas. Riu has locations all over the world, but we settled on Cabo because it was such a quick and easy flight from Denver. The grounds backed up right to the ocean, with inside/outside rooms all throughout the property, epitomizing that perfect Baja vibe. All beauty aside, I will go right into one of the highlights of staying here—the staff. Most come for the all-inclusive drinks/food, but we came for the prime location (20 minute beach walk to downtown, and 10 minute taxi ride), but the staff was what ended up just blowing us out of the water. Actually, everyone that worked in Cabo did! Not only were they constantly smiling from morning until night, but they were all so sweet and happy to help you with anything. I came back from this trip not only relaxed and tan, but motivated to work harder in my everyday life here in the US. Funny how so many people we encounter inspire us in ways that they probably don’t even know; which brings me back to the saying, “Be nice to everyone, because you never know what battle they are fighting.”.
At this resort, I assure you; boredom will never occur. Riu has enough daily activities that eliminate the need to leave the resort entirely. From pool games, to night time musicals; they have it all! Their recent renovations make it a gorgeous sight to see (possibly even competing with the landscape) and just fancy enough for you to feel a little spoiled… as you should on vacation! The room service was prompt, massages were just right (get the deep tissue), and the fitness center was fully equipped in case you were feeling a little guilty about ALL those tacos the day before 🙂
View from our room… a beautiful sight!
Hat /Bag /Sandals
The pool areas were dreamy.. and even dreamier because you could order whatever tropical drink you were craving right to your seat, without having to lift a finger!
Every morning, we would walk down from our room, to this spot right here. The resort is positioned somewhat on a hill, and so the line of sand you see drops down to some rough waves. If you want to swim in the ocean, you actually have to walk about a quarter mile down to your right where it seemed to be a little more calm. Some felt a little adventurous and tried to defy the waves… and ended up without the swimsuit they were wearing (yikes!).
I don’t know about you, but for me, swimming in the ocean is the most therapeutic! Surrounded by this large mass of water is somehow so calming to me, and I crave it immensely each time I leave. Don’t get me wrong, the beautiful mountains I see everyday here in Denver are truly breathtaking, but the ocean is a magical thing all on it’s own.
The last day we were there, we met up with Danielle of Danielle Nungaray Photography to do my vacation looks photo shoot! She took us to a beautiful spot by the ocean, and ended up finding some fun backgrounds throughout the downtown area of Cabo. She is SO talented, and her passion came through in her photographs (pictured below). If you are in town and need pictures of any type (maternity, engagement, family, glamour, event, etc), she is your girl!
I loved seeing the older buildings that were a little “roughed up” against the newer developments, which seemed to be a welcomed pattern! Everywhere you turn, there was a pop of color, delicious smelling food, or beautiful flowers growing! This went down as one of my favorite days, having been shown around town by such a sweet soul! While downtown, I recommend stopping by:
Mini Super El Gallo (The best little grocery store in town) It is run by my photographers fiance and his family:)
Los Claros for the yummiest tacos! (I got the shrimp ceviche tostada and batter fish tacos) Order with the hibiscus juice..you will die of happiness!
Giggling Marlin for a drink (we had the Maragarona) This place is just a fun environment..if you are feeling crazy, you can even get hung upside down while taking a drink!) I did not partake lol
Cabo Coffee Company We stopped here for coffee before the photo shoot and it was delish! Get the tea latte with almond milk!
The Office This restaurant is waterfront perfection, with waiters that literally run up and down the stairs to get you your food on time, and a mariachi band ready to serenade you at any moment. I ordered the seafood soup and just about died and went to heaven!
For any shopping needs you have whilst here, I would just go to the main street of any area you are visiting. Each place we stopped would have one section of tiny little shops filled with colorful creations (many locally made) to assist in your souvenir collection! The people selling are strong negotiators and will try to get you at a high price, but will end up settling for what you think is fair :)! We picked up some leather goods, dishes, and a beautiful piece of jewelry. I have decided that from here on out, I would like to try and find an art piece made from one of the locals at each place I visit. Big or small, I simply want something to showcase the culture I encountered at the time.
Obviously you go to Mexico to do some type of water activities, and you hopefully don’t limit that to laying out by the pool/ocean because there is such a fun array of things to do ON the water! Of those, we took a boat ride to Lovers Beach, saw some crazy cute sea lions, almost went overboard because of the waves (just kidding..I am a little scaredy cat), and swam with whale sharks. Most of these activities you can book directly through the employees at the resort like we did.
While we came for Cabo, we also were able to go explore two other spots in Mexico on this trip which were: Todos Santos, and La Paz.
We rented a car and set off to La Paz (about an $80 car rental with Alamo for the day), which is about 2 hours away from downtown Cabo! We chose this because a restaurant owner we had met invited us to see his hometown! After about 40 minutes of no cell service (kind of scary) through the tallest cactus fields I have ever seen, we came across multiple fruit stands and a surf colony! We pulled off on an unmarked dirt road, and was led to the coolest little restaurant spot on the water, Cerritos Beach and Surf Club! I ordered the Huevos Rancheros (YUM) and fresh juice! You sit and eat while watching all the surfers perform their big moves of the day, to the beat of relaxing music by the Eagles filling your ears. It was AH-mazing! Next up, was the charming city of Todos Santos.
I think we might stay here if we go to that area of Mexico again, due to it’s overwhelming charm! Home to the famous Hotel California (make sure and do their house tequila tasting), it’s windy streets and colorful flower filled walkways transport you to a feel of the Mediterranean. I would love to go back and explore more again soon! Since it was a pit stop, we kept saying while we were stopping through (ARRRRGH, I wish we could stay longer)
Finally, we ended at La Paz. La Paz is more undisturbed by tourists than Cabo, and is lined with the prettiest blue green waters of the Sea of Cortes. I recommend heading over to the Malecon, which is multiple water front blocks with activities and restaurants! We ate at Puerto Amor and had spicy yellowtail sashimi, fresh mojitos, and tacos (again, again, I know). Go early and leave early, if staying in Cabo. Driving through Mexico in the dark as a tourist can get a little tricky:)
Well, there it is in a nutshell. I could go on and on, but I will leave you with this for now.
This is one of the few travel guides that I have done, so please let me know if you have any additional questions, need more specific recommendations, or just have feedback!
Have a wonderful start to your week tomorrow, and make sure you book that trip that you have been always wanting to take! Travel is ALWAYS worth it in my book!