Travelling anywhere when you have a family can be difficult. And, when it includes a 12 hour flight to a new continent, that can be exaggerated—here's how to visit the beautiful spanish-speaking country with your children, with ease
Summer is now becoming a dim and distant memory and the school term is in full swing, but those who are really savvy are planning their trips abroad for 2020 already—a move which will not only create peace of mind, but also will be far kinder to their wallets.
One destination that should definitely make your list is the breathtakingly beautiful area of Los Cabos in the southern tip Mexico, in the Baja California Peninsula. It consists of the vibrant Cabo San Lucas and the more tranquil and traditional San Jose del Cabo. Both of which are more than worth the journey and fortunately share a coastline, positioned only a 20-minute drive from one to the other and so each can be fully embraced in one trip.
Until recently it has been an extremely long haul a fairly painful destination to reach and discover, involving a stop over and change at LAX (if flying from the UK). But from November TUI are starting a direct flight service from London Gatwick makes it more than accessible, with the flight a little over 12 hours and prices starting at a very reasonable £379pp, it’s ideal for a family adventure.
Is it really worth travelling all that way?
A resounding yes. Not only will you will be seduced by sunsets, sunrises and magical skies but you’ll easily find empty beaches to frolic on (apart from the odd Mexican cowboy that is taking a ride on the beach). The people here are warm and friendly, and this area is far more developed than many may expect.
When thinking of Mexico, it still seems many still consider it a dangerous place to visit. Without a doubt, there are unsavoury parts to the country, but Los Cabos is extremely safe and traveller friendly.
When you arrive
When you exit the airport the balmy heat hits you straight away so, it’s advisable to have your air-conditioned transport sorted before your arrival and for those who are hair-conscious to have their non-frizzing hair products at the ready!
If you’ve decided that you’re going to hire a car, make sure to sort out the short transfer to the local car rental area with the company you’re using to hire your car from and be prepared to hang around for some time—it can be disorderly.
There are so many luxurious resorts and stunning beachside villas in Los Cabos so before booking, decide what it is you’re looking for from your break, we’ve picked two of our favourite places for families:
Where to stay… if you like it lively
If you’re looking for a party/clubbing/celebrity spotting and more vibrant experience you will be spoilt for choice in Cabo San Lucas. There is an abundance of restaurants and if you like seafood you’ll be in heaven.
The marina is spectacular to look at. While walking along you’ll have to keep your wits about you as you’ll be bombarded by restaurant staff touting for business, as well as sellers of everything you can imagine. From garments and jewellery embracing the VSCO trends of bead-shell-jewellery, to people pushing lizards and exotic birds in your faces trying to get you to agree to photos so that they can charge you for them. The atmosphere is electric and as long as you are firm, it’s such an exciting environment to be in before heading off to decide which of the incredible restaurants takes your fancy.
Later in the evening the booming music starts and Los Cabos comes alive, it is a full-on club scene with the street behind the Marina, rammed with party revellers, all in high spirits and looking for a fun night. The club music competing for attention and customers trying to draw in the scantily clad, but highly fashionable partiers of all ages. We recommended taking the younger members of your party to another location once the evening fun starts, but it’s a wonderful environment for adults.
There are all sorts of boat tours to take you around the peninsula so that you can see the magical sea arch El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, or to go whale watching, dolphin spotting and see all sorts of marine life. For those that are deep-sea fishing enthusiasts, you can charter a boat and the sizes of fish such as Tuna or Marlin that are out in this area of the ocean to be caught are quite astounding.
For something different, try horse riding to see the incredible landscape up close—offering both beach and desert/mountain rides, for the experienced and very inexperienced riders—you’ll be hosted by Mexican cowboys who will offer incredible lasso displays, just in case riding through the desert and observing the stunning mountainous landscape and past alien plants and cactuses, you are fully aware of what part of the world you’re in!
The area can’t be mentioned without talking about the beaches. This part of Mexico provides such beautiful beaches that your senses will be awoken. The combination of the skies at any point of the day or night, against the ocean and sound of the waves, will make any thoughts of Brexit, social media, or world worries, pale to insignificance.
It is very easy to find a deserted beach to stroll out on and just embrace the beauty—and absolutely worth getting up for early mornings to watch the sun rising and the magical skies changing colours. It is worth noting that many of the beaches are dangerous to swim on, and so you must find one that is safe— such as Chileno Beach, Palmilla Beach Medano Beach or Cannery Beach, although there are many more. These beaches are often far busier, obviously, full of both locals and tourists enjoying the waves, picnics, beach games and sunbathing, but they are no less beautiful than the empty beaches you will come across and you will often see the most luxurious party yachts and boats close to the shore.
Where to stay… if you like to relax
For the culture vultures and perhaps those looking for a more relaxing and serene time, head to the enchanting San Jose. Considering how close these two towns are to one another, the contrast in their feel is quite astounding.
San Jose feels like a far more authentic Mexican experience. There are many small shops crammed together offering all sorts of brightly coloured textiles; sombreros and hand-made sandals and leather goods. There is beautiful handmade jewellery on display in many of the shops and many of the brightly coloured colonial style buildings have Dia de los Muertos or ‘Day of the Dead’ figurines donning their windows.
The main square in San Jose del Cabo is large and hosts displays of traditional dancers—both men and women, in traditional dress and is sight not to be missed. An abundance of art galleries grace the streets with local artists displaying their bright and fabulous work and even an art walk every week, which gives local information and tells you some of the history of the town.
There are fewer restaurants in San Jose than in Cabo, but they’re unique and full of character. One in particular, Tequila, not only offers more varieties of tequila than you thought could exist, but the is the most incredible courtyard restaurant, filled with leaves and vines hanging from every beam and magical lighting strung up amongst the vines too. The hospitality is second to none, with the owner making sure he welcomes each and every diner and taking time to talk to each table.
The incredible Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, is a must visit. It has the most spectacular ocean views and both the accommodation and restaurant ooze luxury. You will very possibly be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston, to name but a few and as soon as you pull in to the long, immaculate and palm-tree lined driveway you will instantly understand why people—for those whom money is no object—would choose this particular resort.
The delightful staff go above and beyond, taking your keys to valet park your vehicle as you step out of your vehicle, leaving you to enter on to a terrace with such a draw-droppingly beautiful view, and being situated on a clifftop, gives the most dramatic view of the Sea of Cortez you will find on your trip to this part of the world. It is no surprise that it was awarded the prestigious Forbes Five-Star Award in 2018. Each and every guest is treated like a VIP. If your pockets aren’t as deep as the many A-Listers that choose this venue as their holiday destination to stay, do try to at least have a meal at their clifftop restaurant before you leave this incredible part of the world.
For more family, home and lifestyle pictures and inspiration follow Sheila Kronfeld's Instagram @shebkron
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