The following is a story about why we love Cabo and why you should pay Cabo a visit.
Cabo San Lucas is kind of like a mixture of New Orleans and Las Vegas that has been dropped into the carefree, relative lawlessness of Mexico. It is wonderful.
Whenever anyone brings up Cabo San Lucas, my response is always the same. “I love Cabo.”
My wife says that if Cabo were a lady that I might have married her. She says this with enough conviction that she thought it might ought to be the opener for this story.
Thinking about it, I am not sure that she’s quite right. Cabo—if the place were a human—might not exactly be marriage material.
She would rather probably be more like the hot, crazy ex-girlfriend that you keep calling years after you should have stopped—even if your interactions result in the occasional burning sensation when you urinate. Hers would be the kind of passion and skill with her endowments that are not imparted to more stable, “healthy relationship” types.
You never quite know what is going to happen when you step on a plane to Cabo. What you can be sure of, however, is that whatever happens you’ll have a story when you leave.
All weird, sort of creepy, analogies aside, Cabo San Lucas is a profoundly wonderful place. Given the chance, you’ll probably love it too (if you don’t already).
Cabo San Lucas is a wonderland. It is an arid, mountainous place at the bottom of a long and isolated peninsula.
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez on the east, Cabo is as remote as it is beautiful. When it comes to fishing, you’d be hard pressed to pick a location with better, more consistent things to offer.
Not only can you catch striped marlin and roosterfish in the same day, it would not be out of the question to see a tailing or free jumping striped marlin while fighting a roosterfish—all just beyond the surf. Visiting Cabo sounds more appealing all the time.
Cabo is also home to giant, frequently encountered dorado. The all tackle world record yellowfin tuna was caught not too far from here.
There can also be big black and blue marlin too. October is tournament season when a giant marlin might be worth 4 million reasons to visit Cabo. That’s $4 million.
Whale Watching from a 747- The First Reason You Should Visit Cabo
There is much more to the place than just fishing. Humpback whales migrate through , often with calves in tow.
Depending on when you visit, you can see them breaching from the airplane as it approaches Los Cabos International Airport.
If your place has an ocean view, watching whales jump around and stick their arms into the air is a hell of a way to drink your morning coffee. (Likely as you clear the fog that remains from the night before).
Why exactly could you expect to roll out of bed with a bit of a hangover? Cabo San Lucas is kind of like a mixture of New Orleans and Las Vegas that has been dropped into the carefree, relative lawlessness of Mexico.
It sort of like a Disney Land for adults—without the perverse swinger context imposed to other things or places that are for adults.
We All Need Some Mexico in Our Lives
The personal liberation and the ability to do whatever you like results from a combination of three factors. The first is Mexican hospitality and the general inclination to have fun.
The second results from an economic incentive. The drunker that Gringos get, and the better time they have, the more money they spend and the larger tips they leave.
The third lies in Mexico’s legal framework. In the US or Canada, if some drunken person falls off of a restaurant table while dancing on it, he or she may sue for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Likewise, if somebody dies while drunkenly riding a camel at the beach, the family of the deceased may sue and will likely receive millions of dollars. What’s the implication?
In the United States and Canada you are not allowed to get drunk and dance on restaurant tables or ride camels after downing four margaritas.
In Mexico, while visiting Cabo, the maximum liability for the death of a person is set at $350,000—not a billion dollars. Presumably, the liability for breaking a bone is much less. The result? Fiesta.
(I have not researched this to verify it, but I heard it from a friend with a home there and it sounds reasonable. If you’d like to be serious, you can probably research it somewhere.)
While there are plenty of things to do– and more than a couple establishments that will serve you booze, it is the ambience of the place that results in the tendency to over indulge. The people here are friendly and happy.
Residents of Cabo approach life with a characteristic ease, grace and lack of concern for the small stuff that, at its essence, is pure Mexican. When you visit Cabo, this is the first thing that you notice.
People who exude carefree happiness are contagious. If you are surrounded by them and cannot figure out a way to become so yourself, you have bigger problems than not enjoying your visit to Cabo San Lucas.
And so it is that within this general air of happiness—populated by enterprising tour and activity operators of every ilk—peddling everything from paragliding, camel riding, dune buggy excursions, booze cruises, tequila tastings, golf, and yes, even petting baby lions—that your cares melt away.
Itineraries are a Gringo institution. When here, it is wise to book one or two set activities and let the rest take care of itself.
Places to Stay
Another of Cabo’s great charms is the breadth of its options. There is a place here for every experience and for every budget.
Looking for a wild-ass-wet-shirt-spring break type deal. Stay near downtown Cabo… you can find spring break any time of year.
Looking for a romantic spot couple’s getaway? Plenty of those here too.
Want to come out with your buddies? Business partners? Potential clients that you are trying to entice?
Cabo has the place for you. Golf resorts, small towns populated by artsy Gringo and Canadian ex-pats, whatever in the world you’re looking for. If you can’t find it in the city, the roads are smooth and it’s easy to drive around the region.
Check out Todos Santos and La Paz—on the Pacific and Sea of Cortez coasts respectively.
You can rent everything from a private beach front villa—complete with hot tub and private chef—to a single hotel room. In many ways, the area surrounding Cabo San Lucas exists to attract and suite the needs of tourists.
The place has made having the time of your life easy. It’s a leisure factory.
If it’s your first time (or 100th) in Cabo San Lucas, the Marina Cabo San Lucas offers perhaps one of the best and most well-rounded tourist offerings in the world. Restaurants, bars, parasailing operators, jet ski rentals, and fishing charters ranging from pangas to 80’ custom sportfishing vessels. It is a site to behold and an experience not to miss.
The Food and Drink
Cabo San Lucas is home to a surprising array of eating and drinking options. Not surprisingly one of the best, most sure bets are tacos.
Beyond the standard carne asada steak variety found everywhere is the region’s seafood. There are plenty of small holes in the wall that will sell you the best shrimp or octopus tacos you’ve ever eaten.
You find the best tacos where the locals eat. The food here is cheaper, more authentic and arguably goes better with a cold Modelo than standard Gringo fare.
When you’re in Mexico, you should probably drink lots of tequila. There are plenty of nice places that will serve margaritas.
If you catch a pile of tuna and dorado or wahoo, call up your local “You Hook Em, We Cook Em…”
Micheladas and Mayhem
If you’d like to switch it up, try a Michelada. This drink, something of a Mexican Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka, is only now beginning to get its just due in the states (that said, you are most likely to find them in either authentic Mexican restaurants or on the leading edge of the hipster vanguard food scene).
Spiced with chile powder, hot sauce and lime, there’s not much better than a Michelada or four. I like mine with Modelo, but wouldn’t turn down one with Pacifico or Corona.
Why not try one on your Cabo visit—to provide a grounding in what they are supposed to taste like. If you like the first one, you can probably find some others if you are still thirsty.
If Micheladas or Margaritas aren’t your thing, you can go down to the rowdy, party side of town in down town Cabo. There are the spring type places like El Squid Roe (a hilarious place if there ever was one) and beach front bars where you can quench your thirst while sitting in a swing beneath a palapa.
Then of course, there’s the place where you can pay the barman to line up a row of flaming tequilas shots that you and all of your buddies. Were that not enough, you drink them only after watching him shoot flaming tequila from his mouth onto the ceiling like some sort of mythical tequila swilling dragon. The giant black spot on the ceiling (and the story about how they set the tv that used to be there on fire) make sense all of a sudden.
It was the abundance of striped marlin that transformed Cabo San Lucas from a sleepy Mexican village in the middle of nowhere into a magnet for global tourism. Epic numbers of striped marlin continue to motivate people from all over the world to visit Cabo.
These striped marlin are consistent enough to make Cabo San Lucas perhaps the most reliable (and accessible) marlin fishery in the world. There are not many places in the world where you can reliably “plan” to catch a marlin if you fish for a day or two… Cabo is one of them.
Catch A Pile of Marlin
Not only can you reliably catch a marlin, you can catch a pile of them. In the fall, fish stack up on banks on the Pacific side north of Cabo in the hundreds and thousands. Catches of 80 or 100 striped marlin in a day are not out of the ordinary.
120 miles north of Cabo lies Magdalena Bay. This time of year (September-October) sardines flood our of Mag Bay by the billions. Thousands of striped marlin and dorado wait to gobble them up. It is among the most epic spectacles in the world.
The Mag Bay Lodge makes this part of the world accessible. They are really nice people, and can help with lots of logistics on your Cabo visit.
In the early part of the year, the numbers fishing for striped marlin are right out front of Cabo and on the Sea of Cortez side. Our good buddy Captain Alex Rogers (contact him on Instagram to book– Marlin5401) can put you on them.
That said, be forewarned. It is not advisable to fish with Captain Alex—or to even step foot near his boat, the Protocol—unless you are prepared to have a good time.
Book Your Ticket to Cabo Already… What are you waiting for?
This is our first installment about the Cabo San Lucas region of Mexico. We have a pile more content lined up about the finer points of fishing, travelling and eating your way around the Baja.
We’ve got good things (and lots of tacos and Micheladas) ahead. Que viva México!