Recommend July 2013 - (Page 30)

mexico onsitereview J U N E 2 0 13 GRAND SOLMAR LAND’S END RESORT & SPA deserae del campo A desert by the sea—that’s Cabo San Lucas in a nutshell. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the calming Sea of Cortez in Mexico’s Baja California, what was once a quiet fishing village has now matured into a booming tourist mecca where adventure seekers can experience an encounter with a humpback whale, travel across a sandy desert terrain atop a camel, or discover an underwater world of marine wildlife snorkeling in Chileno Bay. Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa was our home base during our recent sun-filled days in Cabo San Lucas. Literally at Land’s End—the southernmost tip of the sliver-fingershaped peninsula near El Arco, the natural rock formation in the shape of an arch adjacent to Lover’s Beach—Grand Solmar’s effortless blend of luxury, fine dining and top-notch accommodations made it the ideal refuge for winding down the night once the thrill of the day’s outdoor adventures in Cabo came to an end. baja adventures “There are several adventure activities in Los Cabos for our guests to experience. One of the most popular is deep-sea fishing, followed by scuba diving, surfing, ziplining and off-roading, where guests can experience dirt racing and the adrenaline of being in a vehicle that travels over 150 miles per hour over dunes, dirt and rock,” says Ricardo Orozco, managing director of Solmar Hotels & Resorts. “There is a lot of selection to choose from and Cabo is a different kind of destination. It’s not only the resorts and the relaxation, but also the nightlife like the famous Cabo Wabo Cantina and several bars and nightclubs around town.” For guests wanting more than spending hours on a lounge chair by one of Grand Solmar’s heated pools while hearing the riveting boom of waves crashing on the beach, which is an enticing option to while away the hours, the concierge steers them to Cabo Adventures, a tours and activities company conveniently located at the Los Cabos Marina, about a 10-minute walk from the resort. We signed up for the 3-hour Snorkel & Sea Adventure tour ($75, adults; $60, children), which combines snorkeling, stand30 july 2013 30-33 MX Los Cabos Onsite.indd 30 up paddleboarding, and kayaking. Before heading to Chileno Bay on a high-speed inflatable Apex boat, the tour guide made a detour to Land’s End for an up-close look at the landmark arch—and with resident sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and a few swimming in the ocean, it was a great start to the tour. For three full hours the cove at Chileno Bay was an outdoor water enthusiast’s dream come true. The sea life was abundant, visibility was clear and equipment was readily available for snorkelers and those wanting to paddle to the rock formations in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Our tour guide, Beth, pointed out to us the diverse marine life while we snorkeled, and taught a few first-timers how to balance their weight on the paddleboard—a somewhat difficult feat for this writer, but a fun challenge. The ride back to the Los Cabos Marina, where we had a date with a few dolphins at Cabo Adventures’ dolphin center, included a tour of the coastline to see the luxurious homes of the rich and famous like Michael Jordan and former owner of Cabo Wabo Cantina, Van Halen guitarist Sammy Hagar. The 30-minute Dolphin Encounter experience ($109, adult; $89, children) had us swimming, feeding, and learning about the anatomy and physiology of these graceful mammals that, according to our trainers, can eat up to 28 pounds of fish a day. Cabo Adventures offers a variety of dolphin programs: Trainer for a Day ($299 pp), Dolphin Kids ($99 pp) and the Dolphin Experience ($149 pp). Another adventure worth noting is the 3-hour Outback & Camel Safari ($99, adult; $70, children) that starts with a laidback guided trek through Baja’s desert landscape followed by a camel ride along the beach (best time to book is during winter when whales are seen breeching), then a visit to a Mexican ranch to taste authentic tortillas to serve up with toppings like beans and different salsas, and a sip-and-savor tequila tasting session—a culinary adventure for the palate, if we say so ourselves. For clients into extreme outdoor adventures like ziplining, rock climbing and rappelling there is the Outdoor Zipline Adventure tour and the Mountain Bike Adventure on all-terrain bikes through cactus-lined desert paths. 6/19/13 12:45 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend July 2013

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Eleven Experience
Tour Talk: DuVine Cycling + Adventure
Expedition Cruising: Explore the Unexplored
Eleven Experience's Chalet Pelerin
Brazil Travel Planner
Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa
Guatemala Travel Planner
Latin America Specialist Courses
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
5 Ways to Adventure in North America
Swain Tours Shines in the Land Down Under
Seeing African Wonders Through a Viewfinder
Trinidad & Tobago
Soaring to New Heights in Saint Lucia

Recommend July 2013