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Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



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BAJA 101 Destinations Useful Information Maps ACTIVITIES THE ULTIMATE BAJA GOLF TRIP TOP BEACHES ALL ABOUT WHALES DISCOVER Expat Chronicles Whale Watching in Loreto Los Cabos Wildlife The Whales of Mag Bay Hidden Gems ART & CULTURE The San José del Cabo Art District Baja Voices - Philipp Moser Pueblo Mágico - 9th Todos Santos Open Studio Tour Los Cabos Resorts Spotlight - Playa Grande Giving Back - Visiting the Whales of Laguna San Ignacio OUT & ABOUT Social Cabo, Instaworthy Events Los Cabos Markets COUPONS Spanish Lesson Destino Directory

Publisher Owen Perry


letter from the EDITOR In this issue we celebrate a magnificent creature that is kind enough to share its waters with us during the months of November through March: The Whale. An encounter with a whale is something magical and it never gets old, even as a local. We invite you to book a whale watching trip and make sure you keep your eyes peeled since it's quite common to see them, even from your very own hotel room! Also in this issue, we share some of our favorite world-class golf courses that are perfect if you're planning a golf trip in Baja. The stunning views when you're out on the course are like nowhere else on Earth. Baja is beautifully unique. Within the pages of Destino Los Cabos you can find useful information to make the most of your vacation. Our goal is for you to have the best possible experience in Los Cabos. Don't forget that you can find all of our useful information online at: Enjoy!

Cover image by © ipanki


Editor in Chief Michelle Monroy Art Michelle Monroy Writers / Contributors / Photographers Alex Hugessen Alex Navarro Gabriel Arcoleo Gary Graham Giovanna Denning Justin Porter Biel Justine Schock Laura Tyrrell Michelle Monroy Sabrina Lear PR and Marketing Manager Justine Schock - Advertising Account Executives Ali Lohrman - Justine Schock - Editor's Contact:

FOLLOW US: Facebook: @DestinoMagazine Instagram: @DestinoLosCabos Next advertising reservation closing date for our MARCH issue: FEBRUARY 8th. Próxima fecha de cierre para reservar espacios publicitarios en la edición del mes de MARZO: 8 de FEBRERO. For advertising rates and placement, please contact: (624) 105-9700 / (624) 142-4949


(011 52) (624) 142-4949/105-9700

Carretera Federal Libre Transpeninsular San José-San Lucas. Km. 4.3, Local 6, Col. El Tezal, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur.

ISSUE 109 FEBRUARY 2018 Printed in USA. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. © 2018 Destino Group SA de CV NÚMERO 109 FEBRERO 2018 Todos los derechos reservados por Destino Group. Prohibida la reprodución total o parcial del contenido sin previa autorización por escrito de los editores. © 2018 Destino Group SA de CV

Imported by: Comercializadora Californiana, S. de R.L de C.V.

Michelle Monroy Editor in Chief

DESTINO GROUP welcomes all written and photographic material. We cannot guarantee return. Rights to publish unsolicited material are retained for 12 months. Circulation throughout Southern Baja. For more information on distribution visit:

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


Los Cabos

(the capes) is located in the southernmost tip of the State of Baja California Sur and consists of four main areas: Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, Todos Santos and the East Cape. La Paz is the Capital of the state. If you take a look at the Baja Sur map you can see that the highways and towns form a loop. The Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet at the very tip of the peninsula. It's very clear when you're on the Pacific side; the waves are much larger and powerful and the winds are stronger. If you go further north along the Pacific side the climate and beaches are very different than on the Sea of Cortez. It's usually a few degrees cooler, which is very pleasant during the warm summer months. The mountains meet the desert and the desert meets the ocean. The Sierra de la Laguna is a mountain range that lies at the southern end of the peninsula. Above 800 meters in elevation dry forests transition to pineoak forests. The main climate of the region is arid to semi-arid; however, there are farming areas where the soil is wet, especially on the Pacific side of the Peninsula.

"The aquarium of the world"

is how Jacques Cousteau described the Sea of Cortez. It is said that eons ago, back when the Earth and Continents were still taking their shape, the edge of Mexico split from the mainland to form the Gulf of California and the Baja Peninsula. This allowed the Pacific Ocean to rush into the gap and create the Sea of Cortez, or as some call it, Mother Nature’s own fish trap. Hundreds of varieties of fish and mammals found their way into this "trap" and either stayed in the warm shallow waters or ventured down into the cool two mile-deep San Andreas Fault. For millenniums, the Colorado River has been dragging its rich minerals and nutrients into the Sea of Cortez, aiding the living species to thrive in these waters. In the months of January through March, Gray whales make their yearly migration from Alaska to give birth to their young in the shallow and warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. Ready to explore? 10

destinations Cabo San Lucas

This tourist friendly town, also just known as “Cabo,” is located on the tip of the Baja California peninsula and is full of entertainment for every age and liking. The Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet at Land’s End, where you can observe the beautiful rock formations and the famous Cabo arch. In Cabo San Lucas you can find Medano Beach, the liveliest beach in the Los Cabos area, an impressive marina and countless restaurants and bars that keep the town alive day and night.

San José del Cabo

Walking around downtown San José will allow you to experience a traditional Mexican town. You will find yourself surrounded by colorful buildings and quaint cobblestone streets that lead to the town’s picturesque zócalo (main plaza). Over the years, San José has become an artistic and cultural centre with numerous fine art galleries in its downtown art district as well as world-class restaurants. San José has a beautiful beach where you can take a horseback ride to explore the estuary that is home to many different bird species.

The Corridor

The corridor is the 40 km highway that connects Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo (about a 20 minute drive). Along this road you can find various hotels, luxury ocean front homes, championship golf courses and beautiful views. Have your camera ready and make a roadside stop at the Costa Azul view-point for photo opportunities and a refreshing coco frío (cold coconut).

Todos Santos

Located on the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula, Todos Santos is an oasis where artists and surfers flock to enjoy the culture and excellent surf. Home to the famous Hotel California, this charming town offers great restaurants and a cooler climate than Cabo San Lucas and San José due to the breezes coming from the Pacific.

East Cape

People often call it “the old Cabo” because of its pristine beaches and small fishing towns such as Buena Vista and Los Barriles. The East Cape begins just east of San José and extends about 100 miles up the Sea of Cortez coast. Sixty miles outside of San José is the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, Nationally Protected coral reef that offers outstanding snorkelling and scuba diving. Very popular for fishing and surfing, the East Cape also attracts kite surfers, campers and those who just want to get away from it all.

La Paz

La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur and is known for its warm people and beautiful beaches. This authentic Mexican city (as well as the general south Baja region) has been rated as one of the safest in Mexico and still maintains the small town feel that is very welcoming for tourists. La Paz is a departure point for tours and charters to the stunning Espiritu Santo Island as well as whale watching excursions. Stroll down the colorful malecón (boardwalk), walk hundreds of feet in waist high water at Balandra beach or have a fine dining experience; La Paz has a lot to offer.


Loreto offers the best of both worlds for tourists who long to escape to an 'authentic-Mexico' with settings that take you back-in-time along with ocean activities that rival that of any other modern coastal city. In Loreto you'll find historic buildings such as the enchanting Mision de Loreto - a mission-style church that was built in 1697 as well as The Islands of Loreto which boasts Mexico's largest marine preserve where dolphins, seals, turtles and sea lions all play in the sea. For those who are partial to adventures on land; there is hiking, biking, and nature-tours that fill up a camera with pictures of radiant natural settings. Loreto is the perfect place for everyone from honeymooners to large families.

BAJA 101

useful information ATMs The easiest way to get pesos is to simply withdraw money from an ATM in Los Cabos. Bank ATMs give the daily exchange rate (best possible rate). Examples include Banorte, Bancomer, Santander, Banamex, and HSBC. Non-bank ATMs located in the street will charge higher fees. Some ATMs only give you dollars, some only pesos and some give you the option to withdraw both. Pay close attention to what currency you’re withdrawing and try to get as much cash as possible in one transaction to avoid paying high fees.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE Dollars are accepted almost everywhere and you will get your change in pesos. The exchange rate varies every day, but some places have a set rate. CASH OR CARD? Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are generally accepted, but you often run into cash only places. Always ask beforehand and carry cash. Your bank will most likely charge you international transaction fees if you pay with your card.

GROCERIES In Cabo San Lucas, Walmart and Costco are good options and easy to get to. You can always find a taxi outside of these stores. San José has a Walmart and Mega. If you need to grab something quickly, OXXO stores are reasonably priced convenient stores located all over town.

HOW DO I DIAL? Local area codes: Los Cabos: (624), Todos Santos and La Paz: (612) - Loreto: (613) To dial to other countries: 00 + country code (1, 2 or 3 digits) + number From a Mexican land line or cell phone: To a Mexican long distance number: 01 + 3 digit area code + 7 digit number To a Mexican cell phone number: 3 digit area code + 7 digit number To a U.S. phone number: 00 + 1 + 3 digit area code + 7 digit number From your U.S. cell phone: To a Mexican land line or cell phone: 011 52 + 3 digit area code + number To a U.S. phone number: 00 + 1 + 3 digit area code + number Some U.S. cell phone carriers have arrangements with Mexican carriers and when you travel here your cell phone uses their towers. If this is your case, you will have to dial as if you had a Mexican phone. U.S. TOLL FREE NUMBERS (International rates will apply): To a 1 (800): 00 + 1 + 880 + phone number To a 1 (888): 00 + 1 + 881 + phone number To a 1 (877): 00 + 1 + 882 + phone number To a 1 (866): 00 + 1 + 883 + phone number DRIVING Renting a car will allow you to enjoy the freedom of exploring Los Cabos. Driving in Mexico might be intimidating, but if you just go with the muddled flow, you will realize that there is some organization within the chaos. If you are pulled over by local police for committing a driving infraction, the standard procedure is for them to take your Driver’s License. You will then have to go to the Police Station to pay your ticket and pick-up your license. There are two types of gasoline: Magna, which is regular, and Premium. Lleno (pronounced ye-no) means full. Major credit cards are accepted. Tipping the gas station attendant around $10.00 pesos is customary. There is a toll road that takes you from the airport to Cabo San Lucas or to the Todos Santos highway. By taking this road you avoid the taxi and shuttle traffic on the main highway. The cost varies from $63.00 to $75.00 pesos, depending on your destination. ALTO STOP





IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS EMERGENCIES: 066 from a local number ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE: 074 from a local number POLICE DEPARTMENT: - Cabo San Lucas 143-3977 - San José del Cabo 142-0361 FIRE DEPARTMENT: Dial 116 or: - Cabo San Lucas 143-3577 - San José del Cabo 142-2466 HIGHWAY PATROL: 146-0573 TOURIST POLICE: 143-3977 HOSPITALS: Amerimed: - Cabo San Lucas 105-8500 - San José del Cabo 105-8550 Baja Medical Response: 144-3434 Blue Medical Net: - Cabo San Lucas Hospital 104 3911 - San José del Cabo Clinic 142-3511 Cabo Surgical Center: 172-6030 Hospital H+ Los Cabos: 104-9300 North American Hospitals and Clinics: 142-2770 One World Hospital: - Cabo San Lucas 143-4911 - San José del Cabo 142-5911 - Todos Santos (612) 145-0600 Saint Luke's Hospital: - Cabo San Lucas 143-4911 - San José del Cabo 142-5911 Walk-in Medi Clinic: 130-7011 * For a complete directory of Doctors, hospitals and clinics in Los Cabos, visit: AIR AMBULANCES: SkyMed International Air Ambulance: (624) 154-4919 Air One Ambulance: (800) 236-8080 U.S. CONSULATE: 143-3566 CANADIAN CONSULATE: 142-4333 TAXI CABO SAN LUCAS: 143-2221 TAXI SAN JOSÉ DE CABO: 142-0401 IMMIGRATION: 143-0135 AIRLINES: Aero Calafia: 130-7822 Aeromexico: 146-5097 Air Canada: 01 (800) 719-2827 (Toll free within Mexico) Alaska Airlines: 146-5166 American Airlines: 146-5302/5303 Continental Airlines: 146-5050 Delta Airlines: 146-5005/146-5217 Interjet: 01 (800)-011-2345 (Toll free within Mexico) Southwest: 01 (800) 435-9792 Spirit Airlines: 1 (800) 772-7117 Sun Wing: 1 (800) 668-4224 Volaris: 01 (800) 7VOLARIS (Toll free within Mexico) US Airways: 146-5380 West Jet: 1 (800) 538-5696

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


BAJA 101

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BAJA 101

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Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


BAJA 101

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Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


BAJA 101


With calm waters, extraordinary fishing and perfect weather, some may argue that boating is the most popular attraction in Los Cabos. Whether you want to take a cruise to Santa María Bay on a luxury yacht or wake up at the crack of dawn for a fishing adventure, there are endless options to fit your needs.


Photo courtesy

BOAT RENTALS Private yachts and sailboats There are several charter companies that can accommodate your needs. What you do on your trip is really up to you, but it will typically consist of a tour of the landmark arch, a few hours of fishing, and a cruise to one of our beautiful bays for a swim. Most boats have fishing equipment and a knowledgeable crew, but the biggest difference between a yacht and a fishing boat rental is the cost. Fishing Boat Rentals You can always fish on a yacht, but cruisers, pangas and super-pangas are a more affordable option. Cruisers accommodate larger groups and are more comfortable when the sea is rough on a windy day. THE MARINAS Marina Cabo San Lucas The area’s largest commercial marina features 380 slips and accommodates vessels of up to 375 feet. Amenities include 24-hour security, electricity and potable water, a fuel dock, and convenient laundry and shower facilities. Puerto Los Cabos Located in La Playita just north of San José del Cabo is the newest marina in the area with 200 available slips 16

for boats up to 400 feet. Amenities are similar to Marina Cabo San Lucas, though the boatyard’s 150-ton travel lift can accommodate larger vessels. FISHING There’s a reason why the world’s richest fishing tournament - the Bisbee’s Black & Blue - has taken place in Los Cabos for over thirty years. This part of the world offers abundant sea life and an exceptionally high catch success rate, no matter what your level of fishing experience is. What to Expect Most charters include a fishing license, bait, tackle and equipment. Some also include food and drink or these amenities can be added at an additional cost. It is better to leave early; trips usually begin at 6:00 and 7:00 am and last around 6 hours. Cost will depend on the number of people in your party and the size of the boat you choose to rent. It is customary to leave the crew a gratuity of 15% to 20%. Bait and Tackle Most likely, the boat you charter will include your bait and tackle. If you need your own fresh bait, you may buy it along the Cabo San Lucas Marina or the crew you hire may also stop to buy it from the local fishermen on your way out.


BOATING AND FISHING TERMS IN SPANISH Captain - Capitán Aboard - Abordo To fish - Pescar To float - Flotar Wind - Viento Tide - Marea Fish - Pescado Bait - Carnada Fishing rod - Caña de pescar Hook - Anzuelo Life preservers - Salvavidas Throttle - Acelerador Anchor - Ancla Bow - Proa Stern - Popa

BAJA 101


Prepare yourself for an incredible show of nature as you swim side by side with colourful schools of fish, eels, rays, octopus, sea turtles and more. The Sea of Cortez or the “Aquarium of the World” offers many opportunities to experience incredible underwater wildlife.

ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES Photo courtesy Wild Canyon

Adventure Parks There are several adventure parks in Los Cabos where you and your kids can experience zip-lining, backcountry ATV tours, a camel safari, and more. Zip-lines are appropriate for kids of 8 years and up and be prepared to hike from 5 to 15 minutes from line to line. Most companies include transportation. Parasailing If heights over land are not right for you, try a parasailing trip and gain some altitude to enjoy beautiful views of Cabo while tethered firmly to a speedboat!

SNORKELING SPOTS Cabo offers several methods for snorkelling. You may drive to a local beach and swim out, book a tour with one of the many popular companies, or charter a private boat. Tours are typically two or three hours. Stay away from the Pacific side of the peninsula; its strong currents make it very dangerous for any kind of water sports. Pelican Rock

Buggy, Atv, Or Bike Rentals There are several local companies which offer ATVs, buggies, and other off-road vehicles for trail and beach cruising. Strap on some goggles and hop behind the wheel of one of these off-road racers for an afternoon of fast-paced fun! Vehicles include typical ATVs or enclosed rail buggies or RZR ATVs. Tours are typically three hours, and drivers must be 16 years of age with a valid drivers’ license. If pedal-powered rides are more your speed, look into renting a mountain bike, beach cruiser, or joining a guided bicycle tour of town. Just make sure to wear a helmet!

Lover’s Beach This popular and uniquely-named beach is accessible only by boat. Be on the look-out, however, as the water is not roped off for swimmers. Santa Maria Bay Snorkel tours regularly visit Santa Maria Bay. If you choose to drive there, it’s an easy swim from the shore to the reef on the right side of the cove. Chileno Bay Snorkelers will find a safe, ropedoff area for swimming at this common tour destination. Cabo Pulmo A Natural Marine Reserve in the East Cape, and may offer the best snorkelling in the area. This eightfingered coral reef is about a 1.5hour drive from San José del Cabo, but it is well worth it!

Horseback Rides, Nature Walks, and Bird Watching Los Cabos (particularly San José del Cabo) offers a number of horseback excursions for all ages. Saddle up for a sunset guided beach ride, venture up a hidden canyon trail, or just sit back in the shade while experienced horse trainers give the kids lessons in horsemanship – there’s something for everyone! San José also boasts a natural estuary and nature preserve. Enjoy a peaceful, self-guided nature walk to observe some of the lushest landscape in the area. Species of flora and fauna are abundant: dozens of species of cactus, lizards, and birds can be spotted on this solitary walk, just a few minutes from downtown. Cactus-lovers may also want to check out the nearby cactus gardens Wirikuta, offering a large variety of cacti laid out in an artful outdoor setting.

A quick five-minute ride from the Cabo San Lucas marina or Medano Beach is all it takes to get to this fish-attracting rock.

Wet Fun Water Park Located about 20 minutes from San José, this water park has shallow pools and small slides for young children, water mushrooms, a pirate ship and a giant bucket that dumps water on the bystanders bellow. For the adrenaline seekers, several fast and large slides stand tall and mighty and offer a great view of the beautiful surrounding mountains. To get there take HWY 1 north from the San José International Airport towards La Paz and East Cape. After about 15 miles, the exit for Caudaño and the water park will be at km 66. Follow this road for a few minutes and you will find the park on your right. Turtle Release Every year, several species of endangered sea turtles nest in the warm sands of Los Cabos. Your family will have the opportunity to help these fragile and tiny creatures make it safely into the sea. Children will learn about the importance of conservation and they will surely enjoy the experience of helping these little friends. Sol de Mayo Waterfall Cascade Located about an hour and a half away from Los Cabos, the Sol de Mayo Oasis is yet another natural beauty of the Southern Baja California region. The hike leads the adventurous to a majestically beautiful oasis where everyone can swim and even dive into the cool, serene waters. Be sure to pack a lunch, and take plenty of water. There are plenty of signs to guide everyone to this wonderful piece of paradise. After arriving in Santiago, turn right up the little hill towards the town square. The cost is $6 US per person to access the easy hike to the clear-water falls.

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


BAJA 101



Baja Sur has been a popular surfing destination since the ‘50s. The East Cape is popular for kite surfing and the Pacific coast has several surf breaks where you will find less crowds. See our Baja Sur map and look for this symbol to locate the surf spots mentioned bellow. SAN PEDRITO Level: Advanced. Direction: Right, left. Location: Pacific side right before arriving to Todos Santos. Have you ever had a dream about flying like Superman or maybe swimming like a dolphin? Dreams can come true in Cabo! The FlyBoard is a device connected and powered by a personal watercraft, which allows propulsion underwater and in the air. Users are connected to the board by wakeboard boots, under which, water pressure provides thrust. A certified trainer controls the power and height and you control all the movement. Available at Medano beach or in the Puerto Los Cabos Marina in San José del Cabo.


There is something special about paddling out and finding yourself floating in the ocean with just a paddle and a board. Stand up paddling is a great way to see marine life and to get a great workout and while enjoying nature. At Medano beach you can rent boards in several locations. Certain companies offer paddling lessons and some have yoga classes on the board.


This sport is most popular in the East Cape due to the El Norte winds. Playa Norte (the north-east side of the beach) in Los Barriles is said to be the most popular destination and is also the location for a professional kite-boarding school. La Ventana is also a popular spot and is closer to La Paz. There is less wind in Los Barriles than in La Ventana, but the surf is bigger. The best months are January, February, March, October, November, December. Every January, the Lord of the Wind tournament takes place in Los Barriles. 18

CERRITOS Level: Beginners. Direction: Right, left. Location: Pacific side at Km 65 of the Cabo San Lucas- Todos Santos road. MONUMENTS Level: Advanced . Direction: Left. Location: at Km 6.5 of the Corridor, closer to Cabo San Lucas. EL TULE Level: Advanced . Direction: Right, left. Location: Exit at Km 16.2 at El Tule bridge COSTA AZUL consists of three breaks: The Rock or La Roca Level: Advanced. Direction: Right. Zippers Level: All level. Direction: Right. Acapulquito Level: All levels. Direction: Right. Location: at Km 28.5. Access is below the Costa Azul bridge. LA BOCANA AT THE ESTUARY Level: All levels. Direction: Right, left. Location: San José del Cabo’s main beach, close to the Holiday Inn. SHIPWRECKS Level: Advanced. Direction: Right. Location: East Cape, about 25 Km from San José del Cabo. NINE PALMS Level: All levels. Direction: Long rights. Location: East Cape, about 30 Km from San José del Cabo. SEASONS June through November The summer months are known to be the best as the Southern Hemisphere’s swells send great waves to the Pacific, Cabo San Lucas, San José and the East Cape. December through February East Cape and Costa Azul are on the flatter side. The Pacific can be good this time of year because it’s exposed to the west swell. March through May This is the windy season. Swells are consistent and you’ll run into fewer crowds.

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur






By Blake Harrington

Hole 17 of Danzante Bay Golf Course

Sure, golf is a four-letter word and we’ve all heard the other four-letter words that go along with the game. But, you know what else is a fourletter word? BAJA! Southern Baja is quickly becoming a destination for the dedicated golfer. Golf is a game that has its way of rewarding the player with its natural landscapes, experiences, and comradery, so planning a golf trip with friends or family is a perfect way to spend some quality, yet very fun time. Especially in Los Cabos and Southern Baja!

So what is the ULTIMATE GOLF TRIP to Baja? I’ve outlined some of my thoughts in

Tiger Woods at El Cardonal Golf Course.- photo courtesy of Diamante

this article in an effort to help you and your fellow golfers enjoy the best possible experience when it comes to beautiful Baja and its golf course

Diamante – El Cardonal & Dunes Course

When the most dominant golfer the world has ever seen designs and opens his first golf course, people take notice. All the buzz is about Tiger Wood’s “El Cardonal” at Diamante, on the pacific side of Cabo San Lucas. A stunning masterpiece with rolling fairways and challenging greens, El Cardonal can test any golfer. Bring your short game as the golfer can experience undulated greens and encourages risk versus reward decision-making on each hole. Diamante is also home to Davis Love III’s spectacular “Dunes Course,” currently ranking #38 in the top 100 courses in the world according to com. With links-style attributes, this challenging design reminds the golfer he’s only competing against himself. The course was designed with the wind in mind and rewards you when going with the wind and challenges you when going against it.

Danzante Bay at the Islands of Loreto

View from the tee box of hole 17 at Danzante Bay Golf Course

North of Cabo is Baja’s newest gem and it might just outshine the rest. Just opened in 2016, Rees Jones, the architect and designer of Danzante Bay explains the elevated, island-like 17th hole par 3 “I have no doubt that number 17 will be one of the best holes in the world”. The course winds you through stunning vistas of the Sea of Cortez, dubbed by Jacques Cousteau as the “Aquarium of the World,” as well as the beautiful mountain range of the Sierra’s. A stunner to say the least and a must-do for the avid golfer.


If you like Tom Fazio designed courses, this is a must for those of you who have access to private clubs. Querencia, established in 2000, has improved the on and off course experience for players and Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


El Dorado- photo courtesy of

is home to one of Cabo’s most challenging courses. Elevation changes, over-canyon looks off the tee, and narrow fairways (in some cases), make this a course the low handicapper will want to conquer. Querencia has always been known for its exciting greens as there are hidden breaks and some multiple tiers. A real feel for the flat-stick is needed to make par on each hole.

El Dorado

Welcome to the private side of Cabo. Owned and operated by Discovery Land Corporation, El Dorado is where the rich and famous play. If you are lucky enough to be invited by a member, you are in for a treat. Not only is the golf course always in great shape with oceanfront holes, El Dorado puts an emphasis on “The Experience” for the members and guests of members. Fun around every turn and the staff is always there to help with anything...from tacos to tequila, you’ll be pampered from the second you enter the prestigious gates of El Dorado.

Puerto Los Cabos - photo by Dwight Harrington


New to the scene and racking up rave reviews is Jack Nicklaus’ newest Baja gem…Quivira. On the Pacific Side and sure to test any level of player, Quivira boasts dramatic cliff-side landscapes and multiple oceanfront golf holes. It’s not uncommon to be playing while whales breach in the Pacific Ocean or fish jump out of the water. The on-course experience is unique in its multiple comfort stations where players can enjoy tacos, quesadillas, sliders, and of course, a few adult beverages.

Puerto Los Cabos

This 18-hole composite course made up of nine Greg Norman designed and nine Jack Nicklaus designed holes is a favorite among locals and frequent visitors. With both challenging and forgiving holes, the average golfer can get around the course comfortably and enjoy the numerous oceanfront holes and elevated vistas. Not to mention, comfort stations with food and booze every 4-5 holes make the experience fun for all levels of players and all types of groups.

Hole 12 at Querencia - photo courtesy of Querencia

Did you know?

Cabo will benefit from two new courses coming soon, Rancho San Lucas by Greg Norman and Fred Couples at Maravilla (Montage). Stay tuned for more information on each course, respectively. i


View from the 6th tee box at Quivira - photo courtesy Quivira Golf Course


by Alex Navarro


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e are at the peak months of the whale season here in Baja, and for me whales hold a very special place in my heart because when I visited here for the first time I was walking down the beach at Medano bay and a Gray whale approached the shoreline and swam next to the beach as I ran trying to keep up with it. It lasted for a few hundred yards and finally it dove deep and left my sight, but not my soul and heart. I knew then I had to call Cabo home. In my years here, I’ve had a few other wonderful sightings of whales on boats, kayaks or from the beach. So in this issue of DESTINO Magazine, to honor our majestic sea friends, I want to tell you some general facts about whales and also encourage you to plan a day this vacation for some whale watching.

All about whales: • • • • • • • • • •

Whales belong to the order Cetacea, which includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. The word whale comes from the Old English word whael. Whales live in all of the Earth’s oceans. The closest living relative to whales is the hippopotamus. They diverged about forty million years ago. Whales are either toothed (Odontoceti) or have baleen (Mysticeti). Toothed whales feed mostly on fish, squid, other whales and marine mammals, and baleen whales mostly on plankton, small fish and crustaceans. A baleen is a comb-like fringe on the upper jaw of the whale used to filter food. Whales are mammals, they produce milk, are warm blooded, have lungs for breathing and some even have small hairs. Whales have a blowhole which they use to breathe. Baleen whales have two and toothed whales have one. They have flippers and have tail fins called flukes that they use to propel themselves through the water. Most species of whales have a dorsal fin on their back. The toothed whales include the Sperm whale, the Pygmy Sperm whale and the Beaked whales.

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The baleen whales include the Humpback whale, Gray whale, Common Minke whale, Southern Minke whale, Bowhead whale, North Atlantic Right whale, North Pacific Right whale, Southern Right whale, Pygmy Right whale, Fin whale, Sei whale, Bryde’s whale, Omura’s whale, Eden’s whale, and the Blue whale. The Sperm whale is the largest toothed predator on Earth. The famous book Moby Dick tells the story of a Sperm whale and a fisherman. The Blue whale, a Baleen whale, is the largest whale of all. The Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth. The Fin whale is the second largest animal on Earth. Indigenous people of the Arctic have traditionally used the meat, blubber, baleen, and oil of baleen whales. The life spans of whales can be from 25 to 110 years, but some Bowhead whales live over 200 years. A Blue whale can weigh over 150,000 kilograms and be more than 25 meters in length. The gestation period in whales can be from 9 to 18 months and the calf can stay with the mother for up to one year or more. Males usually mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Calves are regularly born in the spring and summer months. The Humpback whale is one of the most recognizable due to the large hump on its dorsal fin. The heart of a Blue whale can weigh as much as 350 kilograms or be the size of a small car. Some whales like the Beaked whales and Sperm whales can dive two to three kilometers deep for up to two hours or more. A Humpback whale’s lungs can hold about 5,000 liters of air. The Sperm whale has the largest brain of all animals, weighing up to 10 kilograms. The Bowhead whale has the most blubber of all whales, some have up to three feet of thickness. And their baleen plates can reach 5 meters in length. The blubber in whales serves as an energy reserve and insulation. Most whales, especially Baleen whales, migrate long distances from their cold-water feeding grounds to warm-water breeding grounds each year. The longest confirmed migration is made by the Humpback whales that feed in the Antarctic waters and swim north to breed off Colombia and Panama. Some whales can travel as fast as 20 knots per hour. Whales can jump high, or breach, out of the water. Whales also thrust their tails out of the water and slap the water's surface. They communicate with each other using lyrical sounds and these sounds can be heard for many miles. Humpback whales and Blue whales can travel thousands of miles without feeding. Sperm whales make the loudest sounds. They have been recorded making a noise at 230 decibels. The most complex songs and beautiful songs that include recognizable sequences of squeaks, grunts, and other sounds are from male Humpback whales. The songs have the largest range of frequencies used by whales, ranging from 20-9,000 hertz.

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Whales are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and grieve. It is thought that whales sleep with one half of their brain resting while the other half keeps them from drowning and aware of predators.

That is a bit of general information about whales, but here in Baja we are lucky to receive each year the beautiful Gray whales (and Humpback and Blue whales too), therefore I would like to list some cool facts about them: •

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They migrate to Baja every year and their roundtrip journey can be from 15,000-20,000 kilometers. And it takes them from five to eight weeks to reach the breeding sites. There are two groups of Pacific Gray whales, the east and west groups. The Gray whale spends a few months in the lagoons of Baja. Some spots are San Ignacio lagoon, Ojo de Liebre and Magdalena Bay. The migration begins around October and finishes about April. They choose these sites due to their warm and calm waters. They usually travel in groups of two or three at a speed of about 3 to 5 miles per hour and submerge for about 5 minutes at a time, or for 15 minutes or longer to feed. Gray whales can be 15 meters long and weigh 35 tons. They are Baleen whales and reach maturity at about 8 or 9 years old. And the females give birth to one calf about every two years. Newborns can be 5 meters long and weigh 1000 kilograms. And due to those beautiful baby whales, we get their mom’s visit to Baja every year!

Make this vacation memorable and unforgettable by planning some whale watching, either by booking a whale watching tour on a boat in the day time combined with some snorkeling, or at sunset time on a dinner cruise around the famous Arch. Or hire an adventure outfitter and do a kayaking trip in the Santa Maria bay and Chileno reef area. Also, maybe rent a car and drive out to the Pacific side and try to observe them from the wonderful beaches there like Cerritos beach, and top it off with a wonderful sunset viewing. Or even take an adventurous plane trip to one of the famous bays that serve as breeding waters. So have great a time with the whales and see you soon. Thanks for choosing your vacation in Cabo!

Blue Whale Humpback Whale Gray Whale Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


Medano Beach

If you’re looking for the action, this is where it is. El Médano (as the locals call it) is a 2-mile stretch of hotels, restaurants and bars, right on the sand. It’s a swimmable and familyfriendly beach with endless options for souvenir shopping. Numerous activities and water sports are available. If you want to take a water taxi to Lover’s Beach, this is the best spot to do it. Its stunning view of Land’s End and the vast entertainment options make this beach a must-see. Location: In the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas. The beach is accessible by foot through the east side of the marina or via Avenida del Pescador. Tips: Be prepared to be approached by souvenir vendors. If you’re not there for the shopping, just respond with “No gracias.” Water sports are available such as jet skis, parasailing, flyboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. Visit Lover’s Beach while you’re there.


Lover's Beach

Imagine floating in a turquoise bay with pink sand, snorkelling with colorful fish or walking for hundreds of yards in waist-high water, every beach in South Baja offers something unique. Here is a list of the must-see beaches to help you decide which is the one for you or just visit them all!


Getting there is an adventure in itself, due to the fact that it is reachable only by boat, kayak or stand up paddle board. The easiest way is to take a water taxi from the Cabo San Lucas Marina or Medano Beach. Your captain will cruise by the arch and the sea lion rock for some great photo opportunities. Once you arrive, you’ll notice the striking rock formations and caves. Walk to the other side of the rocks and you’ll find yourself looking at the Pacific Ocean; the locals call this Divorce Beach. This side is very dangerous for swimming because of the powerful undertow, so swim on Lover’s Beach only. Location: Land’s End beside the famous arch. This beach is accessible only by boat. Tips: There are a couple of vendors who offer beer and water, but you won’t find any other services. An hour or two should be enough time to explore this natural wonderland.

Santa Maria

Santa Maria is a stunning horseshoe cove with coarse coral-colored sand and abundant marine life. Boat excursions and private charters often stop here to enjoy the snorkelling and scuba diving that this National Marine Preserve offers. This familyfriendly beach is relatively secluded; therefore, you rarely run into beach vendors. However, the beach does have brand new bathrooms and palapas.



Travelling west from Cabo San Lucas towards San José, follow the sign which reads “Santa María” and exit the highway at Km. 13. Follow the dirt road until you reach the parking area. Tips: Swim from the shore towards the rocks on the right side of the beach for a great snorkeling experience.


Chileno is a very popular location for snorkelling, swimming or just spending the day under the newly-installed palapas. You’ll find tide pools at the east end of the beach and beautiful reefs offering excellent snorkelling and scuba diving. Public restrooms are available and there are plenty of palapas for shade. Location: Going from Cabo San Lucas towards San José, follow the signs for Chileno Beach Club near Km. 14 of the main highway. Tips: If you visit Chileno on a weekend, make an effort to arrive early; snorkelling visibility is often better in the mornings, you’ll avoid the mid-day snorkel tours and, if you beat the crowds, you’ll be guaranteed a palapa to yourself for some much-needed shade. Bring snorkelling gear!


Palmilla beach is known for its family-friendly calm waters and a mile-long stretch of beach. Located within the resort community of Palmilla, you will find yourself surrounded by oceanfront luxury homes, the One&Only Hotel and the world renowned Jack Nicklaus Ocean Nine golf course. Pangas and fishing cruisers are available for charter, but you won’t find water sport rentals such as kayaks or jet skis. Location: Take the Palmilla ramp exit at Km. 27. Follow the signs and turn into the main beach parking area before the entrance to the One&Only Hotel. Tips: Palmilla is popular among local families on the weekends, so arrive early if you want a palapa, or bring your own umbrella. No services are available here.

Costa Azul

If what you’re looking for is a good surf spot you can find it here without driving out of town. Head over to Zipper’s for a surf session and lunch and beers at the

restaurant. To the west of Zippers is Acapulquito beach where the Cabo Surf Hotel and Mike Doyle Surf School are located. You can find surf shops in the area where you can rent surf and stand-up paddle boards and set up lessons. The surf is bigger during the summer, and in the winter this is a good spot for snorkelling and swimming. Location: Exit into the arroyo at Km. 28 via the Costa Azul Bridge. Tips: Swimming with caution is possible in this area but keep an eye out for surfers.


Cerritos beach is a popular surf spot and swimming here is relatively safe. The scenic 45-minute drive from Cabo San Lucas is well worth the trip as you drive along the pristine Pacific coast. The Cerritos Beach Club Restaurant is a perfect spot to spend a relaxing day, maybe even get a massage on the beach. If you want to be active, you can take a surf lesson at Baja Surf Camp or rent surf and boogie boards at the Costa Azul Surf Shop. Location: Exit at Km. 66 of the Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos Highway. Watch the markers and look for the signs. Drive about 1.7 miles to the beach area. Tips: Lounge chairs, restrooms, food and drinks are available at The Cerritos Beach Club Restaurant. The ocean currents are strong and the waves can be quite powerful on a big day, so swim with caution.


A stunning bay that will take your breath away. You can walk back and forth in the bay in waist high water that is crystal clear with shades of blue turquoise. Follow the shore towards the north-east side and you will find the famous “mushroom rock” as well as other interesting rock formations. Pictures just don’t do it justice. You won’t regret visiting Playa Balandra! Location: About 30 minutes from the boardwalk in La Paz. Simply follow the main drag along the boardwalk, then through Costa Baja Golf Course and continue to wind around the coast and through the mountains until you see the signs for the beach. Tips: No bathroom facilities. There is a truck where you can buy water and snacks, but it is recommended to bring your own in case they are closed. There are palapas, but not a lot. You can rent kayaks and snorkel gear. i Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



E X - PA T C H R O N I C L E S

Epiphanies From Atop a Mule on a Wooden Saddle BY JUST I N PORTER B I EL

The landscape appears lost between past and present. To my left, there are dry, arid hillsides descending towards sandy coves along the Pacific. On the right, the skeleton of an unfinished home, the concrete foundation like bones missing organs and veins and skin. An expensive hotel sits in the distance upon the edge of a cliff, the structure imposing and grand, with yellow walls and red roofs, impossible to miss within the dusty terrain. Palm trees surround the palatial hacienda, and near the sea, black cliffs appear and recede, matching the temper of each incoming wave. I'm taking in the view from atop a mule on a wooden saddle, riding up the coastal-hill that separates Cerritos from Pescadero. The stirrups are too short for my long, skinny legs, and a rash is developing on the inside of both knees. I reach into my pocket, grab my phone, and begin snapping photos of my friends – three gringos wearing cowboy hats and a young Mexican guide, all of us cloaked in early, soft morning light. We ride to the top of a hill, pause to take in the view, and then ride down the other side, heading north along the Pescadero coast. It’s 10 AM, and the temperature is rising fast. Sweat drips down the small of my back, and the sturdy neck of the mule is drenched, wet hair clumped together. The animal feels tense, so I pat the mule’s neck trying to calm his nerves. He reacts with a flick of his head, shaking my hand away like a flea. At the bottom of the hill the horses are suddenly antsy; I assume they know that home is just ahead. Their muscular bodies surge forward, wanting to break into a gallop, chomping at the literal bit. The horses want water, shade, and hay, and to be free of our imposing weight. This section of coast is more populated than the last. Dozens of houses sit on the hillside, while others encroach upon the sand. The homes share certain traits – sea-facing windows, expansive decks and patios – but in size and architectural design, each is different and unique. “None of this was here five years ago,” says Paul, the friend who’s invited us on today’s ride. Our guide says nothing, just nods in agreement, his face suddenly contemplative; his eyes scanning the hillside, nose creased with wrinkles. The horse he’s riding is young, still in training, and now and again the animal pirouettes and kicks up dust all around us. It rears its head and flares its nostrils. Our guide takes a moment to calm the horse before leading us forward once again. As we push on I observe the contrast, noticing the indelible fingerprints of man on the natural world. There are houses everywhere, not eyesores per se, but unnatural all the same. We pass by a home with a steel gate, twelve feet high, an assumed deterrent for would-be intruders. A yellow bird sits atop the entrance, watching us, our bodies jostling to the rhythm of each horse. I wave at a couple standing behind the gate and they wave back. Nearby a growling engine breaks the morning silence. When the noise get's louder, we take the horses to the side of the road, allowing room for a white, paint-chipped truck to pass. A red, souped-up, four-person quad follows, zipping by at a faster rate. It has red lighting bolt paint, exposed shocks, and a motor that sounds like a chainsaw. I look back in search of the bird, but its nowhere to be found. We are all here together – man, machine, and nature – sharing in the vast expanse of this peninsula, hoping to breathe in the unbridled ruggedness of it all. I think people are drawn to the Baja for a reason. The land is nourishing, a place for both escape and renewal, and yet even with remoteness such as this, comes a bit of morning traffic. Words like progress, tradition, community, and inclusion appear, the definitions sparring within my mind. I think about these words and wonder if it’s possible – all of them existing together. I think about the land, and it's people, rich, storied, and worthy of our respect. I think deeper, peeling back layers, while 28

overlooking a mansion overlooking the Pacific. It begs the question – who is in charge? Who determines the meaning of progression? Who, beneath all the progress, is actually in control? Who is holding the reins? “Ah damn,” says Paul. I catch sight of Paul’s cowboy hat as it flies from his head and lands behind us in the dust. “I got it,” says our guide, and rides back to retrieve it, galloping fast on the squirrely, adolescent steed. When he gets to the hat, he doesn’t dismount, nor even stop. Instead, he keeps the animal moving, swings his weight to one side and swooping down in a single motion, grabs the hat from the dirt. It’s a skillful move, but the shift in weight spooks the horse and the animal bolts and charges forward at top speed. The horse is coming at us, his eyes filled with wild, blurred energy. The guide holds on; his body parallel to the ground, his left foot stuck in the stirrups. When he frees his foot, it's dragging, and then he’s hopping on it, driving the sneaker into the dirt. He tries to slow the horse, but the animal’s filled with heaving breaths and driven by charging powerful legs. Out of options, he removes his right foot and slides off the other side, losing his grasp on the reins. Uncontrolled, the horse screams forward, barreling toward a meeting of slack-jawed gringos, all of us idling in the road. The next moment is a blur, the kind where time distorts, happening both in slow motion and somehow also at warp speed. Through heightened senses I feel everything at once; the rubbing of the saddle straps on my thigh; the density of the leather reins in my hand; a gasp of breath, warm and dry as it passes into my lungs; the pain in my back from the jarring wooden saddle. The horse is coming. A collision is imminent. Finally, I know who's in charge. i

About the Author:

Leaving his home state of Colorado behind, Justin now calls the beaches of Baja California home. A writer and new expat, he is a resident of Todos Santos, Mexico.



A “Pueblo Mágico” is a designation appointed by the Mexican Government to a region of Mexico known for its natural beauty, cultural riches, and historical relevance.

Whale Watching

in Loreto There is so much to love about a vacation to Loreto, Mexico. The distinct natural beauty that blankets the region is unparalleled, the serene ambiance that radiates from every corner of the quaint Mexican town is almost unheard of nowadays, and most of all, the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that abound make for a vacation experience that simply cannot be beat. While a longtime gem in the history of the nation, the small toxwn of Loreto is relatively new on the tourist radar and visitors are just now discovering what they love about the destination. The long list ranges from golfing on the rolling desert terrain to scuba diving in the “aquarium of the world.” While each unique adventure brings about wonderful memories, whale watching is definitely among crowd favorites. Loreto, Mexico is among one of the best locations in the world to witness the spectacular shows put on by migrating whales each and every year. Beginning in February, Blue Whales, in addition to a number of other species, visit the Sea of Cortez and the Islands of Loreto on a journey from the Arctic, creating a unique opportunity for visitors who wish to relish in an awe-inspiring experience. Aside from the Blue Whale, which is the largest animal on the planet, the Fin, Humpback, Pilot, Orca, and Sperm Whales are among those to make Loreto their home for the winter months. In addition, large groups of dolphins inhabit the area, playing in the wakes of boats and traveling in groups of up to several hundred individuals. Whale watching in Loreto is exceptionally thrilling due to the charisma of the Blue Whale, one of the most unique and massive creatures to inhabit the oceans. Their remarkable bodies, which weigh in at around 200 tons and grow up to lengths of more than 100 feet, are a spectacle to behold when heading out on a whale watching tour. More than just a sight to see, Blue Whales communicate with each other though pulses, groans and moans from up to 1,000 miles away, creating a musical delight for visitors booking a tour. This marvelous species, which glides through the water at a speed of about 5 miles an hour, can be trailed with ease by whale watching tours who catch sight of their mesmerizing movements and their spray, which can shoot up to 30 feet in the air, giving away their location from far away. While whale sightings are never guaranteed, visitors can expect to have a glorious time when touring Danzante Bay. The innate beauty that surrounds the Islands of Loreto and the near perfect weather make any excursion well worth the time. In addition, the spectacular diversity that inhabits the bay means guests will see far more than whales while out on the water. Dolphins, sea turtles, schools of tropical fish, and so much more will provide hours of entertainment and long lasting memories. i Everything you need to know about Baja Sur




by L aura Ty r rel l natura list and guid e at C ab o Trek

Another generation of humpback whales are about to be born here in the Sea of Cortez. Their parents know this journey: it’s one they have been taught by generations before and it’s one they will pass on to their young. From December to April they play and socialise at the mouth of the Cortez, flirting until a mate is selected, and it is here that the whale watching boats of Cabo San Lucas can closely witness the actions of breaching, fluking and slapping: nature’s great event. Only today, during a scuba diving surface break, a small pod of humpbacks breached next to our boat as we willed them to get nearer to our dive site. They really do come right into the entrance of the bay. Of course, they chose the opposite direction and we did not see them on our dive! It is common to see whales exhaling air spouts through their blowholes from the beach front, ocean highway or even at the hotel lobby when the ocean is in view. Of course the best way to see them is by boat. Whale watching (also called whale ‘washing’ if you are approached by a vender with particularly broken English) is a regulated activity. Boats must remain at a certain distance (depending on the size of the boat) and must approach from the side or behind: never the head and never blocking the direction in which it’s traveling. Smaller boats can get nearer as the larger boats take a back seat with their elevated view. So far the whale watching report can confirm above average sightings of Humpbacks and a far sighting of a pod of Grays. Orcas were seen 6 miles offshore last week. We anticipate more Grays passing through in the coming months. The weather continues to offer better surface conditions during the early-bird tours but acceptable wind conditions have been allowing us access during most afternoons. As well as whale sightings the tour boats have been enjoying; pods of dolphins, pilot whales, false killer whales, jumping mobula rays and turtles nonchalantly popping up to the surface for a gulp of air. It’s a fantastic time to be on the ocean. We keep our fingers crossed that the commonly sighted Humpbacks will be joined by Greys, Orcas, Fin, Brydes and Blue Whales come February and March to make 2018 our best season yet. i 30


ALL THAT'S FISHY From Land's End to La Paz

M O N T H LY F I SH I N G R E P O RT by Gar y Gra ham

WELCOME to one of Cabo’s best kept secrets -- the winter wonderland of sportfishing, when the fishing is hot but the weather is not. Striped marlin are one of the big draws offshore up on the Finger Bank nearly 50 miles north, where literally herds of billfish feed on the acres of bait that seem to show up there this time of year. The feeding frenzy of billfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and even a few dorado drive the fleeing sardina to the surface where the huge frigate birds hover above, swooping down from high in the sky to snatch the baitfish leaping out of the water trying to avoid the indiscriminate predatory fish of all sizes. The spectacle is played and replayed often throughout the day. Beyond belief? Steve Brackmann of Huntington Beach, Calif., fishing aboard the 40foot Cabo Sport fisher charter boat CALIENTE caught a 322-pound yellowfin tuna on a live mackerel using 40-pound monofilament after a 2.5-hour fight while casting to feeding striped marlin under some frigate birds up on the Finger Bank ... a day that began with seven striped marlin released after an epic previous day when Steve and his buddy released 37 striped marlin. Inshore, closer not far from the harbor, the fishing has been equally as good for inshore species. Sticking to a similar ‘catch and release’ format, anglers have found exciting roosterfish and jack crevalle as they too have been feeding on the surface and biting with reckless abandon. Live bait, plastic lures or even fly-fishing tackle all seem to be getting the job done. Another popular player is the sierra which are seldom released as they are the prime ingredient for many ceviche recipes. Heading up into the Sea of Cortez there is always a chance of encountering some infamous north winds that attract wind surfers while repelling eager anglers with a field of whitecaps. Closer to shore, off Puerto Los Cabos while drift fishing over shallower rocky reefs, anglers found a rich assortment of quality-eating species, such as leopard grouper, yellow snapper, triggerfish, barred pargo, island jack and others. And there are plenty of smaller yellowfin tuna that can be cooked in so many ways. Another popular catch off Punta Gorda and Palmilla area has been the not only tasty, but also speedy, wahoo that often travel at warp speed the length of a football field before being subdued. Up toward East Cape the wind lovers are enjoying the strong north winds almost daily. When it backs off the fishing picks right back up for smaller roosterfish and jacks cruising along the color line close to shore, with more of the same farther up, all the way to La Paz, as the winds continue. Whale watching is another favorite pastime this time of year if your family isn’t into the fishing scene. Perhaps you can lure them out for the morning to observe blue, gray and humpback whales cavorting on the surface with their easy-to-spot misty spout glistening in the morning sun. i Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



The Whal es of


by Al ex Hugessen To describe a visit to Magdalena Bay as "whale watching" would be like suggesting that Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey spent their days huddled around the monkey pen at the local Zoo. Magdalena Bay is not easy to reach, the accommodations are basic and the dining scene is not a thing. That said, you could visit Mexico a hundred times, try a hundred different activities and never come away with anything close to the sheer awe and magnificence of a few hours on the calm waters of this tranquil bay. I set out from home in Cabo San Lucas accompanied by my wife, two boys, and a family friend. The details of the voyage are unspectacular other than to note that it is about a fivehour trip from Cabo San Lucas and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the paved roads. Particularly towards the end as we travelled further off the beaten path. If you're looking for a destination where you might throw in a visit to a spa, a round of golf, or a special dinner, you're in the wrong place. While the accommodations are adequate, the food is authentic, the beer is cold, and the locals are friendly... Magdalena Bay is all about the time spent on the water with the Pacific Grey Whales during their annual visit to the bay to mate and calf (roughly January through April). “We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? - a world without whales. It's too terrible to imagine. “ -Pierce Brosnan What is commonly referred to as "Mag Bay" is a stretch of pacific coastline measuring about 50 km located less than a quarter of the way up the Baja Peninsula north of Los Cabos. The bay is created by the protective uninhabited sandy barrier islands of Isla Magdalena and Isla Santa Margarita. Our destination was the tiny town of Puerto López Mateo, which sits on the northern end of the bay and is about half the size of its sister town of Puerto San Carlos to the south. We arrived in town right at sunset and, as advertised, we found the town to be simple and the accommodations to be sparse yet comfortable. A hearty dinner of local seafood lead to some time around the fire pit. Just over our conversation we could hear the din of live music and revelry coming from an undefined direction. Just loud enough to spike our curiosities but not enough to deter us from heading to bed in anticipation of an early start. The morning arrived foggy and cold and we followed the hotel staff's instructions to just continue a little further down the road to find the jumping off point for the days adventure. We found a massive parking lot and a decent sized plaza where the various outfitters were setting up their booths for the day. Behind them lay a small marina accommodating about 40 pangas, all in good shape with modern outboard engines. The plaza was spotless and dotted with small stores and vendors. A large stage and neatly stacked cases of beer revealed the location of the previous night’s festivities and also conveyed the feeling that the annual visit by the whales was worthy of a celebration and a source of great civic pride. I made a mental note to not ignore the nighttime festivities on my next trip. We quickly found the outfitter and guide that came on a friend’s recommendation and made our way down to the docks. We set out in our panga with the fog limiting our vision and putting a chill into my bones that I had yet to feel during my ten years living in Mexico. Within moments of leaving the dock we can both hear and see several adult whales around


us. Human heads spinning to see dark shapes coming from the water and the audible "pfuuuush" of their powerful exhales that echo in over the hum of the outboard engine. To my surprise, the guide carries on deeper into the fog. But, but, but... why aren't we stopping to see the whales? I drove all day, slept on a lumpy bed, awoke before dawn and am dressed for a day of skiing...The whales are right here, where are we going? Are there, like...better whales? These ones look perfectly fine to me? The panga sped up. The fog got thicker. The styrofoam coffee cup in my hand had been bled of its warming powers and we soldiered on in search of "better whales". The landscape around Mag Bay bears little resemblance to more familiar parts of the Baja. The land is flat with lush mangrove coming right down to the water’s edge, thin strands of beach appear scattered about. It feels more "Florida Bayou" than Baja whale haven and we weave through channels and bays never too far from the shore on either side. An occasional fisherman is seen tending to his nets and birds take flight as we buzz through their morning peace. Still present is the occasional "pfuuuush" and a dark figure in the water but we have now learned they are not the "better whales" so we pay them little notice. We slow down and, almost as if by design, patches of clear sky appear and we realize we are at the junction of a few bays that create what seems like an inland lake. Perhaps a few miles across and we can see several other boats scattered about the "lake". More importantly the clearing fog reveals what we have been looking for. "Thar be better whales!" our guide bellows. OK, not really, but that's what he should have said as we were now obviously getting to the good part. The glassy waters make them much easier to spot and our guide pulls ahead of a slow-moving pod and waits for them to approach. Maybe it is the calmness and clarity of the water or the lack of other boat traffic, but the whales seem to be moving more slowly than what I have seen in more traditional whale watching settings. They also seem to be sticking to the surface and never dropping more than a few meters below. A giant bull passes below us raising the boat gently with the stroke of his powerful flukes and I realize that I have never seen a whale in such great detail even though this fellow did not break the surface. It's difficult to explain but the whales seem calmer and more in their element. Perhaps when we see them in the crowded waters off of Cabo San Lucas, it is them visiting our domain, playing by our rules, living a bit outside of their comfort zone. But in Mag Bay it is we who are in their homes, so they move more comfortably with an air of calm and confidence. They seem to be more comfortable as hosts than as guests.

DISCOVER We drift about through another few pods and then our guide slowly moves us into a small bay that we aptly name "the nursery". We see six or seven small groupings and after a moment notice a difference. They aren't moving. Floating like giant deadheads the only indication of life is the occasional soft "pfuuuush" and the gentle splashings from something smaller. Again, we drift until we come upon a resting female and she rises up to the surface breaking through with a gentle exhale no more than 15 feet from our panga. To me she seems smaller than what I would have expected from a mother whale. Certainly much smaller than the bull we had seen earlier and perhaps more "worn" as she was well barnacled, scarred, and had many white and grey patches throughout. Then the star of the show appeared. “Nature did not put whales on this earth to splash kids while stuck in a pen.” - Jane Velez-Mitchell As she drifted so close that we could reach out and touch her, our guide suggested the calf was only a few days old. For about 15 minutes we sat transfixed as he swam about playfully, often popping his head out of the water to look at us and then disappearing below his mother. We assumed he was nursing but could not be certain as mother sat stoically bobbing in the water. The youngster found joy in every twist and turn of his seemingly invertebrate body and it was as if he were more slithering than swimming. The interaction reminded me of a lioness trying to rest in the midday heat while her playful cubs did their best to drive her crazy. Once our 15 minutes were up, the mother decided that her shift was over, her duties complete, and she allowed herself to submerge out of view with her calf in tow. A couple of slow deliberate waves of her flukes and they were both gone. It was at that moment I realized these weren't "better whales" at all, but rather that we have simply come upon a better way to meet with them. i

H I DDEN G EMS by Gabriel Arcoleo

Whales, Golf and a Tale of Two Cities... One thousand four hundred and sixty-three miles separates Cabo San Lucas, Mexico from Monterey, California, yet, in many ways, they could not be any closer. Both San Lucas and Monterey are the capitals of Whale watching and golf respectively in their own country. The two cities are World renown destination spots with some of the most scenic shoreline to mountain transitional terrain on the planet. From modest fishing communities to billiondollar resorts, San Lucas and Monterey can both attribute much of their success to three basic things ... location, location, location. Each year San Lucas and Monterey share a special relationship with the whales as they travel between their feeding and breeding grounds. The very same whales that veer into the Monterey Bay for its nutrient rich deep-water canyon also turn around Land’s End before bee-lining for the warm water of the Sea of Cortez. This continuous cycle has allowed each community to build robust tourist and site seeing business’s around whales. Geographical limitations and migrating whale routes limit the access most cities along the route have to the whales, and that’s what makes these two cities uniquely special. They literally have whales in close proximity on a daily basis near year-round. Neither location is the beginning, or the end, they are both just part of the journey that builds a common understanding of each other and the whales. Cabo is the type of golf destination that will make you wonder if it's the best you've ever visited and the same can be said about many of the golf courses on the Monterey Peninsula. You'll play on surreal mountains-meet-desert-meets-tropics courses that look like green oases against the craggy terrain. Some of the ocean front greens are immediately reminiscent of greens from the Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach. The endless connection of golf and ocean is played out each day in each location building the ties that bind these two cities. The more I analyzed the two, the clearer it became that it was not just golf and whales that these two cities share. They both share an immense history in auto racing with the Baja 1000 and Laguna Seca Raceway. The food, shopping, diving, sailing, and mindboggling resorts attract tourism from around the world and contribute to their unique commonalities. Sister Cities are defined as relationships that promote cultural and commercial ties. They are intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures as an act of peace and to encourage trade and tourism between the two. Both San Lucas, Mexico and Monterey, California would be hard pressed to find a better friend with mutual interests and common goals to call it’s sister. i

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


Frank Arnold Gallery. Photo by Sabrina Lear


by Sabrina Lear Known as a "must see" for art lovers, the early days of historic San José del Cabo’s Art District began in 1999 with the opening of Galeria Dennis Wentworth Porter, who worked out of his Costa Azul studio for several years before finding a charming mid-1900’s building at #20 Obregon. "I wanted a space away from the main tourist area where people could relax and really take time to enjoy the art," recalls Porter. With an emphasis on creating space for each canvas, the airy gallery echoed a museum quality. Large format oils and jewel-toned pastels showcased Porter's powerful, impressionistic work of life in the Cape Region and throughout Mexico. In 1999, after many vacations to Los Cabos, Dana Lieb opened the Pez Gordo Gallery at #19, in part of what once was the 19th century hostel “Romelia,” across from Wentworth Porter. With her background in art and armed with an MFA, Lieb saw the need for a gallery featuring art in all mediums and expressions. The result became a colorful and eclectic collection of work from emerging artists from Mexico and abroad. Later, Pez Gordo would expand, doubling in size and adding a splendid sculpture garden in the rear. With an MFA from Texas A&M, Kaki Bassi arrived from Texas in the mid 1980s, pioneering the Cabo San Lucas art scene. With her flagship gallery and framxing studio in San Lucas a success, in 1999 a second Galeria de Kaki Bassi opened in San José, behind Plaza Mijares. Well known for her interpretations of Rupestrian art of the Baja Peninsula's Sierra de San Francisco, Bassi also painted colorful scenes of Mexican life. Also active in promoting Mexican art, her gallery showcased emerging and established artists along with her works in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. At #133 Morelos, Blanca Pedrin Torres' Galeria El Encanto opened its doors next to her Hotel El Encanto in 2000. Pedrin, a San José native, was born just a few doors down the street (the home still stands today). Featuring contemporary art, paintings and sculpture, the gallery also showcased México City-born watercolorist Susana Diaz-Rivera and two La Paz-born artists, Rafael




Chávez and Ezra Katz. In 2014, Diaz-Rivera was named "Woman of the Year" by the Latino Art Museum. Chávez would go on to prominence and to organize the La Paz Festival D’Arte, while Katz, a Plein Aire painter, was named 2003's "Artist to Watch" by Southwest Art Magazine. By 2000, the "Art District" also featured artists’ studios including the wellknown painter and sculptor, Julian Garcia, on Morelos near Comonfort. Later that year, the four established galleries — Wentworth Porter, Pez Gordo, Kaki Bassi and El Encanto — met to organize the first Art Walk. Each was open Thursdays from 6 to 9pm through May, creating a new cultural event for San José. Word spread and the weekly walk's route grew as more galleries and shops opened including Cynthia Castro's El Armario at Obregon and Morelos. Later, Julian Garcia's Arte gallery would debut in the new Plaza Paulina, with Galeria de Ida Victoria, Casa Dahlia, Ivan Guadderama, Patricia Mendoza, Corsica, Frank Arnold and others who followed. Chris MacClure, Jonn Einerssen and Brent Heighton joined the Los Cabos "art scene" in 1997, beginning with the Golden Cactus Gallery in Cabo San Lucas and later at the Old Town Gallery in San Jose del Cabo, in Wentworth Porter's former location on Obregon. Today's Art Walk was created in 2007 by the Gallery District Association to attract art lovers and tourists to the streets behind the historic church off Plaza Mijares. Compact and easy to walk, it's a fascinating blend of paintings, sculpture and exquisite crafts from Mexican and foreign artists. Born from those pioneering galleries, San José’s Art Walk is internationally known as the cultural and historical heart of Los Cabos. Park near Morelos, on the "ring road" behind downtown San José. First up is Frank Arnold on Comonfort, which should not be missed. Visiting with Frank, Carmen and Picasso, their "rescue" pup, is an absolute delight. While Thursday's Art Walk is a must, if you can't make it then, almost all the galleries and shops are all open Monday to Saturday, from late morning to dusk. Don't miss it! i

View art as you stroll the enchanting streets of the Gallery District in downtown San José del Cabo. Later, end your evening with a dining experience at one of the many exquisite restaurants in the area.

Musical Tuesdays

Enjoy traditional Mexican music and complimentary drinks at participating venues every Tuesday at 6 pm.

Thursday Art Walk

Enjoy complimentary wine and art every Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm from November to June.




LOS CABOS RESORTS s p o t l i g h t By Gabriel Arcoleo

BY JUSTIN PORTER BIEL Originally from Austria, PHILIPP MOSER used to backpack the world in the search of a place to call home. But after arriving in Los Cabos, Moser fell in love – both with the land of Baja, and the woman of his dreams. Today, Moser is the General Manager of Cabo Trek, a wildlife tour operator in Los Cabos. With a mission to create a common consciousness and understanding of the oceans, Cabo Trek offers tours such as whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling and more. A few questions for Philipp:

The importance of not taking everything too seriously took me a while to learn, coming from a Nordic country. Relaxing and taking things easy is part of Cabo's lifestyle.

How long have you lived in Los Cabos? If you’re not a native of Baja, why did you originally move to Los Cabos? I've lived in Cabo for over six years and as so many others I came on vacation and never left. The weather, the ocean and the lifestyle of Cabo made the whole difference: surfing, scuba diving, whale watching and so many other things to do here! What is your favorite way to explore Los Cabos? Well, the best way to explore Cabo is by getting around with a car and search for little secret spots: Cabo is not just Cabo! Getting away from the crowds is easy and there are so many beautiful spots such as Sierra la Laguna and Santiago that are off the beaten trek. What do you do for fun? For fun I take my family on camping trips! Sleeping under the stars and enjoy nature away from all the technology that have literally invaded our lifestyle. What do you do to decompress? I search for new things to do. As I mentioned before, there are still so many things in Baja that have not been discovered yet: sometimes I take off with the kids looking for fossils in the driedout river beds and some other times I hide up the mountains looking for peace or eventually I take a trip to Magdalena Bay to fish or drive to Loreto to see the old Spanish Mission. Name one thing you feel is unique to Los Cabos. Cabo is relatively small, but it has everything you need. I've been around quite a bit but this place has got something special, it's never boring and it offers an exciting and motivating lifestyle. What is your favorite locals hangout in Los Cabos? Why? I love the small bar in center town called Jungle Bar. The why is very easily explained, that's where I met my wife! Lovely little bar with great life music. What are you currently reading? Watching? I'm currently reading a book about Jeff Bezos the guy who created Amazon. I always find real life stories interesting as there's so much to learn from people that made it possible to create something that big out of nothing. What has living in Los Cabos taught you about life? The importance of not taking everything too serious, took me a while to learn that lesson coming from a Nordic country. Relaxing and take things easy is part of Cabo’s lifestyle. What would you tell anyone coming to Los Cabos? Come to Cabo! A safe, fun and exciting place to stay for a short time or a long time, it's well worth it! Be careful: a trip here is life changing like it happened to could be the next one!

Playa Grande Resort Playa Grande Resort is one of those spots that allows you to indulge all of your senses. Traveling to Cabo San Lucas means experiencing one of Baja's most indulgent areas, where pristine beaches, luxury resorts and fine dining will bring the most exhausted travelers back to life with a dose of adrenaline. Playa Grande offers several activities that will enrich your experiences here in Cabo. Aquatic activities like fishing, snorkeling and surfing, whale watching tours, golfing, and feasting on the best of Baja's bounty are all within walking distance of your room. Edging the Pacific Ocean on eight sundrenched acres of beachfront, Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa is Mexican haciendastyle resort on the southern end of the Baja Peninsula. Postcard-perfect views inspire you to relax in luxurious suites with balconies overlooking the sand, sea and sky. Located along Solmar Beach, Playa Grande Resort is an oceanfront paradise where life slows down and perpetual relaxation becomes the norm. A monotonous parade of breaching whales leaves patches of frothed Pacific as they turn around Lands’ End for The Sea of Cortez. The whales, at this point are in close proximity to the resort making your experience with the whales personal and memorable. Savoring creative Baja and international cuisine at Playa Grande’s six distinctive restaurants allows for a style of whales watching unrivaled throughout Cabo. Refresh in infinity edge pools, soak up the sunshine or sip a cocktail poolside. Rejuvenate body and soul at the oceanfront spa with massage and ancient Mexican rituals for wellness and tranquility. Escape the everyday with extraordinary experiences that arouse the mind. When you want to explore more of the town, Playa Grande is just minutes from downtown Cabo and steps from The Arches. Land’s End is one of those rare locations that inspires new perspective and understanding of the relationship between the ocean and land. Indulge your senses the next time you book in Cab San Lucas and discover the art of hospitality at Land's End in Playa Grande. i

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



P U E BLO MÁG I CO A “Pueblo Mágico” is a designation appointed by the Mexican Government to a region of Mexico known for its natural beauty, cultural riches, and historical relevance.

The 9 th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour By Justin Porter Biel

The Pueblo Magico of Todos Santos serves as a haven for local and international artists. The cities creative pulse is especially prevalent downtown, where the hilled, cobblestone streets are home to dozens of galleries. On any given day, visitors and residents in town can view all sorts of art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, woodworking and much more. While there is lots of art on display in Todos Santos, the creation of this work often happens behind closed doors, inside homes, or down dusty roads in paint-drenched private studios. But this February, at the 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, artists will open their doors and share in the spirit of creation during this unique, two-day event. Taking place February 10th and 11th, the tour provides an intimate opportunity for attendees to connect with artists in the local community. It’s a rare experience, offering face time with the artists and insights into their creative process. There is also, of course, the opportunity to buy great art. So, if you've ever wondered what it looks like to see inside a real working studio, or get inside the mind of a Baja artist, the Todos Santos Open Studio Tour is your chance. Now in its 9th year, the tour was created in 2010 by ARTS (Artists of Todos Santos), an informal group of artists including Diane Knight, Vic Kirby, Michael McAllister, Steve Thurston, Tori Sepulveda, and Roxanne Sparks. While many of the founding members remain involved, the event has continued to grow. This year’s tour includes over 40 artists spanning a wide range of disciplines. From well-known artists to talented up and comers, this year’s studio tour will have something for everyone. "Only once a year do artists open the doors to their studios, inviting visitors to explore down rambling dirt roads and discover what's hidden behind their walls,” said Anne Hebebrand, one of the more established artists, and a tour organizer for the past few years. “The experience of visiting an artist’s studio is completely different from viewing the artist’s work in the formal setting of a gallery.” This year’s event has global reach, featuring artists from Mexico, the United States, Canada, South America and Europe. There will be established artists like Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz and Anne Hebebrand, as well as up and comers like Ardis Young, Monica Velásquez, Laurie Pearce Bauer and Carin Jette. The tour is an exploratory art experience, with fun and creativity at its core. "You never know what you will find," said Hebebrand. "Some of the studios are well-established, others are more improvised or temporary, some expand into the outdoors or are entirely outside and some showcase a group of artists." Each entry ticket comes with a map highlighting all the participating studios. Colorful signs placed around town will help to keep you on course. But, getting lost isn't such a bad thing either. “Don’t be concerned if you make a wrong turn,” said Hebebrand. “Most likely you’ll enjoy encountering an artist who was not on your list.” ***

Painting by José M. Blanco Lorenzo

Cold wax and oil painting by Anne Hebebrand

Additional Event & Ticket Info: The 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio will be held the weekend of Feb 10 & 11, from 10 am to 4 pm. All proceeds benefit the children's art programs at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. Advance ticket sales begin Jan 28th at $10 (200 pesos) and can be purchased in town at the Tecolote Book Store located on Calle Juarez, or ordered online at or purchased at www. Tickets can also be purchased on event days from 9 – 3 at Cleo's in Las Tunas and The Palapa Learning Center (PLC) on del Huerto in town. i 36

TS Open Studio Tour Coordinator Carin Jette

Giving Back!



Giving Guide Cabo San Lucas / San José del Cabo

VISITING THE WHALES OF LAGUNA SAN IGNACIO Photo by Marisa Aurora Quiroz by I nternational Community Foundation If you have never been to Laguna San Ignacio during whale season, you must go. It could change your life. On the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, located on a 250-mile coastal wetland complex including mangrove forests, estuaries, and intertidal flats, Laguna San Ignacio has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Biosphere Reserve, a migratory bird sanctuary, and is one of the last places left on Earth where gray whales give birth and raise their young in peace. Like many beautiful places in the world, this wild and pristine place has its story. Families who have lived in the Lagoon for 50 plus years, tell tales of Pachico, who in 1972 was the first known fisherman to ever reach out and touch a whale, an event that forever changed the human relationship with these powerful and gentle giants. In 2000, an unprecedented coalition of local residents, conservation groups, and funders came together with the local community to seek permanent protection for key areas around the lagoon threatened by large industry and urban development. Over the past 18 years, this Alliance has successfully secured and protected almost 340,000 acres and some 150 miles of coastline, virtually eliminating the threat of industrial or large-scale commercial activity and successfully securing the permanent protection of over 199,000 acres of critical habitat. Though current regional zoning and biosphere reserve management challenges remain, the Alliance continues working towards sustainable economic alternatives and protecting this beautiful and wild place. My own experience of being with the whales is one I can never forget. It has fundamentally changed my relationship to nature and has imprinted upon me an urgent call to action for why protecting wildlife and their habitats is so vitally important to the health and well-being of our planet. I also know that to do this we must work to support the very people who live in the places we are all fighting to protect. Without people, true conservation cannot be advanced. I think about the whales every year. I never thought I would ever be able to touch a grey whale, and now I long to be with them. It’s a deeply humbling experience that such a powerful creature would bestow such a sweet hello to humanity. Don’t think twice about visiting the Lagoon. Just go. Take everyone you love and make the journey. Marisa Aurora Quiroz is the Senior Program Officer for Environmental Conservation at the International Community Foundation. The International Community Foundation seeks to protect the natural beauty and ecological integrity of critical sites in Mexico and Latin America through collaborative initiatives, such as the Laguna San Ignacio Conservation Alliance. The Laguna San Ignacio Whale Fund held at the International Community Foundation supports the long term protection of Laguna San Ignacio and the gray whales who use the Laguna as a nursery for their young. To find out more about how to visit the Lagoon or to support the Whale Fund contact us at i

Amigos de Los Niños (Friends of the Children) - 624 144 3195 Baja SAFE, Salud de los Animales y Familias con Educación A.C. The Bomberos Voluntarios (Volunteer Fire Department) Cabo San Lucas: 624 143 3577 - San José del Cabo: 624 142 2466. Building Baja's Future - 624 355 4314 Casa Hogar de Cabo San Lucas, A.C. - 624 123 1285 Gala de Danza A.C. Gente Joven Por Un Cambio, A.C. H+ Foundation Fund Liga M.A.C., A.C. (Mexican American Canadian League) - 624 120 1060 Los Cabos Children's Foundation, A.C. - 624 157 3851 Los Cabos Humane Society - 624 129 8346 Los Niños del Capitán, A.C. - 624 173 3807 Mobilize Mankind - 624 129 8223 Red Autismo - 624 166 8186 Sarahuaro - 624 122 4955 Solmar Foundation Fund Vifac BCS - 624 688 5062, 01 800 362 2207

East Cape

Amigos para la Conservacion de Cabo Pulmo, A.C. (ACCP) East Cape Community Urgent Care Clinic, A.C. East Cape Guild

Todos Santos

The Palapa Society Todos Santos, A.C. Todos Santos Community Fund

La Paz

Centro Mujeres, A.C. Como Vamos La Paz, A.C. Fundación Ayuda Niños La Paz, A.C. (FANLAP) Fundación Cántaro Azul, A.C. - Water and environmental solutions. La Paz Community fund Pelagios Kakunjá Raíz de Fondo Jardines y Educación, A.C.

Magdalena Bay

Vigilantes de Bahía Magdalena, A.C. Facebook: @vigilantes.bahiamagdalena


Eco-Alianza de Loreto, A.C.

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



by Just i ne Scho c k , y o u r g u i d e t o t h e C a bo Social Scene


Photo courtesy of Fat Tuna

FAT TUNA COPAS Y COCINA – Fat Tuna opened in April 2017, after months of



anticipation and questions as to what was going into the space that was formally occupied by Baja Junkie nightclub. The new space was completely remodeled and redesigned into a three-story restaurant, bar and newly opened rooftop nightclub (read more in our March issue). I had the opportunity to chat with Julio Mabarak, Director of Operations of Fat Tuna and learn a little bit more about the concept behind the restaurant that advertises “unexpected flavors and unique experiences.” Mabarak explains, “Fat Tuna Copas y Cocina is a celebration of savory flavors and good times, where fresh and fun is taken to another level.” A few of their most popular dishes include the Braised Short Rib, Farm Raised Totoaba, Lasagna and Charred Octopus. Their website explains Fat Tuna as “a place where food, drink and friends come together to create experiences surrounded by flavors that will keep you coming back for more. Our love for honest, good food inspires the simple approach to our dishes. Only the best and freshest ingredients available are used in every preparation.” Chef Angel Carbajal has made a name for himself in the Los Cabos culinary world for the last 22 years. His love for fishing and watersports helped him create delicious innovative dishes inspired by the Sea of Cortez. Fat Tuna is open daily from 5:00pm to 12:00am. Located next to El Squid Roe on the main road through downtown Cabo. @FATTUNArestaurant

the Cultural Circuit Marina Los Cabos is a casual family friendly activity occurring every Saturday from 5:00pm to 10:00pm from now until July 7. Take the opportunity to stroll along the Cabo Marina and talk with talented local artists about the inspiration behind their unique works of art. The Cultural Circuit features art pieces by Claudia Gastélum, Guadmara Aviles, and many many more! Located on the marina outside Solomans Landing Restaurant. @CircuitoCulturalMarinaCaboSanLucas

Photos courtesy of Fat Tuna




OUTPOST– Outpost is without a doubt my new favorite spot for ladies night and drinks in Cabo. Located on Blvd. Paseo de la Marina across from the Tesoro hotel, Outpost is a lounge, bar, kitchen and boutique. They have a cool funky vibe and serve small tapas style plates (choose from Ranch, Sea or Veggies) and mouthwatering handcrafted cocktails and spirits ranging from $150250 pesos. Although the plates are small, usually 2 or 3 items are enough for a meal. Outpost has several amazing daily specials including “Ladies Drink Free,” “All You Can Eat for $100 pesos,” and a serve yourself beer option where you grab from a wheelbarrow full of ice cold beer (just $30 pesos each). For the “Ladies Drink Free” promotion, ladies receive three free drinks from the “Feminine Favorites” cocktail menu every night from 7:00pm to 11:00pm with the purchase of one regular food item (no snacks or dessert). Want a forth drink? Don’t worry…just order another menu item and keep the free drinks coming! My favorites menu items include the Beef Ceviche Tostadas, the Ham and Goat Cheese Bruchettas (prepared gluten free) and the Vietnamese Rolls, served with several Herbal Hendricks cocktails. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free options and breakfast items are also available. If you like loud music, the inside lounge area is great, but for me it’s way too loud for casual dinner or drinks with my girlfriends, so I personally enjoy the front patio or newly opened rooftop deck. Open daily from 7:00am to 1:00am (2:00am on Friday and Saturday) and valet service is free. With all these great specials, please don’t forget to tip your waiters well! @OutpostCabo Photos courtesy of Outpost


Medano Beach


SANTA MARIA BEACH – Santa Maria Beach has been a long time favorite hangout for Los Cabos locals, especially those who love to snorkel! Located about 15 minutes outside downtown Cabo, this horseshoe shaped beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your day. I suggest getting there early because the palapas go quickly. Don’t forget to bring water, beer, snacks and towels, but if you forget your snorkel equipment and beach umbrellas at home, they are always available to rent. To get there, follow the signs to “Playa Santa Maria” when driving on highway 1 towards San Jose Del Cabo.

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DESTINO SOCIAL: @DestinoMagazine @DestinoLosCabos #DestinoLosCabos


Puerto Paraiso Mall

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur




by Giovanna Denning



Sully Erna, vocalist and guitarist for the American heavy metal band Godsmack, will celebrate his 50th birthday at Cabo Wabo Cantina on Saturday February 3. Don’t miss this special performance by Godsmack, a solo by Sully Erna, and celebrity guest appearances! Tickets are on sale now. Space will be limited so buy your tickets early. Get tickets online at:



Whether you are in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, there is a wide selection of bars you can attend on Superbowl Sunday, some of which include football pools, football squares, great drink, buckets of beer and more. The game will be available on a large flat screen TV’s at bars like Desperados, Sancho's, Agua Salada, Cabo Blue, Cabo Cantina, Hooliganz, Mint Jungle, Tanga Tanga, Jungle Bar, Baja Brewing Company, Rock N Brews, Cabo Wabo and more, as well as many hotel bars in both cities. Kick off starts at 4:30 pm Cabo time with a half time show by Justin Timberlake.



The 6th annual San Jose Jazz Weekend will take place February 5-11 at Plaza del Pescador on Paseo San Jose in San Jose del Cabo. The family friendly festivities last from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. each day. This exciting event has been very well attended in previous years with more than five thousand attendees and continues to grow each year. Guests will enjoy regional, national and international artists along with paintings from local artists and an array of succulent foods and drinks offered by various Plaza del Pescador dining establishments and other chefs and restaurants from the SJDC area. Admission is free. For a complete program please visit: or call (624) 154-8510.




Experience authentic Mexican music, food, dress, culture and festivities, while sitting under the stars at the beautiful and iconic Casa del Mar. The evening starts with a cocktail reception from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, followed by a delicious Mexican dinner. The night is also full of live entertainment, including one of the region's best mariachi bands and Baja California's official folkloric ballet troupe straight from La Paz. Tickets: $150 USD per person or VIP at $350 USD per person. Dress code: Casual resort To purchase your tickets: • Call Patty Simons at 624-244-5784. • Pez Gordo Gallery in The Shoppes at Palmilla (Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm). • Habaneros Restaurant in downtown San Jose. • Stop by the Liga MAC Booth on Fridays at the Palmilla Organic Market (9:00 am to 1:00 pm) or Saturdays at the San Jose Organic Market (9:00 am to 12:00 pm).



Presale tickets are available at Baja Beach Company in Plaza del Pueblo or you can buy your tickets the day-of at Homes and Land Real Estate office from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. The event takes place from rom 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tickets are $5 USD or $100 pesos. See 15 studios with more than one artist at many of the homes. What a great opportunity to see where the artist works, where they get their inspiration and what is new and in the future. Make sure you check it out! For more information, contact


year, the Palapa Learning Center will be a special stop on the tour featuring a sampling of 20 selected works of art for sale. Additionally, the Palapa Society’s children artists will be working in their “studio” with special pieces on display. Ticket sales begin January 28th and can be purchased at the Tecolote Book Store located on Calle Juarez, or ordered online at or The cost is $10 USD ($200 pesos). Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Cleo’s in Las Tunas and The Palapa Learning Center.



The Los Cabos Half Marathon offers 21.097 km of history and natural beauties, which includes San Jose del Cabo´s historical downtown, the hotel zone and the Puerto Los Cabos Marina. A welcome reception will take place on Friday, February 9th. Location: San Jose del Cabo, B.C.S. Mexico. Start time: 7:00 am. Start and finish line: Plaza Mijares, Historical Downtown, San Jose del Cabo. For more information visit:


The 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour will be held on February 10 and 11, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. All proceeds will go to benefit children's art programs at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos. This event brings hundreds of people to the quiet town of Todos Santos where you can view working art studios, meet the artists, and even purchase their art. Approximately 40 artists participate including painters, sculptors, photographers, muralists, encaustic artists, jewelry makers, printmakers, collage artists, potters, and wood turners. New this



Join the Inspire Mexico Founda-

OUT & ABOUT tion for a night of fun, music and giving, benefiting the Los Cabos Youth Center at Acre Bar & Restaurant in San Jose Del Cabo on February 15. This dinner, concert, live auction and dance helps provide a safe and secure place for local children. For tables and more information please contact: or call US +1 (612) 274-9050 or MX (811) 068-3027.



Artists Bob Sinclar and Mark Ursa will be playing live for the first time in Los Cabos at Blue Marlin Ibiza Beach Club on Saturday, February 17th. General Admission tickets went on sale January 10th stating at $900 pesos, with increasing ticket prices each week leading up to the event. Last call for tickets will be February 11-17 for $2,000 pesos per person. For more information or reservations contact: or call (624) 122-2001.



An amazing evening awaits those attending a special Casino Night Fundraiser at spectacular Villa Bellissima benefiting Building Baja's Future. For a $100 donation, you’ll get to wine and dine, enjoy live music and try your luck at the tables while you admire the incredible Pacific Ocean views from this magnificent private villa—all while benefiting a great cause. Building Baja's Future is a world-class organization committed to helping educate bright, ambitious teenagers determined to overcome limited opportunities to reach their full potential as individuals and become community leaders. The event takes place from 7:00 to 11:00 pm at Villa Bellissima in Pedregal Cabo San Lucas. For further information please call 52 1 (624) 355 4314 or email


OMNIA DAY CLUB GRAND OPENING WITH STEVE AOKI, ZEDD & CALVIN HARRIS Celebrate the launch of the newest entertainment district in San Jose Del Cabo at Vidanta Los Cabos. This Grand Opening Weekend celebration will feature some of the world’s hottest artists including Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artist Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and ZEDD. Steve Aoki will kick off the weekend with a nighttime performance on Friday, February 23. Zedd will perform Saturday during the day and Calvin Harris with close out the event Saturday night at 8:00 pm. This event promises to be one of the most high-profile openings Los Cabos has ever seen! For more information visit:


Stargazing /Astronomy programs. Reservation in advance is required. (624)129-8701


The Wirikuta Show


Stargazing /Astronomy programs Reservation in advance is required. (624)129-8701 San Jose del Cabo Art Walk 5:00 pm


Farmer’s Market at the Shoppes at Palmilla 9:00 am - 1:00 pm


San José del Cabo Organic Market 9:00 am - 3:00 pm - La Kermés at Wirikuta 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm The Los Cabos Organic Market at Pedregal 7:30 am - 12:00 pm - caboorganicmarket Bird walks at San Jose Estuary Reservation in advance is required. (624)151-1565


Ciclovia Recreativa Cabo From 7:00 - 11:00 am a section of the main street in Cabo San Lucas closes for bikers and skaters. Great for kids!

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur





This is the fifteenth season of the San José Mercado Orgánico (SANJOMO)! The official start of this season's market took place on November 4, 2017 at “La Huerta Maria” (located directly in front of the Jockey Club / road to Las Animas) near downtown San José Del Cabo. The market opens from 9am to 3pm. The San José Del Cabo Organic Market looks to promote and create a multicultural market by providing a space for the sale of locally grown organic products, prepared food, arts and crafts, as well as a forum of educational activities for the community. They emphasize and promote the importance of ecological and sustainable packaging, recycling and producer/buyer awareness, which not only informs, but also improves the quality of life for our community. Some of the services you can find at the Organic Market of San José are: licensed massages and body work therapies, educational and cultural materials like books and pamphlets, art, designs and artistic creations like original jewelry and clothes. And of course, organic quality products, food and more. For more information email: or visit:


At the Farmers Market in Palmilla you will find something new and different every week, starting from the vegetables and fruits of the season, all the way to special products like regional wines, traditional Mexican candies, and biodegradable cleaning products. They are proud to say that all of their products whether it is chicken, eggs, seafood, pasta, natural honey, vegetables, fruits and even beauty and spa products are 100 percent organic. So, if you are looking to find a healthy and completely safe market that has a variety of products, this is a good option. Some more of the offerings you can find at the Farmers Market in Palmilla are: paninis, cookies and healthy muffins, a variety of Mexican style dishes, roasted organic chicken, fresh juices, coffee, jams and jellies. They also have a variety of plants, palms, landscaping, potted herbs, and fine herbs to help you start out your own little organic heaven. As well for all of you eco-conscious fashionistas, they have a selection of jewelry, accessories, arts and crafts and more. For more information email:


The Cabo San Lucas Organic Farmer’s Market has an amazing variety of fresh produce, seafood, organic chicken, eggs, cheeses, 42

herbs and fruits, along with a selection of prepared foods. It’s the place to be on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 8:00am to noon, where you can meet up with friends and shop for some of the best organic foods in Cabo San Lucas. They also have a little breakfast café called Penny Lane Café, perfect for getting together with your friends and family and just enjoying the view. Some more of the products you can find at the Organic Farmer’s Market in Pedregal are: fresh organic vegetables, bakery items, breakfast at Penny Lane Café, breads, cookies, lasagna, sauces and more! For more information visit:


El Merkado in San José Del Cabo is a modern and innovative food procurement and distribution concept, a heavenly destination for any foodie here in Los Cabos. It was inspired by the great marketplaces of Europe, a trendy and variety full option that provides a great experience of dining in a place with some of the freshest ingredients of the highest quality. El Merkado was designed as a gathering option for friends and family. Some of the products you can find at El Merkado are: artisanal pizzas, fresh pasta, greek food, freshly pressed juices and salads, ultra fresh seafood and sushi, baked goods, meat, wine, fruit and vegetables, seafood and more. For a quality dining experience you can either pick up and go, go grocery and product shopping, or stay and enjoy your evening in restaurants like La Central, Pan di Bacco, The Office, Akira Sushi & Sashimi, -12◦C Gelato, Cabo BBQ, Cha Cha Cha Jugos y Ensaladas, Carbón Cabrón, Gyaros, El Pancake House, La Carreta, La Osteria, and more! For more information you can visit:


If you are looking to find where the locals go to get either their fruits and vegetables, seafood and other food products, or just where to have a real authentic Mexican meal, this is the place to go. The Mercado Municipal de San José (or Municipal Market of San José) is where most of the true locals go to shop for local products. Whether it is fresh fish and seafood you are looking for, or fresh fruit and vegetables, or authentic artisanal products, you will find a selection of hundred percent Mexican made products as well as the famous "Loncherias" (little breakfast and lunch places) where you can enjoy the old style Mexican flavor that reminds you of a home cooked meal by your Mexican abuelita (grandma), if you had one. So next time you are feeling a little adventurous and want to taste some old traditional cooking, now you know where to go! They are open every day from 7:00am to 5:00pm.



Everything you need to know about Baja Sur


SPANISH LESSON Although many locals in Los Cabos speak English, they also appreciate it when visitors speak Spanish. Don't be shy and give it a try! PRONUNCIATION RULES

• The letter "ñ" - When you see a wiggly line on top of the letter "n" use the "ny" sound that you use for the English word canyon. • The double "ll" is pronounced like "y" in English. • The letter "h" is always silent. • The letter "j" is pronounced like "h" in English. • If the word has an accent mark such as "á", that syllable is stressed.


Hello - Hola Goodbye - Adios Good morning - Buenos días Good afternoon - Buenas tardes Good evening/night - Buenas noches Thank you - Gracias Please - Por Favor Sorry - Disculpa Here - Aquí There - Allá Help - Ayuda Doctor - Doctor Water - Agua Food - Comida Money - Dinero Cash - Efectivo Change - Cambio Credit card - Tarjeta de crédito Tip - Propina


Where is ...? - ¿Dónde está ...? My hotel is ... - Mi hotel es ... Please take me to ... - Por favor lléveme a ... How much is this? - ¿Cuánto cuesta esto? Where is an ATM? - ¿Dónde hay un cajero automático? Telephone - Teléfono Do you have WIFI? - ¿Tiene WIFI? 44


Bathrooms - Baños Restaurant - Restaurante Hotel - Hotel Hospital - Hospital Beach - Playa Store - Tienda Pharmacy - Farmacia


Table - Mesa Glass - Vaso Plate - Plato Fork - Tenedor Spoon - Cuchara Knife - Cuchillo Napkin - Servilleta Can you bring the check? - ¿Puede traer la cuenta?


Nice to meet you - Mucho gusto What's your name? - ¿Cómo te llamas? My name is ... - Mi nombre es... Where are you from? - ¿De dónde eres? Do you speak English? - ¿Habla Inglés? I don't understand - No entiendo

WORDS OF THE MONTH Whale - Ballena Golf club - Bastón de golf Wind - Viento Art - Arte To travel - Viajar To walk - Caminar To swim - Nadar To run - Correr

ADVENTURE Arco Charters +52 (624) 240 1168 Buccaneer Queen +52 (624) 144 4217/18 Cabo Flyboard +52 (624) 143-0146 Los Cabos Tarzan Boats +52 (624) 240 3508 MX +52 (624) 240-3508 US (775) 388-2550 Pez Gato Cruises MX +52 (624) 143 3797 Running Tours Los Cabos +52 (624) 122 4553 Sea Cabo Activities OFFICE +52 (624) 143 2227 CELL +52 (624) 1598517 Sun Rider Tours +52 (624) 143-2252 Wild Canyon ART GALLERIES Frank Arnold Art +52 (624) 142 4422 US (559) 301 1148 ENTERTAINMENT Cabo Wabo Destino Magazine Los Cabos +52 (624) 105 9700/142 4949 Omnia Day Club Wirikuta +52 (624) 131-3131 XPat Radio

GOLF Danzante Bay at the Islands of Loreto US (844) 622 0799 HOME Baja Screens MX +52 (624) 210 1971 US (888) 250 3517 Simply Divine +52 (624) 131 3553 Tienda 17 + 52 (624) 105 2323/142 2121 RESTAURANTS Cabo Wabo - Mexican Desperados - Tex Mex/Mexican +52 (624) 165 7770/143 4331 La Dolce - Italian Cabo San Lucas (624) 143 4122 San Jose del Cabo (624) 142 6621

REAL ESTATE Danzante Bay at the Islands HOTELS of Loreto Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & US (844) 622 0799 Spa a the Islands of Loreto US (800) 838 2662 REmexico Real Estate US 1-619-600-5559 SHOPPING The Paraiso Residences Beach Blu MX +52 (624) 144-3231 +52 (624) 688-6729 US/Canada (650) 761-2226 Cabo Wabo CAR RENTALS Columbia Export Group Hertz Cabo San Lucas + (624) 138 3878 (624) 173 0033/1730015 La Paz (612) 123 2324/123 2325 SPAS/FITNESS US (619) 710 1863 Ext. 302/306 Cabo Fitness Club Frank Arnold Art +52 (624) 105 9600/105 2009 +52 (624) 142 4422 US (559) 301 1148 The Drip Spa +52 (624) 144 3460 I.O. Domani +52 (624) 688-6720 MEDICAL/INSURANCE Farmacia Dermatologica (Dermatology Pharmacy) +52 (624) 143 5111 Pan American Mexico Insurance MX +52 (322) 297-6440 US/Canada (949) 274-4111 The Drip Spa +52 (624) 144 3460

Everything you need to know about Baja Sur



Everything you need to know about Baja Sur