Destinations – Cabo San Lucas, Baja California

Fun In The Sun

Where: Cabo, as most everybody calls it, is located on the southernmost tip of the Baja peninsula, approximately 1,000 miles south of the U.S. border.

What: The three main surf areas are Todos Santos, in between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, and the East Cape. Todos Santos features several quality beachbreaks and a few urchin-covered reef breaks. Closer to Cabo, it gets crowded with not-so-friendly local Mexican surfers at spots like Zippers and the aptly named “Old Mans.” The real gem of the area is the East Cape-a limitless desert where there’s seemingly a spot around every bend in the potholed dirt road. The bigger the south swell, the further into the East Cape you’ll find waves.

When: Todos Santos, a 45-minute drive north from Cabo, has surf year-round, while Cabo San Lucas proper and the East Cape receive southern hemisphere and chubasco (hurricane) generated south swells from April through October.

Why: While there are many places where you can party all night and surf all day, Cabo is the ultimate place for hedonistic nightlife and all-day shralping.

How: You can go the hard way, a brutal 24-hour drive from the border, and hit some spots on the way down, or hop on a plane from Southern California and be there in less than two hours.

Places To Stay: There’s a place to stay for every budget in Cabo. If you’re a high roller, post up at The Presidente, which overlooks downtown. In the mid range, the Best Western isn’t right in town, but it’s closer to the Cape. For budget travelers, there are cheap hotels all over town. Camping is possible out in the Cape region, but remember: in the summer, daytime temperatures can reach 120 degrees.

Places To Eat: Tacos with every type of filling imaginable (skip the tripe taco) are available on the street, American fast-food joints mar street corners, and supermercados are located throughout the region. Just about every type of grub is available-except burritos, which are tough to come by anywhere in Mexico.

The Se§orita Scene: During the day, hang out at The Office, a bar right on the beach packed full of babes from all over the world-you won’t be let down. Once the sun sets, the real action begins. Start the night off at The Giggling Marlin, where you’ll find cougars drunk on tequila and enthralled with your “I was ripping Zippers today!” story. Later in the evening, make sure you go to El Squid Roe where just about anything goes-it’s like the bar in From Dusk Till Dawn.

Crowd Factor: The breaks in and around Cabo get crowded with territorial locals and can get hectic. Less crowded (and usually better) surf can be found toward Todos Santos and the East Cape.

Stuff To Bring: The surf in the area can get pretty big, so pack a bigger board (a 7′ 0″ should be okay) if you see a substantial swell on the charts. Otherwise, bring high-performance shortboards, plenty of sunscreen, a rashguard to further prevent sunburn, and a Spanish phrase book. Also, it’s nice to bring a bag full of old clothes to drop off at a church or orphanage.

If The Surf Is Flat: Besides the obvious (chasing around tourist girls), check out the famed arches of Lover’s Beach-the bodysurfing there is sketchy but fun nevertheless. For the artsy types, Todos Santos is an artists’ colony, and there are some cool sights there. Cabo is also known to have world-class fishing with marlin, tuna, and dorado being hauled in daily.

Helpful Web Sites: Check out loscabosguide.com, and costa-azul.com.mx for surfing information. Go to lonelyplanet.com for great lodging, transportation, and package deals.-Justin Cotà‡