A Whole Different Side of Mexico: Our Week in Cabo
Los Cabos is a place we have always wanted to visit, but cheap flights are hard to come by. In a flash deal that only lasted 20 minutes, we scored two tickets direct flights with Air Canada & Swoop for only $170 per person. When it expired so fast, we were glad that we booked it right away rather than waiting a minute longer! Here are all the details of our first time in Cabo!
We stayed the full week at Hacienda del Mar. A 30-minute drive from the city’s international airport is the main city of San Jose del Cabo. We were unable to see the famous Land’s End area from the resort because it doesn’t sit on the Bay of San Lucas. Rather, we were treated to amazing unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean where we saw multiple whales breaching! The resort is only 15 minutes from Cabo San Lucas’ main touristy area and 10 minutes from their local Costco and Walmart.
Uber is unregulated in Cabo which means it can’t be used going to and from the airport. Also, drivers may have to make pick-ups and drop-offs one or two blocks away to avoid being ticketed. Otherwise, the resort provides a shuttle service for a fee.
We loved our home for a week. It was newly renovated with gorgeous hardwood floors. Our king-size bed was extremely comfortable, and there was plenty of outlets and night lights on both sides. The bathroom featured a double sink and a backlit mirror surrounded by beautiful tiles. It had plenty of storage both on bottom shelves as well as counter space. One feature I particularly liked was a separate vanity for hair and makeup. The closet was very large with more than enough space to unpack. In the room, there was a large round table and a couch that we used as a desk. It opened up to a balcony facing east where we witnessed many sunrises. The resort was not too large; the route to and from the main building was relatively short, and there were lots of easy-to-follow signs so it was impossible to get lost.
There are six sit-down restaurants at Hacienda del Mar, as well as two pool bars where food is also available. We were lucky to experience two fine dining restaurants; De Cortez and Pithayas. Due to the popularity of both restaurants, reservations are recommended since they were both very busy. The two are located right on the beach and are great spots to watch the sunset.
As we heard the waves crashing nearby, we experienced incredible food and service at De Cortez. We started with the Caprese flatbread as well as some fresh oysters As entrees, we had the braised beef rib and the ribeye with chimichurri sauce which was cooked to perfection. We also enjoyed the soothing atmosphere. There was a chill in the air, but we were warm and comfortable at our table thanks to the heaters that were set up.
Pitthayas has a great entrance bar with a firepit waiting area. It’s designed beautifully with an open kitchen where everyone can view the chefs. Featuring Pan Asian cuisine, the menu was unique and delicious. As starters, we had the crispy shrimp and the grilled octopus.
Our main dishes were seared beef filet and the miso soup with braised short rib dumplings. Everything was very tasty and beautifully plated. Wine and tequila tasting is also offered at the restaurant down in the cave cellar.
Tomatoes Restaurant is located in their main building. It’s where they offer a breakfast buffet every morning and transform into themed dinners at night. Their breakfast is very extensive with offerings of Mexican food such as fresh quesadillas, tamales, chilaquiles as well as beef and chicken fajitas. You can have eggs and omelets prepared by a chef. Every morning they are fresh fruits, waffles, french toast, and baked goods. There is also a mimosa or caesar bar. We were given impeccable service from Rocio who always made sure we had enough coffee. It was a great place to bring our laptops and get some work done.
Every night at Tomatoes, the main square of the property is transformed into a themed dinner. The first night was “Viva Mexico” where we were served beef, chicken, tamales, and veggies mixed in a molcajete to have with beans, rice, and fresh tortilla. It was also served with some delicious elote (Mexican corn). We were treated to such a delicious authentic molcajete dish on our very first night in Cabo.
One of our favorite themed dinners at Tomatoes was “Hacienda Flavors”. Each of the restaurants at Hacienda del Mar offered a sample tasting menu. Each restaurant had its own booths serving a bite-sized appetizer, main dish, and dessert. It was fun to have dinner in such a unique way. It reminded me of the delicious Smorgasburg festival happening all in the middle of the hotel. They had live music every night, including mariachi bands.
The resort also had a tequila bar called “El Burro Cansado” which also served fresh tacos till midnight. They had a great selection of authentic tacos of shrimp, rib eye, octopus, chicken tinga, and more.
Tortugas Snack & Beach Bar was one of our favorite places to eat. It had the best menu that we ended up eating there the majority of the time since we wanted to try everything! The bar is right on the beach with some tables directly on the sand with a very casual vibe. They served breakfast as well as lunch each with their own unique delicious menus. Breakfast was always plated beautifully with a great selection of chilaquiles, waffles, eggs benedict served with great mimosas.
We craved lunch at Tortugas every day. We tried their ceviches, sushi rolls, and poke bowls that had fresh salmon and veggies. They also had yakisoba with big shrimps. The service was always fast and friendly. We truly felt that Tortugas was kind of a hidden gem at Hacienda del Mar. Every time their dishes hit the spot!
A total of five pools are on the property; three are on the coastline and two are in the middle, away from the beach. We spent a lot of our time at the Delphine’s pool which always had chairs available. Ismail and his staff at Delphines provided amazing service. He was always willing to go the extra mile to make sure everyone were satisfied. With an ice bucket of Pacificos, it was the perfect place to work then relax. It never got too crowded.
The main center pool was also beautiful. It was an ocean-front infinity pool making it the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. Even though the pool chairs were usually taken, we ensured that we got there before it got light out on our last day to guarantee a spot. It was well worth it because we saw whales breach right from the shoreline. It was incredible!
In addition to the pools, there were several hot tubs. They were always busy when the sun was setting and got a little chilly. The property is equipped with a fitness center which was surprisingly busy and a full-service spa, called Cactus Spa. They also have a Starbucks cafe and shops on-site. Most beaches in Cabo aren’t swimmable with a permanent black flag due to the strong waves but it doesn’t take away from its beauty. There are chairs and umbrellas set up all along the property’s beach for guests. They also have a few beach volleyball nets set up.
We used Uber a few times to check out the downtown area of Cabo San Lucas. We did a quick hike to watch the sunset, called “Cerro de la Z”. A short hike up to the top will give you a good view both of the Pacific Side on the right and the entirety of the Bay of San Lucas on the left.
Taking a boat ride to see Land’s End is also a must-do. In the marina, we found an array of options for boat tours, but booking online is the best choice for the best price. We were lucky to book only a few hours ahead with Roger’s Glass Bottom Boat Tours. They did a great job taking us around Pelican Rock and over to the Pacific Ocean and back. They also gave us the option to get off at Lover’s Beach where we were picked up an hour later. It was a little tricky getting off and on the boat due to the strong waves but they were super friendly and helpful. As we noticed the other passengers were mostly locals, we knew we had chosen a great tour.
We were surprised to see so much wildlife right during the boat tour. There were seals swimming alongside the boat and many pelicans. In addition, we were able to see an abundance of fish right at the bottom of the boat. It’s considered a great snorkeling area.
The travel restrictions at the time required us to take antigen tests to travel back home to Canada. The property did on-site testing every day starting at 10 am inside their convention center. It was $40 USD per person. The process was quick and efficient. We got our results the same day.
Overall, our week-long stay at Hacienda del Mar made our first time in Cabo an incredibly fun time. There was always excellent service from all the bars and restaurants, as well as from the front desk and concierge, which gave us a very comfortable stay. We loved the calming energy at Hacienda del Mar, and in Cabo in general, things are slower, and we felt it was the perfect place to catch some sun, work and relax.