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I recently returned from my first trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and all I can say is W-O-W! Where do I even begin? This was a trip of firsts for me. First time to Cabo and first solo female traveler trip. First trip to the beach by myself, first time truly eating out by myself that I can recall (actually sitting down at a restaurant and dining in solo), first time taking a boat tour (or two) by myself. Lots of firsts. It was an unforgettable experience. You won’t believe what I did…and didn’t do!
Cabo San Lucas
It’s been around ten years since my last trip to Mexico. This might have had something to do with my level of excitement around this Los Cabos adventure. It also might have been the fact that I LOVE exploring new destinations. Truly L.O.V.E. Or, maybe because this was my first time travelling alone (that was not a business trip). Regardless of the reason, I couldn’t wait to get there. Can you say “excited”? Taking a trip by myself was on my list of travel goals for 2018. I have to admit. I was just a tinsy, winsy bit nervous (but mostly, down right excited) simply because I was venturing off to a new destination all by my lonesome.
Why Cabo San Lucas for my first solo trip you might ask? Honestly? It’s because I found an amazing airfare that was simply too good to pass up, and I couldn’t find anyone else to take the trip with me (I didn’t look very hard, admittedly. I asked three people – my husband and two friends.). A great airfare tends to spark most of my trips. If you publish it (cheap airfare deals), they will go (meaning ME)! I’m a sucker for a good airfare deal. I just can’t help myself! Airfare is usually a major portion of one’s travel expenses, so once I see great deal…I’m all over it!
The Results Are In…
Well…I am happy to say I have nothing but good things to report! I fell in love with Cabo San Lucas and decided immediately (on Day 1) that I could not wait to return. Sometimes, when I have traveled with groups (family, friends, etc.), I have found that I might travel at a different pace than they do and tend to venture out on a bit. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I have explored many a destination on my own while traveling with others. But Cabo ended up being a great choice for my first official solo trip! While solo travel can be a bit lonely in some respect, it makes up for it with the freedom to explore at your own pace. I always find myself paying attention to details I would most likely miss if I were with others. Not to mention, the people watching is always great. Solo travel also gives you time to think, and get to know yourself on a new level.
Keeping Up with Cabo
Okay, back to the subject here. Cabo San Lucas! I went into this trip with NO PLAN! I was on a bit of a budget, so I did some research on Cabo hotels and Cabo resorts. Knowing that I wanted to explore the area, I booked a hotel in the downtown area of Cabo because I knew this would be optimal for a solo traveler who wanted to explore without worrying about taxi rides to get everywhere. This was a great decision on my part. The location of my Cabo hotel was, literally, a 2-10 minute walk from everything that I did for the next four days. Restaurants, the marina, the beach, shopping, and nightlife (which I did not really partake in on this trip – simply NO interest in “going out” by myself).
Well, on second thought, I did go into Cabo Wabo Cantina for a bit on my first night there for several reasons. One, it was located one block from my hotel. Two, it was free to get in. Three, it has become a Cabo staple. Four, I wanted to be able to say I’ve been there. Five, they have live music…which I love. Six, I grew up on Sammy Hagar’s music and I’m a total 80’s rock chick at heart. So, there you have it. It was cool and I’m glad I spent an entire 45 minutes here. 🙂 The people watching was interesting. I would absolutely go back if I were with my husband and/or other travel companions. Rock on!
Things to do in Cabo?
I did minimal research on things to do in Cabo, so I didn’t have any sort of plans in place prior to the trip. I knew I wanted to go to the beach. That goes without saying, right? I mean, hello? Mexico = beautiful beaches and postcard worthy water! Definitely on MY list! Now, let’s get real here. While Cabo has some of the best beach and water views available, most of the beaches are not swimmable because of the currents and undertow, and that sort of sucks. What I mean to say is that REALLY sucks. There are, however, a few areas where it is safe to frolic in the unforgettable blue hues of the Sea of Cortez and that is exactly where I was headed.
Playa Médano (Medano Beach)
Medano Beach is a Los Cabos super hot spot, both for locals and tourists alike. I spent my entire first full day here. It started out with a morning stroll down the beach from the Marina down to Mango Deck. Mango Deck is a restaurant/beach hang out/entertainment spot that is not to be missed! Fair warning. If you are traveling with children, visit before 2pm-ish. Adults only travel? Feel free to stop by any time. Earlier hours are tame, enjoyable, and fun for all ages. Later hours get a bit crazy with plenty of drinking and contests that are not suitable for younger audiences, and the crowd shifts from families to the younger party crowd that didn’t wake up until 2pm. 🙂
Along Medano Beach are several Cabo resorts, private condos, a few restaurants and beach clubs, and LOTS and LOTS of local vendors selling a wide variety of local merchandise. If you are easily aggravated by locals trying to sell you souvenirs, you might want to find another beach to visit (try Lovers Beach, which is a quick boat ride away – and should be on your things to do in Cabo list). If not, by all means pick a spot and soak up the warm Mexican sun! And if you do buy anything from these hard-working, beach strolling vendors…remember that you can ALWAYS negotiate the price down!
Water and Food = Life’s Basic Necessities
The next couple of days were spent on the water and in the water, boating and snorkeling. The weather was perfect and I couldn’t get enough of the water! The snorkeling was not the best I’ve ever seen, but being in the water was good enough for me. Each night I would stroll through town and eat from local street vendors. I honestly had some of the best tacos of my entire life, thus far, one block from my hotel. I had those two nights in a row. The only reason I didn’t eat there for every meal was because I wanted to make sure I had some sort of variety. But I would have had no problem eating these tacos daily. Every. Freaking. Day. I have been dreaming of those tacos since my return. Best tacos ever (and I eat A LOT of tacos)!
I did not, however, spend my entire trip by myself. On my third night in Cabo, I stopped by a spot named Sancho’s to grab a bite to eat after having been on a boat tour for the day. My waitress, Margo, was a gal from the states that had moved to Cabo San Lucas and she was fascinated by the fact I was traveling alone. She was super nice and ended up introducing me to several ladies who had all moved to Cabo, or visit very frequently, from the states. We chatted it up, went to the casino (I didn’t even know Los Cabos had a casino!), went back to Sancho’s and hung out for the evening. Wishing I would have snapped a pic of the group, but my phone was dead at that point and I was having too much fun to worry about it.
Cabo Wrap Up
Moment of honesty here. In hindsight, I can say that my experience in Cabo San Lucas was very similar to all of my other experiences in Mexico at highly populated touristy spots (Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, etc.). Lots of gift shops with typical Mexican souvenirs, a plethora of restaurants offering almost every cuisine imaginable (complete with employees that try to entice every passer-by to indulge in their establishment), tour operators offering water excursions on every block, nightlife options GALORE, and so on, and so on.
But, Los Cabos had it’s own unique ambiance, and it was wonderful. I would say that Cabo is one of the best places to travel alone. Never once did I feel any sort of danger on any level (I also didn’t do anything to bring unwanted attention to myself – key point in female solo travel). I was able to relax and explore. The vibe was awesome, the people were great, the scenery was BREATHTAKING, and I look forward to returning as soon as the opportunity arises! While I am looking forward to returning to Cabo San Lucas with my husband, family, friends, etc., I am very glad that I did this trip on my own…for many reasons. This tops my list as my best solo vacation ever. Okay, so it’s my only solo vacation at this point, but who’s counting?!?! 🙂
So, have you booked your trip to Cabo San Lucas yet? C’mon! What are you waiting for? You know you wanna. 🙂 If you’ve been to Cabo, share your experience with me in the comments. I would love to chat about it! Don’t forget to check out my other travel adventures too!
Until next time, where to next???