Avoya HBTA Top LB Jan 2018

Mexico’s All-Inclusive Resorts


Geoff Millar
Ultimate All Inclusive Travel


In this month’s edition we are going to begin to take a closer look at the West Coast tourist areas of Mexico. The West coast of Mexico gives you a totally different vacation experience than the East coast/Caribbean coast of Mexico. It is nice that you can send your clients to the same country for a variety of different vacation experiences. On the East coast, even though there were a few fishing villages, the majority of the area was developed as a tourist destination while on the West coast you tend to get more of a true Mexican feel, the town with the church as the main point in the town square, true Mexican food, and a place where the locals and tourists mix. The beaches and the water on the West coast are also different than the Caribbean beaches and water. On the West coast you will get more of a light brown sand on the beaches and the water will be more like Hawaii water, a darker blue, rather than the bright turquoise water of the East coast/Caribbean coast. It is very nice and the water is clear just a different look and feel than the East coast of Mexico.

We will cover the major tourist areas with the most all-inclusive resorts and also some of the smaller popular resort areas. The major West coast tourist areas consist of Los Cabos made up of Cabos San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, and the corridor area, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Acapulco. The smaller popular areas we will look at are Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo , Manzanillo, and Hualtuco .

In this month’s edition we will start with the Los Cabos area. This area sits at the southernmost point of the Baja Peninsula about 1,000 miles due south of California and San Diego. This area started out as a small fishing village and has grown into one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico. Since it was relatively easy to get to, it was discovered by the Hollywood crowd as a prime fishing destination back in the early 50’s. At that time the airport consisted of a dirt runway where the pilots and passengers had to shoo the cattle off the runway before the plane could take off. Since no major airline flew there at the time the air traffic consisted of private airplanes. It has since developed into a prime tourist location fed by most of the major airlines and frequented by not only hotel and resort tourists but also cruise tourists as it is now a major stop for the West coast cruises.

Los Cabos is made up of 3 major areas.

Cabo San Lucas, the major tourist area. Los Cabos is known for fishing, golf, shopping, silver jewelry is a very popular item, and its nightlife. Cabo, as it is known, sits at the southernmost point of the Baja Peninsula and is defined by the Arches, an outcrop of rocks forming an arch that is the dividing point between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Cabo is known for its shopping, nightlife, and fishing with a number of lively nightclubs, the most famous one being Cabo Wabo which is owned by Sammy Hager of Van Halen fame. An interesting fact is that the 3 major night clubs in Cabo, Cabo Wabo, Giggling Marlin, and Squid Row, are all owned by Americans. Although the area is not known for its swimmable beaches, Cabo has the 2 most swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, Medano Beach, just on the edge of town and Lovers beach located out by the arch and reached by water taxi, a popular mode of transportation in the Cabo area. Cabo still remains one of the top fishing areas in Mexico. 60 different species of fish can be caught in the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez just off Cabo. They have the richest fishing tournament in the world, held in Oct. It is the Black and Blue Marlin tournament. It is a catch and release tournament with the prizes for the largest marlin running in the millions. It is an amazing site to see as yachts from all over the world fill Cabo’s world class marina for the tournament. The world record marlin from that area is over 1,000 pounds. There are a number of affordable private fishing companies providing world class fishing to the tourists from the marina in Cabo.

In the Cabo area are a number of resorts ranging from 1 star to 5 star all-inclusive resorts, some sitting right on Medano beach. The resorts are located on both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. It needs to be pointed out that in the Los Cabos area there are very few swimmable beaches. This is due to the fact that where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet, it creates some heavy waves and serious undertows on both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean sides. There are a number of tour operators in the Cabo area that provide a variety of tours from Camelback Riding, Horseback riding, ATV, Zipline, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Sailing, ecological tours, fishing, and golf. Cabo has also become a large Spring Break destination and a great weekend getaway for Californians and Arizonians with non-stop flights from a number of cities in California, and also from Phoenix.

The second area we will look at is called the Corridor area that runs between Cabo San Lucas and the town of San Jose Del Cabo, about 30 miles away. This is an Oceanfront area that runs between the two towns. This area contains some fantastic resorts both all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive right on the ocean. It also contains a number of developments with private homes and condo complexes. There is a large American contingent that lives in the Los Cabos area. This is also the location of the majority of golf courses in the area. Golf has grown tremendously in the Los Cabos area and most of the golf courses are tournament quality. The latest one to open was designed by Tiger Woods. This is becoming a real hot spot for golfing clients. The latest count is, I believe, 10 golf courses in the Los Cabos Area. The Corridor area is also home to the two top snorkeling destinations in Los Cabos, Santa Maria Bay and Chileno Bay. Both the snorkeling areas are large bays with fantastic reef systems. They are both safe snorkeling areas for adults and children. They are accessible by either automobile or boat with a number of tour companies providing snorkeling tours to both areas. Golf is a little different here since the terrain in the Los Cabos area is mainly desert with the lush areas being provided by the resorts and golf courses.

The third area we will look at is San Jose Del Cabo. This town sits at the other end of the corridor about 30 miles North of Cabo San Lucas. This is a wonderful smaller town with more of a local feel and a little less of a tourist feel. San Jose Del Cabo moves at a slower pace than Cabo. San Jose Del Cabo used to be mainly a residential town but it is fast becoming a more popular resort area than it has been in the past with a number of new resorts appearing. The latest is the new Marriott Marquis next to the new Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. San Jose Del Cabo does have some beautiful beaches but like the majority of beaches in Los Cabos, most are not swimmable. Having said this one of the top surfing areas in Los Cabos sits at the South end of the main beach in San Jose Del Cabo with a number of surf shops. There is also a fantastic pullout on the corridor road overlooking the beach and surfing area. San Jose Del Cabo has a small downtown area with great shopping and some fantastic restaurants but not a lot of nightlife. The shops and restaurants surround a beautiful town square with the local church as its central point. San Jose Del Cabo is closer to the airport than Cabo. The airport sits about 5 miles outside of town. The town has its own marina although smaller than the Marina in Cabo great fishing charters can be taken from San Jose Del Cabo. When looking at resorts and depending on your client’s requirements, make sure you understand if the resorts you are looking at are located in Cabo San Lucas, the Corridor, or San Jose Del Cabo. For a livelier vibe with more activities Cabo should be the destination. For a more relaxing experience where the resort will tend to be the destination the Corridor would be the best choice, and for an experience that would be somewhere in-between, San Jose Del Cabo would be the choice.

Sitting just north of Los Cabos is the town of Todos Los Santos, the home of the Hotel California supposedly the inspiration of the Eagles song of the same name. Once experiencing the Los Cabos area, you can leave but mightnot want to.