The East Cape of Baja California has been gracefully entering the luxury travel market for years. My first visit was years ago, staying in a small beach bungalow along an expansive stretch of deserted coastline. The massive 1,500-acre Costa Palmas development was just being planned, and there was barely a bulldozer in sight. On a recent visit, the location has been reborn as one of Mexico’s most spectacular resort destinations.
East Cape is an easy 45 minute drive from San Jose del Cabo International Airport and far away from the boozy corridor of resorts lining Cabo San Lucas. The swimmable azure water and dramatic coastline of the Sea of Cortez backed by a unique desert landscape along the Sierra de la Laguna mountains are breathtaking. The destination is becoming increasingly popular, with extended families choosing this easy escape to Mexico, where numerous activities are available on land and sea.
The area is now home to Costa Palmas, including Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, a future Amanvari Resort and Residences, a Robert Trent Jones II 18-hole golf course, 18 acres of orchards and farms, and a private beach, golf, and yacht club. And now, the Four Seasons has officially launched its ultra-luxury Private Retreats collection.
Offering spectacular two-to-six-bedroom contemporary residences designed by Guerin Glass Architects, extended families have the privacy of renting a home while enjoying the services and amenities of Four Seasons. The brand new residences also include a stunning 12,304 square foot, six-bedroom oceanfront residence with an enormous great room, gourmet kitchen, heated pool, and jacuzzi. Villa 11 is available by request only and provides the ultimate private beachfront location surrounded by dunes for privacy.
Private residences are available from $2,500 to $50,000 per night, with private pools, gourmet kitchens, personalized butler, and a private chef upon request. There are also curated services available including Tequila expert Ricardo Robles who will make custom mocktails for the kids. Or you can try out their new meal delivery service, MANDIL, with custom recipes and ingredients, allowing you to impress your guests by cooking your own world-class meals in your residence.
One of the prime attractions of the East Cape is the extensive adventures available for families of all ages. Forget leaving your kids in the pool every day. There are some serious bucket list experiences to be had, all curated by the Four Seasons Adventure Concierge. Your personal concierge will help craft the perfect itinerary for your family well in advance of your arrival. Whether you want a superyacht adventure, deep-sea fishing, or swimming with whale sharks in La Paz, all can easily be arranged. You also feel safe with a luxurious private SUV and experienced guides all along the way.
SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS
It was December, and we enlisted one of my favorite adventure guides in all of Los Cabos, Alex Vidal, with In Cabo Travel. They are a longtime boutique operator specializing in unique adventures, private excursions, and experiential memories.
They pick you up from your Four Seasons residence in the morning via a luxury SUV and take you on an easy two-hour drive to La Paz to swim alongside whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, which can be up to 40 feet long. Available from October to May, the massive gentle giants come to feast on plankton, and you can swim right along with them in one of the most exhilarating experiences ever.
New rules in La Paz have the activity strictly managed to avoid over-tourism. Only 14 boats are allowed to run tours each day. In Cabo Travel ensures you have the best arrival slot, and their comfortable boats get you to the perfect spots for swimming. On our excursion, we swam with a family of whale sharks, including a baby, and also witnessed a few up close suspended upright for vertical feeding with its head near the surface.
ATV ADVENTURE TO A REMOTE WATERFALL
The most exciting way to explore the East Cape coastline, riverbeds, and deserted roadways is with an off-road adventure. The Santiago Oasis Hike takes you to the quaint town of Santiago, (founded in 1721), only 45 minutes from the Resort, where you traverse dramatic canyons with fresh-water pools, granite boulders. You can even arrange to see fossil grounds where the remains of mastodons, giant sharks, and other creatures are sealed in time into the canyon walls. The final destination is Sol de Mayo, the stunning natural waterfall in the Cañon de la Zorra. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch in the tropical desert after swimming in the natural pools.
Add on an Off-Road ATV Adventure where your expert guide will pick you up from your private residence for a high-octane run through dry riverbeds, remote coastal dunes, and sandy beaches, all within Costa Palmas’ expansive and private desert oasis. Age limits apply to solo drive, but it is just as exciting with one of their experts at the wheel, taking you to more remote, unusual locations. You also have the option of eating at a charming home where food is prepared fresh by a local farmer and his family.
SPEAR FISHING WITH EXPERTS
The Sea of Cortez supports over 900 species of fish. Four Seasons has a fantastic adventure concierge who will arrange a day spent with experts on the pristine reefs of the East Cape, where you can bring back Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, and more for dinner. Although spearfishing is a centuries-old form of fishing, it has been modified so that it can be enjoyed through free diving or even snorkeling. (Solo age 15 and up).
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