Mexico | Moon Travel Guides Trip Ideas, Itineraries, Maps & Area Experts Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:20:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mexico | Moon Travel Guides 32 32 125073523 Best Yucatán Cenotes to Visit Fri, 13 Oct 2017 22:04:51 +0000 The Yucatán Peninsula is dotted with hundreds of cenotes—pools of shimmering blue water fed by a vast underground freshwater river system. Some look like large ponds, others are deep sinkholes, and still others occupy gaping caverns or have dramatic rock formations.

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The Yucatán Peninsula is dotted with hundreds of cenotes—pools of shimmering blue water fed by a vast underground freshwater river system. Some look like large ponds, others are deep sinkholes, and still others occupy gaping caverns or have dramatic rock formations. Many cenotes are open to the public (typically for a small entrance fee), and their cool clear water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Facilities range from simple restrooms and snorkel rental to full-service “cenote parks” with guided tours.

Some favorites in the region include:

The Riviera Maya

  • Ruta de los Cenotes: Sure, some spots along the “Cenote Route” are tourist traps, but others are sublime, like Siete Bocas, a huge eerie cavern filled with shimmering water, and Verde Lucero, a gorgeous open-air pool filled with freshwater turtles and fish.
  • Jarred del Edén: The best and biggest of a cluster of cenotes near Playa Xpu-Há, with a large cavern that forms a dramatic overhang.
  • Cenote Cristalino: Next to Jardín del Edén, Cristalino also has an overhanging cliff but a smaller swimming area.
  • Cenote Azul: A set of three cenotes near Playa Xpu-Há with impossibly clear waters and a small cliff for jumping into one of them.
  • Cenote Manatí: Near Tankah Tres, this is actually a series of connected cenotes and lagoons that wind inland through a tangled scrub forest.
green trees reflected on the water at Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul is a popular spot for swimming. Photo © Fernando Vallejos/iStock.

Tulum and the Costa Maya

  • Dos Ojos: A cenote park with rentals, guides, and spectacular caverns.
  • Gran Cenote: Lovely cavern with natural arches and stalactite formations; east of Tulum on the road to Cobá.
  • Car Wash: Just past Gran Cenote, this innocuous-looking cenote has stunning rock formations below the surface.
  • Cenote Choo-Ha: One of four dramatic cenotes near Cobá, with a high domed ceiling and iridescent blue water.
vines hang over crystal clear water with a green hue under a rock formation in Tulum

Find Gran Cenote on the road to Cobá east of Tulum. Photo © Oksana Byelikova/iStock.

Chichén Itzá

  • Cenote Sagrado Azul: Just three kilometers (1.9 miles) from Chichén Itzá, this huge deep cenote in Ik Kil ecopark can be crowded but is impressive all the same.
  • Cenote Yokdzonot: This little-known gem near Chichén Itzá is all the more rewarding for being operated by a cooperative of enterprising local women.
  • Cenotes de Dzitnup: Twin cenotes just outside Valladolid, both with huge domed ceilings and large swimmable pools beneath.
  • Cenote X’Canché: A pretty 12-meter-deep (39-foot) cenote, a kilometer (0.6 mile) down a forest path from the Ek’ Balam ruins.
  • Cenote Sak’ Awa: Like a sunken donut, this remote cenote has a flat rocky center encircled by teal-blue water and high overhanging cliffs.
vines and vegetation hang into a pool of aqua water

this huge deep cenote Cenote Sagrado Azul in Ik Kil ecopark can get crowded but is impressive all the same. Photo © LRC Imagery/iStock.

Mérida, the Puuc Route, and Campeche

  • Cenotes de Cuzamá: Getting to these three cenotes via horse-drawn carts is half the fun. Two have slippery ladders leading down to their cool azure waters.
  • Cenote Kankirixché: North of Uxmal, this is considered one of the peninsula’s prettiest cenotes. It’s easy to see why, with its cool turquoise water, dangling tree roots, and a roof bristling with stalactites.
  • Grutas de X’tacumbilxuna’an: This massive cavern was used for centuries by local Maya for collecting water, and is the subject of a famous drawing by 19th-century explorer-artist Frederick Catherwood.

If you're headed to the Yucatan Peninsula during your Mexico vacation, don't miss your opportunity to visit these gorgeous cenotes where you can swim, scuba dive, or snorkel in natural pools fed by a vast underground freshwater river system.

Excerpted from the Twelfth Edition of Moon Yucatan Peninsula.

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Isla Espiritu Santo and the La Paz Islands Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:19:49 +0000 No trip to La Paz is complete without a visit to the islands. Here's how to enjoy Isla Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida, and the smaller Los Islotes.

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No trip to La Paz is complete without a visit to the islands: Isla Espíritu Santo, Isla Partida, and the home of hundreds of sea lions, Los Islotes. Teeming with marine life, they make for an excellent boating day trip for those who want to snorkel, dive, or just enjoy the island bays with white sand beaches. Visitors can arrange for an organized day trip from La Paz, or there are pangas that leave from Playa El Tecolote and take travelers for US$55 per person. Tours generally pick up clients in the morning and fees include snorkel or dive equipment, the national park entrance fee, drinks for the day, and lunch.

Sea lion blowing bubbles underwater.

Friendly interaction wit sea lions is highly likely on Los Islotes. Photo © stocktrek/123rf.

Isla Espíritu Santo

The large island 25 kilometers off the coast of La Paz is Isla Espíritu Santo, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s considered by many to be the most beautiful island in the Sea of Cortez and boasts dozens of bays with white sand beaches and waters full of marine life.

Most travelers experience Isla Espíritu Santo on a boat day trip from La Paz. These boat trips focus on diving and snorkeling in the waters around the island, because of the rich marine life that lives around the rock and coral reefs. Visitors will have a chance at seeing and swimming with sea lions, orca, dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, and blue or humpback whales.

The island isn’t inhabited, but tent camping is permitted. This is the only way to spend any substantial amount of time exploring the island since the boat trips stop only briefly to allow some swimming and snorkeling. Camping gives visitors the unique experience of exploring the island and waters by day and enjoy stargazing at night. There are 10 designated hiking paths on the island that are great for getting out in the terrain and encountering mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians. Because the islands are protected, camping requires getting a US$4 permit in advance from the SEMARNAT office (Ocampo 1045, tel. 612/128-4171). Fun Baja can arrange for multi-day camping trips on the island.

Isla Partida

Connected to Isla Espíritu Santo by a narrow sandbar, Isla Partida is a much smaller island, but still has beautiful bays, beaches, dive sites, hiking, and camping opportunities. There are small fishing camps at either end of the island, but otherwise the island in uninhabited. You’ll need to bring in your own drinking water and provisions. Just like Isla Espiritu Santo, camping here requires getting a permit in advance from SEMARNAT for US$4 (Ocampo 1045, tel. 612/128-4171).

Los Islotes

At the northern tip of Isla Partida and Espíritu Santo are smaller Los Islotes where a large colony of hundreds of sea lions resides. Friendly interaction with the sea lions is highly likely, and these islets are a popular stop on the island day trips for snorkelers and divers who get in the water with the sea lions.

Map of Isla Espíritu Santo, Isla Partida, and Los Islotes, Mexico

Isla Espíritu Santo, Isla Partida, and Los Islotes

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.

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The Best of Los Cabos in Four Days Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:00:10 +0000 Ready for a quick getaway? Our four-day itinerary is perfect for to experience the relaxation and indulgence that makes Los Cabos so desirable.

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photo of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina in Mexico.

The Puerto Los Cabos Marina. Photo © Vlad Litinov, licensed Creative Commons Attirbution.

Ready for a getaway? Los Cabos is synonymous with relaxation and indulgence. For a perfect four-day getaway, choose a place to stay in high-energy Cabo San Lucas or sophisticated San José del Cabo, or the exclusive atmosphere of the Corridor. Once settled, beautiful beaches, luxurious spas, world-famous golf courses, and glorious scenery beckon.

Day 1

Fly into the Los Cabos International Airport and drop your luggage off at your hotel before heading out to explore Cabo San Lucas. Take a quick water taxi to get a close-up view of Cabo’s iconic El Arco before disembarking at Lover’s Beach. Spend the afternoon sunbathing and snorkeling. When you return to town, grab a traditional Mexican dinner downtown at Mi Casa or Pancho’s. Then enjoy some of Cabo’s infamous nightlife with a margarita or two at Cabo Wabo Cantina or The Giggling Marlin.

Day 2

Get in touch with the local food movement in Los Cabos by heading to the rural Las Animas Bajas area, just outside of San José del Cabo. If it’s Saturday, you can check out the San José Mercado Organico, an organic farmers market. Eat brunch at one of the gorgeous farm-to-table restaurants, like Flora’s Field Kitchen or Acre. On the way back to town, stop in the Historic Art District in San José del Cabo to check out the colonial architecture, bustling town plaza, and art galleries.

Day 3

Spend a day enjoying some of the beautiful beaches in Los Cabos. Divers may want to take an organized tour to access some of the best dive spots. Snorkelers can visit Playa Chileno or Bahía Santa Maria along the corridor, where swimming is also possible. At Playa El Médano, beachgoers will find an array of activities to choose from, like kayaking or Jet Skiing. When you’ve had enough sun and sand for the day, enjoy a sunset beach dinner at a spot like The Office on Playa El Médano or Sunset MonaLisa along the corridor.

Day 4

Spend your last day truly relaxing at one of Los Cabos’ incredible spas, such as Somma Wine Spa or Spa Marquis, indulging in a facial, a massage, or an entire day of treatments. Or schedule a tee time at one of the area’s famous golf courses, such as Diamante or Cabo del Sol Golf Course, where you can enjoy beautiful ocean views on the green.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.

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Restaurants and Cafés in San José del Cabo’s Centro Histórico Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:44:06 +0000 For many travelers, San José del Cabo has become a culinary destination. This guide to restaurants in Centro Historico focuses on traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine, plus other notable options.

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Set in a courtyard, chairs and tables are painted in different vibrant colors.

Popular Mi Casa Restaurant has one location in Cabo San Lucas and one in San Jose del Cabo. Photo courtesty of Mi Casa Restaurant.

For many travelers, San José del Cabo has become a culinary destination, and Centro Histórico hosts some of the best restaurants you’ll find. If you choose to venture into the touristy areas on Boulevard Mijares, near the plaza, or near the zona hotelera, you’ll encounter much higher prices, and not as authentic an experience.


The charming and intimate El Matador (Paseo los Marinos, tel. 624/142-2741, 5pm-10pm daily, US$20-33) is a family-owned operation with owner Pablo often present. Pablo began bullfighting at the age of 14 and did this professionally until moving to Los Cabos in 1988. There’s plenty of bullfighting memorabilia in the restaurant, and the waitstaff dress as matadors. The service is impeccable, going above and beyond to attend to the needs of customers. The quality of the meats—veal, rack of lamb, filet—is unparalleled. There’s an appealing outdoor patio and often live entertainment.

For tacos and mescal, local hipsters and chic travelers flock to La Lupita (Calle José Maria Morelos, tel. 624/688-3926, 2pm-midnight Tues., 2pm-2am Wed.-Sat., noon-midnight Sun., tacos US$2-4). The exposed brick, whitewashed walls, wood pallet furniture, and minimal decor create a Zen-like atmosphere. The wide variety of tacos includes rib eye, lamb, octopus, and nopal. There’s an extensive mescal menu as well as a decent selection of craft beers. Everything is reasonably priced for being in a tourist area, plus there’s a lovely outdoor patio and bar.

Situated on the popular Boulevard Mijares, Don Sanchez Restaurante (Blvd. Mijares, tel. 624/142-2444, 5-10:30pm daily, US$15-37) serves contemporary Mexican cuisine. This is fine dining complete with artful plating and higher pricing. The service is attentive, and the wine list is extensive. There are a variety of vegetarian options (like chile portobello) in addition to seafood dishes (lobster in white mole) and meats (lamb shank mixiote).

Also on Mijares and operated by the same owner as Don Sanchez is Habanero’s Gastro Grill and Tequila Bar (Blvd. Mijares, tel. 624/142-2626, 8am-10:30pm daily, US$13-25). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be enjoyed on the outdoor sidewalk seating or in the dining room. There’s an impressive selection of tequila at the bar and an extensive menu featuring steaks, seafood, pastas, and traditional Mexican dishes.

Traditional Mexican restaurant Jazmin’s (Jose Maria Morelos 133, tel. 624/142-1760, 8am-midnight daily, US$11-24) is in the art district downtown, a few blocks away from the plaza. This large restaurant is formed from a collection of different rooms and outdoor spaces with colorful walls, Mexican decor, and strung lights outdoor. It serves typical Mexican dishes.

Housed under a giant palapa, El Herradero Mexican Grill and Bar (Miguel Hidalgo, tel. 624/142-6350, 7:30am-10pm daily, US$11-16) serves traditional Mexican dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The casual and comfortable setting complements the flavorful food, live music, and friendly service.

Las Guacamayas (Paseo de los Marinos, tel. 624/109-5473, 11:30am-10:30pm daily, US$3-8) has authentic and affordable Mexican food. The large venue has a fun and lively atmosphere the whole family will enjoy. Another location is in Cabo San Lucas.


An easy walk from downtown San José, Mariscos El Toro Guero (Calle Ildefonso Green, tel. 624/130-7818, noon-6pm daily, US$8-10) is where locals and tourists alike go for fresh seafood, large portions, and affordable prices. Enjoy fresh ceviche and seafood cocktails as well as items like bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese.

Another authentic locals’ seafood restaurant is Mariscos La Pesca (Blvd. Mijares at Benito Juárez, tel. 624/130-7438, 11am-10pm daily, US$8-11) with a large outdoor patio and good food and service. Don’t miss the tuna tartare.


La Vaca Tinta (Manuel Doblado, tel. 624/142-1241, 5-11pm Tues.-Sat., 2-9pm Sun., US$8-15) has a great selection of Mexican wines on the menu. It grills steaks to perfection and also serves salads, soups, empanadas, and cheese appetizers.

For a meal set in a lovely garden courtyard, head to Dvur at Casa Don Rodrigo (Blvd. Mijares 29, tel. 624/142-0418, 11am-11pm Mon.-Sat., US$11-17). It serves seafood, meats, salads, and cheeses that comes from the family’s local ranch. The dvur (meaning courtyard in Czech) is located in an old house that provides a beautiful and romantic setting.

Serving Argentinian barbecue, Barrio de Tango (Morelos, tel. 624/125-3023, 6pm-11pm Tues.-Sun., US$12-15) is a great place to go for steak. Dining is casual and outdoors here, and the place gets busy, so it’s best to make a reservation.

If you want farm-to-table dining without wandering out of town, the sister restaurant to Huerta los Tamarindos, Tequila Restaurant (Manuel Doblado 1011, tel. 624/142-1155, 6-11pm daily, US$11-14) uses the same fresh ingredients in dishes served right in downtown San José. There’s a lush garden dining patio, a walk-in humidor, and a nice wine list. Tequila shrimp, rack of lamb, lobster bomb (a giant lobster wonton), and beef tenderloin in guajillo sauce are some of the restaurant’s specialties.

Street Food

For a more local’s experience, head to Las Cazuelas del Don (Malvarrose at Guijarro, tel. 624/130-7286, 1pm-10pm Mon.-Sat., US$4-6) where diners enjoy grilled steak, fresh fish, and local vegetables cooked in a traditional cazuela cooking pot. This family-run restaurant serves delicious and authentic food at affordable prices.


Located in the art district, Lolita Café (Manuel Doblado, tel. 624/130-7786, 9am-9pm Wed.-Sun., US$9-12) has plenty of options for healthy eats, like a signature egg sandwich with marinated vegetable slices, sun-dried tomato, almond pesto, and chickpea dressing. This is artisan food with a Mexican touch served in a hip and unpretentious setting (don’t miss the garden patio in the back). Lolita Café serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee.

For a good cup of java, Coffee Lab (Benito Juárez 1717, tel. 624/105-2835, 7am-7pm Mon.-Sat., US$3-6) is a sleek and stylish coffee shop located in downtown. In addition to great coffee, it serves breakfast, sandwiches, and paninis.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.

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Restaurants in Puerto Los Cabos Wed, 27 Sep 2017 20:45:30 +0000 As Mexico’s largest private marina, Puerto Los Cabos is a destination that’s home to so much more than just boats. Here's where to grab a bite to eat.

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A styling restaurant with a mix of intimate tables and communal style long benches.

Hotel restaurants in Puerto Los Cabos, like Hotel El Ganzo’s dining room, receive favorable reviews. Photo courtesy of Hotel El Ganzo.

The new and impressive Puerto Los Cabos Marina in San José del Cabo is the home-away-from-home to many of the yachts and boats that come to the Los Cabos region. The 200 slips can hold boats up to 122 meters in length.

As Mexico’s largest private marina, Puerto Los Cabos is a destination that’s home to so much more than just boats. The marina attracts tourists with a plethora of activities such as Hydro fly boarding, a dolphin experience, an activity center, and a number of restaurants, including The Container Restaurant & Bar. Hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and El Ganzo operate here in Puerto Los Cabos, in addition to Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman-designed golf courses.


Located at La Marina Inn, George’s Restaurant (Calle los Pescadores, tel. 624/142-4166, 8am-10pm daily, US$8-14) is cozy and serves seafood and traditional Mexican dishes. Garlic shrimp, lobster, and oysters Rockefeller are some menu favorites. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at affordable prices. Don’t miss the large and delicious margaritas.


Fashioned out of a shipping container, The Container Restaurant & Bar (Puerto Los Cabos Marina, tel. 624/105-6628, 8am-10:30pm daily, US$12-20) features prime marina views. The open-air restaurant has a fun atmosphere and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a full bar. Salads, seafood, and Mexican food are all on the menu.

In a funky two-story palapa overlooking the marina in La Playita, El Marinero Borracho/The Drunken Sailor (Calle Cabrilla, tel. 624/105-6464, noon-10pm Tues.-Sun., US$8-10) features Mexican-style seafood with an international twist. Try the Vietnamese-style seafood taco and a michelada while enjoying sunset over the marina.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.

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Best Nightlife in Cabo Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:15:38 +0000 Nightlife in Cabo runs the gamut from big nightclubs in Cabo San Lucas to the relaxed and elegant scene along the Corridor. Here's where to go.

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Chef Gonzalo Cerda demonstrates technique to two guests at an open-air butcher block.

Join executive chef Gonzalo Cerda in the kitchen at an Esperanza Resort cooking class. Photo courtesy of Esperanza Resort.

Nightlife in Cabo runs the gamut from big nightclubs in Cabo San Lucas to the relaxed and elegant scene along the Corridor. Whichever sort of night out you’re looking for, one of these bars, restaurants, or clubs will surely hit the spot.

Nightlife in Cabo San Lucas

The unofficial Cabo spring break headquarters is Mango Deck (tel. 624/144-4919 or 624/143-0901, 7am-11pm daily), the happening place on Playa Médano for entertainment and drinks. Get there early in the day to grab a deck chair and listen to the emcee, who will guide you through a day’s worth of entertainment and contests. When you’re thirsty, there are two-for-one drink specials, or flag down “Big Johnson,” the tequila man with a holster full of tequila and shot glasses. Mango Deck serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in case you need to soak up some of the alcohol.

Also on Playa Médano is beach club Blue Marlin Ibiza (tel. 624/145-7800, 10am-midnight daily), formerly Nikki Beach Club, where the party takes place all day long around the pool and outdoor bar. Spring breakers will love this daytime poolside scene, as well as the DJs and parties at night.

A standard on the Cabo bar scene for over 30 years is The Giggling Marlin (Paseo de la Marina, tel. 624/143-1182, 9am-1am daily). It’s most famous for its gimmick of allowing visitors to hang upside down by their feet, like a caught fish, next to a large marlin for a shot and a unique photo op. A fun and friendly staff serves decent food, including salsa made tableside.

Probably the most popular and classic late-night Cabo spot is El Squid Roe (Lázaro Cárdenas, tel.
624/155-9630, 10am-5am daily), located on the main strip. If you’re looking for dancing, loud music, drinking, and fun, this is your place.

For an evening of live music, drinks, and food, head to Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina (Vicente Guerrero, tel. 624-143/1188, 9am-3am daily). It makes its own blue agave tequila and serves Mexican food (US$19-30). It’s one of the liveliest spots in Cabo, day or night.

Near the marina, Monkey’s Cave Bar (Blvd. Marina Plaza Marlin, tel. 624/143-6799, 9am-midnight daily), formerly Monkey Business, is a funky little hole-in-the-wall bar for patrons of all ages. Its margaritas are extremely popular and made with freshly squeezed limes.

Nearby, outdoor palapa bar Uno Mas? (Paseo de la Marina, tel. 624/105-1877, 10am-midnight Mon.-Sat.) is popular for its cheap drinks and fun, casual atmosphere. The friendly staff makes drinks using fresh juices and real fruits.

Located in downtown Cabo is what’s advertised to be the “world’s smallest bar,” Slim’s Elbow Room
(Paseo de la Marina, tel. 624/172-5576, noon-10pm daily). Dollar bills plaster the walls of this dive bar. Grab one of the few stools, or sidle up to the bar along the sidewalk and enjoy a beer or shot of tequila.

For those who enjoy a more subdued scene away from the large clubs and spring breakers, BarEsquina
(Ave. El Pescador, tel. 624/143-1890, 8am-11pm daily) offers a more elegant and sophisticated ambience. Located in the Bahia Hotel & Beach Club, it features live music, such as jazz or Spanish guitar, almost every night. This is also a favorite dinner spot with a full menu featuring Mediterranean and Mexican fusion.

Rámuri Cerveza Artesanal Mexicana (Lázaro Cárdenas, tel. 624/105-0163, 1pm-10pm Tues.-Sat., 1pm-9pm Sun.) is a microbrewery serving its own Belgium and German-influenced craft beers. Visitors can take a tour of the brewery or enjoy pub-style food like burgers, wings, and gourmet pizzas at the restaurant. If the weather is nice, patrons can savor their beer and food outside on the rooftop beer garden where there are a number of flatscreen televisions.

Nightlife in San José del Cabo

San José del Cabo doesn’t have the nightlife that Cabo San Lucas does. If you’re looking for big nightclubs, you won’t find them here, and for some, that’ll be the biggest draw. Here you’ll find friendly bars and a more laid-back scene.

One of the newest hot spots for locals and tourists is La Osteria (Alvaro Obregon, tel. 624/146-9696, 6pm-11pm Mon.-Wed., 6pm-3am Thurs.-Sat.). Live Latin, jazz, and Latin rock music is played almost every night. Patrons enjoy margaritas and Mexican wines in the outdoor patio space. The full menu includes dishes like rib eye and queso fundido.

Beer lovers will enjoy Baja Brewing Co. (Morelos 1227, tel. 624/142-1292, noon-midnight Sun.-Wed., noon-2am Thurs.-Sat.), a craft brewery with a restaurant and outdoor patio. Its signature Cabotella ale is joined by a wheat beer, blond ale, stout, red ale, and seasonal creations.

Cuervo’s House (Blvd. Mijares 101A, tel. 624/142-5650, 7am-4am daily) is home to Cabo’s only piano bar. The large space houses a Mexican restaurant during the day, with the piano bar starting around 9pm. Late night karaoke starts around 2am.

Nightlight Along The Corridor

Resorts along the corridor do have their own bars, making for a much more relaxing and elegant scene than the lively clubs in Cabo San Lucas, or even San José del Cabo.

The Rooftop (Mexico 1 Km. 5, tel. 624/163-0000, 5pm-11pm Sun.-Thur., 5pm-1am Fri., 5pm-2am Sat.) at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel features, aptly, a rooftop lounge and beer garden. You’ll enjoy crafted cocktails and local artisan beers as you enjoy the stunning views of Cabo San Lucas and El Arco.

Also with beautiful views, particularly at sunset, as you might guess, is Sunset Point (Mexico 1 Km. 6.5, tel. 624/145-8160, 4pm-10pm daily), located at the Sunset MonaLisa restaurant. The lively wine bar serves tapas in addition to gourmet pizza.

With specialty cocktails and a large selection of appetizers, The Lounge Bar (Mexico 1 Km. 7, tel. 624/145-6400, 11:30am-midnight daily), located in Esperanza, an Auberge Resort, features beautiful ocean views, a cigar and tequila menu, and live entertainment in the evenings.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.

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Best Beaches in Los Cabos along the Corridor Sun, 10 Sep 2017 17:15:40 +0000 The corridor is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Los Cabos. Whether you’re looking for activities such as snorkeling, swimming, and Jet Skiing, or just want to relax, the corridor has a beach for you.

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View across rock-studded shallows to a wide beach lined with fishing boats.

View of Playa Palmilla near the end of the day with the fishing boats pulled up high on the beach. Photo © Ana Rodríguez Carrington, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

The corridor is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Los Cabos. Whether you’re looking for activities such as snorkeling, swimming, and Jet Skiing, or just want to relax, the corridor has a beach for you.

Bahía Santa Maria

Another good spot for snorkeling is Bahía Santa Maria (Mexico 1 Km. 12) where you can rent a snorkel and mask from a vendor on the beach if you didn’t bring your own. It’s best to go in the morning when waters are calm and you have the best chance at reserving one of the beach palapas. There are new public showers and clean restrooms. The sand here is very coarse, more like little pebbles, so plan on wearing water shoes if you have sensitive feet. Watch for beach access signs to get to the dirt parking lot.

Playa Chileno

One of the most picturesque and swimmable beaches in the region is Playa Chileno (Mexico 1 Km. 14). The protected bay provides a calm area for swimming, and the coral reef out near the point provides one of Cabo’s most popular spots for snorkeling from shore. This family-friendly beach is located adjacent to the new Auberge Chileno Bay Resort, but public access is still easily available. Just follow the signs from Mexico 1. There’s a dirt parking lot and portapotties.

Playa Bledito (Tequila Cove)

An artificial breakwater makes swimming possible at Playa Bledito (Mexico 1 Km. 19.5), also known as Tequila Cove. You can rent a Jet Ski or WaveRunner on the beach here. There’s public access through the arroyo at kilometer 19.5 or through the Hilton or Meliá Cabo Real hotels.

Playa Palmilla

Even though Playa Palmilla (Mexico 1 Km. 27) serves as the beach for many upscale resorts, it’s open for anyone to enjoy. This beach is protected enough for swimming and snorkeling, which makes it a popular spot for families. There are no facilities here other than a few palapas for shade on either side of the fishing fleet. Take the Palmilla exit off the highway and follow signs to the main beach.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.

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Q&A with Moon Mexico City Author Julie Meade Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:52:10 +0000 Moon asked travel author Julie Meade to tell us more about her favorite things about everyday life in Mexico City. Here's what she had to say.

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Moon asked travel author Julie Meade to tell us more about her favorite things about everyday life in Mexico City. Here’s what she had to say.

What is the biggest misconception people have about Mexico City?

Despite its fashionable new identity as one of the world’s top travel destinations, Mexico City has never fully shaken its long-standing reputation as a massive, dirty, and dangerous megalopolis — a description that, while not entirely inaccurate, belies the beauty and friendliness of the city. Visitors are often surprised to find that many of Mexico City’s central neighborhoods are filled with trees and parks, and that the city is far more low-key and easier to navigate than they expected.

Juarez Avenue in Mexico City

Juarez Avenue next to Alameda Central in Mexico City. Photo © SerrNovik/iStock.

What is the first place you take visitors?

A memorable meal out is always a good way to kick off a trip to Mexico City, whether it’s your first visit to town or a return trip. El Cardenal in the Centro Historico, Fonda Mayora in the Condesa, Yuban in the Roma, and Quintonil in Polanco are just a few of the excellent Mexican restaurants in the city, highlighting the country’s varied, delicious, and sophisticated cuisine with takes both traditional and contemporary. And I almost always take first-time visitors to sip tequila (with the traditional tomato-based chaser sangrita) in old-fashioned cantina La Opera on Cinco de Mayo, in the Centro Histórico.

What are the best local bites?

Mexico City has a vibrant food culture, and there are wonderful places to eat in every neighborhood and at every price range. In many cases, eating like a local is inexpensive and fun: There is a citywide obsession with tacos, tortas, and other quick bites, often called garnachas. You can find these ubiquitous (delicious) bites at street stands or at markets, in taquerias, and in casual bar-restaurants. (And it’s worth noting that there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan versions of tacos and classic garnachas, both in traditional settings and in new vegan restaurants in the Roma and the Condesa neighborhoods.)

Where is the best place to take a selfie?

On top of the Piramide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun) in Teotihuacán. It’s almost 250 feet tall and close to 2,000 years old, and the stairs to the top have been worn down by over a century of visitors.

aerial view of pyramids at Teotihuacan

Take a selfie atop the pyramids of Teotihuacán. Photo © will_daniel/iStock.

Where can you find the best view?

From the observation deck, or mirador, at the Torre Latinoamericana in the Centro Histórico. There aren’t many skyscrapers in central Mexico City, so the views from the top of the building are panoramic and breathtaking, at any hour of the day. When it’s clear, you can see the snow-capped peaks of volcanos Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl in the southeast.

Which event is at the top of your list every year?

There are film festivals, art and book fairs, concerts, plays, public performances, and holidays celebrated in Mexico City throughout the year. Even without advance planning, most visitors will unexpectedly stumble upon a public-art installation or a free concert while exploring the city (though Time Out Mexico and Chilango are both good online sources for current listings, if you want to make plans). For art lovers, I’d recommend visiting during Zsona MACO, the city’s biggest annual art fair, when city museums and galleries put on some of their best shows. For literary types and their families, there are speakers, concerts, and creative events for bookworms big and small at the Feria Internacional del Libro, held in the Zócalo in the Centro Histórico.

How would you spend a normal day off?

I spent a lot of free time at home in the Roma Norte, going to one of the neighborhood’s dog-friendly parks with my family or eating out and having coffee in one of the zillions of wonderful eateries near home. I cook a lot, too, so I often take advantage of free hours to go to a market – either the Mercado de Medellín, in the Roma Sur, or the weekly mercado sobre ruedas (“market on wheels”) on Pachuca in the Condesa, which is held on Tuesdays and has some great farm stands and irresistible handmade quesadillas and tlacoyos for munching.

three people sitting on the edge of a fountain

Plaza Luis Cabrera sits in the heart of the Roma neighborhood. Photo © Julie Meade.

If Mexico City were a book what would it be?

Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives partially takes place in Mexico City, and Bolaño really captures the city’s energy and youth culture in the first section “Mexicans Lost in Mexico,” even though it’s set over 40 years ago. Overall, the novel’s mix of surprise, sophistication, experimentation, and fun make it a good metaphor for the city.

What is the best way to get around?

I walk everywhere. The climate is temperate, the landscape is generally flat, and the distance between neighborhoods isn’t as daunting as you might expect. For longer trips, take a radio taxi (Radio Union is my go-to) or cycle along one of the city’s numerous bike lanes (it’s much safer on two wheels now that Mexico City’s bike-share program has taken off and bike lines ribbon the central districts). The metro, Mexico City’s underground train, is another safe and far-reaching transportation option, but it is often unbearably crowded.

What is the best thing to pack for a trip?

A connected smart phone is a must for ride-hailing apps and shareable photos, but I’d take a real (higher quality) camera, too. Mexico City is visually fascinating (and architecturally unique), and it hasn’t been as exhaustively photographed as London, Paris, New York, and other famous world capitals. Also: sunscreen. At over 7,000 feet, the sun is often searing.

What do locals wish visitors knew?

Pedestrians don’t have the right of way. Tipping is customary for wait staff in restaurants (15 percent) and porters at hotels and in the airport (at your discretion). In markets or at street stands, exact change for small purchases is always appreciated (and sometimes necessary).

What is the most useful word or phrase to know?

“Gracias.” Mexican society is generally gracious and polite, and the capital is no exception, even if it’s sometimes a little rough around the edges. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, make the effort to say, “Thank you.”

Learn more about exploring Mexico City with Moon Mexico City.

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Valle de Guadalupe’s Wineries: La Ruta del Vino Sat, 03 Jun 2017 22:52:53 +0000 The Valle de Guadalupe is an internationally recognized winemaking region where winemakers are creating unique taste profiles that you won’t find anywhere else.

The post Valle de Guadalupe’s Wineries: La Ruta del Vino appeared first on Moon Travel Guides.

La Ruta del Vino, The Wine Route, is the name given to the collection of wineries and restaurants in the Valle de Guadalupe that are now drawing visitors from all over the world. There are over 120 wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe, ranging in size from small micro wineries to large commercial wineries. Many visitors to the Valle will agree that the charm and soul of the region lies in the small and medium boutique wineries where the winemakers are often found around the property, and visitors will get a more unique and personal experience in the tasting room.

vineyard backed by mountains in Ensenada

There are over 120 wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe, ranging in size from small micro wineries to large commercial wineries. Photo © Sherry Smith/iStock.

The famous Fiestas de la Vendimia (wine harvest festival) takes place over two weeks every August.There are only three paved roads in the Valle de Guadalupe, the rest of the valley is a network of unnamed dirt roads. A day wine tasting in the Valle often requires winding along dirt roads (seemingly lost) before arriving at a stunning boutique winery or campestre restaurant with gourmet food. There are a series of blue signs designating the turn offs from the paved roads for various wineries and restaurants. From here, you’ll need to keep an eye out for any private signs that the business has put up along the road directing you to the property. Some of the individual establishments that are more difficult to find will have maps and more precise directions on their website or Facebook page.

Because many of the best wineries and restaurants are tucked away out of sight from the paved roads, it’s a good idea to have picked out a few wineries ahead of time that you know you’d like to visit. Calling ahead to make a reservation or to at least make sure that the winery will be able to receive you on the day that you desire is a good idea as well. Those who simply drive around the valley in hopes of stumbling across good wineries may find themselves frustrated and disappointed.

The famous Fiestas de la Vendimia (wine harvest festival) takes place over two weeks every August. Coinciding with the beginning of the harvest season, the festival is a series of private parties and dinners held at the wineries and restaurants in the valley. There are two large events that bring together most of the wineries and huge crowds—the Muestra del Vino (wine-tasting), which opens the festival, and the famous Concurso de Paella (paella contest), which closes the festival. Tickets for events and parties are sold at a premium (starting around US$100). The Vendimia is considered one of Ensenada’s most high-society events.

Wine barrels aging in a dark cellar.

Photo © Roman Barelko.


First-time travelers, frequent visitors, and locals all find themselves enjoying the fantastic views and good wine at Las Nubes (tel. 646/156-8037, 11am-5pm daily). Owner and winemaker Victor Segura not only creates easy-to-drink wines, but has established a welcoming environment for all guests. Perched on the northern hillside of the valley, the beautiful stone winery (all of the stones used to build it were mined from the property) offers sweeping views from the large outdoor terrace and the chic indoor tasting room.

Just east of Las Nubes, family-operated Bodegas F. Rubio (tel. 646/156-8046, noon-6pm Thurs., noon-7pm Fri.-Sun.) has a nice indoor facility as well as an outdoor patio for wine-tasting. Try their montepulciano wine, an Italian red grape that isn’t available anywhere else in the valley. They open later in the day and stay open until 7pm on the weekends, so this is one of the few places in the valley to visit past 5pm once most of the other wineries have closed.

The unique architecture is part of the allure for Vena Cava (tel. 646/156-8053, 11am-5pm daily, tastings on the hour). The wine cave is dug out of the hillside and topped off with decommissioned wooden fishing boats from Ensenada. Favorite wines at Vena Cava are the tempranillo, the “Big Blend” red, and the special espumoso brut rosé (one of only two sparkling wines produced in the Valle de Guadalupe).

Looking somewhat like an adobe spaceship, Alximia (Camino Vecinal al Tigre Km. 3, tel. 646/127-1453, 11am-6pm daily) is a winery that comes from a family of scientists. Alximia means the chemist, and the main wines produced here are named after the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire) and created by drawing on Alvaro’s background in chemistry. Restaurant La Terrasse San Roman is located on the outdoor patio of the winery.

Family-operated Lechuza (tel. 646/947-6315, open daily by appointment only) offers a tranquil setting for enjoying some of the best wines coming out of the Valle de Guadalupe. Appointments are required for tastings, but you’ll receive personal attention as you learn directly from the family about their wines and become familiar with their process and facility.

Visitors will feel comfortably at home at the intimate winery at Vinos Pijoan (Carretera El Tigre Km. 13.5, tel. 646/127-1251, 10am-4pm Mon.-Fri., 11am-5pm Sat.-Sun.). The inviting outdoor patio creates a serene setting for enjoying wine, looking out onto the vineyards. Pau Pijoan, the owner/winemaker, is often around, and Sharon and Arturo, who work in the tasting room, are beloved by all patrons. If they aren’t too busy, ask them for a behind-the-scenes tour of their unique wine cave.

Serving up wine and beautiful vineyard views from a covered deck, Viñas de Garza (Mexico 3 Km. 87, tel. 646/175-8883, 11am-4:30pm Fri.-Sun.) offers an intimate and picturesque wine-tasting experience.

Vinícola 3 Mujeres (Mexico 3 Km. 87, tel. 646/171-5674, 10am-5pm daily) was started in 2005 by three friends who met studying winemaking at La Escuelita. Ivette Vaillard, Eva Cotero Altamirano, and Laura McGregor Garcia were the first women winemakers in the region, and today they serve their wines in a rustic and intimate cave.

The rooftop garden at Finca La Carrodilla (tel. 646/156-8052, 11am-4pm Wed.-Sun.) looks out onto the gardens and vineyards on the property. It’s the perfect setting for enjoying their organic biodynamic wines. Their sister winery, Hacienda La Lomita (tel. 646/156-8466, 11am-4pm Wed.-Thurs., 11am-6pm Fri.-Sun.), also has an outdoor restaurant, Traslomita (tel. 646/156-8469, 1pm-7pm Thurs.-Mon.) on the property.

The family-run Vinícola Torres Alegre y Familia (tel. 646/688-1033, 10am-5pm daily) takes great care in making wines from de-stemming the grapes to ensuring the flavors are perfectly balanced without adding chemicals. The results are superb, creating some of the most well-respected wines coming out of the valley.

Nestled into its own little corner of the valley, Chateau Camou (tel. 646/156-8456, 10am-4pm daily) uses all French grapes and French winemaking techniques. The winery has been in operation for 20 years, and it’s worth it to take a tour of the facilities, which include the large barrel room where classical music is played according to a weekly schedule in order to help with the stabilization process of the wine, getting the molecules of the wine and barrel to vibrate together.

The unique pyramid-like architecture at Clos de Tres Cantos (tel. 558/568-9240, 10am-5pm Wed.-Sun.) continues underground into their wine caves below. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, pay to take the tour (all tour profits go to charity) to see the cave and underground “cathedral.”

With an Italian winemaker and varietals, Villa Montefiori (tel. 646/156-8020, 11am-5pm daily) creates “Mexican wines with an Italian heart.“ The tasting room is set up on the second story and boasts beautiful views of the valley from an outdoor patio. The Italian restaurant Tre Galline is on the same property.

The personal attention and gracious hospitality are what keep visitors coming back to Trevista (tel. 646/156-8027, open weekends by appointment only). Their tempranillo is a favorite of those familiar with Valle de Guadalupe wines. With advance notification, they can accommodate groups with skillfully-prepared food.

If you have a beer lover in your group, head to Bodegas Cieli Winery & Brewery (Mexico 3 Km. 84.7, tel. 646/185-4478, 11am-9pm Thurs.-Sat., 11am-6pm Sun.) where owner Ron McCabe creates both boutique wine and excellent craft beers. Perched up on the hill, the comfortable and relaxed environment offers beautiful views of the valley from the outdoor deck.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Baja.

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Best of Baja Road Trip Fri, 02 Jun 2017 22:52:43 +0000 Driving the full length of Mexico 1 from Tijuana to Cabo is a rite of passage memorable for its diverse landscapes, scenic small towns, historical and archaeological sites, and friendly people.

The post Best of Baja Road Trip appeared first on Moon Travel Guides.

Motorists view of the road curving along the hillside with an expansive cloud-filled sky.

Motorists view of the Ensenada Scenic Route. Photo by Poncho Equihua licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

One of the most popular ways to explore Baja is on a road trip down the transpeninsular highway. Driving the full length of Mexico 1 from Tijuana to Cabo is a rite of passage memorable for its diverse landscapes, scenic small towns, historical and archaeological sites, and friendly people.

Day 1

86 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes

Drive across the U.S./Mexico border in Tijuana and down the Pacific coast along Mexico 1. Enjoy the impressive Pacific views from the highway as you cruise into the port town of Ensenada. Check into Corona Hotel & Spa in town or Las Rosas just north of town, where you’ll enjoy sweeping ocean views. Head to the heart of Ensenada to the Mercado de Mariscos where you can browse the fresh fish and enjoy a fish taco from any of the stands outside. From here go for a stroll along the harbor to see the fishing boats and cruise ships that dock in Ensenada. Two blocks east of the harbor, López Mateos (Calle Primera) is the main street in Ensenada where you can do some shopping and have dinner. Cap off your evening with a margarita at Ensenada’s oldest bar, Hussong’s Cantina.

Side Trips

Drive 30 minutes inland, heading east on Mexico 3, from Ensenada to the nearby Valle de Guadalupe wine region and spend the day wine-tasting at boutique wineries and eating farm-to-table cuisine at outdoor campestre restaurants. Spend a night in the valley at La Villa del Valle or Bruma so you can fully take advantage of the relaxing atmosphere and some of the 120 wineries now in the area.

Or, south of Ensenada at San Telmo, turn off of Mexico 1 at Km. 140 and head east into the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir to enjoy a different landscape of high peaks and pine trees. Enjoy a night or two in the foothills of the sierra at a working ranch like Rancho Meling and visit the National Observatory, hike among the pine trees in the national park, and do some stargazing at night.

Desert road flanked by cacti in Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

Cardón cacti provide a beautiful backdrop for road trips down the peninsula. Photo © Jennifer Kramer.

Day 2

229 miles, 5 hours

Get an early start from Ensenada to continue south on Mexico 1 through San Quintín and into the central desert, what many consider to be the heart of Baja. Take a short detour to see the sea lions at La Lobera before heading to El Rosario to enjoy a lobster burrito for lunch at Mama Espinoza’s. Don’t forget to fill up the gas tank in El Rosario. Continue south and stay the night amid the cacti and boulders in the heart of the desierto central in Cataviña at the Hotel Misión Cataviña.

Side Trip

Take two days to visit Bahía de los Ángeles. Turn off of Mexico 1 at kilometer 280 and drive 65 kilometers (on a paved road) east to the Sea of Cortez. Spend some time relaxing along the bay, check out the local Museo de Naturaleza y Cultura, or head out with a local panguero to spend the day fishing or exploring marinelife. Campers will enjoy a rustic stay on the beach at Camp Archelon, or get a room at Costa del Sol. If it’s late summer or early fall, ask around with local pangueros or at Villa Bahia about going out in a boat to swim with the whale sharks. History buffs shouldn’t miss a day trip to Misión San Francisco de Borja Adac, a beautiful stone mission nearby.

Day 3

236 miles, 5 hours

Take an hour to check out the cave paintings at Cataviña before getting on the road to head south. When you cross the state line at Guerrero Negro, stop in town to take a tour of the saltworks factory and grab some fish or shrimp tacos for lunch at Tacos el Muelle. Continue south to the colonial oasis town of San Ignacio and check into Hotel La Huerta. Enjoy an evening walk around the small town to check out the colonial architecture, the plaza, and the mission before dinner at Tootsie’s Bar & Grill.

Side Trip

If it’s gray whale season (Jan.-Apr.), make advanced arrangements to have a friendly encounter with these mammoth sea mammals. Both Guerrero Negro and Laguna San Ignacio are annual winter destinations for the gray whales, who come to the shallow and warm waters of Baja California to breed and calve. Visitors go out in small pangas to have up close encounters with the gray whales where they can pet and even kiss the whales in the wild. Guerrero Negro whale-watching can be done in one day, while Laguna San Ignacio usually requires a multiday stop.

Day 4

86 miles, 2 hours

Stop in the morning at a local Tortillería La Misión to stock up on fresh handmade tortillas before heading out of town. When you get to the Sea of Cortez and the mining town of Santa Rosalía, stop in town to find Iglesia de Santa Bárbara, a church designed by Gustave Eiffel. Line up with the locals for a chile relleno taco at Tacos el Faro Verde before continuing on to the oasis town of Mulegé. Spend the afternoon visiting the beautiful stone Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé, perched on a hilltop overlooking the palm trees, river, and town. Check into Hotel Hacienda in town or Hotel Serenidad just south of town.

View from atop a hill of Bahia Concepcion in Baja.

The clear waters and white sand beaches of Bahía Concepción lure snowbirds, kayakers, and swimmers. Photo © Jennifer Kramer.

Day 5

83 miles, 2 hours

Enjoy a beach day along the white sand beaches and crystal waters of Bahía Concepción. Spend the morning kayaking or snorkeling at Playa Santispac, or just sunbathe and enjoy the beautiful setting. Grab a burger and a beer at Playa Buenaventura before you leave this beautiful bay. Then continue south to Loreto and check into your hotel at Las Cabañas de Loreto or Coco Cabañas.

Day 6

24 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes

Get an early start and drive into the mountains for a day trip from Loreto to the village of San Javier. Check out the mission, see the 300+-year-old olive trees and have lunch at La Palapa restaurant. Head back to Loreto and spend the evening around the town plaza, visiting the Loreto mission, enjoying two-for-one margarita happy hour along the plaza, and savoring dinner at any of the restaurants in town.

Day 7

267 miles, 1 hour 50 minutes

Drive south to the colonial artist town of Todos Santos. Stroll around the historic district and have dinner at any of the quaint restaurants in town like Café Santa Fe or Los Adobes de Todos Santos. Stay along the beach at the stunning Villa Santa Cruz where you can spend your evening stargazing from the hot tub or enjoying a rooftop bonfire.

Day 8

46 miles, 1 hour

Go for a morning walk along one of the beautiful Todos Santos beaches before driving south for an hour on Mexico 1 to Los Cabos. Stay in the historic district in San José del Cabo at Casa Natalia where you’ll be right in heart of town with its bustling plaza and vibrant art galleries. Head out to enjoy a relaxing dinner and drinks at any of the restaurants along Boulevard Mijares.

Todos Santos Plaza. Photo © Jennifer Kramer.

Todos Santos Plaza. Photo © Jennifer Kramer.

Day 9

49 miles, 1 hour

Get out of the bustle of Los Cabos and head northeast on Mexico 1 to the tranquil East Cape. Stop in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna in the small town of Santiago to explore some of the nearby natural hot springs or the impressive waterfall at the Cañon de la Zorra. Spend the night along the Sea of Cortez in the town of Los Barriles or nearby Buena Vista where you can enjoy family-friendly beachfront accommodations at places like Rancho Leonero or Hotel Buena Vista.

Side Trip

Divers and snorkelers will want to spend a few days in Cabo Pulmo, exploring one of only three coral reefs in North America. Snorkelers can head to Los Arbolitos to snorkel right from the beach while divers can take a boat from town to get to the best spots. Stay at Baja Bungalows for comfortable and relaxed accommodations.

Day 10

65 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes

On your drive north to La Paz along Mexico 1, stop to explore the old mining town of El Triunfo where you can walk around the mining grounds up to the lookout and have brunch at Caffé El Triunfo. Continue on to La Paz and spend your afternoon out at Playa Balandra or Playa El Tecolote, taking advantage of some of the city’s best beaches. Stay in town at a B&B or along the beach at Costa Baja.

Day 11

Spend the day in La Paz going out on a boat to Isla Espíritu Santo where you’ll have a chance to swim and snorkel with sea lions, whales, tropical fish, and other marinelife. In the evening, grab a bite at one of the restaurants along the malecón and go for a stroll along the promenade after dinner.

Day 12-13

683 miles, 13 hours

Spend two days driving north back up Mexico 1, stopping to spend more time or stay the night in any towns you missed on the way down. Plan on your last night being at Baja Cactus in El Rosario or Hotel Misión Santa Maria in San Quintín.

Day 14

220 miles, 5 hours

Just north of Ensenada, turn off of Mexico 1 and head east on the northern branch of Mexico 3 to the Pueblo Mágico town of Tecate. Stop in Tecate to take a rest, listen to the mariachis on the plaza, and enjoy one last taco. Be sure to swing by the famous El Mejor Pan de Tecate to fill up a tray of pastries and baked goods before crossing back into the United States.

Alternative Northbound Route

Those with four-wheel drive vehicles can take the Mexico 5 north from Laguna Chapala to spend your last two days on the road along the northern Sea of Cortez. The route is unpaved for the first 40 kilometers (24 mi.) after turning off of Mexico 1. Stop in for a beer at Coco’s Corner, relax at Bahía San Luis Gonzaga, visit the giant cardón cacti in the Valle de los Gigantes, and spend the night in the fishing town of San Felipe. Head up Mexico 5 to cross back into the United States through the Mexicali/Calexico border.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Baja.

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