Cabo With Kids – 2TravelDads

Author: , January 16th, 2019

Cabo With Kids - 2TravelDads

We’ve been to Cabo with kids load of times, like, we’ve spent the equivalent of three months in Cabo as a family. You could say it’s our favorite family destination in Mexico. Since we’ve done it so much, we’ve decided it’s time we share our best tips for visiting Cabo with kids.

I’ll say this right away, Cabo with kids is mostly about relaxation and swimming vs digging into Mexican culture and nature. There are lots of opportunities for that, but Cabo San Lucas really has built itself into a luxury destination more than adventure. If you’re looking for adventure, check out our articles about Quintana Roo and touring the Yucatan Peninsula.

Locale and getting to Cabo San Lucas

For those traveling from the west coast, getting to Cabo San Lucas is pretty easy. There are direct flights from Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego. Denver and Dallas also offer direct flights, so know that even east coasters should be able to find a good flight. When flying into Cabo, the airport is SJD (San Jose del Cabo), Los Cabos International Airport. The airport is actually quite nice now (thanks Hurricane O’dele) and as long as you arrive early in the day or in the early evening, customs is pretty fast and smooth.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

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Exploring the Baja Peninsula – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , October 21st, 2018

Baja, Mexico - Free Wheel Drive

Leaving Tucson we had a few days of easy driving ahead of us to reach Baja California. With no strict timetable, we were free to take in a couple roadside attractions. A gas station had some nice bathrooms and, of course, giant dinosaur sculptures. And you can rent a flying saucer retrieval truck. Who knew?

We decided to cross the Mexican border in Tecate over Tijuana because we heard it’s not as busy and it’s a much nicer city. The internet didn’t lie! Also, it’s home to the Tecate brewery which is a cornerstone of the city’s economy the same way Miller is for Milwaukee. Nothing makes us happier than driving through a beer town.

So we just ended up in Mexico. We took the “nothing to declare” line and it was too easy! Nobody even checked our car or searched us. We had to walk around the block to find the Instituto Nacional de Migración or INM so we could get our FMM or tourist Visas. A lot of people forget this step which can cause you some issues if they ask for it at a Military checkpoint. You’re better off driving in the line for declaring things so you can fill it out in your car. Our Spanish was terrible so we didn’t get any photos in the INM because we were so nervous. The INM officer helping us with our paperwork who was just as bad at English as we were at Spanish offered to sell us some hot sauce which we politely declined. You actually have to walk out of the INM office partway through the process to the banqometer booth so that you can pay for your visa (500 pesos each or about $24) and then bring back the receipt to show the INM officer which gets stapled Now off to drive the Baja Penninsula!

By Camrin La Fond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

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Gay Baja California

Author: , August 14th, 2014

Baja, CaliforniaThe enormous 775 mile long Baja California peninsula is split into two large sparsely populated Mexican states: “Baja California” in the north, and “Baja California Sur,” to the south.

The entire narrow peninsula is one of the crown jewels of the planet, bathed by two incredible bodies of water, the mild Pacific Ocean to the west, and the warmer Sea of Cortez to the east, Baja offers hundreds of pristine islands and two thousand miles of scenic coastline.

Baja California is Mexico’s unofficial bilingual zone.
Millions of its residents have lived, and/or worked in Alta California, and continue to enjoy American television and radio broadcasts creating a large community that speaks English as a second language.

I’ve been to many large restaurants in Baja where all the customers, one hundred percent were bilingual Chicanos: Mexican Americans from California and Arizona who cross the border regularly for lunch, dinner and a little shopping, and sight seeing.

The entire reason for existing of seaside Puerto Nuevo is Lobster, fine lobster dining. Thousands of gringos drive to Puerto Nuevo just for the clawed delicacy. You can get to Puerto Nuevo from downtown San Diego in under an hour. More than thirty restaurants serve Lobster, Puerto Nuevo style, which is pan-fried served with the typical Spanish rice, refried brown beans, fresh mashed guacamole salad, and piping hot hand made corn, or flour tortillas.

Any day is a good day to enjoy the world’s favorite crustacean, but if you can be in Puerto Nuevo for the annual Lobster Festival in October, so much the better. The festival is a joyous event centered around Mariachi bands playing on the main street, as well as contests and free samples of popular Mexican brews, including Baja’s own Tecate, the beer you drink with salt sprinkled on the can and a wedge of lemon, or lime squeezed onto the salt.

If you miss the Lobster Festival, the large and modern Tecate Brewery in the city of Tecate right on the international border 25 miles east of Tijuana offers pleasant free tours year-round, including free beer.

The number one tourist attraction in Baja, is “La Bofadora,” one of the largest and most powerful marine geysers, or blow holes in North America, twenty miles south of Ensenada. La Bofadora is more faithful than even Old Faithful, blasting its one hundred foot tall eruption every minute.

Massages in Baja are way cheaper than in the US, and quite different. Rather than a massage table, your treatment takes place on a concrete pedestal. You masseur covers the six-foot long cement bench with clean white bath towels, then soaks the towels with warm water before you lay on the pedestal face down for your massage.
Mexican massage is a combination of deep tissue, and chiropractic techniques.

Admission to a gay bathhouse shouldn’t cost more than ten bucks, and a half hour massage should cost about the same.

You can charge a soft drink, or beer to your locker number. I always buy my masseur, and anyone who strikes up a conversation with me a beer, or soda. It is always a surprise to them, and most welcome.

I always take a good supply of crisp new two-dollar bills to pass out as tips. These unusual bills always cause quite a commotion. While US currency, which they call “plata,” or silver in Spanish circulates virtually everywhere in Baja alongside the Mexican Peso, called “moneda nacional,” national currency in Spanish, the obscure two dollar bill virtually never circulates anywhere outside the US.

Drinking age is 18 years-old in Mexico, so the crowds you will see packing the gay bars, and discos in Tijuana, and the inland state capital of Mexicali will be much younger than at home.
A tidal wave of 18 to 20 year old Americans cross the border to legally club, and party in Baja.

There is an excellent highway running the entire length of the peninsula, from the US border all the way down to Los Cabos.
Take the toll road, “cuota” en espanol, the adjacent free road is much slower because of all the agricultural, and cargo trucks that utilize it.

Tijuana International Airport is a major hub with discount flights throughout Mexico, the US/Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Major cruise ship ports-of-calls in Baja include Ensenada on the Pacific, Loreto and La Paz on the Sea of Cortez, and Los Cabos at the tip of the peninsula where the two bodies of water converge.

A modern overnight passenger and auto ferry runs from quaint Santa Rosalia on the east coast of Baja, across the Sea of Cortez to the popular resort of Guaymas in the Mexican state of Sonora on the Mexican mainland.

Thousands of Americans and Canadians retire in Baja, or vacation there regularly because of the convenience of being so close to the border.

Seaside Playas de Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Baja Malibu, Baja Mar, La Salina and Ensenada on the west coast, San Felipe and Rio Hardy on the east coast, in particular are magnets for snowbirds.

Playas de Tijuana sits right on the border, you can see Americans swimming on the other side of the border from the breezy terrace of your restaurant, or hotel.
Many Americans live the good life in Playas de Tijuana, and commute to work in San Diego.

Health Tourism is popular in Baja. As soon as you cross the border you’ll be faced with dozens of dental clinics that perform all the procedures they do back home at half price, or less. They can even fit you for dentures, or a crown and ship the finished product home for you.

Pharmacies are excellent in Mexico, American and European manufactured name brand and generic medications are much cheaper, and many that require a prescription in the US, such as antibiotics, do not need a script in Mexico.

Chinese skyrockets are for sale in dozens of stores. Fire them at midnight on the beach into the pitch-black star-studded sky.

Camp on the white sand beach in the fishing village of San Felipe.
I like a beachfront campground named Pete’s El Paraiso a few miles north of San Felipe. Rent one of dozens of mobile homes, or a beach cabana, not much more than a thatched shelter from the blazing daytime sun. Snuggle up in your sleeping bag at night.

Dig for clams when the tide retreats, scoop up a few crabs and shrimp in a tide pool with your bare hands, fish for silvery glistening flying fish, and cook your catch on the beach in a simple campfire.

The indigenous people have nourished themselves this way for thousands of years along these shores.

Watch the whales, dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans and a profusion of other sea birds that make their home in the Sea of Cortez.

The author, Ernie Alderete is a Los Angeles-based adventure travel writer. His work has appeared in the Bay Area Reporter, the Gay & Lesbian Times, Update Newspaper, Frontiers and Adelante Magazine, among many other LGBT publications across North America. His travels have taken him from the saline depths of the Dead Sea to the frosted heights of the Andes, from the steaming heart of the Amazon to the spectacular wide-open natural grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef. Your comments are always welcome:

Baja Sur Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

Dolly in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Author: , August 10th, 2013

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time in Italy. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Cabo San LucasNow that this one week vacation is almost over, I thought I should write and at least let people know where I am!

We came down to Cabo on Saturday, all 21 of us, for a big Garcia family get- together. Fortunately, we are not all in the same house! We are all staying in resort condominiums, within a short distance from each other. We have had 3 group dinners, and it is pretty overwhelming to serve dinner for 21 people in a condo, but it worked and we are all enjoying the sun and fun.

The Arch that separates the Sea of Cortez from the Pacific Ocean. We are on the Sea of Cortez side. This is the view from our favorite restaurant here at Villa del Palmar, the Bella California, an Italian-California restaurant. Lovely.

Seems like everyone in the family has been able to do what they most enjoy. On Tuesday several members of the family went on a dolphin excursion. Although Presley was too young to swim with the dolphins, she did get to meet one on a very personal level

Tonight we watched a pirate ship sail out of the harbor on a Sunset cruise. The evening was beautiful. One couldn’t have asked for better weather. A great evening for a pirate cruise.

One of the best things about this vacation (those of you who know me, will think I am being facetious) has been the lack of Internet service and the high cost of phone service. Therefore, people are actually talking to each other, reading books, swimming, relaxing, without needing the extra appendage of an electronic device in their hand at all times. I admit, one of the first things I requested was Wi-Fi, but when I found out how much it cost, I put that aside until today. I had to cave in, because I just had to be able to write at least one blog post while we are here. I have actually enjoyed being tech-free.

One day, Frank and I kept Aja and Presley for a half day. I wanted them to participate in an activity here at our resort. This involved buying some unfinished pottery, and the girls sat at a table and painted the piece they had selected. Because Presley is only 3 years old, the director of the activity did not want to let her participate, but I put up my best Grandma Dolly arguments and promised I would be right by her side every minute. And we all had fun. After the girls finished their paintings, we turned them into the director. He put some finishing touches to the pieces (outlined in bolder black and added some glitter), then glazed them. Here are the finished plates.

They are understandably proud of their work. Presley wanted to eat her dinner on her plate, but it did get rescued and saved for hanging on a wall in their new home.

The rest of our time at the resort has been spent relaxing, laying by the pool, having cabana boys bring us food and drink. Today, 4 of us gals went to the Desert Spa for massages. Nothing like being pampered. I love it!

With everyone going about their own activities, we never got a picture of the whole family together. When we were all together, we were too busy cooking and eating to get a picture. We are going to try to get that done tomorrow.

It has been a lovely week. It is so nice for me to be part of this Garcia family, and watch the interaction between family members, and observe the kids that have now grown up and have their own families. This time together reinforced to me how precious our times together are..and to appreciate having vacations like this.

There is nothing that warms my heart more than seeing a small face turned up to me, saying, “I love you, Grandma Dolly”.

So one more day then back to reality again. But I miss my own family, too. And my little house. Then I will start planning my next trip. I always need to have something in the works, it seems. So, Adios for now.
Thanks for traveling with me.

Want to Follow Bella’s Latest Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Gay Friendly Baja Sur Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Casa Contenta, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Author: , August 14th, 2011

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Baja Sur Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Casa Contenta, Baja Sur, MexicoLooking for the perfect Bed and Breakfast in Cabo San Lucas? Prefer small luxury hotel style accommodations to larger, impersonal resorts and hotels when you vacation?

Choose Casa Contenta and you’ll find out why we’ve been called the “best Bed and Breakfast in Los Cabos”…. “One of the best luxury B & B’s in the world” and the “perfect place to relax, unwind and rejuvenate” (by our past guests) when traveling to the Baja and Land’s End at the very tip of this magnificent peninsula.

The Baja sun paints the morning sky in brilliant strokes of orange and red… you awake to the sounds of another beautiful day in Los Cabos. Casa Content is nestled on a gentle slope overlooking the bay of Cabo San Lucas (Medano Bay) and Land’s End where the Pacific Ocean melds with the Sea of Cortez.

Unique, stylish and sexy, we are much more than a typical Bed & Breakfast; we are a unique combination of small luxury hotel and private residence, an attractive alternative to large resort hotels, very expensive smaller upscale hotels, timeshares and impersonal service.

See the Casa Contenta Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here