You may have read my rave reviews about my experience towards the end of my visit to what just might be one of the best golf destinations in the world, Los Cabos.
Cabo Del Sol’s Ocean Course plus the Desert Course with Stay & Play opportunity right next door at the Sheraton Grand Los Cabo’s and Hacienda Del Mar, in my mind deserved undivided attention.
There was so much more and all the golf was excellent and the setting where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, add mountains, deserts, heat and sunshine – what more can one ask for? I know – a pool and margaritas! Well we found both!
It was my first visit to Los Cabos and I quickly found out that what I thought was one city, is in reality two sister cities about 20 miles apart and connected by a major highway lined by seaside resorts and golf courses, affectionately referred to as the “Tourist Corridor.” Of course, all sisters are not necessarily alike!
Fortunately, I was there for eight days, there were a few golf tourism convention days where we found ourselves at the luxurious Secrets Puerto Los Cabo in San Jose del Cabo – the more sophisticated sister. Cabo San Lucas is the other sister and she is definitely the party girl!
San Jose del Cabo moves at a slower and more refined pace that the wilder sister although Secrets had its happening bars and events day and night. We happened to be there over the World Series and Halloween so we had built in excuses. I don’t need to tell anyone that Halloween is an excuse for a party but how about the resort bringing out a giant big screen, parking it ocean side and showing the World Series – beers, baseball and beach – it caught our attention and that of many others!
Secrets Puerto Los Cabos lives up to its luxurious billing. Exquisite Adults Only – Four Diamond Resort – seaside setting with, of course, limitless access to gourmet ala carte dining and refreshment options, Italian, Pan Asian and the Seaside Grill were my favorites and what resort would be complete without a swim up bar. One of the unique things about this all-inclusive was that there were no wrist bands. The Resort is about 10 minutes from the historic downtown of San Jose del Cabo.
Let’s get to the golf, starting right next door with Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club – Jack Nicklaus recently completed 9 holes turning this complex into 27 holes, the other nine designed by Greg Norman. You can mix and match, maybe start with some Shark and finish with some Bear!
Distinctly different layouts
What they do have in common is that all 27 holes were etched into the rolling desert foothills, back dropped by the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, perched high (400 ft.) above and offering panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez and its pristine coastline.
Most memorable hole of many will be the seaside par 3-15th. If the wind is blowing hitting this tiny green tucked into the dunes is lots of fun!
Palmilla Golf Club is another 27 holes of amazing golf and spectacular views. Palmilla, recognized as the “Grand Dame”, is the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Design in Latin America, where the masterfully conceived golf course is stunning and challenging. Palmilla’s three distinctive 18-hole combinations— Arroyo-Mountain, Mountain-Ocean and Ocean-Arroyo offer spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez on every hole
Cabo Real Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is another Cabo stunner with breathtaking holes chiseled into desert foothills at the foot of rugged mountain peaks. The front nine might be considered a little more forgiving with broad fairways tumbling down to the sea. Memorable holes include; the short par-4 fifth, which plays across an arroyo on route to the beach. The par-3 6th hole, is propped up on a seaside bluff.
The back 9 is a great test of golf taking you up to 500 feet above sea level, fairways playing along ridge tops, elevated tees and greens and canyons. From an elevated tee, the brawny par-4 18th hole is a classic finishing hole that will force you to navigate the crossing arroyo on the right and the expansive lake on the left.
So when you add these three tracks to the Ocean Course and Desert Course at Cabo Del Sol you have yourself an awesome world class bucket list golf experience! (In case you missed it in November http://travelinggolfer.net/2017/11/22/mesmerized-by-deserts-and-oceans/)
The two sister cities – one naughty and one nice – San Jose del Cabo the nice or more sophisticated sister is a destination where you can just chill out. Its cobblestone streets manifests Old World history, culture and charm. An artful community known for its great assortment of cuisine, most are found within tranquil and beautifully landscaped courtyards where stringed ensembles stroll among the various locations serenading diners with a romantic ballad or two.
While a few of the beachfront hotels offer disco lounges after dinner, don’t look for nightlife here. Instead, visitors stroll along the traffic-less streets and sidewalks, peeking amid shops offering jewelry, unique handicrafts and clothing.
Cabos San Lucas is our “party girl” transformed from a sleepy fishing village 25 years ago to a city with restaurants, bars and nightclubs on every corner of downtown, along the beach and throughout the marina.
Happy Hour begins at noon, or earlier, at many hotspots along the popular Medano Beach. Revelers drink, dance and play in the sand at one of the most popular beach party locations in the world. As the sun sets, Cabo San Lucas is just waking up as the party fever continues to rise. The laid-back bars transform into full-blown dance clubs pulsating with energy and vigor.
It is more than just a party place…Cabo San Lucas offers a cornucopia of water and other activities for couples, families and kids from snorkeling and diving to fishing and parasailing. You likely will be hard pressed to find a better setting for a sunset cruise.
It is damn cold outside here in Canada and I sure wish I was back in Los Cabos. Now will that be naughty or nice? As I said before – If Los Cabos is not on your bucket list it should be! www.visitloscabos.travel
Noteworthy: There are a couple of very high profile courses that we did not get to play, unfortunately. West of Cabo San Lucas you will find; Quivira Golf Club, Nicklaus’s 6th course in Cabo with some stunning and somewhat severe cliff side holes. Be here at the right time and you might be able to do a little whale watching. You can only play Quivera if you stay at selected properties – rates vary but it does carry a hefty green fee.
Diamante at Cabo San Lucas, in close proximity to Quivira, skyrocketed into golf world prominence when it opened in 2009. The Davis Love designed Dunes Course in 2015 was ranked #38 in the world by Golf Digest. In 2014 opened up El Cardonal a Tiger Woods creation adding to Los Cabo’s world class stable of courses. Getting on here is also a challenge – if you are not staying on site and you want to play in addition to the green fee you are required to spend some time taking in a sales presentation on the real estate side.