The Travel Detective: Season 7, Episode 1
This week on The Travel Detective, it’s one of the most recognizable resort areas in Mexico. Known for its beaches, its many world class 5-star hotels and resorts, its water activities, and its nightlife. And as the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, here is our special report on Los Cabos, Mexico. It’s also our cover story. Plus quaint, old-world charm, rustic — you’ve seen these classic phrases in countless brochures to describe a destination or hotel but buyer beware. I’ll tell you the true meaning of those buzz words. And then, I’ll inform you about the food revolution going on in Slovenia. All this and more on The Travel Detective on PBS! Check your local listings.
Baja California Sur is located on the southern half of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, with the state of Baja California to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez bordering its eastern shores. Los Cabos is a municipality at the tip of the Baja Peninsula that encompasses the resort town of Cabo San Lucas and the smaller and perhaps lesser known town of San Jose del Cabo.
Down a dirt road outside the city is one of those experiences. Below the foothills of San Jose del Cabo, you might have to rely on a local to tell you about a dirt road and where you have to turn, or you might miss this sign. If you don’t miss it, it will take you to Flora Farm — a 25-acre working organic farm to table experience. Flora Farms is a 25-acre working organic farm to table experience set in the foothills of San Jose del Cabo. They grow over 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs here, and it’s served right on the farm grounds. Part of the experience is taking guests out to the fields to make that farm to table connection.
In just a five-minute drive, you’re in a world on to itself. It’s an oasis that is truly a hidden gem of Cabo. At 345 acres, the Estuary of San Jose del Cabo is one of the continent’s largest and it’s been around for more than 300 years. And in 1994, it was designated a state ecological reserve. And perhaps the best way to see it is on horseback.
It is a freshwater coastal lagoon, so the fact that it’s fresh water next to salt water, means it creates a unique habitat for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife. But what you won’t find here is a lot of people.
And here is another secret. Just walking distance from the steps away from the estuary is a reserve of another kind. This one protects turtles — sea turtles — and they’re a government protected species. And if you get here just at the right time, and at the right place, you can join the local volunteers for the turtle release.
One sobering fact is that, despite all the volunteers’ efforts, only about 1 in 1,000 turtles released actually makes it back here alive. And if you want to help, you have to wear a glove so you don’t pass off any bacteria. Once they are all gathered, it’s off to the beach and ready for their release.
The next morning, it was my turn to get out to the water for a whole different coastal experience. That’s when I discovered the quiet Santa Maria Beach for a little kayaking. The crystal-clear waters revealed some of the real hidden treasures of Cabo. There are endless schools of the most colorful fish you’ll ever see.
A welcoming of the sunset is a ritual that has taken place every day for more than 10 years at the aptly named Sunset Monalisa Restaurant in Cabo. Does it look a little touristy? That’s because it is. And if it doesn’t look like a hidden gem, you’re right because it’s not. Now you don’t have to come here to renew your vows or even propose although many people do. How about I make a proposal? It’s one of the best sunsets you’ll ever see, and because of that, I’m willing to make an exception. It’s a treat for all the senses and the perfect way to end the day with gratitude for the many enriching experiences Cabo has to offer.
And if you’re wondering where I ate in Slovenia, check out the famous Bled Castle Restaurant.