The temperature in February averages a warm but not too hot 75 with cooling breezes in the early afternoon. Pink, purple and orange Bouganvilla bloom in abundance while palm trees reach upward to the ever blue sky. Locals are smiling and friendly and fellow resort goers forever shine a happy smile your way aware of their good fortune as they share with you this bit of paradise. Cabo San Lucas in Baja California has everything it takes for an inspiring and relaxing tropical escape. And although known worldwide for crazy spring break antics, local resorts have long catered to senior citizens not missing a beat as growing numbers of baby boomers reach retirement age.
As I write this I am sitting in the Hacienda del Mar in Cabo on my deck overlooking the ocean having just returned from some hours sitting under a cabana on the beach. We spend a lot of our time there reading, resting, looking and enjoying waves and sand and peace. Around me I notice the average visitor is leaning toward the “well seasoned traveler” category with an age closer to retirement than not.
What is it about Cabo and the experience that attracts senior citizens? Is it something in the water? Or is it in the way everyone is made to feel a little bit special? And more importantly, is Cabo San Lucas somewhere that you personally would enjoy visiting as a retiree?
Hacienda Del Mar
There are many hotels and time share units in Cabo some catering to the younger crowd while the others focus on the rest of us. We stay at Hacienda Del Mar as part of a time share but the location also includes a full feature, multiple roomed hotel. The resort is four miles outside the town of Cabo San Lucas and truly self-contained with multiple pools, restaurants, a complete spa, golf courses, and plenty of beach front. Golf carts are ever ready to wheel visitors to destinations anywhere in the complex. And the elevation is gradual from the beach to the farthest rooms with elevators to get you to floors other than ground level.
The location is ideal for us as we prefer to stay on the grounds the majority of our one week trip, typically making one day trip to a local attraction such as Todo Santos (home of the Hotel California), and spending one day in town (making sure to wind our way to The Office restaurant which is in the sand overlooking the harbor and makes what I consider to be the best fish tacos anywhere). Staying four miles away, we are not caught up in the hoopla that is downtown – unless we choose to be!
We are pretty good at entertaining ourselves but should one require a little creative guidance, look no further. Different hotels offer various options but here is a sample schedule from our visit.
9:00 Stretching in the activities center
10:00 Water Aerobics in the activities pool
11:00 Blackjack Game where you can learn the finer points of wagering and bluffing
12:00 Ping Pong
2:00 Mexican Bingo where you learn to howl like a Mariachi and imitate the sounds of local wild life as you match your card with the Spanish words called out by the hostess
3:00 Zumba class
4:00 Beach volleyball for the adventurous
Happy hours are staggered throughout the day with different restaurants stepping up to the plate with snacks of all kinds to compliment that perfect margarita. Afterward, eight restaurants offer a variety of fares to tantalize your palate ranging from beach side munchies to all you can eat spreads of local delicacies to a more formal but not too formal dinner atmosphere at Pitihaya on the sea.
Cabo San Lucas town is about four miles down the road and readily accessible via shuttle or taxi. Visiting the town allows you time to wander the harbor where impressive yachts owned by the rich and famous are anchored as well as visit the local hot spots where the spring break crowd cut loose – Cabo Wabo, Giggling Marlin, and of course Squid Row. If you are like us, you may choose to visit these during the day just to say you have been there. But if you are still a little crazy at heart, after hours is when the action really happens.
World renowned for it’s fishing, you will find plenty of boat owners willing to take you out and set sail for a fishing adventure of a lifetime. Or if you just want to take a tour around the harbor, you can visit El Arco with it’s view the Pacific Ocean from the safety of the Sea of Cortez, set foot on Lovers Beach and walk the 100 yards to Divorce Beach, and see the south most part of the continental US all in a 45 minute jaunt in a glass bottom boat. And if you are looking for a romantic evening there are sunset cruises and dinners made to order.
As you can see, options to entertain are many, the weather is temperate except in summer months, the natives are friendly, and in such a beautiful surrounding you cannot help but feel a little younger. With special attention given to baby boomer visitors and what makes us tick, Cabo San Lucas is a senior travel destination worth considering.