Away From The Waves

New activities take clients into the real Cabo

By: Terra Judge

The idea of a vacation in Los Cabos conjures images of a blue ocean, soft sand, whale-watching, fish tacos and sun. With its prime location on the Sea of Cortez, tourism companies have focused on watersports and marine adventures. However, new operators like Cabo Adventures, are exploring activities away from the waves.

Cabo Dolphins, which offers one of the location’s most popular activities interactive dolphin encounters is branching out with Cabo Adventures, offering a 4x4 desert safari to the other side of Los Cabos.

The idea behind Cabo Dolphins is to bring Mexico’s natural environment and inhabitants to visitors, but the new Cabo Adventures does the opposite by taking clients away from the built-up strips and into the “real Cabo” the desert still populated by untainted nature.

The trip begins with an off-road journey into the desert. The paved roads of Cabo San Lucas instantly transform into wide dirt paths as the truck bounces and kicks up dust. Visitors sit on benches facing each other in the back of the truck, belted in tight and entertained by the informative guides on everything from tequila to the hawks overhead to the original meaning of the word “california.”

Once sufficiently deep into the desert, guides lead an easy nature walk down a dry riverbed. Here they pick out what few non-locals would see tiny pale scorpions and a furry black tarantula. Butterflies flock to watch the tourists. Another stop is a visit to the small desert town of Candelaria, where inhabitants are rumored to be followers of witchcraft. Untouched by nearby tourism, the town boasts only two telephones. A pretty little church, goats penned in yards and a boarding school illustrate the way of life for those outside the bar-lined streets of Cabo San Lucas.

Another sampling of Mexican life is found at a ranch house farther on, where a family offers up homemade tortillas, spicy guacamole and ranchero beans in a large ceramic pot for a much-needed snack. Local fruits like jicama and tamarind are also served up for the tasting.

Lunch is a spread of barbecued chicken and steak with hot tortillas and icy margaritas, on an unspoiled stretch of beach, with mats and umbrellas provided for a welcome catnap in the sun after the bouncy morning ride. Away from the big blossoming resorts, visitors can experience the natural Los Cabos and the way many still live there today.

Guests must arrive at Cabo Dolphins by 8:30 a.m. for the seven-hour excursion. The truck is open-air so advise clients to bring a jacket and walking shoes for the hike.

Getting up close with the natural environment and a taste of local rural life gives guests an opportunity to see the behind-the-beach view of the destination. Cabo Adventures is bringing tourists to the heart of Los Cabos.