An undiscovered desert oasis.
To say that you’re going to Cabo when you’re headed to the East Cape is almost a misnomer. While you’ll still fly into the San Jose del Cabo Airport, things start to look different the minute you turn left coming out of the arrivals terminal—instead of making the right and continuing toward the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
The 45-minute drive to Costa Palmas, the region’s only real resort development, lifts you into an immediate sense of calm, much like passing the windmills on the way to Joshua Tree. The 1,000-acre development debuted in 2019 with the Four Seasons, the first of four hotels that will occupy the area (an Aman resort and residences is next up in 2023). Here’s a look at what to enjoy now.
Stay: The Four Seasons hotel offers 141 guest rooms, starting at 680 square feet, and suites in two-story bungalows spread across the property with views of the ocean in the distance. Expect private outdoor areas with plunge pools or balconies, Byredo bath amenities, two-person showers with views of the sea, and expansive mini-bars. Or rent one of the private estate homes for deluxe accommodations. From $919; fourseasons.com and costapalmas.com
Do: It’s hard to get bored even if you’re here for more than a long weekend. Golfers will find refuge in the Robert Trent Jones II–designed course, while other outdoor activities on site range from kiteboarding to surfing. Through the resort, you can also organize horseback riding, hiking to a local waterfall and natural swimming pools, or renting a boat through the onsite marina. Partners looking to reconnect should not miss booking an experience in the private couples spa suite at the 15,885-square-foot spa. The “Better Together” journey includes 60-minute massages, 60-minute facials, and then an hour to enjoy the private space’s outdoor lounging areas and pool.
Dine: Fresh and local defines each of the six dining outlets on site. Estiatorio Milos offers its signature array of fresh seafood on display for guests to hand pick, along with specialties like the fried zucchini and eggplant tower, lamb chops, and Greek vegetable dishes. Head to the poolside Casa de Brasa for Mexican favorites like duck enchiladas, pork ribs with “Coloradito” mole, and of course fish tacos, savor farm-to-table fare at Limón (in the middle of a lemon grove), or keep it casual at the El Puesto beach shack with fresh ceviche.
What to Know: Weather is a bit different on this side of the cape, with winter months windy and chilly, so ideally book a visit between March and October. While there’s no nearby town, the resort does have its own retail courtyard with multiple shops. This fall, the Marina Village will debut and include Nancy Silverton’s first Mexico-based restaurant, Mozza at Costa Palmas.
An exotic getaway close to home.
There’s a reason nearly every major hotel chain has a property nestled within the Corridor, the 25-mile stretch between the old town of San Jose del Cabo and the lively town of Cabo San Lucas. Pristine beaches, mild year-round weather, and a taste of Mexican culture make for an easy weekend escape. Here’s how to make the most of your time.
Stay: There is no shortage of hotel options, and most of them are as great as they look on their websites. For all-around luxury and mesmerizing accommodations, there’s no place like Las Ventanas (from $700; rosewoodhotels.com), which debuted in 1992 and has yet to be outshined by any of the newcomers. The 12 Signature Beach Villas feel more like homes with private pools, kitchens, living spaces, bathrooms the size of a New York apartment, and dedicated butlers—plus, there’s the 28,000-square-foot Ty Warner Mansion. Recent additions include the speakeasy La Botica and a plant-based pop-up with Bonberi. For those who live to swim in the sea, no property in the area can top the swimmable beach at The Montage (from $595; montagehotels.com). This pebble-sand, protected cove with aquamarine water and gentle waves is incomparable and offers a truly unique beach experience for the area. The resort’s 122 guestrooms, four dining outlets, and 40,000-square-foot spa (the largest in the area) are knockouts as well.
Do: Of course known for golfing—popular courses include Querencia (Tom Fazio’s first course in Mexico), El Cardonal at Diamonte (Tiger Woods’ first-ever golf course design), and Chileno Bay (the only Discovery Land Co. course that is also open to hotel guests staying on property)—and deep-sea fishing (even novice anglers have luck with the plentiful array of dorado, marlin, and tuna), don’t miss exploring the old town of San Jose del Cabo, with its numerous galleries, which stay open late on Thursday nights for art walks.
Dine: There are almost too many worthy dining destinations to name. For a stunning setting on cliffs hovering right above the ocean—which is still outdone by the cuisine—book a table at Cocina del Mar at Esperanza. For contemporary Mexican in a modern setting, head to Comal at Chileno Bay. If you’re sick of the beach, head up into the hills for farm-to-table fare at Flora Farms for a late afternoon lunch. If you’re looking for a scene, but less of a scene than the constant spring break of Cabo San Lucas, venture up to Acre or have drinks on the rooftop of the Cape hotel.
What to Know: Most of the beaches in Cabo are not swimmable because of riptides and strong currents. However, the lack of crowds and empty expanses of coast still make for great beach walks—just don’t expect to surf in front of your hotel. —S.B.