My Baja – LCM 47 Summer 2017

My Baja

La Paz native and veteran tour guide Beto Haro
introduces you to a few of his favorite spots

 

I was raised in La Paz. It is the capital city of Baja California Sur, but more than that, it is a city rich with history, architecture, culture, and natural beauty. This is where my family has called home for five generations.

I am proud to be a paceño. And regardless of where work and life may take me, this is the only place I consider home. Spend any time in México, and you will learn that this is a country that loves its nicknames. One endearment for those who live in La Paz is pata salada. In English, you would call us “salty feet.” Why? Because the Sea of Cortés is our playground.

That is where I learned to swim, where I learned to fish (with my bare hands, thank you very much), and where I learned to really appreciate the uniqueness and glory that is the Baja Peninsula.

When you arrive to Baja California Sur—whether that’s by plane to Los Cabos or La Paz, by boat, or by car—it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the number of possibilities. In Los Cabos, especially, there’s a ton to do: great restaurants, luxurious spas, and excellent nightclubs. But you really can’t—or at least you shouldn’t—come to Baja without checking out the natural wonders that put Los Cabos on the map in the first place.

My first job out of high school was working at Cabo Expeditions (www.caboexpeditions.com.mx). Over the years, I held just about every job possible with this eco-minded activities outfit. I washed boats. I answered phones. I even collected bills. Through this time, I learned more and more about the richness of Baja’s offerings as well as how to be a great tour guide. If you are a first-time visitor to Los Cabos, I encourage you to check out the activities lineup at Cabo Expeditions. You’ll find everything from parasailing over the Cabo San Lucas Bay to swimming with whale sharks and expeditions out to Espirítu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage site and archipelago located off the coast of La Paz.

Espirítu Santo (top) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and archipelago located off the coast of La Paz; at Wild Canyon (bottom), you have the opportunity to check out some of the region’s desert-like terrain.

With these activities, you’re sure to make memories you’ll cherish and, likely, fall in love with Baja the same way I have.

Of course, Cabo Expeditions is one of many activities providers here in Los Cabos. And each one offers something unique.

If you’re somebody who loves the water…from a distance, try a cruise. Pez Gato, Tropicat, and Cabo Mar (www.pezgato.com) are part of the same fleet, and each has its own specialty. Looking for a more sophisticated experience? Enjoy wine, smooth jazz, and delicious appetizers onboard Tropicat. Want more of a fiesta vibe? That’s the theme every night on Cabo Mar’s sunset cruise.

My family and I are big fans of Buccaneer Queen (www.wildcabotours .com); it’s part of the Wild Cabo fleet of boats and activities. You can check out the sunset as you drink cocktails and enjoy views of the entire bay. Plan a winter trip, and you’ll love the whale sightings. I come from a very big, very close family, and we have a blast when we do Buccaneer Queen’s snorkeling cruise. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and kids all get in on the fun as we cruise the water, snorkel, and explore the surroundings. Oh, and did I mention Buccaneer Queen—like its sister ship, Cabo Legend—is pirate themed? You’ll have a blast!

Los Cabos is almost entirely surrounded by water, and there is a seemingly endless array of ways to explore the sea (Cabo Submarine, Cabo Flyboard, and the nightclub Cabo Escape are three more that come to mind). You can learn about all of these in the activities guide on page 54.

But it’s not just Baja’s seascape that begs to be explored. At Wild Canyon (www.wildcanyon.com.mx), you have the opportunity to check out some of the region’s desert-like terrain. Saddle up on a camel (yes, that is an option!), zip line over a canyon, or speed your way over the outback at this 115-hectare eco-park. There are a ton of ways to get your adrenaline pumping and to work up an appetite day or night here.

And, of course, I can’t talk about how much I love Los Cabos and greater Baja without talking about the fishing. Even before Cabo Wabo made Cabo a household name, Los Cabos was earning a reputation with Hollywood A-listers and international adventurers because of the incredible sportfishing here.

The fishing here remains epic. Come fall, you’ll see a plethora of big-purse fishing tournaments like the Bisbee’s Black & Blue. This is, after all, the marlin capital of the world.

And with all that fishing comes some pretty amazing seafood. I love to support local businesses, and there’s not a Los Cabos street taco stand I haven’t visited. When it comes to exploring the seafood options here, it’s fun to visit restaurants big and small. Blue Fish (www.bluefishcabo.com) in San José del Cabo specializes in mariscos; in other words, come here for simple and simply amazing traditional Mexican preparations. At Baja Lobster Co. (www.loscabosguide.com/baja-lobster) on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, the king of crustaceans gets top billing, and you can enjoy it just about any imaginable way.

From top: The whole family will love the pirate-themed Buccaneer Queen; Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo made Cabo a household name; Nick-San blends Japanese recipes with fresh, only-in-México ingredients for magical results.

Growing up in La Paz, I was not much of a sushi fan. That changed with my first visit to Nick-San (www.nicksan.com). The gourmet Japanese restaurant—which has spots in Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and other cities—blends traditional recipes with fresh, only-in-México ingredients and the results are magical.

Whatever you do, make sure to try Baja’s famous “chocolate” clams when visiting. These delicious mollusks are named for the color and not their flavor. You’ll find them at just about any Mexican or seafood restaurant here, and you’ll crave them for years to come. You eat these meaty clams raw, with just a bit of fresh squeezed lime juice and toppings of your choice. I tend to add salsa, Huichol, and a dash of soy sauce.

As you explore Baja, let us know your favorite spots by visiting us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/loscabos magazine).