Wednesday, November 25, 2015

San Jose del Cabo

Unless you like mega resorts with mega people and mega booze, stay away from Cabo San Lucas. And if you do, you're probably reading the wrong blog! To me, Cabo San Lucas has little to do with Baja, at least the Baja that we love. I don’t think Jacques Cousteau came to Baja to buy a Gucci bag.

But Cabo has the main airport and the easiest access to Cabo Pulmo. The answer is to stay in San Jose del Cabo, about 15 km down the coast and the historic town. It's still touristy with tons of souvenir shops, but at least it's not resort-land. There's a town square that has local (non-tourist) events, historic buildings, art galleries, and small hotels and restaurants. (Note: San Jose is not on the ocean, don't come here for beach time.)

We've previously stayed at El Encanto and the Tropicana (bigger). This trip we got a good deal at Casa Natalia and stayed there for the first time. It's in a great location, right on the corner of the main square. The hotel has a nice restaurant and there's a nice little coffee shop just around the corner. There's a small pool to cool off in after wandering around in the heat. (Even in November it's hot in the middle of the day.)

Casa Natalia

bougainvillea & view from our room at Casa Nataiia

There are lots of restaurants in the area. The Tasting Room has no menu, you tell them your food preferences and choose three or five courses, and they do the rest. Our being vegetarian was no problem and they served us tasty and creative dishes. We chose three courses and it was plenty since they also brought several "extras". It wasn't cheap but it was as good a meal as we've had anywhere. We also had a great meal at Don Sanchez, in a lovely court yard with a talented guitar player for entertainment.

Originally, we hadn't planned to spend much time here, but with our diving cut short we had a couple of extra days. It was nice to relax, catch up on photos and blogs, and wander around. Just nearby (within walking distance) there is an estuary that is a protected nature area. It's a bit rundown (like many things here!) but there were lots of birds and it was a quiet escape.


White-faced ibis

Osprey in flight

This next photograph was somewhat of an "accident". I had changed my camera settings for a bird against a bright sky and then forgotten to put them back. This ruined a number of other shots, but I actually like the way this one came out. I realized I should try "high key" (mostly bright) photos more often.

Soldier milkweed butterfly

I ended up taking quite a few butterfly photos this trip. I mentioned to Shelley that I didn't have the patience to try to identify them and she volunteered. (Part of the problem is that the butterfly app I have isn't as good as the bird apps.) I thought this was a Monarch and I was partly correct, it is a milkweed butterfly (like the Monarch) but this is a Soldier (we think).

White peacock butterfly (?)

Pipevine swallowtail

If you have a car, or don't mind a longer taxi ride, we'd definitely recommend a visit to Flora Farms. Make sure to allow time to wander around as well as enjoying the restaurant. They grow much of the food they serve and everything we had was wonderful. Check out some of their unique cocktails like the hibiscus mimosas which come with an actual hibiscus flower in them. (Hibiscus popsicles and jam are also tasty local specialties.)

hibiscus flower


cactus wren

As we were driving back from Flora Farms we passed a gap in a wall and in the split second glimpse I thought I saw something. I confused Shelley when I yelled "stop!" and got her to back up. Sure enough, here's what you could see through the gap:


The lizard (not sure what kind) was in someone's backyard so it was hard to get a clear shot, and when I got too close it ran away. It was quite large (relative to the usual small ones running around) - maybe 2 ft in length.


Also within walking distance from San Jose is Wirikuta, the cactus garden and nursery, and sculpture garden. It has no fixed hours and the first time we tried to visit it was closed, but the second time it was open and we enjoyed wandering around.

cactus flowers



There were lots of colorful spiders around but they were quite small and sitting on the middle of their webs getting blown about by the wind i.e. hard to photograph! Here's my best attempt of many. (This one was smaller than a raisin.)


In addition to cactus, there was lots of bougainvillea, and a variety of palms (I think these were African).

bougainvillea & palms

For more photos see all 59 as a slideshow or overview

No comments:

Post a Comment