Chic Hotels and Lots of Vegan Food: A Mellow Trip to Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The Cabo Edit
From dusty mountain roads lined with immense cacti, agave, and rambling desert shrubs; to the pristine coastline and often empty surf breaks of Baja California Sur toward the Sea of Cortez; to the thriving art communities of San Jose del Cabo in the Southeast and across the peninsula in Todos Santos along the pacific coast; southern Baja, Mexico has much to offer anyone who would prefer to avoid the throngs of tourists and all-inclusive resorts in Cabo San Lucas.
On a recent escape to celebrate my 35th birthday, I spent a few days with my husband enjoying chic yet comfortably minimalist accommodation in San Jose del Cabo and Todos Santos.
Unfortunately, the surf was flat for the duration of our trip, so we made the best of it by making it our mission to eat the most delicious vegan food we could find.
The newest addition to the compound at the well-loved Acre Bar + Restaurant, the Treehouses are ideal for guests who appreciate amenities and luxury, but also want to feel connected to nature.
This is a treehouse, to be sure, but with heaps more sophistication and style than the one from your childhood.
Set atop a canopy of palm trees, you are indeed in an oasis in the desert. The thatched walls (with privacy curtains, if you desire) provide soft dappled light and allow one to enjoy the chorus of outdoor sounds -- if you're not into the sounds of frogs by night, roosters by morning, and the occasional barking dog, then this spot probably isn't for you. With a little outdoor shower , and a small-but-cozy seating area, the tree houses have a distinct glamping vibe.
While the space was quite tight, we found it to be perfect for three days. And with the rest of the Acre compound to enjoy, there's plenty of space to unwind. One might relax by the pool, which has food and beverage service, indulge in a mezcal tasting, or (the best part) marvel at the cuteness of the adorable resident baby farm animals - including a rescued baby donkey named Burrito who will melt your heart.
Guests in the Treehouses can use the private beach facilities at Hotel Ganzo, which is a few minutes away on the marina.
Breakfast is included with your stay. I notified them ahead of time that I am vegan and they prepared for me a delicious vegan chilaquiles with a sweet and savory mole sauce.
Be sure to visit Acre for a meal if you don't stay in treehouses. The mezcal drinks are fresh and interesting, and there are plenty of vegan dinner options to choose from. Their multi-course tasting menu is available vegan and is definitely worth it!
Other Accommodation Options
For a swanky yet artsy vibe with amenities including a rooftop pool and small beach club, hotel Ganzo offers more standard hotel creature comforts than the Acre Treehouses.
A cool boutique hotel with a minimalist industrial vibe in downtown San Jose del cabo. Basic yet stylish rooms start out at $95 usd per night. guests can enjoy the pool in their central courtyard, or enjoy mezcal tastings and food cart events.
A drive up the coast is rewarding in itself - with miles and miles of beaches you are bound to find a stretch all to yourself. Pack drinks and snacks because there's not much in the way of shops and restaurants.
Keep going and you'll reach the Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve. Designated a National Marine Park, the reserve has three living reefs which provide a safe haven to the 800 or so marine species that call this region home. There are several snorkeling and scuba diving tours that provide incredible access to this region. Please be sure to go with a reputable, eco-minded company.
One can find plenty of other things to do away from the beach.
On Thursday evenings in San Jose Del Cabo the streets are closed to motorists for the weekly art walk.
Street performers set the tone for the evenings' revelry and participating shops and galleries provide drinks and light snacks.
Unfortunately, we didn't luck out with much surf, so we took the opportunity to explore the back roads, adorable streets and alley ways of San Jose Del Cabo, and , of course, eat.
We enjoyed delicious smokey mezcal cocktails and vegan tacos at the popular eatery, La Lupita. Although it is not a vegan restaurant, there are several vegetarian options that they were more than happy to make vegan. Just ask! Live music in the outdoor space makes for a convivial atmosphere, while the inside is nice and intimate.
Located just off the main drag in downtown San Jose del Cabo, Chula Vegan serves up all vegan fare in a cheery yet stylish setting. A fantastic go-to spot for your morning juice or smoothie fix, Chula Vegan also offers a variety of lovingly prepared sweets and baked goods, in addition to more substantial options like sandwiches, wraps, and bowls - all homemade and delicious. They also happen to have some of the best coffee in town from the aptly named Dr. Coffee. Try the cold brew coffee served with coconut water- you'll never want cold brew any other way once you try it. We happened to meet "Dr. Coffee" himself during one of our visits to Chula Vegan, and he was very happy to discuss with us the meticulous detail to which he tests his coffee to ensure the proper pH levels.
Our most memorable meal was at Flora's Field Kitchen at Flora Farms. With plenty of vegan options and vegetarian options that can be made vegan, it is impossible to leave Flora Farms wanting more.
Ambling through the gorgeous property, cocktail in hand, before dinner is a treat, so give yourself time to enjoy the setting.
If you're feeling like you need some extra relaxation, schedule a massage for earlier in the day, relax with some cocktails afterward, and use their showers to clean up before dinner.
Reservations are a must, particularly during busy months.
After three days we were ready to explore some other areas, so we headed to the other side of the peninsula to explore Todos Santos.
CHECK OUT PART 2 FOR TODOS SANTOS AND SURROUNDS. Coming soon!