Guest Traveller Cellina Meydam marked a milestone birthday with an overseas holiday, travelling with friends and ticking off lots of items on her bucket list. Cellina found something to love in every place she visited, particularly Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Cabo, as Americans call it, is a city of about 70,000 people at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. We caught up with Cellina for the Cabo leg of her journey – and a birthday surprise this Perth native definitely hadn’t counted on…
WOW! My amazing, six-week birthday extravaganza ended in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Originally, we intended to do three or four destinations in Mexico and also Havana in Cuba, but in the end it was much easier to do just the one destination. Wherever you travel in Mexico internally, you have to go via Mexico City, which means delays, long internal flights and huge layovers. Just choose one.
Cabo felt like the most amazing holiday destination. We were all tired after travelling for five weeks and didn’t want to stay in a resort, so we Airbnb’d it. We found the most amazing and authentic villa with every possible amenity. We just wanted a home cooked meal and the villa had every possible thing we required: A full kitchen, BBQ, washer/drier and… Netflix. We were all pleasantly surprised by the villa’s amenities and the view, the total relaxation and opportunity to just chill and do what we wanted at the end of a long period of travelling. It would also be amazing for a family holiday. You could do this quite reasonably, particularly if you were in a group. The villa was maybe just $80 more per night than a room in a large, dated resort. Our driver took us to a Walmart supermarket and we stocked up on everything we needed so we didn’t have to go out if we didn’t want to.
We did some great things. We went horse riding through the desert and then along the beach. Frank and Tequila (the horses) didn’t always do what they were told, in fact they did nothing of the sort but the experience was worth it. Just be careful, there is an additional charge they don’t tell you about, lucky one of us had cash!
There are some beautiful restaurants with amazing service, just be aware that if you are off the beaten track (just a kilometre out of town) they see you coming and will take you for a ride (USD$30 for a drink…). Not OK. We were then bailed up by the manager/owner as we apparently had not tipped enough after the $30 individual drinks. Tequila tasting is everywhere. Not complaining. I do recommend the chocolate tequila. Take several bottles home. Totally amazing. I got a tattoo in Cabo to celebrate my 50th birthday and it was so very organised, clean and sterile. I felt very comfortable with the level of hygiene and after-care service.
My little meltdown happened when I was in the pool one morning and I saw something almost translucent swim past me. I thought it was some sort of worm. It turned out to be a water moccasin snake. It was deadly but, luckily for us, it was only a baby so we lived to tell the tale.
Finally, the sunsets are amazing – the best you have ever seen. It is warm and dry at that time of the year [October] and, no humidity. I’d definitely go back to Cabo. In fact, we all agreed that if Cabo was closer to Perth, we would never go to Bali again.
Cellina’s Top Five Tips For Getting The Most Out of Mexico:
- Cabo is clean and safe. Travellers often worry about Mexico but it is really great in Cabo. It was much safer and more pristine (even in town) than we expected. You have the odd hawker down by the marina, but otherwise all good. Even at night, we did not feel at all unsafe.
- Comparing Cabo to Bali, which I’ve visited many times, Cabo is much slicker, without all the traffic jams. It is smaller, with less, but just enough, shopping, and at around the same price (with the exchange rate) as you would expect to pay at a decent Seminyak restaurant in Bali.
- If you are travelling to the USA, it is definitely worth stopping off in Cabo. Wherever you travel in Mexico internally, you have to go via Mexico City, which means delays, long internal flights and huge layovers. We had intended to do three or four destinations in Mexico and in the end we choose one: Cabo.
- Tequila! I recommend you try the chocolate tequila and take several bottles home. Totally amazing.
- Watch out for moccasin snakes! They’re deadly.