One Woman Dares to Solo Travel to Cabo San Lucas
My desperate need of distraction outweighed my trepidation about solo travel to Cabo San Lucas. I set my sights on the tiny haven I had spotted from a glass bottomed boat at the tip of Baja California several years ago.
Separated by a small mountain from the Cabo San Lucas party scene, Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas is a quiet enclave—and just what I needed. That is, until a friend made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
When my girlfriend saw that I was heading to Baja, she quoted me a fabulous price on her studio condominium on the Cabo San Lucas marina. Because I’m flexible and cheap, Pedregal got postponed and I was off to Cabo on my own.
The last time I had wandered to Cabo was for a corporate event with my ex-husband and kids. I had tried hard to focus on gratitude for the almost free trip while intoxicated Americans danced the Macarena lessons and compared the size of their beer guts in the pool next to me. And, don’t get me started on our three hour timeshare fiasco.
I even surprised myself that I was willing to go back—this time alone—especially considering that Baja California makes me a bit nervous when it comes to safety and security. But, I was determined to replace my memories of Cabo with more pleasant ones and I really needed a diversion from my less-than-desirable love life. And, to reward me for my bravery, the Universe gave me a gift—another one of my girlfriends was going to be there for a wedding and I roped an invitation!
An hour after landing, I walked into the front door of my condo. It was perfect for me—cozy, decorated so very cutely, equipped with a kitchen, bathtub, and balcony with a view—and, it was smack in the middle of the action. Everywhere I needed or wanted to go was within walking distance, so there would be no need to hop in cars with male strangers.
I forced myself to unpack, before I walked back out the door to explore.
Within minutes, I learned that my typical friendly attitude was not going to fly here. In fact, the Marina is pretty much a school that teaches even the nicest of women how to say “No” like you mean it. I may have arrived a say-hi-to-everyone kinda gal, but the endless stream of aggressive hawkers taught me how to be a talk-to-the-hand kinda woman.
By Day 4, Cabo not only had me savvier, but happier and thoroughly relaxed as well. Here’s why:
- Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach)—Don’t be deceived by the name. You will NOT be interrupting amorous couples or feel awkward being solo at Lover’s Beach. It’s not secluded enough to be romantic, but it is definitely a place to visit on your solo trip to Cabo. Unlike the main Cabo beaches, it has a more natural beauty due to its location at Land’s End near El Arco. Plan accordingly—there are no bathrooms or shady spots here. DO bring your camera—the rocks, one named Neptune’s Finger, are just begging to have their photo taken. You can swim and snorkel here—but, being that the surf is not totally calm and you’re solo, it’s best to stick close to shore. The only way to get here is to grab a water taxi from either the marina or Médano Beach; expect to pay about $10 (round trip), get a mini-tour on the way over AND get wet going from the boat to the beach. They’ll let you know when to watch for them to come pick you up, so make sure you have a way to tell time. Because you’re in Mexico on Mexican time and boat engines break down fairly regularly, don’t come here if you have some place to be later in the day. Flexibility is necessary to maintain optimal relaxation.
- Divorce Beach—While the name might bum us out, the beach definitely won’t. A very short walk from Lover’s Beach, the equally picturesque Divorce Beach gets its name for its rough waves and dangerous rip currents. The bad news is that it’s NOT safe to swim here, but it is more secluded if you want some legitimate peace and quiet.
- Tajin-covered mangoes—Do NOT leave Cabo without eating a Tajin-covered mango. Although it looks like it will sear your mouth, I promise you it will not. It will be sweet, tangy, and juicy—and, possibly one of the most memorable treats of your lifetime.
- $10 lobster dinners—I found mine in a quaint family-owned restaurant off the marina’s beaten path. Before it gets too late, wander over to the side streets in the opposite direction of the ocean and pick your favorite place. The one with the most people is probably the safest, but may or may not be the best.
- Micheladas—Corona with lime juice and salt on a sunny day? Yes, please. You can find them everywhere.
The highlight of my wander was the wedding I crashed—held in a posh resort just steps from the sand. A close second was eating a perfect wood-fired pizza on the outdoor patio of a tiny Bohemian restaurant off the well beaten path. Explore those side streets—while it’s still light outside.
Life is good—but, not perfect. The sunset dinner cruise I should not have volunteered for given my 42+ year history of motion sickness had me heaving, pitied, and thoroughly humiliated. One downfall of solo travel trips is that your loved ones are not there to yank you back to reality when you’re being ridiculously optimistic. If you’re one to get sea sick, stay on dry land!
Solo travel to Cabo San Lucas is a reasonable option for a woman IF you learn very quickly how to say no like a boss—AND you stay in a constant state of street smartness. Keep a unbreakable grip on your common sense. I did not set foot in a restaurant or bar alone past 9 p.m., I did not venture into a club alone, I did not stray from the main well lit walkways and, if I made eye contact, it was with solid confidence and the silent conveyance that I was not approachable.
My last piece of advice if you make the choice to do solo travel to Cabo San Lucas — relax and enjoy yourself!
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