Matt and I got back from our honeymoon in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico late Saturday/early Sunday. For those that haven’t heard, I lost my voice on our wedding day and only got it back the following Tuesday/Wednesday. Despite being sick for the entire trip (I might still be sick?) we had a great time!
We stayed at Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe in the hotel corridor of San Jose del Cabo. The typical spring break/tourist trap area is further towards the bottom of the Baja Peninsula in Cabo San Lucas. Barcelo was excellent, with cheesy nighttime entertainment of half-naked male and female dancers, terrific buffets, and a la carte restaurants included in our package. Since we were there in the off-season, there was plenty of room by the pool to chill.
The waters off the coast in the Sea of Cortes are too rough for swimming–there were black flag conditions every day. We were able to get in the water snorkeling through Cabo Adventures, which picked us up and brought us to Cabo San Lucas. It was an excellent and safe company, and I enjoyed our snorkeling experience there better than the one my family and I had in Aruba a couple of years ago. It was surprising given the choppy waters of the Pacific/Sea of Cortes versus the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
The room itself was excellent and the unlimited alcoholic drinks were all very tasty. It was clear they had watered down the liquor though, as Matt got more buzzed from a single Corona than he did from an afternoon of daiquiris and pina coladas. It didn’t matter too much to us though, as we enjoyed the flavors of the drinks anyway.
One thing that bothered me from the start was the whitewashed experience we got of the culture given our all-inclusive resort time. I spoke much more Spanish during the week I spent in Mallorca, Spain than I did the entire time we spent in Mexico. Outside the beautiful resorts were shacks in which the locals lived, and we found out that the resort workers are paid, on average, 20 USD each month, well below the poverty line. We tipped well during our visit, knowing that even a dollar would be significant, but my conscience was still torn.
Our snorkeling guide thanked us at the end of our trip for choosing his country for our vacation. “I know when you told your friends and family that you were going to Mexico, they said ‘are you crazy? You’re going to get shot! Everyone is drunk on tequila all the time’ But hopefully you see that we are a crazy but fun country.”
According to the all-knowing internet, tourism is the third largest contributor to the Mexican GDP. But as I learned in an undergrad Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean, the all-inclusive resorts do not contribute as much to the economy as staying in a hotel and visiting local shops and restaurants throughout the stay. On the other hand, the development of previously not visited regions (like Cabo, 20 or 30 years ago) for tourism brings improvements to infrastructure in the region.
So I’m still torn, but we did have a good time! Now, enjoy some pictures!