Renting a House in Cabo and Making It Feel Like Home
After going to Tulum 2 weeks before Cabo…I was a little scared. Tulum wasn’t my favorite experience. Not only did our apartment smell like sewage, but I got brutal food poisoning. People always talk about getting sick in Mexico but out of the 7 times I’ve been there, Tulum was the only time I personally experienced that. So having another Mexico trip after my stomach had finally healed…well, I was a little frightened. But luckily, CABO WAS AWESOME!! People always say that Cabo is touristy and “Americanized” which is definitely true compared to Tulum or other areas, but I honesty loved it. I loved having businesses nearby where I could get some of the same ingredients that I eat when I’m home, I loved the house we rented, I loved the beaches…I loved it all.
When my husband and I were traveling in La Jolla less than a year ago, we met up with some of our friends who had rented a house on the beach with their entire family. After my husband saw the amazing house they had rented and how much fun they were having with each other, he wanted to do the same with our family. We decided we wanted to do something over the holidays and started searching on VRBO to find the house that could fit around 10 people comfortably. And since we had never been to Cabo and it’s a direct flight from Denver, we nailed it down to that area then quickly found this amazing house that sleeps 12, is in a gated community, has a pool, spa, and volleyball court, and is in walking distance to a private beach. We were immediately sold and decided to ring in the New Year in Cabo!
After having a crappy experience in Tulum with a 5-star review apartment, I was guessing that this house might be a similar experience. But I was totally wrong. This house exceeded our expectations. It’s more stunning in person than in photos and it was incredibly comfortable. Not only does this house have 3 separate kitchens, 5 bedrooms, and huge living spaces, it also has a filtration system so you don’t have to worry about the water when you brush your teeth or wash the dishes. And the house comes with bottled water so you’re never out of clean drinking water!
The house is set up with two large bedrooms upstairs along with 3 bathrooms, a huge living room, dining room, kitchen and giant balcony. Then once you go outside and downstairs, you’ll find 3 rooms. 1 room has a kitchen and living room and the other 2 rooms are connected by a large bathroom and a small kitchen! And there is a rooftop patio to watch the amazing sunrise and sunset everyday. It makes being in a house with a ton of people super comfortable. We spent most of our days either at the private beach or in the pool. The pool is a decent size and the spa gets incredibly warm for those cooler nights. Plus there is a fire pit that we would all sit around at night!
No, that is not a photo of my husband. That’s my brother-in-law. He’s a little gem! When we arrived in Cabo, we used the All Ways Cabo Transportation shuttle service to take us from the airport straight to Costco then over to our house (which are super close to each other). If we do this trip again, we won’t go to Costco. It was a bit of a nightmare. It was the day before New Years Eve and it was PACKED. It took us over an hour to find just some of the items we wanted and then we found ourselves buying condiments like ketchup or mayo in bulk. We didn’t even open the mayo, damnit. So next time, we will definitely go somewhere else to get our groceries. But we loaded up on meats, vegetables, eggs, butter, alcohol and other drinks. One of my favorite parts about renting a home wherever I travel is that I can cook my own meals. And that’s exactly what we did! We made breakfast bowls, tacos, burritos, steaks…and more tacos. We even ended up making nachos towards the end of the week since we had run out of vegetables and they were AWESOME!! I haven’t had a good nacho in a while and my Cabo buzz made me even happier to eat every single last loaded chip!
Even though we ate most of our meals at home, we did venture out for a few meals. My mother-in-law really wanted to go to Cabo Wabo so as soon as we went to town, we went straight there and I had some fajitas. In touristy spots like that, I expect the food to be crappy but that wasn’t the case at all. It was pretty good! We also hit up The Office which was one of the busiest beaches I’ve ever been to, but you get to eat with your feet in the sand. I also ordered fajitas there. And then we stopped by Toro for a late night dinner on our last night where I got a burger with fries. This restaurant was beautiful and in walking distance from our house. Plus we got to see Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo eating dinner with friends. It must be pretty swanky if they were eating there. Good thing I was hammered and still in my swimsuit. Always keeping it classy in Mexico. After getting sick from the shrimp in Tulum, I was pretty nervous to eat seafood again so I stuck with beef and chicken the whole time. And it seemed to work! But since we didn’t get to eat at many restaurants, here are some reader restaurant recommendations that were given to me while I was traveling to help you find the perfect restaurant when you go:
- Flora Farms
- El Farallon
- Acre Baja
- Sunset da Mona Lisa
- La Lupita
- The Cape
If we weren’t spending time in the pool or in town, we were walking to the private beach in the community we were staying in. This beach was less than a 10 minute walk and the views were stunning as you walked there. It was really nice being in a gated community where they documented everyone who came in and who left so you felt safe the entire time. Both my parents and my mother-in-law were nervous about Cabo after seeing different stories about murders in Mexico or people being held for ransom or drugged. But I truly never felt unsafe. And I didn’t feel that way in Tulum either. But the gated community was wonderful, especially because there was usually only 1 or 2 other people on the beach while we were there.
Another part I LOVED about the location of this community was that it was in walking distance to a local market called Santa Carmela. Since we didn’t rent a car, this market became our lifesaver for any little items we forgot or ran out of. And they even had some of my favorite paleo brands like MALK, Frontera, Glutino, Eating Evolved and a ton of others. It was so awesome to be able to get products I normally eat at home! The only problem is we had to run across a 4 lane highway to get there. Sketch. But we didn’t get arrested or struck by a moving vehicle so we are winning at life!
At that market, I was able to get the same ingredients I use in my coffee at home. So every morning, I would wake up by 6:30am, make the house coffee, then pour my own and head to the rooftop deck to enjoy the sunrise. One of my favorite parts about Cabo is that every single sunrise is absolutely stunning. And that beauty lasts for a good hour. So I would haul my computer up there and work while the sky changed colors every minute or so. It was the absolute perfect work space. While we were in this community, we saw a guy walk his 4 golden retrievers every single morning and when my sister-in-law finally talked to him, she found out that he moved to Cabo about 10 years ago and never looked back. And I understand why after waking up to those sunrises and those beautiful days. It’s really amazing there.
And since Colorado is completely colorless and none of the trees or flowers are blooming, it was amazing to be in a place that had color around every corner. Cabo is definitely a bit of a desert and the water isn’t insanely, especially compared to Riviera Maya and Cancun, but everywhere you turn there are palm trees and billowing flowers. It made for fun photos and easy workouts. Every morning in Cabo, I did a workout (you can see them here) and I never dreaded it because I knew the view no matter where I was would be stunning.
One of the absolute best part of Cabo and something I highly recommend doing is whale watching. From what we were told, it’s mating season so it’s pretty easy to spot some whales while in Cabo at that time. But it seemed incredibly easy. When we were looking up tours, they all cost around $80 per person but when we ended up with a great taxi driver named Alfredo, he recommended this company called Mr. Pinguin Tours and we met the guy in some alley where he charged us only $50 per person and asked for 1/2 the money upfront the day before. The next day, we waited for Alfredo and got pretty nervous that he wasn’t going to show up and we’d be left without half of our money. But that wasn’t the case at all! Alfredo picked us up, took us to the marina and we went straight for the famous rock structures and Arch of Cabo!
On this tour, you go by Playa del Amor (Lovers Beach), which is a small beach in the Sea of Cortez side, which is a great place for snorkeling and hanging out the beach. It’s only accessible by boat, but it’s still SO insanely busy so none of us snorkeled or went on the beach. Then connected on the other side of the beach facing the Pacific Ocean is Divorce Beach where the water is super choppy and the waves are pretty big. That beach was DEAD. Probably 4 people on the entire beach. But the views of the hotels and stunning homes was so cool to look at.
Not long after going out to sea, we saw our first whale. And it was truly magnificent. I’ve seen dolphins and I’ve seen sea turtles, but this whale was mesmerizing. He jumped out of the water probably 20 or more times and it never got old. From what I understand, it’s their mating call, but in that moment it feels like he’s just putting on a show for you and waving his little flipper to say hi. It was so rad. And this is exactly why I don’t snorkel. Whenever I’ve snorkeled in the past, I feel like I’m in someone else’s home. And this is proof right here that I am. This guy was beautiful and whale watching is something I will never forget. I’m not huge into excursions because they normally let me down on vacation, but this was worth every penny.
One of our goals is to save up enough money one day to have a vacation home somewhere that we love and want to go back to time and time again throughout the year. And we are thinking Cabo may be that spot. Not only is it only 2 hours and 45 minutes away, but it’s stunning and it has so much to offer. We have friends getting married there in April and now we really can’t wait to go back and experience more of it. And this time I will absolutely make a reservation at Flora Farms. I want to go there so bad after so many people recommended it!
If I could go back and do this trip again, I would definitely want to rent a car so we could get places a little easier than in a cab. And I would go to a different grocery store other than Costco. Oh, and I wouldn’t have gotten completely hammered on the last day. That turned out to be rather embarrassing. Especially around my parents who I never saw drink while growing up. But our homemade dirty bananas (frozen bananas, almond milk, peanut butter, cacao powder, maple sugar, and vodka) got the best of me. No hangover though! While we were in Cabo, not one of us got a hangover no matter how the night went. Isn’t that weird? I’m not sure how that happened but we were cool with it.
If you haven’t been to Cabo, go now. It’s warm, it’s beautiful, the people are friendly, and there are so many things to do. We plan to go back soon and get to know the area more in hopes of maybe calling it a second home someday. Until then, it’s time to work my ass off so hopefully our dreams can become a reality someday!
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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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