I am the traveller who looks for the easiest possible last minute vacations with the criteria of seeing somewhere new with beautiful scenery or great foodie experiences. In the Caribbean we generally try a new country each trip as we only travel every year or two, but we always stick to the resorts for ease (and safety). We have travelled to Mexico just once before, to the Mayan Riviera, but this spring our newest Mexico trip, we were invited to enjoy something totally out of our element for travel – a condo retreat in a surf town on the Baja coast. This surf village is the total opposite side of the country from the mega resorts of the Mayan, and a totally different landscape, ocean and vibe in the artsy, farm villages we visited.
CERRITOS BEACH – Cerritos Sunrise Barefoot Luxury Condos
Driving on the (brand new!) paved highway 45 minutes north of Cabo on the Baja Sur Coast, a little Surf Village oasis called Cerritos Beach appears on your left side down a dirt road. The condos are a beacon from the highway in their sunshine yellow adobe style buildings sitting on the horizon of the pacific ocean. The other landmark clearly visible is the rugged cliffs with the beautiful luxury hotel on top. We drove the quick couple minutes of windy dirt roads and arrived at a beautiful garden gate entrance to Barefoot Luxury at Cerritos Beach.
This beach is a haven for snowbirds and families coming to enjoy the condos in the area. To prepare for your stay here, you need only stop at Costco or a grocery store in Cabo to load up with food essentials and beverages then find your way out to this peaceful paradise of endless sandy beach.
The beach shacks will rent you sports gear and our condo was well equipped with beach umbrellas and chairs (umbrellas are a must from the sun here) and we packed our own snorkle gear, though we found most beaches were good for swimming or surfing but not ideal for snorkeling until you go to the Sea of Cortes or back to Cabo for the day.
Here are a couple more shots of the dreamy miles of beach views. We spent most of our mornings here or relaxing with a book at our condo pool. The beach was about 100 meters from our complex so an easy walk with our chairs and gear and never any shortage of prime sandy spots.
OTHER BEACHES NEARBY
Cerritos is the only “touristy” beach in the area so there are lots of people selling things on the beach here, not aggressive but just constant all day long, but every other beach nearby we were delighted to be either completely alone, or with just a handful of other tourist. We enjoyed a private yoga lesson on the beach just beyond the hilltop hotel, found wild horses rolling in the sand on another palm tree covered beach, and then travelled all the way across the peninsula to the Sea of Cortes to enjoy what I think is the most stunning beach i’ve ever seen.
Find Yoga Paul here to book your private yoga sessions around Cerritos or Todos
LA PAZ – BALANDRA BEACH
Balandra Beach or Playa Balandra is located about 90 minutes from Cerritos by travelling through the city of La Paz. We drove our rental car and found the trip was safe and paved, (we travelled only in the daylight), and the city was very easy to navigate and resembled many American cities with Sears and big box stores and malls, but with a gorgeous waterfront boardwalk of tourist shops and sculptures and restaurants, and beyond that – two of the most stunning beaches imaginable.
If you are coming to Cerritos, the beaches at La Paz are a must see. Google balandra beach to find this stunning yacht haven in the warmest waters filled with dolphins and whale sharks. We loved it so much we came back a second day so we could swim with the whale sharks and snorkle with sea lions, you can book these tours leaving right from La Paz. Be sure to stop at the other beach for lunch and drinks – though maybe skip the blended drinks here ;0) – before setting up for the day at Balandra – the road forks to the right to lead to the second beach here.
TODOS SANTOS and PESCADERO
When we were finished with beach and relaxing for the day, we were taking in the local sights and foods. Todos is an artsy, quirky little town with picturesque streets and sleepy vibes. Its one of those ideal spots where the locals are polite to tourists without being pushy or trying to sell you things at every turn. We actually enjoyed the tourist shops here and had a lot of fun at one back alley tequila tasting bar that also sold tile. I literally almost bought the kitchen sink to go with my newfound mexican tiles, thankfully i decided against it as i forgot about the mirror that already consumed my suitcase and now the 10lb box of tiles filling my carry on.
Pescadero is a farm oasis in the middle of the dessert with some of the freshest farm to table food options imaginable, and great variety for vegetarian travellers. Hierbabeuna in Pescadero was the number one restaurant everyone recommended, both locals and tourists, and the meals and beverages did not disappoint. The setting is fabulous and the gardens make you suddenly appreciate the quality of Mexico produce that you see in the grocery stores. Rancho Pescadero was another great farm to table restaurant and picturesque resort.
The restaurants in Todos and all of these little towns also worked hard at quality , unique menu options that aren’t at crazy high tourist prices, in fact we found all of the restaurants very reasonably priced, just drinks were a little expensive at some stops. It’s also worth noting that these smaller town shops and restaurants seemed to prefer PESOS instead of USD though they did accept both.
A can’t miss spot for dinner or drinks is the Todos Santos Inn. Fine dining style menu in a European style brick courtyard with romantic lighting and a piano player & singer duet on the juliet balcony of the bar. It was straight out of a movie dreamy and the setting alone is worth the visit. Even at fine dining prices, it was still very reasonable.
And saving the best for last, we loved the food here so much at La Casita Tapas and Wine Bar that came back twice. The sushi was especially good (i know SUSHI…in MEXICO?!) seriously it was the best.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Trust me, this trip was relaxing! But from a photographers perspective (AlannaDphoto.com) , it was stunning, one of the best tropical destinations I have been to for inspiring landscape that’s not just another palm tree or sunset. From the towns to farms, beaches and wildlife and the endless desert, I could hardly wait to see somewhere new each day to capture photos.
But we also took plenty of time to enjoy the pools at both our condo, and at Freesouls rooftop bar next door, and the other rooftop pool bar one more condo complex further up the hill. That was the best part, we could safely and comfortably explore local sights and towns and foodie spots and felt safe. We of course took precaution not to stand out with flashy things or getting rowdy drunk, but it still had the safe small town vibe that I felt we have at home. It was wonderful.
Interested in booking a trip to this fabulous little corner of Mexico? I am now managing the VRBO bookings for the condo unit that we stayed in and the VRBO posting will be going live for bookings for 2019 shortly.
Travel Tip Essentials for Cerritos:
Fly into Cabo San Lucas – daylight arrival will make your travel easiest to find Cerritos
Car Rental – you must rent a car for this area and ensure you ONLY book directly through National/Alamo DO NOT BOOK WITH EXPEDIA or otherwise – they will charge you for mandatory insurance through Expedia, which is NOT VALID, and then you have to pay double for the second insurance fee of several hundred dollars in order to pick up your rental. We found out a couple days before our trip and cancelled the expedia booking and booked directly with national car on their website.
NOTE: SUV is not essential but it does make it a little easier if you are into finding some of the more remote beaches down the dirt roads
Currency – USD works best in Cabo, Pesos worked better everywhere else especially the touristy shops and coffee shops. Most places accepted credit card even in the small towns.
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