Kite, Surf, and Tacos in Cabo
By Cameron Troutman
Photos by Chandler Borries
Growing up in the Deep South, Mexico has always had a mixed aura about it. An untraceable escape for some, a short dose of gluttony for others. The countless tales of it being unsafe, inherently dangerous – yet with close proximity to the United States, it was obvious to me that cultural exchange accounted for stuff like the 3 man mariachi group at the local strip mall Mexican restaurant, to the 9 banded armadillo that must have rolled his way across the border like a Texas tumbleweed. All must not be so bad right? Despite my love affair with chile rellenos and being a skeptic by nature, I had never given our friendly neighbor the time of day. Perhaps it was just too comfortable, too close, subconsciously reserving it for my golden years.
I wanted to go to far-away places in Asia and Africa. Maybe I had heard one too many stale and tailored 3 day cruise ship trips, assuming Mexico to be somewhat like Mickey Mouse in a Sombrero. I’ve always reserved a special place in hell for battery powered candles and fake plants! The travel I had come to love was the raw and the uncooked, the genuine and the real. In the Summer of 2020 during the heat of the pandemic, my feet began to shake with Stateside dormancy. I was vulnerable, easy prey for my well-intentioned yet clearly misguided travel amigo suggesting Mexico as a Shangri-la-like escape. “It’s the only place open”, he said. “Its just a short flight away. There are countless waves, plentiful wind and tacos galore.”
LIES!!! Naturally I boarded the next plane out of Gulfport, MS at 7am to Cabo and had my first Baja fish taco in hand by noon. I’m not here to give it all away because it is the process of discovery that is the novelty of traveling. All I can say is that I was pleasantly surprised and have since been back 3 times spending 3 months there in total.
Cabo is really tough to beat for a quick kitesurf and taco binge at an affordable price.
Here are my two cents:
1) First and foremost rent a SUV at the San Jose Del Cabo airport (SJD) and don’t stop, but drive straight to Claro Fish Jr. This is where all great southern Baja trips begin. I would also suggest to finish your trip here making it a full circle of nostalgic sustenance, fresh fish and taco bar bliss. The highways are nearly new and your vehicle or SUV only needs some ground clearance but not really 4×4 set up.
2) Let go of western expectations and don’t be scared! People are extremely nice and will help you if needed. Just use common sense!
3) Unless you are after a wardrobe of spring break inspired spray T’s or you are building a shrine back home out of plastic souvenirs, don’t get sucked into the tourist trap that is Cabo San Lucas. Go for a big night out, a fishing trip or to see the Arch, then get the heck out of there!
4) Remember, Cabo means Cape and Baja means lower. Check out some of the history of why the 700 mile+ peninsula is called Lower California. It is encompassed by the Pacific to the west and the Sea of Cortez to the east, with mountains in between. Expect vast deserts capes with giant cacti giving way to cobalt and teal tinted water. Go stargazing at night!
5) Spots to check out: San Jose Del Cabo for tacos and margaritas. East Cape for adventure, reefy surf spots and epic diving. Cerritos for small Pacific surf town vibes. Explore the magical town of Todos Santos for art. Go to La Ventana for wind and La Paz for a Mexican city experience and whale shark watching. These towns are all within a 1-3 hour drive from the airport and can be done in somewhat of a loop. I recommend going during the winter. This is whale season and the waves/wind are optimum.
I am alone on a 12m, overpowered with 20knts+ side shore conditions and a multitude of azure tinted waters. A clean right hander breaks off this desert headland over shallow reef, great for strapless riding. The infamous Gerry Lopez is said to be a local at this spot as are a herd of rogue donkeys!
6) Kite, Surf, Tacos, and repeat. Thank me later!
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