Head for a long weekend on Baja's southern tip

Sunset  – August 10, 2004

At its busiest, Cabo San Lucas can seem a lot like LasVegas: a little too crowded, a little too boisterous. At least,that’s the rap the once-sleepy fishing village got in the early1990s, when late-night hangouts like El Squid Roe drew flocks tothe tip of Baja California.

Although the nightlife scene is still vibrant, we found plentyof options for couples and families interested in kicking back at aquiet resort or wandering a bit afield for a more authentic Mexicanexperience.

If you haven’t visited in a while, you’ll be surprised by thenumber of first-rate resorts. In the last few years, hotel andcondo developments have spread themselves out on bluffs above theSea of Cortez along the 18 miles of coast ― known as theCorridor ― separating Cabo San Lucas from the classy shops ofSan José del Cabo.

Another attraction is the booming cultural scene in artsy TodosSantos, an hour’s drive north of Cabo. In less than a decade, ithas gone from being one of those “hidden gems” to ground zero ofbohemian Baja.

Balmy spring weather in Baja makes this an excellent time tovisit, and convenient flights make it perfect for an exotic longweekend. ― David Lansing

To the tip of Baja

Be certain to bring your passport. If you rent a car (you won’tneed one if you stay only in Cabo San Lucas), U.S. insurance isn’tvalid, and Mexican insurance can add 20 percent or more to alreadyhigh rental costs. To call local Baja numbers from the UnitedStates, first dial 011-52; English is widely spoken. Contact LosCabos Tourism Board (www.visitcabo.com or866/567-2226) for complete travel information.

The following accommodations are among our favorites in CaboSan Lucas, San José del Cabo, and Todos Santos.

El Encanto Inn. This quiet inn in downtown San José delCabo is a short stroll away from the beaches and nightlife. From $69, suites from $79. www.elencantoinn.com or(624) 142-0388.

Esperanza. Opened last year, this luxury Auberge resort onthe Corridor has two infinity pools that seem to drop off into theocean. Suites from $550. www.esperanzaresort.comor (866) 311-2226.

Meliá San Lucas. Fronts lovely―andcalm―Medano Beach and has great views of El Fin de la Tierra(Land’s End), yet it’s just a 10-minute walk from downtown Cabo. From $280. www.solmelia.comor (800) 336-3542.

Todos Santos Inn. After adding two air-conditioned suites,owners John Stoltzfus and Craig Sinel reopened this historic innlast fall. From $95, suites from $135. (612) 145-0040.

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