Cabo is a land of unexpected surprises. As you fly into Los Cabos International Airport, the surrounding terrain is rocky, jagged, and barren- not quite what you would imagine for an ocean-front getaway. But Cabo becomes immensely more alluring the closer to arriving at your destination- the long winding path to the family-owned and operated Hacienda Encantada Resort builds up the anticipation for a promise from a break from a lifestyle encumbered by notification messages and texts.
Arriving at the beautifully decorated and all-inclusive suite, I immediately set into destress mode, with the balcony framing the picturesque view awaiting outside. The resort features suites and 3-bedroom villas blending vibrant Mexican hacienda-style architecture with authentic, locally-sourced Guadalajaran Michoacan artwork and textiles. The resort’s lush green grounds present a stark contrast to the pointed rocky terrain and paint a softer, more colorful picture against the backdrop of the incredibly blue Sea of Cortez.
The cuisine is incredibly fresh, with an expansive selection of ceviches fresh from the ocean, all paired with refreshing poolside drinks. You can also expand your knowledge of local drinks through a tequila tasting or trying mezcals to help settle into that vacation mindset. With a total of six restaurants onsite, you could spend your time at Hacienda Encantada eating something different every meal. Or if you’re feeling a bit more hands-on, there are cooking classes on-grounds so you can learn to make your own ceviches. While many people think of sun-drenched days in a beach city, there’s something to be said about evenings on a beach resort, particularly if your cliffside dining overlooks an ocean tinted by a setting sun.
During my visit, they had just commissioned the opening of their new tower, El Encanto de la Hacienda, with amenities like an impressive infinity pool, swim-up bar, relaxing hammocks, and private cabanas. The suites themselves were decorated with Guadalajaran Michoacan artwork and featured private balconies to take in the views of the ocean.
While Hacienda Encantada is distinctly secluded and perfect for those wanting to truly get away from it all, heading out to get a feel for the city and nightlife is just a quick shuttle ride to downtown. Once you reach the Marina Golden Zone, you can visit a variety of restaurants and bars, as well as the Marina Fiesta, Hacienda Encantada’s sister resort. With the optional all-inclusive resort option, the dine-out priveleges allow you to sample a few of the restaurants in the Marina Golden Zone as well. While you’re at the marina, you can get a taste of the Sea of Cortez by signing up for guided scuba diving tours. Unlike the murky waters off the coast of Texas, Cabo’s waters are perfectly clear. Our boat anchored off not too far at Pelican Rock and a quick dip into the water revealed a diverse marinelife unafraid of human interaction- I was fairly impressed by how easy it was to swim alongside a school of fish. Back up on the boat, we headed past Lover’s Beach and over to the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, the extreme southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
Back at the resort, the night’s ceremonies included a fireworks display in the distance and a meal with a bit of entertainment built in to a flaming cheese appetizer. After a late dinner, a stroll along the shore provided some solitary reflection as the waves drowned out the ambient noise of the city and the clear skies revealed an opportunity for some stargazing.
On the morning before leaving, I woke up bright and early and dashed over to the cliffs on the resort nearby to catch something most city dwellers don’t get an opportunity to see- an actual sunrise over the ocean. There’s a calmness at this hour and waiting patiently for the sun to rise forces you to slow down and take in the surroundings. And having that moment of clarity prepares you for your return trip to a city life screaming once again for your attention. Whichever way you choose, there’s a little bit of luxury and as much of an escape as you’d like at the Hacienda Encantada Los Cabos Resort. Those text messages and e-mails can wait.
Hacienda Encantada Los Cabos Resort
writer/photography: Andrew Nguyen