Last updated July 24, 2023
In addition to its unspoiled beaches, breathtaking landscapes and tropical-desert climate, Los Cabos is home to some of the best wellness getaways in Mexico—including Hacienda del Mar.
Set at the tip of Baja California Sur, hugging both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, Los Cabos is a land made up of desert, rugged mountains, beach towns and crystal-clear water.
Its geography, “combined with about 350 days a year of sun, the healing power of the sea and the magical energy of the tropics, make Los Cabos a perfect setting for health and well-being,” says Cabo City Tours guide Kristian Sandoval.
The area comprises Cabo San Lucas in the south and San José del Cabo in the north. A 20-mile tourist corridor connects the two. Half an hour from each other, Cabo San Lucas, with its bars and nightlife, is where the party starts early.
San José, by contrast, is a quiet colonial town with cobblestone streets, art galleries and markets with colorful flags of “papel picado” that stretch across pedestrian zones. It’s what our guide Sandoval describes as the Yin and Yang of two towns.
Throughout Los Cabos, there are beautiful resorts and hotels on the beach. These range from all-inclusives with swim-up bars to boutique-style hotels with private plunge pool suites.
Swimming is not recommended on the Pacific side due to rocks and riptides. However, El Medano Beach and Santa Maria Beach are two popular beaches where you can swim safely.
Even at resorts where ocean swimming isn’t possible, infinity pools overlooking the ocean create a seamless strip of blue beneath the light blue sky above. The beige sand beaches, all of which are public, spread for miles, often seemingly devoid of people.
The late French explorer Jacques Cousteau once referred to the Sea of Cortez as “the aquarium of the world.” With more than 900 fish species and an array of marine mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and humpback whales, the peninsula is one of the most biologically diverse bodies of water on the planet.
Base Camp: Hacienda del Mar
This hacienda-style resort nestled between Cabo and San José (but closer to Cabo) is the perfect base camp to enjoy the wellness offerings of Los Cabos. Designed in 1995 by renowned architectural firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Hacienda del Mar Los Cabos Resort combines Mexican colonial elements with Mediterranean design.
Orange and adobe-colored villas house a total of 542 guest rooms (including 137 suites), spread across the property. In keeping with the authentic hacienda style, the resort features a central building that acts as its focal point.
The architecture of Hacienda del Mar means you always feel like you are in Mexico with its beautiful tile, stone arches, fountains, courtyards and gardens—garnering beautiful views of the sea from almost every vantage point.
Hacienda del Mar—Sleeping In
Accommodations at Hacienda del Mar range between one- to three-bedroom suites—about 10 per villa. Some of these suites feature kitchenettes and sitting areas. And all boast a private terrace or balcony, and ocean or garden view. The style of suites combines contemporary design with Mexican flair.
Eat to Your Heart’s Content
You can choose all-inclusive packages, with upgrades for certain dishes, or eat á la carte. Restaurant servers ask about allergies even before you sit down, and are ready to accommodate all food sensitivities and allergies.
Almost every restaurant on the property fronts the ocean, with two high-end options flanking the resort. There are also less expensive but still worthy options for your dining pleasure.
I personally recommend starting your day with an espresso at Molino Café. Then I suggest tucking into a “green” breakfast at De Cortez, with delicious truffled green toast with eggs, avocado and asparagus accompanied by a big jug of green juice. Lunch typically consists of a fruit bowl, guacamole and vegetarian tacos at Las Sirenas or tacos at El Burro Cansado. And for dinner, your best bets are rotating between De Cortez and Pitahayas.
Hacienda del Mar—Wellness Galore
Days can pass here with as much leisure or activity as you wish. Begin with a walk on the beach as the sun rises, followed by breakfast. At 9 am, head to the party palapa next to the beach. There you will find a gentle stretch, yoga, Pilates, salsa lesson or workout class.
If you want more rigorous exercise, the fitness center is well-equipped with ellipticals, bikes, treadmills, and cardio machines and weights. At 11 am, the activities pool is where the action is. Try HIIT or a Zumba class in the water, led by one of the fun high-energy activity guides.
Alternatively, for true indulgence, book their “Bali bed.” Although on first mention, I thought this was some kind of in-room service (thus the “bed”). But it turned out to be a four-poster bed set up next to their infinity pool. Each Bali bed comes furnished with crisp white sheets, drapes for privacy and a palapa “ceiling.” Attentive servers are always on hand and ready to bring you drinks and food!
Also don’t forget to book the Cactus Spa. Specialty treatments include the Coco-Pitahaya, in which the exotic pitahaya fruit is used as a nourishing and remineralizing wrap, while the coconut hydrates and revitalizes the skin.
After your treatment, you can easily while away a couple of hours in their beautiful co-ed lounge and enclosed garden. Here you will find three pools (a 57-degrees Fahrenheit cold plunge, and 91- and 104-degrees Fahrenheit warm and hot pools), with the backdrop of waterfall walls, shade from a bamboo-slatted “ceiling,” jugs of cucumber and chlorophyll water to rehydrate, and an attendant to play a sound bowl or hand you a cup of orange and mint water in the hot tub!
The spa also has sauna and steam rooms in the men’s and women’s locker rooms. So if booking a treatment, bring a bathing suit and plan some time to enjoy the facilities.
4 X Los Cabos on the Side
1. San José del Cabo
Only about a 25-minute drive from Hacienda del Mar, San José del Cabo is an easy and fun destination. Visit the Mission Church (which has twice daily services, including a bilingual service at noon on Sundays), pop by the Thursday evening Art Walk to buy and see local art (and meet the artists), or book a historical and cultural walking tour through Cabo City Tours.
You can also drive just north of San José to Flora Farms, a 25-acre organic working farm. Visitors can enjoy wellness experiences, take a cooking class, get a massage or herbal soak at the Farm Spa.
2. Todos Santos
This chic colonial town just over an hour north of Hacienda del Mar has been given the historical designation of “Pueblo Magico” or Magic Town. Known as a wellness destination, you will find holistic centers, yoga and spiritual retreats, and an artsy bohemian vibe.
With unspoiled beaches bordering the town, and the nearby swimmable beach, Playa los Cerritos, it’s a haven for surfers, hippies and artists. The legendary Hotel California located here, though not actually inspired by the Eagles’ song Hotel California, is still a landmark for its rooms, restaurant and bar, and Empirio Gallery.
Punta Lobos Hike, which starts near Hotel San Cristóbal, is about 10 minutes outside of town. It’s well worth the climb for the beautiful view of the Pacific. There’s also a three-mile bike path, with biking and hiking trails in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains that surround it.
3. Los Cabos by Sea
Interested in exploring the Baja Peninsula under water? Known for its plentiful marine life, there are many options for snorkeling with tours led by companies such as Cabo Adventures and Cabo Expeditions.
Departing from the marina, we boarded a 51-foot leopard luxury catamaran through Cabo Adventures for our four-hour Luxury Two Bay snorkeling trip. With three observation decks, an open bar and a bento box for breakfast and lunch, the on-boat experience was part of the attraction.
The cruise took us past Cabo San Lucas’s famous Arch, El Arco, the rugged land formation at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, known as Land’s End, where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean meet. We then cruised further out, stopping at Chileno Bay, and then another bay nearby for some snorkeling.
4. Cycling Cabo
Another option is mountain or road biking, although mountain biking tends to be more popular because there is still not enough “sharing road “culture to make road biking completely safe, says Sandoval, a biking aficionado.
There are no designated road biking trails in Los Cabos, although there is a trail along the hotel corridor in San José. There are also some off-road trails going to the East Cape.
You can mountain bike in Bike Park Sanjo and also at Punta Lobos near Todos Santos, where the views of the ocean are amazing. Rancho Cacachilas in El Sargento is also another good place for mountain biking.
You can sign up for one of their mountain biking experiences, or simply rent a bike and try out one of their trails on your own. Two other places to rent bikes are Sanjo Bikes and Thunders bikes.
Hacienda del Mar is about a 35-minute drive from San José del Cabo International Airport.