Global travelers who have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Marina Village at Costa Palmas in the East Cape can now start planning their next trip to the region—with their yacht.
The full-service marina, which can accommodate more than 200 motor yachts, sailboats, and fishing vessels, is one of the few in the Baja peninsula where owners can moor their seafaring boat (up to 250 feet in length).
Marina Village is already proving to be a beloved destination, serving as a gathering place for shoppers, diners, and those seeking an upscale hub to relax and unwind. For some, Marina Village beckons with its plentiful outdoor seating to watch the incoming and outgoing boats from the port. For others, it’s a calming seaside locale for a chat by an outdoor fire pit with a cocktail made of the finest Mexican tequila. Still, others prefer the buzz of live music in the background while they gaze upon the twinkling night sky.
If you’re bringing a yacht to the East Cape to explore the Sea of Cortez and beyond, consider the following one-day itinerary to make your voyage one of the best imaginable.
Head to Marina Village’s first retail store, Casena, to pick up some baked goods, homemade jams, snacks, and fresh coffee for the trip. You’ll find salsas from Mexico City, honey from Yucatan, fresh-baked bread from Oaxaca, and coffee sourced from Mexico’s finest beans.
Once you’re loaded up on tasty locally sourced goods, it’s time to board and head out for a full day of sightseeing and activities. Set your course for the Bay of Cabo San Lucas.
Bay of Cabo San Lucas
Where the Sea of Cortez blends into the Pacific Ocean you’ll find the aptly named Land’s End. The setting is home to what many consider to be Los Cabos’s most iconic landmark, Los Cabos Arch. Carved by wind and waves, this limestone rock formation is beautiful enough to photograph on its own, but you may be lucky enough to capture a photobomb by sunbathing sea lions, who frequently make an appearance.
Closer to shore is Pelican Rock, a favorite natural attraction in the Bay of Cabo San Lucas. Jutting out of the water, the tourist favorite is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and, for the true risk-takers, climbing.
Nestled between these rock formations is Playa del Amor or Lover’s Beach. One of the most photographed beaches in Los Cabos, the pristine sands and calm waters make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. In contrast, the rougher conditions off Divorce Beach (located on the Pacific side of the peninsula) make swimming more dangerous.
East of Cabo Marina in the bay is Medano Beach, a popular two-mile stretch of sand known for idyllic swimming conditions due to the calm waters. Additionally, you’ll likely see snorkelers here as the crystal-clear bay makes for great visibility.
If you’re eager to engage in water activities, it’s worth coming ashore to rent a jet ski or kayak. There are also shops, cantinas, and restaurants nearby. This makes it an ideal stop to give your sea legs a rest to pick up souvenirs.
Cabo Pulmo National Park
Northeast of Cabo San Lucas is one of the oldest living coral reefs in the world: Cabo Pulmo. Dubbed “the aquarium of the world” by Jacques Cousteau, the rich marine life is a huge draw for scuba divers, boasting more than 200 species of turtles, eels, sharks, rays, and colorful fish. Depending on when you visit, you may also see humpback whales, hammerhead sharks, and sea lions.
It’s important to understand that you can’t just maneuver your yacht up to Cabo Pulmo to scuba dive. There are quite a few restrictions to the area due to conservation regulations and scuba divers must be certified. If you’re an experienced scuba diver and have an Open Water license, book a diving trip with a guide. You’ll get boat transportation and scuba gear and can choose from several dive sites.
Near Cabo Pulmo is La Ribera, a tourist destination with about 2,000 residents. The popular locale draws sports fishermen for its marlin, tuna, sailfish, roosterfish, and Dorado. In addition, it’s home to several famous fishing tournaments. With white sand beaches and relatively calm waters, you’ll find a multitude of water activities, such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Just southeast of La Ribera is Punta Colorada Beach where you can enjoy remote stretches of beach, the now-defunct Punta Arena Lighthouse, and natural rock formations.
Midway between Los Cabos and La Paz is the sleepy village of Los Barriles. Here, rough terrain vehicles (RTVs) outnumber cars. The rustic dirt roads and pop-up vendors give Los Barriles a slow-paced vibe. Don’t let the gated developments fool you into thinking that crime is an issue; the containment is to keep out the cows, goats, and feral cats that tend to wander into neighborhoods.
If you opt to debark your yacht and spend some time in Los Barriles, there’s still plenty to do. Hiking, biking, RTV rentals, and kite surfing are all popular choices.
When you’re ready to head back to Marina Village, Mozza Baja will be waiting. The restaurant is run by world-renowned chef Nancy Silverton, who offers a menu packed with her signature creations. With views of Marina Village from its location along the courtyard, the establishment centers itself around the wood-fired pizza oven but extends to a full dining room, bar, and outdoor lounge.
Chef Silverton’s team of proteges knows the importance of using only the freshest ingredients, including in the desserts and drinks. They rely on local farmers for organic vegetables, regional fishermen for seafood, and local producers for artisanal and homemade ingredients. From the tequila and lemons to the clams and ribeye, you’ll finish your day with a full belly and a newfound appreciation for the East Cape’s culinary delights.
To learn more about experiencing the Marina Village at Costa Palmas, visit the website.