Real Honeymoon: Costa Rica

My best friend Alice and her husband Jason did a mini-moon in Carmel in 2012 right after their amazing wedding at Carmel Valley Ranch, and decided to go on a longer honeymoon over their one year anniversary.  Alice loves traveling as much as I do (and has been everywhere), so we had lots of long discussions about where would be the best November destinations for their trip.  Finally she and Jason decided on an incredible itinerary in both the Philippines and Hawaii.

Fast forward nearly a year later, Alice sends me a headline about a super typhoon headed straight toward the Philippines — uh oh.  They had to act quickly and re-plan everything, and even though it wasn’t the honeymoon they were expecting, Alice and Jason had a fantastic time in Costa Rica.  (A Jay-Z and Beyoncé spotting at their hotel didn’t hurt either.)  Read all about their awesome Costa Rica honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We honeymooned in Costa Rica in November 2013. During our trip we stayed in two areas– near the Volcano Arenal for the first part, and on the Pacific coast at Playa Papagayo for the second part of the trip.

costa rica honeymoon

How long was your trip?

Our trip was two full weeks, from November 14 – November 28.

costa rica honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We planned our honeymoon to be on our one year anniversary in November, and originally had everything set for 2.5 weeks in the Philippines and in Hawaii. Due to the “super typhoon Haiyan” that hit 5 days before we left, we decided to not continue with our original honeymoon plans for that destination. As a result, we planned a last minute honeymoon in Costa Rica because it had great beaches, activities, and very importantly, good weather :)

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We ended up splitting the trip up at 2 locations- The Springs & Spa Resort in Arenal (inland part of Costa Rica) and the Four Seasons at the Peninsula Papagayo for the beach.

(If anyone is curious about a honeymoon-oriented trip to the Philippines, I am happy to provide details on our plans to travel to Manila, Boracay, and Oahu).

costa rica honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Can’t narrow it down to just one, but top three include:

  • Exploring the natural hot springs at our first hotel, The Springs & Spa Resort in Arenal (where they filmed episodes for The Bachelor). It was great being able to stumble upon various natural pools and springs throughout the entire property.
  • Experiencing the wildlife overall– river tubing and seeing a snake, golfing at an amazing course and running into anteaters and spider monkeys, hearing an angry gorilla in the forest during zip lining, and having an iguana run across my foot (ok that wasn’t ideal).
  • Lounging by the pool/beach and reading lots of books. After everything with shifting and re-planning the trip last minute, it was pretty amazing just relaxing with piña colada in hand.

costa rica honeymoon

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

We would have split the trip more evenly between the two destinations we stayed at. We spent 4 nights at the first hot springs/Arenal hotel, and then 10 nights at the Four Seasons. During our planning the week before, we had received a deal where we got every 5th night free at the Four Seasons– and as a result, we shortened our stay at The Springs & Spa Resort. Because the Four Seasons is very remote and almost everything has to be done on the property, we would have balanced the trip out more despite room credit, etc. from the Four Seasons.

costa rica honeymoon

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Real Honeymoon: Belize

My friends Allison and CK first celebrated their wedding with a Sedona mini-moon back in October, but they were especially excited about honeymooning in Belize.  Looks like their wait paid off, because they had a fantastic time in Placencia where they enjoyed the beach and went on some pretty awesome excursions.  Read all about their relaxing yet adventurous Belize honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We honeymooned to Placencia, Belize November 14-21. We stayed at Robert’s Grove Beach Resort.

belize honeymoon

How long was your trip?

We stayed for 7 nights/8 days. We bought a Living Social deal online for the resort we stayed at. It was for 6 nights and we added an extra night. It was the perfect amount of time there. We felt that we were able to get everything in that we wanted to and had enough time to relax on the beach.

belize honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

My husband was interested in Belize and had wanted to go there for a while now. After doing research and seeing some beautiful pictures, we decided it would be a wonderful place for our honeymoon. We prefer something a little off the beaten path. Travel time was only about 6 hours, so we could spend more time on the beach! Initially we wanted to go to Tahiti or Bora Bora, but it takes up so much travel time, and we could not get off enough work to enjoy our time there (another time!). Plus, we were able to get a good deal with Living Social, and since it was the end of the rainy season, the rates were lower.

belize honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Relaxing and spending time together, of course. We spent plenty of time soaking up the sun on the beach, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and riding bikes.

belize honeymoon

We went on a few different excursions that we really enjoyed. Our favorite was the snorkeling trip. Belize is known for its beautiful blue water and has second largest barrier reef in the world. We took a two-hour boat ride to a tiny island that looked like it was straight out of a Corona commercial. The water was so blue and beautiful. We saw a lot of different fish and swam with sharks, sea turtles, and manta rays. Swimming with the sea turtles was my favorite part. We also went on a jungle/river tour where we saw crocodiles, howler monkeys, and manatees.

belize sea turtles

Lastly, we went on a tour of the Mayan ruins and went cave swimming. The cave swimming was very exciting and adventurous. We swam/rock-climbed upstream into the cave. The water level was higher than normal so it was a struggle to make it very far, but it was definitely a thrill.

belize honeymoon

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

We loved everything about our trip, the location, resort and excursions. The amount of time spent was also just right. If we had a few more days we would have liked to explore the other side of Belize. Placencia is becoming more popular but is definitely a small, quiet rural town. There is always the option to rent a car or travel by small plane to different areas. Ambergris Caye is an island in the northern part of Belize that is definitely more popular and touristy. It would have been neat to spend a few nights there just to explore a different part of the country.

belize honeymoon

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Real Destination Wedding: Mexico

It’s time for another first on Peonies to Palm Trees!  This time it’s the very first REAL DESTINATION WEDDING post, brought to you by Erika and Chris who decided to get married in Mexico.  My brother was lucky enough to attend this amazing destination wedding, and said that it was an absolute blast.  If you’re considering planning a destination wedding, make sure to read all of Erika’s wonderful advice below (and go for it!):

When and where was your destination wedding?

We were married on October 27th, 2013 in Troncones, Mexico (a small fishing village and resort town near Ixtapa).

Mexico wedding

How long were you there?

We stayed for a week with our family and on the 4th day the rest of our guests joined us.

troncones wedding

How did you decide on doing a destination wedding?

We fell in love in Costa Rica, we got engaged in El Salvador, and we wanted to share our love of adventure and travel with our family and friends. Also, we all get caught up in this fast paced world. We were hoping that our wedding would be a chance for everyone to slow down, step away, and really enjoy our time together.

group yoga in mexico

Pre-wedding yoga sesh

The best part about our destination wedding was…

It was intimate and genuine. All our friends and family spent days together. Those who didn’t know each other became friends, those who hadn’t seen each other in a while reconnected….Our parents call each other on the phone now. It was so special for all the people we love to come together for us.

troncones wedding

Surf’s up!

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

I had this grand idea that, because we had kitchens, we’d all want to cook in the days leading up to the wedding. We did crazy grocery shopping and I created a menu and cookbook. But we were all so excited to be in a new place and all together that we wanted to explore and hang out, not cook. That was a wasted effort and more trouble than it was worth. Go out to eat, it’s good for the local economy, it adds to the adventure, and it allows you and your guests to get to know the local people.

troncones wedding

What was the hardest part about planning a destination wedding?

Our wedding planners miraculously got it all done almost like we’d planned…and “almost” was plenty close enough for us. But, there was plenty of not really knowing if things were actually going to happen. The planners made it interesting, they were often unresponsive to our emails and then they’d only answer a couple of our many questions. In fact, they never actually confirmed our plans and contract until we were already in Mexico, two days before the wedding. Chris and I learned to just laugh it off, and go with the flow. Also, mother nature served us up some complications, there was a hurricane..thankfully, it stayed off shore, and a downpour/thunderstorm during the reception. But heck, it makes for a great story to tell our kids one day.

troncones wedding

What are your tips for other couples who are considering planning a destination wedding?

It’s STRESSFUL but absolutely, completely worth it. The intimacy, sincerity, and simplicity of the day and ceremony was inexplicable. It was magical and we will never ever forget it. So just take a deep breath, let things happen, relax if it’s not picture perfect because the imperfections, oh man, that’s where the memories happen, the memories you get to cherish together for the rest of your lives. Like when it poured down rain and we all ran to the covered patio, cramped together, no clue what to do, as our tables and chairs got soaked, there was a brief moment of panic and then we looked around at all our friends and family laughing and dancing we knew what to do….time to dance in the rain.

troncones wedding

So so awesome

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Cheap and Adventurous Honeymoon Ideas

Some friends of mine recently got married in Mexico (blog post coming soon!), and now they’ve asked me for recommendations on where to go on their honeymoon.   Their two biggest requirements?  Adventurous and inexpensive.

Since this couple lives in California, I immediately thought that they have two major options: Asia or Central America.  Here’s why:

1) SE Asia: The yes-the-flight-is-expensive-but-everything-else-is-cheap option.

If your honeymoon is 10+ days, I’d definitely recommend going to SE Asia, specifically certain parts of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia*, and Cambodia*.  Although your flights will most likely be $1000 or more per person, your money is going to go a very long way once you’re there.  You can stay at incredible resorts for less than $200 a night, domestic flights are super cheap, fancy dinners can be had for $30 or less, and spa splurges like massages are around $15.

Morning sunrise hike in Bali

Morning sunrise hike in Bali

SE Asia also offers a lot of cool options for adventure lovers.  You can trek with elephants in Thailand, go water rafting in Bali, hike mountains in Borneo – the list is endless (and pretty damn awesome).

Patara

Alexis and Andrew riding elephants in Thailand

If you want to stay on budget, just make sure that you avoid the most touristy areas and “name brand” hotels.  In other words, if you think that the Four Seasons in Koh Samui will be a steal just because it’s in Thailand, think again.  (Because the cheapest rooms are about $1000 USD a night!)

2) Central America: The flights-are-short-and-inexpensive-but-you’ll-pay-a-decent-amount-for-everything-else option.

Remember when I was deciding whether to go to Belize, Nicaragua, or Panama last Memorial Day weekend?  Well, the flights from SFO to all three countries were basically the same price: $600.  And compared to flights to Asia, they’re really short which makes them perfect for honeymoons that are less than 10 days.

panama snorkeling

Snorkeling in Panama

While Costa Rica is great for honeymooners, it will certainly not be your cheapest bet.  Belize*, on the other hand, has great “beach + jungle” resort combo packages at all different price points, and our neighbors raved about the amazing diving resorts in Honduras.*  Panama is a major up-and-coming surf destination, as well.

Belize horseback riding

Agnes and Matt horseback riding in Belize

Again, you may save money if you stay away from the big name hotel chains and choose boutique hotels instead.

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Real Honeymoon: Mexico

After a gorgeous wedding at Santa Clara University (their alma mater), Hillary and Brent jetted down to Cabo for an extremely relaxing honeymoon.  They loved their resort so much that not even a tropical storm dampened their spirits!  Spoiler alert: complimentary daily guacamole deliveries to their room were involved — I would have been in heaven, too!  Read all about their luxurious Cabo honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in August 2013.

Sunset at El Farallon

Sunset at El Farallon

How long was your trip?

5 nights/6 days.

Cabo honeymoon

The main pool at Capella Pedregal

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

cabo honeymoon

Lunch in the pool

With such a long engagement (17 months), we had plenty of time to change our mind time and again about whether to honeymoon, and where. At first we wanted to take a long, exotic trip to Europe or Tahiti. But as the realities of PTO and an over-budget wedding set in, we reconsidered. We discussed postponing our honeymoon altogether, but we longed for a way to spend time unwinding together after the 17 month build-up.We looked at mini-mooning in Southern California, but found the time and expense of that trip comparable to traveling to Cabo, which is where we landed. We searched hotels on tripadvisor.com and chose the #1 rated Capella Pedregal because of its stellar reviews and personal infinity pools in every room.

cabo honeymoon

View from Hillary and Brent’s private pool

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The atmosphere at Capella Pedregal. The resort was made for honeymooners, from the ocean-front infinity pool and swim-up bar, to the world-class spa and restaurants, to the luxurious rooms and overly-accommodating staff who deliver complimentary guacamole and Corona to your room every afternoon.

cabo honeymoon

Back in the main pool

cabo san lucas beach

The beach in front of Capella Pedregal

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Nothing, it was literally the perfect honeymoon, even in spite of the tropical storm that hit one night. I wouldn’t be deterred from visiting Mexico again during hurricane season since it was warm throughout our trip and sunny all but one half day. And we were told that tropical storms in August, although not unheard of, are rare.

cabo honeymoon

Tropical Storm? Who cares?!

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Real Honeymoon: Mexico

Katie and Bobby’s honeymoon was nearly a year after their wedding, but it was worth the wait!  Read all about their relaxing Mexican honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We honeymooned at the Omni Hotel, Cancun, Mexico from April 25-30, 2013.

Cancun

How long was your trip?

The best and most relaxing 6 days of our lives!

Omni Hotel Cancun

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination?

We waited to take our honeymoon until it was a good time to take vacation from work. So, almost 1 year after getting married, we decided the right time had come! We knew we wanted to be on the Caribbean and we were looking for an all-inclusive, so we booked our honeymoon through SniqueAway.com (now known as Jetsetter).

Omni Hotel Cancun

The best part about our honeymoon was…

There were so many great parts about our honeymoon it’s hard to choose just one. But, if I had to pick one, I think the best part was waking up and having breakfast on the beach looking out at the turquoise water. We decided not to have a set agenda prior to arriving at the resort, and adventured together each day. We booked two excursions once we arrived in Cancun through AquaWorld (booked at the Hotel). We chose the half day “Jungle Tour” and a day trip to Isla Mujeras. Isla Mujeras was our favorite! We hopped on an early morning (9 am is early on vacation) party boat and cruised out to the island. Once we arrived, we tanned in the sun on the white sandy beach, snorkeled, ate lunch, and shopped in town. We definitely would recommend the day trip to Isla Mujeras.

Cancun

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Booking the restaurant reservations at the Omni ahead of time is key. There are a couple of nicer restaurants at the resort that required reservations. We had to wait a couple of days for these restaurants to have availability. We made friends with a couple of waiters at the other restaurants on the property which turned out to be beneficial as they brought us “non-menu” dishes. Overall great service everywhere at this resort!

Cancun

How much planning did you do in advance?

We had been thinking of destinations for a while, but really only spent about a month (or less) planning our trip. We decided in February to take the trip in April.

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Real Honeymoon: Belize

I don’t know about you, but this week’s Real Honeymoon makes me want to book a trip to Belize as soon as possible.  Matt and Agnes split their vacation time between the jungle and the beach, and the result was an exciting but very relaxing honeymoon that was perfect for these super busy lawyers.  Read all about their incredible Belizean honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

The night after our wedding, we caught a redeye flight to Belize and got there the following morning.  We were there from June 17 through June 24.  This is technically the beginning of the “off-season” and rainy season, but it ended up being the perfect time to go, because the weather is still really great, prices are lower, and it’s a lot less packed but still vibrant.  We spent the first 3 nights at the Lodge at Chaa Creek, an amazing resort in the jungles of the Cayo district just a few miles from the Guatemalan border.  Then we headed back to the Caribbean Sea where we spent the next 4 nights relaxing on the beach at Victoria House on Ambergris Caye.

Belize

How long was your trip?

Our trip was a total of 8 days and 7 nights (not long enough!).

Ambergis Caye

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We picked this location because we wanted to combine some great outdoor excursions with a healthy dose of beach relaxation.  Victoria House came highly recommended by a friend of ours, and the Lodge at Chaa Creek partners with Victoria House to create an amazing Jungle/Beach package.  At Chaa Creek we did some horseback riding, explored Mayan ruins, and really enjoyed being in the jungle.  It rained a bit while we were there, but what is the rainforest without rain? Right?  At Victoria House we spent the majority of our time just relaxing and sipping cocktails on the beach.  But we also went on two amazing snorkeling excursions… the coral reef there is incredible.  Coincidentally, we arrived in San Pedro (the main city on Ambergris Caye) during their week-long celebration to kick off their lobster season.  We ate lobster for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and had an absolute blast.

Belize horseback riding

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The tropical drinks (not sure how I’m going to live without Victoria House’s infamous frozen coconut mojito on a daily basis) and the lobster, of course.

Belize drinks

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

If we knew then what we know now, we would have made the trip longer and brought less clothing and stuff.  You basically live in your bathing suit, and so we didn’t use half of the things we had packed.

Victoria House

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Our Four Night Trip to Bocas del Toro, Panama

It’s been just about a week since we returned from our trip to Panama, and my husband and I are still pretty excited about it.  Even though we were only there for four nights, it was a great little trip for us to get some sun and take a breather from “real life.”  We had a fantastic time, but I do need to preface this post by saying that I would not recommend Bocas del Toro, Panama for a honeymoon… quite yet.  Maybe check back with me in 5-10 years or so.  The area is gaining lots of popularity with tourists, but it doesn’t currently have the element of travel luxury that most honeymooners would want.  In other words, it’s full of backpackers and baby boomer expats.  That being said, many travel writers have claimed that Panama is “the next Costa Rica” so I have high hopes that Panama will be a great honeymoon destination in the near future.  But for those of you who are interested in taking a non-honeymoon trip that isn’t incredibly mainstream yet, Panama would work well for you.

Bocas Map

Pretty map of Bocas del Toro Province

A couple of things to mention straight off the bat: the U.S. dollar is their main currency but they do have their own coins, only tourists wear Panama Hats (and they are actually from Ecuador, not Panama), and despite what our tour guide told us, there ARE earthquakes in Panama because a 5.6 one woke us up one night.

Water taxis in Bocas del Toro

Water taxis in Bocas del Toro

We took a red-eye flight from LA, and woke up in Panama City six hours later.  Since we had a seven hour layover there and wanted to see as much of the city as possible, we made arrangements in advance to have a private tour through My Friend Mario.  “Mario 2” picked us up from the airport (he claimed that all of their guides are named Mario) and took us everywhere: the Old Panama Ruins, the new city, the colonial area, the fish market ($3 ceviche – YUM!), the Coastway, the fruit market, Ancon Hill, and finally to the Panama Canal.  Although that sounds like a lot to do after a red-eye, the city isn’t too spread out and it was great to be chauffeured around in an air conditioned car.

Panama City Skyline

The massive Panama City skyline

After that whirlwind tour of Panama City, we took a quick 45 minute flight to Bocas del Toro and then a two minute water taxi to our hotel on Isla Careneros.  (Pro tip: if you go to Bocas del Toro, water taxis between Bocas Town and Isla Careneros are $1 per person.   Don’t ask how much, just give them the money.  If you ask, they’ll charge you 5x more.)  Despite being only $60 a night, our hotel was highly rated on Tripadvisor so we gave it a shot.

Hotel Oasis

Hotel Oasis

It was extremely clean and in a great location, but it was pretty basic accommodations – like I said, definitely not honeymoon material.  The owner Jose and his girlfriend Mayra didn’t speak great English (and our Spanish is pretty terrible), but they were extremely friendly and helped us plan out the three full days we had in Bocas.  Looking back on it, I would recommend the same itinerary to anyone, so here it is:

Day 1: Sleep in, take a water taxi to Bocas Town, then catch the noon bus to Boca del Drago.  You can also rent bikes and ride there from Bocas Town, but our hotel owner talked us out of it.  Later on when we met a Danish guy who rode his bicycle to Bocas from LOS ANGELES (!!!!), we felt like the laziest people alive since we thought riding bikes across one little island would be too tough.  Anyway, from Boca del Drago you can take a beautiful walk 20 minute walk or take a water taxi to Playa Estrella – a beach area that’s full of massive red and orange starfish.  (Pro tip: don’t go barefoot – there’s something in the sand over there that feels like sharp little glass splinters.  My feet felt better by the end of the day though, and Aaron didn’t feel anything at all because his feet are basically two massive callouses.)  When you get back to town, go back to Isla Careneros to freshen up and get dinner at Bibi’s on the Beach to watch the manta rays swim in the water beneath you.  Before you go to sleep, ask your hotel owner to book “the boat tour” for the next day.

Starfish

Checking out the starfish at Playa Estrella on Isla Colon

Boca del Drago

Boca del Drago

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… And We’re Off to Bocas del Toro, Panama!

This song has been stuck in my head ever since we booked our flights to Panama back in March:

That’s right, we’re spending [an extended] Memorial Day Weekend in Bocas del Toro, Panama!  We’re going to try to stay offline as much as possible while we’re down there, so that means I’m not going to publish the next Real Honeymoon post on Monday morning like I normally do.  However, I do have an absolutely jaw-dropping honeymoon to share with you as soon as we get back home, and it’s so good that I had to break it into two posts.

Wherever you celebrate Memorial Day, I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!

Real Non-Honeymoon: Los Cabos, Mexico

Yeah yeah yeah, I know that this is a honeymoon travel blog, but this week I couldn’t help but share my sister’s recent non-honeymoon-but-still-fabulous vacation in Los Cabos!  Los Cabos is just a three hour flight from San Francisco (and under two and a half hours from LA), so it’s a great destination for honeymooners who need to take a shorter trip or just don’t feel like sitting on an airplane for too long.  Plus, there are tons of beautiful beaches, excellent food, and a very active nightlife.  Take it away, Elisa!

When and where did you travel?

We traveled to Los Cabos, Mexico and spent four days at a home in the One & Only Palmilla Resort community in San Jose del Cabo and two days at the Hotel el Ganzo in Puerto Los Cabos.

Cabo

Cabo babes, Dylan and Elisa (yeah, they work out)

How long was your trip?

6 days.

How did you decide on your travel destination(s)?

We had been looking for a warm, relaxing, “beachy” vacation destination that didn’t require too much time off work. Our trip was initiated because a good friend owns a home in the Palmilla Resort community and invited us to travel with them for four days. From there, we decided to extend our trip an additional two days to explore Puerto los Cabos.

Cabo House

Their friend’s house at One & Only Palmilla Resort

The best part about our trip was…

My boyfriend and I joke that every activity we did, we would say, “Ok, I think THIS is my favorite!” Overall, the best part of the trip was the perfect balance between relaxing/lounging, fun activities/adventures and food!

Below are some of the highlights from our trip:

Flora Farms – This is an adorable, ten-acre organic farm in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in Los Cabos, Mexico and definitely a “must see.” We went for breakfast and enjoyed a delicious meal overlooking the gardens and walking around the grounds.

Flora Farms

Checking out the beautiful gardens at Flora Farms

Water Sports – We went kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and surfing on our trip!

Sunset da Mona Lisa – An amazing location for a sunset dinner overlooking the hills of Los Cabos. (Easily the most incredible restaurant location I’ve ever been to.) I would definitely recommend this for a special dinner. (Be sure to request one of the private tables on the cliffs, overlooking the water.)

Agua Bar at One & Only Palmilla Luxury Resort – A great place to go for sunset margaritas! The resort is beautiful and the bar has an authentic vibe with brightly colored hanging lanterns. Agua Restaurant at the Palmilla Resort is also a great location for a special dinner.

Hotel el Ganzo – My boyfriend found this boutique hotel online for our extended two days. The hotel is brand new and easily one of my favorite parts of the trip. We were extremely impressed with the property and the top-notch customer service we received. Our room was lovely, with a stunning view of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina from our bed. Additionally, there is a rooftop infinity pool and bar area where spent time lounging both afternoons of our stay. The hotel is beautiful, artsy, modern and has live music Tuesday through Saturday evenings.

Hotel el Ganzo

The infinity pool at Hotel el Ganzo

Additionally, the hotel has a “Beach Club” across the Marina and with a boat that takes you to/from, free of charge. The Beach Club is a private beach with kayaks and stand-up paddle boards available for rent, as well as an adorable two-story café, where we had the BEST guacamole.

Mmm... guacamole

Mmm… guacamole

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

If I knew then what I know now, I would have traveled with pesos rather than solely US Dollars. Although all restaurants, excursions and taxis gladly and easily accept US Dollars, we noticed that the fees were slightly higher than if we had exchanged to pesos. Additionally, on the second-to-last day of our trip we wanted to pull out additional cash and learned that the ATM fees were at least $20 just about everywhere.

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