If you are up for a little bit of an adventure, a day trip exploring the East Cape will provide you with some incredible views and experiences. You will start your trip from Puerto Los Cabos. The fourth roundabout gives you the choice to go right to the marina and Puerto Los Cabos or left to the start of the East Cape road. You will see signs for Punta Gorda and Cabo del Este at this point. About 5 km along the paved road is the first roundabout. Going a right towards the beach will take you to La Laguna, a community with Laguna Hills and El Encanto developments. It is also the home to Buzzards Bar and Grill. If you leave early in the morning, this is a great place to stop for breakfast. It has one of the best in the Los Cabos area. Back out to the East Cape road and the next community that you will reach is Zacatitos – about 6 more KMs. Watch for cows along the way. Turning right down on to the dirt road to the beach will take you to an off-the-grid community with Zac’s Bar and Grill, an organic market on Wednesday mornings and off-the-wall cinema on Wednesday evenings and the real residents of Zacatitos – a lot of burros that are like pets. Back on the paved East Cape, the next development under construction is Vidanta’s Mayan Palace. This resort will have a main hotel, condominium villas, a golf course and a permanent Cirque de Soliel installation. Expected to open in 2021, it is under construction. A little while later, the paved road ends and you start the trek on the true East Cape road – a dirt track that goes from Playa Tortuga to La Ribera, a trip of over 60 KM.
On the dirt road, you will start to see the off-the-grid communities along the way. There are a wide variety of homes both on ocean front and back in the desert. Following Playa Tortuga, the first well-known beach that you will encounter is Shipwrecks (although you will see the surfboard sign for a small convenience store (tienda) before it). Shipwrecks is a famous surf break, where surfers still arrive to camp in the arroyo for the summer to take advantage of the waves. The next big surf break is at La Fortuna. This is also the home of Zai Sushi Surf Bar, open from Tuesday to Sunday. Jason Manning, a trained sushi chef serves up fresh seafood and great cocktails with great views of the beach. Continuing to see homes and small developments along the way, you will arrive at another section of paved road briefly in 9 Palms. These are great beaches and views and the future home of a boutique hotel reported being built by James Perse (Los Angeles clothing and furniture designer) and partners. Nest major beach along the road is Boca de Vinoramas, the home of Vida Soul, a boutique hotel on the beach built in Italian style. This will be a great place to take a break, have a beer and maybe a snack in the restaurant and stroll the beach. Vida Soul also rents all kinds of water toys – paddle boards, surf boards, snorkeling gear – if you want to take a quick break in the ocean. Continuing along the East Cape road, views of the Sea of Cortez abound along the twists and turns of the narrow dirt road.
One of the next communities is Los Frailes. Here you start the Cabo Pulmo National Park. There is a small convenience store and the long beach is a great place to stop, swim and snorkel. Going to the far north end of the beach near the cliffs, you will find a large selection of marine life. Only a few more kilometers down the road is Cabo Pulmo. This is the famous national marine park that is home to the only living reef on the west side of North America. The protection of the reef has resulted in the re-population of several marine species and the fishing ban has let them grow and ultimately migrate beyond the area. Cabo Pulmo has a nice small village with an information center, several dive shops, a few restaurants and a community with homes to rent as well as a small inn. This area is really worth exploring and if you have more than a day is worth staying overnight and taking a boat trip out to the reef to snorkel or scuba dive. The dirt road continues but finally turns once again into a paved road with communities like El Rincon and Playa Colorada before reaching the first major town – La Ribera. Just north of La Ribera along the beach is the new Four Seasons Resort at Costa Palmas. With a full marina being built, a golf course that has just opened and the Four Seasons hotel and residences, this is luxury along the East Cape.
This is point at which you take the paved road back out to the main transpeninsular highway (Route 1). Going a few miles north will take you to Los Barriles, the home of fishing and kite surfing and going south will take you back to San Jose del Cabo with a stop at the Tropic of Cancer welcome center.
This will be a very full day and you deserve a great meal at one of the many restaurants in San Jose del Cabo. Enjoy!