Spotlight on Baja’s Los Barriles

Cabo San Lucas has beautiful desert landscapes, and sparkling Sea of Cortez views, and stunning natural beauty. As a result, it is a popular tourist destination in Mexico.  Just outside of Cabo, there are charming towns to visit for a day trip, too. For example, Los Barriles is located 40 miles north of San José del Cabo, on the eastern coast of Baja. Looking for the best Cabo real estate in Mexico? At Villa La Estancia, we are proud to offer an ideal hotel-condo concept that expats love. We have built solidly constructed private residences that come with resort quality amenities and services, too. Although travel is on hold right now due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 crisis, before we know it life should resume a sense of normalcy. Next time you are in Cabo San Lucas, schedule a property tour to see what you’ve been missing. Also, plan to take a day trip from Cabo to Los Barriles. Read below to learn more about this charming town that is a bit off the beaten path.

Spotlight on Baja’s Los Barriles

To start with, Los Barriles features excellent weather, natural beauty, a rich culture and a desirable slower pace of life. As a result, many people love to visit Los Barriles or even want to buy a second home in the area. Small town life in Mexico is especially attractive right now. If you prefer having the modern conveniences that Cabo offers, Los Barriles is still perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway. Visitors love the sense of community and peaceful ambiance. While small, the town does have a grocery store, local tortilleria, and local fish market, too. When hunger strikes, you can feast on tasty and inexpensive fish tacos on the street. Or have a nice meal at the Italian restaurant in town. Plus, there is a bank with English-speaking staff members, 2 gas stations, a health care clinic, a dentist, hardware store and veterinarian office, too.

The Origins of Los Barriles

The origins of Los Barriles date back to 1535 when Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez and missionaries arrived in the southern Baja. Years later, Jesuits, Dominican and Franciscan padres inhabited the area and built beautiful missions. Many of these churches have been restored to their original beauty and are still in operation today. Baja Sur have rich mineral deposits in the area that contributed to its growth. The local economy in the area is mainly fueled by tourism, especially world class sportfishing. Lastly, organic farming is very popular.  Delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, dates and avocados are grown in the area.

Local Flora and Fauna  

The local flora and fauna is impressive. Los Barriles is situated between the Pacific’s rocky coast and the flat sandy beaches of the Sea of Cortez. The Baja peninsula features the Sierra de la Laguna where hills turn into sandy flats. There, a diverse landscape with unique flora and fauna thrive. Cardón filled desert, ancient mango groves, and conifer covered mountain ranges abound. Plus, more than 125 species of plants grow in the area.  In addition, bird watchers will be keen to look for the 6 endemic bird species in the area including the adorable Cape Pygmy Owl. 

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor sports lovers will not be disappointed by Los Barriles. While the area is well known for fly fishing, is also Baja’s kitesurfing and windsurfing capital. There are tons of lovely beaches that are ideal for water sports including swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, too. Other popular outdoor activities include hiking, ATV tours, mountain biking and horseback riding. Depending on the time of year you visit, marine life includes manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and whale sharks. Plus, Baja have pleasant weather nearly all year long. Temperatures average between 63º and 84º Fahrenheit all year round, and Los Barriles desert terrain only receives less than 10” of rain annually. Sporadic rain showers in the fall serve to refresh and hydrate plants in the area.  

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Visiting San José del Cabo

San Jose del Cabo is known as the quieter and more sophisticated cousin to the nearby tourist hotspot of Cabo San Lucas and is a real breath of fresh air for those who want a more cultured and relaxed atmosphere. Though this area has miles of stunning coastline the real appeal is the action going on in town; read on to find out how to make the most of your time in San Jose del Cabo!

Study the Architecture

The colonial architecture found in this town is unbelievably charming and interesting, and the town plaza is the crown jewel! Noteworthy buildings include the missionary church, rebuilt in 1940, the Misión de San José del Cabo Anuiti, which dates to the 18th century, and the City Hall, which was built in the 19th century.

Peruse the Galleries

This city is a haven for art lovers; a number of chic galleries can be found here and many strive to display work by as many local artists as they can… you might just stumble upon something created by the next Picasso! The famed Thursday night Art Walk also offers the chance to meet local artists and gallery owners!

Tour the Wildlife Estuary

The San José Wildlife Estuary can be found just east of the city and presents the opportunity to marvel at the sight of bird species such as heron, hummingbird, and ibis. This is a quiet refuge of a reserve which offers an amazing chance to appreciate the beauty of the local area.

Dine on Incredible Cuisine

Foodies in the know will skip the tourist traps of Cabo San Lucas in favor of the chic dining options on offer in San Jose del Cabo; this is an area which continues to attract the top chefs who have helped to turn this city into a foodie destination. Unsurprisingly the mouthwatering fresh seafood to be found here often tops the menus of local restaurants.

Do Some Shopping

A vacation is never complete without a shopping spree, and San Jose del Cabo has more than enough options to satisfy any shopaholic! You will find artisan-made handicrafts, ceramics, blankets, bags, and jewelry, and of course there is the Las Tiendas de Palmilla mall which contains a range of shops to suit all needs.

San Jose del Cabo offers so many amazing things to do that it may soon replace your favorite vacation destination and steal your heart entirely!

Dining in Cabo

Los Cabos is, and has been for a while, one of the hottest vacation destinations in Mexico; this is one of the best places to enjoy outdoor activities, and it has a really lively cultural scene. Of the many wonderful things about Los Cabos, the culinary options are a highlight in their own right! There are a seemingly endless number of restaurants for all budgets as well as places where you can enjoy cooking classes. Here are some great options to dining in Cabo.

Sunset da Mona Lisa

Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere; Sunset da Mona Lisa in Los Cabos just oozes charm, romance, and ambience. Upon arrival you will no doubt notice the view of the Land’s End arches; this alone is worth a visit! Of course the food, too, is phenomenal; pasta dishes, fresh local seafood, and pizza star on this menu and make it the perfect place for a casual meal or a sunset drink.


This popular establishment has giving birth to a new cuisine; the mingling of traditional Mexican and Japanese flavors is an unusual one, but the result is stunning. The tempura oysters, Bluefin Tuna sashimi, or beef fillet serranito, for example, will make your tastebuds tingle with pleasure when you are dining in Cabo.

El Farallón

This Los Cabos restaurant overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and sits on a stunning Cliffside where it offers diners the chance to select their meal, market style, from a variety of fresh caught fish and seafood. The fare is then grilled to perfection for exquisite tenderness and taste. A great choice for dining in Cabo.

Flora’s Field Kitchen

Flora’s Field Kitchen is located in the middle of an organic farm, from which it gets its name, and serves fresh food direct from the source. Anyone who visits is sure to be enchanted by the ambience as much as the delicious menu which features a huge variety of dishes ranging from vegetarian fare to humanely raised meats, from gourmet pizzas to homemade pastas.

Manta at The Cape

Enrique Olvera is a celebrated chef and restaurateur, and his food can be sampled both in Pujol in Mexico City and in Manta here in Los Cabos. This fine dining venue gives great views of the rock formations at Land’s End, which provides the best backdrop for a romantic evening meal. The menu here rotates, but focuses on locally caught seafood and “Pacific Rim” flavors. There are also taster menus for the adventurous.

Edith’s Restaurante

Edith Jiménez, owner of this eponymous eatery in Los Cabos, drew on the tastes and ingredients of her home state, Guerrero, to create the menu here. The flavors of her home state are effortlessly combined with Baja tastes, and the results are phenomenal; some truly delectable Mexican dishes can be found here, and enjoyed on an alluring patio.

Please add your own personal favorites for dining in Cabo to this short list of restaurants.

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