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Cabo alternative: The CostaBaja Resort & Spa in La Paz, Mexico

CostaBaja Resort & Spa beach pool
CostaBaja Resort & Spa beach pool
Courtesy of CostaBaja Resort & Spa

There’s something very magnetic about Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Maybe it has something to do with all the towering cardon cactus; having stood there for 300-years to attain a 70-foot height, they know all the desert’s secrets. Then again maybe it’s the deep blue sea, home to lumbering humpback whales, snazzy game fish and an unending array of tasty items for seafood lovers. Perhaps, when all is said and done, it’s the warm sunlight that falls on all of the above, every day without fail. And while Cabo San Lucas at the peninsula’s tip tends to draw the crowds, there’s actually no better place to launch an exploration of the mysterious Baja than from the CostaBaja Resort & Spa, located on the Sea of Cortez in La Paz.

Well aware of the fact that the resort sits in a very special place, CostaBaja was designed to coexist harmoniously with the surrounding ecosystem and the Mexican government recently awarded the property the prestigious Certificate of Environmental Excellence. The pampering of Mother Nature seems only fair considering the TLC doled out to CostaBaja guests; La Paz’ first 5-Star resort features fine dining at Steinbeck’s, body and soul nurturing at Espiritu Spa and an expansive Gary Player-designed 18-hole golf course. Adventure on the water is as near as the resort’s own 250-slip marina and landlubbers will appreciate that CostaBaja is only minutes from the center of La Paz where cafes and nightclubs, historic architecture, shopping and a beautiful “malecon” boardwalk await.

CostaBaja is actually more than just a resort, it is a master-planned community where those who want to put down roots can choose from a variety of homes and casitas available for purchase, each nestled on a hillside only moments from the beach. Casual visitors may long for one of the residences after indulging in activities like diving or whale watching, a sea kayaking or sports fishing trip, all things that can be arranged during your stay. Or maybe you’d like to see cave paintings, the cactus sanctuary or Isla Espiritu Santo, a World Heritage Site that lies just a few miles offshore. Enjoying Baja magic can be surprisingly affordable; room rates start at $149 and there are also numerous package deals on offer. Direct flights from Los Angeles to La Paz are available but if you fly into Cabo and book a four-night or longer stay, CostaBaja will spring for a luxury ride to bring you to the property.

For more info on accommodations, amenities and activities visit the CostaBaja website.