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Tips for a Cabo San Lucas Girlfriend Getaway

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From where to enjoy a night out on the town to why you should step outside your comfort zone but avoid tequila shots…here are my seven tips for a Cabo San Lucas girlfriend getaway you'll always remember.

Girlfriend Getaway in Cabo San Lucas

Mindy (The Mommy Blog), Laurie (Guessing All The Way), Andrea Fellman (Savvy Sassy Moms), Heather (The Spohrs Are Multiplying), and Me (The Travel Mama)

As “The Travel Mama” it seems like I am always on the go with my children. Grown-up getaways, on the other hand, are a bit of a rarity. So, it was quite the treat when I was invited by The Villa Group and Discount Mexico Vacation Hotels for a long weekend away in Cabo San Lucas with four other mom bloggers.

1. Take to the water.

Cabo San Lucas is a water lover’s paradise. Beach activities abound, like swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, and of course, Cabo’s world famous deep sea fishing. The last time I went to Cabo, I stayed with my family on the Pacific Ocean side, which meant the waves and undertow were too dangerous for these activities. Who wants to pile into a rental car or cab every time you want to have some beach fun? This time I stayed at Villa del Palmar, one of The Villa Group’s three Los Cabos locations, situated along a gorgeous stretch of sand before the more tranquil Sea of Cortez.

Even someone like me who tends to get seasick can enjoy a tour of Cabo’s famous Los Arcos sea rock formations aboard a catamaran. Our two-and-a-half-hour sunset cruise took us from the Sea of Cortez into the rolling Pacific Ocean and back again. A dinner of grilled chicken and steak with rice, beans, chips, guacamole, and salsa was served. And, of course, there were free-flowing margaritas, beers, and other bebidas. When the boat’s crew gathered the passengers for a dance party, I was wary. I was ready for solid land and, well, it seemed a bit cheesy. First a handful of men were selected to participate in a dance contest of sorts. These five good sports bopped, gyrated, and generally embarrassed their wives and children. It got everyone laughing and ready to join in some line dancing. It wound up being a whole lot of fun!

Los Arcos in Cabo San Lucas

The famous Los Arcos in Cabo San Lucas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Get pampered.

No girlfriend getaway is complete without a trip to the spa. The Desert Spa at Villa del Arco (a Villa Group property next door to our resort) was divine. I was treated to an 80-minute massage. Often when I get a spa treatment I feel like I have to hurry up and relax…like at any minute the service will be over and I’ll be scooted out of there. But this massage went on and on. Just when I’d think my time was up, my therapist would start massaging another limb. My attendant did not waste time sticking my hands in warm mitts (not needed!), spraying aromatherapy mist into the air (I can do without) or leaving me lying there “to relax” while disappearing to some unknown place. No, this treatment was pure, all-out kneading, rubbing, and pampering. Mmm…heaven!

Desert Spa at Villa del Arco

Desert Spa at Villa del Arco (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Step outside your comfort zone.

Vacations are a great time to set your adventurous alter ego free and try something you might never do at home. For me on this trip, that meant parasailing with Andrea (Savvy Sassy Moms) and Laurie (Clueless Mama). While we waited for our boat for ten Mexican minutes (a half hour), I started to get un poquito nervous about our impending flight, so I ran off to the bar to grab liquid courage (white wine for Andrea and me and a Miami Vice for Laurie).

You know you’re in Mexico when you must fling yourself onto the boat when it swooshes closer to you with one big crashing wave. No docks for us…just grab hold and throw yourself in (whilst a boatman holds your beverage). In mere moments we pulled up beside another boat into which we climbed, all the while trying not fall into the rollicking sea. I didn’t have time to take a sip of wine before the co-captain pulled me over and tried to get me to slip into the parasail’s safety harness. I said, “I’m not ready! I’m not ready!” and insisted Andrea go first (who has experience bungee jumping and skydiving and therefore had no trepidation about a measly parasail flight).

Laurie was another story. She and I decided we would fly together in a tandem carrier but she chickened out and removed the harness when it was our turn to go. Laurie doesn’t normally even ride roller coasters, so this was very far out of her comfort zone. The day before, Laurie had told me how she almost got off the airplane in her hometown of Denver, so nervous was she about leaving her kids and the familiarity of home behind. I reminded her of this and said, “What if you had gotten off that plane? Aren’t you glad you’re here? If you don’t go, you’ll regret it.” We guzzled down our drinks and before we knew it, we were soaring through the air.

While Laurie speculated at the likelihood of our survival if the ropes tethering us 600 feet in the sky suddenly broke, we giggled nervously and tried to soak up the beauty of Cabo below us. Doing something scary together creates a unique bond between people, especially new friends. It was by far my favorite, scariest, silliest, most intense memory of the trip.

Parasailing in Cabo San Lucas ~ Tips for a Los Cabos Girlfriend Getaway

Parasailing with my newfound friend, Laurie (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

4. Take the vacation ownership tour.

All five of us bloggers went on the vacation ownership tour as part of our experience at the resort. Afterwards, as special guests of Villa Group, we were videotaped giving feedback about the tour, our experience at the resort, and Cabo overall. Our tour was similar to what regular vacationers would experience. It started with a delicious, complimentary breakfast buffet with bacon aplenty, chilaquiles (a Mexican breakfast dish), fresh omelet bar, pastries and more. Then we walked through a couple of sample condominium options. Finally, we sat down with a sales person (well, ours was the Vice President of Villa Group) and discussed options and pricing over champagne cocktails. It was all rather low-key and painless…fun, even.

Discount Mexico Vacation Hotels offers a family of four a four-day vacation for $399 in exchange for going on an hour and a half tour. An affordable, upscale vacation like this is certainly a fair trade-off for such a brief interruption in a long weekend getaway. I say, go for it!

Villa Palmar One-Bedroom Suite

My one-bedroom suite at Villa del Palmar (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Don’t do tequila shots

I certainly like to drink my share of wine, margaritas, and pina coladas. But I draw the line at tequila shots, or shots of any kind really. I stopped doing shots in college and for good reason.

At a recent neighborhood get together someone (my husband, surely) joked about breaking out the tequila to which one of my friends said, “No good ever comes from tequila shots. No one ever says, The night started out with tequila shots and ended wonderfully.” It’s true. Most stories that start with tequila shots end with somebody throwing up, fighting, falling down, passing out, or some combination thereof.

This is why when my fellow mom bloggers started drinking tequila shots, I declined. I gave away my shots to one of my bloggy friends (who shall remain nameless). She wound up taking an early cab home (accompanied by a non-drinking friend) when she started to feel woozy. My advice? If you decide to drink, alternate alcoholic beverages with glasses of water and steer clear of the shots. You’ll thank me the next day!

Sunset Cruise Dancing in Cabo San Lucas ~ Tips for a Los Cabos Girlfriend Getaway

Sunset cruise dance party (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

6. Enjoy a night out on the town.

Even if there are a lot of entertainment and dining options at your resort you should venture downtown for at least one night of frivolity. The Villa Group resorts offered several restaurants to choose from at its Cabo locations, including a sushi restaurant, fine-dining establishment, and standard Mexican fare as well as themed party nights plus bars where you can enjoy cocktails while taking in a stunning view of the ocean.

Downtown Cabo San Lucas offers numerous modern restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. After a dinner and live music at Desperados Restaurant & Cantina, we ventured out for a few rounds of Karaoke.

Finally, it was time for what I’d been waiting for…dancing! The last time I went dancing (not including weddings) was the last time I visited Cabo…three and a half years ago. We went to the hip Nowhere Bar to boogie for a bit with beautiful people. I was pretty excited to be out of the house, with adults, soaking up some nightlife when all too abruptly my friends announced it was time to head back to our resort. I wasn’t ready to go and (unsuccessfully) attempted to convince the girls to stay out longer. Ahh…well…I guess I’ll have to go back to Los Cabos again so I can get my groove on!

Villa Palmar Pool with Waterslide

Villa del Palmar's gorgeous pool with waterfalls and whale-shaped waterslide (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Soak up all Los Cabos has to offer.

One of the best things about a little reprieve from the kiddos is taking some time to yourself to simply relax. Just sitting by the ocean listening to the waves crash on the shore as I read magazines, uninterrupted, felt like a splendid luxury.

On the last day of the trip, I choked up a bit at the airport before flying home when I told my new friend Laurie how much I missed my kids. It’s good to miss them. It reminds me to appreciate the little moments I often take for granted…the sounds of my children giggling in our backyard as I cook dinner…the way my little boy hides under the pillow in his crib playing peek-a-boo and refusing to get up from his nap…the way my daughter bursts into my room every morning, too early but full of smiles and bouncy energy, ready to start the day.

I think it’s important to take notice of those moments AND to appreciate a break from the ordinary because all too soon…I’m back to the daily grind and daydreaming of a moment of peace during which I could do something as languorous and unlikely as flipping through a magazine without children clamoring at my side with requests for more juice and pleas for one more episode of Dora the Explorer.

What are your tips for a Los Cabos girlfriend getaway? Let us know in the comments!

A Note from the Travel Mama: My flight, accommodations, and many other expenses for this trip were paid by The Villa Group and Discount Mexico Vacation Hotels. All of the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I would never recommend anything I don’t truly like and believe in!

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Awesome synopsis of your gal-pal time in Cabo! Love it. 🙂

  2. Colleen, The Travel Mama says:

    Kara – Thanks so much for your comment! I just checked out my fellow traveler, Heather Spohr’s post about our Cabo experience and realized she has 68 comments to my one. But, hey! I am thankful for what I can get…especially when it comes from someone like you! 🙂

  3. Ok…I totally love that you ladies got to do this…and that you did it with such great ppl! What a wonderful retreat, and inspiration for other women such as myself who is realizing it has been a long time since I went away with my GFs anywhere! Thanks for all the tips on Cabo!

  4. Crystal aka Travelers Barista says:

    wow, what a beautiful resort – I’ll have to check that out! I’ve been to Cabo three times, but all via Cruise ship. Would be different to experience it on land for a week. Looks nice

  5. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Carol & Crystal –

    Thanks for the comments, my fellow travel lovers! I will now start my campaign to guilt everyone I know into submitting comments! (Not really.)

    We’ll have to organize a family travel bloggers weekend getaway sometime. Now THAT would be a fun time!

  6. YES re: family travel blogger trip! I was so envious of your trip to SJ w/ Amber, Corinne, Debbie. What great peeps!

  7. clueless Mama says:

    Colleen, I am so sorry that I haven’t commented here. I thought I had, but realized I only tweeted you. I love your post. I think it is so well written and I am honored to have met you on the trip. I think you are FANTASTIC! I would not have parasailed with anyone but you:) Thanks for making me man up and get out of my comfort zone.

  8. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Laurie – Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I think you are pretty fantastic too, my friend!

  9. Cabo San Lucas Dad says:

    Colleen,
    Sounds like you had a great trip back then. Have you managed to come back down with the kids since 2010? Cabo has become such a great place to bring up kids, and with so many adventures to offer, they are sure to have a blast.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Cabo San Lucas Dad – I haven’t been to Cabo since that trip. Wow…I thought I had. Will need to plan another trip!

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