Rancho Pescadero: a different kind of dude ranch

Rancho Pescadero, a boutique hotel, is an easy 1.5 hour drive from Los Cabos airport. El Pescadero and the surrounding communities are located on world-class surf break, making it a destination for surfers and those who want to get away from the Spring Break atmosphere of Cabo San Lucas. After a bumpy drive down an unpaved road about a mile from the newly paved highway, we passed lush fields and gardens until we arrived at the main gate of the hotel.

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It usually takes me a day or two to unplug and to truly slip into vacation mode. At Rancho Pescadero, the effects were immediate. The laid-back vibe was noted from the moment we were greeted at the entrance and whisked off to the poolside bar: “leave your bags and have a welcome margarita on us.” The hotel is small- only 27 rooms- so the staff knew exactly who was who (and so did we by the end of our trip). There was no waiting for bills, no signing for food or drinks, no credit cards. We were a “guest” in every sense of the word. The staff or “dudes of the Ranch” were incredibly approachable and friendly; giving me free tequila when I beat John down in an intense backgammon tournament.

The food was a high-point of the trip. Much of the ingredients are grown in the gardens on-site, making all the dishes super fresh and flavorful. The Garden Restaurant, where we dined every night, had a beautiful and incredibly romantic setting, complete with an open kitchen and wood-burning oven and grill. We enjoyed local wines from the Baja region and the fresh catch of the day. After dinner we’d meet our new friends at the fire pit for some nightcaps.

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Lisa Harper, the former CEO of Gymboree, designed the entire hotel herself and really thought of everything: complimentary sunscreens, magazines, straw sun hats and cucumber infused water by the pool, sarongs and binoculars to whale watch in your room, fire pits if you got chilly at night on the beach or happened to be craving a s’more. The decor on property had a Baja boho chic feel to it– I loved all the pillows, animal hides and rugs. Daybeds and beach bungalows were abundant, making it easy to curl up with a book or watch the whales swim by. The staff laughed at me when I asked if I should wake up early to reserve a spot by the pool. At times, it felt like we were the only two people on property. Another perk: free daily yoga in the 2,000 square foot yoga pavilion #OMontherange.

Harper tells The New York Times, “This is unspoiled Mexico. It’s relatively undeveloped and we have an amazing water culture; it’s what Cabo was like 20 years ago. There’s nothing left to discover in Cabo. Here, we’re on the edge of being discovered, but we still have great little nooks that are untouched.”

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John and I became completely enchanted with the region and I made him promise that we’d return to Rancho Pescadero yearly. It’s that special. Stay tuned for more on our Mexican adventures.

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: The Sea of Cortez « come to coco

  2. Pingback: 2014 :: looking back « come to coco

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