Hiking Mexico’s Sierra de la Laguna

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The stories of generously flowing champagne, chic hotels and hedonistic nightlife dominate travel headlines about this jetsetting playground in the sun. Perhaps it’s the lure of sunset cruises around the iconic Los Arcos, seasonal whale watching, blue marlin fishing and world class dining. These are all essential components that define the ‘Cabo’ experience.

But, if you’re like me, you look for activities that fall into the off the beaten path category. I’ve made it my mission to seek out attractions and destinations that linger under the radar. A recommendation from the concierge desk at THE CAPE Hotel led me to contact the adventure specialists at InCabo Travel. With a short explanation of what I look for in an excursion (and what I don’t), a solution was suggested, one that focused on a love for nature with a little edge but subtle enough for a somewhat soft urban dweller.

Our fun loving, tag team guides, Abraham and Mario facilitated our escape from the bustle of Cabo as we drove northward through tumbleweed valleys working our way into an ascent along a formidable dirt mountain road. Suddenly, in the midst of the inhospitable desert we reached the oasis village of Santiago, surrounded by groves of palms, lush marsh land and a small lake.

Rocking It In The Desert of Cabo San Lucas

Just outside of the village we began our escorted hike over truck sized granite boulders, natural but gentle rock stairways and crossing a strangely out of place stream. Trekking through the region known as Sierra de la Laguna is an experience of alternating landscapes, part mountain, part desert with the segment known as Fox Canyon delivering unexpected grandiose scenery.

Twenty minutes into the hike a gentle waterfall sneaks through a stone wall crevice into a clear water pool, presenting an inviting proposal for a cool down swim. Refreshed and eager for more, we tackle a steep descent to the base of the magnificent Sol de Mayo waterfall. Water cascading over an eighty foot wall of granite paints the perfect backdrop for Instagram ready photos. The invigorating swim in the emerald green pool below is what fantasies are made of.

Sierra de la Laguna

Photo: InCabo Travel 

A regrettable return is made to our van for the next segment of the day’s adventure. The drive along a surprisingly well maintained sandy road takes us to an isolated and modest family ranch. Set under the canopy of mango trees and a makeshift palapa roof, the lady of the house Margarita is preparing lunch, but we have one more site to visit. Rocky, the battle tested boar hunting dog leads the way to our ultimate destination, a meandering stream trickling downward through bleached grey boulders and yet another pool for a refreshing pre-lunch dip. 

Back at the ranch, the table has been set with a lunch of chicken quesadillas, refried beans Spanish rice, homemade quacamole and the ubiquitous chips and salsa. A DIY dessert is suggested and with a quick lesson from Margarita we make our own tortillas, slather them with honey from the ranch and topped with a layer of fresh raspberries and blackberries. With an adios and hasta la vista we commence our return back to the real world with an impromptu, multiple cerveza induced nap that shortens the journey.

Cabo San Lucas

Photo: Steve Leland

As travelers to touristic destinations, it’s always a challenge to discover authentic excursions not tainted by commercialized attractions or hype. Hiking the Sierra de la Laguna is as good as it gets.  A full menu of excursions and customized travel adventures designed to explore the road less traveled can be found on the InCabo Travel website.   

As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.