GayCities talked to tourism expert and resort concierge Edward Ochoa about the travel wonder that is Cabo San Lucas.
Why were you drawn to Cabo?
It was during my last semester at the University of Colima, Mexico, where I was studying tourism, that I visited Cabo. I was there to complete an internship, working in human resources for one of the resorts. When I left Cabo (after the end of my internship) I already had job offers to consider and it was just a matter of me deciding to move to Cabo or Puerto Vallarta… Cabo won, big time.
Is there a big community of gay locals?
The LGBTQ community is not a large community, we have a handful of clubs and bars. But what matters is that we are welcomed in all the other non LGBTQ bars, clubs and restaurants. Working in the tourism industry I meet many people, and I try to point them to a great time. I also have a few friends that visited form other parts of Mexico and the U.S. Needless to say, I am happy to show them the beauty of Cabo.
What do you love about the town and the area?
After moving around and living in different places in Mexico and the U.S., I noticed that Cabo has the best of both worlds. It has the small town charm for when you’re in the mood to relax and get to know the culture of the locals. It also has the comforts of being in the U.S.–most people are bilingual and its very safe for tourist. I also like having the option to party it up at the local bars & clubs. And if I’m in the mood for something low key, like sitting on the beach with a beer, I can have that also.
What are some insider tips about the area ?
There is only one gay club un Cabo, Chandelier, and I highly recommend checking it out to meet locals. The owner, Luise Torres, is a good friend of mine. Most of the people that frequent this club are locals, when you visit you will have a great time with local drag queens, they do songs in both Spanish and English. But all of Cabo welcomes our community.
Tell us a few of your favorite experiences there, whether bars, swimming, boating, sun bathing, etc.
My friends and I rented a jeep for a weekend, we took the top off and drove through a lot of Baja California going north to La Paz, stopping at all the little towns on the way. Most of the beauty of Cabolay on its hidden treasures, and the best way to see it is exploring.
What’s the best beach to hang out?
Balandra, where these photos were taken. The beauty of its water is something out of this world, the temperature of this water is like dipping into to a heated pool, you are able to walk miles in to the ocean and the water will not go above your waist, with no waves. It’s a drive away from Cabo, located in La Paz–but it’s worth it.
Where do you get the best and freshest local cooking?
Mako! I do have a reason that is just mine for loving this place–its vegan like me. The cooking is very traditional Mexican, made with fresh and organic produce. They make the best Pastor tacos made from, my partner and I are there multiple times a week.
What’s the best hotel/resort experience and why?
One of my favorites has to be ME by Melia. If you want to go to a party place ME is it! They have a great pool area with a live DJ playing great music all day (and sometimes night) long. They also bring in guest DJs such as Paul Okenfold. When I want privacy and an area to spend time with my friends, we rent private homes from Cabovillas. This is a great way to go when you are in Cabo with a group of friends. You can have the pool to yourself and the ability to go home from the fun in Cabo. Staying in a private home, you don’t miss out on any of the services of a resort – you can have a cook, a butler, spa services, etc. We love it when our group gets together in this way.
What makes it such a gay friendly place?
I have to say it’s the people, all my queer friends and I have noticed that we can be anywhere being ourselves and no one even flinches or does double takes, I walk holding hands with my partner in public all the time and have never received a dirty look or hassle.
If a same sex couple wanted to get married in Cabo, what would you suggest?
Mexico still has a long way to go when we’re talking about same sex marriage, and equal rights in general. Right now same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Baja California Sur, although many other states in the country do have same-sex marriage.
That said, if you are looking to have a great commitment ceremony, or say “I do” in front of your loved ones in a beautiful setting, many party planners, resorts, and locations will be happy to make your day a very special day.
We are still fighting for equal rights, and we will get there soon.
Photos taken at Balandra Beach, a 2.5 hour drive from Cabo, and provided by Edward Ochoa
Reach Edward for more Cabo Travel Tips on Instagram
Thanks to CaboVillas for this post