Author Topic: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos  (Read 2705 times)

Offline bb1836

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 2795
  • Total likes: 356
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 90
    • View Profile
bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« on: January 27, 2016, 06:52:32 PM »
So now I guess it’s my turn to write a TR.

         I’ve been in LA for a couple of weeks now and I had in mind before I came here to use up my two free Hyatt signup nights. My wife and I figured that we would leave our 22 month old by my in-laws for three days and we would go on vacation somewhere.  Unfortunately for us though, in the end my mother in law was not be available to watch our son so we now had to make the hard choice: sell the two nights or take him with us. There was a strong option to bring along my wife’s younger sister as a baby-sitter, but this would only be possible if Hyatt would upgrade us to a suite so she can have her own room. Because we had no way of knowing if we would get that kind of upgrade (I’m only a Platinum member), we couldn’t take that chance. In the end we decided to take him with us, brave of us we know, but we figured how bad could it be. Yes there will be some places and things we cannot do, but oh well. We were long overdue for a vacation so we just decided to go for it.
           After a quick call to The Hyatt Ziva in San Jose del Cabo to reserve the two nights, I then booked an AA flight using Avios from LAX>SJD for a total of 31,500 points plus $190 in taxes, and booked a standard class car from Hertz for $12 a day. I used Qatar airlines to add my AAdvantage number to our reservation to get everything that comes with it. Free bag, priority access, etc. I only got the free bag on the outbound flight cuz that was considered a domestic booking while on the way back it cost us $25 cuz it's considered international. (Does that make sense?) We had decided to rent a car because a cab to the hotel alone would cost nearly $40. Having a car would also give us the freedom of coming and going as we pleased. Turned out to be a great decision.
We got to the airport Monday morn well within enough time to catch our “international” flight but the agents were taking for freakin ever with each passenger. The lines weren’t even that long. I’ve never in my life seen such slow service from AA agents. By the time it was our turn we had missed the flight, and being that we had booked with Avios the agent told us that it was our responsibility now to call up British Airways and rebook the tickets ourselves. I was stunned and surprised at this, for it didn’t make any sense that it was now my responsibility to rebook this flight. I finally got ahold of British Airways and when the BA CSR had asked to speak to the AA rep, AA said “I’m sorry we are not allowed to take calls from private passengers.” WTF was I supposed to do now? Eventually a supervisor got involved and we overheard her scolding at the agent for making us call BA. “These are your customers and you have to make sure to take care of them properly.” Something like that. We finally got rebooked to the next nonstop, which was only 90 min later. Not to bad. Wouldn’t really mess with our plans anyway.
Nothing like flying on a plane that has barely 30 ppl on it!

Empty Flight by Ben Smith, on Flickr

View of the resort from the plane

20160111_141049 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

We finally arrived in Cabo to disembark onto the tarmac.

20160111_142117 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

The weather was gorgeous. Not to hot, not to cold. The immigration process wasn’t complicated at all. We had filled out the forms on the airplane and gave them to the agents. They gave us back half the form, which was our tourist visa that we would need for the return flight. We then moved onto the next line, which is basically racial profiling. They ask you some questions about your purpose in Cabo. You then press a button, if it turns green, they don’t check your luggage and you’re free to go. If it turns red they stop you and check your bags. We were green and good to go! We stepped out of the terminal and were met with taxi drivers from every company offering you rides and timeshares! As long as you do not make eye contact with them they wont really bother you. We walked outside and among the music and vendors we found the Hertz driver waiting there with a sign with our name on it.

Bienvenido y Los Cabos by Ben Smith, on Flickr

At the Hertz counter I asked if there was any chance of getting upgraded. At that point we were gonna get a Nissan Versa. He pointed to a Jeep Patriot or a Chrysler 200. He said for an extra $10 dollars a day he would give us those cars. Not worth it. I declined CDW as my CC covered that. We also got just theft insurance (it is Mexico after all) and rented a GPS. It really came in handy and I recommend you get one. We were told that my wife’s T-Mobile phone would work but in the end all we got was 3G speeds. Not to great. So a GPS is a must if you decide to rent a car. In the end the guy did in fact upgrade us for free to the Jeep Patriot. Nice!
our Jeep Patriot by Ben Smith, on Flickr
And we were off the to the hotel. There are two main highways that go from the airport to the hotel. One is a toll road the other is free. We decided to take the toll road because we wanted to support the Mexican government. Kidding that would be crazy! We arrived at the resort and were brought into a private room to get our rooms. Guess that’s what you get for being Platinum. We had reserved a standard king room with a Garden View and was upgraded to a Grand Master King with an Ocean Front view. Absolutely gorgeous!

view from our room by Ben Smith, on Flickr

20160111_172729 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

20160113_101150 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

view from the lobby by Ben Smith, on Flickr

View from the Lobby

Some non kosher amenities were waiting for us, and we were able to get the fridge emptied out so we can put our stuff in it.

In room amenities by Ben Smith, on Flickr

 They don’t have any microwaves for the rooms but I was able to get them to heat up our pasta dishes for us. Double wrapped and sealed and brought back the same way I gave to them ensured a kosher v’yosher dish. It was already getting late by the time we were settled so we decided to take a stroll around the property and maybe check out the night life in downtown Cabo san Lucas which was about a 35 min drive from the hotel. We didn’t really get a chance to go into town cuz we got kinda lost on the way. Not many street signs and the GPS was acting a little loco. We ended up finding the Wal Mart, which was reportedly going to have some kosher food. It didn’t. We just got fresh produce instead.

20160111_185214 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

It was always a dream of DW to go swimming with dolphins and Dolphin Discovery in Cabo is as good a place as any to try it out.  We made the reservation in the hotel and a van came to pick us up and would drop us off when we were done. We weren’t skimping out on a dump “Dolphin Encounter” where all you get to do is touch them. We bought the Swim package for about $150 pp (our son was free) and this is when things got real. Viewer Discretion Advised. As our tour got in the water down the staircase, I was still standing on the platform while my wife took our son into the water. As soon as his feet hit the water he started to cry, standard. I didn’t want to startle the rest of the group so I quickly jumped in to try and calm him down. As I landed in the water, my leg scraped against the railing slicing my leg open and leaving a deep gash.

20160113_113825 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

It didn’t really hurt and I didn’t want to tell the trainer because he would not let me swim with them if I told him about it. So I didn’t. It looks a lot worse than it is I assure you. The actual swim was an incredible experience and I highly recommend you guys try it. At one point you lie flat on a boogie board and two dolphins push you with their noses flat up against the palm of your foot. So flippin’ cool. When I got out of the water I was like “hey, apparently I got bit by a dolphin”, JK I scraped my leg.” As soon as I got out of the water to look at my leg I knew I would need stitches. But hell no am I trusting a Mexican with my leg. So I bandaged it up and waited to return to the US to get the appropriate medical attention. As it turned out, it was too late for stitches so ill probably end up having a nice big scar. There was a photographer taking pictures the whole time and they were asking $40 per picture or $160 for a CD of 175+ pictures. Heck, I went for it and bought the CD. I’ll print them out for free from Walgreens or Snapfish when I get home.

Entrance to the San Jose del Cabo port by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3280 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3283 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3285 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3422 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3442 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3519 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

IMG_3609 by Ben Smith, on Flickr


We got back to the hotel and then drove down to Cabo san Lucas where we took a private boat tour of Medano Beach. We stopped along the way for fresh coconuts, which a vendor was selling right off the highway. I can’t stand the taste of coconuts but at $3 each it was worth the Kodak moment.

20160112_151945 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

20160112_151951 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

20160112_152000 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

Cocos Frios by Ben Smith, on Flickr

We found a glass bottom boat tour online called Aries Tours, and for $12 pp we ended up getting our own private tour of the tip of Baja California. Down there you can find areas called Lovers Beach, vihamayven yavin,

Divorce Beach by Ben Smith, on Flickr
Divorce Beach because it’s very dangerous to swim there

20160112_160026 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

20160112_160030 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

Pelican’s Rock
El Arco by Ben Smith, on Flickr

Window to the Pacific by Ben Smith, on Flickr

20160112_160938 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

The famous El Arco and Window to the Pacific, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. 

20160112_161040 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

The tour guide said that the locals call this Scooby Doo. I’m not sure if he’s talking about the rock or the negative space between the two rocks.

upside down Baja California by Ben Smith, on Flickr

Upside down Baja California

When the tour ended they asked us what else we wanted to do. But being that we were with out kid we couldn’t do what we really do anything else. They even told us that they have a harness for our kid if we wanted to go parasailing!!! Only in Mexico! By then we were pooped so we went back to the hotel to call it a night.
Checkout was at 12 pm so we couldn’t really go anywhere in the morning and our flight was not too long after that. I had wanted to go to the Glass Blowing factory, which can be found along the main highway on the way to Cabo but we didn’t have enough time. We ended up staying on the resort and took our son to the kid’s water park that they had on the premises. Very cute little area.

20160113_103923 by Ben Smith, on Flickr

you can look online for proof but apparently about a month before we got to the hotel there was a massive birth of many sea turtles right on the hotel's beach. Pretty cool!
We checked out, returned the car, and went to the airport. There is a lounge club for ppl with Priority Club Lounge Access in the gate area, but I had forgotten my card at home. After another uneventful empty flight we were back home. The End

If you have any questions you can pm me. I would love to try and answer some of them.

As @davidmal says: "Likes" feed the family

Offline rileywiles23

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Posts: 5234
  • Total likes: 57
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 11:39:24 PM »
Thank you for the write up. Hope your foot is feeling alright. Refuah sheleimah
Life is as good as you make it...

Offline Tovia

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Jan 2016
  • Posts: 69
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 12:14:28 AM »
Short but great, you even managed to get a nice scar as a souvenir, you don't get that too often.
My signature is worth more than that.

Offline bb1836

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 2795
  • Total likes: 356
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 90
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 12:21:45 AM »
totally worth it  ;)
As @davidmal says: "Likes" feed the family

Offline MrPrime1

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 200
  • Total likes: 8
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 07:57:44 AM »
Nice tr. I had the same problem with the free checked going to cun but they charged me both ways. Also, 3h speeds should be more than  enough to use Google maps. I used Google maps on my t mobile phone in Europe when it is only 2g with no problems at all

Offline bb1836

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 2795
  • Total likes: 356
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 90
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 08:42:21 AM »
Nice tr. I had the same problem with the free checked going to cun but they charged me both ways. Also, 3h speeds should be more than  enough to use Google maps. I used Google maps on my t mobile phone in Europe when it is only 2g with no problems at all
guess YMMV
As @davidmal says: "Likes" feed the family

Offline MC

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1743
  • Total likes: 39
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 11:17:17 AM »
Nice! Sounds like a great little getaway.
Regards to your in-laws  :)

Offline tzifanya54

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Posts: 5367
  • Total likes: 107
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 12:05:45 PM »
Great mini TR. how safe was the area outside of the immediate resort property?

Offline bb1836

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 2795
  • Total likes: 356
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 90
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 12:45:03 PM »
Great mini TR. how safe was the area outside of the immediate resort property?
very. i mean we didn't really hang around the local area, just went to the touristy sites, but it all seemed pretty safe
As @davidmal says: "Likes" feed the family

Offline zow

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Posts: 2776
  • Total likes: 104
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: BOS
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2016, 02:31:59 PM »
shakoyach on the TR. Very nice.

Offline sam28

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1428
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 04:57:08 PM »
Nice TR is it safe out there ?

Offline bb1836

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 2795
  • Total likes: 356
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 90
    • View Profile
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 07:31:37 PM »
Nice TR is it safe out there ?
see a few posts up
As @davidmal says: "Likes" feed the family

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9446
  • Total likes: 89
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: bb1836's Quick Jaunt to Los Cabos
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 11:38:03 AM »
Nice write up! Thanks for sharing. This could come in handy for a quick trip. I've always eyed SJD and YVR as two great Avios destinations from LA. I've been to YVR, so that leaves SJD...