El Retorno

La Carretera Transpennisular (Federal Highway 1) was the highway connecting the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. Our hotel (the Hilton, aka Casa Dorada Spa and Golf Resort (timeshare), not to be confused with the actual Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa located in Cabo San Lucas…) was located 19.5 km away from Cabo San Lucas (I know this because it’s actual address says “Carretera Transpennisular 19.5 km”…). The first couple km out of Cabo San Lucas have parallel roads where the speed limit is like 40-60 km/h, as opposed to the 90 km/h on the highway. And as I mentioned in my first post, to enforce that, they have the freaking stupid speed bumps to keep your speed low. And after like 5 or so km, they have a overpass/exit ramp where you can use to go the other way, which are called Retorno ramps.


Google changed their location history display to some “Timeline” thing, so I can’t pull up the same visual I did for my Ireland trip. Boo. (Quick tangent: relevant complaint thread about said changes.) Anyway. You can see the airport (SJD) in the upper right dot. The right-most dot next to some green is the little town of San Jose del Cabo. The four dots to the left are areas in the city of Cabo San Lucas. The plane icon and two dots in the middle is where our hotel (the Hilton – just reopened July 2015 d/t extensive hurricane damage) was located. You can see why having a car was almost necessary to get around.

After the parents had taken off, I had wanted to check out some different sights and sounds, and to see a little more cultural/historical items around town. So I was able to go see two of the main churches in the two towns; and this is in stark contrast to the grandiose churches commonly seen across Europe. San Jose del Cabo also had a little plaza/shrine to influential people for the town, as well as a little monument to a General who helped defend the town against Norteamericana invasion back in 1847. Jose Antonio Mijares died during the war, and Mexico considers him a hero, with one of the streets in San Jose del Cabo named after him: Boulevard Antonio Mijares.

Main public square in San Jose del Cabo

We had one more round of tacos (sidenote: best tacos we had were in Cabo San Lucas at Gardenia’s) before heading to the airport, where we were waiting at the gate (8 total gates in the international terminal, and I only saw one plane at the gate for local flights; big airport eh?) and realized that there was no a/c or fans to help keep the place cool. It’s bad enough that the temperature outside, when I had some to check, was listed as 94 degrees (feels like 107), whereas the temp back home was a cool 74 degrees (feels like 74).  I was so happy to get back home and not have to deal with the humidity anymore.

Flight AA 237 on a Boeing 737-800 (738). Which was the same craft that we flew in on United 1616, designed with a single aisle and 3 seats on each side with like 22 rows in economy. Flight back was just over 2 hours, which isn’t bad at all. The plane parked at a gate 40 in Terminal 4 at LAX (AA’s terminal), and then we were bused over to TBIT for customs and baggage claim and immigration. (My parents who flew United back home said they did all the int’l processing in United’s terminal. Hmm.)

Getting in at about 3:20pm on a Friday means rush hour traffic and friends/family working, so I decided to use Uber for the first time (and since Capital One had given me 2 free $30 Uber ride credits, I thought, why not). The only problem was that there’s still the ongoing issue of LAX not allowing Uber/Lyft into the airport, so we hopped on a Lot C shuttle bus, got off at the Lot C cell phone lot, and I placed a pin nearby. Once I got a ping, I called the driver and let him know that I was actually a block away from the pin location. That all went pretty smoothly, and then it was a slow trek back home, coming out to 1.5 hours in traffic. Yay. 34.05 miles distance = $34.05 charge, and 1 hr 25 min trip duration = $15.30 charge. Total came out to $49.35 + $1 “Safe Rides Fee” – $30 CapOne promotion credit = $20.35 trip from LAX to home in traffic. Even at $50, that’s cheaper than the SuperShuttle which is quoting me $52 to get us home, in a shared ride. Uber claims their whole service allows you to get a ride without needing to use your wallet (all done via the app on your phone, where the payment info is), but then I had to quickly google the etiquette on tipping my Uber driver, since there’s no option for that in the app. It felt weird to tip my driver since the dude was just doing this for kicks in his Lexus IS… Haha.

Obligatory shot of airplane wing (B738)

So. Cabo. You were nice. Not sure if I’d head back. Definitely a tourist trap location. But at least I can say I’ve been? And it was my first time:

  • Renting a car
  • Driving in another country
  • Zip lining (single, upside down, tandem, and superman)
  • Driving a “Racer” (which a quick google search shows as a “Side by Side” or “SxS”)
  • Snorkeling
  • Horseback riding
  • Not getting picked up from LAX
  • Uber ride

I didn’t really keep track of spending, as parents were here for the trip, but it was ~$275 RT for airfare, $300 for the Hilton for a week (officially booked Aug 1 – Aug 8). $200 for the 3 adventures x 4 people d/t the TS sales presentation. $180 for horseback riding x 2 ppl (-.-). $200 for the stupid picture packages. $450 for car rental. And whatever food expenses we had. Oh, and the extensive amount of tipping we had to do for every little thing. Multiple times, I had people asking me for a tip, and I was like, what? This is your job; this is what you’re paid to do. One waiter even flagged us down as we were leaving because he thought we left a $50 Peso tip (~$3 USD) on a $1400 Peso meal. I looked over the receipt w/ the waiter and showed him his math error. Bah. Oh, and all the people trying to see various adventures (fishing, boat rides, swimming with dolphins, etc.) were unrelentless (which I kinda understand), but they also kept calling me and the sister honeymooners. Siigh.

#DL2CABO15 | Adventure | Moar adventures | Juan Carlos | El Retorno

Photo gallery (Smugmug)


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