After several expensive home repairs last year, Hubby and I decided against our usual January vacation. But as winter dragged on, we missed getting away, so I booked an inexpensive trip to San Jose del Cabo for a week in March.
We’ve been to Cabo San Lucas before, but never to San Jose, and I’ve always wanted to go. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort, which is an economy accommodation, but perfectly situated next to a bird estuary and within walking distance to San Jose’s historic downtown.
We were lucky to get upgraded to a ground level lanai room, close to the estuary and the adult pool. Although our room was no-frills, the location was lovely and quiet. Hubby especially enjoyed the hammock on the lanai.
Our view towards the pool.
And towards the estuary and beach.
San Jose is situated at the bottom of the Baja, in the Gulf of California, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s not safe to go into the water because of the notorious riptides. The surf is incredible and, once we’d settled in, we headed for the beach.
The mountains blocked our view of the sunset, but the sky was painted with beautiful colours.
Compared to other places we’ve stayed, the evening entertainment was rather lacking. The fire dancers at Saturday’s Mexican Fiesta were impressive.
I didn’t actually see the sun rise out of the ocean (an unusual occurrence on the west coast) because I was still fast asleep, but my early-riser Hubby enjoyed the experience almost every morning.
I had hoped to explore the trails through the estuary on Sunday, so was disappointed to find out they’ve been under water since that devastating Hurricane Odile wreaked havoc on the Baja in the fall of 2014. We made due with exploring the edges of it.
We saw many fine feathered fowls. A red-tailed hawk having breakfast.
Great Blue Heron
In this photo of the gulls, the ocean is on the left and the estuary is on the right.
Farther down the beach, past the estuary, is a marina with breakwaters to protect the calm little beach.
We started down a path hoping to find the other side of the estuary, instead we came across some camels. Yes, camels.
With such clever camouflage, I almost didn’t spot this crab.
Cute little flowers decorated the sand.
Views of the resort from the estuary
It took all of my willpower to stand with my back to those powerful waves that sounded like a locomotive coming right at me.
Incredibly, we spotted grey whales breaching on the horizon. I actually saw as many as three whales jump at the same time. They were too far away to photograph; we had to use binoculars to see them.
The strong wave action made interesting sand formations.
These horses were on the beach every day, and I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the poor things. Seemed like a sad life just standing there all the time, and I worried about how often they were watered.
Another gorgeous sunrise I missed seeing.
On Monday morning, we walked up Blvd Antonio Mijares into San Jose’s historical downtown. Unlike touristy Cabo, San Jose has a laidback small town feel.
Palacio Municipal (Gov’t building)
Plaza Central with Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti in the background
Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti
While strolling Calle Morelos, we came upon El Encanto Suites and were intrigued into peeking inside at its enchanting yard.
Back at the resort, we visited with the horses stabled next door. The flooded estuary has invaded their area, but at least they can still move freely and have water and shelter from the sun.
My typical lunch – salad, fish, and buns with cranberry juice. Yum.
Little restaurant sparrows entertained us at every meal.
After lunch, we headed to the section of the estuary where the trail used to go through before it flooded.
Egret & Heron
I accidentally took some pictures with my new camera’s special effects setting. Mostly they were junk, but some turned out fantastic. The following photos of workers at the estuary are from the same frame, with three different effects applied. All are similar, yet also wonderfully unique, and I thought to myself, this same outlook could be (and should be) applied to people. We’re all humans, yet we’re all different, and we’re all special in our own way.
Quite amazing to come across the beach horses relaxing on the estuary trail. They weren’t tethered and completely ignored us.
Estuary watch tower
Hubby looking for whales in the watch tower
See that tiny splash in the water? That’s a pelican diving for fish. Despite many attempts, that was the best shot we captured.
Estuary on left, ocean in the background, with sand spit in between.
More surf shots because they’re so magnificent.
Drinks on the lanai.
Cactus garden by the beach restaurant.
Glorious sunset colours.
A talented mariachi band entertained us Monday evening.
We bussed to Cabo Tuesday morning, only to have our excursion cancelled because windy conditions had whipped up a sandstorm. After rescheduling the tour, we had about half an hour to wander the marina. It’s changed a lot since we were there seven years ago, but still very busy.
The sandy atmosphere is apparent in the background of this shot.
Despite the stormy sky, it was quite pleasant lounging by the resort’s pool.
That afternoon we spent several enjoyable hours roaming San Jose’s lovely residential streets.
The clouds continued to look threatening, but the weather remained mild.
Unique cloud formations treated us to an interesting sunset that night.
Join me next week when I wrap up our trip with even more pictures. 😉