Away Game: Los Cabos, Mexico
Continued (page 2 of 2)
Diamante Cabo San Lucas has the same high-end demographic in its sights. The difference is, there's no resort. Five miles from downtown Cabo San Lucas, Diamante is a high-end private club, though it's not too difficult to get on if you show an interest in buying a membership ($150,000) or property (starting at $300,000).
It's worth the effort. Diamante's Dunes Course, Mexico's new No. 1 in our Planet Golf rankings, is among the more ruggedly beautiful layouts you'll ever see. Framed by towering sand dunes, nearly half of its holes run along the Pacific Ocean--and the rest aren't far off it. On a truly blustery day, it would be unplayable. There was only a gentle breeze off the ocean when I visited. That, combined with a very high level of service (including caddies and "comfort stations" with food and cocktails on both nines), made for an afternoon to remember.
Developer Ken Jowdy imagines the Dunes Course as part of a 1,500-acre community that will have three courses with 375 members each. (Rumor has it that the designer's initials for the second course are TW, but Jowdy isn't saying.)
What about the widespread feeling among Americans that Mexico is, well, peligroso? "If you take Mexico as a country, sure, there are dangerous places," Jowdy says. "You can pick neighborhoods in any city in the world and say it's dangerous. But I've spent a lot of time here, and I feel as safe as anywhere in the world."Before I went, I'm not sure I would have believed him. I do now. It'll take more than a High/Extreme Risk Rating to keep me from going back.
SAN JOSE VS. SAN LUCAS
"Los Cabos" describes a tourist-rich area with San Jose del Cabo (below, left) on one end and Cabo San Lucas on the other. San Jose is typically the quieter, more relaxed of the two cities. Cabo is younger and more raucous.
If I were visiting Los Cabos with a few buddies who weren't that into golf but wanted to play a round or two, I'd lean toward Club Campestre. The course is among the least expensive in town, it's easy to reach, and it had the most relaxed vibe of the courses I played.
FRESH AS IT GETS
My best meal all week was at a tiny eatery on San Jose's main drag called TEO. It advertises burgers and salads, but owner/chef Alfredo can do a lot more than that. I had a fresh tuna sashimi salad and delicious grilled parrot fish. Along with vegetables, drink and tip, it came to $20.