Forget store bought Guac…try this instead!

A Mexican molcajete
Love this version of the molcajete!

On our second night out in Los Cabos it was recommended that we try a restaurant called Metate where I first laid eyes on these adorable animal styled mortar and pestle bowls called molcajete (molka’ xete) in Spanish. I decided right then I wanted to take one home! Travelers tip: decide on that special souvenir before you buy a whole bunch of nothin!

Doggie style molcajete
This fun doggie style molcajete was at our favorite sit down restaurant called Metate

I found lots of plain ones and super big ones, but I wanted the animal faced one and of course it had to fit in my suitcase and not put me over my weight limit!

My traveling buddies kept their eyes out for that special bowl the whole week we were there. Flash forward to our last shopping day. This was it. I had to find my special molcajete or all would be lost! I got confused on about how many vendors and shops we went into. Most of the molcajete’s were plain ones and some were so big I could have worn them as a hat, had it not been made of stone! Daylight was waning, I was starting to lose hope. “Have we been down this street?”, I asked my weary friends. They shook their heads as if to say “no, we haven’t and we are done looking!” I gave my best “puppy eye” look and they followed me into another street laden with vendors and merchandise that nobody needed but everybody wanted. The boys stopped in a promising shop while my girlfriend and I wandered into a store front a few doors down. We looked through the small shop pretty quickly as I could tell they didn’t have what I was looking for, when something caught my eye in the far corner. It was stone, gray and had a pestle, but as I got up close, alas, again…it was just a plain one (insert sad face). At just that moment the boys came sauntering down the street towards us with wide, silly grins on their faces. They looked triumphant! My eyes shone with hope! “What did you find?” I asked excitedly. They unwrapped their package very carefully. They held it up like the Lion King holding his first born son. A pig faced molcajete, just the right size and at a bargain price (they said victoriously)! The search was over! The prize had been found. I could go home a happy camper!

curing a molcajete
Curing a molcajete

But wait! How does one use this cool pig molcajete? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I will tell you along with how to make a simple but delicious guacamole!

Here is How to Cure a Molcajete:

  1. Wash the molcajete with water then clean with a wire brush.
  2. Use the pestle to grind up several cloves of garlic into a paste. Spread it all around the inside of the mortar. …
  3. Let the molcajete rest 24 hours.
  4. Rinse away the paste from the molcajete.
  5. Done!

Simple but yummy Guacamole from Tastefoodblog

Guac in a molcajete
Doesn’t it look amazing?!

Guacamole

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes about 2 cups

1 small red or green jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1 garlic clove,  chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, plus extra chopped leaves for garnish
3 to 4 large ripe Hass avocados
2 tablespoons coarsely grated yellow onion with juice
Juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
1. Combine the jalapeño, garlic, and red onion in a mortar. Press on the ingredients with your pestle, and grind them around the mortar in a circular movement, 3 to 4 times. Add the cilantro and gently bruise the leaves with the pestle.
2. Add the avocados, yellow onion, and lime juice and mash to form a blended but chunky consistency. Mix in the cumin, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce, if using, and taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with additional chopped cilantro.

Heading to the Cabo area?

Please check out our beautiful accommodations located in San Juan del Cabo and several other locations located throughout Mexico. We can accommodate up to 8 people or as intimate as the two of you! When you are ready to reserve, CLICK HERE!

Beach access
Beach access

The Practical Guide to beach strolling in Cabo San Lucas

Beach in Cabo San Lucas
Gorgeous beach in Cabo San Lucas

One of our favorite things to do when visiting the ocean is strolling on the beach barefoot. We’ve been to several beaches, including Nags Head in North Carolina along the Atlantic ocean, Ocean Shores in the state of Washington on the Pacific side and the Sea of Cortez/Pacific Ocean at the tip of the Baja peninsula of Cabo San Lucas. In this post I’ll specifically focus on the beaches of the Cabo area. Not all beaches in the Cabo area are barefoot strolling compatible. I’m going to give you some tips so you can avoid the “strolling” snafus that happened to us!

All the beaches in Cabo were beautiful but not all of them can be strolled on barefoot as we found out on our first visit. On some beaches the sand was full of coral and small sharp rocks, not very pleasant to walk on. If we had only brought some shoes down with us, we would have enjoyed our walk so much better! “Note to self”- Always carry a pair of water shoes/beach shoes with you so you’ll be prepared for any type of beach walk.

Beach in front of Fiesta Americana Resort
Beach in front of Fiesta Americana

The first beach we tried to stroll on was in front of the Fiesta Americana in San Jose del Cabo. The waters are to rough to swim in and the sand is the coral/small pebbly rock kind that is very hard on the feet. I really wish we would have had some beach shoes with us. It would have been a lot more fun!

Beach in front of Grand Mayan Los Cabos
Beach in front of Grand Mayan Los Cabos

A barefoot strolling beach can actually be found a little way up the road in San Jose del Cabo in front of the Vidanta Grand Mayan. We actually own a timeshare there and I’m really glad because the sand is so soft under the toes! The sandy beach goes for miles. The waves roll in just up the sand to cool you off on a warm day. The beach area is pristine and the waters are a glorious color of blue.

After we had walked quite a ways down this beach we noticed we were walking along side the San Jose del Cabo wildlife estuary. Here you will want to pull out your walking shoes! So many different birds were flying in the air, swimming in the water and enjoying their side of the beach! It was a little smelly though, and the beach area was a bit messy because that’s where the birds hang out! Some of the bird species we saw were falcon’s, pelicans, vultures, and white herons.

San Jose del Cabo wildlife estuary
San Jose del Cabo wildlife estuary

We ventured out a little further one day to visit a town called Todos Santos. It was about an hours drive from Los Cabos. The beaches were a bit more “rustic”, meaning there were no services and the roads into the beaches were dirt. The peace and quiet though was priceless! The sand was soft under the toes! We got caught by a few rogue waves though so be careful. We dried out pretty quickly as we sat on the beach and admired the sunset.

Beach at Todos Santos
Beach at Todos Santos

Ready to plan your Cabo beach vacation? CLICK HERE for spetacular rates on a weeks stay at the Vidanta Grand Mayan in San Jose del Cabo.

5 Ideas to add to your Cabo “Bucket list”

There is so much to do in the Los Cabos area. But if you only had a few days, I would suggest hitting these places.

  1. The first must do is to eat dinner at Metate restaurant. It is authentic, fresh Mexican/Latin food. Kind of like a “farm to table” type of place. It doesn’t open until 6pm so keep that in mind and they do take credit cards and speak English. The restaurant is an open air type concept, even the food was cooked outdoors! We could watch them prepare our whole meal. The waiter was very excited to learn that this was our first visit and that we would love to try anything he recommended. The ambiance was wonderful. Even in November I didn’t need a sweater. We sat under the trees, with soft lighting bringing a glow to the fun table settings, which included ceramic pigs! A few friendly dogs wandered through as well. Music was playing in the background and we just relaxed and enjoyed!
Metate Restaurant
This is place is great for some amazing food!
Colorful decor at Metate
Fun and colorful decor at Metate
Our appetizers
Delicious appetizers to start off with

2. The next thing I would recommend is a Sunset Dinner Cruise to visit the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. (Here is one example) There are so many to choose from. The one we choose included drinks and live music plus a wonderful dinner. We left the dock about 5:00pm, just as the sun was starting to set. We traveled toward the Arch and saw pelicans and sea lions, even more as we got closer. So one side of the Arch is facing the Pacific Ocean and the other side is surrounded by the Sea of Cortez. Hence the name “Lovers Beach” for the calm side and Divorce Beach for the rougher side! Other folks were out as well. Kayakers, smaller boats, larger boats, all enjoying the sunset. Definitely a must do in Cabo!

The Arch of Cabo
Mike and I enjoying views of the Arch of Cabo
The calm side called "Lover's Beach"
The calm side called “Lover’s Beach”. Through the rocks is “Divorce Beach” the rougher side

3. Definitely visit the town of San Jose del Cabo! More of the artsy section of Cabo is the sister city of Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo. There is a beautiful downtown area with shops, restaurants, a town square and a charming church which just happened to be hosting a wedding! Lot’s of folks dressed in their wedding best! We had a great time people watching! We found a recommended place to eat some tacos and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of the place. Later we found a vendor selling churo’s. Wow, so good!

Mission Church is San Jose del Cabo
The Mission Church in San Jose del Cabo

4. Another town I would highly recommend for a visit is Todos Santos, the home of the famous “Hotel California”! It’s about an hours drive by car from Cabo San Lucas through the countryside. The day we arrived they had just finished up a bike race. The town was full of people, vendors and cyclists. It was a fun atmosphere from the get go! We found a small bakery that was serving up yummy pastries. The local community center featured a step into the past. We explored a school class room set back in time along with what a typical home would have looked like back in the day. We continued along the coast exploring several beaches. These beaches had soft sand and mountain peaks. Waves were crashing up onto the beach. Sometimes a rogue wave caught us by surprise! We watched the sun set in the peaceful surroundings.

Rustic beach at Todos Santos
This is a public beach in Todos Santos. The beach was very soft to walk on but there are no facilities. Keep that in mind when planning your visit.

5. And last, but not least, take a visit to the Glass Factory in Cabo San Lucas. While you are there take in a glass blowing demonstration, look at all the beautiful blown glass and take home a unique souvenir!

Glass Factory in Cabos San Lucas
One of the amazing displays of glass at the Glass Factory

Hope this article gives you some ideas about what to add to your “bucket list” when visiting the Cabo area. And of course we hope you will stay in our favorite resort, the Vidanta Grand Mayan. We have member access to all of the Vidanta resorts through out Mexico and can arrange your stay at one of these beautiful resorts. Visit our page HERE to get started!

Vidanta
Beautiful master room at Vidanta