by Lola Méndez Special to USA TODAY
Mexico has remained open to American tourists throughout the pandemic without restrictions.
Once I was vaccinated against COVID-19, I organized a trip to Los Cabos, which was the world’s first travel destination to receive Sharecare health security verification.
I planned an experience staying at wellness-focused resorts, eating vegan meals in San Jose del Cabo and enjoying the region’s nature.
If you’re thinking about traveling to Los Cabos soon, here’s what to expect:
Entry and exit requirements
While it’s not mandatory to show proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test, visitors must complete the health risk assessment form 12 hours prior to arrival.
The tourist-friendly has implemented a testing program to help visitors get tested at their hotel in order to meet requirements to board flights to their home countries, such as the U.S.
As of Nov. 8, unvaccinated Americans will need a negative test taken within one day of departure. The three-day rule still applies for vaccinated travelers.
► New travel rules: Unvaccinated American travelers face tighter COVID testing upon return
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Local restrictions: Pack a mask
Los Cabos With Care, the region’s COVID protocol, sets the rules for the airport, transportation, restaurants, bars, tours and beaches.
Curfew: People must be indoors by 2 a.m.
Masks: Everyone must wear masks at all times in public and private spaces except when eating, drinking, or swimming.
Clearing up any Cabo confusion
Los Cabos is the county or region containing the tourist mecca of Cabo San Lucas and the neighboring city of San Jose del Cabo. Both are served by the same airport, Los Cabos International Airport. Los Cabos is located within the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.
Where to stay and dine
Upon arrival at Solaz Resort, my temperature was taken and I was provided a reusable mask and hand sanitizer to use during my stay. I chose Solaz as it has one of the only swimmable beaches on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. (Note: Solaz is currently closed for infrastructure repairs.)
My room had a private plunge pool which was ultra-luxurious during the hot desert afternoons – Los Cabos enjoys over 340 days of sunshine a year. Story from Lilly Diabetes Insulin access: What are the options? See More →
The beach-front property featuresart by Mexican artist César López-Negrete who spent time traveling across the Baja Peninsula gathering inspiration from the region’s flora and fauna for his art.
I had lunch at Chula Vegan Café, the first vegan restaurant in San José del Cabo, run by sisters Natalia and Ivana. They serve plant-based renditions of Mexican dishes including nachos with vegan cheese.
Cabo: ‘The world’s aquarium’
While snorkeling, I saw endangered sea turtles gliding through the gem-like turquoise sea. Oceanographer Jacques Costeau dubbed Cabo’s Sea of Cortez the ” the world’s aquarium,” thanks to its array of marine life.
That wasn’t the only water I explored. Back at Solaz, I indulged in a massage and soaked in the hydrotherapy pools.
In-house art museum
Solaz is the only hotel in Mexico that has an on-site museum, Gabinete del Barco. I strolled through the exhibits, which have plaques in English and Spanish and learned about Baja Peninsula’s history and nature.https://97a699bd74d297c355129dfdb908e99a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
As the day turned to night I grabbed a seat outdoors at Al Pairo, which recently added a wide selection of vegan dishes to their menu including roasted cauliflower tacos.
I love to take cooking classes when I travel and took one at the family-owned farm-to-table Tamarindos in San Jose del Cabo.
Our group was small – just eight people – and the entire experience was outdoors. We harvested fresh veggies from the garden, learned how to make homemade tortillas, salsas and more.
That evening I snagged a table at Don Sanchez restaurant and enjoyed the vegan tasting menu with innovative plant-forward plates using quintessential Mexican ingredients like jicama, tomato and huitlacoche.
The bottom line
I didn’t encounter crowds at all during my trip to Los Cabos. I felt completely safe the entire time and was able to do all of the activities on my itinerary – most of which were outdoors. I followed local regulations to keep myself and others safe, wore my mask and washed my hands frequently.
by Lola Méndez Special to USA TODAY
Source: USA TODAY