When people disembark from their arriving flights at San Jose del Cabo International airport, carrying protective fishing pole tubes and a few ice chests, they are not on their way to Cabo San Lucas or any of the fine resorts and hotels along the 26 mile corridor, but rather, they are headed in the opposite direction to what is best known and aptly called, the East Cape.
Of course, there are roughly 65 miles of serene beaches, dearth of the bathing suit clad party goers easily found at Medano Beach, and the East Cape is quite candidly known as the quieter side of Los Cabos and is somewhat legendary for the small town friendliness of the local Mexican's who live and work there.
While sport fishing clearly remains the East Cape calling card as incredible weather conditions allow for plentiful catches, the near deserted beaches give credence to the serenity and peace many visitors love about this part of the Sea of Cortez region. And while the small city continues growing, at its relatively slow, snail-like pace, the contrast of East Cape as a more laid back counter-part to the party-like atmosphere of it's more famous neighbors, keeps many regulars coming back year after year.
Miguel M. Avalos has been living in East Cape a little over a year and resides near the shipwreck area. "I've been told by many people living here; that this is how Los Cabos was twenty years ago. The small town feel and the peace and quiet."
The abundant sport fishing menu of marlin, sail fish, dorado, sierra, grouper, tuna, wahoo, snapper, yellowtail, cabrilla and the ever powerful rooster fish in the waters of the East Cape make it a must for fisherman everywhere. Most of the non trendy hotels have their own fleets of either small to medium, big cruisers or pangas suited to catch the over 80 game fish species which prowl the waters of Cortez. Fish like lightning-fast wahoo, amberjack, jack crevalle, Sierra mackerel, yellowtail, grouper, cabrilla, and a variety of snapper species.
East Cape is also quite popular with surfers who have been bringing their boards to ride the waves of Southern Baja since the early to mid 1950's. Although the area was still considered near virgin surf territory up until the 1980's when it earned a reputation among American surfers as a place for consistently fun to ride waves. Since then, representatives of the California-based Surf Industry Manufacturers Association travel to Cabo for an annual week long seminar which began in 1998.
Local Mexican surfers and twice as many full time expats living in East Cape along with a continuous flow of visiting thrill seekers help to maintain a pretty solid surfing population on any given day. According to surfers, March to May, the swells around East Cape are reasonably frequent and the crowds are nowhere near what they are during the summer or winter school holiday season, so springtime is actually a good time for serious surfers to visit.
The spots called Nine Palms and Shipwrecks are the most popular for surfing, and some other beaches along the way are venues where people gather for camping and planning the famous “full moon” parties that are held here by locals.
Near San Jose, following the East Cape road before getting to Shipwrecks or Nine Palms you have a famous community called "Zacatitos" where you’ll mostly find retired Americans and Canadians. People here fall in love with the place as they enjoy the sound of the waves and the peace and calm this places has to offer. A local living here commented "I chose Los Zacatitos on the East Cape because it truly fit my active lifestyle and love of the outdoors. With endless beaches, mountain and desert terrain, I can do my long distance running in the mountains, run my dogs every morning on the beach and long distance swim in the ocean with other active Zacatitos residents."
Another man in his 60s mentioned "You know what I love about this place? It reminds me of what Cabo was back in the days; a relaxed life full of natural resources and endless beauty. And yet if you ever need something you can always drive 30 minutes and be at San Jose getting all the supplies you need"
The resorts in East Cape are mostly near the Los Barriles/Buena Vista area, on the shores of Bahía Las Palmas. There are a few hotels farther south along the coast and one to the north. The resorts are somewhat smaller in size, as resorts tend to go, but large on hospitality, which is a pleasant change that many vacationers grow accustomed to during annual returns to this truly semi-sleepy town of East Cape. A small, village-like place still considered by many sports fisherman, as the "Roosterfish Capital of the World".