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HEARD OF PARADERO TODOS SANTOS? THE SUN-BLUSH DESERT STAYOVER
 
(2023 - Fall/Winter Issue)

Writer: SEAN MALLEN



When you arrive at Paradero Todos Santos, you’re not quite sure you’re there. Framed by the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, you have arrived to adventure chic. There is no garish sign announcing its presence on the highway.

Moreover, in this earthy desert paradise, a line of low-slung concrete buildings bear the same muted tones as the enveloping sandy terrain. Minimalism prevails. Less is more. It’s quiet, subdued and adults-only. With only 41 rooms and suites, the posh bohemian retreat—just north of Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula—is a far cry from the bustling tourist town of Cabo.

Paradero Todos Santos is a new breed of luxe adventure resorts that reveres sustainability and celebrates the land, culture and people of Mexico.

“You don’t come here for beaches, bikinis and margaritas,” co-owner Josh Kremer tells me on a recent stayover, describing Paradero’s brand as “experiential hospitality,” a departure from cookie-cutter all-inclusive resorts.

Now for the goods.

LOCAL. LOCAL. LOCAL.

At the Pericúe Bar, overlooking the open kitchen, tacos bake in an Oaxacan clay oven, which are wrapped around soft-shell crabs, fresh from the ocean. A few steps away are plantings of basil and mango, avocado and eggplant, destined for diners’ plates.

More recently, Paradero has added an Omakase experience. Omakase, from the Japanese “to entrust,” translates as “no set menu.” Instead, the chef creates a tasting menu of five courses inspired by local delicacies, during which he explains the origins and meaning of each dish.

One night on nearby La Tequilera beach, a long, semi-circular table was set for 150 guests. This restaurant without borders flung open its airy doors ready to welcome diners in a dining concept called the Baja Sur Farm & Beach Dinner Experience, established by the resort and a California-based organization known as Outstanding in the Field (OITF).

Waiting for us were dozens of cones in the sand, created by OITF founder and landscape artist Jim Denevan, all adding to the evening’s magic. As the sun set, Paradero chef Eduardo Rios curated a sublime multi-course meal of seafood caught just offshore. Denevan later explained that at every OITF dinner experience, at least 20 percent of the reservations are free to local food producers.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

At this experience-inclusive resort, Paradero Todos Santos offers what it calls “soft adventures,” which allow a more intimate exposure to the surrounds than a typical sun vacation. You get your pick of learning to farm, garden or you can join a group meditation session or head on a group hike, and even have conversations about the resort’s innovative architecture and sustainable landscaping.

One early morning, I’m off for a brisk hike through the cactus forest down to Las Palmas beach with my genial guide David. The shoreline is spectacular and virtually deserted, save for a single fisherman casting out a net.

Later on, there’s another peaceful escape. It’s an hour-long session of sound healing. There are also open-air yoga and fitness classes.

Then at the Ojo de Agua Spa and Wellness Center, there is the temazcal, a traditional ritual, a kind of sweat lodge ceremony with ancient Indigenous roots. After the 90-minute steam-bath experience, drenched in perspiration, I consider how the experience causes you to reflect on your life. Alicia, the Mayan shaman who led the ceremony, agrees. She says, “Every time I do it, it’s like a rebirth.”

COMMUNITY CONSCIOUS

Co-owner Pablo Carmona says Paradero is meant to be a gateway to introduce visitors to the people and landscapes of the southern Baja region, while also making meaningful contributions to their neighbours.

“You can call it the other side of Mexico, where we cherish the culture,” he says. Paradero has just set up a foundation, diverting a portion of the property’s revenues to support the surrounding communities, including an affordable housing project.

All of which fit perfectly with the sustainability focus of Paradero Todos Santos.

TRAVEL PLANER

For trip planning, see ParaderoHotels.com

 
 
 
 
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