Lunch with a friend recently revealed that he had never been outside the United States and had little desire to travel. “How different people are,” I thought, as I love to travel and have always made an effort to find my way to an airport. Indeed, travel is not easy—checking in, missing flights, security checks, luggage, seating arrangements, snacks at a cost—it takes effort, but the landing and the arrival are more often than not worth it.

An email arrives announcing a press junket to Cabo. A term not heard much anymore, “press junket” once referred to an opportunity for journalists to interview celebrities for an upcoming film. It could also be an invitation to visit a particular hotel, property, or event. For the record, I have been on many junkets, most notably to Egypt and the Maldives. This particular press trip was to visit a resort located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula—Cabo San Lucas. From Los Angeles, this is a less-than-three-hour flight.

Cabo is known for a few things: a vibrant nightlife, the Arch of Cabo San Lucas (the iconic arch-shaped rock formation located at Land’s End), and as a port of call for large cruise ships. It is a tourist destination, as are Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tulum, and, most recently, to the north, Holbox.

From the Cabo airport, shuttles are frequent, and it is less than a half-hour drive to the heart of Cabo. The veil lifts as Highway 1 comes into view—here, the Gulf of California meets the Pacific. Connecting San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas is the Tourist Corridor, a 33-kilometer (20-mile) four-lane highway surrounded by stunning views of both the desert and the coastline of the Sea of Cortez. And here we find Mar del Cabo by Velas Resorts. This is but one of the three Velas Resorts that all sit next to one another. To the right is the Grand Velas Los Cabos, a luxury all-inclusive resort. A short walk to the left is the Grand Velas Boutique Los Cabos.

Our stay is at Mar Del Cabo, a boutique hotel catering to adults only, with a pet-friendly crowd. All three are designed by Ricardo Elias, principal of Elias and Elias Architects in Guadalajara. The three hotels could not be more different—Del Cabo exudes old-world charm with lush entryways and a sloping sidewalk to the sea. The Grand Velas Los Cabos has an entrance that is dramatic, stylized, and cinematic.

For this junket, we are joined by fellow travel writers—it is a good group: diverse, informative, and friendly. We are staying at Mar Del Cabo by Velas Resorts, a triptych of hotels, all unique and vastly different. Mar Del Cabo is a boutique hotel—it feels intimate and organic to the region. The hotel, Mar del Cabo, is a stylish adaptation of a classic boutique hotel, designed to captivate and comfort with its unassuming and pleasing minimalism. With 46 one- and two-bedroom suites, two penthouses which have king or two queen-size beds; kitchenettes with a coffee maker and microwave oven; terraces with a sitting area, separate living areas with a sofa, a bathroom-width step-in rain shower, and daily turndown service. The restaurant, Encanto Farm & Sea, showcases the local and fresh flavors of Baja California in a unique seaside chic ambiance less than 50 yards from the ocean’s edge. Two bars, spa services, a sleek and sensual oceanfront pool, as well as outdoor spaces to hold private events, complete Mar del Cabo.

It was our first day on the press trip, and we headed off to Todos Santos with Cabo Adventure with our loquacious driver, Marcello. It is a 47-minute drive north on Highway 19. Marcello informs us that in Todos Santos we will find the Hotel California—the hotel behind the famous Eagles’ song. He alludes to “colitas,” which in Spanish is the flowering bud of the cannabis plant, as proof of the song’s linkage to Mexico.

All of which is conjecture—there is no evidence any of the Eagles ever stayed at this particular hotel, but it is a fun storyline nonetheless. Todos Santos is a magical and mysterious place. There is a large bazaar which belongs to the designer Rouss Ramírez. In the bazaar, you can discover the objects that Rouss has found on her travels through Mexico and around the world.

From there, we head back south towards Cabo and stopped at Cabo Adventures’ Camel Ranch. Here, we are treated to a vision straight out of Lawrence of Arabia—groups of people on dromedaries wearing shemaghs (headscarves). It is here that we learn a single-humped camel is called a dromedary—a camel with two humps is a Bactrian.

Lunch is enjoyed outdoors while in the distance we watch whales play along the Pacific.  Later that night, the entire press group is treated to dinner at Encanto. It is Valentine’s Day, and the atmosphere at the restaurant is festive. Near the sea, with a small stage, a performer is singing love songs in English. It is our last night—the days have swept by. Tomorrow is the short flight back to Los Angeles.

I think of my friend and what is missed by not venturing beyond. I have been visiting Baja since I was a child. As a young teen, I went to the bullfights, and the dog races in Tijuana. I have slept on the beaches below Rosarito, been astonishingly drunk at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, eaten lobster in Puerto Nuevo, and only recently, in the briefest of windows, come to Cabo on a “tender boat” from a large cruise ship and swam in the moody waters. For Californians, Mexico and Baja, in particular, hold a certain allure—proximity, cost, food, people, weather, and a coastline that rivals Italy. It is part desert, mountainous and almost always close to the ocean—  A striking combination of cactus and palm trees that invite the traveller to experience the lower California known as Baja.

: The “famed” Hotel California in Todos Santos.

The locks—legend has it that if you write your names on the locks and leave them here at the

Bésame Mucho Bazaar, you will be together forever. Surreal artwork on display. The man who sweeps the Bazaar. Our guide, Marcello, gives us the heads up that its time to leave.