Costa Palmas Excursions From the Four Seasons Resort - Info Panameña

Costa Palmas Excursions From the Four Seasons Resort

While the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas has the name of the famous resort area to the south in its name, it’s really in an area that used to be empty coastline, over some mountains and down the road from the famous snorkeling and diving spot Cabo Pulmo, a protected nature reserve. The Costa Palmas excursions on offer are numerous and varied: on the water, under the water, and on land.

Four Seasons at Costa Palmas excursions

So while vacationers who thought they were jetting off to a resort in Los Cabos may be confused when their ride from the airport heads east instead of south, those who looked at a map first will notice there is a whole lot of nature around instead of traffic. This is a great resort for exploring Baja Sur above and below the water.

We just added a new first-person review of this resort, linked to at the end, but here’s an excerpt from it on what you can expect for getting out and about:

If you do get an urge to leave the grounds, the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas has a menu of excursions that go from calm to adrenaline-pumping. They offer trips to Los Cabos proper in one direction or swimming with whale sharks in Laz Paz in the other. Closer to the resort, you can take advantage of a sunset cruise, fishing excursion, surfing lesson, or ATV trip.

I went on two signature excursions while I was there that are included in this video tour of the Four Seasons at Costa Palmas, toward the end of it, but read on for more on what they were like.


Boat Trip to Snorkel at Cabo Pulmo

Although I’ve been to Baja Sur six or eight times now, I had never made it to Cabo Pulmo. This spot is famous with scuba divers as it has long been the northernmost coral reef in the Americas. National Geographic reported that the reef is 20,000 years old.

Since 1995 it has been a protected nature reserve where outside boats aren’t allowed in. Well, unless you’re the Four Seasons that is. They’ll still hand you off to a local boat for the actual snorkeling or diving spots, but I was able to ride down the Baja coast with my hosts. I relaxed on a comfortable boat with some coffee, fruit, and banana bread and enjoyed the beach and mountain backdrop against the deep blue water.

boat ride from Four Seasons to Cabo Pulmo

This reserve, now part of a broader UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the planet’s great environmental success stories. After fishing was banned from the marine park, the underwater wildlife proliferated quickly, with overall fish species increasing 460% within a decade and predator species increasing more than 1,000%.

Now Cabo Pulmo is teeming with fish and the full range of biodiversity has returned to what it was before there were any people here. Those who venture underwater here often see turtles, multiple types of sharks, and several species of rays. At the right time of year, humpback whales and whale sharks too.

We stopped at three different snorkeling spots and saw a wide variety of fish like grouper, butterfly fish, various puffers, Moorish idols, parrotfish, triggerfish, surgeonfish, and many more. Even in spots a mile apart, the types of coral and the range of fish spotted would change.

Cabo Pulmo snorkeling Four Seasons at Costa Palmas excursion

The only drawback to snorkeling in this area is that you’ll need to wear a supplied wetsuit most of the year. The deep water of this area, so close to the Pacific, means that the water stays relatively chilly. In this age of global warming though, that’s probably a good thing. Many coral reefs in the tropics are getting bleached out because of rising sea temperatures.

After the snorkeling was done, we pulled up next to the boat I came there on and we headed back up the coast in comfort. There were drinks in the cooler available. When we returned to the Four Seasons resort, our boat pulled up to the Costa Palmas marina and it was a short walk to the restaurants or my room.

Hiking to a Baja Waterfall and Swimming Hole

The Baja Peninsula is not the tropics, despite the obligatory palm trees the resorts will plant by the swimming pools. This is a dry area dominated by cacti and brown mountains, “where the desert meets the sea.” So it was a special thrill to get into a vehicle at the resort and soon be walking to a waterfall with a place to swim.

waterfall excursion in Baja Sur near Costa Palmas

The Santiago Waterfall is flowing all year, so this is a popular place with locals in the know. It’s best to plan this for a weekday if you want to come when it’s not crowded. That’s what I did and there were only about 10 other people there swimming around.

The water is cool and refreshing, just the right temperature to offset the daytime desert heat. The walk from the parking area is not long or especially difficult, but it’s wise to wear closed-toed shoes with good tread for the descent. You’re free to scamper around the rocks or climb to a different area for an alternate view.

After we finished swimming and hiked back up to the entrance area, we had a cool drink at the restaurant there and then headed back to the resort, rolling through small towns and down empty roads.

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can get to this area by ATV instead, driving down the riverbed from near the resort all the way to the hiking area and back again. You can cool off in between in the waterfall pool and temporarily get rid of the dust on your head.

See more on the Costa Palmas excursions offered on the experiences page at the official website and see our detailed review of Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas in the East Cape of Baja Sur.

Article by Timothy

Timothy Scott is the founder and editor of Luxury Latin America and has been covering the region as a travel journalist since the mid-2000s. He has visited each country we cover multiple times and is based in a UNESCO World Heritage city in central Mexico, where he owns a home. See contact information here.

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