It turns out you don’t have to head all the way to the Middle East to ride a camel.
While Mexico may be better known for things like tequila, sombreros and tacos, there’s a spot on the country’s Baja Peninsula where visitors can hop on a hump and go for a stroll along a gorgeous white sand beach—and yes, you even get to wear a turban. Sort of.
The Outback & Camel Safari starts at the Cabo Adventures headquarters, overlooking the palm-fringed, colourful marina in Cabo San Lucas where birds perch on the blindingly-white yachts docked in the harbour. After a short transfer on an air-conditioned bus blasting feel-good tunes like Macarena, guests arrive at Rancho San Cristobel to kick off the only-in-Mexico adventure.
Our excursion started off with a nature walk, where our guide talked about the area’s native flora and fauna, highlighting the medicinal and aromatic properties of the plants spotting the arid landscape. He also plucked exotic fruit right off the trees for us to sample, while helpfully pointing out desert hazards such as the jumping cholla cactus which is infamous for latching its prickly stems into unsuspecting visitors who brush by too closely.
Once our group reached the bottom of the valley (free of any incidents involving cacti, it’s worth noting), we hopped on a sunshine-yellow, open-air truck to be whisked off to the portion of the excursion we were all really there for—the camel ride. It was immediately clear that the Cabo Adventures crew treats them as kindly as they would their pets, ensuring there was as little weight on each one as possible by asking us to leave backpacks and cameras behind. We were also under clear instructions not to use anything like gimbals or selfie-sticks, lest a camel get spooked and decide to hoof it all the way to Tijuana.
Each of us were then outfitted with a helmet covered in flowing white cloth made to look like a turban, proving that sometimes form and function can mix. Or at the very least, make for a hilarious photo-op. Once we were dressed the part, we were hoisted onto a comfortable seat affixed to each camel’s back, then it was off to the races.
Of course, being camels it wasn’t much of a race—more like a leisurely stroll which suited us all just fine. The steady pace made it easy to take in our gorgeous surroundings, the eye-candy coming courtesy of the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Framed by a bright blue sky and blonde beach dotted with deep green foliage, it made for a mesmerizing scene. We were encouraged to keep an eye on the ocean, as pods of dolphins and breeching whales have been known to make guest appearances.
The ride lasted about 20 minutes, and after hopping off the saddles we made our way over to a rather fashionably outfitted fellow named Louis. Patiently waiting to provide us each with the ultimate selfie, the camel was outfitted with a brightly-coloured blanket and primed for pics—this clearly wasn’t his first rodeo. A photographer was standing by ready to capture every moment, including when Louis would lean in for a kiss, which was easily the highlight of the entire day for most of us. In the spirit of capitalism we weren’t allowed to take photos of Louis ourselves and had to purchase them from Cabo Adventures afterwards, but in my opinion the price tag was worth shelling out for. Really, how often do you get to do a photoshoot with a camel?
The tour wrapped up with a tasty buffet lunch of Mexican favourites like quesadillas, mole, beans and salad, paired with tastings of mezcal and tequila, natch. We raised our glasses, lime and salt close at hand, toasting to a fun-filled day in Mexico’s outback and our newfound camel crew.
Globe Guide enjoyed the Outback & Camel Safari as a guest of Air Transat and Cabo Adventures. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.
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