Overpriced

Now that I've been here in Cabo San Lucas for four days, I feel I can start to draw some conclusions and form some opinions. First among them is what has been my biggest surprise: the cost. I'm certainly no Baja expert, but I've traveled in Mexico often enough (and have lived in Honduras, a somewhat comparable analog, for an entire year) to know where the prices should lie. I expected to eat like a king for under $10 per meal and to drink like a fish for a dollar a beer. But we might as well have been in Las Vegas or Palm Springs for the last four days.

Two nights ago, four of us had dinner in one of Cabo's old standards, El Faro Viejo, a.k.a. the "Trailer Park" restaurant. Granted, the food melted on my palate, but the cost of our pitcher of margaritas stuck in my craw. I've traveled a lot, but until now, I have never paid $48 for a pitcher of margaritas. One hundred and fifty bucks later, we finally made our escape. Sure, we ate well, but our wallets were as empty as our bellies were full.

We've been able to find some good deals with a little looking, but from all appearances, this resort town seems to have become Americanized to the point that the prices are often higher than back home. In fact, tropical beach town that this is, Cabo seems to be trying to position itself as a Hawaiian or Caribbean resort, whenin my opinionit really lacks the natural beauty and high-end service to match such destinations.

Some may consider me snobby for such an opinion, but Cabo really finds itself in a strange no-man's-land between quaint Baja beach town and exclusive luxury resort. Some of my compadres who have been here before testify to the town's massive development in recent years. Perhaps I have just encountered the resort town in the midst of its growing pains, when it neither offers the quaint Old Mexico experience nor justifies the top-shelf prices.

This is not to say I'm having a miserable time. Quite the contrary! Right now, I'm lying on a lounge chair on the beach, while the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez lap the beach ten feet away. To my side, several bottles of beer sit on ice in a bucket. Songs from the 1980s blare from the speakers of the club behind me. I'm living one of those Corona beer commercials.

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