There are many fun and interesting things to do in Los Cabos. One activity that you probably wouldn't expect to be able to do here is riding camels. You might think that you would need to cross the ocean to ride a camel, but Cabo Adventures, a tour company operating out of Los Cabos, offers this activity. I experienced the Outback and Camel Safari excursion with Cabo Adventures in March 2013, and found it a fun and interesting way to spend the day.
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Where the Sahara Meets Mexico
We checked in at the Cabo Dolphins' Center at the Marina in Cabo San Lucas, and from there boarded a bus that took us on a 15 km ride to Rancho San Cristobal, a 500-acre property which is also serves as the headquarters of ASUPMATOMA, the Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Sea Turtle in Southern Baja. This is where the Outback Adventure takes place. After getting off the bus, the large group was split into smaller groups, and we boarded Unimogs, all terrain vehicles that can handle the sandy and uneven desert terrain. Inside, the Unimogs have two benches facing each other. We found Mexican ponchos on the benches, and since it was a breezy day, we wrapped up in them. The Unimogs took us to the spot by the beach where we would have our camel ride.
Cabo Camels' Origins
Here we met Sidi Amar, a Tuareg from Northern Africa, who has been in Los Cabos for a few years working as the Cabo Adventures camel handler.
He explained to us that the camels we would ride were brought to Los Cabos from Texas. These camels are descendants of the Camel Corps, an experiment of the U.S. Army during the Civil War in using camels as pack animals in the Southwest United States. He talked to us about the camels, explaining that they are well-suited for the desert of Baja California Sur, and he answered questions about the camels and his personal story.
Riding the Cabo Camels
We were given helmets which came equipped with a cloth to protect us from the sun (made to look like a turban), and were instructed to leave our cameras and belongings in a box there because we would need two hands to hold on to the camel. Then we climbed the wooden platform to mount the camels. We rode tandem, two to a camel. The ride was shorter than I expected, but the gait of the camels makes for a not too comfortable ride, so a longer ride might be uncomfortable for some. A photographer took our photo astride the camels and the desert sands and the ocean as backdrop make for some great photos.
Following the camel ride, we enjoyed a nature walk and our guide talked to us about the flora and fauna of the area, and we learned about some of the area's medicinal plants. After the nature walk, we hopped on the Unimog again and were taken to an outdoor covered area where we enjoyed a traditional Mexican meal that consisted of rice, beans, mole, cactus salad, and tortillas freshly made on the comal. We also got to sample some tequila and mezcal, and our guide talked to us about these Mexican drinks.
The Outback and Camel Safari
This excursion includes transportation from the Cabo Adventures office in Cabo San Lucas, a nature walk in the desert, a short camel ride, a Mexican lunch, and tequila tasting.
The excursion is suitable for children five and up. Wear comfortable clothes and and closed shoes, and be sure to apply some sunscreen beforehand. The use of cameras is not permitted during the camel ride, but a professional photographer takes photos which are available for purchase. If you're lucky, you might get a photo of a kiss with a camel.
Contact Cabo Expeditions
Cabo Adventures has an office at the Cabo San Lucas marina, Bldv. Paseo de la Marina (esquina Malecon) Lote 7, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. The office is open daily from 7 am to 4 pm.
Phone: US & Canada toll free 1-888-526-2238, in Mexico 52-624-173-9500
Website: Cabo Adventures
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