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I'm a Chicago based food & travel photographer and cinemagraph maker. To get in touch, you can reach me by email at hi@sandynoto.com


Travel Photography: Cabo San Lucas

Travel Photography: Cabo San Lucas

Just a few days back, I put together a list of travel photography tips and went on for a while about the importance of research. Whenever Eli and I are putting together a trip, I like to start with hotels. I’ll go through travel magazines, a few of my favorite travel blogs and ask friends and family for recommendations to put together a list of 10 or so of the most promising hotels. From there, I’ll spend a few days going through prices, reviews and possible deals. At the end, I’ll give Eli a list of my 3 favorite options and he’ll usually make a final pick. It’s a little excessive but I enjoy it. 

So it was a totally new experience for me to head to Cabo San Lucas with the Mexico Board of Tourism and hand over complete control for the itinerary. The hotel, restaurants and activities were all set ahead of time and I tossed research to the wind. I’m rarely surprised when I travel so it was fun to wake up each day ready for unexpected adventure. 

Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas

The group on the trip was a mix of photographers, bloggers and lifestyle business owners. It was exciting and heartening to wake up for sunrise and discover everyone else already out on the beach. Depending on where you look, Cabo has 300 or maybe 350 days of sunshine. Either way, it was amazing and much needed break from the Chicago cold. 

Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas

For the hotel, we stayed at the Grand Velas Los Cabos. It is 100% not the sort of place I would have ever picked myself but I was surprised to find myself very enthusiastic. The rooms had incredible ocean views, everything was beautifully designed and everyone was extraordinarily nice. I had one incident where I was tempted to throw my room Nespresso machine into the ocean because I couldn't get it to work but that was probably more of a me issue. There was a coffee bar near the lobby that became my go to and I ended up having nice daily chats with the barista about the Jules Verne book he was reading. 

Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas

I'm definitely not about to become the sort of person that books a trip a night out and goes wherever the wind takes me but it was really fun and refreshing to travel without a firm hold on the itinerary. Plus, I would definitely venture back to Cabo. It's going on my list of destinations to visit when I feel like I can't take one more day of winter. 

Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas
Photographing Cabo San Lucas

It's funny to think that until 2 years ago I had never been to Mexico and now this was my third trip. From driving around the Yucatan to exploring Cabo, I always have a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to many more winter escapes in the coming years. 

Diversions, vol. 73

Diversions, vol. 73

9 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

9 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos