After growing up in Switzerland and working in Dubai, Maldives and Spain, Alessandro Balestra returned to the country where he was born just three years ago, establishing a new home in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Currently in the role of manager of experiences and communications at Montage Los Cabos, he works in PR, social media and in creating new out-of-the-box experiences for hotel guests.
Since opening in the spring of 2018, the stunning 16-hectare beachside property on the Los Cabos corridor has already attracted notice in The Hollywood Reporter. Celebrities love Montage for its super-private accommodations and, in addition to 122 guest rooms and suites, the new resort has 52 luxe residences. For his job, and out of a personal passion, Balestra’s made it his mission to discover the best of the area. “Now my local friends ask me where to eat and what to do,” he laughs. “I think when you come from outside, you see things from a different perspective.” So, we just had to ask him to tell us his favourite things in Baja.
Make the two and a half hour drive from Los Cabos to La Paz, and then head to Balandra Beach. The beauty is incomparable; it seems like the colours of the bay have been hand-painted. It’s the most crystal clear water I’ve seen in Mexico and it’s safe to swim because the waters of the Sea of Cortez are not so rough. It’s very quiet, but if you walk in the shallow water past the parking area, you find beaches where there are even fewer people. Bring your own food because there’s not much around.
There’s a building in the city centre of San José del Cabo with two of my favourite places. Downstairs there’s La Revolución Comedor, which is a place to go before or after dinner. Many of the cocktails are mezcal-based, made with fresh local ingredients.Then you can go upstairs to Dalton Gin Bar. It’s on the rooftop, so you have beautiful views of the Art District and the church. If you talk with the bartender Juan Pablo, he’ll make a drink to your taste.
It’s a bit of a cliche to think of tacos when you think of Mexican food, because there’s so much more than that, but the tacos at La Lupita Taco & Mezcal in San José del Cabo, are excellent. It’s rustic chic and they have a great selection of regional craft beers and a great selection of mescal. Costra de Pastor tacos is my favourite. The tortilla is made of cheese. It’s not very diet-friendly but it’s worth every single calorie. And don’t forget to taste the ceviche trio, which is do die for …
MUSIC & DANCING
usion Bar in San José del Cabo is my favourite club. During the week it’s a restaurant and turns into a club on Friday and Saturday. It’s a little bit hidden. There’s no sign outside and you need a password [which you can get from their Facebook page] to get in. It has electronic music and really good drinks. They sometimes bring in DJs from overseas.
Snorkelling with the whale shark, which can be done in La Paz. The best season to do it is October to May. They only allow three boats per shark. When they spot the shark, they stop and you put on the snorkeling gear and go out and swim. People get nervous about it, but they’re actually very gentle. You can’t touch the shark or the tour will be instantly cancelled.
At Manuel Sanchez Jewelry in San José del Cabo, the designer is local and he only works with the best silver from Taxco. You can meet him and bring him and an idea and he can create it for you. You can also get a pink tequila as a special treat.
La Fortuna is located on the East Cape, a beautiful town right on the beach where you can go surfing. Bring an ice cooler box with cervezas and ceviche and watch the stars. There’s no cell-phone reception so you can live in the moment with your friends.