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Living in Southern California, Mexico is an easy destination for tropical weather, good food, and cheap drinks. I booked a 5 day vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to celebrate my birthday with friends and family. This was our first time staying at the Worldmark by Wyndham Coral Baja since it was redone after Hurricane Odile two years ago.
Booking the vacation
Usually, when we go to Cabo, we stay at our Diamond Resorts Cabo Azul location. But, we wanted to try something different this time, and we knew that Worldmark had at location in Cabo, so we figured we’d give it a shot.When I first booked the vacation, I could only get 4 of the days (Sunday through Wednesday) that I wanted due to availability with our Worldmark timeshare. So I put in a request for the additional day and
When I first booked the vacation, I could only get 4 of the days (Sunday through Wednesday) that I wanted due to availability with our Worldmark timeshare. So I put in a request for the additional day and I re-booked the timeshare for 6,900 points and $92 dollars for housekeeping when the space became available.
This worked out in our favor. When I originally booked, the unit was in the front building and had an ocean view. That’s nice, but when I re-booked one of the back building units became available… and they all have hot tubs on their balconies!
Flying to Cabo
Southwest flies non-stop from Orange County, California to Cabo in a little over 2 hours. You can usually find round-trip flights for less than $400 or 16,000-20,000 points. Take note that there are airport taxes of approximately $90 per person when flying on a round-trip to Mexico.
The only bad thing about flying Southwest internationally (at least to Cabo from Orange County) is that they told honor TSA PreCheck, so we had to wait in the normal line at SNA instead of skipping the line like we do on domestic flights. If you want Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, check out how easy it was to book for me and my kids (Timmy and Scarlett).
The lines in Cabo after you get off the plane can be horrendous! They literally shut off the escalator on our trip because the lines were so backed up!!! Luckily for me, I have the Mexican version of Global Entry (Viajero Confiable), which allowed me to skip the lines while Travis and his family were stuck in lines longer than a Disney ride. If you go to Mexico once a year (or twice like us), it’s a worthwhile investment at about the same cost as TSA PreCheck.
While Travis and family were in line, I sampled a little free tequila…
… and grabbed a drink outside before found our Transcabo ride to Worldmark by Wyndham in San Jose del Cabo.
The best deal on transportation we found was a private ride from Transcabo. For less than the normal per person charge (since there were 6 of us) where we would have to share a ride with others, we were able to book our own private transportation in a Chevy Suburban for about $168.
Arriving at Worldmark by Wyndham
One of the things I like best about staying at resorts in Cabo is that the entrances are guarded 24 hours a day. If someone really wanted to get in, I suppose they could find a way, but the attended gate is certainly a deterrent for most criminals.
We were warmly welcomed upon our arrival and the concierge gave us a few drinks to help cool down in the summertime heat. We took a group picture to signal the start of our adventure… Timmy and I have been to Mexico several times over the past few years, while this was the first time in Cabo for Travis and his family.
At reception, greeted with choice of beer, soda, or margarita. This is an opportunity for the sales team to talk to you about attending a presentation or to sign you up for an activity. We spoke with the concierge and they told us it would be an “owner update” (aka they’ll update you for 5-10 minutes while trying to sell you on more timeshare credits the remainder of the 90+ minues).
The deal: Attend presentation at 9am for an hour while eating a buffet breakfast at Mama Mia’s (the on-site restaurant). In exchange, we’d receive an hour of swimming with dolphins (3 kids + adult was $85, plus $85 each additional adult), and a 20-minute speed boat ride, which was to include a buffet lunch and unlimited drinks on their private island. Additionally, we would receive 25% off any other excursions we wanted to book. We agreed to do the presentation, and gave a $20 deposit.
Swimming at Worldmark Coral Baja
Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we’re given access to the Hospitality room 108 to change into swim clothes until the room was ready. That was totally fine with us, since all we were going to do was hit the pool after we dropped off our luggage anyway!
The pool is warm like bath water. I would guess that the pool was 90*! The warm water made night swimming really enjoyable. The pool was shaped like a plus sign, with each arm offering something different. One side has a swim up bar with happy hour 2-for-1 drink specials from 2p-4p.
Another side has a Baja step and a jacuzzi…
… while another has a volleyball net, and the last side has a kiddie pool. Tucked away from where most of the people are, behind the restaurant is another hot tub that we never even got to. It’s probably where the adults go to get away from the families in the main pool.
There is a restaurant called Mama Mia’s just behind the swim up bar where Timmy and I ate on our last day in Cabo.
The food was good. I had a chicken sandwich and a couple of margaritas, while Timmy had fish sticks. Totally reasonable prices, especially being on-site at a resort.
…and there is a small sports bar called Papalote attached that has 2-for-1 happy hour drink specials from 4p-6p. So, if you do it right, you can enjoy 4 continuous hours of 2-for-1 drinks at the resort… 2p-4p in the pool and 4p-6p at the sports bar.
We grabbed our drinks at the sports bar, left our tab running, then brought them back to the pool so we could continue to enjoy the water.
Unfortunately, there were no specials on food at any of the restaurants, however, with the strong US$ (at almost 20:1), the food was pretty discounted already.
Pro Tip: Always use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and pay in the local currency for the best exchange rates. If you pay in US dollars, you’ll be paying approximately 10%-20% extra! Click here for my affiliate link to credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
Our 2 bedroom unit at Coral Baja
After we were done swimming, we grabbed our keys from the front desk and had the bellman take our bags up to our room. Our room was really spacious at about 1,000 square feet.
The main room living area had a full L-shaped kitchen, complete with dishwasher, full-sized fridge, oven range, and microwave, plus all the necessary tools to cook your meals. There was even a breakfast bar where you could sit and eat or talk with whoever was preparing the meals.
There was a dining table space for 6, a couch with a coffee table and two chairs for everyone to gather around, and a Murphy Bed on the other side of the main living room. A flat panel TV with a DVD player and a radio helped provide some entertainment options.
Just past the living room, is the deck with your private hot tub with room for 4 adults. It has a view of the main Coral Baja building’s entrance, the basketball court, mini-golf putting green, and the BBQs below. Having your own private hot tub on vacation is such a great benefit… when the kids go to bed, nobody has to be left behind if you want to enjoy a little more pool time before you end your day. Or, it’s a great place for the kids to hang while the meals are being prepared.
There are 136 units at Coral Baja, but only the 15 in the back building have their own hot tubs on the balcony.
The master bedroom has a king bed and it’s own entrance to the balcony.
And the secondary bedroom had two twin beds with its own entrance to the second bathroom that is also accessible from the living room.
It was horrible how much devastation hit the Cabo area from Hurrican Odile two years ago. The silver lining is that this property received a much-needed upgrade in decor as a result of the hurricane. Here is a picture of what the units used to look like…
To me, it looks like something my grandma’s house would have looked like back in the day. Because of how the interior of the units looked, we were not interested in visiting Coral Baja until their recent remodel.
Groceries to save money
Travis and I walked the 0.7 miles to the Mega (now La Comer) to grab groceries for our stay. Our cart was overflowing with food and drinks, and we only spent about 3100 pesos, which is about $180. This saved us tons of money on food. With an average of only $10 per person per meal, our party of 6 would have spent about $550 for the meals we ate in our room.
At the grocery store, we signed up to do a presentation at the Grand Mayan timeshare. We were offered 6 complimentary dolphin excursions and 6 glass bottom boat rides. By doing this presentation not only did we save the $255 that we would have paid for the 3 dolphin excursions not covered by the Worldmark presentation, we also received the glass bottom boat tour. The breakfast was also a much higher end buffet than the breakfast that we were to receive at Worldmark.
More on that timeshare presentation in another post… stay tuned.
As the days went by, our supply of drinks dwindled. Rather than make the trek back to the Mega, we bought drinks at the on-site market, which was relatively comparable in price… and certainly worth the time it would have taken to walk or the cost of taking a taxi back and forth from the Mega.
Enjoying the Coral Baja property
After the timeshare presentation we went back to Coral Baja to swim the rest of the afternoon. While everyone was relaxing before dinner, I hit the gym to work off all the tacos and beers that I was enjoying on vacation. I’m pretty sure I still gained weight on the trip, but at least hitting the gym once could be considered a moral victory!
They managed to fit in quite a bit of equipment to give you a good workout in a relatively small space. If there were more than 5 or 6 people working out at once, this space would have become too crowded to be effective.
That evening we BBQ’d some steaks and cooked some pasta for dinner. Then we hit the hot tub on our deck to chill out and relax.
The kids enjoyed playing by the ocean while we were at the Worldmark by Wyndham Coral Baja… however, be very cautious with the water there. There is a major undertow in the water, and it isn’t recommended that you go into the water unless you are an experienced swimmer.
At Coral Baja, there is also a pool table room for guests to enjoy, although we never used it. It is located in the main building near the lobby and across from the gym.
We slept in on Tuesday and had a lazy breakfast inside our unit. After relaxing in our unit, we left for Cabo San Lucas for the day to explore the city and do our glass bottom boat tour that would take us to Lover’s Beach, the famous El Arco (aka The Arch), and around to the Pacific side of the peninsula.
And more from this trip and our experience swimming with dolphins in an upcoming post.
To see the reviews of others who have been to the Worldmark by Wyndham Coral Baja timeshare… or any other resort in the Cabo area, use my affiliate link to TripAdvisor for all the best reviews and prices on rooms.
We had an amazing time visiting the Worldmark by Wyndham Coral Baja for the first time. It was a great place to celebrate my birthday… although I wish Anna and Scarlett would have been there. Unfortunately, some last minute things came up at work, so they couldn’t make it. I look forward to building more family memories when all 4 of us can go back to Coral Baja! I hope this journal has inspired you to visit Cabo and experience all the wonderful activities and local cuisine…. I mean, who doesn’t love tacos and beer, right?
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