Why I Won't Retire
In Cabo San Lucas

hotel Sol Mar in Cabo San Lucas
I knew before I left home that I would not retire in Cabo San Lucas. I already live in my own little piece of heaven on earth.

When my friend suggested a December trip to Cabo San Lucas and showed me photos of Sol Mar, the hotel, I imagined anyone who wanted to retire to a hot, dry, seaside spot would consider Cabo San Lucas.

Before the plane landed at San José del Cabo, I'd had a chat with a fellow passenger whose daughter is part of Paula Abdul's entourage. I learned that Paula often spends time in Cabo San Lucas.

During a timeshare pitch, I learned that Sylvester Stalone and John Travolta have homes where they might retire in Cabo San Lucas.

The marina was full of yachts and cruise ships slip regularly in and out of Cabo Bay. It seemed that everyone was coming to town.

At first blush it's easy to see why. The natural setting is awesome!

If you want a calm swimming beach, head for the Sea of Cortez.

If pounding surf answers your need, choose the Pacific side.

Palms rattle on in conversation in courtyards and along the streets.

Windswept hills of sandstone inspire artists and at the same time, make their artwork all but unnecessary.

The Sea of Cortez supports over 800 kinds of sea life, from gray whales to the tiny crustaceans they feed on. Pelicans, frigate birds, and turkey vultures share the skies with smaller birds, such as hummingbirds.

With only 5 to 7 days of rain per year, Cabo San Lucas can seem like paradise.

On my first evening walking the pier, I knew that neither I nor most of my friends could retire in Cabo San Lucas.

The natural beauty stands in contrast to the racket.

construction in Cabo San LucasDowntown Cabo San Lucas is noisy. From dawn to dark, construction cranes and jack hammers announce the construction boom. Everyone is building. It's too much, too fast and the infrastructure can't support the pace.

Cabo San Lucas is people noisy, too.

It's a city with a reputation for its nightlife, which certainly delivers.

But the worst aspect for me was the hucksterism. I've been in other parts of Baja, Mexico, so I expected to be hustled. I usually enjoy a bit of haggling and chat with locals in whatever language works.

Nothing prepared me for the onslaught of OCPs, desperate to get every visitor to town into a timeshare promotional "welcome breakfast." The ground was thick with what in any culture would be rude stalkers who disregard all but the most firm NO!

If you asked me, I'd tell you not to retire in Cabo San Lucas. I'd suggest you take some time to search for something away from the Cabo corridor. Cabo San Lucas makes me think of a gold rush town -- not the kind of place to spend one's final years.

If you have already decided to retire in Cabo San Lucas, I'd welcome your point of view. And if you know of any great place to retire, please share.

Of course, if you are looking for a place to visit, Cabo San Lucas, may be just what you want.