Costa Palmas - holes 2 and 3
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Costa Palmas - hole 2 and 3
The second green (foreground) and par-3 third green share an inlet near the sea. Courtesy of Costa Palmas
Costa Palmas - putting green and range
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Costa Palmas - putting green and range
The range and putting green at Costa Palmas sit adjacent to Bouchie's, an open-air cafe serving excellent food. The range doubles as a short course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - aerial range
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Costa Palmas - aerial range
The range and putting green (on the left) and first fairway (right) showoff the sandscapes at Costa Palmas. Courtesy of Costa Palmas
Costa Palmas - first fairway
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Costa Palmas - first fairway
This aerial photo of the first fairway at Costa Palmas shows how close golfers come to the Sea of Cortez. Courtesy of Costa Palmas
Costa Palmas - Bouchie's
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Costa Palmas - Bouchie's
Bouchie's is the open-air cafe that serves as a comfort station for golfers playing Costa Palmas. It sits adjacent to the putting green and first tee, but can also be visited after the fifth hole. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - hole 3
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Costa Palmas - hole 3
The par-3 third hole at Costa Palmas provides a glimpse of the beach club and the sea. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - Bouchie's exterior
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Costa Palmas - Bouchie's exterior
Bouchie's is the perfect hangout near the first tee and fifth green at Costa Palmas. Courtesy photo
Costa Palmas - hole 6
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Costa Palmas - hole 6
A pathway through the sandscapes leads to the sixth green at Costa Palmas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - hole 7
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Costa Palmas - hole 7
A large waste area guards the par-5 seventh green at Costa Palmas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - hole 9
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Costa Palmas - hole 9
A wall of sand protects the ninth green at Costa Palmas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - Lucha Libre comfort station
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Costa Palmas - Lucha Libre comfort station
The Lucha Libre comfort station serves killer tacos and more during a round at Costa Palmas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - hole 14
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Costa Palmas - hole 14
The par-3 14th at Costa Palmas plays 224 yards, often into the wind. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - hole 16
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Costa Palmas - hole 16
The par-3 16th brings the wind and water views to Costa Palmas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Costa Palmas - Four Seasons hotel
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Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas
The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos is the first hotel at Costa Palmas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Mexico's Costa Palmas debuts as a Cabo East Cape retreat

A new Four Seasons hotel and its Robert Trent Jones Jr. design embrace the wind and the sand on the Sea of Cortez.

LA RIBERA, Mexico — While much of the resort and golf development in Cabo has gone west to the Pacific Ocean - Diamante, Quivira, Rancho San Lucas, for example - Costa Palmas has emerged as the trendy alternative on the East Cape of the Baja Peninsula.

This is Mexico in a time capsule, raw and hidden from the crowds and parties of Cabo.

It's an easy hour's drive along local roads from the Cabo airport to reach this 1,000-acre community on the Sea of Cortez, home to the new Four Season Resort Los Cabos and a design by Robert Trent Jones Jr. Eventually, Costa Palmas will include a marina, a members-only beach and yacht club, a "six star" amanvari resort (scheduled opening 2021) and hundreds of high-end residences.

Currently, there's two miles of secluded beach and the spoils of the Four Seasons to enjoy. Guests of the resort (118 rooms and 23 suites) can spend their time swimming at multiple pools, working out and playing pickelball or tennis at the Sportsplex, relaxing at the Oasis Spa and Wellness Center, dining at five different restaurants or playing golf.

The 7,221-yard course is one of the most unique of the 19 in the region. It's flat and walkable, relying less on beauty and more on strategy to entertain golfers. There are no true ocean holes, although the par 3s at 3 and 16 provide glimpses of the sea. RTJ Jr.'s design team trucked in beach sand to create dunescapes lining most fairways. These waste areas, wild bunkering and wind defend the design's integrity.

Like every high-end course in Cabo, food and drinks comes free with the round. Bouchie's, an open-air cafe near the first tee, and Lucha Libre are two comfort stations that rival the best I've experienced.

A massive putting green that can double as a putting course and a range that can be converted into a six-hole short course provide the kind of versatility needed to attract golfers of all abilities and ages to the game. A caddie program is scheduled to launch this fall.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Mexico's Costa Palmas debuts as a Cabo East Cape retreat
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