When Jed Wood opens the living room doors at his custom-built home in Querencia — one of the most prized and exclusive gated communities in Los Cabos, Mexico — the shimmering sea and a warm, tropical breeze greet him.“Looking out at the turquoise water of the Sea of Cortez never gets old,” says Wood, whose permanent home is in Sylvan Lake, 160 kilometres north of Calgary. “The climate here is unbelievable. It’s perfect. And we have the doors to the outside open continuously. We spend a ton of time enjoying the covered outdoor living space. It’s our favourite part of the home.”Situated in the heart of Los Cabos at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Querencia is one of the most desirable places for a retirement or vacation home in North America. The sprawling 1,800-acre development, which rambles into the rocky desert off the sea, is located 15 minutes from the San Jose del Cabo International Airport and in the “Golden Corridor,” a 30-kilometre stretch of oceanfront land between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.Complete with a private beach club, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course (consistently ranked by Golf Digest in the Top 100 Golf Courses in the World), hiking and biking trails, six private restaurants, infinity pools everywhere, and a strong community-focused atmosphere, Querencia is a Baja bastion that has the discerning retiree (or second-home owner) covered in all facets of the good life.And, not surprisingly, from December through March, the Woods’ home is busy place. It’s a $4.5 million, custom-built home with 7,500 square feet of living space.“We host an awful lot of friends and family throughout the year,” says Wood, who works as a venture capitalist and an investor. “But from December to March, when the harsh Canadian winter doesn’t have much appeal, we have the highest concentration of visitors. But Los Cabos is a year-round paradise, and we spend time here in every season.”
The great room in a show home at Querencia.
Private splash pools help residents cool off at Querencia, in Mexico.
The par-4 opening hole on the Tom Fazio-designed course at Querencia.
Unquestionably, the many recreational pursuits that are available at Querencia, and Los Cabos in general, were a major reason why the Woods choose Querencia.“The golf course is fantastic, and we love taking our grandchildren to the clubhouse,” says Wood. “The kids love the pool and the games room. We paddle board, surf, and enjoy the beach club when it’s hot, which is basically every afternoon. We frequently go hiking and biking and also love to go off-roading with our four-seater, side-by-sides (UTVs) into the desert. With our side-by-side, the beach club and the clubhouse are five minutes from our door and, if we head higher up into Querencia, we can access the uncontrolled desert and drive for, literally, hundreds of miles on remote jeep trails.”Thanks to the new, forward-thinking ownership group — the Aspen-based McCloskey family acquired the development in August 2017 — Querencia recently debuted more than $60 million in property-wide enhancements and renovations.Among the highlights are many new family-oriented amenities such as a new beach club, health and fitness programs, and mountain biking flow trails. A unique “vertical” golf membership — it grants playing privileges to the entire immediate family — is also a major change at this golf-centred community.As far as the residential offerings go, Querencia offers numerous options. Single-family homes, custom homes, and condominiums are available. The architecture blends hacienda and modern contemporary styles. And, of course, dramatic views of the Sea of Cortez, the golf course, and surrounding deserts and mountains come with every home site. Property prices range from $275,000 to $14 million. A number of fully furnished spec homes are also available.“While many of the residential offerings in Los Cabos seemed tight and built right on top of each other, Querencia is spacious and home sites are very private,” says Wood, who leased a home at Querencia for 18 months while he designed their custom-built home. Expansive hacienda-style homes, similar to what Wood purchased, are built to order and utilize the architectural design services available at Querencia. They range from US $3 million to $14 million. The largest single-home estate property in Los Cabos is found at Querencia.“My advice for anyone looking at a second home is to get comfortable with the area with a short-term lease. Stay at Querencia and get an idea of what particular view point and home style fits your needs.”Alternatively, Querencia also offers a Q-Living Program that invites interested buyers to experience the community as an owner for three days and two nights. You will have access to the golf course, the beach club, the spa, and the exceptional restaurants.“It’s a great community,” says Wood. “It really does feel like you’re among friends. The social activities have allowed us to become very comfortable with the community. And, of course, the indoor-outdoor living spaces, and the views of sea, are unparalleled.”