Construction could start soon at Quivira Los Cabos, Mexico



Nobody is yet talking on the record, but construction may soon begin on the first Jack Nicklaus-designed course at what could turn out to be Mexico’s premier golf community.

The course is one of two “signature” layouts in the master plan for Quivira Los Cabos, an oceanfront community that’s to take shape along the picturesque cliffs at the bottom of Baja Peninsula. Nicklaus, who hopes to someday build one of his Jack Nicklaus Golf Clubs there, has called the site “a great piece of property,” as have most others who’ve seen it. The 1,850-acre spread includes more than three miles’ worth of beaches and many Hollywood-approved panoramas.

If you need proof of that last claim, here it is: Parts of Troy, the swords-and-sandals movie starring Brad Pitt, were filmed on the property.

And like Homer’s classic tale, the development story of Quivira Los Cabo is growing into something of an epic of its own. The community, originally known as Cabo Pacifica, has been kicking around since the mid 2000s (if not before), when Ernesto Coppel, its developer, promised that it would soon be “redefining luxury in Los Cabos.” As far back as 2006, Coppel said, “We are ready to build the best golf courses in North America.”

A construction start was set for 2008, then 2009. Then, thanks to the Great Recession, Quivira Los Cabos made a slow fade to black.

Today, workers have begun to stir. Time-share condos are under construction, and rumors are flying about soon-to-come golf construction.

“The last thing I heard was that we were close but that nothing has been finalized,” says Jim Lipe, a Louisiana-based designer who’s working with Nicklaus’ North Palm Beach, Florida-based crew on the project. “I wait every day for someone to call and tell me to get down there.”

Lipe describes the site as “rugged” and “almost completely sand dunes” and reports that some of the holes on the first course will run along cliffs that tower up to 200 feet above the ocean.

The rest of Quivira Los Cabos will include a parade of single-family houses, a Ritz-Carlton hotel with Ritz-branded housing, some other hotels, time-share and fractional condos, a village center, a “holistic retreat and spa,” two beach clubhouses, several sports parks, a protected wildlife area, and more than 20 miles of hiking trails. The community is even supposed to provide a helicopter for the use of its residents.

Quivira Los Cabos was also supposed to be the home of a Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, one in a chain of 25 exclusive, Nicklaus-branded getaways in some of the world’s most desirable destinations – Tuscany, Scotland, Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, Patagonia in Argentina, Anguilla, and Vancouver Island among them. The dream hasn’t officially died, but hard times have squeezed the life out of it.

It’s possible that Coppel has cut the private club out of his master plan, and eliminated other gold plating as well. But without question, he aims to make Quivira Los Cabos the gold standard for his hotel chain, Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts & Spas.

So if he’s got a big-budget sequel in mind, he’s got a nice spot for it.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to



There was a ground breaking ceremony in Feb 2012, and they are actively working on the construction of the first of two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses at Quivira. The Mar 10, 2012 newsletter published at the adjacent Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach resort announced that they will have a driving range open by Sep 2012, the first nine holes of the golf course will be grassed by the end of the year, and the first 18 hole golf course should be open for play by Jul 2013. Ritz Carlton is no longer a partner on the Quivira project and the plans have been scrapped for a Ritz Carlton hotel on the property, but construction of the ultra luxury residences at Quivira, under the new project name Novaispania, is well under way!

No Ritz. They backed out. it is now late (August) 2013 and after an 8 year delay maybe 3 holes are somewhat in place. Sales guys claim 9 holes ready in November and 18 by Feb 2014. Seems to be a stretch to me but I am not in golf construction. Now they are pushing full ownership homes and condos at Copala with preconstruction pricing jumping 100K per unit every 3 months till they get up to the price they want. Needless to say the prediction above by Jeff is about a year off at best.

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