There is unfortunately a lot of bad press surrounding Los Cabos, Mexico and their string of senseless gang violence. The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning to the area, citing criminal activity and homicide. I feel it is important for every traveler to know the facts going to a new place, which is why I share this upfront. While these warnings were still in effect during my visit last month, I decided to go on my vacation regardless with a heightened sense of awareness and sensibility. Everybody will make the decision that is right for them, and if you decide to visit, read on to learn about the best of Los Cabos!
Los Cabos actually is comprised of two distinct towns: Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. These two towns have very different personalities and are separated by 20-miles of highway and beach known as the Tourist Corridor. San Jose del Cabo is the more local town experience, with traditional restaurants and boutique shops. Cabo San Lucas is extremely touristy and lives up to its reputation as a spring break party town.
Los Cabos is situated at the southern tip of Baja California Sur where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. The main draw for its two million visitors per year is its climate, as it barely rains and is warm most of the year. The area wasn’t developed until the 1980s and relies heavily on tourism.
Los Cabos has become an attractive golf destination in North America with numerous public courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus. Most of the courses have a hefty green fee, but if you are flexible with your timing, the late afternoon tee times are discounted. The Palmilla Golf Course and the Cabo Real Golf Course are winners. These are not amateur courses, however, so I would only recommend if you are a serious golfer with all the right equipment and attire (I learned the hard way!).
The arch is the symbol of Los Cabos and is the southernmost point where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean meet. This rock formation is best accessible by water, and you will find numerous boats willing to take you from the marina for only $10 per person. The marina is extremely touristy, which is why it doesn’t make this list so be forewarned!
Many of the beaches, including those at the resorts, in Los Cabos aren’t swimmable due to strong currents and big waves. There are a few protected beaches that allow you to take a dip. Lover’s Beach is secluded and natural but only accessible by water taxis. Medano Beach is the most popular beach with all the amenities and activities you could want.
Because most of the beaches are inaccessible, I found myself eager to get on a boat and into the water. After my own research and my hotel’s recommendation, I settled on Cabo Adventures to take me around. They offer so many great excursions, including snorkeling, scuba diving, luxury sailing, dolphin swimming and whale watching (season is approximately December to April). With a booking, they offer pickup and drop-off to most resorts in the area.
Los Cabos has excellent surfing thanks to the warm waters and swell breaks. The three main breaks in Cabo San Lucas are Old Man’s, Zippers and The Rock. Zippers (formally known as Costa Azul) is host to the annual Los Cabos Open of Surf. You can rent boards right at the beach and challenge yourself on these epic waves.
San Jose del Cabo
Visiting the heart of San Jose del Cabo is worth it if you are seeking more traditional Mexican culture. Visit the main square of Plaza Mijares, eat dinner in the Old Town and stroll through the Gallery District (an Art Walk takes place every Thursday evening from November through June).
Eats & Drinks
The Rooftop at The Cape
Located in the luxury Cape Hotel, this rooftop bar is the only in Cabo San Lucas. With gorgeous views of El Arco, be sure to visit during the sunset.
Agua by Larbi
Within the One & Only Palmilla is Agua by Larbi, an open-air restaurant with refined Mexican cuisine. The vibe is very sophisticated with sweeping views of Los Cabos.
The original Guacamayas location is in San Jose del Cabo with two more opened in Cabo San Lucas. The affordable taqueria has delicious tacos al pastor and quesadillas.
I am hesitant to include Cabo Wabo on this post, as it is the ultimate tourist and spring break jaunt, which is not up my alley. But there is some incredible history at this cantina started by Sammy Hagar of Van Halen. This is the spot to go if you are looking to party like Cabo is famous for.
Within the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort is La Roca, an upscale restaurant with impeccable service. Their seafood and steak specialities are well-known.
The seafood restaurant El Farallon at The Resort at Pedregal has arguably the most enviable location. Complete with a champagne terrace, the restaurant is seemingly carved out of the rocks. The fish is fresh daily with expert waiters to guide you through your selection.
We stayed at the newly renovated Westin Los Cabos with mixed reviews. Hotels I would recommend:
★★★★★: The Cape, One & Only Palmilla, The Resort at Pedregal
★★★★: Grand Solmar Land’s End, Villa La Estancia
★★★: Casa Bella, The Bungalows
Have you ever been to Los Cabos? What was your favorite part? Did I miss anything?
I’d love to hear from you!
xx Jet Set Steph