Los Cabos Guide: Planning Your Trip

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One of Mexico's most popular beach destinations is a picturesque coastal resort area where you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous or just enjoy a relaxing getaway while taking in the spectacular scenery. Located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in the state of Baja California Sur, Los Cabos ("The Capes") is made up of the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, as well as the 20-mile stretch between them, commonly referred to as the "Tourist Corridor," "the Golden Corridor," or simply "the Corridor." This destination is a favorite getaway spot of many Hollywood stars who enjoy its dramatic setting, vibrant nightlife, and peaceful waters just like everyone else who travels here.

Los Cabos is set right where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortes meet. The magnificent rock formation known as the Arch marks the dividing point between the two, and is Los Cabos' most recognizable landmark. Besides two bodies of water, the destination is characterized by two towns, each with its own distinct feel.

San Jose Del Cabo
TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon

Planning Your Trip

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Los Cabos for great weather and few crowds is during the months of November and May. You’ll avoid the summertime heat and humidity, and won’t have to deal with a lot of crowds. 

Language: The language most commonly spoken in Los Cabos is Spanish, though many people working in the tourism industry speak English. A tiny percentage of the population speaks an indigenous language.

Currency: The official currency is the Mexican peso (MXN), but US dollars are accepted at many establishments. 

Getting Around: Both Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are easy to get around on foot, but for traveling between the two or further afield, renting a car is your best bet. Taxis can be pricey and Uber drivers are usually not permitted to pick up or drop off clients in the airport or resorts.

Travel Tip: Many beaches in Los Cabos have strong waves and undertow, but there are a few that are good for swimming. If you want to swim, be sure to choose a spot that is safe. Always check the beach warning flags and practice caution in the water. 

Things to Do

Los Cabos has fun activities for all ages and interests, though most center around its beautiful beaches and oceans. Parasailing, scuba diving and snorkeling are popular activities, and no tourist should miss going on a glass-bottom boat tour. It’s a great destination for those who enjoy fishing: Los Cabos is considered the marlin sportfishing capital of the world. Love golf? Los Cabos has six major golf courses. And if you’re fascinated by ocean life, whale watching tours take place from December through March. An activity that you might not expect to find here, but is becoming quite popular is camel riding.

Some other activities to enjoy in Los Cabos:

  • Take a boat trip out to see El Arco, Los Cabos’ main landmark, and the sea lions that live around them. Take a selfie with the famous rock arch in the background.
  • Stroll around San José del Cabo to see the art galleries and historical monuments.
  • Enjoy a pampering spa treatment at one of Los Cabos best spas

Get more ideas for sights and activities with our article on things to do in Los Cabos.

Market in Todos Santos
TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon 

What to Eat and Drink

Los Cabos dining scene really has something for everyone. You’ll find familiar fast food franchises and casual local eateries as well as fine dining options. It would be a shame to come to Cabo and restrict yourself to foods you can probably find back home, so try some local seafood specialties such as chocolate clams, flash-fried shrimp, fish tacos, or ceviche. You can also explore the farm-to-table trend that has been gaining traction here in recent years. Both Flora Farms and Huerta Los Tamarindos serve handmade food from their hand-tended organic farms located in the foothills of San José del Cabo, and they both offer tours of their farms as well, so you can see where your food was grown. 

There is also a very lively nightlife scene in Los Cabos. Cabo San Lucas is known more for the rowdy nightclubs such as the iconic Cabo Wabo Cantina and El Squid Roe where you can dance the night away, and San José del Cabo is where you would go to sip a martini or savor a flight of artisanal mezcal, but the truth is that either destination offers many options for well-crafted cocktail, exploring the burgeoning craft beer scene or whatever your beverage of choice may be. Wherever you choose to imbibe, be sure to try the locally produced damiana liqueur which is made with sugarcane and an extract from the damiana plant.

Where to Stay

When considering where to stay in Los Cabos, your first decision should be which Cabo is for you. Those who need to be in the thick of the action may prefer to stay in Cabo San Lucas where the larger resorts and nightclubs are located. San José del Cabo may be a better choice for those looking for a quieter getaway, in a more Mexican ambience. Many of Los Cabos’ beaches are not swimmable because the water is too rough, so if you like to swim in the ocean, a good option is a hotel or resort such as Casa Dorada or Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos, which are located on El Medano beach in Cabo San Lucas, one of the destination's best swimming beaches. The area known as Puerto Los Cabos is a 2,000 acre master-planned community with hotels, a marina, golf course and residential neighborhoods and is home to the Hotel El Ganzo as well as Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, both great for adult-only getaways. 

Here are our recommendations for the best hotels in Los Cabos.

Getting There

Most people who travel to Los Cabos arrive by air at the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD), which is located just north of San José del Cabo. Some adventurous souls travel over land from the north along the Transpeninsular Highway (generally in their own vehicle but there is bus service throughout the Baja California Peninsula offered by Autobuses Aguila. From the mainland, you can take Baja Ferries service from Topolobampo or Mazatlan, Sinaloa to the Pichilingue port in La Paz, and travel overland from there.

Culture and Customs 

When arriving at the Los Cabos airport, be aware that when exiting the arrivals area, you’ll pass through a hallway with timeshare touts trying to get your attention. They will offer you free transportation, a free meal or activities in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation (and high pressure sales pitch). If you’re interested in a timeshare, this may be an option, but you’ll probably be better off doing your research on your own without the pressure. Your previously arranged transportation will be waiting for you outside the terminal with a sign with either their company name or your family name on it. 

Money Saving Tips

  • The most popular times to travel to Los Cabos are during the winter and early spring. If you travel during the off season, you’re more likely to find cheaper flights and accommodations.
  • Many shops and services will accept either US dollars or pesos for purchases. Usually you’ll get the best price when paying in pesos, so be sure to have some on hand. 
  • You can save money by getting discounts at restaurants and for activities by using the prepaid Los Cabos Guide Vouchers or the Los Cabos Passport

Learn more about the cheapest ways to have fun by exploring these money saving tips for visiting Los Cabos.

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