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Los Cabos

Destinations > Baja California Sur

Los Cabos

Los Cabos is the top destination for Americans who want to have easy access to Mexico. Although it is still more expensive than many other destinations, tourism has been increasing through the years. Mexico is visited by over 40 million Americans every year and in 2021, approximately 1,069,834 Americans visited Los Cabos.

It is famed for its all-inclusive resorts but Los Cabos has a good gastronomical scene. Many top chefs in the country are here which makes the Los Cabos restaurant culture very rich and interesting.

There are also different activities that are not only water-focused. You can wander the deserts, drive through secluded beaches, and hike mountain peaks. We are currently based in Los Cabos and in this travel guide, we will give you some insider tips that we discovered while we are living here. Don’t forget to get in touch because we can meet you!

???? Quick Info

???????? State: Baja California Sur

???? Currency: Mexican pesos (MXN) with $ sign used. Don’t confuse it with US$ or USD.

???? Power plug: Mexico uses a type A socket (US, Canada). For more information about power plugs in Mexico, see this link (with photos)

???? Visa: Mexico is no longer giving 180 days visa to tourists so make sure that you have proof of accommodation and outbound flight so you’ll get the right visa.

???? Language: This area of Baja California Sur has been hollywoodinized so 100% of the people in the service industry are very equipped with the English language.

???? Culture: People always come and go. Visitors stay for the weekend and it is also popular for bachelor/bachelorette parties. This is also the fishing capital of Mexico where the annual Bisbee’s Fishing Tournament is held. Cabo San Lucas is usually loud where bars and nightclubs are blaring until the wee hours of the morning.

Cabo San Lucas vs San Jose del Cabo

Many visitors don’t know that there are 2 different areas in Los Cabos. This is very crucial information as it will help you immensely in planning your trip. Cabo San Lucas (CSL) is an upbeat, party area that is popular with young tourists. Here, you will find many bars and nightclubs. Downtown can be pretty loud but there are many accommodations in CSL that are quiet and affordable.

Families traveling with children prefer San Jose del Cabo (SJC) because of its quiet vibe. Most of the resorts are here and it is very close to the airport. If you are looking for an all-inclusive stay, choose SJC although there is not much nightlife and socialization here. Depending on where you’re staying, SJC is about 15-30 minutes taxi ride to CSL.

???? Planning your trip

????‍♀️ Things to do in Los Cabos

We only included the highlights here but you can see our article on things to do in Los Cabos if you need more activities. Those activities are categorized depending on what kind of traveler you are such as families with kids, solo travelers, couples, etc. We promise you’ll love that list!

Meanwhile, here are some of the things you shouldn’t miss:

things to do in los cabos

Explore the deserts with an ATV

Baja California Sur is known for its deserts – there is nothing like it in Mexico! Riding an ATV is the best way to know the peninsula.

things to do in los cabos

Go watch the whales during season

We’ve gone whale watching all over the country but our Editors vote Los Cabos as THE best area to see whales in Mexico.

is cabo expensive

Know the difference between SJC and CSL

There is an ongoing rival if SJC is better than CSL so go on this tour and tell us which are you like better!

los cabos travel guide

Sunset cruise on a catamaran

No one goes to Los Cabos without seeing the world-famous arches during sunset. We label this the ‘golden thing to do’ in Baja California Sur. Meaning, it’s a MUST.

los cabos

Horse riding in Cabo San Lucas

Visit a horse ranch in Cabo San Lucas and match with the horse that will fit your riding skill. From there, your horse will take you on a ride to the most iconic spots of Cabo.

los cabos

Go snorkeling on different beaches

Go snorkeling in Santa Maria Bay and El Chileno – the underwater pride of Baja California Sur. This is a family traveling with kids’ favorite activity in Los Cabos.

los cabos

Visit Cabo Pulmo

Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is home to a myriad of sea creatures in the Peninsula. Visit the sea lion colony with a kayak and wander along the remote beaches of Cabo Pulmo area.

Get onboard a pirate ship

It could be too gringo for you but this is the top booze cruise in Cabo. We love going on board the pirate ship on birthdays so this is best if you are celebrating (or want to get drunk).

sayulita nayarit

Spend a day at Wild Canyon Park

Suspension bridges, ATVs, ziplines: this is a great action-packed activity for families and groups of friends traveling together.

????️ Where to stay in Los Cabos

When looking for hotels in Los Cabos, make sure to use popular landmarks to know the distance such as Cabo San Lucas Marina or SJC International Airport. You have to be absolutely sure you are close to the landmarks you want to visit so you won’t waste time during your vacation.

villa la valencia

Resorts

Los Cabos is a resort area and there are many all-inclusive resorts to choose from. A nightly rate at a resort starts at US$200 per person.

cabo san lucas resorts

Vacation Homes

Airbnbs and Vrbos are common accommodations in Los Cabos. You can get a vacation home for as low as US$100 per night.

cabo san lucas resorts

Hotels

Most hotels in Los Cabos are in downtown Cabo San Lucas. The best ones with ocean views start at US$125 per night.

Booking.com

???? Los Cabos restaurants

Los Cabos is the gastronomic capital of Mexico. This is where you will find all the best restaurants in the country spearheaded by accomplished Mexican and International chefs. Baja California Sur Culinary Awards is held annually in Los Cabos so expect a great selection of cuisine, dishes, and restaurants in the area.

chamuyo
CHAMUYO
Best Argentine
il forno
IL FORNO
Best pizza
los cabos restaurants
TORO GUERO
Best seafood
los cabos restaurants
ALETA
Best beachfront restaurant
los cabos restaurants
SALVATORRE G’S
Best Italian
CHUBBY NODDLE
Best Asian
EDITH’S
Fancy Mexican
los cabos restaurants
MI CASA
Authentic Mexican
CARBON CABRON
Argentine, steakhouse

???? Los Cabos Bars and Nightlife

The bars in Los Cabos are located in the Cabo San Lucas downtown area. Should partying be part of your Los Cabos itinerary, make sure to find a hotel near downtown San Lucas. This area is filled with night clubs, bars, and dance floors with DJs. Whether you are looking for a crazy party, a chill cocktail night, or a beer den, Cabo San Lucas has it all! Here are our favorite local spots.

los cabos bars
COCK’S CANTINA
Corner bar
los cabos bars
ROOFTOP 360
Rooftop bar and club
los cabos bars
SHORE BAR
Fancy day drinking

???? Money and Costs

Los Cabos travel budget (est)

???? US dollars: In Cabo, everything is in US dollars and even locals use it in the busses or supermarkets. I was really amazed and shocked but I still use the Mexican peso in Cabo.

You won’t have to worry about it! However, please know that if you use US dollars in Cabo, the conversion rate is lower. If the current conversion rate is 20 Mexican pesos per USD, they will only exchange 17 pesos per USD if you choose to pay this way.

???? ATMs: There are many USD ATMs in town and you can also take out in Mexican peso using your debit card. The usual withdrawal fee is US$5 but it depends on your bank.

The USD ATM machines in Cabo are in every corner and they’re literally just machines. My brother visiting me from Sacramento found it so sketchy to withdraw USD in a freaking machine in the middle of the street but I told him it’s safe and it’s the Mexican way.

???? Credit/debit cards: Credit and debit cards are accepted everywhere in Cabo. Even the taco restaurants accept them so don’t worry. They will always ask you if you want to be charged in MXN or USD.

I always put the local currency for my US credit card since it has better rates and conversions. In Mexico, they will also ask you if you want to use the “tap” option but I still go old school and use the ‘insert card’ option.

I’ve had very bad experiences with tapping (my card number was stolen and was used without asking for a passcode) so since then, I avoid using tap and asked my bank to deactivate it.

Amex is widely accepted in Los Cabos.

???? Tipping: f you didn’t like the service, 15% will do but if you liked the service, you can tip up to 25%. Honestly, service in Cabo is top class. You’ll never see anything like it in Mexico.

⁉️ Los Cabos FAQS

Planning your trip

Many visitors don’t know that there are 2 different areas in Los Cabos. This is very crucial information as it will help you immensely in planning your trip. Cabo San Lucas (CSL) is an upbeat, party area that is popular with young tourists. Here, you will find many bars and nightclubs. Downtown can be pretty loud but there are many accommodations in CSL that are quiet and affordable.

Families traveling with children prefer San Jose del Cabo (SJC) because of its quiet vibe. Most of the resorts are here and it is very close to the airport. If you are looking for an all-inclusive stay, choose SJC although there is not much nightlife and socialization here. Depending on where you’re staying, SJC is about 15-30 minutes taxi ride to CSL.

ABSOLUTELY! Los Cabos is a popular destination with Americans and Canadians. You can fly directly to Los Cabos from every major US airport, which makes it easier to do a Cabo weekend getaway.

Many Mexican nationals come to Los Cabos to work, particularly from nearby towns in Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, and Sonora. Tourism produced many jobs in Los Cabos which is why it is a hotspot for local workers.

As one of the most visited destinations in Mexico, the government will not do anything to interrupt this growth. Imagine if something happens to you as a foreigner in Los Cabos, it will be all over the news and tourism here will be totally ruined.

???????? Read: Is Los Cabos safe? Take it from someone who lives here

Cancun is the most visited place in Mexico because of its thriving resort industry. However, when it comes to choosing between Cancun and Los Cabos, you need to remember the purpose of your vacation. Both cater to all types of travelers (especially families). The only thing you need to consider is that Cancun is more crowded than Los Cabos. We also guarantee that Los Cabos is way safer than Cancun these days.

By Mexican pricing standards, Los Cabos is not cheap. It is one of the most expensive places to visit in Mexico. Through the years, it is becoming similar to Los Angeles (CA, USA) prices. Honestly, you will always get what you pay for when you do a vacation in Los Cabos. Nothing in Cabo is of low quality and the service is good, too!

???????? Read: Los Cabos travel budget guide

The cheapest month to go to Cabo is August and September which are low seasons in Mexico. At this time of the year, Baja California Sur experiences rain showers and hurricanes. We do not recommend traveling here in September although the Los Cabos rain is still more pleasant than in mainland Mexico.

It really depends on your travel style but to give you an estimate, a 7-day accommodation in Los Cabos (in a resort) costs US$250 per night for two people. As for the tours, expect to pay at least US$75 per tour. You can alot a food budget of US$15 per meal in nice restaurants while street food costs less than US$5.

Transportation

The airport that serves Cabo is San Jose del Cabo International Airport. It is about 40 minutes to Cabo San Lucas and 15 minutes to San Jose del Cabo. There are many direct flights from the US to Los Cabos (i.e. Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle). Flight prices range from US$300 – US$700 depending on the season.

ABSOLUTELY! Driving from California to Cabo San Lucas is a great idea and can last up to one month. It really depends how many stops you want to make but if you want to drive it straight (without stopping), you can reach Cabo San Lucas from California within a day (24 hours).

???????? Read: Baja California road trip itinerary

The average flight time is 2-3 hours depending on which airport in California you are flying from. Below are some popular direct flights from California, USA to San Jose del Cabo International Airport:

  • Los Angeles: 2 hours and 24 minutes
  • Sacramento: 3 hours and 2 minutes
  • San Diego: 2 hours and 13 minutes
  • San Francisco: 3 hours and 11 minutes
  • San Jose: 2 hours and 56 minutes

The following US cities have direct flights to Los Cabos: Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Salt Lake City, and Seattle.

Uber is widely used in Cabo San Lucas except for San Jose del Cabo International Airport. You will have to get a taxi transport that costs around US$100 per person. Many areas in Cabo San Lucas don’t allow Uber such as El Medano area. In the touristy areas, there are many taxi stands but if you want to use Uber, you can go a few blocks away from El Medano and order it from there.

los cabos
los cabos

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