Los Cabos is Mexico’s greatest seaside hideaway, stretching from the Sea of Cortez to the Pacific Ocean. At the point of the Baja peninsula, summer lasts forever, and surfers, golfers, divers, and hikers visit all year for water sports and outdoor activities. It is surrounded by water on three sides, with the Pacific Ocean to the south and west and the Sea of Cortez to the east.
From my weekend travel in Los Cabos, Ben and I picked up on a few things that were definitely different and I would highly recommend advising anyone traveling there and is unfamiliar with the territory.
How to Travel to Los Cabos, Mexico
Flying into Los Cabos International Airport, located just outside the cities of San Jose and Cabo San Lucas, is the most convenient method to get to Los Cabos from the United States. The airport is clean and comfortable, with short security queues; just make sure your passport and identity documents are current.
American Airlines, United, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Southwest, Sunwing, Air Canada, West Jet, Swoop, Flair Airlines, Volaris, Viva Aerobus, and Aeromexico fly weekly to Los Cabos, and once there, a variety of transportation options are available, including shuttle services, car rentals, and cabs. When your reservation is complete, make a note of the confirmation numbers supplied, as you will most likely need them when you check in at the airport.
When is the best time to visit Los Cabos?
May through June is the finest time to visit Los Cabos. Travel to Cabo San Lucas in May or June for the best combination of peaceful beaches and warm, sunny days, when the winter throngs have dispersed and the summer storms have yet to come. October and November are also ideal months for a trip, but if you want to save money, you’ll need to start looking for hotels early.
The hot season lasts 4.3 months, from June 17 to October 26, with daily maximum temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). August is the warmest month in Cabo San Lucas, with average highs of 91 °F and lows of 78 °F. The climate in Cabo Mexico is noted for rain from August to September, and the average temperature in Cabo San Lucas is in the 90s. Each day, though, there is only a 20% chance of rain. Because it is “rainy season,” now is the greatest time to visit Cabo San Lucas if you want to avoid crowds.
During the summer and early spring, lodging costs in Cabo tend to rise. Booking mid-season vacation is a terrific method to obtain the greatest rates. In general, the ideal times to visit are May through June or August through September, however bear in mind that August through September may be quite hot, humid, and rainy.
Where to stay in Los Cabos Mexico?
Los Cabos main tourist spots are quite near to one other, and you’ll want to stick to them because it’s rather residential off the shore, with nothing to see or do. El Medano beach, between the Marina and downtown, is the greatest place to stay in Cabo San Lucas. It is the busiest beach in town and has the most amenities.
Look no farther than an all-inclusive resort for a luxurious holiday with everything you need at your fingertips. You may relax in elegance without worrying about the cost because your room, food, beverages, and occasionally activities are all included in the fee. Most all-inclusive resorts also include on-site dining, pools, and other first-rate amenities, so you don’t even have to venture downtown if you don’t want to.
You should avoid coming to San Jose del Cabo, which is popular with visitors. It is mostly a residential neighborhood, as well as the location of the majority of the crime. This location is a 30-minute bus trip from Cabo San Lucas, a popular tourist destination.
Things to do in Los Cabos
Los Cabos is a warm and inviting place that seems beautifully secluded. Everything from laid-back leisure to adrenaline-pumping outdoor excursions to inspirational art and culture can be found here.
1) Go whale-watching
Thousands of gray, humpback, and other whales migrate from their feeding areas in the Arctic to the warm seas of the Baja California peninsula to mate and give birth every year between mid-December and early April.
The majority of the whales seen in Cabo are humpbacks. They are the most active and entertaining to watch.They are frequently seen from the coast, spouting and leaping. To observe whales up close, join a whale watching boat excursion – one of the top winter activities in Cabo! You will probably certainly see whales.
2. Beach Medano
The bustling main strip of Medano Beach is the core of this party paradise, full with enthusiastic visitors with margaritas in hand, taking “that” typical Cabo shot with the Land’s End arch and hunting for their next beach activity. At Medano Beach, you may rest and unwind or participate in a variety of water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, or even a sunset cruise. This is unquestionably where the action is.
3. Snorkeling at Santa Maria Beach
On deck, there is no better way to experience the ocean. Enjoy the splendor of the historic Land’s End Arch as we travel through the corridor before mooring on the sandy beach. The bays’ distinct qualities are what make them the highlight of this excursion. Cala Santa Maria is famed for its quiet, mild waters and is flanked by limestone formations.
There is no churning of the waves. The water is so clear that we can see small iridescent blue fish (damselfish?) darting fast across the coral from at least 50 feet away. Snorkeling at Santa Maria Bay: slamming fins with schools of beautiful reef fish, feeding bread to big clouds of yellow hogfish swirling around us, and having a terrific time.
Playa Santa Maria has three sheds near the parking lot. At the southwest end, there is also a cove, rocky beach, and an excellent snorkeling site. Expect to walk roughly half a mile to the beach after arriving at the Playa Santa Maria parking area. Then, go southwest to visit the second best diving location in Cabo San Lucas on this list.
4. Hike up the Pedregal
The route is popular with both visitors and locals for hiking, strolling, nature hikes, and bird watching. Bring your camera for some spectacular photo possibilities along the route. After you finish your hike, the small coastal community of La Chorera, which you can see from above, is only a 2-minute drive west, where you can sample some of the tasty fresh oysters you saw growing on the oyster farms in Bahia Falsa, or perhaps a tasty fish taco or two at La Chorera Seafood Village.
The weather in May is ideal for strolling around Pedregal. I prefer to start in downtown Cabo and stroll up and down Pedregal to the Pacific side, where I can walk along the magnificent beach. There’s even some rock climbing/light bouldering available, after which I trek up and back to the Marina in downtown Cabo, where I eat. Anyone who enjoys a decent climb will likely love Pedregal.
5. Los Cabos eFoil
With a quiet, all-electric motor that glides over any body of water, the eFoil lets you design the adventure that’s ideal for you, whether you’re a total novice or a seasoned thrill seeker, on tranquil lakes or surfing large waves. It has a top speed of 30 miles per hour.
Pros of Los Cabos
Resorts Seem Safe
I can only speak about what I saw at the Sheraton but the resort we stayed at in Los Cabos seems to take measures to ensure its visitors are safe. A lot of the resorts are located in between 2 cities/down towns along a long stretch of highway with just about nothing in between. The entrance of our resort is another long stretch of road that is monitored and cars were checked before being able to pass a barricade. I felt completely safe while in the resort and had no issues whatsoever.
If you are staying in a resort, you will see some amazing scenery! The resorts are located right on the beach, giving you an endless view of the ocean. The Sheraton also had beautiful buildings painted in a plethora of vibrant colors and a couple of pools to fill your time with plenty of tanning, swimming, and drinking margaritas (poolside, of course). The infinity pool overlooking the beach and ocean is a must-see!
In general, Los Cabos has nice and warm temperatures year-round. This means being able to break out the monotony of winter back home and swap it for some sunshine and a tan. They do have a hurricane season though, so make sure to check on the weather advisories before travel!
Favorable exchange rates
Los Cabos is definitely more affordable than big cities in the United States (especially if you’re coming from San Francisco). Everything here (even at tourist prices) was still affordable whether you are in the resort or downtown. Another big pro about Los Cabos is that running out of pesos doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find a bank to get more money. Most places accept US dollars (at a less favorable rate) and/or credit cards. We paid our resort bill using an Amex platinum card so there were no foreign transaction fees and the exchange rates for this was better than switching money at the airport.
Los Cabos had a lot of fresh seafood. After all, it is by the ocean! I had no complaints on anything I had tried there.
Cons of Los Cabos
There is a LOT of people at the airport that will attempt to sell you a timeshare. If it is your first time there, you may be very confused and not sure what you have signed yourself up for. After passing immigration and customs, the Los Cabos airport has a section where visitors initially think they are purchasing tickets to take a shuttle over to the resort. During this time, the people talking to you will likely dive into a talk about special offers where they will taxi you from your resort over to another hotel for a free breakfast, tour of the hotel, and day excursion of your choice.
This is all yours for only some random cost of dollars (which varies by the person) that you will be reimbursed for after you attend the event and uphold your promises you made to them. It sounded too good to be true and it’s a scheme to bring you over to a hotel so you can be pressured into purchasing a time share. If you had this in mind, great! If not, avoid them and walk into the next section of the airport or be prepared to have a 1-2 hour conversation about timeshares only to realize that they were not going to even sell you a shuttle ticket in the first place.
Hustlers in Downtown Los Cabos
It surprised me that people were very blatant about selling drugs in the touristic parts of Los Cabos. Ben and I walked through the touristic parts of downtown only to be hustled by men who tried to convince us to eat at their restaurant. When we told them we were not interested, he tried to sell us more drugs than you would find in a pharmacist’s cabinet. We also saw very amusing signs such as the one below. No shame in drugs, you know… but only in Los Cabos.
I was pretty sure a few kids tried to pick pocket me while I was walking through downtown. Luckily I had no wallet for anyone to steal or a purse for anyone to rummage through but small children kept trying to grab my attention by doing random things like grab my hand and bump into me.
Unless you are renting a car or taking a taxi, it’s pretty difficult to travel to different parts of the Los Cabos area. There aren’t any reliable sources of public transportation (not sure if there were any at all) that connect the resorts to downtown. The Sheraton had a shuttle that goes to the mall in downtown Los Cabos and back so we were able to use that and sightsee a bit.
Long Airport Check-Ins
If you are an international traveler without airline status, be prepared for potential hour-long+ queues at the airport upon return. As an international traveler, I was not allowed to check in online and go right through security. I had to wait in line so someone at the airline kiosk could verify my ID/passport, take my travel visa, and print out my boarding pass. There were no self-service kiosks either and a lot of people with large luggage waiting in line. It can be quite brutal.