Please sign in to post.

Cabo San Lucas Mexico- any insights?

We are planning a first trip to Cabo this January. We will be staying for a week. We’d love any recommendations for places to visit in town or day trips nearby. Thanks!

Posted by
3696 posts

Will you be in San Jose del Cabo or in Cabo San Lucas, or somewhere in between?

A good day trip would be to Todos Santos, a beautiful town and art colony. Your hotel should be able to book you on a tour there. A more ambitious trip would be up to La Paz, the state capital, a real city in a beautiful setting with a very nice waterfront (malecon). That would be a really long day, or maybe an overnight.

Anything that gets me into a boat is fine by me -- fishing, whale watching, panga to the arch, sit-on-top kayak, sunset sail, whatever. There are boat rides for whatever your interests are.

Posted by
4150 posts

Hah - funny to see this here. As luck would have it, I'm suddenly planning a trip to Baja Sur coming up end of january (usually I plan far in advance, not this time). I've got most of the trip figured out but am struggling to decide on a location around Los Cabos (will be in la Paz and Cabo Pulmo first - finishing at Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo). Dick, any suggestions? We plan a couple days of scuba diving (so CSL seems best for that) but we're not into the Party Central/Megatourism Machine (so more likley to be happy someplace more quiet, but still with a nice beach and within easy distance of CSL). We will have a car. Any ideas? Thanks!

Posted by
1424 posts

We’re staying in Cabo San Lucas, but sound like San Jose is quieter and more charming. We will definitely plan to visit San Jose.

Posted by
3696 posts

My experience with Baja Sur is limited to a couple of multi-day trips and a couple of cruise ship stops (which really don't count). The city of Cabo San Lucas is more "party central," a beautiful natural setting and good beaches but mostly, for most visitors, about drinking and dancing (and charter fishing, which I can't speak to). San Jose, closer to the airport, is a real city with churches, markets, plazas, and more what you find in most Mexican cities. Tourism is probably the main industry but not the only one. I think there's a good wildlife refuge nearby.

My best Baja experience was a week or so in La Paz, which has its own airport, including several days' kayaking and camping with an outfit called Baja Outdoor Activities. They took a group of us to Espiritu Santo and nearby islands. I'd recommend them highly if you're interested in that kind of trip.

A car would give you flexibility going from town to town, but there are also buses and guided tours. My first visit to La Paz was a long day's van tour from Cabo around Christmas some years ago. I wished I could have stayed overnight or longer, and a few years later I did. Driving in Mexico is more, shall we say, challenging than US driving (I wouldn't, but many do). Driving at night is especially problematic. Returning from La Paz after dark our van encountered cattle several times on unlit roads. Not for the faint-hearted (people or cattle).

Posted by
4150 posts

Thanks. Well, now I'm leaning towards not staying in either Cabo San Lucas nor San Jose del Cabo. Some context...

I've traveled - and driven - extensively in Mexico before, so I know the drill (and I'm not easily spooked). It's been a long time since I was in Baja but I once drove the whole length of the peninsula (I also drove a fair bit around central Mexico last year, so I also have some fresh Mexican driving experience).

My plan: We're flying in to Loreto, will drive to a small, remote fishing town on a lagoon on the west coast, and hang out with whales there for a couple days. After that, to La Paz for a couple days, we will do a day out on the water there, snorkeling with whale sharks and probably also a visit to Isla Espirito Santo. From La Paz, we're taking the (very rough) coastal road south to Cabo Pulmo, which is a kinda funky off-the-grid vacation village with good scuba diving. We'll be there 4 days, and do a couple days scuba diving, a couple more just relaxing. After that we will continue down the very scenic (but rough) coastal road, to San Jose del Cabo. We have 4 days more. I assumed we would stay in CSL but now I'm leaning towards another small, less-touristy fishing town out on the west coast (south of Todos Santos). I think we'll stay in an airBnB there and do a couple day trips to SCL and SJDC. I'm pretty sure we will be happier out of the maw of the great party/megatourism machine, and since we will have a car, we'll just bite the bullet and drive to CSL a couple times to dive and gawk at the scene, otherwise we'll retire to a quiet place on the beach with just the occasional surfer to annoy us and drink frosty cervezas. :)

Posted by
3696 posts

Sounds great, David. Those cervezas will keep you going!

A nice place in Cabo for cerveza-sipping and ocean-watching might be the Finisterre resort, out on the edge of town facing the Pacific with a great beach. It's as party-central as the rest of the place but the view is mostly ocean.

In La Paz I stayed at Los Arcos hotel before and after my kayak trip, another good choice would be the Perla on the main waterfront. But you have probably figured out your options and plans already. Have a good trip.

EDIT: Just realized this is Becky's post, not David's. Hope all this info is helpful to you too, Becky. Have a great time!

Posted by
1424 posts

Thank you all for your posts. We were gifted a time share week in Cabo San Lucas, but will be sure ti venture out to other, quieter spots. Supect we’ll rent a car. My husband is a fearless driver- even drove in Palermo. But we will be extra careful.