Cabo San Lucas – Travel Guide

At the southernmost end of the Baja California Peninsula, in the west of Mexico, lies a desert-dry landscape of incredible rock formations surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and Sea Cortez. About one and half hour-flight from San Diego, the peninsula’s wonder is just part of the Cabo’s 20-mile stretch, known as the Corridor.

The downtown of Cabo San Lucas, where most of the action happens, is home to fantastic ocean views plus wildlife encounters, vibrant nightlife, local cocktails, and authentic Mexican cuisines.

With the island hosting wonderful rock formations and ocean sceneries, it’s no wonder why the city has been a favorite spot for tourists. And even for the frequent warnings of safety, there is no stopping tourists from visiting Mexico’s pristine Cabo shores.

Reasons to Visit Cabo San Lucas

Ride by sea, road, or air

Reach the Cabo by any means of transportation. It is a 20-hour drive by road. If you are coming from the U.S., you can travel on an ocean cruise. Or take an hour and a half journey by plane from San Diego or two hours and a half from L. A.

Nevertheless, the place is always accessible. You have to be cautious when taking the narrow roads as animals frequently cross them. You will probably get acquainted with army checkpoints, and you may also need Mexican car insurance.    

The Mexican cuisine and local cocktail

Cabo San Lucas is home to authentic Mexican cocktail cuisines such as tacos and guacamoles. Do not miss out on Cabo’s steakhouses and seafood restaurants. Local drinks such as tequila, Damiana, Mezcal, and some local fruit liquors are must-tries in the Cabo.

Over 40 resorts and hundred villas to stay in

If you cannot afford luxury hotels in the Corridor, downtown Cabo has plenty of budget hotels to accommodate tourists. You have a lot of choices, from five-star villas to budget villas. These accommodations offer packages for couples, family, adult-only, or wedding receptions.   

Seals over the Cabo’s Marina

You cannot miss out on watching Marina’s seals. They swim around from the parked boats and play with birds. You would often catch them at the boardwalks as they wait for the boats to come back so they can eat.

Marvel at the rocky cliffs, palm trees, and cactuses

Cabo San Lucas is a terrain of rocky cliffs made from volcanic rocks that have naturally formed to the magnificence they wear today.

On land, you will see the linings of palm trees and cactuses everywhere, which is Cabo in nature.

Meet the locals and new friends at bars and pubs

Downtown Cabo does not sleep on the nights. The locals and tourists flock to bars and pubs to socialize. You will have a good time sipping on the tower of local cocktails, wearing balloon hats, salsa all along, and dancing to music while meeting new friends.

The downtown of Cabo San Lucas, where most of the action happens, is home to fantastic ocean views plus wildlife encounters, vibrant nightlife, local cocktails, and authentic Mexican cuisines.

Tourist Attractions

El Arco

The most distinctive landmark of Cabo San Lucas is the natural-formed arc rocks. It resembles a welcoming arc, and you can find sea lions on the rocks. Any trip to Cabo San Lucas is incomplete without visiting the Arc. You can get there through a boat or arrange boat trips.

Playa Chileno

If you want to stay a bit away from the crowd, head to Chileno Beach. One of the top-rated beaches in Cabo San Lucas has a Blue Flag rating, which marks its waters safe for tourists. It has admirable crystal azure waters that are great for snorkeling and swimming. With a ban on water sports, you know you will swim in tranquil waters.

The shore has dedicated spots for paved parking, trash disposals, portable toilets, showers, and a lifeguard to look after swimmers.

Marina Cabo San Lucas

Marina Cabo San Lucas docks world-class yachts with on-site facilities for visitors, crews, and boat owners. There are so many boat and non-boat activities you can do at the marina. Here, you can watch the fishermen cook the fishes they caught, stroll around the marina boardwalks, or please your eyes with luxury boats. If you are more adventurous, you can ride on a jet ski, parasail, and windsurf.

Playa del Amor

You can only reach this inhabited piece of shores through hired boats. A hidden gem that sits in the side of Sea Cortez and opposite the Divorce Beach, Playa del Amor, or the Lover’s beach is where natural dramatic rock carvings sit atop the azure waters and beside the shore. The stunning scenery makes a great spot for romantic getaways and wedding photoshoots. The calm waters would invite you to go snorkeling during the day.

Mount Solmar

If you want more adventure and go hiking on more challenging terrain, the peak of Mount Solmar provides the best view of the Pacific Ocean and Cabo’s landscape. The entire trail could be strenuous, but it is nothing compared to seeing the magnificent view of the marina from the peak of the granite mountaintop. And the rocky cliffs are just pleasant to the eyes with the sea waves crashing into them.

Santa Maria Beach

The Santa Maria Beach has shores shaped like a horseshoe. These shores have ends sitting between proud granite rocks blocking angry waves and harsh winds.

It has shallow waters that house a protected marine sanctuary where guests can marvel at it. You will find the beach nearby the Chileno, and likewise, rated with Blue Flag.

Medano Beach

The Playa el Medano is one of the most commercialized beaches in the city. From the east side harbor, it extends to the Cabo San Lucas bay to Villa del Palmar.

It is where you will find most hotels, restaurants, and bars in Cabo San Lucas. If you are looking for a more active stay in the Cabo, this will be your prime destination as it is nearby downtown.

Vas Que Vuelas Mezcaleria

A little bar behind the action of Cabo streets, Vas Que Vuelas Mezcaleria, offers their brand of Mezcal, a local wine. The bar serves Mezcal with real fruits, and you will find this hidden gem with vibrant colorful hand-crafted artwork. They also serve Mezcal from Oaxaca.

La Sanluquena

La Sanluquena is a small family farm that offers horseback riding along the Baja desert. On the way to the desert, you will ride through the freeway and the river bed. When you get there, you will see the amazing wildlife: horses, hawks, eagles, and butterflies.

Cabo Unico

Located on the streets of Calle Miguel Hidalgo 2 in Cabo San Lucas, you will find this boutique, museum, and liquor museum all in one. This is the only store to find the premium Cabo Unico Tequila at a considerable price drop. Staff will greet you with some background of how they make their tequila: from the brick oven to fermenting to stainless steel hand-crafted jars.

Things to Do

1.   Whale watching

The best time to go whale watching in the Cabo is from January to March. In late December of the year, male whales will be flocking to compete for female whale attention. From January to March, you can see whale calves trying to grow up. You can watch humpback whales, grey whales, and whale sharks in the seas of Cabo.

In late December of the year, male whales will be flocking to compete for female whale attention. From January to March, you can see whale calves trying to grow up.

2.   Wine and dine on a sunset cruise.

The best romantic backdrop for couples is having fine dining set up on a cruise while the sun is setting.  Are you heading to Lover’s beach? Book your sunset cruise with Rissalena, Cabo Sails, or Tropicat. Be careful in booking as you may end up with a party boat.

3.   Camelback or horseback riding

Book a guided camelback or horseback tour and marvel at the coastal scenery of the Baja Peninsula. Some of them offer pick-ups and lunches. You will have chances to ride along trails and white sand shores and go to the Pacific shores along Baja Peninsula.

4.   Snorkeling and swimming

The best time to snorkel is when the water is calm. Go to the Land’s End through water taxis and marvel at the underwater scenery. These snorkeling sites go hidden under volcanic rock formations and crystal clear waters.

5.   Hiking

If you are tired of the rocky cliffs beside the seashore, you can keep the cardio up at the trails of Sierra de la Laguna. Hidden in the canyons are hot springs like Santa Rita Hot Springs. And if you want to try a waterfall hiking adventure, hike through the trails of Santiago and find the 35-foot waterfall that flows through a secret lagoon of crystal waters.

6.   Grab and eat tacos and guacamoles

The popular El Squid Roe is your favorite stop for authentic Mexican tacos and munchy guacamoles. It is a restaurant during the day and becomes a lively nightclub when 11 pm strikes.

7.   Paddleboarding, jet skiing, windsurfing

If you’re into watersports, you can do these three when you come to the Marina Cabo San Lucas. There are plenty of paddleboards, boats, and jet skis for hire.

8.   Visit the Land Ends

No Cabo San Lucas trip is complete without going to the Land Ends. It is where the stunning volcanic rock formation sits and where the Pacific water meets the waters of Cortez.

9.   Shop Mexican artworks and crafts

Cabos San Lucas is home to rich Mexican artworks and crafts. Todos Santos, Ivan Guaderrama, Laura Urrea, Santa Fe Art, La Turquesa, and 100 % Mexico Hecho a Mano are just one of the art galleries and shops you can check out at the Cabo.

10. Golf

Cabo San Lucas has public, playable, and private golf courses. Guests at Chileno Bay Resort can have the privilege to play at its courses. Some of the playable ones are from Twin Dolphin Golf Club and Diamante. Club Campestre, Cabo Real, and Puerto Los Cabos are among the public ones to play golf.

Where to Eat

Sunset Monalisa

Known for the oyster terrace, the sunset overlooking the outdoor fine dining beside the sea is at Cabo’s Sunset Monalisa. They serve handmade pasta, fresh seafood cuisines, and mozzarella, offering a magnificent view of the Land’s End.

Mariscos El Compa Chava

Enjoy the abundance of seafood menus above the dirt roof and under the straw roof. They offer fish tacos, prawns, octopus, and shrimp ceviche. This makeshift outdoor restaurant is a great place for long talks and music during the day.

Agricole Cooperativa

Not necessarily a restaurant, but you will find here organic fruit harvests and prepared foods. Some of these are strawberry pies and juices, and strawberries with cream.

La Raiz Tortilleria

La Raiz is the pride of Cabo for making authentic tortillas. With Margarita cooking up tortillas made from maize, you know you will taste the best quesadilla in town.

The Office

You are eating at the beach. The most-go-to palapa restaurant at Medano Beach is The Office. They serve a variety of seafood where you can gaze at the waters of Cortez during the day. At night, the colorful lights spread with live music filling the air, and you will have more lively moments to eat, drink, and socialize.

Where to Stay

Downtown

The most budget-friendly stay in Cabo San Lucas is Downtown, where you will find local distillery, merch, artworks, restaurants, and bars. It is where all the action takes place. And you have all the chance to meet the locals and new friends.

Your choices are Puerta Cabos Village, Hotel Maria Elena, Hotel Santa Fe Los Cabos, or Casa Solnordal. 

Medano

Medano beach is the center of tourist hotels and restaurants near the coast. If you prefer an active and lively stay at Cabo San Lucas, you will never run out of things to do at the Medano.

Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Villa del Arco Beach Resort and Spa, Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos, Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa, and Villa La Estancia are just one of the best accommodations at Medano.

The Corridor

The Corridor has the most premium lodges in the peninsula. You will find them in the 20-mile stretch between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Most vacation rentals are available here as it connects the two cities, and most destinations are accessible from here.

Average rates here go from $1000 to $3000 per night. Casa Jojo, Villa La Concha, Casa Naah Payil, Le Blanc Spa Resort, and Hampton Inn & Suites are among your choices at the Corridor.

Marina

With shops, restaurants, yachts, and hotels readily available at the Marina, the waterfront neighborhood is the perfect spot to stay at the Cabo. Hotels and resorts offer boat, paddleboard, or jet ski rentals. Some eateries do cook the fishes they catch for the guests.

The Cape, Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, The Ridge, and Cabo Marina Beach Condos are pretty great choices to stay near or at the Marina.

Final Thoughts

You will never run out of things to do at Cabo San Lucas. Whether you’re looking forward to the tranquil and serenity of the calm blue waters or the lively, vibrant days and nights downtown, there’s always a place for you in Cabo. All you need to achieve your dream getaway is to plan and prepare for it.

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