Los Cabos Travel Guide
Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos consists of three distinct areas: Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and the coastal highway between them, referred to as the Tourist Corridor. The popular destination is served by San José del Cabo International Airport which is located about three miles from San José del Cabo and about twenty miles from Cabo San Lucas.
Los Cabos is a combination of desert, beachfront, and mountain terrain, with the Pacific Ocean on the west side of the peninsula and the Gulf of California, also called the Sea of Cortés, on the east. The warm, dry, sunny climate and beautiful scenery have turned the former fishing village into the home of hundreds of resorts, hotels, and vacation homes from Cabo San Lucas up to a newly developing coastal area north of the airport called the East Cape.
Sportfishing, snorkeling, swimming, diving, sailing, and surfing are among favorite water sports, and on land, visitors play golf and tennis, explore the desert and beach terrain on dune buggies, hike, and ride mountain bikes, horses, and camels. Guests enjoy lively nightlife and dine at top restaurants or casual cafés.
Mountain Standard Time, changing seasonally to Daylight Time.
Best Time to Go
Temperatures are warm year round, with August the hottest month (75 to 92 degrees F) and January and February the coldest (54 to 79 degrees F). For perfect weather with temperatures from the mid 70s to mid 80s as well as a getaway from colder climates, November through April are high season months, and prices reflect the demand.
April and May are the driest months with practically no rain at all, and in May and June, the temperatures get well into the 80s, and you'll probably want to be near a beach or pool enjoying the sunny weather.
Late July, August, and September are the warmest months with higher humidity, and the wettest months are August and September averaging about two to three inches of rain. Hurricanes are possible during those months, but they are relatively rare. For avoiding crowds and high prices, a late summer visit could be worth considering.
Whale watching season runs from about December through April, with humpbacks frequently seen during that time of their migration. In February, the calves (baby whales) become active. The gray whale season is from January through March. Boat trips to see the whales up close are very popular during that time.
The Festival of San José, patron saint of San José del Cabo, takes place from March 14 to 19, with parades, carnivals, dancing, food, parties, traditional costumes, entertainment, and music. Sportfishing tournaments are held in October and November. Music and film festivals, food and wine events, competitions, and religious holidays fill the calendar all year long in Los Cabos.
Things to Know
The Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortés meet at the southern tip of Baja where El Arco (The Arch), a rock formation, rises from the sea. The surf on the Pacific side is quite rough, and the Sea of Cortés is calm, although there can be strong currents. Before jumping in, be sure you're at a safe swimmable beach.
Timeshare sales people at the airport can be quite aggressive as you pass, and drivers will approach offering to take you to your hotel. It's advisable to arrange transportation in advance through your hotel or a reliable local service.
Although the currency is the Mexican peso, U.S. dollars and major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. It is possible to obtain pesos at the airport upon arrival, through ATMs, or at some hotels.
Tipping is customary in Mexico at bars, restaurants, spas, and at hotels for assistance with bags or other services. It is considerate to leave something for hotel housekeepers each day. Tour guides should also receive a gratuity. At restaurants and spas, the typical amount is 10-20%. For others, the equivalent of what you would leave in the U.S. is appropriate.
How to Get Around
Taxis: Taxis are available at hotels and at the airport. In San José del Cabo, red and yellow taxi vans operate and in Cabo San Lucas, the vans are blue and green—they operate 24 hours a day. From the airport, Los Cabos has an official taxi provider. The fare between the two cities is about $60-$70.
Buses: The Suburcabos buses run between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo every day from about 5:00 a.m. in San José and about 5:20 a.m. in Cabo. They run about every 20 minutes until approximately 9:30 p.m.
Things to Do
Neighborhoods to Know
Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of Baja, is home to dozens of resorts, beaches, the marina, and "the arch," where the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortés meet. Cabo is also known for sport fishing, with several major fishing tournaments each year.
San José del Cabo, also home to resorts, restaurants, and golf courses, retains much of its original Spanish colonial architecture, for example the 18th-century Misión de San José del Cabo and its 19th-century City Hall. The Art District and downtown plaza are favorite spots.
Tourist Corridor: This twenty mile stretch of coastline connects Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Luxurious resorts, sandy beaches, restaurants, shops, and golf courses line the corridor. Wild Canyon Adventures theme park is also located in the area.
Pedregal: Just above downtown Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific, Pedregal is one the most exclusive neighborhoods in Los Cabos. Luxury resorts, upscale restaurants, private homes, and wealthy communities are set in Pedregal.
Medano Beach: One of the most popular beaches in Cabo San Lucas, Playa el Médano offers several miles of swimmable shoreline starting on the east side of the harbor. Water sports, white sand, al fresco restaurants, cantinas, and hotels attract many visitors to this area.
Downtown Cabo San Lucas: This is the place for nightlife, with a variety of cantinas, bars, and nightclubs including Sammy Hagar's famed Cabo Wabo. Hotels, shops, traditional Mexican restaurants, and more affordable prices as well as the nightlife make downtown a popular area.
Marina: This lively area is home to fishing boats, yachts, and a variety of companies that offer sailing excursions, fishing and diving charters, whale watching, and sunset cruises. Restaurants, shops, hotels, the Puerto Paraiso Mall, and Luxury Avenue boutiques are also located near the marina.
East Cape: About 45 minutes northeast from Los Cabos International Airport on the Sea of Cortés, the tranquil area features desert landscapes, secluded beaches, and stunning views of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. A developing area called Costa Palmas includes an elegant Four Seasons resort, golf course, marina, beach club and an Aman hotel in the near future.
Weather is warm all year, with minimal rainfall totalling around 11.4 inches annually. September is the wettest month receiving about four inches of rain. Hurricane season runs from around August to October, but hurricanes are rare in Baja. Water temperature ranges from about 72 degrees in February and March to as warm as 85 degrees in September.
Average lows and highs by month follow:
January: 55.4 - 77.9
February: 54 - 78
March: 55 - 80
April: 58 - 83
May: 62 - 86
June: 66 - 88
July: 73 - 91
August: 75 - 93
September: 74 - 91
October: 70 - 89
November: 62 - 84
December: 57 - 79
Apps to Download
Los Cabos Offline Travel Map - offline map, weather, driving routes, hotels, banks, hospitals (iOs)
Los Cabos Travel Pro - pre-trip information and reference details for Los Cabos. (Android)
Art Walk San José del Cabo - information on galleries, news, events, photos, maps of the Gallery District. (iOs)