Cabo San Lucas

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Cabo San Lucas - A to Z Inspection

Dave's rating - Thumbs Up!

The following is Dave's professional opinion from a recent familiarization trip to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.




Ambiance-If you want restaurants, shopping and nightlife, Cabo San Lucas is the place. For a more relaxing setting, stay in what is known as the Corridor, the stretch of land between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. For a taste of "Old Mexico" a day in San Jose del Cabo fits the bill.

Beach- The myth about Cabo is there are a few good beaches. The fact is, there are plenty of great beaches, but few areas that you can swim in the ocean. The undertow is the issue. Medano Beach is swim able but more crowded. In my opinion, give me a nice beach to walk on and get my feet wet, but if I want to take a swim, let me jump in a big frew frew pool. You can't find a swim up pool bar in the ocean!

Distances- From Cabo San Lucas to San Jose del Cabo is approximately 20 miles. It takes about 30-35 minutes to get from one end to the other depending on traffic.

Entertainment-Cabo Wabo and Squid Row still rule the nightlife. If lines outside the club are a measure, Squid Row wins hands down! Golf and deep sea fishing are also popular. Companies offer ATV tours and now you can even go dune buggy racing!

Food- The is an abundance of restaurant choices. More of the resorts have gone to an All-Inclusive plan where your food and drinks are included in the price.

Getting Around- Can you spell TAXI? Figure $20-$30 one way from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas and add about $7-$10 per person for extra riders. The reason why I can't give you an exact price....It depends on how well you negotiate. The best bargain is the public bus where $2 takes you the whole way.

Interesting Fact-Water costs more than beer. Yes it is true, one golf pro said if they can figure out how to irrigate the golf course with beer, they would save a ton of money.

Jackets and Ties-Keep them at home!

Kids-Cabo has become more family friendly and many of the resorts now offer kids programs

Languages-English is widely spoken, but I suspect those who speak spanish do much better in negotiating a taxi fare.

Medical Services-Cabo does have medical facilities readily available. Make sure you have insurance that covers you and even so, I suspect you pay them now, collect from insurance later.

Negatives-The one negative I hear is not enough swim able beaches.

Nightlife- Plenty of nightlife just a TAXI ride away.

Opportunities-For those who want the thrill of getting behind the wheel and racing, $250 will get you 9 laps of dune buggy racing.

Pools-Every resort has great pool areas. But if you want a pool with a fantastic view, the new Riu Palace is the place.

Protection-Cabo is very safe but always be prudent as a tourist.

Recreation-Did we say golf, tennis, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, ATV rides, dune buggy racing and some serious relaxing!

Resorts- Cabo offers a wide array of economic to luxury resorts. For those of you who say all I want is a clean room and close to all the action, Costa Real Cabo fits the bill. Don't expect anything fancy but clean and convenient. My choice on my next visit will be the new Riu Palace. If you like opulent, fancy infinity pools and a view to die for, this is my choice.

Shopping-A brand new mall has opened in the last few years, called Puerto Paraiso Mall. Excellent shopping with restaurants and the marina on its doorstep. Also a great place to get out of the heat.

Terrain-very dry and dessert landscape.

Updates- The Puerto Paraiso Mall is a new addition to the Cabo experience. There is also a new service called Hop On Off city Tour that can take you up and down the corridor and you can get off and on at various drop off points.

View-The best place to whale watch from your room, the Finisterra Resort. Make sure you get a tower room, ocean view.

Weather-Warm and dry all year. They do get more rain in September and October. This is a great choice if you normally vacation in July or August to avoid the Monsoons and hurricanes. Cabo was hit by a hurricane a few years ago but it does not sit in the traditional hurricane path.

WOW Factor-It had been a few years since I had been to Cabo and I was impressed this last visit. I have a new found appreciation for the area. I like the idea of having a place we can suggest in the summer and not be as concerned about the weather.

X-Y-Z-Overall impression is this a great choice for couples and families with children. If you want a nice relaxing vacation, I highly suggest it.

"Just the facts mam"


Where is Cabo San Lucas?

Cabo San Lucas is located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula in the State of Baja California Sur. Cabo is approximately 1,000 miles south of San Diego, California, 10 degrees below the Tropic of Cancer at a latitude of approximately 22 degrees. Cabo San Lucas is approximately 20 miles southwest of the Los Cabos International Airport.

What is Los Cabos and where is it located?

Los Cabos is the municipality which includes the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, and located in the state of Baja California Sur.

How do you get to Los Cabos, Mexico?

Los Cabos, Mexico is accessible by air from most major cities in the United States and Mexico by many commercial airlines and various charter flights flying into the Los Cabos International Airport. From Los Angeles and San Diego, the flying time is approximately 2 hours. By land, Cabo is accessible via Highway 1, which runs the entire length of the Baja California peninsula from the US border. The roads are narrow, so be careful and watch out for the cows!

Driving in Los Cabos and Baja California - What is required?

No special permits or bonds are needed, unless you plan to continue on to Mexico's mainland. You will need a valid drivers license issued by your state of residence. Be sure to get Mexican insurance before crossing the border, as your U.S. insurance is not valid in Mexico. Do not drive in Mexico without insurance! While you are purchasing insurance, get a map that shows the locations of gas stations. Keep your gas tank as close to full as possible, even if it means extra stops. You never know when the next gas station will be closed or out of gas. It is a good idea to carry a gas can, with gas in it. The roads are constantly patrolled by the Green Angels (daytime hours only) who will help with gas and very minor repairs. These angels of mercy will pass by eventually, although you will probably be helped before they do by others passing by. The roads are generally safe, but narrow by U.S. standards, be extra careful. Do not drive at night unless you are curious about the real meaning of "Road Kill". Even in the daytime, you will need to watch out for cattle and other animals crossing the highway.

Where can I attend a Church Service in Cabo San Lucas and the Los Cabos area?

Churches and Church Services - There are many options for worship services in the Los Cabos area. Catholic, Christian, non-denominational and Jehovah’s Witnesses services are available in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

What is the legal drinking age in Mexico?

The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years of age. Please be careful, as over indulging is quite common and generally leads to trouble. Drinking Alcohol in Public - while this is tolerated to an extent, it is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages on the street, in vehicles, at the beach and other public places. It is an offense to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What time zone is Los Cabos in and does the time change with daylight savings time?

Los Cabos and Baja California Sur are located within the Mountain Time Zone. The time changes here whenever Daylight Savings Time changes.

Taxi Service - What are the taxi rates in Los Cabos?

Taxis are available from the airport and at most locations in Los Cabos. At the airport the collective taxi (a small 9 passenger van) costs about $12.00 per person to Cabo San Lucas. There are larger buses available for about $12.00 per person. The collective taxis and buses will make several stops on the way from the airport to your hotel. Getting back to the airport from Cabo will cost about $55 to $90 for a private taxi. Most hotels offer shuttle service for a reduce rate.

What is the best way to get from the Los Cabos International Airport to Cabo San Lucas?

There are four ways to get from the airport to Cabo. TRANSFER COMPANIES offer pre arranged private or shuttle transfers. See your travel agent for details. PRIVATE TAXI CABS will take four people to Cabo San Lucas for $60 U.S., with an additional charge of $5 per person over 4 people. AIRPORT SHUTTLE VANS provide service to Cabo for $10 to $15 per person, and there may be a stop or two on the way to your hotel to drop off other passengers. PRIVATE LIMOUSINES will cruise up to 6 people to Cabo in style for $100 U.S., and that price includes one cervesa per person!

What about the public transportation bus system? 

Los Cabos does have a public transportation bus service. These busses that run between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo all day, every day of the week. They start running in San Jose at 5:00 AM and in Cabo they start at 5:20 AM, and run until 9:30 or 10:00 PM. There are official bus stops, with seats and shade, but the busses can be flagged down, from almost anywhere along the highway, by waving your arms. They will usually stop, if they see you in time. It is safer and easier to walk to the designated bus stops. The busses only run on the main highway and pass each stop (approximately) every twenty minutes. The fare is around 16 pesos (about $1.50 U.S.) between the two towns, less if your only going part of the way. It is a good idea to have changes for the fares.There are also express busses that won't stop for you (they must be boarded at a bus station), but wave any way, they all look alike around here. 

Weather and Climate - What is the weather like?

Average annual rainfall: 10 inches - Coldest months: December and January
Storm season: July to October - Average water temperature: 72º F.
Average air temperatures: 50 to 80º F. winter; 70 to 100º F. summer.
The Pacific Ocean side of Los Cabos is generally 10º F. cooler than the Sea of Cortés.

The average year-round temperature is 78F. During the high tourist season, October to April, the temperature is typically 80F during the day and cools to the 60's at night. In the low season, May to September, the temperature will go up to 100+F during the day and stay in the upper 70's and low 80's in the evening. The average year-round water temperature in the Sea of Cortez is 72F. During the summer months the water temperature can reach the mid 80's. The climate is arid with over 300 days of sunshine, with some reports of over 350 days. Average annual rainfall is 10 inches (25.4cm), most with occurring during the months of September and October.

Where are the United States Consular Agency and Canada consulate located?

United States of America Consular Agency - Mr. Michael J. Houston, Consular Agent, Boulevard Marina, Local C-4, Plaza Nautica, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Telephone: (624) 143-3566 | Fax: (624) 143-6750 | E-mail:

Canada Consulate - Ms. Peggy Dillman, Representative, #9 Plaza Jose Green (Banamex), Boulevard Mijares, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Telephone: (624) 142-4333 | Fax: (624) 142-4262.

What Currency is used in Los Cabos?

The currency is the Mexican Peso. Exchange rates at booths and hotels are slightly lower than banks, but you may have to wait in line a lot longer. Banks are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or later, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some do not exchange travelers check's. Ask before you line up. Shops and restaurants accept dollars and credit cards. Both towns have ATMs and American Express offices. Cash is dispensed in pesos.

Will I be able to use credit cards?

All major credit cards are accepted in Los Cabos and in Mexico - VISA and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. American Express is accepted in some stores and restaurants, but VISA and MasterCard are preferred. The Discover Card is not yet accepted. It is suggested that you ask the merchant, in advance, which credit cards are accepted.

Will I be able to get cash from the banks with my credit cards?

All of the banks will give cash advances, most have ATM machines at their locations, for after hours cash.

Water - Can I drink the water in Los Cabos?

The water supply for all of Los Cabos is piped from aquifers in the Sierra de La Laguna range. All major hotels and restaurants have purified water. Bottled water is available in tourist areas. The water here is very pure, but be careful.  The pipes used for distribution of the water supply and other factors can lead to contamination. Although many people drink the water directly from the tap, it is not recommended. Anywhere in the world a change in drinking water can cause stomach distress. We recommend that you drink only bottled or purified water. If there is any doubt in your mind, do not hesitate to ask for purified water "Agua Purificada" or bottled water.

How can I access the Internet to receive my e-mail?

There several internet cafes in the Los Cabos area that provide internet access service. Please check our section on Cabo Internet Cafes for the latest information.

What about hospitals, doctors and dentists?

Both towns have modern hospitals and good medical and dental facilities. A diver’s decompression chamber is in Cabo San Lucas at the Hospital de Especialidades. Phone: 143-3666. We have a nice new hospital in Cabo San Lucas and we have some competent doctors, many speak English. The equipment here is usually older and somewhat out of date, compared to what you are probably used to. The hospital is not equipped for severe trauma cases. Check with your hotel for the name of an English-speaking doctor, write their phone numbers down and carry them with you. Medical service here is nowhere near as sophisticated as in the U.S. or Canada. Our Medical, Health and Emergency Services page has a listing of medical services.

What do you need to travel in Mexico? - Mexico's Entry Requirements:

To enter Mexico you need to obtain a Tourist Card (FMT). To get your Tourist Card you will need to prove citizenship, a passport is best for this purpose. The Government of Mexico requires that all U.S. citizens present proof of citizenship and photo identification for entry into Mexico. U.S. citizenship documents such as a certified copy (not a simple photocopy) of a U.S. birth certificate, a Naturalization Certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Citizenship are acceptable. However, the U.S. Embassy recommends traveling with a valid U.S. passport to avoid delays or misunderstandings. U.S. citizens have encountered difficulty in boarding flights in Mexico without a passport. U.S. citizens boarding flights to Mexico should be prepared to present one of these documents as proof of U.S. citizenship, along with photo identification. Driver's permits, voter registration cards, affidavits and similar documents are not sufficient to prove citizenship for readmission into the United States. Please visit the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site at for more information.

If you are driving, stop at the border and inquire as to the location of the immigration office and get your Tourist Card there, there is an immigration office in Ensenada and an officer now stationed at the check point just south of Guerrero Negro. If you cannot obtain a Tourist Card from anyone during your trip, stop at the Immigration Office in La Paz or Cabo San Lucas immediately upon arrival, to obtain your visa.

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