I’ve never been excited about the idea of going to Cabo San Lucas in Baja but when someone offers you free use of their timeshare there, you go. So, at the end of this month (October, 2012) my wife and I are heading south of the border to Mexico. Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone we have ever known that went to Cabo said they had a great time, but we’re just not sure it sounds like ‘our kinda thing.’ We like to get off the tourist track and we’re not a big fan of crowds and you couldn’t drag us to a night club if you held guns to our heads so we’re researching things we’d like to do down there and we’ll be sharing those things with you right here. Maybe it’ll help you plan your own trip or at least, live vicariously through our vacation.
Say Gudday to Cabo San Lucas
Just like we do every time we start planning a trip, we start reading blogs written by people that know the place, preferably people that actually live there. No one knows a place like the locals and here’s what we have found out so far.
An overview of Cabo
According to David Rojahn, Cabo San Lucas is a tourist hot-spot full of restaurants, nightclubs, shopping opportunities and more. He advises that, if you’re looking for something a little slower paced and a little more relaxing then you’ll want to stay between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, an area known as the Corridor. If it’s a taste of ‘Old Mexico’ that sets your heart beating faster then David recommends some time in San Jose del Cabo, approximately twenty miles away i.e. about 30-40 minutes.
The good news for sun worshipers, beach lovers and water sports fans is that David says there are lots of world class beaches to enjoy on our Cabo San Lucas vacation. Although he also warns that the number of places that you can swim is limited due to a fairly aggressive undertow i.e. water demons that drag you down to Davy Jones locker and keep you there for all eternity. Medano Beach is just one of the sandy paradises we could choose to enjoy but there is also Solmar Beach, Playa del Amor a.k.a. “the lovers beach” and Playa Acapulquito which is a favorite spot for jet skiing, speed boating and more. Playa Palmilla has limited beach and deep waters that attracts snorkelers and scuba divers alike.
If you’re looking to shake your booty, or whatever it is the kids say these days, then Cabo Wabo and Squid Row are the places to go. Honestly I’m not making these names up.
Getting Around / Transportation in Cabe San Lucas
This is where an expert like Dave, someone who really knows what they are talking about, is an invaluable resource because he can help you plan your expenses by telling you how much it’s going to cost you to get around. Thank you, Dave! A taxi will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of US$20-$30 (one way) to get from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas plus approximately $7-$10 per extra passenger. But this is just a ballpark figure and you should do your best to negotiate a better deal, especially if you speak Spanish. But, music to my ears, a taxi ab is not the only choice for getting around Cabo, there is also the public bus system. My wife and I LOVE to take the local transportation system whenever we go to a new place. Why? Partly because it’s cheap but mostly because you REALLY get a feel for the locals and the place by riding with the natives. I think we’ll be keeping the taxi fare and paying the US$2 it costs for the bus ride. Thanks again, Dave!
My wife is Hispanic and speaks Spanish fluently but English is widely spoken in Cabo so we’re covered either way.
Things to do in Cabo San Lucas
Dune buggy racing! Where else can you do that? Golf, whale watching, tennis, swimming, horseback riding, scuba diving, fishing, deep sea fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, ATV rides.
Safety. Is Cabo San Lucas safe?
Yes. Obviously you want to be prudent, smart and make good choices but that’s true even if you are going to your local dog park.
What is the weather like in Cabo San Lucas?
Dry and warm all year round. Sounds like my kinda place! September through October is the rainy season but it hardly deserves that name. Does Cabo get hurricanes? Although Cabo sits outside the normal hurricane belt, it was hit a few years ago. If you’re concerned then go in July or August. Personally we are not worried so we’re going in October.
Scuba Diving in Cabe San Lucas
According to Hal Licino, Cabo is a great place for both experienced and new divers. Pleasantly warm water and good visibility as well as a variety of wonderful marine life makes this one of the best diving destinations in Mexico.
Whale watching in Cabe San Lucas
If you’re in Cabo December through April then you will be in for an astounding treat, whale watching. These gentle giants, make their annual migration every year passing Cabo’s bay area and around the Baja Peninsula. If you’re fortunate enough to be there at this time you will can five different kinds of whales gliding by including Blue whales, gray whales, humpback whales, finback whales, and Bryde’s whales. I’ve never even heard of some of these! There’s even a local Whale Festival to enjoy. Whale watching is often an expensive activity but in Cabo you can actually observe these sea creatures from the beach for free, which happens to be my favorite price. Here’s a list of just some of the beaches you can go whale spotting at (recommended by Aja Odegaard): Playa Solmar: Stretching from the historic landmark, Land’s End, to the Pedrgal, this is one of the popular whale viewing places. Villas del Mar Beach: You can only reach this beach by boat but it does offer you a close-up view of the whales which can often be seen breaching, especially in the morning.Medano Beach: Runs in front of the Cabo Villas Beach Hotel and Spa and is a great spot for both whales and dolphin watching.
When is the tourist season in Cabo SanLucas?
December to May is considered the tourist season or peak season in Cabo but it’s valuable to remember that the weather is pretty much perfect all year round so you can really go whenever you want. My wife and I almost always vacation during our travel destinations off season to keep our costs down and travel as cheaply as possible. June to November is Cabo’s off season.
Must see Landmarks & Places in Cabo San Lucas
- Land’s End (the big, rock arch.) CLose to Medano Beach and the Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amante)
- Church of San Lucas (Iglesia de San Lucas) Address: Calle San Lucas, Cabo San Lucas, 23410, Mexico, MX. Downtown Cabo San Lucas.
- Old Lighthouse (El Faro Viejo). Address: Highway 19, Cabo San Lucas, 23410, Mexico, MX
- Mirador Tower (Casa de la Cultura). Address: Ninos Héroes, Cabo San Lucas, 23400, Mexico, MX
- The Glass Factory.
Must do in Cabo San Lucas
Expeditions in Cabo San Lucas
A relative of my wife just put me on to a company called Cabo Expeditions who provides a variety of water activities ranging from swimming with whale sharks, parasailing, snuba, kayaking, snorkeling and more.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
This sounds exciting to me. I’ve snorkeled with dolphins, sharks and rays and swimming nearby an marine creature this large i.e. thirty feet or bigger, would be awe inspiring. The tour lasts for eight hours, starting at 7:30AM and operates every day but Sunday. Everything you need is provided but my wife and I have always found that it’s best to bring additional water and snacks on any excursion. (It’s also an excellent idea to take your own first aid kit but that’s another article.) Also bring your own towel and sun screen and waterproof camera.
$90 Children Ages 8 to 10
Special Note: Please act responsibly around these gentle giants of the deep. There have been reports tourists crowding them and even fencing them in and touching them. Observe them, enjoy them, respect them and have memories for a lifetime.
If you’ve got any feedback about Cabo, please leave it below.
More coming soon!