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Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide To Cabo, Mexico


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Prue Popovich



Welcome to the beautiful coastal paradise of Cabo, Mexico! With its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage, Cabo is a dream destination for travelers seeking a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Located at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and modern amenities. Whether you’re a sun worshipper, an avid adventurer, a food lover, or a history enthusiast, Cabo has something to offer for everyone.


One of the biggest draws of Cabo is its incredible weather. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, the region boasts a near-perfect climate, making it an ideal escape from colder climates. Whether you visit during the warm summer months or the mild winter season, you can expect pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine to enjoy the outdoor activities Cabo has to offer.


Another highlight of Cabo is its stunning coastline. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, the region is home to breathtaking beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters and picturesque landscapes. From the famous Medano Beach, bustling with water sports and beachside bars, to the more secluded Lover’s Beach, accessible only by water taxi, each beach in Cabo has its own unique charm.


In addition to its natural beauty, Cabo is also known for its lively nightlife and world-class dining scene. The city comes alive after sunset, with countless bars, clubs, and restaurants offering a vibrant atmosphere and a wide range of culinary delights. Indulge in traditional Mexican cuisine, fresh seafood, or international dishes from around the world – Cabo has options to satisfy even the most discerning palate.


For culture enthusiasts, Cabo offers a rich history and a vibrant local culture waiting to be explored. Visit the historic district of San Jose del Cabo, with its charming colonial architecture and colorful art galleries, or immerse yourself in the local traditions and festivals that showcase the region’s heritage.


Before embarking on your Cabo adventure, it’s important to plan and prepare accordingly. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your trip to Cabo. From getting there and finding the perfect accommodation to must-see attractions, beach activities, dining recommendations, shopping hotspots, and safety tips, we’ve got you covered. So, pack your bags, embrace the laid-back vibes, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Cabo, Mexico.


Getting There

Getting to Cabo is a breeze, with multiple transportation options available to suit your preference and budget. The most convenient way to reach Cabo is by flying into Los Cabos International Airport (SJD), which serves both domestic and international flights. Many major airlines offer direct flights from major cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, making it easily accessible for travelers from around the world. Once you arrive at the airport, you can either take a taxi or arrange for a private transfer to your accommodation in Cabo.


If you prefer a scenic route, you can also opt for a road trip to Cabo. The Baja Peninsula is well-connected by highways, and there are various border crossing options if you’re driving from the United States. The journey can be quite an adventure, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the desert landscapes and coastal views along the way. Just ensure that you have the necessary documentation, such as a valid passport and vehicle permits, before embarking on your road trip.


For those looking for a more luxurious and extravagant travel experience, cruising to Cabo is a popular option. Many cruise lines offer itineraries that include Cabo as a port of call, allowing you to explore the city and its surroundings during your trip. The Cabo San Lucas Marina welcomes a wide range of cruise ships, and once you step off the ship, you’ll find yourself in the heart of all the action.


Once you’ve arrived in Cabo, getting around the city is relatively easy. Taxis are readily available and can be hailed on the streets or booked through your hotel. It’s always advisable to negotiate the fare before starting your journey to ensure a fair price. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can rent a car to explore the region at your own pace. However, keep in mind that driving in Mexico can be a bit chaotic, especially in busy areas, so it’s important to exercise caution and familiarize yourself with the local traffic rules.


Alternatively, if you’re staying in the main tourist areas like Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, many attractions and amenities are within walking distance. The cities are relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly, allowing you to leisurely explore the streets, shops, and restaurants on foot. Additionally, many hotels and resorts offer shuttle services to popular destinations and attractions, making it convenient for you to explore without worrying about transportation.


Now that you know how to get to Cabo and navigate around the city, it’s time to delve into the exciting adventures and experiences that await you in this tropical paradise.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation in Cabo, you’ll find a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious beachfront resorts to cozy boutique hotels and budget-friendly guesthouses, there is something for everyone.


If you’re looking for a luxurious and indulgent stay, Cabo offers some of the finest resorts in Mexico. These resorts boast stunning ocean views, world-class amenities, and impeccable service. Many of them feature multiple swimming pools, spa facilities, top-notch restaurants, and private beach access. Some of the most popular luxury resorts in Cabo include The Resort at Pedregal, Esperanza, and Chileno Bay Resort & Residences.


For those seeking a more intimate and personalized experience, boutique hotels in Cabo are a great choice. These smaller-scale establishments often have their own unique charm, combining stylish accommodations with personalized service and attention to detail. The Cape, Casa Natalia, and Hotel El Ganzo are just a few examples of boutique hotels that offer a distinct and memorable stay.


If you’re traveling on a tighter budget, there are also plenty of affordable accommodation options in Cabo. Guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels provide comfortable and convenient stays without breaking the bank. These establishments may not have all the lavish amenities of the high-end resorts, but they offer clean rooms, friendly service, and a budget-friendly price tag. Some popular budget-friendly options in Cabo include Hotel Mar de Cortez, Hotel Los Milagros, and Hotel Maria Elena.


For those who prefer a home-away-from-home experience, there are also many vacation rentals available in Cabo. Whether you’re looking for a cozy beachfront apartment, a spacious villa with a private pool, or a charming casita in the heart of the city, you can find numerous options on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. Vacation rentals provide the flexibility and convenience of having your own space, and they are particularly popular among families or groups traveling together.


No matter which type of accommodation you choose, it’s important to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Cabo can get quite busy, particularly during holidays and the winter months when many tourists flock to escape the colder climates. By booking ahead of time, you can secure your preferred accommodation and also take advantage of any early bird deals or discounts.


Now that you’re well-acquainted with the various accommodation options in Cabo, it’s time to move on to exploring the exciting attractions and experiences this paradise has to offer.


Must-See Attractions

Cabo is home to a plethora of must-see attractions that showcase the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure opportunities that the region has to offer. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, here are some of the top attractions in Cabo that you should add to your itinerary.


One of the most famous landmarks in Cabo is El Arco, also known as the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. This unique rock formation emerges from the sea at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula and is a symbol of Cabo. Take a boat tour or kayak around the arch to admire its grandeur and soak in the breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean.


For nature lovers, a visit to the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is a must. Located on the East Cape of Baja California, this protected marine reserve is home to the oldest coral reef on the west coast of North America. Dive or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters to explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures.


No trip to Cabo is complete without experiencing the thrill of whale watching. From December to April, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of the Baja Peninsula to breed and give birth. Take a whale watching tour to witness these magnificent creatures up close as they breach and play in the ocean.


If you’re interested in immersive cultural experiences, make sure to visit the historic town of San Jose del Cabo. Explore the charming streets lined with colonial buildings, art galleries, and boutiques. The town also hosts a vibrant Art Walk every Thursday evening, where you can admire and purchase works of art by local and international artists.


For adventure enthusiasts, a visit to Cabo wouldn’t be complete without trying your hand at water sports. Whether it’s surfing the waves at Zippers Beach, stand-up paddleboarding in the calm waters of Chileno Bay, or taking a thrilling ATV ride through the desert, Cabo offers a wide range of activities that cater to all levels of adrenaline seekers.


To get a taste of the local flavors, visit the Mercado Municipal in downtown Cabo San Lucas. This bustling market is a haven for food lovers, offering an array of fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies. Sample authentic street food, such as fish tacos and ceviche, or pick up some souvenirs to take back home.


These are just a few of the many attractions that Cabo has to offer. Whether you’re seeking natural wonders, cultural immersion, or exhilarating adventures, Cabo has something to suit every traveler’s interests. Make sure to plan your itinerary well to make the most of your time in this captivating destination.


Beaches and Water Sports

With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Cabo is a haven for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or indulge in thrilling water activities, Cabo offers a wide range of options to cater to all preferences.


One of the most popular beaches in Cabo is Medano Beach. Located in Cabo San Lucas, this long stretch of sandy shoreline is known for its vibrant atmosphere and lively beach clubs. Relax on a beach lounger, soak up the sun, and enjoy the beachside service provided by local vendors. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, or stand-up paddleboarding. You can also find beachfront restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing cocktail while taking in the beautiful ocean views.


For a more secluded and tranquil beach experience, head to Lover’s Beach. Situated at Land’s End, near the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, this beach is only accessible by boat taxi or kayak. Its pristine white sand, turquoise waters, and stunning rock formations make it a true paradise. Spend the day snorkeling in the calm waters, exploring the nearby coral reefs, or simply basking in the serenity of the surroundings.


If you’re a surfing enthusiast, Palmilla Beach is a must-visit. Located near San Jose del Cabo, this beach is known for its consistent waves and is a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you can find breaks suitable for all levels. There are also surf schools and rental shops available if you want to learn or improve your skills.


For a unique and unforgettable experience, consider taking a boat tour to Cabo Pulmo. This national marine park is renowned for its pristine coral reefs and abundant marine life. Snorkel or dive in the clear waters to explore the vibrant underwater world, teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and even the possibility of encountering dolphins or whale sharks. It’s a true paradise for nature lovers and underwater enthusiasts.


In addition to the exhilarating water sports and pristine beaches, Cabo also offers opportunities for fishing enthusiasts. The region is known for its excellent sportfishing, with Marlin and Dorado being popular catches. You can charter a fishing boat and try your luck in the abundant waters, enjoying a day of relaxation and excitement on the open sea.


Whether you prefer to lounge on the beach, dive into the underwater world, or indulge in thrilling water sports, Cabo has something to offer for everyone. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, beach towel, and sense of adventure as you embark on your beach and water sports escapades in this picturesque destination.


Dining and Nightlife

When it comes to dining and nightlife, Cabo offers an array of options that will satisfy even the most discerning foodies and partygoers. From mouthwatering traditional Mexican cuisine to international flavors, and from beachside cantinas to upscale rooftop bars, Cabo has it all.


For those looking to savor the authentic flavors of Mexico, there are numerous local restaurants that serve traditional dishes bursting with flavor. Indulge in fresh seafood, flavorful tacos, hearty enchiladas, and savory tamales. Popular local spots include Taqueria el Paisa in San Jose del Cabo, where you can enjoy delicious street tacos, and Mi Casa in Cabo San Lucas, known for its traditional Mexican dishes served in a vibrant and lively atmosphere.


If you’re in the mood for international flavors, Cabo has a diverse culinary scene that will satisfy any craving. From Italian and Japanese cuisine to Mediterranean and fusion dishes, you can find a wide range of options to suit your taste buds. The Marina Golden Zone in Cabo San Lucas and the Art District in San Jose del Cabo are particularly known for their international restaurants and upscale dining experiences.


When it comes to nightlife, Cabo truly comes alive after sunset. The city offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere with countless bars, clubs, and entertainment venues that cater to different tastes and preferences. Cabo Wabo Cantina, owned by rock legend Sammy Hagar, is a popular spot in Cabo San Lucas, known for its live music, energetic atmosphere, and delicious cocktails. Mandala Disco, located in the heart of Cabo, is a favorite among partygoers, featuring talented DJs and a cutting-edge sound system.


If you’re looking for a more laid-back and intimate ambiance, head to one of the many rooftop bars that offer stunning views of the city and the ocean. The Rooftop at The Cape and ACRE Baja’s Treehouse Bar are just a couple of examples where you can enjoy a refreshing drink while taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.


It’s also worth mentioning the famous Cabo party cruises, where you can dance the night away under the starry sky while enjoying an open bar and entertainment onboard. These cruises offer an unforgettable experience, combining the joy of sailing with the excitement of a nightclub.


Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic dinner, a lively night out with friends, or dancing until the early hours of the morning, Cabo’s dining and nightlife scene will not disappoint. With its diverse culinary offerings and vibrant entertainment options, Cabo ensures that every night is a memorable one.


Shopping and Souvenirs

Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to indulge in retail therapy while exploring the vibrant shopping scene in Cabo. Whether you’re looking for unique local crafts, designer brands, or souvenirs to remember your trip, Cabo offers a variety of shopping experiences to suit all tastes and budgets.


One of the best places to start your shopping adventure is the Puerto Paraiso Entertainment Plaza in Cabo San Lucas. This multi-level shopping mall is home to a wide range of stores, from high-end fashion boutiques to souvenir shops and jewelry stores. You’ll find renowned brands like Calvin Klein, Lacoste, and Pandora, as well as local artisans selling Mexican handicrafts and artwork.


For a more authentic shopping experience, head to the downtown areas of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. These charming districts are filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and local markets where you can find unique and handcrafted items. The Art District in San Jose del Cabo is particularly known for its art galleries, showcasing the works of local and international artists. It’s a perfect place to find a one-of-a-kind piece to bring back home.


If you’re looking for souvenirs to commemorate your time in Cabo, there are numerous shops that specialize in traditional Mexican crafts and mementos. From colorful sombreros and embroidered textiles to pottery and silver jewelry, you’ll find a wide selection of authentic souvenirs that capture the spirit of Mexico. The Plaza Artesanos in downtown Cabo San Lucas and the Mercado Municipal in San Jose del Cabo are great places to start your souvenir shopping journey.


For those looking for gourmet delights and local flavors to bring back home, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the San Jose del Cabo Organic Market. Held every Saturday morning, this vibrant market showcases a variety of organic produce, homemade food items, and artisanal products. You can taste local delicacies, pick up locally made sauces and spices, or purchase fresh ingredients to recreate the flavors of Cabo in your own kitchen.


Lastly, don’t forget to bargain and negotiate prices when shopping at street markets or smaller shops. It’s a common practice in Mexico, and you may end up scoring a great deal or a more favorable price. Remember to be respectful and friendly in your negotiations, as it’s all part of the shopping experience in Cabo.


Whether you’re seeking designer labels, unique artisanal crafts, or tasty treats to take home, Cabo’s shopping scene has something for everyone. So, set aside some time to explore the local shops and markets, and enjoy the excitement of finding the perfect treasures to remind you of your unforgettable Cabo experience.


Day Trips and Excursions

While Cabo offers a plethora of attractions and activities within its boundaries, exploring the surrounding areas through day trips and excursions is a great way to enhance your Cabo experience. From natural wonders to historical landmarks, here are a few recommended day trips and excursions to consider during your visit.


A popular day trip destination from Cabo is Todos Santos. Located about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, this charming town is known for its bohemian atmosphere and artistic vibes. Stroll through the colorful streets, visit art galleries, and enjoy the laid-back ambiance. Don’t miss the Hotel California, made famous by the Eagles’ song, and savor delicious local cuisine at one of the town’s many restaurants.


If you’re seeking an adventure in the great outdoors, a trip to Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve is a must. Located in the heart of the Baja Peninsula, this protected area is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Embark on a hiking excursion through the lush forests, swim in hidden waterfalls, and encounter diverse wildlife along the way. The reserve offers a variety of trails suitable for different fitness levels.


For a glimpse into the region’s history and culture, visit the charming town of La Paz. Located about two hours northeast of Cabo, La Paz offers a blend of colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and cultural attractions. Explore the Malecon (boardwalk), visit the Cathedral of La Paz, and take a boat tour to Isla Espiritu Santo to witness the stunning natural beauty of the Sea of Cortez.


If you’re a fan of marine life, consider taking a day trip to Magdalena Bay to experience the awe-inspiring gray whale watching. From January to March, these majestic creatures migrate to the warm waters of the Baja Peninsula, providing an unforgettable opportunity to observe them up close. Take a boat tour and marvel at their acrobatic displays and playful behavior.


Another fascinating day trip option is a visit to the historic mining town of El Triunfo. Once a bustling mining center in the late 1800s, El Triunfo has preserved its historical charm and offers a glimpse into its past. Visit the iconic La Ramona smelter stack, wander through the cobbled streets, and enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants that serve delicious traditional cuisine.


These are just a few examples of the many day trips and excursions available from Cabo. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, outdoor adventures, or close encounters with nature, the surrounding areas of Cabo offer a wealth of options to cater to all interests. Plan your day trips and excursions wisely to make the most of your time and create unforgettable memories.


Local Culture and Traditions

Immersing yourself in the local culture and traditions of Cabo is a wonderful way to truly experience the essence of this vibrant destination. The region’s rich cultural heritage, influenced by its indigenous roots and Spanish colonization, is deeply ingrained in the everyday life of its people.


One of the best ways to discover the local culture is by exploring the charming towns of Cabo. San Jose del Cabo, with its cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings, is particularly known for its art scene. Visit the art galleries and attend the weekly Art Walk, where local artists showcase their masterpieces. You can also admire the intricate architecture of the Mission of San Jose del Cabo Church, a symbol of the region’s religious heritage.


Throughout the year, Cabo celebrates various festivals and traditional events that highlight its cultural traditions. The most notable festival is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which takes place at the end of October and early November. During this time, locals honor their deceased loved ones through colorful altars, vibrant parades, and lively celebrations. Experience this unique cultural celebration by visiting local cemeteries, participating in the festivities, and trying traditional Day of the Dead delicacies.


Another important aspect of local culture is the traditional Mariachi music. Originating in western Mexico, Mariachi music showcases the fusion of indigenous and Spanish influences. Keep an eye out for Mariachi bands performing in the streets or at local restaurants, and immerse yourself in the lively sounds and rhythms of this iconic Mexican music genre.


Cabo also has a strong culinary heritage, with traditional Mexican dishes deeply rooted in the local culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to try regional specialties such as birria (spiced meat stew), mole (rich sauce made with chili peppers and chocolate), and handmade tortillas. Many restaurants offer cooking classes where you can learn to prepare these traditional dishes yourself and gain a deeper understanding of the local gastronomy.


Lastly, it’s important to respect and embrace the local customs and traditions while visiting Cabo. Mexicans are generally warm and friendly people, and simple gestures like greeting with a “buenos días” (good morning) or “gracias” (thank you) can go a long way in showing appreciation for the local culture. It’s also polite to ask permission before taking photographs of individuals or religious sites, and to dress respectfully when visiting places of worship.


By immersing yourself in the local culture and traditions, you’ll develop a deeper appreciation for the people and heritage of Cabo. Embrace the warmth and hospitality of the locals, savor the traditional flavors, and embrace the richness of this fascinating destination.


Safety Tips and Precautions

As with any travel destination, it’s important to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions while visiting Cabo. By following these safety tips, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free experience during your time in this beautiful destination.


1. Stay aware of your surroundings: While Cabo is generally a safe destination, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution, especially in crowded areas or at night. Be mindful of your belongings and avoid displaying valuable items openly.


2. Use reliable transportation: When traveling in Cabo, it’s recommended to use licensed taxis or reputable transportation services. Avoid accepting rides from unmarked vehicles or individuals who approach you on the street. If possible, arrange transportation through your hotel or use reputable ride-hailing apps.


3. Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun: Cabo’s climate can be hot and sunny, so it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Apply sunscreen regularly, wear a hat and sunglasses, and seek shade during the peak hours of the sun to avoid sunburn and heatstroke.


4. Practice water safety: When enjoying the beaches and water activities in Cabo, it’s essential to practice water safety. Heed any warning flags on the beach, be cautious of strong currents, and only swim in designated areas. If participating in water sports, ensure that you have the necessary skills and follow safety guidelines provided by professionals.


5. Be cautious with alcohol consumption: Cabo has a lively nightlife scene, but it’s important to drink responsibly. Keep track of your alcohol consumption and never leave your drink unattended. It’s also advisable to travel in groups and use reputable establishments that prioritize customer safety.


6. Use reputable tour operators: If participating in excursions or adventure activities, ensure that you book with licensed and reputable tour operators who prioritize safety. Check reviews, ask about safety measures and equipment, and follow instructions provided by guides during the activities.


7. Respect the local customs and laws: Familiarize yourself with the local customs and laws of the region to avoid any unintended offenses or legal issues. It’s important to be respectful of the local culture, dress codes, and traditions.


8. Keep important documents and valuables secure: It’s advisable to keep important documents, such as passports and identification, in a safe place. Use hotel safes for valuables or consider using a money belt or concealed pouch to keep your belongings secure while exploring.


By following these safety tips and exercising common sense, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience during your time in Cabo. Remember to stay informed, be mindful of your surroundings, and embrace the beauty of this incredible destination.



Cabo, Mexico is a destination that truly has it all – from stunning beaches and exhilarating water sports to rich cultural heritage and vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both, Cabo offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, diverse attractions, and warm hospitality.


In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know to make the most of your trip to Cabo. We’ve explored how to get there, the various accommodation options available, must-see attractions, beach activities, dining recommendations, shopping experiences, and even safety tips to ensure a worry-free journey.


Immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions by exploring charming towns, attending festivals, and savoring traditional cuisine. Take day trips and excursions to discover the natural wonders and historical landmarks surrounding Cabo, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


Remember to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions while in Cabo, such as staying aware of your surroundings, using reliable transportation, and practicing water safety. By following these guidelines, you can focus on enjoying all that Cabo has to offer without any unwanted issues.


Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a fun-filled vacation with friends, Cabo has something for everyone. So pack your bags, embrace the laid-back vibes, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.


With its enchanting landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Cabo is sure to capture your heart and leave you longing to return again and again. So, as you embark on your Cabo adventure, remember to take in the beauty of the surroundings, immerse yourself in the local experiences, and savor every moment of your time in this captivating destination.