Cabo San Lucas or more commonly called Cabo, is located on the southern tip of Baja California. It is located in the municipality of Los Cabos. We recently went on a 4-day trip to Cabo and here are the details. We hope this is a good starting guide for you to start planning YOUR trip to Cabo.
Day 1: Arrive in Cabo in the afternoon, transportation to hotel, hang out at the hotel (beachfront resorts) and just relax with margaritas and drinks by the pool.
Day 2: Take the bus/cab to the marina in the morning. Walk around the marina and look at all the activities options that you have (sailing, snorkeling, fishing etc…). Strike up a deal and reserve the trips. Then have some fresh seafood (fish is usually very good. My favorite are blackened mackerel) at any of the restaurants there. In the afternoon, take a water taxi and visit the Lover’s Arch & Pelican Beach. Go snorkeling if you have the time.
Day 3: Activities day. Hopefully you’d have booked your activities before the trip or on day 1 or 2. After a long day of activities, go to Maro’s for dinner!
Day 4: Add another activities day if you have another activity planned.
Day 5: Spend the day in town and finish up your souvenir shopping, photo taking etc… then head back home…
Hotel we stayed in was Welk Resort Sirena Del Mar.
We chose this hotel because:
- It was voted #1 on Tripadvisor
- It was an all-suite property and was a nice size (only 36 suites altogether)
- It was rather new (recently completed in december 2009)
- Every suite has a balcony with ocean view
We enjoyed our time there – service, room and staff were all up to our expectations except for one thing… Our balcony was right above the pool area. Every day that we were there, we’d hear “Marco!….Polo!….Marco!…Polo!”. Yes – there were kids playing the game in the pool everyday! So we had to keep our balcony door closed to get some peace and quiet! We thought it was cute at first but after a while, we had to shut the doors to get some quiet time. Besides that, we’d highly recommend this resort – especially to families with children!
It’s located about a half hour drive away from the airport. We used the shuttle provided by the hotel to get us from the airport to the hotel. We paid about USD$15 (cash) for the ride, if I recall correctly. The hotel’s about half a mile or so from the main freeway, so if we had chosen to take the bus, we would’ve had to walk that half mile and catch a bus right on the side of the freeway. The bus would’ve cost ~$1.
FAQ: What is the city called? San Jose or Cabo San Lucas?
San Jose Del Cabo is the “old city” whereas Cabo San Lucas is the “new city”.
Cabo San Lucas is where most of the tourists are and where the marina is as well.
We spent all our time at Cabo San Lucas.
We got to Cabo by flight. A word of advice, ignore everyone trying to sell you timeshare or give you ‘gifts’ on your way out from the immigration area of the airport. Just walk straight towards the exit and get to your shuttle/cab/transportation option.
Following picture is the “fish & chips” stand right outside the airport. Most folks were buying cocktails more than fish & chips!
Departing airport: SEA
Arriving airport: SJD
Flight time: ~7 hours
Getting to your hotel: Check with your for shuttles. They’d either provide shuttles to/from airports or they’d get a cab to take you. Prices were around $15/one way last time we were there.
GETTING AROUND CABO
Public transportation (city bus) is very convenient. It only costs ~USD$1 per person for us from the resort to downtown Cabo San Lucas. The buses only take Pesos (local currency), so make sure to have some spare change.
There are also cabs which are mostly minivans/vans (that can usually carry about 5 – 8 people). They take USD. In fact, most of them insist on getting paid by USD. They have fixed prices depending on your destination (e.g. $12 to get to Cabo San Lucas center, $19 to get to marina etc…) We also found out that we can sometimes bargain with the cab drivers. When they asked for $20, we’d counter offer $13 and they’d take $15 etc… YMMV.
You can also get rental cars but from our experience, you really don’t need a car.
In our experience: bring some pesos, bring lots of USD.
You can exchange money at local stores in the town. We found that the rates they offered there was actually better than what we got at Travelex. Also, most stores accept USD and even quotes prices in USD most of the time.
It is customary to tip about 10% at restaurants and $1 – $2 for the bands that play music at your table. You can also bargain when shopping (outside of malls).
THINGS TO DO
2) Local arts & crafts & Shopping
If you walk around the marina area, you’ll get to see some stores, huts, people, markets selling local arts & crafts. You can always bargain with the people selling the arts & crafts.
Cabo San Lucas has one of the most beautiful ocean scenery I’ve ever seen! Fishing of course is also one of the biggest tourist attraction for the area. We rented a boat with a captain & a skipper and went deep sea fishing for 8 hours. To go fishing, you’d want to leave at the latest at 8am in the morning.
Recommendation: Call Bernardo Mendia at 044(624)164 5061 and he’ll take good care of you. He works for EKO adventures Los Cabos (legit company). He is the guy in red shirt in the following picture…
With Bernardo’s help, we secured a boat with a captain and one other crew member for $500 (bait included) and spent a day fishing. It was our first time fishing and we caught mackerels and a large 150lb blue marlin!!!!
4) Sunset cruises, sailing & snorkeling, scuba diving etc…
We didn’t go on the sunset cruises but we heard it was another of the town’s tourist attractions.
If you go to the marina, you will see lots of “booths” offering discounts to these types of activities for “a few hours of your time”. They’re mostly timeshares – which we’d recommend you not do but if you’re genuinely interested in timeshares, then Cabo San Lucas marina is your heaven.
A couple of companies that offers these sailing, snorkeling, cruises that we saw when we were there:
- Ecocat Sunset Sailing – this is the same company that Bernardo works for.
- Tropicat Sailing – Catamaran with seating for about 90 passengers.
- and many more….
5) Visit Lover’s Arch & Pelican Beach
Most of the cruises will take you pass Lover’s Arch and Pelican Beach. It is only about a couple miles out in the ocean from the Marina.
For a closer look, most locals would recommend water taxis. We took the water taxi and paid ~USD$20 roundtrip for 2 people. From the marina, there will be plenty of folks offering ‘water taxis’. Just ask and they’ll point you to one as well. The water taxis usually take you up close to the Lover’s Arch and then if you desire, they’ll drop you off at one of the beaches Lover’s Arch beach, Pelican beach etc…
We had delicious surf & turf dinner at Maro’s Shrimp House. The price was also reasonable and the atmosphere was rather fun! You’ll know what I mean when you go there. We paid ~$16 for a meal with steak & lobsters! Also, don’t miss out on their specialty drink, the “Bull Dog”! We were given free dessert and an extra Bull Dog on the house at the end of our dinner!
OTHER USEFUL LINKS
We saw beautiful beaches, went boating in the ocean, had a relaxing time at the resort, caught some fish and a blue marlin, tasted delicious and reasonably priced food & drinks… what more can we ask for? It was the perfect 5D4N getaway for us! Let us know if you make it there!