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  • Writer's pictureTara

Ultimate Cabo Guide

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Once just a fishing village at the very tip of Baja California, Cabo has blossomed into one of the world's most famous vacation destinations. Celeb sightings, grand resorts, delicious dining, and parties are all part of Cabo's charm. And for those with a rental car, it's easy to escape the tourist zone and surf secluded beaches, shop in quaint art towns, and visit nature's most pristine deserts and jagged mountains.

There is a level of comfort, familiarity, and history that my family feels when we are in Cabo. My love for Mexico was instilled by my grandmother. When families were traveling to Hawaii for spring or summer break, our grandma took us to Baja. We enjoyed the beachfront properties so much that she decided to buy a condo 30 years ago and now we get to call it our second home. We go once, twice, three times a year. I’m embarrassed to say that we don’t speak Spanish, but luckily you don’t need to in Cabo.


Throughout the years we’ve dined in numerous restaurants, visited neighboring hotels and have experienced Cabo’s activities and nightlife.


Below is my comprehensive guide to Cabo. . .


GETTING THERE:

When traveling to Cabo, you'll fly into San Jose del Cabo. Flights are rather affordable if booked 2-3 months in advance.


Cabo’s areas . . .


San Jose del Cabo (further North). If you are in San Jose - it takes 30 minutes from the airport. Traveling to downtown Cabo can easily take 45 minutes depending on your location. San Jose has grown considerably throughout the years and has become its own hotspot.

The Corridor (mid section). Our condo is located along the corridor - usually takes 30 - 45 minutes from the airport. It takes 25 - 30 minutes to drive to San Jose or downtown Cabo. I like the corridor because it’s smack dab in between the more popular areas, which means it tends to be quiet.


Medano Beach (downtown) and Land's End. 45 minutes to an hour from the airport. This is where the action happens, it is what Cabo is known for, the Arch, the beach parties, the tiny town of activities. Once you are in downtown Cabo - you rarely go to San Jose or the Corridor.


GROCERIES:

  1. California Market for grocery shopping. There is a Walmart, Costco, and multiple La Comer to buy groceries for your rental or hotel room.


FAVORITES:


HOTELS $$$

  1. One & Only Palmilla - San Jose / Corridor - Top notch customer service surrounded by beautiful Mexican charm.

  2. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso - Corridor - A favorite for celebrities.

  3. Waldorf Astoria Pedregal - Land’s End - Named Mexico’s #1 resort. Nestled between the cliffside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

HOTELS $

*Budget friendly hotels tend to be all inclusive.

  1. JW Marriott or Krystal Grand - San Jose - I haven’t been to all inclusive locations in San Jose, but these are newer and recommended.

  2. Casa Del Mar - Corridor - Now known as Zoetry owned by Hyatt. This hotel is peaceful and quaint and offers all inclusive fees.

  3. Grand Solmar - Land’s End - Has become more popular throughout the years, great for friends or family. 20 minute walk to downtown and also offers all inclusive fees.


RESTAURANTS $$$

  1. Arbol at Las Ventanas - Corridor - Truly spectacular, beautiful views, fantastic service, delicious food.

  2. Ediths near Medano Beach - Cabo - If you go, I highly recommend the caesar salad, filet mignon, Mexican coffee and plantain dessert. My favorite restaurant in Cabo.

  3. El Farallon at Pedregal - Land’s End - Built into a cliff, enjoy an ocean to table menu and champagne terrace.

RESTAURANTS $

  1. Mi Casa - San Jose and Downtown Cabo - Fun and festive for families. Mariachi bands, entertainment, and shopping onsite.

  2. El Huerto - Cabo - A beautiful farm to table restaurant. My fave brunch spot. Locals and tourists love this restaurant.

  3. La Pintada - Cabo - Affordable alternative from Edith’s line of restaurants.


Let's DIVE IN per AREA . . .



SAN JOSE DEL CABO:

RESORTS:

  1. Zadun a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Is a true oasis of relaxation and wellness and has a beautiful spa.

  2. Viceroy - known for restaurant Mar Adentro Cabos Nido (nest)

  3. Four Seasons Resort at Costa Palmas is an eco-friendly resort. The 5 restaurants on property will use ingredients sourced from their 18-acre property.

  4. Montage has remarkable walk-in access to snorkeling and diving at Santa Maria Bay.


FUN THING TO DO in SAN JOSE:

  1. Thursday evening Art Walk is a highlight of any visit to San José del Cabo, running weekly from 5 to 9 p.m. during high tourist season (November through June). Wander the area's beautiful cobblestone streets and interact with some of the top artists and gallery owners in Baja California Sur. Purchase some souvenirs or enjoy the event for free.

  2. Baja Ranch Tour and Camel Rides.

  3. Fishing - I would recommend arranging via concierge at your hotel.

  4. Baja Brewing and Jardin Secreto for food, live music and dancing.

RESTAURANTS:

  1. Acre - an award winning bar and restaurant tucked into a lush sanctuary with tree-houses nestled in the palms. Mezcal tasting onsite.

  2. Flora Farms - one of the first farm-to-table restaurants and venues in Cabo. Recommended for brunch.

  3. Tamarindos - another farm to table restaurant off the beaten path. They have accommodations too - bungalows lining the farm fields.

  4. Semillon, Puerto Raiz - farm to table is all the rage in Cabo!

  5. Tropicana opened in 1985 & is located in downtown San Jose. It has become my family's go to lunch spot after we land in Cabo en-route to our home.



CORRIDOR:

RESORTS:

Every year there seems to be a new beach front hotel that pops up along the Corridor.

From all-inclusive to 5 star resorts - there are plenty of options to choose from.

  1. Zoetry Casa Del Mar Golf & Spa Resort - a quiet escape that's a home away from home for my family. Zoetry offers all inclusive fees.

  2. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso is a Rosewood Resort and also ranked one of the Top 5 hotels in Cabo.

  3. One & Only Palmilla is situated at the edge of the Baja Peninsula, where golden desert sands meet breathtaking turquoise waters.

  4. Esperanza - the only private beach resort in Cabo.

  5. The Cape, a modern hotel with Cabo arch views.

  6. Solaz - beautiful but has been frequently under construction, ask when you book.

  7. Garza Blanca - an all inclusive option.

  8. Dreams - an all inclusive option.

  9. Marquis - an all inclusive option.

  10. Hilton - I'm not a fan, but an option none-the-less. Good for families.


FUN THING TO DO ALONG THE CORRIDOR:

  1. Watch the art of glass blowing and purchase beautiful glassware for your home or artifacts at the Glass Factory, next to Casa Bonita for home shopping.

  2. ATV rides and more - Canyon Bridge - ride on the longest wooden suspension bridge in the world.

RESTAURANTS:

  1. One & Only Palmilla is, in my opinion, the finest resort in Cabo. It is ranked Top 5 in all of Mexico. Any Restaurant from Aqua to Breeze to Seared - they all offer unparalleled dining.

  2. Arbol at Las Ventanas al Paraiso is a dining destination and is a feast for the senses.

  3. Manta - chef Enrique Olvera may be the biggest name in Mexican cuisine, which means that his new coastal restaurant at the Cape Hotel is a must-hit for any foodie. The cape rooftop bar is also great for a sunset cocktail before dinner.

  4. Sunset Mona Lisa - with stunning views and a Michelin Star trained chef - it's one of the most delicious restaurants in Los Cabos.

  5. Rosa Negra - if you like entertainment with dinner this is the place for you.

  6. Craving Chinese - Chins is a great option to if you're in Cabo for a while and want to steer away from Mexican food. It's affordable and casual and located in the One & Only Palmilla marketplace.



LOS CABOS DOWNTOWN:

RESORTS:

  1. Medano Beach has loads of all-inclusive resorts - ME, Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa Los Cabos , Riu Palace, Bahia, and many more depending on your taste and budget.

    1. If you’re looking for a party - I’d stay at ME.

    2. If you want a nice all inclusive for a Bachelorette or Bachelor party - Riu Palace.

  2. 1 Hotel & Homes - on Medano Beach.


FUN THINGS TO DO:

The activities are endless: jet-skiing, banana-boating, parasailing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, diving and horseback riding can all be found just by walking down Medano Beach.

  1. Charter a boat taxi from Medano beach to Lovers Beach or Divorce Beach, conveniently located on the opposite side.

  2. From Marlin Fishing, Booze Cruises, ATV rides, Catamaran Sailing, Camel Riding - a highly reputable activity vendor to use is Cabo Adventures.

  3. Luxury Yachts, Whale Watching, Swimming with Whale Sharks in La Paz - Viator Tours can meet all your oceanic activity needs.

  4. A Day Trip to Todos Santos.

  5. For one of the most unique shopping experiences - you must stop at La Coyota, owned by the Cabo founder Edith Jimenez of Ediths, the Office etc. We spent hours exploring this house converted into a store where every room is organized by theme.

  6. Boat Day - reach out to Ruben Lopez for boat rentals +52 624 119 0867. I would rather have a private boat than join a party boat or sunset cruise. Ruben can help you select a size that works with your budget.

RESTAURANTS:

  1. Edith's is my favorite restaurant in all of Cabo. From the atmosphere, food, music and service - it's hard to beat.

  2. Edith's owner also has The Office, a hot spot on Medano Beach, perfect for lunch and people watching. Tres Sirenas and La Pintada.

  3. El Huerto - a beautiful farm to table restaurant. My fave brunch spot. Locals and tourists love this restaurant.

  4. Hacienda Cocina y Cantina celebrates Mexican cuisine by focusing on the traditional dishes from the Sea of Cortez.

  5. Nicksan is a sushi hotspot. There is one located in the shopping mall of The One & Only Palmilla and downtown Cabo.

  6. Mi Casa decorated with traditional decor, has live music and serves authentic Mexican cuisine - it is a great spot for a casual dinner in town before dancing.

  7. Maria Jimenez for affordable and authentic Mexican cuisine, also owned by the founder of Ediths, Edith Jimenez.

  8. Los Tres Gallos - haven't gone yet, but it's on my list!

  9. Funky Geisha at ME hotel - take off your sandals and enjoy dinner on the beach with live drumming and entertainment.

  10. A local hotspot for delicious tacos - Gardenias.


BARS & CLUBS:

  1. What happens in Cabo stays in Cabo after a night out at El Squid Roe. Spring Breakers flock to Cabo to let loose and party hard in Cabo's infamous clubs. I would suggest ending your night at the Roe and start at Nowhere Bar.

  2. ME Beach Club

  3. Mango Deck Beach Party

  4. Cabo Wabo is known for live music, tequila and Sammy Hagar.



LAND'S END:

RESORTS:

  1. Playa Grande - a family friendly hotel. An all inclusive option.

  2. The Grand Solmar at Land's End is an affordable escape tucked away in the rocks and overlooking the crashing waves of the Pacific ocean. All-inclusive fees are available.

  3. Resort at Pedregal and home to one of the best restaurants in Cabo, El Farallon Restaurant at Land's End - tucked into the cliffs overlooking the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Also ranked one of the Top 5 hotels.

  4. Nobu Hotel located at Land's End - Japanese-inspired design that incorporates the beachfront Cabo San Lucas setting


Until next time, Adios!


Note: Photos taken by Marc Scarioni - follow him on Instagram for more beautiful pictures.




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