Cabo San Lucas Overview
Beautiful dramatic landscapes, pale sand beaches, turquoise coves and quiet curves of coastline are just some of what is awaiting you in Los Cabos, where the sculpted scenery is just part of the lure. This former fishing village has become a celebrity hotspot offering the best of both worlds: A mixture of haute beachfront lodgings, gorgeous golf vistas, and a pulsating nightlife with trendy eateries; as well as, tidy shops, quaint cafes, serene beauty and a barefoot/beach-it vibe. Let the sun surround you while you figure out what to do first: A round of golf on pristine greens? Diving with whale sharks at Gordo Banks? Or lay down your towel and slather on the SPF 45? This paradise offers choices galore with 90 percent of the fun in simply soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying that get-away-from-it-all feeling.
Few destinations are as celebrated as Cabo San Lucas. This tiny stretch of land, located where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, is home to numerous world-class golf courses, top-notch spas, an underwater nature preserve, pristine beaches, sport fishing and chock-a-block shopping. Known for its California vibe meets Mexican charm, it’s one of the number one honeymoon destinations and home to dramatic vistas (think spectacular rock formations including its trademark, El Arco). It’s one of those “you can’t go wrong” destinations with just the right combination of natural wonder, local allure and modern luxury.
Getting Your Bearings
To understand the area, you first need to understand that Los Cabos (translated as “the capes”) refers to two different towns, so don’t book your hotel thinking you’re staying in one when you’re really staying in the other. There’s the flashy Cabos San Lucas on the west side that says, “Come hither,” with its haute-style beachfront lodgings, trendy eateries, gorgeous golf vistas and LA allure, and there’s San Jose del Cabo, a traditional Mexican village on the Eastern Cape, with its secret springs, solitary sands, miles of back country, artisan shops and laid-back vibe. At some point you’ll want to visit an area known as the Tourist Corridor located between the two Cabos which are only 20 miles apart. The scenery here includes multi-million dollar hotels, championship golf courses and exclusive gated communities, as well as stunning views of jewel-toned bays and sun-swept shores.
While each town has its own personality, they share more similarities than differences: stunning geography, vibrant flowering trees, local crafts and friendly locals. Not to mention that certain je ne sais quois that makes them both so enticing and seductive. No doubt it may take you several trips to discover all the area has to offer.
- Seeing humpback whales up close and personal
- Snorkeling or swimming through crystal bays and awe-inspiring rock formations
- Photographing El Arco from a boat
- The moon rising over the Sea of Cortez and setting in the Pacific
- Golf on a Jack Nicklaus designed course
- The world’s largest Marlin fishing tournament
- Shopping on the Boulevard Marina
- Devouring fish tacos
- Listening to music at Cabo Wabo, owned by former Van Halen member Sammy Hagar
- Indulging in a salt wrap
- Soaring over desert arroyos from zip-line tours offered by Cabo Adventures
Cabo San Lucas Fast Facts
Cabo San Lucas is located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula approximately 1,000 miles south of San Diego. You fly into San Jose del Cabo International Airport which is accessible by air from most major cities in the United States and Mexico. Nonstop flights are available from the West Coast and parts of the Southwest; most flights from the East Coast have at least one stop in Mexico City or Los Angeles and often involve a connecting flight, but this is ever-changing. Passport required.
It’s pretty perfect; the average year-round temperature is 78 degrees with an average water temperature of 72 degrees with rarely a rainy day. Its cooler months are December and January, and the hottest months are between August and September.
When to Go
Depends on what you're looking for. If you want to be in town for a festival like Semana Santa, which leads up to Easter and is celebrated with parades and passion plays, you'll need to go in March or April; Cinco de Mayo (May 5) commemorates the defeat of the French in 1862; Mexico's independence is celebrated in mid-September with fireworks and parties.
High season is traditionally mid-October to May. This is also the height of sport-fishing. Spring break is also a lively time of year. Whale watching season is from mid-December to mid-April.
A Brief History
Natural beauty is what brought people to Los Cabos thousands of years ago and what intrigues them today. Once inhabited by the Guaycura and Pericu tribes, it was also popular among pirates who used El Arco (The Arch) as a perch to target passing ships. In the mid-18th century, Jesuit priests built San Jose del Cabo as a mission. It was a quiet fishing village for many years until celebrities like John Wayne and Bing Crosby discovered it, making it an elite vacation destination.