Frequently Asked Questions About the Los Cabos Area
The following is a list of questions frequently asked about the Los Cabos area. Los
Cabos designates the 2 towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo on the tip of
Baja peninsula separated by the 20 mile "corridor" (the last part of the Baja Mexico
transpeninsular highway). The combined population of the area is less than 25,000,
leaving tremendous amounts of free spaces on the abundant tropical beaches.
What is Los Cabos?
Cabo San Lucas has become a world-class destination resort area with superb sportfishing, PGA quality golfing and year round water sports. Cabo has grown tremendously over the last 30 years when it was a sleepy fishing village hide away known only by the adventurous, rich and famous. Some now call it "Palm Springs on the Ocean". Cabo San Lucas was first discovered by Spanish explorers in 1542 and was a pirates' safe harbor through the mid 1800's. In the early 19th century, an American company founded a tuna cannery in Cabo San Lucas due to the abundance of tuna in the area. Up until the completion of the Transpeninsular Highway (Mexican 1) in 1973 and official statehood of Baja California Sur in 1974, Cabo remained a sleepy fishing village. Since then, Cabo San Lucas has slowly grown into an exotic destination that has been called "Mexico's Best Kept Secret" and offers perhaps the most unique environment "where the beach meets the desert". Cabo San Lucas is now the fastest growing resort destination area in all of Mexico.
San Jose del Cabo is a quiet Mexican village with plentiful shopping and a location on a fresh water estuary on the Rio San Jose. This estuary was the first site of a Spanish Mission in the very early Spanish colonial days and San Jose served as a watering station for treasure laden galleons returning to Spain from the Phillippines. San Jose has more charm and better restaurants than Cabo with considerably less of the bustle.
Thus the Los Cabos area provides a delightful contrast in vacation styles.
Where is Los Cabos?
Los Cabos is located in the State of Baja California Sur (south), a 900-mile long
Peninsula, at the tip of the Baja where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, to
the west of the Mexican mainland. Cabo is approximately 1,100 miles south of Los
Angeles, California, and is at "lands end" or end of the road, Mexican 1 Highway. It is
the furthest point south in Baja California, 10 degrees below the Tropic of Cancer and
is at a latitude 22 55' 44". San Lucas is the largest of several cities in the municipality
of Los Cabos (the Capes), which includes the city of San Jose del Cabo. San Lucas is
approximately 20 miles south of the Los Cabos International Airport (located just
outside of San Jose), which receives flights from all over the world.
What is the weather like in Los Cabos?
The average year-round temperature is 78F. (26C.). During the high tourist season, October to April, the temperature is typically 80F. (27C.) during the day and cools to the 60's at night. In the low season, May to September, the temperature is up to 20F. warmer. The average year-round water temperature in the Sea of Cortez is 75F (24C). The climate is arid with over 300 days of sunshine, some reports over 350 days. Average annual rainfall is 5-10 inches (12.7-25.4cm), most occurring during the month of September. Some have called Cabo the "Land of Little Rain", and it is desert-like with low humidity in the months outside of August and September. Despite the desert climate, there is sufficient moisture to support a wide variety of plants and the area's hills, plains and mountains are covered in flowering shrubs, cacti, yucca, palms, creosote bush and mesquite. In general, Los Cabos is sunny and mild year-round.
Los Cabos is predominately located facing the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). The
Sea of Cortez is calmer and warmer than the Pacific on the west side of the Baja
Peninsula and contributes to the very favorable climate in the area. The water
temperature in January, for example, runs a very comfortable 78-80 degrees F.
How do you get to Los Cabos?
Cabo San Lucas is accessible by air from most major cities in the United States and
Mexico by Aeromexico, Aero California, Alaska Airlines, America West, Continental,
Mexicana, American, Delta, United Airlines, and various other charter flights or private
aircraft flying to the Los Cabos International Airport. From Los Angeles, the flying time
is approximately 2 hours. Cabo is accessible by sea via Carnival Cruises from Los
Angeles and other major cruise lines. By land, Cabo is accessible via Highway 1,
which runs the entire length of Baja California from the US border. There is Greyhound
Bus service from Los Angeles to Tijuana via San Diego and then by Autotransportes
Aguila & Tres Estrellas de Oro from Tijuana to La Paz and then on to Cabo San Lucas
or by various other tour bus operators. From Tijuana, the drive is long (25 hours by car
& 30+ hours by bus) and the roads are narrow, so be careful and watch out for the
What is there to do in Los Cabos?
The area is a very unique resort area with a diverse range of activities for every age. The first rule is to be adventurous. Los Cabos offers everything from water sports to desert safaris. Fishing has long been a "world-class" event in Cabo, however golf and shopping provide strong competition for top spot. Maybe you prefer hiking the Sierra La Laguna trails, or enjoying a Balloon ride, horseback riding on Playa El Medano or Costa Azul beaches, JetSki to El Arco, or Scuba Dive off Playa del Amore, or taking a glass bottom boat ride to view exotic tropical fish, a bungy jump, a game of volleyball on the beach, or just sitting in the shade with a tall cool one observing your own bikini contest.
Both San Jose and Cabo San Lucas have excellent fishing charters, and the marina at San Lucas is home to one of the world's largest marlin fleets. Fishing year-round is exemplary for everything from tuna, wahoo, roosterfish and mahi-mahi to giant blue and black Marlin. There are four golf courses in the area (two Jack Nicklaus and one Robert Trent Jones) with more under construction. Of course, the beach sports, snorkeling, swimming, diving or just plain relaxing are the finest anywhere with the turquoise-blue tropical waters.
Los Cabos is located in an area frequented by whales in the January through May time
frame, so if you can make it then you are assured of seeing them in the local waters.
There are many organized whale-watching activities and boat trips available.
How do I get from the airport and around in Cabo?
Cabo San Lucas has taxis, vans, buses and rental cars & jeeps to get to and from the
airport or around to see the many sights, activities, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, golf
courses, fishing, shopping or to the beach. If you stay in San Jose or San Lucas, it is
within walking distance to many restaurants, good shopping, fishing and nightlife.
Many hotels have a shuttle bus or van, so check with your hotel. If you like to get
around and see lots of things and want the freedom to go at anytime, it's best to rent a
car, and the weekly rates for the major car companies at the airport are very
reasonable. The Mexicans drive on the right, too.
Can I use US dollars or should I convert dollars to Pesos?
US dollars are gladly accepted or you can convert your dollars to Mexican Pesos at
one of the many banks in the area or at the "Cambios", or money-change booths
located everywhere. Credit cards and travelers checks are also regularly accepted in
most shops, restaurants and hotels. If you need to get some additional cash, there are
ATM machines in most banks at which you can get Pesos and your card company will
automatically debit your account in dollars at the most favorable rate.
What language is spoken in Los Cabos?
In Los Cabos, as in the rest of Mexico, the native language is Spanish. However, Los
Cabos is a resort area, and most people in the hotels, restaurants and shops speak
English. You can do entirely well here without knowing Spanish, but it is surprising
how quickly you will pick up enough words and phrases to function very well here.
Do I need a passport to visit Los Cabo?
Mexican Law requires all foreigners to carry a passport or two other forms of
identification proving citizenship (birth certificate, voters registration card or drivers
license). Visitors will receive Tourist Cards on the airline and these are good for the
duration of your trip and replace visa requirements. Always remember to bring your
passport or other proof-of-citizenship with you to the airport or you will not be allowed
What type of food is served in Los Cabos?
Los Cabos offers foods for almost every taste or budget, from tacos at a humble taco
stand to lobster, steak or pasta at a five-star hotel restaurant. Or if you wish, you may
go to the mercado (market) and select what you wish to prepare at your rental condo or
villa. There are several markets and products are a mix of Mexican and American. For
you fishermen (and women) many restaurants will prepare your catch to your
preference with trimmings for a modest fee. The regional foods are more of northern
Mexico, with meat and dairy foods more highly favored, however in most restaurants
seafood is most common.
Is there shopping in Los Cabos?
Both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose have many stores & shops offering a full range of
shopping from Mexican handicrafts to fine artwork to furniture & clothing for every style
and budget. Cabo is filled with small shops and centers that will fill many days for those
looking for a unique item or a simple T-shirt. If you just want to park yourself on the
beach, you may even have the venders come to you selling many different Mexican
Where can I play golf?
Cabo San Lucas is becoming a golfing paradise for both amateurs and professionals.
Cabo has several world-class golf courses including the Cabo San Lucas Country
Club, the two PGA quality courses designed by Jack Nicholas at Cabo del Sol &
Palmilla Resort, and the Cabo Real course at the Melia Cabo Real Hotel. The Jack
Nicholas designed courses (his first in Latin America) are said to have two (#17 & #18)
of the best finishing holes in the world. Golf is the new growth industry in Cabo and is
attracting players from all over the world.
Where can I go fishing?
Los Cabos is called the undisputed "Capital of the World" for sailfish and marlin. It is reported that over 50,000 billfish (marlin, sailfish & swordfish) are hooked up each year in the waters around Cabo, more than anyplace else in the world. The Sea of Cortez contains over 800 identified varieties of fish and an estimated 3,000 total species. Approximately 90% of Baja fish are found near the shores of Los Cabos and adjacent islands. This wealth of sealife makes these waters some of the richest in the world. The sportfishing is excellent for billfish corvinas & croakers, dorado, mackerel & tuna, jack, bass, flatfish, snapper, sharks, rays & squid, and shell fish.
You may cruise the marina and select from many sportfishing crews, visit La Playita in
San Jose for panga (open 20 foot and larger boats) fishing or make arrangements at
hotel and other locations for various fishing packages. A must-see is a visit to the west
end of the marina in the afternoon to view the catches of the day as they are weighed in. Cabo is host to many international fishing tournaments, including the
Bisbees' International Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, promoted to be the largest in
the world and held annually in October.
Where can we play tennis?
Cabo San Lucas has several tennis clubs located at various hotels and residential
developments, including the Pedregal, Palmilla and Villa del Palmar properties. In
addition, many condos have private tennis facilities for guests. Inquire with your hotel
or travel agent to determine if your accommodations offer includes tennis facilities.
Where are the best beaches?
Los Cabos has many of the worlds most beautiful beaches both along the corridor
(area between San Jose del Cabo & Cabo San Lucas) as well as in and around both
cities themselves. Each has a different character, quality, services available and surf
conditions for various water sports. If you seek to find a beach where you can walk for
miles without seeing anyone, take a drive along the Pacific shore.
Where can I go diving?
Los Cabos offers a whole world of underwater treasures for scuba divers and snorkelers alike. There are several locations for excellent diving and many diving specialists for equipment and/or tours. The variety and numbers of beautiful tropical fish that are within feet of the beach are breathtaking, and no trip can be complete without experiencing them up close. If you are not a diver but would like to see what's under the water, take the glass bottom boat ride.
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