If you want to visit a city in Mexico that has all the ingredients needed for an amazing vacation, Cabo San Lucas is the place to go. This resort city boasts incredible feats of nature, but also wonderful bars and restaurants. No matter if you’re looking for something extremely romantic, a way to enjoy luxury or an adventure you won’t soon forget, it’s all here! Honestly, this place is a must if you’re considering Mexico as your vacation destination. Just relax and let the city engulf you. You are going to have an amazing time!
Given that Cabo San Lucas is located on the very end of the Baja California peninsula, you should be able to guess what kind of weather to expect. In short – it gets pretty hot around here. It should be said, though, that the period from December to March is a good deal cooler than the rest of the year. This is why winter may be the best time to visit Cabo.
Do note that August and September are particularly rainy, and hurricanes have been known to hit the city during these months. Another thing to keep in mind is that summers are exceptionally hot, so maybe avoid this time of the year if you can’t handle it or don’t like heat.
As for the events and festivals, there is something to look forward to throughout the year. Just like in the rest of Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a big celebration and something very much worth seeing. Then there’s Gastrovino Baja Food & Wine Festival, a must for any foodie. San Jose Jazz Weekend Festival is ideal for music lovers, and days like New Year’s Eve always have a great party in store for you. You can’t go wrong!
Cabo San Lucas has just over 200,000 people. However, the metropolitan area (often referred to as Los Cabos) includes San Jose del Cabo, so the population then swells to over 350,000. And since the two cities are only about 30 kilometers apart, do consider visiting them both.
The word “Cabo” in Spanish means “Cape”, which is fitting, given the city’s location. Archaeological evidence suggests that people have been living here for more than 10,000 years!
One of the main sights in the city is El Arco, a fascinating stone arch that fittingly marks the merger of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. But the arch also holds a secret. Very rarely, when the tide changes, a beach emerges and you can actually walk under El Arco!
Almost 70% of the population are Americans. This is because many retired people from the States come to Cabo San Lucas to settle down. You will hear English pretty much everywhere around you.
You are about to get a taste of Baja California’s crown jewel. One day in Cabo San Lucas is an opportunity no traveler should waste, so a good itinerary is a must. Check out all the best things to see and do here, and you will have yourself a day you won’t soon forget. Let’s go!
Your one day in Cabo San Lucas should be all about relaxation and enjoyment, so start it off nice and easy with a nice breakfast and some coffee. This will allow you to roam the city’s bright streets a bit and get a sense of its great vibe.
And there are a bunch of great breakfast places here, too! Casasola Cafe & Brunch is ideal for an early meal, but Mama’s Royal Cafe is also very good and has plenty of items on the menu. Jarro has some excellent breakfast burritos at affordable prices, and La Casa Country allows you to enjoy a view of the marina.
Whichever place you choose, it will be a great start to your day!
After you’ve had your nice breakfast and are ready for some serious R&R, head to the famous Medano Beach. And prepare to be wowed when you get there. Beautiful sand, turquoise waters, and plenty of activities to enjoy – parasailing, for example, and you can rent jet skis, too.
It should be noted that Medano Beach is one of the safest beaches in Cabo San Lucas. Many other beaches have strong currents which make swimming pretty much impossible. Also, if you move away from the bars on the end of the beach closer to the city, you will notice that things gradually get quieter and quieter.
When it comes to lunch, I usually like to recommend a few places that are worthy of your time, but this time I’ll make an exception because El Huerto Farm to Table is an amazing place and fits right into this itinerary.
Now, El Huerto is a big piece of land very close to the Marina, surrounded by incredible landscapes and gardens, so your experience is bound to be exquisite. Various fruit trees and all kinds of vegetables are harvested on site to be used in the dishes you will be served. Of course, dishes change depending on the season and what is available on the farm.
This is farm-to-table in its truest sense, and the food’s taste will blow you away. Come and visit, it will be well worth it!
If you have the time before the next thing on this itinerary, take a stroll and enjoy Cabo San Lucas’ city center. It is full of interesting things to see, especially sacral architecture best represented by churches like Iglesia de San Lucas.
There are also huge shopping plazas where you can shop or just sit down and have a moment to yourself. Not to mention the fact that you should be able to find some nice souvenirs both here and as you walk the city streets.
Lovers Beach is one of the best beaches around and at the top of the list of things you have to see here. Not only that, but it is best to visit it in the late afternoon when it is at its most tranquil. A water taxi will get you there in a jiffy.
This beautiful sandy beach is nestled between imposing cliffs, which makes the whole experience that much more awesome. You can swim, you can snorkel, and generally have a great time here, and the more adventurous visitors come here in a kayak. Easily organize your kayaking and snorkeling experience here.
And let’s not forget that El Arco, one of the symbols and best sights of Cabo San Lucas, is just a couple of hundred meters away! You can even book a kayaking tour to go and see it, but a water taxi ride from the city center can also do it. Take your time and take all the sights in. It’s an amazing beach surrounded by a stunning setting.
Go for an Art Walk
If you’re in luck and it’s a Thursday in the first half of the year, you will be able to treat yourself to an Art Walk. It is a free event where you can enter any one of the city’s numerous galleries and take a look around.
Not only that, but various events are also organized, and these range from various interesting lectures to wine tasting or even meeting the local artists. It’s relaxed, but just artsy enough to change the tone of the day and offer something new.
Oh, and the cars are not allowed on the streets during this time (Art Walks last till 9 PM), so you will get to explore the city center quite a bit.
Sunsets in Cabo San Lucas are something very magical indeed. In fact, it’s very much worth it to make time for them in your itinerary. You can just sit on the beach and enjoy the view, or go for an unforgettable dinner in Sunset Mona Lisa – a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the ocean.
You also have the option of going on a sunset cruise! These often take you to El Arco and allow you to enjoy the sun dipping behind the horizon with a glass of sparkling wine in hand. It’s an incredibly romantic way to bring the day and a perfect thing for couples who want something special from their Cabo San Lucas trip.
To wrap things up on your one day in Cabo San Lucas, you should hit the bars and/or go clubbing. However, keep in mind that San Jose del Cabo is very close by and can be a wonderful evening venue because the city looks absolutely lovely once the sun sets.
As for the places you can visit, Happy Ending Cantina is a very easy-going place where beer pong is often played. The Jungle Bar is another good place to sit down for a drink, and El Squid Roe is one of the best nightclubs around, although La Vaquita is also a very good choice.
Should you feel the need to have a bite before all of this, there are plenty of good restaurants around. Los Tres Gallos serves great Mexican food, Captain Tony’s is a top-notch seafood place, and The Office on the Beach makes fantastic grilled meat. No matter what you choose, though, you’re in for an amazing evening!
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos
Polígono 1, Fracción D, Fraccionamiento Diamante, 23473 Cabo San Lucas
If you want a top-tier hotel experience in Cabo San Lucas, pick Nobu Hotel Los Cabos. It deserves every single one of its five stars. The hotel looks simply amazing thanks to its modern architecture, and the rooms are spacious and extremely comfortable. The outdoor pools offer plenty of shade, with three different pools to choose from. You will also enjoy a wonderful breakfast here and be blown away by the quality of service. Do not miss out!
Marina View Villas
Avenida Cabo San Lucas y Aquilles Serdan, 23410 Cabo San Lucas
Another beautiful place to stay in Cabo San Lucas is Marine View Villas. As the name suggests, this accommodation is right next to the marina where you can find many different restaurants. However, the property also comes with an outdoor pool, plus guests can expect free toiletries. While close to the city center, the place is very quiet, and a shuttle service can also be arranged. There are also plenty of activities you can take up, so booking a stay here certainly is a great move to make.
Cabo Vista Hotel
Av.Cabo San Lucas/Revolucion 1910.Centro, 23450 Cabo San Lucas
There is plenty to enjoy in Cabo Vista Hotel. A colorful interior, an outdoor pool, and a wonderful garden are just some of the things you can expect here. On top of that, all around the hotel, there are excellent bars and restaurants, but it has to be noted that the hotel’s restaurant is very good, too. Each suite comes with a fridge, which can be very handy given the temperatures here, and the prices are more than fair. A great deal if you’re not looking for a five-star luxury stay.
Sofia Hostel Cabo
Calle 5 de mayo entre calle vicente guerrero y calle Hidalgo, 23450 Cabo San Lucas
For backpackers and those looking for this kind of accommodation, Sofia Hostel Cabo is the best hostel around. It has a colorful and inviting interior, a garden, and even a shuttle service from the airport. The breakfast they serve here regularly receives high praise, which only adds to the already immense value you get when staying here because the price is more than fair. On top of all that, the beach is fairly close! This is a great hostel, no matter how you slice it.
Spending more than one day in Cabo San Lucas will be quite difficult to resist. And if you do decide to extend your stay or book a longer visit, you will want to consider a day trip or two. There are some incredible adventures and experiences to choose from, but the following few stand out a bit from the rest.
The period between December and April is the whale-watching season in Cabo San Lucas, so if you visit during that period, this will be a day trip to remember. You can get incredibly close to these magnificent creatures because many species of whales come here for the winter. The chances that you will see them in action are very high, so if you’re an animal lover you do not want to miss out on this.
San Jose del Cabo
As mentioned earlier, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are closely linked and not too far apart. Therefore, you can always head for your day trip to the other one of the Cabos. Busses operate regularly between the two cities, and San Jose boasts wonderful architecture and a vibrant art scene. Plenty of art galleries and a rich heritage make for a wonderful trip, and the restaurants serve excellent Mexican dishes.
Cabo Pulmo National Park
Approximately two hours by car from Cabo San Lucas is Cabo Pulmo National Park. And these two hours will turn out to be an incredibly good investment because in this magical place you can snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, and see sea lions from up close. On top of that, the seafood you can enjoy is spectacular, too. This will be an adventure in every sense of the word and a day trip to remember.
The city of La Paz is a much less touristy spot than Cabo San Lucas, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. A wonderful promenade with cafes and restaurants is a great place from which to start your visit. However, the main attraction here is the fact that you can go snorkeling with whale sharks! Add to that a visit to Balandra Beach, and you will get a day trip full of amazing moments.
- Expect heat and sun! Therefore, having some water with you at all times and some sunscreen is very much recommended.
- You CANNOT swim on most of the beaches in Cabo! This is due to the strong currents there. Stick to Medano Beach or Lovers Beach if you want to enjoy a safe dip.
- Before you step out of the Cabo San Lucas airport, you may encounter a fairly loud group of people. They are trying to sell you timeshares but will pretend to try and help you get transport. The real transport is always outside of the airport.
- When it comes to water, you should avoid drinking it from the tap. Bottled water is easily accessible and fairly cheap.
- Both USD and Mexican Pesos are accepted in the city.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.