As a SoCal resident and travel agent, I was surprised to find how little I actually knew about Los Cabos before my visit last month. I had always been told that Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, and San Jose del Cabo were “the same place.” When, in fact, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo(the municipal seat) are the two towns that make up Los Cabos, the municipality located on the southern tip of Baja California.
Not only was I given a quick geography lesson while on my trip, but I also found out that each town is completely different than the other. Cabo del Sol, for instance, is a quiet town with a lot of history. Nicknamed “Old Town,” San Jose del Cabo houses the airport and the Mission of San Jose del Cabo Anuiti. If you want a break from the party scene in Cabo San Lucas, this is the place to go. You’ll find tons of shops and excellent golf courses. Plus, unlike Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find plenty of swimmable beaches. While Cabo San Lucas has plenty of bars to attract partiers, it also has a number of top quality golf courses and the fishing town is filled with great restaurants to try. It’s also where you’ll find the marina where you would catch your boat tour to The Arch, a famous natural formation that many of the local resorts offer excellent views of.
If you’re planning to take a trip to either of the towns, here’s a list of places to stay.
San Jose del Cabo:
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos(loscabos.ziva.hyatt.com): This resort is all-inclusive(which means it includes all meals, drinks, and some activities) and an absolute blast for families with areas for both kids and adults. There are 12 restaurants, bars, and lounges and since it’s all-inclusive you can go nuts!
One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos(oneandonlyresorts.com/one-and-only-palmilla-los-cabos) While you might not be able to afford the $17,000 a night suite Jennifer Aniston stays at when she visits, there’s definitely a room for you at this luxurious celebrity hotspot. Each room is gorgeous and the resort is located on one of the very few swimmable beaches in Los Cabos.
Las Ventanas Al Paraiso(rosewoodhotels.com/en/las-ventanas-los-cabos): Translating to “windows to paradise” Las Ventanas Al Paraiso lives up to its name. The staff is amazing and anytime you pass someone who works there, they will place their hand over their heart and greet you(a tradition that many other resorts try to keep up). I left the resort with a beautiful red glass heart also known as a “miracle.” Glass hearts got their nickname because people use to give them to others as a gift so that they could get a miracle. Once their miracle came, the new owner would pass it along to someone else. You’ll see a lot of trees ornamented with them at most of the resorts in Los Cabos.
Cabo San Lucas:
The Cape(thompsonhotels.com/hotels/The-Cape-Los-Cabos): If you’re looking for a more quiet, relaxed vacation, this is the place to go. Boasting the best view of The Arch(I could see the formation from my room!) and the only rooftop bar in town, The Cape is a great hotel for couples wanting some alone time. The infinity pool with a swim-up bar is a must!
The Resort at Pedregal(theresortatpedregal.com): Before you even enter The Resort at Pedregal, you know the resort is special. Why? Well for one, it’s carved into a cliff. You have to enter through a 900-foot torch-lit tunnel entrance to get to the beautiful resort which is located on 24 mountainside and oceanside acres. If you want luxury, then look no further. The Resort at Pedregal’s spa was voted number one in the world by Conde Nast!
Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa(grandfiestamericana.com): Not only is this resort all-inclusive, but it’s the home of the only spa that uses the benefits of wine in its treatments and one of the top ten golf courses in the world. My favorite part of my visit was the Mexican coffee I ordered. It’s similar to an Irish coffee and if you know what that is then you know it’s fire(pun intended)!
-The list of things to do in Los Cabos includes relaxing activities like whale watching, and going on a glass bottom boat tour(which I highly recommend) and more adventurous activities like zip-lining and tequila tasting. Other pastimes include a visit and demonstration at a glass blowing factory
-Because Los Cabos is basically a desert on the ocean, the weather is subtropical meaning it’s usually hot and dry.
-You’ll find some of the best seafood in Los Cabos because of its abundance of fish and fishermen.
-HBS Tip:Though there’s plenty of beaches to go around, most of it is not swimmable due to rough waves and rocks. Make sure to ask the locals if the water is safe to swim in.
–HBS Tip: When trying to exit the airport, you’ll be bombarded with timeshare employees. They might try to convince you that they’re your transfer to your hotel, but don’t fall for it. All of the legit transfer services will wait for you outside of the airport with a sign with your name.