Our Los Cabos Hit List: 8 Must Do's for the Perfect Trip South of the Border!!
We cannot believe that less than a week ago we were sitting poolside with chips, guac + never ending margaritas, but sharing our guide to the perfect Los Cabos trip makes it feel like paradise isn’t so far away!! We had the best long weekend exploring Cabo + doing lots of planning for L’s wedding in February! Cabo is a super quick trip from most places in the US + is easy to get a taste of in just a few days. So many people know it just for the parties + while we love that side of it, it has SO much more to offer than the average tourist takes in. Below are our top recommendations for planning the perfect vacation!! (As a reminder, we write travel guides for every location that we visit. You can find all of our other guides HERE.)
Know Before You Go:
Los Cabos actually refers to two towns - San Jose Del Cabo + Cabo San Lucas - that are about 30 minutes apart from one another. Both are beautiful + offer plenty to do. San Jose is a little more upscale + clean with more local/authentic spots. San Lucas is more touristy and boasts major Spring Break vibes year round. We love both towns + no visit to Los Cabos is complete without exploring both.
Pre-book an airport shuttle. Uber is a new addition to Los Cabos + what we would recommend using to get around between restaurants, bars + beaches. However, the local government strictly regulates Uber + as of now, prohibits them from picking up at airports. We would recommend pre-booking a shuttle to + from the airport. Many hotels offer this service, but if yours doesn’t, there are plenty of private companies to book through. We have used Impala + had seamless experiences. You can book either a private shuttle for a group or book a spot on a group shuttle if you are traveling solo. Bonus - bottomless cervezas (+bottled water) are included.
Beware of the timeshare sales pitches. The second you clear customs at the airport, you are greeted with an army of salespeople. All of them look very official + in uniform for either a hotel, tour service, etc. They will offer to book activities, transportation, etc, but all with the end goal to sell a timeshare. They aren’t dangerous or sketchy by any means, but if you aren’t in the market for a timeshare or sales pitch, it is best to ignore them + proceed to the exit. Honestly, don’t talk to anyone until you clear the exit doors.
All inclusive may not be worth it. Before booking your trip, really think through whether or not all inclusive makes sense for you. There are SO many out of this world restaurants + bars throughout Los Cabos +, in our opinion, it would be a huge miss to not explore as many as you could, thus decreasing the value of an all inclusive package. Many hotels offer the ability to add on individual days of all inclusive packages upon arrival. For a first time trip, we would recommend against booking an all inclusive package for the entirety of the stay + instead plan a couple of hotel pool days. Buy the package, upon arrival, solely for those pool days + free up the rest of the trip to dine + drink outside of the hotel. This gives you flexibility + helps you figure out what will work best for you on your next visit!
1) Indulge in a farm-to-table dining experience.
Beyond being a party destination, Los Cabos has become a world-renowned culinary hub + their farm-to-table dining experiences are a can’t miss. The best-known spots are Los Tamarindos, Flora Farms + Acre Baja. Flora Farms is most famous for their Sunday brunches + has an out of this world Bloody Mary bar. Acre Baja, on the other hand, we would recommend for cocktails + dinner. (It’s also L’s wedding venue, so it has an extra special place in our hearts!) We haven’t made it to Los Tamarindos yet, but have heard equally wonderful things! Whether you choose to visit one or all three, absolutely make a reservation!
2) Watch the sunset at The Rooftop at The Cape.
Thompson Hotels never disappoint in our opinion + the Los Cabos location - The Cape - is no exception. Hands down the best view in Los Cabos. You absolutely must catch a sunset at The Rooftop at The Cape. We recommend making a reservation for about an hour before sunset to enjoy the great daytime view + then stay through sunset. Perfect romantic date night or a spot to enjoy with friends. We recommend the Afterglow cocktail + the popcorn shrimp. It was gluten + dairy free and SO good. We may have ordered multiple servings.
3) Spend a day lounging + sipping at SUR Beach House.
SUR Beach House is located on Medano Beach, one of the only swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, + prime Spring Break hub. Some of Cabo’s most famous spots - including Mango Deck + The Office - are located right next door. However, SUR Beach House has a much more grown-up vibe. Arrive early + get a cabana or beach chairs for your group. You can order bottle service (or individual drinks) + amazing cuisine. We love that it’s close enough to pop over to some of the craziest party spots, but that you have a spot to take a break + lounge if you want to also. This place felt very sophisticated + Hamptons-eque to us. We will definitely be back.
4) Take in the Cabo San Lucas nightlife.
Speaking of crazy spots + Spring Break vibes, no trip to Los Cabos is complete without a night out in San Lucas. You can make this a whole day affair. Start the day partying on the beach at SUR Beach House + Mango Deck, transition to Cabo Wabo, The Office and/or Blue Marlin for dinner + drinks + end your night at one of the many Cabo nightclubs, including El Squid Roe. This is definitely not everyone’s scene, but we think it’s something everyone should do at least once! Even our parents were on board for a visit! Although, going with your parents is probably not our top recommendation…
5) Plan a boat day.
After a day of drinking + partying in San Lucas, there is no better way to recover than by relaxing on the water. There are SO many options in Cabo. If you’re traveling with a group, we would absolutely recommend chartering a private boat. For about $75-$100 a person, you can spend the entire day out on a private boat with an open bar, lunch, snorkeling gear, all included.
If you’re on a budget or not traveling in a group, we would recommend a Glass Bottom boat tour or a “booze cruise.” A Glass Bottom boat tour will run around $10-15 + will tour you around some of the main tourist sights, including Lovers’ Beach. There are typically no added perks that come with these + they are relatively quick, so not a full day excursion.
Another great option is to take advantage of one of Cabo’s many booze cruises. We like the sunset cruises best for the prime views + photo opps. Most cruises will include an open bar, multiple course meal, dancing + transportation to + from your hotel depending on where you are staying. They run between $70 and $100 a person depending on the company you choose + will typically be with a larger group of between 1 and 200 people.
6) Treat Yo’Self.
With mega celebrities like George Clooney + Cindy Crawford owning multiple vacation homes in Cabo, there is no shortage of luxe + bougie activities for your time in Cabo. If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just feel like balling out, below are a few of our top recommendations based on your interests.
For the golf enthusiast, Cabo is home to several world-renowned courses, including the Cabo Del Sol Ocean Course - a Jack Nicklaus designed course. Many of the courses boast pristine oceanfront views + are sure to be an incredible experience. Most do come at a high price tag of between $150 and $350 a round, so you likely won’t be hitting the links every day.
While so many flock to Cabo to party, even more come for relaxation + there is no shortage of world class spas. Honestly, the spa at whatever resort or hotel you choose to stay at is likely wonderful, but if you need a specific recommendation, we would suggest Grand Velas for a special occasion + PAZ for more standard prices, but still an incredible experience.
Champagne tasting at El Farallon. Okay, we admit we have not actually done this yet, but Lauren has it on her schedule for her February mini-moon in Cabo. Built into the cliffside of Pedragal (where George Clooney’s home is located), the terrace at El Farallon offers a guided tasting of 15 different champagnes with paired appetizers prior to your dining experience. It looks out of this world, but is definitely a splurge. You can still dine at the restaurant without partaking in the champagne tasting, but be sure to make reservations well in advance + anticipate a higher tab.
7) Tacos. Every. Day.
In our opinion, tacos practically deserve their own food group. We can’t get enough. Even in Seattle, we probably enjoy tacos once a week. When in Mexico, we like to take this up a notch to at least once a day. Our favorite spot for tacos from our trips so far is La Lupita. The restaurant has locations in both San Jose + San Lucas, but we like the San Jose location. There is live music in the courtyard every night + it has a very casual, unassuming vibe, but with high quality tacos + drinks. Because Cabo has so many splurge-worthy restaurants, it’s great to build in some more affordable options into your itinerary. Despite being a casual joint, there is almost always a wait here. We visited in the off season + still waited 45 minutes to be seated, so absolutely make a reservation!!
8) Get out of Cabo.
If you have the time to spare that is! Just outside of Cabo are the adorable beach towns of La Paz + Todos Santos. Far less touristy, more relaxing vibes, authentic cuisine, etc. If you are staying in Cabo for longer than 5 or 6 days, you can definitely add on 1-2 nights in either of these towns. Todos Santos is approximately 1 hour from Cabo + La Paz is approximately a 2 hour drive. We wouldn’t recommend planning an entire trip to either of these spots, but there is definitely enough to do to entertain you for a night or two + a great addition to a longer Cabo trip!
We could literally go on for days about how amazing of a vacation destination Cabo is, but these recommendations should be enough to get your started for a first, second or third time visit! We are alrady counting down the days until our return in February! If you have any questions, new recommendations for us or need help planning your trip, let us know!! Adios for now :)