The insider advice on this page is from one of Wendy’s Trusted Travel Experts for Cabo, Mexico: Julie Byrd of Cabo Villas.
With its natural beauty, wide-ranging daytime activities and nightlife, and warm hospitality, Los Cabos is an easy getaway, made even easier by Julie Byrd. Her deep roots and intimate connections there will save you money and spare you trip-related headaches. She knows the resorts like the palm of her hand, but she also has a sizable portfolio of vacation rental properties that include 100 luxurious villas and condos suitable for families, couples, and groups of friends. Byrd and her Cabo-based concierge team are available 24/7 and can arrange everything from fishing and yacht charters to destination weddings and other celebrations.
Where to Stay
Best bang-for-your-buck hotels
Zoetry Casa del Mar Resort combines an all-inclusive dining plan, a gorgeous beachfront location midway between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, beautiful hacienda-inspired architecture, and proximity to world-famous golf at Cabo del Sol.
For attractive accommodations, excellent service, and an outstanding spa, there is also the family-friendly Villa del Arco, which overlooks Médano Beach, Cabo’s most famous stretch of sand.
Best-value splurge hotel
For an incredible luxury retreat with superior amenities and breathtaking Pacific Ocean views, choose the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. Dining at the resort’s El Farallon, perched above the crashing surf, is a truly mesmerizing experience.
What to Eat
Restaurants the locals love
The very casual Tacos Gardenias, near downtown Cabo. This intimate, laid-back eatery isn’t fancy, but it offers some of the area’s best authentic Baja-style fish tacos—fresh local fish is battered and fried (if you don’t want it fried, ask for your order a la plancha, or grilled). They also have delicious shrimp tacos, cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), and cold beers. The chicharron (fried pork rinds) tacos are surprisingly delicious.
La Lupita Taco & Mezcal offers creative modern twists on classic tacos: offerings like the “Cheese Crust Pastor,” with delicious marinated pork in a crust of asadero cheese, topped with cilantro, onion, and pineapple. Or try the Baja scallops taco, with chipotle mayo, cucumber, mint, and carrot.
Drinks to try
If a cocktail is what you’re seeking, try The Revolution at La Revolucion in San Jose del Cabo: It’s a mezcal-based delight with flavors of citrus, sesame, and pumpkin seed, and it pairs wonderfully with their octopus and chicharron tacos.
Meals worth the splurge
Blending a gorgeous pastoral setting with exceptional organic cuisine, it doesn’t get any more farm-to-table than Flora Farms. Just north of San José del Cabo in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna range, this 25-acre working farm produces vegetables and herbs used in the restaurant’s celebrated cuisine and creative cocktails. The beautiful open-air dining room is encircled by luxuriant gardens and rustling palm trees, with the feeling of a lush oasis tucked in the rugged landscape. It’s a splurge, but absolutely worth the trip (on a dirt road). Reservations are required; they are packed almost every night.
The Nobu Hotel Los Cabos is one of the area’s newest luxury resorts along the Pacific coast just outside of Cabo San Lucas. With the world-famous name comes a selection of excellent dining experiences, including the namesake Nobu restaurant with excellent Japanese-fusion cuisine created by famed Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in a breathtaking setting. The resort’s Ardea Steakhouse is another highlight, with gorgeous modern interior design and wood-fired meats, pizzas, and pasta.
RosaNegra, located in Cabo’s Corridor region near Cabo del Sol, offers excellent Latin American-inspired dishes, artisan cocktails, a sophisticated atmosphere, and a truly mesmerizing dinner show with fire dancers, music, and sparklers. It’s definitely a reservation-worthy pick for an unforgettable evening.
Things to Do
Can’t miss beach
Médano Beach is the undisputed heart of Cabo San Lucas’ coastline and offers some of the best swimming in the region. Along this two-mile stretch of sand you’ll find resorts, eateries, and stylish beach clubs. You can also hop aboard a water taxi or glass-bottom boat directly from the beach, and watersports equipment rentals are also available.
Most underrated place
San José del Cabo. This charming historic town is full of authentic culture and art. Located close to the airport and about 20 miles from Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo has a traditional town square anchored by a beautiful old church, a bustling arts district, and courtyard restaurants just oozing charm. From November through June, the Thursday Night Art Walk is a great way to take in the local galleries—plus, there’s live music in the streets and great specials at restaurants. Just outside the historic downtown lies the verdant San José Estuary; this natural oasis is full of palm trees and a great spot to see many migratory bird species—a striking contrast to the prevailing desert landscape of Baja Sur.
Most overrated place
Puerto Paraiso Mall has many of the same shops and restaurants you’ll find almost anywhere. They don’t typically have the latest trends, and you will pay a premium for anything you buy.
Horseback riding. Explore the magical desert landscapes and wide beaches of Cabo’s dramatic Pacific coastline with an experienced guide from Rancho Carisuva.
There is a beautiful natural pool and waterfall surrounded by granite formations in the Cañon de la Zorra (“Fox Canyon”) at Rancho Sol de Mayo. You can learn about the delicate ecosystem from experienced guides, hike, and take a refreshing dip into the mountain water—a memorable sight indeed in the Baja desert.
Todos Santos. About an hour from Cabo San Lucas along the Pacific coastline, this former sugar-mill town surrounded by a natural palm oasis has attracted organic farmers, surfers, and artists with its lovely old buildings; the mission church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar dates to 1747. Be sure to browse the town’s many art galleries. Nearby beaches, including Pescadero and Cerritos, offer gorgeous, wind-swept stretches of sand and breaks sought out by experienced surfers. (Most of the beaches along the Pacific coastline are not recommended for swimming due to strong riptides.)
Prime picnic spots
Stake out a spot on the sand at Santa Maria Bay or Chileno Bay, some of the prettiest beaches in Los Cabos. Both bays also happen to be favorites among snorkelers, with colorful tropical fish and pristine water. During the winter, you may even catch a glimpse of migrating whales passing along the coastline.
How to spend a lazy Sunday
Relaxing by a pool; most locals are off on Sundays, so the beaches are more crowded than normal.
November through mid-December, when the water is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you can enjoy water sports without the lines, and the scuba diving is optimal.
May, just after high season (December through April): The weather is mild, there’s little chance of rain, and hotel rates drop.
Mid-August through September—it’s prime hurricane season and the weather is humid and hot. If you have to travel in September, stay in Pedregal overlooking the Pacific Ocean so that you get a nice sea breeze.
Selecting your hotel based on rates and not paying attention to location. Los Cabos is comprised of three distinct areas: San José del Cabo is a quiet, authentic town with lots of history and culture. Cabo San Lucas is the vibrant heart of Los Cabos; this is the main tourist area, with a bustling central swimming/activity beach (Médano Beach) and a busy downtown. The Corridor connects the two cities and features spectacular golf courses, beautiful beaches, high-end resorts, and quiet communities of luxury vacation homes. If you’re expecting water activities near your resort, you will be really disappointed unless you’re in Cabo San Lucas.
Julie can plan an overnight scuba or snorkeling trip to seldom-visited islands in the Sea of Cortez that are rich with marine life. You arrive by Zodiac and camp each night in different areas of these unpopulated islands; the specific destinations are customized to each traveler’s interests.
An early morning (before 9 a.m.) visit to Lover’s Beach helps you avoid the crowds and get some beautiful shots. Go out with Cabo SUP for a wonderful stand-up paddle experience along Cabo San Lucas Bay.
Check out the folk-art galleries in San José del Cabo offering handmade jewelry, textiles, ceramics, and home décor items. The San José del Cabo Art Walk talks place Thursday evenings from November to June, during which galleries keep their doors open late into the evening and music fills the streets.
When exiting the airport, a gauntlet of timeshare reps will try to get you on the hook for a presentation under the guise of offering transportation—sometimes even suggesting that they are your ride. If you’ve prescheduled your transfer, head directly outdoors, where your driver will be waiting at stall #9. (Private transportation companies cannot go inside the airport.)
Tip as you would in the U.S.
A light sweater or jacket. While Los Cabos is warm year-round and very hot during the summer, the sea breezes can really cool things down in the evening.