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Los Cabos Villa Vacations: Insider’s Guide

by | May 21, 2024

The insider advice on this page is from one of Wendy’s Trusted Travel Experts for Cabo, Mexico: Julie Byrd of CaboVillas.

Trusted Travel Expert
Julie Byrd

Julie Byrd is convinced that Los Cabos, at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, scores a traveler’s hat trick: stunning natural beauty, wide-ranging daytime activities and nightlife, and genuinely hospitable locals. Byrd’s portfolio of properties includes a range of more than 100 luxurious villas and condos suitable for families, couples, and party-hearty groups of friends. Her frequent trips to Cabo mean that she has deep roots and intimate connections there. Byrd and her Cabo-based concierge team are available 24/7 during every traveler’s trip. In addition to villa rentals, they can arrange fishing and yacht charters, ground transportation, destination weddings and other celebrations, and guided tours. A foodie at heart, Byrd has strong opinions on everything from locals-mostly taquerias to fine dining.

For trips orchestrated by Julie, expect hotel bookings to start at $300/night and villa rentals at $500/night, in low season (July through September).

Where to Rent

Most underrated locations
The smaller private developments along the Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Many of these developments are just minutes to excellent golf courses and peaceful beaches and offer a sense of tranquility, security, and privacy. The Fundadores area of Puerto Los Cabos is particularly outstanding, with gorgeous villas, great golf, and a convenient location close to charming San José del Cabo.

Most overrated location
A beachfront property where you cannot swim in the water. (See “Biggest Rookie Mistake,” at right.) You’ll save money by selecting a villa higher on the hillside, where you’ll also benefit from a much better ocean view. Julie also think it’s not worth paying more just to be near one of the many five-star resorts. While their restaurants and spas are generally open to the public, the other facilities aren’t.

Up-and-coming location
Luxury oceanfront communities have sprung up on the East Cape, a stretch of coastline beyond San José del Cabo that offers a taste of old Baja Sur. One such development is Lighthouse Point Estates; a standout there is Villa Zafiro, a 5-bedroom beachfront estate with full staff and water activities. A highlight of this region is access to Cabo Pulmo National Marine Reserve, home to one of North America’s few living coral reefs and outstanding diving, snorkeling, and kayaking with varied marine life in the Sea of Cortez.

underwater diver with fish in Los Cabos, Mexico

Dive amongst the varied marine life living off Los Cabos. Photo: CaboVillas

Best location for a beachfront villa
The Corridor, since the water is calmer here. For instance, Casa Mañana is a 5-bedroom retreat overlooking Palmilla Beach, renowned for its beautiful views and swimmable waters.

Best location for sporty travelers
Sport fishing is huge in Cabo—marlin, dorado, and tuna especially. Most fishing charters, snorkeling trips, and dive boats depart directly from the Cabo San Lucas Marina, plus there’s great hiking just outside town. For these activities, base yourself in or just outside Cabo San Lucas. (Julie likes to start the first day of every trip to Cabo by cruising out to the arch in Cabo San Lucas Bay on a kayak, then jumping off Pelican Rock into the warm water.)

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas Photo: Roberto Trama Mexico

El Arco is a marquee sight of Los Cabos, poised at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula. Photo: Roberto Trama

Best location for a taste of village life
San José del Cabo offers charming historic architecture, courtyard restaurants, and many art galleries—though it can be hard to find a rental villa that is walking distance from this historic town. If you stay near San José del Cabo, don’t miss the Thursday Evening Art Walk, when galleries keep their doors open late, music fills the streets, and restaurants offer specials.

Best location for a family with young children
The end of the Corridor closer to Cabo San Lucas, so that you’re outside the party scene, but still close to Cabo’s main beach (Médano) as well as the dolphin center and the departure point for snorkeling tours.

Best location for a big group
Hands down, Pedregal: This exclusive, gated community is the most prestigious area in Cabo San Lucas proper, with beautiful vacation homes and excellent proximity to Cabo’s marina, downtown, Médano Beach, and dining. Since you have the option of all things Cabo, it’s a great place to stay at any age.

The view of the pool and the beach from the patio of West Enclave in Los Cabos.

Make sure your waterfront villa is on a beach where it’s safe to swim. Photo: CaboVillas

Do’s and Dont’s

Must-have amenities
If you’re traveling at any time of year other than summer, make sure your villa’s pool is heated for those early-morning and evening dips; the midday gets warm, so you’ll also want air conditioning. If you need to stay connected, ask about Wi-Fi. And decide whether a Jacuzzi is essential. If you’re staying in a beachfront location, ask if the villa comes equipped with chairs, umbrellas, snorkel gear, and the like.

Worth splurging on
A multi-course meal from one of Julie’s gourmet private chefs feels decadent, but it’s cheaper than a blowout dinner at an upscale restaurant. Same for in-villa spa treatments: She can set up part of your villa to feel like a personalized spa, with infused water and glowing candles, but you’ll pay less than at a local resort. She can also pre-stock your fridge with groceries to your choosing—or just a few snacks and drinks so that you don’t have to run to the store as soon as you arrive.

Not worth splurging on
Pre-booking lots of activities. Julie says that many travelers—especially families—want to schedule outings for every day of their trip. Then they get to Cabo, fall in love with the view from a lounge chair at their villa, and never want to leave. Her advice: Don’t overbook yourself, or you’ll end up paying cancellation penalties. Unless it’s December or March, you can call her concierge in the morning and sign up for pretty much any activity later that same day.

Contact Julie

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Best Times to Go

Julie loves May, when the weather is mild and there’s minimal chance of rain. Plus, villa rates are lower than in high season (December through April), and it’s less busy. Another good time is November, when you have similar weather and thinner crowds, plus the big-game fishing is fantastic and the water is still warm. Families should consider Thanksgiving, when prices are considerably lower than Christmas.

Worst Time to Go

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.

Biggest Rookie Mistake

Making reservations without enough information about the beaches in Los Cabos (the collective term for the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, plus the “Corridor” that runs between them). A number of beaches in Cabo aren’t safe for swimming, due to strong surf and undertows. It’s important to note that the main beach in Cabo San Lucas, Médano Beach, is where you’ll find the bustling sea and sand activities—parasailing, jet-skiing, open-air bars, and more—that many people associate with the area.

Crucial Questions to Ask Before Renting

The most critical issue is location. Cabo San Lucas is where all the nightlife happens, and it’s the launching point for many land and sea adventures. San José del Cabo, on the other hand, is a quiet, charming city. The 30-mile Corridor between the two is composed primarily of gated communities without a central town. First, figure out what’s important to you: Do you want to be close to restaurants and bars? Do you need seclusion and privacy? Do you expect proximity to a swimmable beach? The answers will help narrow down the right location for your group.

Minimum Stays

Over Christmas and New Year’s, there is a seven-night minimum for each holiday (Saturday to Saturday). During the rest of the year, each rental’s requirements vary, from three nights to seven—but without a required check-in day.

Bragging Rights

Julie can arrange all sorts of special services—a private snorkel cruise, a customized cooking lesson, a salsa dancing lesson, a private yoga class at your villa, a special birthday celebration—but one of her favorites is a fireworks show after an elegant dinner party on the private terrace of your beachfront villa.

Don’t Forget to Pack

Your own tunes: Most villas have a sound system that you can plug your iPhone or other device into.


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