Mexico is world famous for its fiestas, Cerveza and beaches, which is why millions of tourists flock to the country every single year to enjoy the resort areas sprinkled across the country. Some offer bright white sand beaches and turquoise waters, while others are more famous for their crashing waves. The easiest way to visit Mexico is to book an all-inclusive trip from Canada, the U.S. or the U.K., as it will include your flight, transfers, lodging, food and drinks. Here is a look at one of the most popular areas, Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos
Cabo sits in the southwest part of Mexico, on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. A major, fully developed tourist area, Cabo is popular with those seeking a week of sun as well as people with vacation homes who stay for months at a time.
The area is basically split into two parts: Cabo San Lucas, where there are a number of golf courses, hotels, the marina and the famous Arch, and San Jose del Cabo which is where most of the resorts and a small town are.
There are a number of lodging options for travellers, regardless of how long you’re staying. You can either book an all-inclusive resort which will likely be in San Jose del Cabo, or can try and find a more long-term rental on a site such as VRBO. Cabo San Lucas also has a number of hotels, but they don’t all include dining plans or beach access. It’s easy to get around in Cabo on your own, as the area is quite ‘American-ized’ and has a number of large grocery stores, gyms, stores and restaurants. It’s also safe to walk between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, as the new, wide streets are clean and have excellent sidewalks.
San Jose del Cabo
I’ve stayed at the Presidente Intercontinental Los Cabos, which is basically at the very end of the resort strip in San Jose. It is affordable and basic, so it’s a fine choice if you’re looking for a cheap holiday but don’t expect five-star frills or service. Otherwise, there are a number of great options in the area including the Barcelo or Riu.
The one thing to keep in mind about Cabo is that the water can be extremely dangerous to swim in, due to the strong waves and an undertow. This means tourists are encouraged to simply lounge on the beach, or jump into the pool to cool off.
About a 15 minute walk from the resorts is the town of San Jose del Cabo, which is famous for its artisans. There is a weekly art walk where artists bring their work out into the streets, as well as a number of galleries to walk through. Sip a cold margarita on a rooftop patio as you look down at the quaint town square, which includes a fountain and coloured tile covering the plaza.
El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
The area of Cabo San Lucas is where almost everyone ends up regardless of where they’re staying, and for good reason. The hub is a colourful marina, surrounded by hotels overlooking the water, restaurants and boardwalks which line the beach. In the distance you’ll see the ‘El Arco de Cabo San Lucas’, which is one of Mexico’s most famous landmarks.
The Arch—as it’s best known—is made up of giant rock formations surrounded by golden sand, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.
The massive white rocks are complemented by the brilliant blue water, making it a great spot for pictures. You can book an excursion to the Arch through your hotel, or take a taxi to Cabo, head to the boardwalk at the marina and hire a boat to drop you off at the Arch. On the way you’ll see numerous tropical fish in the water (which makes this a popular diving spot), sea otters lounging on the rocks, and if you’re lucky, whales or dolphins off in the distance.
There aren’t any facilities on the beach when you get there, but you can usually rent a chair or buy some overpriced water from an enterprising Mexican. It is extremely important to take heed of the warning signs sprinkled across Divorce Beach (far side of the island) to not go in the water, as numerous tourists have drowned after being swept away by large waves. Take a leisurely walk around the beach and scramble up on the rocks, before laying out your plush towel to soak in the sun. Try to spend at least two hours at the Arch, before the boat comes back to whisk you away.
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