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Grotto's Travel Guide to Cabo San Lucas

Published:
June 17, 2024
June 17, 2024
Read this travel guide's suggestions for things to do in Cabo San Lucas while soaking up the sun on this picturesque peninsula.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with my family for over 15 years. In that time I’ve been able to work on my Spanish dialect, explore the culture, and make some lifelong friends. I’ve also learned a lot of tips and tricks for staying in the area. If you’re wanting to travel to the tip of the peninsula, here’s my guide before you take flight!

Know Before You Go

Take plenty of cash with you

It’s unlikely your hotel can break down $50 or $100 bills, so it’s best to carry small dollar bills for tips. The only time you may need $20 bills would be for restaurants, since waiters prefer tips in cash due to Mexico’s taxes. 

If you’re not close enough to walk downtown, you’ll want to take a cab. My parents and I walk a little over a mile to get there, and while it’s great exercise, the long walk isn’t for everyone. The cab from our resort to downtown is around $11, so small bills come in handy during this time.

And speaking from experience — it is not easy to convert pesos back into dollars, so try to stay away from that.

International fees

I didn’t know about foreign transaction fees until I studied abroad in Rome. When I returned home and saw $70 in fees on my bank statement, I realized my mistake. So when I returned home, I applied for a Capital One credit card. All of their cards have $0 international fees on them, which is a huge relief whenever I travel to a different country.

Sea sickness? Get a patch

I didn’t know I had sea sickness until I went deep sea fishing. I felt nauseous and dizzy from the ocean being choppy that morning. My dad suggested focusing on the horizon since that was the only thing that wasn’t moving. From now on, I get a patch prescribed by my doctor that I put behind my ear. But you can also get them over the counter, depending on what dosage you’d prefer.

Take It From a Local

Please be kind

Alberto, one of our resort’s pool waiters, told me he remembered me from last year. All because I asked him, “Estás feliz?” He wasn’t smiling, and it looked like he was having a terrible day, so I just wanted to check in on him.

A smile and “hola'' can go a long way when it comes to interacting with locals. When I chat with them, they are surprised when an American stops to talk (especially in Spanish), because most tourists spend their time drinking or partying. Remember: you are a visitor in someone else’s home country — show respect and common courtesy.

It’s a privilege to be there

FYI: You may see the Mexican military walking around the marina or downtown. It might be intimidating, but they are just making sure the area stays safe with how many tourists visit Los Cabos. You can rest assured that Cabo is regarded as a safe city with low crime rates compared to other tourist destinations.

Must See

El Arco

Ay Dios mio! I could take one-hundred photos of The Arch — it never gets old. The beauty of God’s creation is immaculate when you see “the gateway to the ocean” in-person. There will also be sea lions laying on top of the rocks and sunbathing next to El Arco. And the rocks next to it are the endpoint of the peninsula, allowing the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean to meet.

La Marina

This hot spot is filled with delicious restaurants, a shopping center, grocery stores, and nightlife. You can enjoy a nice stroll on the boardwalk and see what’s going on around you. Heads up: every restaurant host you walk by will ask you to come eat with them. It’s a little overwhelming, but if you’re not interested, just keep on walking and they’ll ask the next tourist.

The Coast from Above

Cabo Sky Tours are worth every single penny. The pilot, Ernesto, has been flying for over 35 years, and he flies his plane with a hang glider attached to it. He offers a range of tours, each one giving you different views of the mainland. He also has a Go-Pro attached to both wings so you can have the best photo ops. Make sure to pay Ernesto in cash if you want to avoid the credit card machine transaction fee. 

Need to Try

La Oficina

The food. The staff. The views. The atmosphere. Me encanta mucha La Oficina. If you’re unsure what to dig into, the piña coladas, rib-eye steaks, and tres leches dessert are my go-tos. But if you do decide to try this restaurant, you will more than likely need your hotel or resort to book you a reservation the moment you check-in. It’s a popular destination!

Whale watching

Again, the beauty of God’s creation! We travel to Cabo in the winter months, and this is breeding time for the whales. The biggest animal on the planet decides to present itself out of the water for everyone who is blessed to observe it. The males will breach in order to “show off” for the females, and she will then decide who she will mate with in the upcoming months. But don’t fret — there are regulations that protect these beautiful mammals

If you can only do one activity, make sure it’s this one. It costs $69 online per person. And try your best to book a morning spot, as the whales usually breach before 11am local time.

Make the Most of Your Experience

Ocean shenanigans

The ocean is right in front of you, my friend, so take advantage of it! Paddleboarding. Jet skiing. Kayaking. Glass bottom boats. Deep sea fishing. Parasailing. The list goes on, mis amigos! Most of these activities can be booked with Cabo Adventures. And if they don’t offer your preferred activity, check with your resort. 

Not a fan of getting Vitamin-sea?

There are plenty of land activities, including camelback riding, four-wheeling, zip lining, and horseback riding. You get to explore the mountains of Cabo while four-wheeling. Camelback and horseback riding show beautiful, secluded beaches, and it’s the perfect place to watch a Cabo sunset. Although we haven’t experienced zip lining in Los Cabos, I know the experience is worthwhile after doing it in a different country.

* * *

Cabo San Lucas is a city that has grown tremendously since I first visited. It’s full of life wherever you go, and it’s hard to not feel stress-free and happy while you’re there. Soak in the radiant sun, take in the buoyant surroundings, and experience new food and a new culture. I hope it will be the next destination for you, my friend.

Creators:
Makaela Douglas
Published:
June 17, 2024
June 17, 2024
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