|Artsy Streets of Downtown San Jose Del Cabo
Ahh how Los Cabos will surely steal your heart regardless of your taste. From the colorful stone lined quaint streets of San Jose to the more Party Town of San Lucas you’ll easily find something that fits your personality. As my taste isn’t that for partying and binge drinking to the ER any longer this review will not include much about the party spots of San Lucas – just to set expectations.
There are two main areas in Los Cabos – Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. In Spanish, “cabo” means “Cape”. Los Cabos “Two Capes”. By car the two are about 30mins apart – a taxi fare costs $40US each way! Yes, taxis are the most expensive thing in Cabo. But you can save on this – simply email or call the shuttle service Cabo’s Routes
– they charge $15 return! Yes that’s how expensive taxis are.
Cabo San Lucas is the part of town that is further away from the airport, more developed, and quickly becoming the new Cancun. To my luck, I happened to coincide with “spring break” – and some rowdiness was common during an evening walk along the wide marina. I didn’t stay out late so didn’t see all that went on thankfully. The marina area is set up on a boardwalk that curves around the C shaped marina. Boats are to the right of the broad walkway that is lined up with restaurants, souvenir shops, tequila tasters and bright pharmacies.
Given that it is the more popular town of the two and closer to the major attractions in Los Cabos, it is also the departure point for most of the day tours and excursions. Very common are the sunset tours – I recommend the original Cabo Sunset Cruise
through Cabo Ocean Adventures – a little more pricey but relaxed and professionally conducted with a beautiful but small group.
Notice: Please be aware of taking tours with Cabo Dolphins operators as they own and operate and small dolphin captivity establishment on the Marina as well, recommend avoiding them so your money doesn’t support dolphin captivity in such a coastal town!
Aboard a luxurious yacht with smooth music and very pleasantly beautiful crew the tour will take you to an entire other level as you sail along the smooth waters overlooking the tiny serene Lover’s Beach, the dramatic Divorce Beach and the stunning Arch. Viewing the arch at sunset is one of those profoundly memorable sightings that calls out an attack of cameras, if you can withstand the urge, I recommend just taking in every single moment. The play of the colors on your eye’s palette will tickle your soul.
The other must do tour is the Whale Watching Tour with Whale Watch Cabo
and their zodiac boat! During the season – January through April there are so many whales that even while on the beach you see them breaching, flopping around and just passing by. Still, on the boat it is a different experience to see them up close. During my trip the whales were shy unfortunately and didnt come in too close, however, there were many accounts where the whales came right under or next to the boat. Just the expectation and the ride on the water is worth this trip. If you must choose to do just one tour I recommend this one, they take you around to the Arch, Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach too and is a smaller group (max 8) with more control over how the boat stops and goes. Hold on to your hats!
Both areas have very good restaurants. I haven’t stopped by anywhere that left me thinking of getting something else. Though for those with more sophisticated palettes I recommend San Jose del Cabo over San Lucas.
In San Lucas:
|A common sight in restaurants
This is right on the Marina next to Tesoro. A more authentic Mexican style eatery than most other places in the area. Their table side guacamole is made in the authentic Mexican stone dish and is delish. Their fajitas are also very good, and they do serve American portions. I would say that one fajita and one guacamole and maybe one more appetizer is more than accurate for two.
Great for American fair and a quick drink with waiters who are willing to carry a tower of margaritas on their heads where they kneel down for you to pick them up without dropping or breaking any. Fun but the food was just ok.
One of the best Tacos I’ve ever had was in this small tiny little place right behind the monstrous “La Comer” off the highway. You’d normally not stop by, but it just fell onto my radar on a sunny afternoon – they have a bar just off the sidewalk with $1.50 Coronas. 😃 Can’t beat that. Yet they did beat it with the incredible $5 for 3 vegetarian tacos. It was out of this world delish! My friend ended up having the chicken tacos and she said it was exquisitely delicious too.
In San Jose del Cabo one great place is this small little Indian restaurant in the Arts District – the tastiest chutneys and flavor infused curries! One of the best Indian restaurants I’ve ever been to, including Fiji! Their service is extremely attentive and their environment cozy. They have a very small inside sitting area – and then a wider well dressed patio towards the back. Either are a pleasure to just sit and savor the dishes.
In the arts district there is also the infamous little cafe Lolita. Definitely don’t leave the place without stopping by there for lunch or brunch. They first serve you with flour tortilla crisps covered in smoked paprika – you’ve never had anything that good. And I had the vegetarian chile rellano tacos they were delicious. And the refried beans here are very different from most other places and are very tasty and smooth, kind of like a savory pudding.
A very authentic Mexican place I definitely recommend. They also have burgers that seem to be popular for the locals, but I went for their vegetarian quesadilla and tacos and both were delicious! Oh and please be sure to let the bartender know that you are open to cocktail tastings if they have them. 😃 There is wifi here and a very friendly environment.
|The old Market in San Jose
Other than these top places I can also recommend stopping by ‘Just One More” for a quick drink and sometimes live music, “Jazmine” for good Poblanos, The French Bistro and Bakery for great bread and coffee, La Lupita’s for great tacos – they are I hear especially great for lamb I had the cactus and mushroom tacos and they were very good. And if you’re there for more than 2 nights you can stop in at the Brewery for a quick beer and hit or miss live music. Most visitors have the burgers I noticed and most are tourists.
Shops and Other things
|The old church in the town Center
Now art stores and jewelry makers. The streets are lined up with amazing places and stores. But don’t forget that this is Mexico, it is a commercial place and most people know that Americans tend to overpay for the value of things. So, be prepared to haggle – never, ever, ever, ever pay the first price somebody tells you, no matter where you go.
Stop by the church for sure – it is the oldest in the country that is apparently untouched. A calm and serene place to be.
|Graffiti common on San Jose walls
Thursday nights are their street fair type of night where the entire town is out, there are music on the streets, specials in the stores, music in the restaurants and huge huge crowds that just bring the town alive late through the night.
For souvenirs take a walk down to the Flea Market area – this area is usually very quiet, most tourists decide to stay up on the main street and not walk down 2 blocks. There are the same, if not more, variety of souvenir items and they start the prices at about half. Let me put it this way – the t-shirts were priced at $20 up at the arts district, I bought two for $15 down in the flea market – and they are 100% cotton and Made in Mexico. Same with the mugs – originally quoted at anywhere between $10-$15USD got 2 for $12 here and I’m sure I still was overcharged. 😃
|The Old Market in San Jose
As for jewelry – I was very happy with my experience at Mar-Art and they have unique pieces. Be sure that you walk through a few of the stores as some of them appear to have some things that don’t appear to be silver. For a truly unique collector art jewelry there is only one shop I would recommend and that is: Indira and Isidro
. Owned by husband and wife artists who are originally from Mexico City they design and make their own jewelry, there is no mistaking the quality and authenticity of their items. It was a pure pleasure to browse through and speak with them on the one evening.
Definitely do add this place to your to go list – try to stay away from the party town – unless of course you are there to party.