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Los Cabos, Mexico Guide


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Today’s Los Cabos, Mexico City Guide comes to us from Danielle Kehl, director of development for Sandra Espinet Home Couture. In addition to creating her own brand, Danielle has worked in publishing and high-end event styling in Miami and Los Angeles. Today she shares a wonderful guide to Los Cabos, Mexico — the home base for Sandra Espinet Design. From the more than 30 miles of beaches to the incredible lodging, Danielle captures the culture and beauty of this beach city. Thanks, Danielle, for this glimpse into Los Cabos! — Stephanie

Read the full city guide after the jump . . .

Los Cabos, located on the tip of the Baja peninsula, is made up of the beautiful towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. They are linked by a corridor and cover 30 miles of beach. With only 120,000 residents in the two towns combined, Los Cabos is quiet yet full of adventure, with surfing, fishing, swimming and some amazing high-end resorts. Charming while maintaining an old town feel, many small businesses do not even post addresses; rather, locals will draw you maps to the places they recommend.

Shops

Palmilla Gift Shop — Beautiful resort-wear clothes, candles and sun hats. They carry one of my favorite lines, Mathew Williamson.

La Pinata — Unique artisan gifts and souvenirs, plus pretty gift wrap. Plaza Mijares, Art District, San Jose del Cabo P. 624-146-9728

Pineda Covalin — Considered the Hermes of Mexico, this store carries gorgeous silk clothing, shawls and ties with beautiful prints that are modern interpretations of Mexican textiles. Very unique.

Curios Carmela — One of the oldest Mexican artisan gift shops. Everything from silly tourist mugs to handmade ethnic tablecloths. Blvd. Mijares at Coronado, San Jose del Cabo

Necri — The best place to buy beautiful hand-painted Talavera pots. You can buy from their stock inventory or custom make and order anything you want from their factory.

Restaurants

Nick San — Delicious upscale sushi with a twist. Nick (Japanese) met Angel (Mexican), and they started this beautiful sushi restaurant with traditional sushi cuts mixed with Mexican sauces. A delicious combination.

Tacos Rosy — The ultimate hole-in-the-wall taco joint. Every now and then, we all want to hang out where the locals do, and this is the place! 142-675 Carr. Transpeninsular Km. 29.5 San Jose del Cabo

Flora Farm Restaurant and Organic Market — Gloria Green has lived in Los Cabos for years. She started the first organic market on her farm. Last year, she built a cool restaurant overlooking the orchards and started “Flora’s Farm Restaurant.” Beautiful location, great family-style foods and just a cool spot. Dog friendly.

Salsita’s — Delicious Mexican food and cazuela’s and super friendly service. Calle Obregon, San Jose del Cabo 23400 (kitty-corner from La Pinata)

Sardina Cantina — This is where the expats hang out in San Jose. Great seafood cobb salad and shrimp cocktail, all with a great story told by Mike, who runs the place.

Café Todos Santos — An hour’s drive north of Cabo, you will find the small artist village of Todos Santos. After walking around, you need to stop in Café Todos Santos for a bite. Amazing flautas and a sweet coffee shop attached in a cool ivy-covered spot. Calle Centenario #33, Todos Santos (612) 145-0300

Cynthia’s — Great organic lunch spot with homegrown ingredients and gluten-free pastas and desserts. Zona Hotelera, Plaza Caracol, 23405 San Jose del Cabo

Edith’s — Beachside on Playa Medano, the best lobster in town, fantastic food and service. El Medano beach, Cabo San Lucas (624) 143-080

Coffee Shops

The Roadrunner (El Correcamino) Bakery and Coffee Shop — Best cinnamon rolls on the planet! It’s a great place to hang out in San Jose. Blvd. Mijares and El Zalate, Km. 29. 5 San Jose del Cabo. Ph: 142-3510

French Riviera Bakery & Bistro — Delicious baked goods and coffee as well as a full food menu. You can also order custom cakes and pastries for a party.

Bars

Deckmans at Havanas — Jazz bar with live music, the best mojitos in town, and one of the oldest bars in San Jose del Cabo, just above the surf break of Costa Azul. And during season, famous guitarists, such as Todd Clouser, play for the crowd and give the place great atmosphere.

Bar Esquina — What do two gringos do when they move to Cabo? Open the coolest pizzeria and bar in town! Moroccan hanging lanterns cast beautiful light inside, and a lovely pergola roof covers the outside patio. A great place to eat, and an even better place to be seen.

The Container — Just got off your yacht and want a drink? The rustic and casual outdoor bar in Puerto Los Cabos is just that place. Huge margaritas, good guacamole and a great view of the marina.

Nowhere Bar — Probably the coolest place in Cabo. It’s a must-stop and the gathering spot for all in the know. It’s one of the oldest bars on the marina in Cabo and is still regarded as the best place to start your evening. From here, you can walk to the nightclubs after a few tequilas.

Garden/Floral Shops

Since Los Cabos is a desert and is not attached to the mainland, flowers are flown in weekly from Mexico City or San Diego. There isn’t too much to choose from, and if you are getting married here, keep in mind that shipping flowers in is a large expense. Usually, wedding coordinators handle flowers this reason.

The two destinations mentioned below are within walking distance from each other.

Cacti Mundo — A cactus garden with local and international species of cacti, including some endangered species thriving in their natural environment.

San Jose’s Estuary and Bird Sanctuary — Stroll the walking trail to see local plants and do a little bird watching. Situated alongside the beach. Paseo San Jose, San Jose del Cabo 23400

Hotels

Cabo Surf Hotel — Best location for a budget hotel. Also the best place in town to watch surfers, as the beach in front of the hotel has a lovely break. The restaurant at the hotel is very cute. Playa Acapulquito Km 28 | Palmilla Bay, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico

Rancho Pescadero Hotel — About 45 minutes north of Cabo in the surf town of Pescadero is a great destination hotel hidden behind a basil farm. The intimate oceanfront boutique hotel has a great restaurant and an even better bar!

Palmilla Hotel — One of the prettiest and oldest hotels in Los Cabos, the Palmilla recently had a 82 million dollar renovation after it was purchased by the One & Only hotel group. It is the most secluded and exclusive hotel in town with a Jean George restaurant and the amazing Agua bar. It’s the place for the rich as well as for celebs. Super fab! Carr Transpeninsular, San Jose Del Cabo, 23400 Mexico 001-800-364-0291

Capella Hotel — The newly built Capella hotel is located at the end of Cabo San Lucas and has its own private beach on the Pacific side. Two great restaurants and a kid pool make this a great retreat away from the crowds yet still close enough into the Cabo nightlife.

Museums, Cultural Interest Spots

Pez Gordo Art Gallery — A fun gallery of local artists located in the Shops at Palmilla.

Casa Dahlia Art Gallery — Contemporary art gallery in a historic house in old San Jose.

Frank Arnold Gallery — Witness the emotional paintings of Frank Arnold.

Beaches

Santa Maria Beach — A gorgeous horseshoe-shaped cove perfect for swimming. Carr Transpeninsular Km. 12 almost to Cabo San Lucas

The Arch, also known as Lover’s Beach — Have you seen the Enrique Iglesias video where he goes to Cabo? He flies right over the Arch! Every four years, the tide changes and a beach surfaces so you can walk underneath. You can catch a water taxi that will take you there in the marina. Cabo San Lucas, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet.

East Cape — Miles of untouched beach and gorgeous turquoise water, where the hardcore surfers go to surf and kitesurf because of the direction of the wind and waves. You can find tiny solar-powered bars, a taco stand and peace and quiet. Super cool.
About an hour via dirt road northeast of San Jose, 20 KM. from La Paz

Palmilla Beach — Another beautiful cove beach good for swimming and calm enough for paddle boarding.

Medano Beach — Where all the beach bars, like Nikki Beach in the Melia Hotel, are located. See and be seen, party, jet ski, eat and drink.

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24 Comments

Stephanie

It is great, but where’s the “Mexico City” guide? Los Cabos is not MEXICO CITY.
I would like to give you a guide from Mexico City, i live here, im a graphic designer, let me know if you are interested.

Grace Bonney

stephanie

sorry, the words “city guide” go at the end of every city guide title, so that may have been confusing here, i’ll remove it.

g

b

(just to clarify, mexico city is the capital of mexico and in the middle of the country, whereas los cabos is the resort town on the baja peninsula . . . you should drop the word ‘city’ from the title and text of this post!)

ethan

rancho pescadero is worth the journey north of cabo. amazing spot on a pretty remote beach. and the bar is def worth the trip…

Vanessa

My family has a home in Cabo and I would include Artisanos for shopping (wholesale prices but open to the public- furniture, housewares and lighting fixtures) as well as Vagabundos for eating (it’s a fun, kitschy place in a trailer park!).

mica

I took a vacation in Los Cabos with friends and we were lucky enough to befriend lovely locals who showed us around. I’m not sure how true this is but they did not take us to Nowhere Bar because they said that place does not like to let in locals. So we didn’t go. We went everywhere else though. If you want beer pong, you can go to Happy Ending Bar. Best. Name. Ever. Mandala has a couple of nights during the week where it’s free drinks for ladies all night. Squid Roe if you want a grimy club experience in the best way possible, but never go early.

victoria | vmac+cheese

LOVE Cabo! If you’re on the west coast, it’s such an easy getaway. I can’t believe I’m about to share this, but my absolute favorite beach jaunt is Tabasco Beach Club on Medano Beach. It’s never very crowded, not touristy at all (last time I was there, I met lots of locals), and you can sit under big umbrellas and eat tacos right on the beach. I can (and have!) hung out there all day. It’s a fave for sure.

Fidget

Oof. Pricey choices. Surf Hotel “budget”? At around $300 per night? Sure.

Nick San and Edith’s are also outrageously expensive. Some more reasonably priced (and better) restaurants are La Fonda, which serves upscale but traditional Mexican (and Pre-Colombian!) food, Gardenia’s, which has amazing tacos, and El Pescador, which is a hole in the wall in the middle of Cabo san Lucas which has super fresh seafood.

Shopping-wise, you’re best off browsing the local markets, or heading up to Todos Santos. Touristy, yeah, but you’re in Los Cabos, and tourism is the name of the game.

stephanie marie

I’m going to Cabo next week! Thanks for the tips, D*S and commentors!

Petunia

This sounds lovely, how safe is it? Is it safe to leave the resort area? How is the drinking water?

CKfromtheD

We miss Cabo (was there in July). Loved Edith’s, Bar Esquina and Nick San. We actually met the American photographer who did Nick San’s wall art. Other good eats are: 1. Gardenia’s (for tacos the locals love), 2. Sunset Pointe restaurant (literally on a cliff, but breathtaking view; food was okay) 3. Hacienda Cuisina (best food/ambience)

Must dos: EcoCat lunch snorkeling tour. 30 minutes on a huge catamaran, 1 hour in Santa Maria bay, then 30 minutes back to marina. Worth every penny.

Tanya Andrews

My husband and I honeymooned in Cabo! My favorite place to eat was this tiny restaurant, Mi Ensalada just outside San Jose del Cabo. It was perfectly refreshing after a long day playing on the beach! Six years later, I still dream of their salads!

Betty

Best place to eat and drink in Cabo/San jose was Baja Blue ! We had the best meals so fresh and yummy and a great night life, lots live music. Located near all the hotels in San jose.

Ryan

I recommend wicked pizza…it’s right on the main strip but the owner toasted us on some free tequila and the mexican pizza is crave worthy. “Drinking sports bar” is fun if you’re young and broke, the owner has a crazy surfer vibe and you can get something like 5 drinks for 5 dollars.

In terms of safety, parents seem to think Cabbo is incredibly safe and friendly -but the sketchiest of people are aware of their target markets. Because my partner and I were young and in college when we wen this past year the same people offering golf and fishing packages were trying to sell us cocaine and hookers, even the cab drivers were trying to take us to strip clubs rather than our destination and heckled us with homophobia when we refused them. The one time we left the main street we were harassed by two guys to buy drugs, they were threatening and one even went to far as to slap my ass and again make homophobic comments. Thankfully we were not in a completely deserted area. These people are unlikely to bother you if you’re in a heterosexual coupling…as far as I can tell they view single males young and old as potential buyers of cocaine/marijuana/hookers. If you stay on the main streets most of these offers are easy to ignore and are surprisingly made as casual as a hot dog vendor and in plain sight of a noticeable police presence. They city is beautiful and the people were friendly, but I would stick to the safety of the touristy areas by night, much of the adjacent areas and bars nearest to the main strip were surprisingly abandoned anyways.

manola argento

mexico es realmente hermoso….todo es diseño. su naturaleza, sus telas, sus objetos, su arte….sus colores….me encanta!!!ojalá pueda repetir y visitarlo nuevamente

Deanna Sinclair

We’ve stayed at Cabo Villas which is on Medano Beach…good beach action and walking distance to restaurants (smoothies at The Office for breakfast is a good habit), bars, marina and downtown. Three things I love about Cabo Villas (all accessible even if you’re not staying there): excellent sushi at the Baja Cantina bar by the beach, great view from the 6th story rooftop restaurant at Baja Brewery and a great spa built underneath the pool. It’s called Sparitual.

Tasterspoon

Thanks for the honest feedback, Ryan. I echo Petunia’s concern. My family is trying to come up with a warm weather family vacay and a friend is urging us to go to Cabo since more than half of us are on the West Coast (and she says there are amazing deals to be had subletting timeshares), but at the moment we’re leery of Mexico in general.

Lana Cordoba

Great article! This is what I call useful insights! Do you also know A la Carte Maps? They provide great travel guides with insider tips on a hand-drawn map! Thought you might like it, anyway it is worth a try: http://www.facebook.com/alacartemaps

Lennie Wong

I am trying to find the name of the excellent custom lamp shop right next to the Plaza Mijares of San Jose del Cabo. We bought a lamp from them last December, and I would like to contact them or get their website to order another lamp. I believe they are Moroccan style lamps owned by a couple of brothers.
I hope you can help!

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