If you like vacationing near the ocean, but would rather stay by the pool, Los Cabos is your place.
Located on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, this beautiful land full of contrast — from desert to ocean and breathtaking mountains — offers enough attractions to keep even the most demanding travelers busy.
Los Cabos is usually thought of as one destination, but it is actually two — and both are very different from one another.
Just 20 miles from the Cabo San Lucas that gained celebrity status for its gorgeous topography is the quieter San Jose del Cabo, a quaint little village where the downtown streets are filled by local artisans selling their pottery, paintings, textiles and all kind of handicraft alongside a great variety of food.
San Jose is the ideal destination for travelers who want a quiet vacation away from the noisy nights of Cabo San Lucas.
The town offers a wide variety of accommodations, from motels to all-inclusive hotels located right on the beach. Barceló Gran Faro, for example, is a great option, with up to 85 percent of its rooms boasting an ocean view. It also has a wide selection of food, great service, and the drinks are just wonderful.
The temperature of the ocean is generally warm and its color a deep blue that hypnotizes you … but that’s about all you'll get to know about it: Don’t even think of going for a swim. Most beaches are black-flagged due to the strong currents created where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortés.
Cabo San Lucas, on the other hand, is more of a party town, like Cancún or Puerto Vallarta, and mostly packed with tourists. It offers more places and things to do than San Jose del Cabo, from restaurants, tours, luxurious malls, tons of pharmacies and, yes, a wild nightlife.
Cabo San Lucas also has better beaches. With a little more color to them and the water is clearer. Both are because the currents are much less severe in Cabo San Lucas, which is a big plus for some travelers. After all, swimmable beaches make a big difference for those who don't want to be stuck by the pool.
The Cabos area is also unique when it comes the culinary options, since its cuisine doesn’t provide a wide array of dishes.
In the mid-18th century, the arrival of Jesuits added more flavors to the basically bland variety of foods cooked and served in Cabos. They brought ingredients that considerably expanded the locals' menu, although their presence did not last. The Jesuits were expelled, and with them some of their gastronomic contributions.
Some of the dishes that survived include Almejas Chocolatas Tatemadas, or grilled clams cooked on beach stones; Machaca de Pescado, a stingray dish seasoned with chili and native spices), Tamales Fajados, which are steam-cooked corn-based doughs filled with chicken; and the so-called ''Comida de Pobres'' (food of the poor), which is a seafood soup with rice, vegetables and beans.
Either San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas are great destinations with good weather all year round, save for a few showers and a bit of serious heat in the months of July and August. You’ll enjoy good food, incredible scenery and the always-welcoming charm of the Mexican people — and depending on where you hit the beach, a nice swim in the ocean.