One of our great pleasures in travel is traveling with friends. More on this later but suffice it to say that we had a great time traveling in Mexico with our dear friends. Our time in the Cabo area was fun filled and enjoyable and I hope the below tips will help make your trip better, too.
The first consideration is, in fact, where to stay. I didn’t know this before we booked accommodations but San Jose del Cabo is NOT Cabo. It is a smaller, more intimate town just to the east of Cabo. It is also much closer to the airport which is an added bonus for me. We stayed in San Jose on this trip and visited Cabo and I am so thankful that we stayed where we did. Cabo (or Los Cabos) is busy, hectic, tourist filled and a bit pricey. San Jose del Cabo is a 25-30 minute drive down the road but has a local, small town vibe that is refreshing. Yes, there are tourists and yes, there are touristy things to do but it felt much more relaxing than being in Cabo itself. We spent our first night at the Cabo Azul resort which is beautiful and everything you would expect in a high end resort. I was happy to leave the next day, though, and check into our condo at Las Mananitas. This is a relatively small, beachfront condo community which provided everything we needed for our week long stay. I’ve included the link here and you will see my review of the property on the site as well. https://www.vrbo.com/466060?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=earned:vrbo:sharecopylink:USA&utm_content=466060
Next up, transportation. We flew into San Jose, arriving at 6:00 at night. I had decided to get a rental car for this trip. (See my previous post). Regardless of your mode of transportation, once you leave baggage claim, get out of the airport as fast as possible without talking to anyone. There are men all over trying to get your attention, scam you, sell you something. Arrange your transportation ahead of time and know where you will meet your driver/shuttle/taxi. Go directly to that meeting spot. You will be tired, and hungry, and dirty and overwhelmed and everyone you are traveling with will be a hot mess, but DO NOT GET SUCKED IN! As a side note, Uber works in San Jose and surrounding areas but cannot pick up at the airport. They are also currently in a pissing match with the taxi companies and local government because, as far as I can ascertain, Uber just hasn’t greased the wheels in Mexico quite enough for smooth operations. We were told at one point by a “security guard” that Uber was in fact illegal. This turns out to be a scam perpetrated by the taxi companies and I suspect it will be a nonissue as some point. There is a good review here if you are interested. https://www.gringogazette.com/?q=content/uber-finally-legal#sthash.kF4U1zih.dpbs
That being said, we found Uber to be a great way to get around the area. We took it to restaurants, into the center of town, into Los Cabos and even back to the airport. The area is also very walkable and safe and we enjoyed many strolls to and from dinner.
Now that you are here, what is there to do? There are, of course, all the usual vacation suspects. Reading, lounging, swimming, walking. We found a great public beach, Playa Pamilla, a short 5 minute Uber ride from our condo which was perfect for beach play and swimming. Much of the beach in San Jose is NOT safe for swimming but Palmilla is much calmer and was very safe the few days that we were there. We loved the Thursday night art walk in downtown San Jose. It runs every week from November through June with galleries and shops staying open late and artists and dancers displaying their talents in the town square. We spent one day ziplining with Cabo Adventures which was fun for the whole group. Our other big activity was a cooking class at Flora Farm. Flora Farm is a great farm to table operation in San Jose. They offer a beautiful setting, delicious food and cooking classes a few days a week. The class we took was informative and fun for our group (ages 9-51). I have reviewed these all in detail on tripadvisor.com. You can find them under my profile @JenniferH456. Here is the link for Flora Farms to get you started https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g152516-d6424449-r653275229-Flora_Farm-San_Jose_del_Cabo_Los_Cabos_Baja_California.html?m=19905
We did take a day trip into Cabo to check it out. We did a bit of shopping (Pandora charms for the girls’ bracelets) and had lunch. It didn’t take us long to grow weary, however, of the noise and bustle and head back to our hacienda in San Juan.
Food and drink options are plentiful. These are also reviewed on Trip Advisor but, some highlights were Cynthia Fresh, El Fish, Cantina Sardina and Las Cazuelas del Don. Las Cazuelas is a must do if you get the chance.
Last stop, shopping. El Wine Shop is a great place to get your morning coffee and buy your wine. They offer a large selection of Mexican as well as European and American wines. La Comer is the large grocery store in town and is well stocked with food, alcohol, clothes, games, boogie boards, etc, etc, etc. The main plaza in San Jose offers a huge number of local shops and art galleries. We didn’t buy much on this trip which is a bit rare for me but nothing really tugged at my heartstrings. The girls each chose a dress at La Comer ($5). My oldest and I split a pair of earrings ($20) and my youngest bought a bracelet with her name on it ($6). We bought a bottle of tequila for my co-worker ($20) and eight bottles of vanilla (less than $1 each).
And that’s a wrap! Leave me a note if you have questions or comments!