A trip to Los Cabos may have slipped from the top of your to-do list after that one tequila-fueled spring break back in college, but it’s time to revisit the idea. Sitting on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos is split into Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, divided by a long stretch of hotels and resorts known as the 20-mile tourist corridor.
Cabo San Lucas is the wild child, attracting college students who visit for blurry nights at bars that stretch into rough mornings spent sprawled on hot sand. On the other side of town is big brother San José del Cabo, a once-sleepy village that now plays host to a more refined crowd of gallerygoers seeking out artisanal food and drink experiences. A burgeoning farm-to-table food scene promises an authentic taste of what the region has to offer, and under-the-radar “magic towns” like Todos Santos give visitors a peek into the rich culture of Baja.
Whether you’re an adventure-seeker, beach bum, or something in between—here’s our guide to experiencing Los Cabos at its full potential.
When to Visit
With sunny weather and warm temps all-year round, there really isn’t a bad time to visit. It all depends on your budget and the type of activities you’ll be participating in. High season runs from December to April, when frosty conditions send travelers flocking to balmy destinations. Flight and hotel prices during this time are higher, but you’ll be rewarded with the best whale-watching conditions of the year. Midsummer to the end of September is the cheapest time to visit, but beware of scorching heat and the possibility of summer hurricanes.
Where to Stay
The hotel scene in Los Cabos is booming in ways you might not expect. While all-inclusive beachside resorts are convenient, they can be one-dimensional. A new crop of boutique accommodations promises a more bespoke experience without compromising on luxury or amenities. One such place is Solaz Resort. The property is committed to sustainable design, drawing inspiration from the surrounding area. Though we obviously love a swanky infinity pool and a well-stocked beach bar, the real highlights are unique to the region. There’s art by César López Negrete, whose works were inspired by the geography and history of Baja. You can tour the gallery showcasing regional artifacts, like a 43-foot-long whale skeleton and a historical map collection. What’s more, they’ve only planted water-efficient vegetation from the Baja desert on the property, and installed green roofs that absorb sunlight to keep rooms naturally cooler.
“Our Baja immersion extends to our culinary offerings as well,” says Giuliana Torres, general manager at Solaz Resort. “For instance, this summer we debuted the ‘Ancient Baja Cooking Ritual: Tatemada Clams & Champagne.’ Guests are able to cook using the ancient technique of tatemar from the magic town of Loreto, in which freshly caught oysters and clams are charred over an open flame on the beach.”
They also offer local spirits tastings, a tamales master class, and a Mexican chocolate workshop. Make sure to stop by the bar for artisanal cocktails made with unique local ingredients like the damiana flower—a plant with alleged aphrodisiac qualities that was considered sacred to the Guaycuras, nomadic hunter-gatherers indigenous to the area.
What to Do
At the southernmost point of Cabo San Lucas, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of Baja California, you’ll find El Archo. The emblematic arch is a natural rock formation that rises above the water. Visit early in the morning to watch sea lions lolling about.
“Usually on the weekend, the go-to plan is to pack a cooler with beer and some local ceviche and head out to the East Cape,” says Solaz Resort communications coordinator Alfredo Gómez. “Drive for about 40 minutes until you get to Liebre Matrera at La Fortuna Beach, where you can experience the best surf, fresh drinks, and local food as well. The place fills with in-the-know locals.”
Art aficionados will love to explore historic San José del Cabo, with a picturesque town square, Plaza Mijares, and an arts district full of shops and galleries. Those traveling between November and June can also participate in an Art Walk that runs every Thursday night. Galleries stay open late for visitors to appreciate and purchase paintings, sculptures, photography, and more from local artists.
There are also ample opportunities throughout the region for snorkeling and diving in Cabo San Lucas and Cabo Pulmo National Park. Gomez tells Men’s Journal that optimal snorkeling conditions can be found year-round at Chileno and Santa María. “The best thing to do is jump in the water right before golden hour. The visibility is at its best, and the colors are truest to reality,” says Gómez.
Where to Eat
Drive about an hour from Los Cabos for a total change of pace in charming Todos Santos, a quiet area that’s designated as one of Mexico’s hundred or so magic towns—areas recognized for their important cultural, historical, and gastronomical heritage. Todos Santos is known for its surf culture and strong local arts scene, as well as the historic Hotel California (no, not the one from the Eagles song).
There you’ll find Jazamango—an organic farm-to-table restaurant by chef Javier Plascencia. You can dine al fresco next to the orchard, where the produce is plucked for your meal. For something a little more low key, check out La Copa Cocina, where they serve up delicious Baja-style fish tacos behind The Todos Santos Inn. If you plan on staying overnight, we’d be remiss not to tell you to stop by Tequila Sunrise Bar & Grill downtown for a margarita. The next morning, grab a cup of small-batch coffee and some baked goods at Baja Beans.
A trip to San Jose del Cabo wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Flora Farms. Located at the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, Flora is a 25-acre working farm that offers, well, everything. The farm provides a bounty of produce for Flora’s Field Kitchen, as well as fruits and vegetables for the artisanal cocktails at Flora’s Farm Bar. Hell, you can even stay overnight at the Culinary Cottages & The Haylofts, or indulge in a massage at The Farm Spa.