Things to do When Visiting Los Cabos, Mexico
We spent a beautiful week at Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort last year just after it reopened after renovation. While we spent most of our time at the resort (it was just too perfect!), we did leave the property twice to visit the local cities. We found that there are so many things to do when visiting Los Cabos! While the iconic arch, El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, is often pictured and visited, a trip around it in a boat tour is a definite must! Here are our recommendations for what to do in Cabo with kids.
Hilton Los Cabos is located between the two cities of San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. While taxis (about $45 each way) and rental cars are available at the hotel, we made our trips into the cities on public buses (about $2 per person each way). The bus stop is located just outside the hotel property. The buses were modern, charter-type vehicles that ran between both cities with multiple stops at businesses and hotels. We felt safe on the buses, and the drivers were extremely courteous and helpful.
Be sure to stop at the concierge desk at Hilton Los Cabos before venturing on the buses. They will give you a map of the city and point out which stop you want to take. We always use public transportation when we travel and I speak Spanish, but the bus stops aren’t always self-explanatory. On one trip, I got us off one stop too late and we had to walk back a couple of blocks. Use your map and the concierge!
Also, be sure that you carry enough cash to pay your fare (whether bus or taxi). We were very tired one evening and found out the hard way that none of the taxis were able to scan credit cards.
San José del Cabo
San José del Cabo is a quaint town. We centered our visit on an older section of the city center. We found a church, local stores, and hit the jackpot with an indoor mercado. While we have shopped at local markets before, this one was not tourist-centered, and the girls got to experience local residents shopping for groceries and other goods. Visiting (and smelling) the meat market led to good discussions about differences between typical lives in various locations.
And, if you want to try your hand at surfing, there is a well-known surfing school located between Hilton Los Cabos and the city!
Cabo San Lucas
We visited Cabo San Lucas on a different day for shopping and a planned excursion. In our opinion, Cabo San Lucas is much more tourist-centered. There were multiple restaurants and bars, tourist markets, and stores catering to cruise ship passengers. We also paid for the opportunity to cuddle an iguana. We found a much larger variety of souvenirs, but fewer were authentic Mexican items.
Through the concierge desk (have I mentioned yet how wonderfully helpful they are?), we booked a private sailboat for dinner and a sunset tour of the famous arch. Unfortunately, a brewing hurricane in the ocean required all smaller vessels to be docked. We had booked it for our last evening and didn’t account for a weather cancellation. I recommend booking early in your trip so that you can reschedule if necessary.
The concierge was able to book us on a different, non-private boat that served dinner and offered a sunset tour as well. This tour contained about 50 passengers. Other boats boarding at the same pier held several hundred passengers. The boats have photographers aboard who will print souvenir group photos on the spot. Come prepared to purchase; they only accept cash and the ATM machines near the dock are very expensive.
Sport Fishing in Cabo
As a family, we left the resort property twice. However, my husband chose to venture out one day on his own to take in a day of sport fishing. He researched dozens of companies and booked a private charter before we left home. He left the hotel about 4:30 am one morning in a taxi and made his way to the pier. He was admittedly nervous. He had never ventured out alone on a vacation where he didn’t speak the country’s language. He found the hotel staff, taxi drivers, and dock workers friendly and helpful. Most were able to communicate through their knowledge of English.
About 12 hours later (the girls and I suffered by basking in the sun and enjoying the Kids Club activities all day), he returned to the hotel with two huge mahi mahi. He had caught three other fish but gave those away. As a side note, it is possible to bring supplies to fly your fish home. Had we known then what we know now, we would have about twenty pounds of delicious fish in our freezer.
He delivered the fish to the kitchen and consulted with the chef. For dinner that evening, the chef prepared part of his catch of the day for us in a variety of dishes. We added vegetables from the menu and had a wonderful meal. They properly stored his fish, and we ate it cooked in several different preparations over the next few days.
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