Heading to Cabo San Lucas for the first time? Here are some handy tips for traveling to this beautiful beach town at the southern tip of Baja California Sur.
Transportation from the San Jose airport
It will usually take about a 25-30 minute drive from the airport to downtown Cabo. Depending on the size of your party, your hotel or resort may offer a shuttle service for a fee to and from the destination–usually no more than $20-25 USD per person, each way. Typically, resorts have designated check-in days, so those are the days you will likely find a direct shuttle. If a shuttle is not offered, you can always book private transportation or grab a cab at the airport. Private shuttles can run anywhere from $125 USD each way (for your entire party) and they usually offer to stop for groceries for an extra fee. A cab will be about $80-90 USD, each way, depending on your final destination. If you’d like to spend a little less on transportation, I’d recommend booking a shared shuttle which usually runs about $17 per person, each way. Don’t forget to tip! Here are a few transportation services that are reliable and friendly:
Exchanging USD for pesos
In Cabo, it really isn’t necessary to exchange dollars for pesos before you travel. Know the exchange rate before you leave–at the beginning of 2014, the rate was 13 pesos to 1 dollar. And before you leave carry lots of small bills; $1s, $5s and $10s will come in most handy! Everywhere will accept USD or pesos. In a lot of cases you’ll be bartering, so it’s always nice to have the exact cash to get the best deal.
Where to stay
Medano Beach is the main beach in Cabo San Lucas. There are plenty of luxe and budget-friendly resorts and hotels to fit your needs. My favorite hotel is Casa Dorada because it’s an easy walk to downtown and there are several restaurants on its block.
Dealing with timeshare “sharks”
These folks are everywhere, even at the airport after you make your way through customs–some are easy to spot and others not so much. The fact is, anywhere you go in Cabo, someone will try to sell you something. A simple “no” works, even if you have to say it over and over; however, if you find the right person to help you, you can find some awesome deals in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation. Anything from free boat rides, dinner cruises, water sports or dinner discounts–if you’ve got the time and the patience or if you’re genuinely interested in exploring timeshare purchase, shop around for the best incentives.
Cabo San Lucas is a very safe, small beach town. Even after the sun sets, the downtown area is well monitored by local police and most locals are friendly enough if you have a question about where to go. Most hotels will check you in and out using your room number (i.e. if you take a cab to dinner), as well.
Check out my other articles about Cabo San Lucas dining and restaurants on my contributor profile page.