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Los Cabos Itinerary
There are tons of things to do in Los Cabos, but do you really want a schedule so full you can’t slow down? Or would you rather have a Cabo itinerary that includes some fun activities, cultural experiences and still have time to relax by the pool?
Let me make it easy on you. If you’re planning a trip to Los Cabos, here’s a plan that will show you what this incredible area has to offer.
Why this itinerary? I was hosted by Los Cabos Tourism so I had some expert advice on Cabo things to do. Plus, I mixed it up with my own favourite activities.
How Much Time Should You Spend in Cabo?
I’d spend the whole winter here if I could. But time is precious and even a weekend in Cabo is worth it.
If you’re spending 4 days in Cabo, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a 5 day Cabo itinerary, you’ll find that here, too, by adding a day trip to Todos Santos.
If you’re staying for a week or more (lucky you), you’ll find lots of additional Cabo activities to help you plan your Mexico beach vacation.
First, a few things to know when planning a trip to Los Cabos.
What’s With the Cabo Name?
If it’s your first trip to Los Cabos, it’s easy to get confused. Is it Cabo? Los Cabos? Cabo San Lucas? San Jose del Cabo? Basically, you might be wondering where the heck you are and where you should stay.
Let me explain.
Los Cabos is at the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula (which is not in California, it’s in Mexico).
Los Cabos is a region in the state of Baja California Sur that includes the two popular resort cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
Cabo can refer to either Cabo San Lucas, the city, or to the entire region of Los Cabos. Because who wants to use two or three words when you can use one?
I’ve also noticed people use the term Cabo San Lucas when they mean Los Cabos as a whole. No wonder we’re mixed up.
The Tourist Corridor
In between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo is the Tourist Corridor. This is also known as the Hotel Corridor, or simply the Corridor. The Tourist Corridor runs for 33 km (20 miles) with the Baja California Desert on one side and the glistening Sea of Cortez on the other.
You’ll find many gorgeous hotels in the Tourist Corridor, including some of the best all inclusive adults only resorts in Mexico.
Since many of the best things to do in Cabo are at one end or the other, the Tourist Corridor is a popular place to stay. A good Cabo itinerary will take you to both cities.
And, as Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are as different as hot habanero salsa and tender squash stew, it helps to understand the difference between them.
Cabo San Lucas
With a lively marina, plenty of nightlife, restaurants, and salesmen who will approach you trying to sell tours (or chase you with an iguana for some reason), Cabo San Lucas is the centre of the action.
San Jose del Cabo
It’s hard not to fall for colourful San Jose del Cabo, a cultural centre for the area. Here you’ll find shops selling handmade crafts, art galleries, fine restaurants and a Thursday night Art Walk that’s a much-loved Cabo activity.
Why Visit Los Cabos?
Los Cabos is clean, comfortable and has more luxury hotels than Manhattan has millionaires. (Okay, slight exaggeration. Let’s say billionaires.)
The ocean-meets-desert scenery is amazing.
Cabo has an incredible 360 days of sunshine a year.
There is something for everyone. While Cabo San Lucas has long drawn the young and party-fuelled restless, and has been a reality-star staple for years: think Real Housewives, the Kardashians, Laguna Beach … it also has a softer sophisticated side with an artistic slant and a layer of full-blown elegance.
You just need to know where to find it.
In short, there’s a Cabo for almost every type of traveller. Though it’s not an inexpensive destination.
Cabo San Lucas Itinerary for 4 Days
So let’s get to our Cabo San Lucas itinerary. (See? I said Cabo San Lucas itinerary when I meant Los Cabos itinerary, because I like to confuse people, too.)
Arrival Day by the Pool
Most trips will start at the Los Cabos International Airport. You can take a hotel shuttle or taxi (they’re expensive) from there. Ubers are not allowed at the airport, though you can use them elsewhere. You can also rent a car. Just a note: insurance is mandatory.
As you’ll likely be tired from last-minute packing and frantically searching for your passport/sunblock or whatever else it is you realized you needed at the last minute, I recommend getting to your hotel and taking some much deserved pool time.
Hit the swim up bar for a strawberry margarita or a paloma, a cocktail crafted with grapefruit, tequila blanco, and lime, and start your trip off right.
What to Do in Cabo on Day 1
Morning and Lunch at Flora Farms
Start your first full day in Cabo with an excursion to Flora Farms. It’s a 15-minute drive from San Jose del Cabo, and about 40 minutes from Cabo San Lucas.
This mini oasis takes a delicious dive into the sustainable side of Los Cabos. It’s a 25-acre organic farm that offers free tours, shops and a restaurant that serves up organic fare using ingredients from their own farm and ranch.
Cooking Class at Flora Farms
We did a tamale cooking class. This has to be one of the most satisfying hands-on things to do in Los Cabos, especially as you eat what you create, alongside mouth-watering additions like rosemary guacamole and freshly-squeezed carrot and orange margaritas.
How to get to Flora Farms. If you’re not renting a car, a taxi is easiest.
Flora Farms address: Animas Bajas, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Afternoon/Evening in San Jose del Cabo
No Los Cabos itinerary would be complete without a visit to San Jose del Cabo. Founded by the Jesuits in the 1700s, it’s a world away from crazy-lively Cabo San Lucas, which you’ll explore tomorrow.
The walkable Old Town is fringed with brightly-coloured banners and candy-coloured shops, and you might catch traditional dancers or a Mexican band in the Plaza Mijares.
What to See in San Jose del Cabo
This broad square, also known as La Plaza, is located in front of the historic San Jose del Cabo Church, the Parroquia San José, that was restored in 1940 but founded in 1740.
San Jose del Cabo’s Gallery District behind the church has become a tourist destination in its own right, and the Thursday night Art Walks from November to June are popular social events.
San Jose del Cabo Restaurants – La Revolución
If you’re looking to eat dinner in San Jose del Cabo, you’re in the right place. It’s known for its many good restaurants.
One option is La Revolución Comedor de Baja California. A smart upscale eatery where the seasonal menu is fresh and well presented, its menu ranges from Manzanilla-style Eréndira-grown Abalone to Tomahawk Taqueros.
Bonus: Cocktails are designed by one of Cabo’s top mixologists, Osvaldo Vázquez.
It’s also right in the Old Town, a 2-minute walk from Plaza Mijares. Address: La Revolución Comedor de Baja California, Alvaro Obregon #1732, Centro, 23400 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico.
Day 2 of Your Itinerary Cabo San Lucas
Take a Morning ATV Tour
For some outdoor adventure near Cabo San Lucas, try an ATV or Side by Side tour at Migrino Beach. A fully escorted tour will have you zipping around curves and zooming along a spectacular beach. Most tours include hotel pick up.
We used Cactus Tours, but there are a number of companies that offer Cabo San Lucas ATV tours.
Travel Tip: Go early to avoid the heat and slink in ahead of the party-minded tourists who’ve slept in after a wild night in Cabo San Lucas.
A Camel Safari, Really?
Yes, really. Well suited to the desert landscape, camels were apparently brought to Mexico from Texas, where they were used briefly as pack animals by the United States Camel Corp in the mid 1800s – an experiment that didn’t last.
Today camel rides have become a tourist activity staple in Cabo, and it’s a trip at a sedate pace showcasing views of the Pacific.
I have mixed feelings about riding even domesticated animals, but was glad to see the vet there the same time we were, caring for the tour company’s some 30 ‘Ships of the Desert.’
Cactus offers a 2-for-1 Cabo San Lucas activities where you can combine your ATV or Side by Side tour with a camel or horse-riding excursion.
Afternoon in Cabo San Lucas – Explore the Marina
Love it, or hate it, the tourist-heavy promenade around the Marina Cabo San Lucas is a must-do in Cabo at least once.
It’s a sparkling sight. Situated at the mouth of the Sea of Cortez, the marina holds up to 380 boats, and you’ll see some pretty slick yachts. Wrapping around the marina are restaurants, tour companies, shops and bars.
Have a happy hour cocktail, gaze out at the sea, stroll the pedestrian walkway and watch the lively Cabo San Lucas scene.
Boat Tour to the Arch of Cabo San Lucas
The most famous landmark in Los Cabos is the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, El Arco. It’s an eye-catching rock formation that curls over the sea like a doorway to the great whale-ridden beyond.
Located at Land’s End, the tip of the peninsula where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific, the Arch is another must-see sight in Cabo, and boat tours leave right from the marina.
Whale Watching in Cabo
One way to see the Arch is to combine it with a whale watching excursion. From mid December to mid April, there are Humpback Whales and Gray Whales galore in these waters. You can do a zodiac tour, a covered boat tour or even opt for a private Cabo whale watching excursion.
It’s Hard to Beat a Sunset Cruise
A sunset boat tour is one of the best ways to view the Arch. Kick back with some music, drinks, and snacks, and revel in the fantastic view as you catch El Arco in different shades of light.
Bonus: If you go in winter, you’re likely to spot whales even though it’s not a designated whale watching excursion. We did.
Many tour companies offer boat tours of the Arch. We went with Cabo Adventures. The small boat excursion was, to my mind, a much more relaxed and laidback way of getting out on the water than going on a huge party boat.
But hey, if you want to knock back shots and fist-pump to a thumping beat, a booze cruise is something to put on your Cabo San Lucas itinerary, too.
Cabo Day 3
Morning Kayak and Snorkelling Tour to the Arch
Yes, it’s a trip to El Arco again, but what a fun activity to put on your Los Cabos itinerary. A kayaking tour will give you a chance to spot sea lions, pelicans and tropical fish. Besides, don’t you need to wear off all those tacos and margaritas you’ve been consuming?
You can even paddle a glass bottom kayak for better viewing. It’s a popular activity for cruise passengers wondering what to do in Cabo, and for visitors who want to experience the outdoors.
Travel Tip: Go early in the morning before the crush of tour boats descend.
Beach Afternoon – Visit Lover’s Beach
If you’re planning a trip to Cabo, we need to talk beaches. While they’re stunning to look at, many aren’t safe for swimming, and the beach at your resort is likely one of them. (Maybe that’s why the hotel pools are so gorgeous.)
It doesn’t mean there are no great Los Cabos beaches. If you did a sunset boat tour, you no doubt saw Lover’s Beach on the Sea of Cortez side of Land’s End and Divorce Beach on the Pacific.
A Stunning Setting
Lover’s Beach, Playa del Amor, is one of the most scenic beaches in Cabo San Lucas. Framed by jagged granite cliffs, it has no facilities but is idyllic for swimming and snorkelling. Go early to avoid the crowds.
You can only get there by boat, but can easily take a water taxi from the Cabo San Lucas Marina or Medano Beach.
Travel Tip: Don’t swim at Divorce Beach. Divorces mean troubled waters, and the turbulent water at Divorce Beach is no different. You can walk over from Lover’s Beach to see it, though.
Is It Time to Party?
It’s not everyone’s jam, but for those wanting to hit the clubs in Cabo San Lucas (that would not be us), the nightlife is centred around the Plaza Bonita. If you’re planning a Cabo bachelorette party itinerary, put it on your list.
Cabo Wabo in Cabo
Rock star Sammy Hagar of Van Halen fame founded Cabo Wabo Cantina back in 1990 and it’s still going strong for late night rocking and live music.
El Squid Roe
For a club with a DJ, El Squid Roe packs in the crowds, who pack in the jello shots. Be different. Try a shot of Damiana , an herb-based liqueur, instead.
Day 4 Cabo Itinerary
A Morning to Relax
If you’re staying at a luxury resort in Los Cabos like Le Blanc Spa Resort or Grand Velas, it’s worth spending time at the spa. What’s better than a massage to help you unwind before your trip comes to an end – especially as Cabo has some of the best spas in Mexico.
Afternoon at Medano Beach
More beach time! The longest swimmable beach in Los Cabos, Medano Beach, Playa Medano, is a classic beach-vacation strip of sand that will likely be on everyone’s Cabo San Lucas vacation itinerary. Why? Because it’s right in downtown Cabo San Lucas.
Noisy, chaotic and fun in a beachy holiday sort of way, a visit to Medano Beach is a must-do Cabo San Lucas activity, but will likely have you heading back to the peace of your resort pool eventually.
The Most Popular Beach in Los Cabos
While the sand isn’t the softest, you’ll find beach restaurants, bathers galore, persistent souvenir vendors and water activities like jet skiing and parasailing.
The water is clear, the views across the bay to El Arco are stunning, and it’s a good chance to rent a Stand Up Paddle Board.
Travel Tip: It gets less crazy the farther you go away from the marina.
Dinner at El Huerto Farm-to-Table Restaurant
Dining out is one of the most romantic things to do in Los Cabos and a key item on any Cabo honeymoon itinerary or special anniversary celebration. Make it organic at El Huerto Farm-to-Table Restaurant.
Located a quick cab ride from Cabo San Lucas, El Huerto offers an international menu infused with local flavours and a friendly Baja hacienda atmosphere. It’s a place to pair your Wood Grilled Chicken or sustainably-raised Totoaba Fish with a biodynamic wine, cocktail with fresh herbs or local craft beer.
El Huerto Farm To Table Restaurant address: Rancho San Angel, Carretera Transpeninsular KM 4.5 El Tezal, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Reservations: Tel: +52 624 211 9476
5 Day Cabo Itinerary
Take a Day Trip to Todos Santos
Are you up for a day trip from Cabo? Hey, if you’d rather laze in your lounger, I’m not judging. But if it’s time to expand your Baja California itinerary, make it a magic ride.
Officially designated a Pueblo Magica, a Magic Town, Todos Santos is a laidback place to visit on the Pacific side of the peninsula.
What is a Pueblo Magica? While I like to think it’s an enchanted village complete with spells, wands and witches, a Pueblo Magica is a town recognized by the Mexican government for its captivating qualities such as attractiveness, historical importance or natural setting.
As well as being an artsy haven with a boho vibe, Todos Santos is a popular surfing and outdoor destination. If you’re not here to ride the waves, walk around and explore the town.
Originally it was mission founded by the Jesuits in 1724, and you can still see the original building. Later, the town became a centre for sugar cane production, though lack of water dried up the industry.
These days you can shop for artisanal goods, try a Mezcal tasting at México Gourmet-Todos Santos, or dine on oysters at the sophisticated Terra Santa restaurant.
You can also stroll past the Hotel California, rumoured to be the hotel of no return in the famous Eagle’s song of the same name. At the same time, it’s rumoured not to be the song’s inspiration, but whatevah.
Getting to Todos Santos: The easiest way is to rent a car or hire a driver, especially if you want to also visit the beach. Todos Santos is about a 90-minute drive from Cabo San Lucas. There is a local bus from Cabo San Lucas but with limited service.
Los Cabos Itinerary for a Week or More
You can easily add to your Cabo itinerary if you’re staying longer. Visit one of Cabo’s other swimmable beaches like Palmilla Beach or Chileno Beach. If you want more outdoor adventures in Cabo, try deep sea fishing or swim with whale sharks.
You could add a day trip to the city of La Paz, go hiking, do some serious shopping (a Mexican fire opal perhaps?), or head out for a round of golf at one of Cabo’s 18 golf courses.
Clearly, you’re not going to run out of Cabo things to do; the challenge is slowing down and remembering it’s a Mexico vacation, which means taking some time to relax.
I hope this Cabo itinerary helps you plan the Mexico beach vacation of your dreams. To recap, here’s a quick list of the activities you can do. Fit in as many as you can, or pick one or two. It’s your trip. Enjoy it.
Best Things to Do in Los Cabos
- Visit Flora Farms for an organic lunch or a cooking class
- Explore the artsy town of San Jose del Cabo
- Have a meal at La Revolucion
- Take an ATV tour
- Try a camel safari
- Visit the Cabo San Lucas Marina
- Go whale watching
- Do a sunset cruise of the Arch
- Take a kayak and snorkelling excursion
- Swim at Lover’s Beach
- Dine at El Huerto Farm-to-Table Restaurant
- Relax with a spa treatment
- Sunbathe at Medano Beach
- Take a day trip to Todos Santos
- Go whale watching
- Try deep sea fishing
- Swim with whale sharks
- Go hiking
- Hang out at two other swimmable beaches in Cabo, Palmilla Beach or Chileno Beach
- Take a day trip to the city of La Paz
- Hit up one of Cabo’s famous golf courses like Quivira or Cabo del Sol Golf Club
For more help in planning your Los Cabos itinerary, visit the Los Cabos Tourism website.