Los Cabos, the municipality located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, is perhaps best known for being home to Cabo San Lucas — a town that balances relaxation and partying like no other.
But if you plan to head south of the boarder sometime soon, don’t forget, in addition to Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos is home to plenty of places to see and endless things to do. In fact, there’s so much to see and do in Los Cabos you’ll need to become a repeat visitor to experience it all (and plenty of people have fallen in love with the region and visit over and over again).
You can however, accomplish everything on the list below in one visit (just give yourself 3 or 4 days) — or simply pick and choose your favorites for your trip!
Things To Do In Cabo San Lucas (And The Surrounding Area)
1. Stroll San Jose del Cabo’s Gallery District
Stepping into San Joes del Cabo is like taking a deep, relaxing, satisfying breath. Compared to the youthful party vibe in downtown Cabo San Lucas (about 30 minutes south), San Jose del Cabo is the laid back older sibling, complete with colorful colonial buildings and a missionary church set on a picturesque plaza.
The town’s Gallery District is the main draw and a must-visit. You can take a self-guided tour anytime (I visited during the day and was lucky enough to have local gallerist Patricia Mendoza show me around) but most people visit during Art Walk which is held every Thursday from 5-9pm from October through June. During Art Walk, the area becomes especially festive, so if you’re looking to make a night of it, visit during this time and stick around for dinner at the likes of Baja Brewing.
And if you’re envisioning perusing lots tchotchkes and tourist art, think again. You’ll find a collection of world class galleries displaying and selling everything from authentic Mexican folk art to original paintings, sculpture, photography, prints and jewelry from local, national and international contemporary artists.
When visiting galleries, if you plan on making any substantial purchases, be sure to look for the the “Gallery District San Jose Del Cabo Official Member” placard outside — these denote official and vetted members of the Gallery District association.
Extra Info: Touring the area on your own is easy, but for anyone looking for a more in-depth experience (think meeting a few of the local artists and enjoying some wine and cheese along the way), members of the Gallery District are working on putting together a “behind the scenes” tour. A launch date hasn’t yet been announced, but if you plan to visit, keep an eye on the Gallery District’s website or inquire with Patrica Mendoza though the website’s contact section.
2. Watch The Sunset At Sunset Monalisa
For well-to-do locals, Sunset Monalisa is the place to celebrate life events like birthdays and engagements. For vacationers, it’s the place to celebrate, well, being on vacation.
To enjoy the unbeatable sunset views, you could book a dinner reservation around sundown — or if you have other dinner plans or just want to save some money, simply come for a glass of champagne (and maybe a few oysters) on the restaurant’s Tattinger Terrace (here’s the menu).
Extra Tip: Want a similar view from your hotel room? Book a stay at the design-forward The Cape, A Thompson Hotel which is located next door.
3. Eat Dinner At Acre
Located 45 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas and 15 minutes from San Jose del Cabo, Acre is Los Cabo’s “it” eating and drinking establishment. If there’s a celebrity staying nearby (there’s always a few) you can bet they’ll make an appearance here.
The Acre experience begins with a drive down a long and bumpy dirt road that spits you out in a gravel parking lot. From there, a short walk through a dimly lit garden leads to Acre’s sleek and seductive entrance. Inside, the open air space is filled with candlelit tables and an impressive bar. Cozy up at whatever table strikes your fancy, then dig into the cocktail menu (try the Espilego Fizz) and the farm to table delicacies (the menu is always changing, let you waiter guide you).
Surrounding the restaurant is Acre’s 25-acre farm from which a continuously increasing percentage of the kitchen’s ingredients are harvested (the rest comes from neighboring farms and local providers). The owners’ grand vision for the property as a place where people can celebrate, learn and relax is quickly becoming reality, but will be solidified as soon as their modern treehouse rooms are ready for guests in winter 2017 (I saw one and they’re going to be in high demand once complete).
Extra Tip: If you fall in love with Cabo’s farm scene at Acre, come back during daylight and take a tour of Flora Farms, the organic farm next door. If you’ve really fallen in love, you can buy a second home at Flora Farms and harvest all of the vegetables you want from their gardens.
4. Attend The Los Cabos International Film Festival
2016 marked the 5th year of the Los Cabos International Film Festival – perhaps one of the most fun and accessible film festivals on the planet.
The five-day long event, which promotes North American films and creative talent, is held every November and is a great way to see films ahead of the general public — not to mention the perfect event to build your trip to Cabo around.
So what can you expect? While movies screen throughout the day, you’ll likely want to focus on the nightly “gala” screenings (gala screenings simply mean it’s the night’s featured movie and there’ll be some speeches and awards presented beforehand — for example, legendary filmmaker Oliver Stone was honored one night when I was there). Tickets to the opening and closing night galas include entrance to the opening and closing night party (each held at a different nearby hotel). Tickets to the opening and closing gala screenings and their respective parties will set you back about about $150USD each — but keep in mind the parties feature bottomless open bars and in the case of the opening party, lots of delicious free food, and in the case of the closing party, a great fireworks display.
Building your trip around the Los Cabos International Film Festival means you’ll always have something to do at night and a fun party to attend if planned to overlap with the opening or closing dates.
Good To Know: The films are screened in their original language — the majority of which are in English (so don’t worry, you won’t need to learn Spanish or read subtitles).
5. Cruise On A Private Yacht
Renting a private yacht isn’t exactly cheap, especially if it’s just you and someone special heading to Cabo for a romantic getaway. But visit Cabo with a group of friends — say 6, 8 or 10 — and split the cost of private boat charter and prices become more reasonable.
For example, a 5-hour renal of a boat like this, when split between 8 people will run you about $250 per person. Or you could splurge and go for a boat like this. Honestly, when you’re zooming past little sightseeing boats and feeling like you’re staring in your own 1990′s music video, you’ll realize that this is totally worth splurging on.
With your own boat, you’ll be able to cruise is style, blast your own music and set your own agenda. You’ll also be able to get up close to the famous el Archo (the ache) where sea lions like to hang out, drop anchor near the beach for a swim and of course, take some memorable photos. Better start recruiting your friends now!
6. Try Flyboarding
I plan to re-visit Cabo over and over again, so I’ll get to all those activities eventually, but on this trip I deiced to try flyboarding with Hydro Flyboard in Puerto Los Cabos.
After some instruction on land, you’ll hop in the water to get the feel for the jet pack strapped to your feet. The instructor and owner of the company, who will be with you the whole time on a nearby jet ski (the jet ski’s propulsion is what lifts you up in the air), is a great teacher and makes all the ins and outs easy to understand. He’ll also be on hand for all the motivation you need while you’re figuring out how to get some air.
But once you are airborne and start getting the hang of it (luckily I caught on pretty quickly — I think my experience as a snowboarder may have helped), it’s like no other experience out there. And yes, you do kind of feel like Superman (a very wet Superman).
I was a guest of Los Cabos Tourism. All opinions are my my own (seriously, I can’t wait to go back to Cabo)