Weekend travel guide to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico including the best hotel recommendations, restaurants, bars, museums, things to do, eat, see and explore.
CABO SAN LUCAS
WHERE THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA MEETS MEXICO
We realize you're probably going to Cabo for more than 36 hours, but we also realize you will most likely spend the majority of your trip basking in the Mexican sun while relaxing at your resort, and we definitely support that. Although many people choose not to venture beyond their hotel (no judgement), but you really, really should, as there's so much to see in the Baja Peninsula. Cabo stumbled on an opportunity to revamp its reputation of debauchery after the 2014 hurricane did its damage. You'll find architecturally beautiful beach hotels with innovative design, a sustainable agricultural community, and a laid back vibe. The Cabo area consists of two downtown districts: San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. Our guide explores the best of both, as they each provide a different experience.
THE CAPE, A THOMPSON HOTEL
THE CAPE, redefined what "Cabo cool" is all about. Perfectly situated on a private-feeling beach with views of the famous "el arco" and downtown Cabo San Lucas, this mid-century furnished hotel might feel minimalist but comes with all the top amenities. Expect an attractive, thirty and forty-something social crowd (and hip adults, not an ideal resort for children) in the gorgeous public spaces. Head to the rooftop for sunset drinks (also a great spot for night-owls), the Ledge restaurant for breakfast-- and their famous French toast, Manta-- an acclaimed tapas restaurant for dinner, the "glass box" for drinks and cigars, a beautiful infinity pool as well as a salt water plunge pool, and rock-like volcanic spa unlike any other. The wide range of standard rooms (all with views and a balcony swing), suites, villas and a penthouse accommodates most budgets. The Cape is a perfect balance of relaxation, liveliness, sophistication and laid back coastal culture.
CHILENO BAY, AN AUBERGE RESORT
CHILENO BAY. This beautiful contemporary resort opened its doors in February 2017, and guests keep returning because of its five-star amenities sans the crowds. It sits between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo on a quiet stretch of the most swim-friendly and best snorkeling beach in all of Baja. There are only 60 guest rooms (at 800 sq feet, regular rooms might-as-well be considered suites) and 32 villas, all with ocean views. The stunning yet unpretentious, laid-back property comes with multi-tiered infinity pools (one for kids, families, and adults), top-notch Auberge spa, casual taco & tequila bar-- TnT, award-winning restaurant Comal, movie theatre, complimentary beach activity rentals, fitness center (with a pilates reformer studio!) and caters to all types of travelers. This family-friendly resort (minus the noise), comes with a staff to guest ratio that has them calling you by name throughout your stay.
LAS VENTANAS AL PARAISO, A ROSEWOOD RESORT
LAS VENTANAS AL PARAISO. The white adobe buildings spread across exquisitely landscaped grounds make this resort feel less like a hotel and more like your own private villa. The decor is Mexico timeless and inviting. There are twelve types of rooms-- each has a private terrace, some with an additional rooftop terrace and dip pool for ultimate privacy and luxury. Although this resort is celebrating its twentieth year, the commitment to keeping this place fresh, exciting, and well-maintained is apparent. The first lazy river in Cabo just opened here (and you can even have food delivered inside a cave--while floating!), as well as an on-the-beach champagne bar. The multiple dining options and infinity pools will have you wishing you could extend your stay to try them all.
SEE_ FLORA FARMS FARM TOUR. About 30-45 mins from any resort in Cabo, you'll find the popular but isolated FLORA FARMS. Don't be skeptical when the cab driver takes you on a dirt road with no civilization in sight. This artist colony-working vegetable farm has become its own destination with pop up shops, a wine & coffee bar, residences, grocery, butchery, bakery, bar, and restaurant. Book a FARM TOUR to experience the entire property-- mango tree grove, vegetable farm, and maybe even a tour of the artist colony cottages and residences.
EAT_ FLORA FARMS FIELD KITCHEN. A completely self-sustaining restaurant set in the middle of the farm, expect nothing less from the food than to mimic the surroundings: fresh, organic, and clean. The Bloody Mary is a stand out as well, with a "farm-full" garnish at the top (e.g. pickled beets and raw kale). The salads, roasted chicken, and pizzas are mouth watering. It is farm to table at it's best. Check the calendar beforehand for the cooking class schedule that must be reserved in advance; classes are held in a private area of the farm.
WALK_ SAN JOSE DEL CABO. Head to San Jose del Cabo and asked to be dropped off by the large cathedral in the town center. Explore the charming cobblestone streets to the art galleries, Mexican handmade shops, restaurants, and markets. It is a slower pace, slightly less touristy (and definitely less rowdy) than Cabo San Lucas and will give you a more authentic Mexican experience.
DRINK_ THE CAPE HOTEL ROOFTOP BAR. Before sunset and on your way to Cabo San Lucas for dinner, stop by this hotel if you aren't staying there. Head up to the rooftop bar to enjoy great views, drinks, a good looking crowd, and a spectacular sunset.
EAT_ EDITH'S. Head into Cabo San Lucas to EDITH'S for dinner (must make a reservation). Just a few blocks from the touristy Marina, you'll find a vibrant and fun Mexican bar and restaurant. It feels authentic Baja with palapas, hanging glass-blown ornaments, Mexican blankets, flowers, and fountains. The open kitchen dishes up delicious local fresh fish, lobster, meat, and Mexican specialties. The tableside Caesar salad is the best Caesar we've had (fact: Caesar salad originated in Mexico). The platters with fresh surf and turf are perfect sharing entrees, and the variety of quesadillas and ceviche win for appetizers.
EAT_ THE OFFICE ON THE BEACH. Not just any breakfast on any beach, this place is special. On the sand for views of the arch and coastline, the bright tablecloths and white accents are inviting. You can be as healthy as you want, as their menu ranges from eggs over chicken enchiladas and banana bacon pancakes, to fresh juices, omelets, and smoothies. We recommend going in the morning as it is the most tranquil time of day. In the afternoon this place becomes the hottest (and loudest) spot in town.
DRIVE_ TODOS SANTOS or WIRIKUTA DESERT BOTANITCAL GARDEN. About 50 minutes up the Peninsula, you'll find the historic sugar cane village turned thriving artist community of Todos Santos. This sleepy beach town feels like a throwback, but in a good way that will make you feel happy that places like this exist.
Or if you would rather stay local, head to WIRIKUTA DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN where hundreds of types of desert cactus and outdoor plants provide a serene environment to browse through meticulous gardens.
*We recommend hiring a private driver or renting a cab for a few hours (about 4-5 hours roundtrip for the entire excursion) to take you roundtrip to Todos Santos. Ask your hotel for help with this, as they might have arrangements with local transportation companies.
WALK_ TODOS SANTOS and HOTEL CALIFORNIA. Start your tour in the center of town where the beautifully preserved Mission de Pilar and the old Cinema stand. Wander through the art galleries, handmade shops, pottery stores, and antique marts, and make your way to HOTEL CALIFORNIA. The perfectly pink, Hotel California, is the crown jewel of Todos Santos. This historic hotel is still operating today and is famous not only for the song, but its beautifully bohemian interiors as well.
EAT_ HOTEL SAN CRISTOBAL PUNTA LOBOS, TODOS SANTOS. If you've ever dreamed about your Mexican vacation home, we found it-- the 32 room HOTEL SAN CRISTOBAL. The hotel and restaurant are the antithesis of your large fancy resort, but that's just the point of Todos Santos. The hotel is situated along a most picturesque beach with a large central pool, Mexican tiles, white hacienda architecture and quaintness you won't feel in Cabo. It's one of those places where no one knows what time it is, and that's a good thing.
EAT_ ACRE. If you did not trek to Todos, just a few miles up the road from the botanical gardens you'll find the desert oasis, ACRE. This agriculturally-inspired restaurant, bar, and treehouse hotel, is a heavenly farm-like setting contrasted with sleek, modern design and organic materials. The food and drinks fit the environment with farm fresh ingredients that are light and locally sourced (try the fried green tomatoes or the scallop ceviche to share). Sip a refreshing cocktail, head to the mezcal tasting room or just let yourself wander..
EAT_ SUNSET DE MONA LISA. For an early dinner (pre-sunset), head to SUNSET DE MONA LISA. If you're staying at The Cape, it's within walking distance, perched up on the hill. The restaurant is built into the cliff and tiered, so that every table and seat has an unobstructed view of the ocean and iconic arch. You'll feel as if you've been transported to Santorini with white tablecloths, stone walls, and blue pools. The Italian-influenced menu focuses heavily on seafood. Save room for tiramisu and a Mexican coffee made tableside. You'll have the best seat in Cabo to watch the sunset, so much so, they named the restaurant after it.