A Tale Of 2 Cities

In a far, far away land; where the ocean turns into 50 different shades of blue and the sunsets take your breath away, a magical kingdom awaits. For years, folks willing to visit this mystical land thought it was just one big city on the border of Baja California Peninsula, but in fact, it is made up of two different cities that offer exceptional experiences, each in their own unique way.

You see, Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are two distinct cities connected by a 20-mile corridor and just a twenty-five-minute-drive away from each other. Even though they share the same airport (SJD), coastline, world-class accommodations, and experiences, they are very different places; with their own magic each.

When it comes to planning your ultimate vacation, this little tour-guide might be of help.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

If what you are looking for is an unlimited fiesta, extreme outdoor activities, and high-end venues, Cabo San Lucas is your place. Imagine she is the cool friend we all want to have; the one that knows the coolest bars and clubs, books you into all-inclusive resorts with massages and infinite pools, goes snorkeling, and loves nothing more than a 5-star meal and cocktails by the beach.

On the other side, San José del Cabo is for those who are searching for a more relaxing, cultural, and peaceful vacation. Let's say it is like that mystical friend that's always got the best book, restaurant, and film recommendations, the one that takes you to museums and hidden cafeterias. She dances on the street, loves jazz bars, sunsets, and wonderful wine.

Cabo San Lucas was once a fishing village that has grown and urbanized into a modern city, created to offer tourists and visitors a high-end experience. On the other side, San José del Cabo is a town with its Mexican essence, still developing and merging its cultural traditions with the luxurious modern world.

DOWNTOWN AND HISTORIC DISTRICTS

Downtown Cabo is filled with vibrant energy and good times ahead. Start at La Marina, a beautiful waterfront home to some of the most luxurious yachts and charters, surrounded by upscale meals, shopping, and entertainment options. With over 50 varied cuisines to choose from, luxury and local shops, and even a cultural pavilion nearby, spending the day walking over there is the perfect plan.

San José del Cabo has a very magical touch as if time had suddenly stopped in 1700. The historic district transforms into an open-air art gallery surrounding Plaza Mijares. The colonial-style facades transport you to an old-Mexico, where you can find San José missionary church, the gazebo—which is actually common in all historic districts around Mexico- and some small shops and great food. Please, try the ice cream stand, water, and milk-based, you will never find so many atypical and delicious flavors in one place! There is also an art district a couple of blocks away, where local and international artists expose their impressive work.

WHERE IS THE PARTY?

For those who are here to party until the sun comes out, Cabo San Lucas is every rock star’s paradise. Down by the district, you will find late nightclubs and bars with international DJs, dance floors, and unlimited shots, while closer to La Marina you can find a whole strip of bars and rooftops with great happy hour deals and live music. Never say no to tacos, guacamole, quesadillas, and Margaritas.

San José del Cabo offers a more laid-back plan, where pleasant music and a bottle of wine settle the mood for a delightful night under the moonlight and rustic architecture. Expect unique creative cocktails, live music, and small spaces. You can also find some sports bars and late-night cantinas open if you are in the mood for a beer or a quick drink. Karaoke is quite popular in this area, and so are street musicians and artists.

YOUR MEAL IS SERVED

It is fair to say that both Cabos own exquisite gourmet options. For instance, Cabo San Lucas offers the finest international cuisines and some great local options. The extensive gastronomical rage goes from 5-star meal courses to delicious street food that gives tourists endless possibilities of flavors, settings, and prices. Some of the most recognized and awarded restaurants are located right here, with stunning views of the famous Cabo Arch.

San José del Cabo is now shinning on the gastronomical map with some of the most splendid dining scenes in the entire country. There is something under that fusion between Baja’s cuisine and traditional Mexican flavors, often reinvented under the mind of awarded chefs and the playful vibe of San José. Well that, and that most ingredients are always organic and fresh—particularly seafood, which is their especially- and of course, there are those unbelievable ocean views.

DO YOU TAKE CREDIT CARDS?

Cabo San Lucas is a high-end shopping destination. With unlimited possibilities from boutique malls, like Luxury Avenue and Puerto Paraíso down by la Marina, where some of the biggest fashion names can be found, to shopping locally at Los Mercados, which is a great place to buy souvenirs or try traditional candy. Cabo San Lucas is filled with malls and plazas that will cover your every need. However, prices will not be the lowest.

San José del Cabo is actually a more artsy scenery when it comes to shopping. Lots of local and small shops and galleries, most nearby the art district where you will find unique and chic pieces and handcrafts. You will also find local plazas, grocery stores, and markets to cover all your needs.

BEACH, PLEASE!

The beaches on this side of the Peninsula are exquisite, with golden sand and turquoise waters. Unlike the beaches at San José del Cabo, at Cabo San Lucas you will find they offer quite a variety of aquatic and extreme activities such as snorkeling, surfing, Kayaks, and scuba diving. Beaches over here are a lot more crowded and filled with local beach vendors, but the breathtaking views of Cabo San Lucas’ rock formation known as “The Arch” are worth the trip over there.

Beaches at San José del Cabo do not offer as many water activities, nor waters all swimmable at all times because of the rough ocean currents. These waters are perfect for extreme surfing activities on this side of Cabo–experienced surfers only. Silence and peace reign over these blue waters, ideal for long walks or breaks on the white beach with spectacular views.