On the eastern end of the tip of the Baja California peninsula, San José del Cabo offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The city is small and the hotels are spread out. Deep-sea and 'panga' fishing to the teeming waters of the Sea of Cortez can be arranged. Other activities include whale watching and golf in the championship courses that are sprouting throughout the area. The marsh north of the city serves as a nesting area for many bird species during the 'wet' season. If the purpose of your vacation is to relax, you are much more likely to achieve your goal by staying in San Jose del Cabo than in Cabo San Lucas. Cabo San Lucas tends to survive at a more frenzied pace than San Jose del Cabo and is certainly worth a visit for those staying in San Jose del Cabo. The restaurants and nightlife in Cabo San Lucas are world class. But for a casual pace with a nice flavor of real Mexico San Jose del Cabo is hard to beat!
We had a great lunch trip to Los Barriles. The road is very good but a little curvy in spots. Its a solid hour drive. Not much there really. Sleepy sport fishing area that is starting to 'wake up'. We saw lots of large RVs with Canadian plates.
The best digs in town is the Hotel Palmas de Cortez. We went there for lunch and sat out by the lovely pool next to the beach. I ate some of the best tortilla chips I have ever had in my life! Two huge baskets of chips, homemade pico di gallo, a great freshly made guacamole, four margaritas, and two cokes for $25 (with a big tip).
Also looked like a great outdoor taqueria right on the main road as you turn to go to the hotel (large blue tarps)... several locals and many tourist eating.
Great beach as well at Los Barriles. The beach in front of the hotel has a small bay which made for warmer water than in Cabo.
My wife and I are tempted to go back to Cabo and come straight to Hotel Palmas for a stay. Several fishing boats moored in the bay. Would love to go fishing out of Los Barriles.
We rented a car on one of our visits to Cabo and we drove to Todos Santos, a small town on the other side of Baja, on the Pacific side. The side there was smooth, the road was good. It was like driving through the desert. Once you hit Todos Santos there are a few places to eat and shop. I thought it was a nice town and think i would even consider staying here next time. Definately not too touristy, just a place to go and relax.
I rented a car and visit some towns around, the road to Todos Santos and La Paz offers wonderfull views of the desert, the road is good and is a nice option if you want to see more than the typical touristic attractions of Cabo San Lucas. The vegetation is the common desert bushes with Cacti and other small trees called Chaparral, but there are 125 types of plant species only founded here.
Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo form the two most important towns of Los Cabos. The different between both towns is very huge as there is almost nothing to do. Cabo San Lucas is a vibrating place day and night; San Jose Del Cabo is nothing of that...
This is the capital city of Los Cabos, but is not even worth a visit. The beach in the city isn't nice and the good ones are too far out of town. I don't think I saw more then 50 people that day we went there. I saw La Paz as a big ghost city...
The town of Todos Santos is well known by the tourists for its Hotel California. The story goes that this is the hotel where "The Eagles" wrote their song. If this story is true or a fairly tale you can find out on my Todos Santos page...
Do stop in San Jose del Cabo, you'll find a pleasant city of meandering streets and lush palm groves with a relaxing atmoshphere. The area was first visited by Cortes himself in 1535. But it was the missionaries not the conquistadors that first brought European civilization to San Jose. A Jesuit mission was built in 1730 to indoctrinate the Percu Indians of the region. In the nineteenth century San Jose slowly evolved into a modest center of commerce for passing ships. Today it is a town of 30,000 people that has a handsome Municipal Palace, charming courtyard restaurants, shops, boutiques, and a lovely tropical estuary.
Shopping there is not as frenetic as it is in Cabo San Lucas. I think the prices were better on the silver and other jewelry. I bought a Mexican Fire Opal bracelet and ring. At first I thought I was getting ripped off, not knowing that they really do have opals in Mexico. They also have amber if you like that stone (petrified sap).
San Jose del Cabo is located north up the coast and from Cabo and is on the way to the airport.
When you are tired of the fast paced Cabo San Lucas, rent a car and head north about 45 minutes to Todos Santos. About 5,000 people live here and is one of only 15 cities in Mexico with the destinctive label of "Pueblo Magico". This "magic town" is filled with great artisans, wonderful jewelry, mouth watering foods and of course many friendly locals waiting to help you. Todos Santos still has many dirt roads and is charming and well worth a visit. Hotel Calfornia is here, but make sure you venture past this well known land mark. If you are looking for a unique, private place to spend a few days check out Arriba de la Roca. Located about 10 minutes before town, it is perched on a cliff above the Pacific. Amazing location, great service, miles of untouched beach and remarkable place to spend your vacation. Just past there is Cerritos Beach...great for you surfers.