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Located at the southern tip of a 1,000-mile-long desert peninsula, Cabo San Lucas has the feel of being at the end of the earth, or even another planet. Between otherworldly landscapes, desolate beaches, and an ocean teeming with sea life, nature is a powerful presence here. But creature comforts are just as abundant. The luxury resorts that line the 20-mile coastal stretch between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo have attracted the rich and famous since the 1950s. Though Cabo has long been identified with ’80s- and ’90s-era spring break travelers, there’s a lot more to Baja California Sur than vibrant nightlife.
The cobblestone streets of quaint San Jose del Cabo are lined with artisan breweries, boutiques, and little restaurants brimming with atmosphere and local organic produce. A few ticks up the Pacific Coast of the peninsula, Todos Santos draws yoga retreats and surfers, while sleepy La Paz, on the Sea of Cortez side, retains the timeless feel of a small Mexican coastal village. Whether you’re whale watching, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, or just lingering poolside, this remote spot on the map offers a multitude of ways to unwind.
Located just north of San Jose del Cabo and about 25 miles from Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) is a convenient gateway to Baja California Sur. Once you arrive, walk outside to grab a taxi or a communal shuttle to your destination. (It’s often a good idea to book a shared van in advance.) There’s a convenient and economical public bus that runs between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose, but if you’re looking to explore the region’s towns and beaches, you may want to rent a car at the airport, and additional liability insurance may be required. La Paz, about two hours north of Cabo, also has an airport (LAP).
Cabo has inviting weather all year long, with 350 sunny days annually. The weather is most perfect in early summer and late fall, and you can expect larger crowds in winter and spring, especially at Christmas, Easter, and spring break. Summertime can be hot and muggy, but it brings consistent waves that surfers love, as well as the occasional rain shower. The dry, temperate winter season is great for exploring the outdoors; the water dips to its chilliest point in December, a still-comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Whales and whale sharks make their way to Baja Sur in the winter; keep an eye out for baby humpbacks playing in the waves by February, and flying manta rays leaping from the ocean in May.
Baja’s East Cape is home to some of the most remote and pristine beaches in Baja, many of them only reachable by ATV. Explore towns like Los Barriles as well as Cabo Pulmo, a national marine park and UNESCO World Heritage Site with a 20,000-year-old coral reef known as the Aquarium of the World.
Every Thursday evening during high season (November to June), the art galleries that line the quaint streets of San Jose del Cabo’s historic district open their doors for a weekly wine-and-cheese get-together. Get to know local artists and browse their work in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, and photography.
With its cobblestone streets and colorful papel picado fluttering overhead, this gorgeous surf town and pueblo mágico (magical village) on the Pacific Coast seems lifted from a postcard. Located about an hour’s drive from Cabo San Lucas, it’s a great place to escape to browse art galleries and sip a frosty local brew on the beach at sunset.