Help a Reader Travel: Cabo San Lucas

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeru / Inca Trail StockholmChicagoParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburgIstanbulLas VegasJamaica, India/Golden Triangle, AucklandSingapore, Moscow, The Oregon CoastSeattlePortlandHawaii IslandsAlaska SkiingBrazilPragueBudapest, and Paraguay.

So this weeks travel destination includes Cabo San Lucas. I received the following email from reader Jim:

“I’m looking to go somewhere warm over the winter and Cabo came to mind. I’ve never been, but living on the West coast it is an easy flight. This would be with my wife and two kids – 9 and 11. There are a bunch of different chain and non-chain hotels and would love some recommendations on where to stay. Also, is a car needed? Things to do while in Cabo would also be helpful. I have yet to purchase plane tickets so if there are other warm weather vacation destinations you’d recommend instead, I’m all ears.”

If you’ve ever been to Cabo and have any recommendations, let’s help out reader Jim by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I stayed at the cabo azul hotel. Its a hotel/timesharw, i did the whole tour bit and was able to get a room very cheap with a kitchen etc. if yoi want to really spend we went to las ventanas for the day and it was gorgeous.

  2. I have an AXON award booked at the Hilton there for the week of Xmas but can’t use it due to high prices for airfare but it looks great and gets great reviews.

  3. We live in SF Bay Area and have been taking our 3 kids (7,9,13 currently) to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta once or twice a year for the past 5 years. The 3 hr flight makes a whole week vacation at either places just perfect for both spring break and winter break.

    Most resorts in Cabi and PV are timeshare resorts, some if them are all-inclusive which I always avoid as kids just don’t eat enough to make worthwhile and we also like venture into town to taste local food. In cabo, there are many resorts in the corridor (between airport and downtown cabo) which is not convenient to venture into town as taxi will add up (so you might want to rent a car if you are comfortable with that). In downtown area there are some resorts by the marina and the only swimable beach in cabo. Staying in the marina area are convenient for water sports, swim with dolphins, or dining jn town. On the side of the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean there are several resorts owned by the Puerto Bonito group and there is a free shuttle bus that takes you from Puerto Bonito Sunset beach to their sister resort Rose which from there you can walk to downtown. I love the Sunset Beach resort as all rooms have full ocean view and food onsite are just fabulous and price is reasonable. But the most memorable experience was when we stayed at the hacienda del mar at the corridor, we got to watching baby turtle hatched and then later on releasing them into the ocean!! This timeshare resort shares the site with the Starwood resort, rooms aren’t luxurious but ground is beautiful and beach is fun.

    Weather wise, Cabo is drier and warmer than PV. March is perfect so is November. Anytime in between was super hot. December to Feb was pleasant but on the cool side.

    For hotels, both hilton and SPG has properties on the corridor, Wyndam has a property in San Jose Del Cabo which is near the airport. Other resorts are mostly timeshares and you can rent from owners on eBay or, or RCI extra vacations if you are RCI member. Many travel sites also offer deals, including groupon and living social.

    You should also consider Puerto Vallarta which is actually our kids’ favorite so is my husband’s. 😉 I will go either place!

  4. I have been going to Cabo for many years with my kids, who are now grown. We have a timeshare at the Westin Regina near San Jose, between the airport and town. There are years when we didn’t even leave the resort except to go get groceries – it was so beautiful and quiet there and it had everything we needed. It’s nice to have a kitchen when you have kids. I do rent out my 1-bedroom ocean view villa from time to time and I’m not sure there will be availability when you want to go, but message me if you might want to rent and I can let you know if it might work:

    There are also good deals sometimes at or

    After you arrive at the airport, there will be a massive amount of locals calling out to you for timeshares and transportation, so you may want to have a rental car reserved or decide that you will choose one of the taxi’s to take you to the hotel. Grayline is one of the better companies. We always take a taxi to the resort, get situated, then rent a car for a couple of days at the resort, do a trip to one of the supermarkets and load up on groceries, then use the car for day trips to the surrounding beaches, to town, and local restaurants. Then we will return the car and enjoy the resort for a few more days before taking a taxi back to the airport.

    One of my favorite restaurants is Las Guacamayas in San Jose – only open for dinner – handmade tortillas and local food outside in a courtyard underneath old trees.

    We love it there – hope you do too!

  5. Los Cabos is a great option for your trip. As you say it’s a quick trip. Pto Vallarta is a an hour flight time more to the South, a little bit warmer though but not much.
    In my opinion, if you stay in the Marina Area in Cabo San Lucas, you won’t need to rent a car. The beach there is nice, lot of activities, it’s the same beach from where the tours depart to “Los Arcos”.
    There’s a lot of hotels in the corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The Hilton and the Westin are 20 minutes away from Cabo San Lucas.
    I’d recomend the Fiesta Americana, its 10 minutes from Cabo, nice secluded and gated development (same development that houses the Sheraton). I stayed there because I also don’t like all inclusive hotels. Food and beverages prices were reasonable, and they had a kid’s menu that children under 12 could order from at no charge (just as long us parents were eating also) but be sure to check the rate description. The beach is nice but the waves were a little bit rough (as of right now they are 155 days and counting without rain) but when we stayed there it rained for 2 days, so maybe that explains it. The rooms are spacious and the spa was very nice.
    We took a couple of tours, we hired them from the hotel. I reccomend the atv tour, they picked us up at the hotel and drove us like 30 minutes to the site. It consisted in a 4 wheel motorbike, we were 10 motos in the tour and you drive along a dirt road, with curves and slopes, then they take you to a beautiful pristine beach with nothing around it, really really especial. Cost us 100-120 USD, round trip transportation included.
    The other tour that is very popular is whale watching, but we went in October and the whales start arriving in December.
    The other days we spent scuba diving it was really great, we even made it further south to Cabo Pulmo.
    If you do rent a car, head left when you exit the airport, there’s a paid tollway (libramiento aeropuerto) that takes you directly to the coastal highway. Overall it’s an easy place to drive, we rented through a mexican agency, and had no problems at all.
    Restaurants, we went to a nice italian named La Dolce (recommended by some local friends) a mexican contemporary restaurant located inside the Hacienda Encantada Hotel, and lunch twice in a southern mexican seafood small place, can’t remember the name but had the freshest scallops I’ve ever had. Also great the mussels and clams.
    Its a great place to visit, safe, and the locals are very welcoming.

  6. We stayed at the Hilton in Jan this year and loved it! We will be going back. Beautiful grounds, pools, beach. Food is a little expensive on site. If you are comfortable taking the bus, access to both to towns is easy. We rented a car and had no trouble driving anywhere. I like San Jose a lot more than San Lucas, less partying and more laid back.

  7. I would highly recommend staying near the town of Cabo San Lucas on Medano Beach or in the Pedregal Community in a private villa. I have done both and in most cases you will not need to drive at all. Medano beach is great beacuse the beach is very safe for swimming and there are endless activities right outside your door. All-inclusive resorts are great if you plan on spending most your time at the resort, but if you are adventurous and want to explore the town, I would recommend the Casa Dorada or the Cabo Villas Beach Resort right in the middle of the action.

    Private villas can make a vacation very special. You will have your own house in Cabo for your vacation! All the homes in the Pedregal are built to impress. You will have our own private pool and top notch services offered for you while you stay. I fell so spoiled when I stay in a villa! The villas provide you with a very relaxing place to enjoy time with your family.

    Also, dont forget to go deep sea fishing or a snorkling cruise. Both are great day getaways!

  8. We stayed at the Westin Los Cabos last year and loved it. They were running a promo at the time too where you got a $200 resort credit for staying 5 nights. If you do not have Starwood Platinum status then definitely consider paying to book one of the club level rooms. Club Room access gives you a huge, delicious, free breakfast buffet in the mornings and a large spread (with free cocktails!) every evening. Saves a lot of money.

    Note, if you dont stay at an all-inclusive hotel (there are many), you can actually get a day pass at them. We got a day pass at Dreams Los Cabos for I think around $50 and could use their facilities and eat/drink as much as we wanted for the day.

    We did not rent a car as we weren’t going to leave the resort and the cab from the airport was cheap.

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