Los Cabos has something for everyone, but which resort area is right for you? Gnomads Mike & Anne of HoneyTrek.com explore both Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo to help you find your slice of paradise.
When people say “Cabo” they are generally speaking about Cabo San Lucas, the famed party town extending to the dramatic cliffs of Land’s End. Los Cabos, on the other hand, encompasses all of the beaches and mountains of southernmost Baja California, including the charming colonial city of San José del Cabo. The entire region is stunning and each city is filled with opportunities for luxury, adventure, and fiesta. Here’s where to stay in Los Cabos and how to find the paradise that suits your style.
Cabo San Lucas: The Party Starts Here
With a sweeping bay and the stunning cliffs of Land’s End, it’s no wonder Cabo San Lucas became a premier tourist destination. If you want the world at your fingertips—a gorgeous landscape, marina, shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, and a rollicking good time—then staying around downtown could be your cup of tea-quila.
A Great Taste of Cabo San Lucas: RIU Palace
If you’d like to be close to the fiesta but still have a good night’s sleep, then RIU Palace Cabo San Lucas is a fantastic choice for an all-inclusive resort. Just up from the famous Medano Beach, this 600+ room retreat has some of the most incredible views of Land’s End, manicured gardens, two pools, international restaurants, and a party vibe that you can turn up or down.
Fancy a Little Fiesta?
We love that RIU Palace has a “No Spring Breakers” policy but still has a bit of a wild side. A DJ plays by the pool throughout the day and you never know when a “Foam Party” with floating unicorns and bongo drummers might spark up. Swim-up bars are only a few strokes away and your mini-fridge is always well stocked.
Delights 24 Hours a Day
For being on the more affordable end of all-inclusives, RIU doesn’t skimp when it comes to restaurants and room service (available 24 hours). We loved taking breakfast on their newly renovated sea-view terrace, having sunset cocktails delivered to our Jacuzzi suite (TIP: book the “Tower”), then taking dinner in the chic Indian or Japanese restaurant. It’s a place you can feel spoiled without breaking the bank, party without the college crowd, and enjoy a central location without the city congestion.
San José del Cabo: City of the Arts
If you prefer the art scene to the club scene, the colonial village of San José del Cabo will be right up your alley. On the east side of the peninsula, this village was the southernmost stop on Spain’s Jesuit mission trail. The 18th-century church anchors the plaza while art galleries and farm-to-table restaurants radiate around it. This is your spot for charming B&Bs and a taste of Baja life. If the beach is what you crave, fabulous seaside resorts are a short drive or healthy walk from downtown. TIP: No matter where you stay, be sure to come downtown on Thursday evenings when the art galleries stay open late and music fills the air.
A Well-Balanced All-Inclusive: Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
All-inclusive resorts on the San José side of the peninsula tend to be more serene. We loved the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos for its seaside location, proximity to the historic center, and the way it balances itself as a family-friendly resort and romantic retreat. Their adults-only wing makes it perfect for couples or multi-generational vacations.
While many people are content laying by the pool, we’re the adventurous type and seek hotels with plenty of activities. Hyatt Ziva completely wow-ed us with their volume of things to do. Ever heard of “underwater spin,” “foot billiards,” or “Mexican Loteria”? Us either, but we were thrilled to give them a go!
After our action-packed day, the spa was calling. One step into this zen-inspired space, with the sounds of cascading water and nature-inspired music, the relaxation began. Whatever treatment you choose—a bamboo scrub, citrus facial, sports massage or a dozen others– the plunge pools, saunas, and steam room are included. Going from hot to cold pools for a hydrotherapy session, we loosened up to further enjoy our couples massage. (Love those dreamy cabanas!)
Central Coast Choices
San Lucas and San José were always the lodging centers of Los Cabos, but in recent years luxury resorts have been popping up along the wide open coastline between the two cities. Strong currents made it an unlikely choice for beachgoers, though for those who enjoy waves crashing on beautiful rock formations and plenty of peace and quiet, this luxurious corridor could be the best of both worlds. We had the chance to experience the new luxe-inclusive Grand Velas, and were quite happy soaking in their three pools, eating meals by a two-Michelin star chef, and reveling in one of the biggest spas in Los Cabos.
Los Cabos: Always Fabulous
No matter which part of Los Cabos you choose, opportunities to enjoy the region’s diverse marine life, stunning coastline, fine dining, and vibrant culture are never far.
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