There are so many awesome things to do in San Jose del Cabo! Keep reading to plan your trip.
The Los Cabos area of Mexico is made up of two towns – Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo. Most people are familiar with the Cabo San Lucas area, known as a party, touristy destination. San Jose del Cabo, on the other hand, is a charming town filled with art, great restaurants, and beautiful beaches!
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San Jose del Cabo Trip Overview
- PTO/Vacation Days Needed: 1-3
- Cost: $$$
- Airport: SJD
- Currency: Pesos
How to Get to San Jose del Cabo
To get to San Jose del Cabo, fly into the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). From here, it is a short 15-20 minute taxi/shuttle ride to the main area. Note that Ubers are not allowed to pick up/drop off to the airport (but you can use them to get around town during the rest of your trip).
Where to Stay in San Jose del Cabo
There are plenty of different options to choose from, based on your travel preferences. Some people might prefer to stay in a nice resort (which there are a lot of!) while others might prefer to stay in the heart of town to get a feel for the culture in the area.
There are 3 main areas of where to stay in San Jose del Cabo. I actually stayed in all three areas during my time there:
- The Corridor – Stretch of coastal area known for the upscale resorts
- Centro – Heart of town. Super walkable streets with bars, restaurants and shops
- Puerto – Area near the port. There are a few boutique hotels here
Best Place to Stay in The Corridor Area of San Jose del Cabo
There are plenty of amazing, super scenic VRBOs in this area! We stayed in this epic house that had the most amazing view from the pool deck.
Where to Stay in the Port Area of San Jose del Cabo
I highly recommend staying at Hotel El Ganzo. This boutique music-centric hotel not only has a recording studio in the basement and eccentric art displayed throughout the hotel, but also has the most amazing pool deck! There’s a swim-up bar, but the real draw is the glass hot-tub centered on top of the pool looking out over the ocean view. It’s amazing! They also have access to a private beach.
If you don’t end up staying here, you can get a day-pass to their pool for $75.
Where to Stay in the Centro Area of San Jose del Cabo
Staying in the Centro area is a whole different experience. I loved it! Here you are in the center of the action, walking distance to many bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. To me, it felt like the real “authentic” Cabo.
One of the best boutique hotels to stay at in this area is Casa Natalia. It’s in a great location with cute decor and a highly-rated restaurant!
San Jose del Cabo Packing List
Aside from the obvious clothing essentials, don’t leave home without the below items!
- Activated Charcoal – I bring this on every international trip. It helps if your stomach starts to feel funky after eating something unusual. It’s seriously a life saver!
- Osprey Porter Backpack: This is the best travel backpack! I love it
- Lifestraw Filtered Water Bottle: Great for staying hydrated when you need water to be filtered!
- Packing Cubes: These will make your life so much easier when packing!
- Beach Flip Flops (I love these ones!)
- Passport Holder
Best Things to Do in San Jose del Cabo
There are so many amazing things to do in San Jose del Cabo to make for an epic trip!
1. ATV Tour
One of the most memorable and exciting things I did in San Jose del Cabo was an ATV tour. I highly recommend it! We booked our tour through Ultimate Thrill. The guided tour lasted abut 4 hours – they took us through the dusty desert, over sand dunes, and then along the beach! Half way you stop at this epic private beach bar, where they give you fresh coconut water and then homemade muddled cocktails, and chips & guacamole. It was amazing!
There are other ATV tours in the area that also look awesome, like this one that also bring you to an eco-farm!
2. Explore Town
One of the first things you should do in San Jose del Cabo is to just walk around and explore the town! With vibrant colors, street vendors, cute shops, and scenic rooftop bars – there is plenty to do around the town. I recommend heading to Dalton Gin bar to get a drink on the rooftop for sunset! The view is incredible. Also check out Baja Brewing Company for craft beer and good vibes.
On Thursday nights they do an art-walk, with artists lining the streets showing off their work.
3. Hit the Beach at Costa Azul
There are only a few beach in Los Cabos that are safe for swimming. Most areas have very dangerous currents/undertow, so only swim in an area where you know it’s safe and calm!
One of these beaches is Costa Azul. Here you can swim, surf, or just relax on the beach. Or check out the famous Zippers beach bar right on the sand!
One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying all the local food spots! Check out my list of the top spots you should hit while you’re in the area:
- Acre – beautiful farm-to-table restaurant situated on 25 acres. Come here for lunch so you can fully enjoy the surrounding scenery in the daylight! Keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful wild peacocks that are running around!
- La Lupita – the best fish tacos in town! This spot gets super lively at night with a live band on a raised stage inside
- Flora Farms – this is another really popular farm-to-table spot. I didn’t get the chance to go when I was there, but I’ve heard great things!
- Coffee Lab – this cute spot has speciality coffee (and matcha!) but also has some REALLY good breakfast smoothie bowls.
- Taqueria el Fogon – Looking for a super authentic spot to get tacos? This is it! A local recommended it to me, so you know it’s good.
5. Boat Tour to the Arch
So this is technically in Cabo San Lucas, but you definitely need to do this while you’re in the Los Cabos area! Nothing beats getting out on the water on a yacht with your friends, soaking in the views and jumping in the ocean! You’ve likely seen the iconic rock arch in Instagram photos – the only way to see it is by boat! It’s about a 20 minute drive from San Jose del Cabo to the dock in Cabo San Lucas.
I highly recommend booking through Seashine Adventures. They were timely and professional, and the experience was SO much fun! The 4-hour boat tour includes alcohol and 2 delicious appetizers (highly recommend the Sopas – so good!). Your tour starts with checking out the famous arch, and then you’ll cruise over to a beach area, where you can jump off the boat, float around (they have floats and kayaks for you to use) and hang out. You might even get lucky and see some whales and/or dolphins on your excursion, like we did!
6. Scuba Dive or Snorkel Cabo Pulmo
If you’re looking to scuba dive or snorkel while you’re in Los Cabos, Cabo Pulmo is the spot to do it! This national marine park is pristine and beautiful. Jacques Cousteau even called this spot “the world’s aquarium”! There are several scuba diving and snorkeling tours to choose from that look great, like this one.
7. Hang by the Pool
This probably goes without saying, but hanging by the pool is one of the best and relaxing things to do in San Jose del Cabo. I highly recommend using the pool at Hotel Ganzo to check out the epic scenic hot tub! Even if you aren’t a guest there, you can use the pool as long as you spend $75 at the bar.