There’s no denying that Cabo is paradise—especially for partiers. This Baja Californian hotspot is known worldwide for its celebrity sightings, gorgeous beaches (neighboring Lover’s and Divorce Beach are of particular note), lively nightlife scene, and El Arco, the natural rock formation perched at the peninsula’s very tip. Oh, and best of all, it almost never rains here, so you can leave that umbrella at home.
In celebration of pleasantly touristy mainstay—and because we here in Chicago are already sad about the impending winter—here are a few things you may not know about gorgeous Cabo by the sea.
Ever heard of the Gringo Gazette?
Baja California is so popular with Americans that they have their very own print publication. You can pick it up around town for free, or look it up online. Either way, you’ll be treated to a list of local events, tourist activities, and news. All in English (obviously).
Three distinct areas make up the destination that is Cabo
These are Cabo San Lucas, San Jose de Cabo, and the Corridor. San Jose del Cabo, a former 18th-century mission town, is ideal for shopping, exploring pirate coves, visiting the estuary, and relaxing in general. Cabo San Lucas, meanwhile, is the wild child of the three siblings—this is what you picture when you think of Cabo. The nightlife, restaurants, and the area’s best swimming beach are all here, for your Spring Break-ean pleasure. Between them is The Corridor, where watersports take centerstage. This area offers cliffs, coves, desert vistas, and mountains, all of which meet a turquoise Pacific with a stretch of beautiful sand. If you’re looking for choice fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling, the Corridor is calling your name.
Together, they’re the unofficial golfing capital of Mexico
…Though the most notable courses are in the Corridor. This slice of paradise is perfect for fitting in a little tee time—it features a dozen golf courses just steps from the sea. Among these are the Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course (dubbed the ‘Pebble Beach of Baja’), and the Cabo Real Golf Club, where the holes are both chiseled into the base of mountains and laid out near that stunning seashore.
It’s also the unofficial striped marlin capital of the world
If fishing is your thing, take note—Cabo San Lucas is widely revered as the Striped Marlin Capital of the World, as a popular rumor purports that more of such fishes have been caught here than anywhere else in the world. So it’s no surprise Cabo is a popular spot for fishing tournaments, most notably the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament. This is perhaps the world’s best fishing tournament to win, offering $3 million to the winner.
Paying with U.S. dollars is no problem
Most places accept both dollars and pesos, but you’ll almost exclusively get your change in the latter.
But throwing your credit card on the table is considered rude
You’ll avoid offending your local hosts if you politely hand it directly to your waiter or bartender.
You just might order your margarita from Sammy Hagar
…But only if you go to the original Cabo Wabo Cantina, the bar owned by Van Halen frontman, and which features live music daily. Honestly, Hagar may not care whether or not you toss your card on the bar, but don’t quote us on that. Ordering the Cabo Wabo tequila might smooth things over a little if we’re wrong.
Dive a sand waterfall discovered by Jacques Cousteau
This one’s pretty darn neat: The famed explorer found, beneath the turquoise waves, an actual sand waterfall. At this renowned dive spot, sand cascades down into a 1,200-foot canyon. Beginners beware, though, this one’s for advanced divers only.
If that’s not cool enough, a hidden beach appears every few years
Get this: You can walk beneath El Arco. But it only happens once every few years, and you can’t exactly predict it, thanks to inconsistent tides. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but keep in mind that it can be dangerous due to those unpredictable tides.
Cabo is a whale-watching mecca
From late October to March, gray whales migrate to the shallow lagoons surrounding Cabo San Lucas, and past. You can see these majestic creatures during whale-watching tours, or simply plant yourself near the coast and keep your eyes on the horizon. We can think of worse ways to spend that sunbathing time…
It was once a hub for pirates!
Okay, maybe you already knew this one, but it’s awesome so it makes the list anyway. These dastardly pirates used to hide out in coves, waiting to ambush incoming Spanish ships and, no joke, steal all their gold doubloons. According to folklore, there’s still hidden treasure all over the coastline, so pack a shovel if you’re so inclined. If not, pull up a barstool, which is undoubtedly what the pirates—including the infamous Sir Francis Drake—were doing when they weren’t laying in wait.
Where to stay
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Baja California for some much-needed relaxation, here are some of our favorite Cabo San Lucas vacation rentals, for your viewing pleasure.
One Medano Beach 4A Cabo San Lucas vacation rental
The specs: 2 bedrooms; 2 bathrooms; sleeps 4
Price: From $200 a night
All 1,405 square feet of this Cabo beauty are tucked away on Medano Beach, which is arguably one of the best beaches on the entire Baja Peninsula, as well as less than a block from a mall and multiple bars. You’ll also be treated to a personal concierge, an outdoor pool, and more.
Casa Bahia Cabo San Lucas vacation rental
The specs: 3 bedrooms; 3.6 bathrooms; sleeps 6
Price: From $375 a night
Picture yourself here, kicking back in that pool, watching the sailboats meander around the bay, backdropped dramatically by mountains. It’s close enough to downtown Cabo to walk, but you may never want to leave this rental home, thanks to the sun-soaked patio, outdoor grill, and that view…
Villa Turquesa 4BR Cabo San Lucas vacation rental
The specs: 4 bedroom; 5 bathroom; sleeps 12
Price: From $3,850 a night
Why yes, this is paradise. What tipped you off? Was it the infinity pool that juts out over the beach? The view? The gorgeous decor? If you traveling with more than 12 of your closest friends, you can rent this incredible villa as a 5-bedroom rental as well. Either way, you’ll be treated to a whole host of free extras, including airport transfer, Avis car-rental delivery, and margaritas, chips, and salsa upon arrival.
Villa Bougainvilla Cabo San Lucas vacation rental
The specs: 4 bedrooms; 4.5 bathrooms; sleeps 8
Price: From $688 a night
You can see the Pacific from nearly every room in this gorgeous villa, which boasts a spiral staircase, domed ceilings, custom tile counters, and other unforgettable architectural details. Another unforgettable detail: The outdoor areas, which include a pool, jacuzzi and barbecue area. Best of all, you’re within 1.5 miles from all the action of downtown.
Villa Belleza Cabo San Lucas vacation rental
The specs: 4 bedrooms; 5 bathrooms; sleeps 8
Price: From $440 a night
This is a great gathering place for friends and family. Toast the setting sun with a cocktail while enjoying beautiful bay views. And with 2,400 square feet to play with, you’ll be able to enjoy some alone time in the pool, outdoor dining area, and multiple seating areas as well.