A truth up front: as I counted down the days to Cabo San Lucas, I became less and less excited after reading discouraging words of many folks who’d gone before. All the excitement didn’t leave, but much of it did because they described it as a place full of lackluster sights, tourists and tourist prices, and no real “Mexican feel or culture.” Most disheartening was how they described the food as bland. I love food too much to waste time and money to visit places where locals lack culinary talent. Thankfully, I hold tight to “I’ll see for myself” and I went to see Cabo for myself.
First place I took a look at was of course the hotel. What a great experience! Everyone’s nice, everything was neat and tidy, seriously, 5 stars. I decided to call for a manager, told him I ran this blog and if he would answer a couple of questions for me. He was nice enough to show up and give me a few mins. The first thing I did was ask how they ran such a nice hotel. He told me they had very recently hired a hospitality consulting service. I asked what it was, naturally. As it turns out, it’s basically a third party you hire to check out your hotel and let you know things you could be doing better for a better customer experience. I didn’t even know there was such a thing but it’s definitely working here, that’s for sure.
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The Arrival: Like most grand tourist destinations, the airports are packed with hustling taxi drivers, each working on outdoing the other for your dollars, pesos, cards, or whatever it is you can offer. Because I wasn’t staying in San Jose del Cabo, but in Cabo San Lucas, I expected to pay a decent amount of money for the 35-45 minute ride, but certainly not the $22USD/Person price the taxis and shuttled suggested. I didn’t want to hop on the bus that would take 1hour and 20minutes because I couldn’t secure a guarantee for air conditioning from the agents. Uber exists, but they’re not allowed to pick up folks from the airport because of the oh-too-common taxi/Uber beef happening all around the world. But they can pick you up just up the road once you exit the airport property. So we walked and met our driver in the parking lot across from Hotel Aeropuerto. These hotels offer great packages for people to save money for whenever they visit, some include fun activities or even timeshares, I recommend getting a timeshare at this hotel, mostly because of the scenery of Cabo is beautiful and I definitely plan on coming back soon. If you end up getting a timeshare but find out it isn’t your thing then you don’t have to worry about, you can use this Timeshare Exit Strategy to get most of your money back.
The Food: We stayed on the main road at Bajas Cactus Hostel because I absolutely love hostels and because it was in the heart of everything that popped up on Google in a quick “Must do things in Cabo San Lucas” search. When in Mexico…TACOS! In keeping with the honesty, I gotta tell you this: the tacos disappointed me. They probably weren’t bad, but they weren’t for people who’ve had authentic tacos. Cabo’s tacos are for European tourists who’ve never had food with seasoning.
Restaurants With Amazing Seasoning & Better Prices:
Casasola Café & Brunch:
Miguel Hidalgo entre 20 de Noviembre, Revolución de 1910 y, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico.
Blvd. Paseo de la Marina S/N, Centro, San Lucas, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
Mariscos La Palmita:
16 de Septiembre S/n, Downtown, Centro, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
La Lupita Taco & Mexcal:
Calle Jose Maria Morelos s/n | Obregon y Comonfort, Col. Centro, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico
Mariano Matamoros & Ninos Heroes | Centro, Cabo San Lucas 23469, Mexico
Things To Do:
Cabo seems like a great place to honeymoon, relax, have a big party, take photos solely to post in social media, bring a mistress, and sunbathe. Me? I’m more the “let’s go sit on the beach and see what happens” type. I found myself on the beach everyday, eating, drinking, and surviving those strong waves. Clubs bore me these days, so I ran over to Medano Beach, found a lounge chair at Sand Bar, and told Oscar to keep the drinks and bites flowing. He did!
Jet Ski: $25 got me 30 minutes on the jet ski, and I took that bad boy all the way out to where the waves were bigger than my head. There’s a scar on my thumb from bumping against the handlebar, but it was absolutely worth it. This is at Medano Beach with other activities, including:
Treasure Hunting (with metal detectors)
As with anything, there are a wide variety of opinions about the best locations to metal detect. Of course, during the peak season, you’re likely to be able to find coins, rings and odd pieces of jewelry almost anywhere due to a large number of folks on the beach. However, if you are in the off-season like this time of year there are a few areas that may give you better results.
- Along the piers- This is a great place to metal detect due to a large amount of traffic in the area. Additionally, people often drop things from the piers. The wave action is also unique along the pier due to the pilings which gives you lots of interesting places to find treasure.
- After rain- A wonderful time to detect is after a rainstorm, which reduces the level of the sand, and causes washouts that will allow previously undetected targets to appear.
- Low Tide- When the tide goes out a whole new opportunity presents itself. Make sure to explore further out when the tide goes out.
- High Tide- As the tide comes in the wave action allows previously unfound targets to be churned up. Take some time as the tide comes in to explore the waterline.
- Drop Off- Look for places where the tide has created drop-offs of sand or other interesting washouts. These drop-offs are perfect places to find targets that you would otherwise miss.
- The first thing you need to do is get your set up dialed in for a day of combing the beaches for hidden treasure. There are some critical pieces of equipment you’ll need to get started. Here is a list of everything you need:The Detector – Metal detectors cost anywhere from $100 to $2,000 dollars, and with the advances in technology, the sky is the limit regarding options and capabilities. However, a good place to start for beach metal detecting is to choose a detector that has a waterproof coil. A waterproof coil will allow you more options when detecting along the waterline, which is one of the best places to metal detect on the beach.Sand Scoop – A sand scoop is a critical piece of equipment for the beach. A sand scoop will prevent you from having to bend over while allowing you to scoop up treasures easily. With holes large enough to allow the sand to fall thru, yet small enough to capture your treasures this is a must-have piece of equipment for any enthusiast.Headset – Make sure to have a headset to ensure that you don’t disturb everyone on the beach with the constant dinging and pinging of your metal detector. A headset will also allow you to hear tones a lot better and thus find hidden treasures more accurately.Pinpointer – If you don’t have a pinpointer, get one. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a good tone with your detector only to be sifting thru sand to unable to find your treasure. Nine out of ten times the sand scoop will be all you need but you don’t want to miss a great find because you didn’t have a proper gear to do quality pinpoints, aside from saving you a lot of search and digging time you will avoid damaging the found object with your shovel.
Diggers Pouch – You will need to find a diggers pouch to put both your treasures and trash in. Remember to dig everything and don’t forget to gather any trash while out hunting. A small pouch is all you need to get started.
Snorkeling with Cabo Wave: Our hostel had a special going for $45 per person for 3.5 hours on the water, and a snorkeling adventure once we reached the destination. Lunch and open bar included. It looked like an ideal boating day from the beach, I leave this link so you know what I’m talking about. This was pretty amazing since I’d never snorkeled and any chance I get to be on a boat, I take it. Check competitive prices, however. There were people in the boat who got tickets for as low as $35.
Cerro De La Z Hike: Head up the mountain and get one of the best views of the city and the ocean! Sunset is the best time to go, but if you want to be alone, go earlier.
All in all, I don’t need to return to Cabo, but I did have a great time with some of the most amazing people I know, and I’m certain if you take some great people and stay clear of the tourist dining spots, you’ll have a great time, too.