3 Fun Filled, Sun Filled Days in Cabo

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Advisor - Samantha Halseth
Curated By

Samantha Halseth

  • Cabo

  • All-Inclusive Travel

  • Beaches

  • Bachelor Party Destinations

  • Bachelorette Party Destinations

  • Birthdays

  • Couples Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Coast

  • Foodie

  • Outdoors

Advisor - 3 Fun Filled, Sun Filled Days in Cabo
Curator’s statement

Cabo San Lucas, or Cabo for short, is a destination in Mexico that has something for everyone. For those on the West Coast of the U.S., it's a fairly easy and quick jaunt down to the tip of Baja where it is located on one of the most popular beaches--Medano Beach. The location is perfect for those looking to have a good time while beachside. Plenty of beachfront restaurants and beach clubs allow travelers to choose the vibe they are looking for. The downtown is also host to plenty of restaurants, bars, and nighttime entertainment. This lively beach town is sure to please both day and night.

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Day 1: Welcome to Cabo

view from the sky of a tropical island with beach chair and umbrellas

After landing at the airport (maybe exiting straight on the tarmac or maybe one of the newer terminal arms that have been recently finished) and getting through the customs experience (typically about an hour between customs and agricultural inspection) you're probably going to be thirsty and ready to GO. Lucky for you, SJD airports got your back. There are 3 (maybe 4??) bars and restaurants outside of the airport while you wait for your transportation to take you to your hotel.

SJD is actually outside of San Jose Del Cabo (hence the airport code SJD), not to be confused with Cabo San Lucas. San Jose Del Cabo is a quiet beach town with a quaint downtown (a guide I should probably write) but not the Cabo that some of us have come to know.

Cabo San Lucas is located approximately 30-45 mins (depending on which hotel you choose) from the airport. You definitely can get a cab from the airport, but I personally appreciate having a ride arranged ahead of time and like knowing who I'm looking for. We have been using All Ways Cabo transportation since we started bringing our children to Cabo 4 years ago. You can let them know if you have a drink preference (yes…they will have a cold beer, water, soda [I’ve requested some bubbly]) in the vehicle waiting for you. If you need to make a stop for any reason, they would be happy to also swing you by the grocery store or Walmart (I’ve done both, I lean towards La Comer) before taking you to your hotel.

Once at the hotel, you're probably going to want to check out your new digs, maybe even take a quick dip before heading out. Then I suggest you get ready and hit the town. There are so many great places to eat all over Cabo, but if you're looking for authentic tacos al pastor, Taqueria El Zarape right off the main drag is your spot. Typically, this is our taco spot heading in and out of the Cabo area. If you've never had authentic al pastor, then you have to go here, and I'm sorry to say but its going to ruin most pastor you eat in the states. Pastor is a style of preparing the marinated pork. It’s piled on a metal rod (like I mean really piled on) topped with pineapple, and placed standing upward so that all of the juices run down the meat. The spit-grilled meat, rotating, is sliced off and caught (taco by taco) in a warm tortilla, topped with diced pineapple, and Jalapenos on the side. Nothing pairs better with a Mexican Coke in a bottle than these tacos. After tacos I recommend walking the downtown area and checking out some of the local watering holes.

El Squid Row - A unique multi story bar with a party atmosphere is a must, if even just for people watching. Here you can take your chances and try to win a jello shot by beating your server in Tic-Tac-Toe, but don't be fooled by the simple game, they do this for a living and are quite good at it. Don't worry about staying out too late, tomorrow's going to allow for sleeping in.

Day 2: Explore the island

beach with sparkling turquoise waters and stone formations on the sand

While I suggest you sleep in, make sure to hit your resort's breakfast spot! Most breakfast buffets will have an omelet station, traditional breakfast plates like chilaquiles, fresh fruit, and of course my favorite...pan dulce (I love a concha myself).

After breakfast, get your bathing suit, sunscreen and sunglasses (maybe even a hat) and it's time to go down the beach to one of the beach clubs. We have been going to Cabo for many years, and have tried out most if not all of the day clubs on Medano Beach. Mango Deck is one of our favorites because of how interactive it is with their guests. Now this establishment can get a little wild and crazy, so for those who aren't interested in that style we recommend Billygan's.

Now back to Mango Deck...did I mention how much fun this place is? There are a few competitions that are noteworthy...the booty shaking contest and the push up contest. (My husband and I may or may not have participated in these activities back in the day...all for the chance to win shots and a bucket of beer, cringe hahaha). The contest adds a special element and vibe to your daytime experience in Cabo. Mango deck is also great for a reasonably priced bucket of beer, shopping for any "touristy" type schwag you may want (shirts, bandanas, mexican blankets, etc), and an easy place to catch a glass bottom boat ride or even rent a jet ski.

The glass bottom boat ride (I actually have a quick tour of it on my socials) is such a cheap and quick activity for all ages. Typically $5-10 round trip per adult (it sort of depends on your negotiating skills...everything in Mexico is negotiable) they will take you out and around to see El Arco, Cabos famous arch.

There is plenty to see along the way and your driver is sure to point out all of the highlights. You have the option to get out at Lover's Beach (you can walk across and check out divorced beach), hang out for a designated amount of time, and then your driver will come back and get you. There are glass bottom boats coming and going at all times, don't worry, you won't be stranded.

Thinking along the lines of breakfast was more of a brunch situation, for Linner my recommendation is The Office, right next to Mango Deck. Hands down some of the best food I've had on Medano Beach. I'm a ceviche girl through and through, which makes Cabo the perfect location for me. The fish is so fresh, likely caught earlier that day fresh, making the Mahi Tacos my husband's go-to menu item.

Now I'm going to continue down the road of assumptions...and now that you're well drunk and fed, I'm thinking this is going to be an early night for you. Maybe head back to the hotel, grab another drink at the hotel bar, then maybe hit the hot tub before bed. I would recommend trying to get to bed at a decent hour if you're going to take my suggestion for Day 3…

Day 3: Charter a fishing boat

Fishing at Cabo

Day 3 is going to start before the sun comes up, but trust me… it’ll be fun and worth it! For those looking for a little spice to add to their trip, to create the ultimate vacation envy, I suggest a fishing Charter. The Marina in Cabo is filled with a TON of fishing boats and charter companies, which makes sense seeing as we’re seaside (try to say that 5 times fast). Cabo is home to one of the most talked about fishing tournaments – the Bisbee’s Black and Blue hosted annually in October. People travel from all over the world for this tournament, but don’t let that scare you…all year long (obviously certain times are better than others).

Cabos waters are bountiful. Marlin, Dorado, Mahi, and Tuna are just some of the fish you can hope to catch. Your guide will help with the licensing and bait, set all of your reels up, and also call each guest up for their turn to reel in a fish once they are on the hook! Yes gentlemen, if you're bringing a lady, the guides are very chivalrous and will let her reel first.

Beer and water is also typically provided as a part of the charter cost. I recommend getting to the dock area early (yes even earlier than zero-dark-thirty) and this is because there are some pretty amazing vendors that are selling breakfast burritos to all of the fishermen heading out. So delicious, filling, and able to erase almost anything from the night before. Ladies, if you're thinking…what the heck is this chick trying to do, ganging up with my man to go fishing… being on the water is one of the best places to tan.

Those prone to getting seasick, I recommend reaching out to your doctor before the trip and getting a prescription for a patch that you’ll put behind your ear at least the night before, but the day before is even better. (there's your bonus nurse tip wink wink). Let's go with the best case scenario first. You and your group crush it and catch a bunch of fish (yay!)....

Now what? A few recommendations:

Take one of the fish to one of the restaurants in the Marina (we have taken our Mahi to Los Deseos Restaurant). They will serve the fish to you 6-7 different ways, with sides. Any of the remaining fish, you more or less donate to the restaurant for their “catch of the day” Take some of the fish home. Your guide (or another dockmate looking for a quick tip) can Filet your fish and bag it up for you.

Then go to La Comer (local grocery store) and get a small cooler that one could consider to be a “carry on” item. Best practice… portion out the fish and freeze it beforehand, then also freeze some ice packs for the trip home. Boom. Now you have some fresh fish to prove to everyone that you did indeed, crush it. Lastly, if you really did crush it…throw the crew a bone – I mean fish.

For so many reasons this should probably be #2 and not #3, but that's just how the juices were flowing. In general, fishermen are hardworking, but the fishermen working down in Cabo are extremely hardworking. This fish really helps them in so many ways. Either by putting food on the table (literally) or by allowing them to sell the fish to one of the local restaurants and then in turn also put food on the table. You will see how appreciative the crew is when you give them a part of your catch, something you are sure to remember.

Now what happens if you DON'T catch anything, or you catch something your not particularly interested in eating (in that case I definitely recommend #3)? Don’t worry, aside from a bruised ego, you aren’t going to go hungry for dinner. There's a good chance you are staying all inclusive, which would mean you could easily go back to the resort and eat dinner (at no additional cost).

If after you get back, hang by the pool (maybe take a nap), and you want to go out for dinner, another favorite of mine would be Las Guacamayas. This particular restaurant is one of my favorites to take people to who don’t necessarily want to be stuck at the resort the whole time, but aren't sure they are adventurous enough to try a local taqueria. What keeps me returning again and again are the Molcajetes. I’m sure you've heard of a Molcajete (used for grinding spices), but at Las Guacamayas the Molcajete is served piping hot with your choice of meat, cheese, and even cactus (doooo it!). With warm tortillas on the side and an amazing selection of salsas, it’s something that everyone can enjoy. My husband and I usually split one and then get an appetizer (also a few margaritas), making this an affordable dinner out.

Let's talk about fishing boats for a second.

I’m not trying to be crass, but size does matter when it comes to boats, especially if you’re going to try to go out in the ocean and fish on one. If you took my suggestion, and did the glass bottom boat ride, then you know that that little puppy is reaching its max when they take you around the corner to see divorced beach. The next step up is a Super Panga boat–I do not, I repeat, I do not recommend you take one out to go fishing if you are prone to seasickness or the seas are predicted to be rough. The owner will definitely sell you their situation as an option, but heed my warning, even if it is a really good deal, your chances of getting seasick are very high, especially if you are prone to it. Spend the extra money, get a larger (26ish ft) fishing boat. You will have shade options; there’s usually a little cabin as a reprieve, and maybe even a restroom for the ladies (expect to spend around $500, maybe a little less, for 4 people for half a day–5 hrs).

Now, my husband speaks fluent Spanish, so for him bargaining and going back and forth with people to get exactly what he wants works for him and us. He wants to walk on the boat before we actually charter it, he wants to see them come in at the end of their day, see if they caught anything. He’s very serious about the situation. That's definitely not how everyone likes to roll, and definitely not something I personally (not fluent) would feel comfortable doing without my husband's presence. There are a lot of charter companies that you can book online with. Lands End Charters, Pisces Sportfishing, and Cabo Sportfishing Crew are just a few.

After dinner, seeing as it's your last night, I highly recommend hitting the town again. Let me know if you find the smallest bar in Cabo…it’s a little blurry for me, wink wink). Around the same time as the Bisbee’s tournament, Sammy Hagar celebrates his birthday. His actual birthday is 10/13, but he’s known for throwing a celebration for himself all week long. Cabo Wabo is one of those places that you have to go to at least once, and if Sammy’s in town, it'll definitely be a good time. Around the same area is the Giggling Marlin, another bar that is sure to attract a crowd at night.

Now how late you stay out probably depends on what time your flight leaves the next day. If you can, I suggest taking a 1pm or 2pm flight out. This will allow you to wake up naturally, eat some breakfast (snag me a Concha) and check out without too much stress. Your driver will likely want to pick you up 3 hours before your flight to allow you plenty of time to go through security. Typically it is not an hours long situation, but with the drive, you’ll want to make sure you get there with enough time to get a last Michelada (Ojo Rojo in Mexico) before you board the plane.

Day 4: Continue your vacation

road into a small island city

If your like me and you’ve decided 3 days just isn’t enough time… Don’t worry, I got your back. There really is so much to do in Cabo, that a 4th (or 5th) day wouldn’t be wasted.

Shopping in the downtown area is typically high up on our list, especially the Billabong store and other surf shops. There is even a mall right next to the Marina for all of your shopping needs.

Not into shopping? Don’t worry, hitting the resort spa might be more your speed. If its a massage your looking for, but you don't want to spend spa prices… then I have 2 suggestions for you: There are ladies that walk up and down Medano Beach and will give you a massage on whatever chair you’ve claimed as yours for the day. My favorite lady can be found wearing a pink hat, her name is Dominga and her hands are magic. The Sand Bar, also located on Medano Beach, has an open second floor with massage beds. What I love about this place is the price, but also the fact that the second floor is open allows you to still hear the sound of the ocean while getting your massage.

Okay, without dragging this on too much… horseback riding on the beach, sunset dinner cruise (drinks and food included), and even a Razor/ATV adventure are not off the table if you're looking for a little more action. I've said it once and I'll say it again, there is something for everyone in Cabo.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Lisa Babic's guide, Girl's Trip to Cabo San Lucas: Best Hotels & Things to Do.

Advisor - Samantha Halseth

Travel Advisor

Samantha Halseth

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Cabo and our longer series on travel to Mexico.