San Jose del Cabo is a city of 136,000 people (2020) in Los Cabos. Like its sister city, Cabo San Lucas, it is a major tourist destination, especially for Americans and Canadians during the high season from October to May. It is less commercial than Cabo San Lucas, and has retained its charming historic center.
The growth of tourism has been regulated to outside of the town center, especially to the south where the beaches are, leaving the historic town center quiet and relatively unchanged. There are still cobblestone streets, adobe houses, jacaranda trees and a central square in front of a church that dates from the 1700s, where people still gather in the evening when it is cooler.
A number of the large houses in the center date from the 19th century, and most of these have been converted into restaurants, art galleries and shops selling fine handcrafts, silver, local gemstones and souvenirs. The art scene in the town is well-developed because of tourism and people with vacation homes. These shops carry high-end paintings and sculptures from traditional Mexican, Mexican contemporary and international artisans and artists.
During the high season, these galleries stay open late into the night. The town has resisted the addition of large shopping malls and chain stores. There is also some colonial era architecture as well, but this style has more in common with colonial towns to the north into the United States rather than the center and south of Mexico.
The tourist area of the town is the area between the town proper and the shoreline. This area has a nine-hole golf course and a line of hotels and resorts facing the ocean.
A tourist corridor has arisen between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo along the coastal highway, populated by resorts, hotels, and golf courses. Some smaller isolated and undeveloped beaches remain.
1 Los Cabos International Airport (SJD IATA), Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 43.5, S Jose del Cabo (about 16 km (9.9 mi) north from downtown San Jose del Cabo and 44 km (27 mi) north of Cabos San Lucas/Los Cabos along Hwy 1D/1 which bypasses San Jose del Cabo). It is the main airport serving the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo served by the following airlines:
- Terminal 1: Aeromexico/Aeromexico Connect;, Interjet, Calafia, Magnicharters, VivaAerobus, United and Volaris. The following carriers only come seasonally: Air Canada and Sun Country. The original Terminal 1 is mainly for domestic and some international flights.
- Terminal 2: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, TUI and Westjet. The following carriers only come seasonally: Frontier, Sunwing, Spirit and Swoop. Even the carriers that come regularly, year round, (listed in the former) offer seasonal flights from more cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico than they do during the other times of the year. The newer Terminal 2 serves as a new international terminal.
You can reach the airport via a toll road, or via the very busy (lots of traffic and stop lights) Transpeninsular Hwy (Highway 1). For those not planning to rent a car, the shared ride colectivos (shuttles) and taxis are the only thing available for transport into town. Click here for a list of companies offering shuttle and taxi services into town.
All major car rental agencies have offices at the airport and in San Jose del Cabo. Several local agencies also serve the airport. At the airport, agencies offer shuttle service to their off-site rental offices.
- [dead link] Economy/Cactus car rental (after arranging the rental, you will catch a shuttle at the exit of the airport after passing a ton of salespeople and taxi drivers), ✉ email@example.com. Trustworthy and reliable, get in contact with Antonio Miranda (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a quote. They accept credit cards, and what they tell you they charge they actually charge, no funny business. All insurance and rental fees are included in the price they quote. If you return the car in the same shape you rented it and with the same amount of gas, you won't have any problems. No limits on kilometers traveled. If you have an early flight, you can just leave the car in the airport parking lot with the key and ~ US$10 to cover the parking fee. Very easy to deal with.
Public transportation (buses) around San Jose del Cabo connects downtown with points north and west. Service is not frequent (about once every 20-30 minutes). Bus lines are represented by the color of the bus (for example, "white" line, "yellow" line).
Local buses also run between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, with service every 20-30 minutes, taking about 30-45 minutes to travel between these cities using Transpeninsular Hwy (Highway 1). Buses stop at most major attractions and beaches along the highway. Pay the driver when you get on the bus. Service stops around 23:00.
Most major attractions are within walking distance of downtown San Jose del Cabo.
- 1 Plaza Central (Main square). The main public plaza in downtown San Jose del Cabo. Events such as music and dancing take place during the week, especially on Saturday and Sunday nights. Numerous stores and restaurants face the plaza.
- Catedral de San Jose (Saint Joseph's Cathedral) (at the west end of the Plaza Central). The main (Catholic) church in San Jose del Cabo. It was part of the Estero de las Palmas de San José del Cabo Mission, founded in 1730. The facade is marked with a tile mural depicting the martyrdom of founder Nicolás Tamaral, killed by the local Pericu people.
- Boulevard Antonio Mijares. Many stores, restaurants and bars can be found along this street, one of the liveliest streets in peaceful San Jose del Cabo.
- Estero San Jose. A beautiful marsh with walking trails, located just east of downtown.
- Other important landmarks in the town include the municipal hall (palacio municipal), which dates from 1981 and the cultural center or Casa de Cultura, housed in a 19th-century building.
The road connecting San Jose del Cabo and Cabo Pulmo along the east road cape (unpaved) has some beautiful views and beaches with nice surfing spots. It's possible to take a day trip or even spend a few nights on the road exploring a different side of Cabo far from the touristy resorts. (If you drive a rental car, make sure you are allowed to drive on this unpaved road. Some agencies void insurance coverage while driving on this road.)
Several beautiful beaches can be easily reached by car or by public transportation. Worth noting are the nearby beaches of "Punta Palmilla" and "El Chileno", both west of town. "El Chileno", in Chileno Bay about 25 km west of San Jose del Cabo, was awarded a "Blue Flag" certificate for its excellent water quality. "El Chileno" beach is extremely well maintained, has on-site facilities (restrooms, showers, trash bins) and unpaved parking with security. The beach is open from 07:00 to 19:00 in the summer.
The patron saint of the town is Saint Joseph, whose feast day is celebrated at the cathedral on March 19. Another important occasion is the feast of the Our Lady of the Pillar on October 12. Occasions like these are marked with traditional dance in dress styles known as “Flor de Pitaya” and the “La Cuera”.
Many restaurants are in or near downtown San Jose del Cabo.
- El Toro Güero (Mariscos El Toro Güero), Corner of Avenida Centenario and Calle Idelfonso Green (four blocks west of Plaza Central in downtown San Jose del Cabo). Packed by locals for afternoon "comida", serves a variety of seafood dishes such as "ceviche", "tacos", "molcajetes", "filetes" at fair prices. "Aguas frescas" are outstanding, but service can be slow during weekday afternoon rush hour. Limited off-street parking is available. Restaurant has two locations, the most convenient for tourists is the location near downtown. From M$100.
- Las Guacamayas (Taqueria Las Guacamayas), On Paseo de los Marinos near the corner with Paseo del Pescador (about 12 blocks west of Plaza Central in downtown San Jose del Cabo; follow Calle Manuel Doblado past Transpeninsular Hwy, right on Paseo del Pescador, then left on Paseo de los Marinos). A bit far away from downtown, but well-worth the trouble. Serves a large variety of mainly beef, pork and chicken "tacos", "quesadillas" and "sopes". "Aguas frescas" are very good. Crowded with locals and tourist alike for evening dinner, offering live music most days. Street parking only. M$100 and up.
- French Bakery de Los Cabos, Esq Hidalgo Col. Centro San Jose del Cabo. Most Parisian-taste baguette that you will ever find in Baja California Sur, not to mention the ice cream and pastries.
- Señor Mañana Posada Hotel (next door to Yuca Inn on Obregon). Basic rooms, though more of a party atmosphere than Yuca Inn. A bit cheaper than Yuca Inn.
- Sun Cabo Luxury Villas, Resorts, and Condos, Plaza Paseo Los Cabos. A wide array of available villas, condos, and resort rentals available throughout San Jose del Cabo.
- Luna Cabo Luxury Villas & Property Management, Carr. Transpeninsular km 6.5 Plaza Paseo Los Arcos Cabo Bello.
|Routes through San José del Cabo|
|La Paz ← Los Barriles ←||N S||→ Cabo San Lucas → END|