Back in December, we were excited and planning for a 3 weeks long road trip from BC all the way to California and Vegas with our camper mini-van. Unfortunately, Hugo hurt himself at work about 2 weeks before our trip, which made us change our entire plans within a week-end. We cancelled everything bought the cheapest flights we could find to anywhere (basically) for 10 days, where we could rest, walk a lot but not do anything too strenuous. We ended up in San Jose Del Cabo for 5 days, and Cabo San Lucas for 5 days.
This was a very low-key trip for us. The first 5 days, we rent an Air BnB close to the Wal-Mart (yes. we did our groceries here – that is how americanized the place has become!). We didn’t have a car, so we used the transit system to go around and we walked – many km per day! Our days were mainly cooking breakfast tacos, walking around, checking out one of the beaches in the area (often using transit, quite easy and cheap), and going back downtown San Jose to eat – more – tacos and drink marguaritas!
Our first day, we walked around the main beach in San Jose where all the resorts are (Zone Hoteleria). Just be mindful – this isn’t a swimming friendly beach. The reg flags and danger zones were indicated in many areas – if you were to choose an hotel in that area, make sure to ask if you can have access to the ocean to swim or if you will have to limit yourself to the pool (a lot of people didn’t know and realized it as they got there, which is quite a bummer to be honest!).
Our second day, we took the local bus to Playa Chileno. Basically, ask the driver to drop you at Chileno. Stay close as they might forget to let you know… one day we drove past our stop and he dropped us further out (the stops can be quite apart!) and we had to bus back the other way with a transfer ticket. The fun part is the following – all the boats you see from the beach are the tourist snorkeling day tours leaving from Cabo San Lucas – costing close to 75 US or even more for a day. You can see all the orange floats where the tourists get dropped all at the same time for snorkeling. We got there, on the beach, with our own food, for barely 3$ per person. We also brought our own snorkeling gear with us (from home), which was a nice addition! I would recommend it. The snorkeling here was quite impressive on our first day – lots of really nice fish close to shore!
On our 3rd day, we took the bus again all the way to Santa Maria beach. This was our best snorkeling day – HUNDREDS for colorful fishes directly from the beach (I was surrounded while having water to my knees!). You can swim off both ends of the bay (the crowds tend to go towards the left end), although we found the best areas off to the right. Just be careful, take your time. The water was very calm for us, and we are quite good swimmers, so we really enjoyed the slow vibe. Most of the public beaches also have public bathrooms and sometimes outdoor showers to rinse off the salt and sand before getting back to your vehicle or back into the bus.
One of the best thing from San Jose was the food – tacos everywhere, everyday! We literally looked for taquerias, either walking down the street, or looking at visitor guides and locals recommendations. Guacamayas (in San Jose) and The Hangman were our favorites.
Meals are not particularly cheap here, compared to other destinations in Mexico. When I was in Sayulita, food was much more affordable. San Jose is still cheaper than Cabo, but make sure that you check the current state of the prices, as it ended up being the main expense of our entire trip.
Downtown San Jose is really lively and there are a lot of art galleries. They have a Thursday Art Night where performers come in the street and everything comes alive. We realized the activities and galleries are mainly the same that you can see on any night, but Thursday you might find some deals or tastings. It’s definitely worth making an evening in San Jose part of your itinerary!
Make sure you keep an eye on cockroaches and scorpions in your place while you are staying in the area. We have had a FEW unfortunate encounters in our BnB!
After 5 days in San Jose, we got a private cab to take us to Cabo San Lucas. We found the cab near the main plaza downtown San Jose and called the driver with the Whatsapp info on his card after dealing with him a reasonable price. We had considered booking a car, but it would have gone up to at least 100 US for one day, and we decided it wasn’t worth it.
You can read my next post to learn about the activities we did in Cabo!