I have officially concluded all my major trips booked for the year after coming back from Cabo last month. 2022 has definitely been the year of the travel bug for me so it feels different not having any major trips coming up for a change, however, we’ll of course be taking weekend trips around home and looking forward to the next few months being home and exploring more of our state.
In case you missed it, I shared a full Cabo vlog over on my YouTube channel here. At the beginning of July, my boyfriend and I flew down to Cabo San Lucas, in Baja California Sur, Mexico with my family for a full week of fun in the sun and it was such a great trip! This was actually my first time visiting Cabo, and it was such a dream, truly such a beautiful place. In this post, I’ll be sharing a full recap of our trip, where to stay, things to do, and important things to know about traveling to Cabo.
I also wanted to note that we visited during the week of the 4th of July and they actually celebrated the holiday down in Cabo by putting on firework shows which was very cool! We’re typically home for the 4th so being out of the country especially this time around, it was cool to still be able to celebrate from afar.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Villa Del Palmar which is a resort located just a quick 5-10 minute drive away from downtown Cabo San Lucas and is also right on the beach. I’m all about the beach resort life and really enjoyed our time staying here while in Cabo. It’s close enough to downtown so you’re still in the general area of Cabo but also farther away to where it feels a bit more calm and relaxing. The Villa Del Palmar shares a resort with two others, Villa La Estancia, and Villa Del Arco – honestly I’d recommend any of these three, we walked through and looked at some of the others since they share property and they all looked very nice.
Our hotel had two pools (one for adults, and one for families that included a water slide) that overlooks the ocean, tennis/pickleball courts, a variety of dining options, and even its own market/cafe to pick up small groceries and snacks.
Things to Do
There is no shortage of things to do in Cabo and so many fun activities to choose from. Some of the things we got up to were pool/beach days, rented jet skis, watching the sunrise/sunset at the beach, shopping downtown, walking around the marina, the Caborey boat ride, horseback riding by the beach/through the desert, and snorkeling.
There are also activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hikes, fishing, and so much more!
The one thing I was very surprised by when visiting Cabo was the amount of Italian restaurants! I was honestly expecting and prepared for eating so much Mexican food on this trip but in reality, ended up eating way more Italian food!
Some of the restaurants we tried and loved were Cabo Wabo, Light House (which also plays live music!), and a couple of the restaurants at our hotel like Bella California (which also has an amazing breakfast/brunch right on the waterfront by the pool area), Carbon Grill Restaurant, Pizza Bar, and Palmita Market & Deli.
What to Expect
As someone with not a whole lot of International travel experience, Cabo was a great place to visit with getting that experience of traveling internationally and experiencing different cultures. Some things to expect when traveling to Cabo are the Italy vibes which I was very surprised by and not expecting. Walking around the marina especially feels like walking in Italy with the architecture and vibe, though I’ve never been to Italy and cannot truly compare, it was definitely the vibe I was getting, and only makes sense that there are so many Italian restaurants to choose from in Cabo.
Most importantly, what you can expect when visiting Cabo from the minute you step foot through the airport upon arriving is people trying to sell you things. I was not expecting this at all and will admit after the first day I was getting a bit frustrated with people always coming up to me asking if I want to buy XYZ, etc. that I felt like I couldn’t truly enjoy myself. I read some articles and further educated myself on Cabo to learn more about this, the why, and how people like me who are just visiting should go about these types of situations to respect their culture. While the selling never stopped, it was all about the outlook of it and knowing that they mean no harm and are kind/hard-working people, and is best to politely acknowledge and decline. What I can compare these instances to are when walking the streets of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and New York City, people are typically trying to sell things to tourists and most people just ignore and keep walking which is pretty standard in American culture, while in Mexico it’s actually better to give a response than none and they definitely appreciate it.
Going off of this, negotiation is key! These are actually the people you want to be talking to about doing activities in Cabo and this is how we did all of our activities like the boat ride, jet skis, horseback riding, and more. They will always tell you the price they want (which is typically the highest) but you’d be surprised how easily they are willing to flex their rates when negotiating – it never hurts!
Important Things to Know
In Mexico, the quality of water is not the greatest which can very easily ruin your trip by giving you what they call “Montezuma’s Revenge”. That being said, it is very important to be aware of the water you’re drinking. On the resorts, you’re typically fine to rinse your mouth with the tap water when brushing your teeth, and fine to use the water when showering, however, refrain from tap water as much as possible (especially outside of the resorts), this includes ice cubes as well in your drinks (you never know where these come from). That being said, it’s common for restaurants to serve you bottled water (as much as it may suck, sometimes you may have to drink warm water and not include ice due to the quality). Wherever I went I bought bottles of water and carried them with me wherever I went so I could ensure I was always hydrated and drinking safe to drink water.
You also want to be more aware of the foods you’re eating as well. It’s best to avoid fresh produce as I’ve heard there are certain fruits and vegetables you want to stay away from in Mexico due to their quality (fruits like strawberries and vegetables like lettuce, etc.). You’ll also notice in grocery stores/markets their fruit/vegetable supply is pretty limited due to this.
In Cabo, the sand on the beaches is pretty coarse and my feet were not used to that! Walking barefoot for too long definitely caused some pain on my feet so I’d recommend either wearing sandals when walking on the beach or even sneakers. There are also certain parts of the beach where it isn’t the safest to swim/water comes up pretty high on the shore, and some portions that are due to the size of the waves so definitely keep this in consideration when determining where you want to stay/hang out at the beach. Right outside our hotel actually wasn’t the safest for swimming and we ended up walking down a ways when wanting to go in the water.
You’ll also want to refrain from using ATM’s in town (they’re a bit sketchy and an easy target for fraud), and make sure you carry cash.
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Thanks for reading!