Interested in getting away? A trip to San Jose Del Cabo could be the perfect vacation spot. This tropical town sits next to Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Baja’s iconic coast. While the sister cities are close in proximity, that’s about the only thing they have in common. We’ll explain the difference between these two hot spots and explore some reasons to opt for San Jose, the quieter side of the peninsula.
Cabo San Lucas vs San Jose Del Cabo
Cabo San Lucas is a hip, crowded city that draws tourists with its vibrant night life, cheap drinks, and sun-soaked beaches. San Jose Del Cabo is its calmer, artsy sister. It’s a small, walkable city that’s about 45 minutes from Cabo San Lucas. It’s a more authentic Mexican town where businesses are run by third or fourth-generation owners and the local shoppers are known by name.
Reasons to visit San Jose Del Cabo
There are plenty of reasons to visit San Jose Del Cabo, but these are the top five reasons to pack a bag today:
Amazing, natural sites to see
San Jose Del Cabo offers some postcard-worthy spots to visit, and they’re often less-traveled by tourists. Costa Azula, for example, is the definition of a perfect beach. With sapphire water, sugary sand, and million-dollar homes built into the rock faces overlooking the water, this beach is one of the original reasons people came to the area. Its strong current makes it an ideal spot for surfers.
You can also take a day trip to a pristine, uninhabited island off the coast, Isla Espiritu Santo. This island has no buildings or human residents, just an abundance of wildlife and one of the quietest beaches you’ll ever see. You’ll need to take a boat to get there, but it’s worth the effort.
Two hot springs should also make your to-do list, El Chorro and Santa Rita. If you want the place to yourself, head to Santa Rita. You need to walk a bit to find it, but it’s tranquility and bubbling water will amaze you. El Chorro is easy to access and usually has a small crowd of tourists.
The seas are teeming with marine life
Whether you’re a snorkeling newbie or a scuba-diving veteran, the world below the waves is a sight to see. The warm waters of the Sea of Cortez mix with the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean to create a wonderland of marine life in Cabo Pulmo National Park. Everything from humpback whales, whale sharks, manta rays, sea lions, and hundreds of species of fish glide below the water’s surface.
The park is closer to San Jose Del Cabo than it is to Cabo San Lucas, but it’s still about a 90-minute car ride. There are many charter companies that take tourists to this location. The best time to visit is May or June. During these months, there are fewer tourists so you’ll have more room to roam.
The art scene is unique and authentic
In San Jose’s quaint cobblestone downtown, you’ll find a handful of independent galleries. Old Town Gallery, for example, features work from eight renowned artists including Alan Wylie and Brent Heighton while the Silvermoon Gallery offers Mexican folk art. Whether you’re an avid art collector or are just looking for a fun painting to take home, all of the galleries are welcoming and more than willing to answer questions.
Every Thursday, the city hosts an Art Walk. The narrow streets are lined with various art vendors selling their wares. Food trucks are parked all over and musicians usually take the stage in Plaza Mijares.
The food is just as jaw-dropping as the scenery
San Jose and the area to its east, East Cape, have restaurants that should vie for a spot on your itinerary. La Lupita in San Jose’s historic district offers authentic Mexican fare. Casa Natalia serves French-Mexican-Asian fusion. A short drive outside city limits takes you to Flora Farms where you’ll eat at a 25-acre farm that defines farm-to-table meals. Don’t leave without stopping by Panaderia 1 de Mayo for conchas, a sweet, seashell-looking bread roll.
If you’re looking for food-on-the-go, try one of the area’s famed food trucks. If you spot The Hunger Park stop what you’re doing and order a La Chilanga with sweet potato fries. You should take similar action if you see the Tamales Lady. You can’t leave Mexico without an authentic, handmade tamale.
The accommodations are next level
There are plenty of five-star resorts that will cater to your every whim. The Four Seasons, for example, sits on two-miles of untouched beach and offers elegant waterfront villas. You can book a private retreat with an expansive, private pool. You can ask your personal residential assistant to book your day trips or have a private chef create customized meals.
A number of people who visit the area fall in love with its charm. Many tourists have turned a vacation into a real estate pursuit as they consider buying a second home along the Sea of Cortez shores.
Real estate developers in San Jose Del Cabo, and the neighboring town of East Cape, have quietly created premium communities that complement the area’s natural beauty. The resort community of Costa Palmas, for example, is an up-and-coming community that’s attracting luxury buyers. Between the elegant beachfront homes and an impressive list of amenities like an 18-hole golf course and an exclusive beach club, it’s easy to see why the area draws buyers.
San Jose Del Cabo is a quiet oasis tucked just 45 minutes from its rebellious sister city, Cabo San Lucas. San Jose has its own natural wonders, unmatched snorkeling and scuba diving, a trendy art scene, great eats, and accommodations that you’ll rave about. The location has so much to offer, so don’t be afraid to make San Jose Del Cabo your next must-see destination.