Even frequent travelers can benefit from destination-specific advice from those who know the ropes. Whether you’re arriving on your yacht to moor at Costa Palmas resort or flying into Los Cabos International Airport by private jet or a commercial airline, we’ve got some travel tips for Americans visiting Cabo.
Have cash on hand
Most, but not all, of Cabo’s businesses accept credit cards, debit cards, and American cash. It’s worth it to exchange some of your U.S. dollars to pesos before you fly to Mexico or at the airport.
Although you can also get cash from ATMs in the tourist corridor, you’ll want to have some small bills on hand to tip anyone who assists you upon arrival. That could mean your driver at the airport or someone who helps you dock your boat at Costa Palmas resort’s marina.
It’s also worth noting that both pesos and U.S. dollars are accepted at the toll roads in Cabo, but not credit cards.
Pack biodegradable sunscreen
Snorkeling, swimming and other water sports are usually at the top of visitors’ itineraries when they visit Cabo. To help preserve the fragile and diverse ecosystems in the region, travelers are advised to pack mineral or physical sunblocks.
That’s because many popular sunscreens contain coral-bleaching chemicals, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. You’ll be doing your part to protect environmental treasures, such as Cabo Pulmo, which is home to one of the oldest living coral reefs.
Avoid the “timeshare sharks”
When you arrive at the airport in Cabo, you’ll clear customs and pass through the rental car offices area. Go right to the counter to rent your car or proceed to the exit to find your transfer company or private driver.
Don’t be surprised if you’re approached by timeshare salespeople in the rental car area. Savvy travelers to Cabo call this the “Shark Tank” and the experience is so common that you’ll find it mentioned in many articles offering travel tips for Americans visiting Cabo.
Keep your tourist card on hand
While on the plane to Cabo, you’ll be given a tourist card to fill out. This vital document certifies that, as a visitor, you have an appropriate reason to be visiting Mexico, won’t engage in harmful or illegal activities while in the country, and intend to return to the United States after your stay.
You’ll need to show your tourist card when you pass through immigration screening at the airport, so keep it handy. If you lose it, you’ll have to pay a fee to have it reissued. It’s not always a prompt procedure.
Shop the duty-free shops at the airport
Shopping is a favorite activity for most visitors to Cabo but don’t worry if you suddenly remember that you need a gift for your friend on the ride back to the airport. The duty-free shops at the Los Cabos International Airport have plenty to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a bottle of tequila, some silver jewelry, or a box of cigars, you can hit the duty-free shops while you wait for your plane.
Consider bringing your own yacht or sailboat
The East Cape has positioned itself to be a true luxury destination and while most of the travel tips for Americans visiting Cabo revolve around air travel, you can also arrive on your yacht or sailboat.
There are only a handful of places in Los Cabos that allow you to bring your own yacht or sailboat. The Costa Palmas Yacht Club, for example, hosts a 250-slip marina that can accommodate motor yachts up to 250-feet long.
Add a travel alert to your debit and credit cards
Contact your bank and credit card companies before your trip to share the dates and destination of your trip. You may also be able to make this update in your bank or credit card app. This will allow you to use them in a foreign country without being flagged as stolen or lost.
Take a photo of your passport
Take a photo of your passport and tourist card before getting off the plane and email it to yourself. This simple step could help decrease the time it takes to track down your records in Mexico if you lose either or if your wallet gets stolen.
You’ll need to purchase insurance on any rental car
Planning to explore Baja California Mexico by car? Renting a car at the airport is a relatively easy process, but one of the most common travel tips for Americans visiting Cabo is to set up the rental before the trip. All you need is a license.
Although rental cars are incredibly affordable in Cabo, even with unlimited mileage, travel insurance adds a considerable cost. You’ll need liability insurance as not all U.S. car insurance policies will cover damage that occurred in a foreign country. The same is true for credit card policies, which usually cover collision damage but not liability.
Before you start the car, walk around the exterior and take video. Make sure to zoom in on anything that could be existing damage. Do the same with the interior of the vehicle.
Have your resort arrange transportation from the airport
When it comes to travel tips for Americans visiting Cabo, transportation is a common topic. Not planning to rent a car? There are lots of ways to get around the region.
From taxis, limos, and ride shares to buses, and private and semi-private shuttles, there are lots of legal and safe methods to get you from point A to B. It’s worth noting that while ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft will work in Cabo, they’re illegal and not allowed at the Los Cabos International Airport.
Most of the major hotels offer private shuttles that pick you up at the airport to transport you to your destination—and vice versa. Some of the more luxurious resorts can even arrange for a more VIP arrival. Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, for example, can schedule a chauffeured limousine or SUV to pick you up from the airport and host a meet-and-greet service upon your arrival at the resort.
Want to learn more about Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos? Visit the website.