San Jose del Cabo
For many tourists, after visiting fast and frenetic Cabo San Lucas the first time, San Jose del Cabo ends up being their destination of choice for future visits. Indeed most folks come to Mexico to get away, take it slow and appreciate the ‘Real Cabo’.
San Jose del Cabo for hundreds of years has been an outpost on the tip of the Baja California peninsula. Up until twenty years ago Cabo San Lucas was just a few farmhouses, some scrawny cattle roaming the dirt roads and a fish cannery. There was only a twenty-mile dirt road connecting it to the only town nearby, San Jose del Cabo.
The quaint town of San Jose del Cabo has an almost fantasy land quality about it. In the city center one will find a gorgeous Spanish colonial styled city hall with murals of old Baja inside its corridors. Within, there’s a two-story courtyard shaded by a huge Mexican Laurel.
Often one can enjoy an art exhibit or concert here in the evenings. Out front on Mijares (the main street) is a block long fountain dividing traffic on the street lined with plastered and columned old colonial buildings and almost secret paseos or inner courtyards full of shops graced with bougainvilleas, palms and laurels. Adjacent is a one acre tiled plaza shaded with gigantic palms and century old trees surrounding a Victorian bandstand and a newer outdoor stage for larger performances.
Often in the evenings on the plaza in front of the cathedral, one can enjoy traditional Mexican bands, Latin dance and rock and roll music. One can literally dance under the stars here, or in one of the nearby clubs as in the Tropicana Inn (located across the street from the municipal palace). The Tropicana Inn often features fine Cuban or Mexican bands as well as romantic covered outside dining along the boulevard.
San Jose del Cabo exhibits the best of traditional Mexico with its blocks of unhurried streets and graceful tree covered sidewalks, its scores of shops, galleries, fine restaurants, boutiques and total absence of popular franchises such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Hard Rock Cafe. It’s a place to explore, unwind, take-in and treasure.
Art exhibitions, fiestas and traveling shows from other regions of Mexico often appear at the plaza with little notice. Visit during a fiesta and you may be treated to fireworks, bands performing on stages up and down the streets, carnivals, cockfights, a rodeo and thousands of locals from the barrios and ranchos from miles around crowding the streets.
Overlooking the San Jose del Cabo plaza is a cathedral with a ceramic tile mural above the doors, eternally reminding the locals of the Jesuits whom the Indians massacred centuries ago. The Indians had serious issues such as not wanting to wear pants, being allowed only one wife, and having to work for the church. The braves preferring instead to hunt, fish, party, get drunk, fight and play with their squaws. The Jesuits in their opinion didn’t offer them much other than an austere life based on faith, subservience, work, and death by disease. The Jesuits, thought the Indians, just didn’t get it. After all, people come to Los Cabos to play and have fun.
San Jose del Cabo is a place where one can ride horses on uncrowded trails overlooking beaches where the turtles lay their eggs, a place where nature lovers can hike through the estuary, bird watch, ride mountain bikes, surf, fish, golf, snorkel, or just explore the neighborhood.
San Jose del Cabo is the ‘Real Cabo’!
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas, known for its lively atmosphere, big-money billfish tournaments and upscale services, sits on the turquoise bay of the same name. The town overlooks El Arco, the amazing natural-rock arch at the tip of the 900-mile-long Baja California Peninsula. Here, where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet you’ll be able to spot seals and sea lions and do some scuba diving or check out the cascades. La Playa del Amor is a good place to take in a beautiful sunset. The Old Lighthouse, a construction built in 1890 and located at Cabo Falso, which is 19 kilometers from Cabos San Lucas is another interesting place to visit.
A popular port of call for cruise ships, Cabo has an excellent marina, and a fine swimming beach, with unequaled water sports and people-watching opportunities. Marina Boulevard offers great shopping along the waterfront, and also parallels the Malecon, a wide promenade along the marina ideal for strolling, jogging, or just hanging out