Non Swimmable beach in San Jose del Cabo with wave crashing

The Best of San Jose del Cabo (2023)

Everyone has heard of Cabo (Cabo San Lucas). But have you heard of San Jose del Cabo? It is a hidden gem nestled on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. 

With its vibrant art scene and rich cultural heritage, this picturesque town offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure for those who want to visit somewhere a little less touristy than Cabo San Lucas. 

Jon and I have been to both areas in Los Cabos and we prefer San Jose much better.  So let’s talk getting here, what to do and where to eat in our complete guide to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

Getting to San Jose del Cabo

Los Cabos International (SJD) serves as the main airport to the region. Located just a short 20-minute drive from the town, this airport has direct flights from 43 major cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain, making it easily accessible for travelers. 

Once you arrive you will need to go through customs. In our experience, the lines move quickly and the process doesn’t take much time. 

The last step of customs is pressing a button at the guard station. If it flashes a certain color you are waved through to exit the airport. If it flashes a different color you will have to go through what is basically TSA screening again.

**UPDATE: If you get selected for additional screening, carefully place your bags on the conveyer belt! Jon put one of his down a little too hard and the guard kept him for 45+ minutes of questioning while making him unpack and repack everything.**

Exiting The Airport for San Jose del Cabo

Once you exit customs you will still need to go through another room before leaving the airport. In this room there will be people lined up to talk to you and my biggest piece of advice is DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE. They will ask you where you are going, say you need to check in at the counter to get there, and anything else to grab your attention. It is not true and is all just a way to sell you something.

Transportation Around the City

There are multiple ways to get to your stay and around the city. These include renting a car, taking a taxi, using a shuttle (if provided by your resort) or simply walking.

When leaving from the airport you will need a vehicle. We chose to rent one so we could easily explore Los Cabos but taking a taxi is relatively cheap as well. We did hear that taxis are cheaper to leave the airport than to return so just know you may pay more getting back to the airport.

Within San Jose del Cabo itself, getting around is a breeze. The town is compact and easily navigable on foot. Strolling through its charming streets allows you to experience the local atmosphere and discover gems at every turn. If you prefer a quicker mode of transportation, renting a car or hailing a taxi is convenient for exploring the nearby attractions. We stayed at the Royal Solaris and it was only about a 25 minute walk to El Centro for the Art Walk, food and shops. (More on that here.)

If you want to go to Cabo San Lucas, you will need to take a vehicle since it’s about a 30 minute drive. There are some wonderful restaurants that are worth the drive and any boat excursion will require you to make the drive as well.

What to do in San Jose del Cabo

These tours and transfers are all highly rated and hosted with Viator – our favorite excursion company.

Thursday Night Art Walk: A Feast for the Senses

One of the highlights of a visit to San Jose del Cabo is the famous Thursday Night Art Walk. Every Thursday evening, from November to June, the streets of the town come alive with a vibrant display of local artwork, music, and cultural performances. Galleries open their doors, welcoming art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the creative world of talented local and international artists. This event offers a unique opportunity to engage with the thriving arts scene, browse eclectic pieces, and even purchase a one-of-a-kind artwork to commemorate your trip.
 

Thrilling Excursions: Adventure Awaits

While San Jose del Cabo is known for its more relaxed vibes, it also offers exciting activities for adventure travelers. Embark on an exhilarating snorkeling or diving excursion to explore the abundant marine life in the Sea of Cortez. Take a guided ATV tour through the breathtaking desert landscapes, or go horseback riding along the beach during sunset for a truly magical experience. 
 

Beaches: Are They Safe to Swim in?

While San Jose del Cabo may be along the coastline, it is not safe to swim in the ocean in most areas. The waves are large and come crashing in very quickly. We were told stories about people being swept out into the Ocean from being too close when the waves hit – so be careful. 
 
There are a few swimmable beaches though and we’ll cover those below along with what to look for to make sure you stay safe in the ocean.

SAFETY FLAGS

Each beach will have flags flying. These must be reviewed before choosing to enter the ocean to keep you safe.
 
Green Flag: Safe to swim in.
Yellow Flag: Use caution if you choose to swim.
Red Flag: Dangerous water conditions.
Black Flag: Do not swim.
 

PLAYA ACAPULQUITO “OLD MAN’S BEACH”

Old Man’s is safe for swimming, snorkeling and is a wonderful surfing destination. You can rent paddle boards or surf boards from local surf shops and schedule lessons.

LA PLAYITA

La Playita is safe for swimming, popular for fishing, and great for relaxing. You can set up fishing charters here as well!

Where to Eat in San Jose del Cabo

One of my all-time favorite things about San Jose del Cabo was the food. From street vendors offering traditional Mexican delicacies to upscale restaurants serving international cuisine, there’s something for every palate.

For a true taste of local cuisine, be sure to try authentic Mexican dishes like tacos al pastor, ceviche, and mole. Popular dining spots such as Jazmin’s, Los Tres Gallos, and Flora Farms offer an array of mouthwatering options.

Jazmin’s

Everything we had at Jazmin’s was phenomenal. The queso with chorizo and berry salad appetizers really stood out so don’t forget to order those.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated and like most restaurants in the area, you can choose to sit inside or outside. While Jazmin’s looks small from the outside, it actually has a huge and surprising inside dining and picture area. 

Los Tres Gallos

Los Tres Gallos is featured in the video above and was a wonderful time. We love that it is primarily an outside restaurant with lights strung up and that it has two levels.

When you come, make sure to get the pear salad – it is so delicious I could have eaten just a giant plate of that!

Flora Farms 

Flora Farms is so much more than just a restaurant. They have a farm to table restaurant called Flora’s Field Kitchen where they offer seasonal menus and gorgeous atmosphere. You can even walk around and see the vegetables they grow and use to make your meals.
 
Don’t miss the ice cream stand while you’re here! And in addition to the restaurant you will see shops, rentals, a spa, and much more.
 
When visiting Los Cabos, make sure you don’t overlook San Jose del Cabo. It is a destination that effortlessly blends art, culture, culinary delights, and natural beauty into a captivating experience.