Lay of the Land
Scenic Cabo in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, first drew writers, such as John Steinbeck, and sportsmen, like Ernest Hemingway and John Wayne, who came for the excellent deep-sea fishing that continues to be a major pastime in the area, even as almost everything else has changed. In 1973, the completion of the Mexican Federal Highway (carretera federal) No. 1, which runs the length of the Baja peninsula, helped usher in the first wave of tourism. A handful of prescient entrepreneurs, enchanted by Cabo’s remarkable combination of desert land and ocean vistas, later invested billions in the region, building hotels, golf courses and residential communities along the Corridor, the twenty-mile strip of land between raucous Cabo San Lucas and the smaller, more charming San José del Cabo.
When referring to the area, most Americans just say “Cabo,” but the resort of Los Cabos, Mexico, encompasses two towns, San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, both at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Sporting beach bars and touristy souvenir shops, Cabo San Lucas, slightly more to the south, is the area’s party capital, and spring-breakers flood it in March and April. San José del Cabo, originally a Jesuit missionary town, has a more laid-back vibe; many of its pretty 18th-century adobe houses have been converted into galleries, restaurants and shops. Some of the region’s best beaches, and most of its top resorts and golf courses, are located along the Corridor, the eighteen-mile stretch of land separating the two Cabos.
Most travelers arrive at the large international airport (SJD), which is closer to San José. Private planes, however, can land at a small private airport near Cabo San Lucas (MMSL), a more convenient access point to resorts such as Capella.
When to Go
Cabo is beautiful year round, but can get extremely hot in the summers. The area gets very busy over Christmas/New Years and Spring Break.