Cabos, Mexico: Where the Desert Meets the Ocean

Cabos is one of the places where you will never forget where it is once you see it on a map. It is where opposites–the sea and the desert—come together beautifully.

Cabos in Google Maps

I recently visited Cabos on a personal vacation and fell in love with it. It was my first time traveling to Mexico, and I was excited to experience the culture as a native Spanish speaker. The trip was fantastic. I loved the food, the culture, and the overall charm of the town. 

On my flight back home, I pondered what made Cabos unique. I realized that three forces are at play: weather, culture, and history. 

Weather

Coming from rainy Vancouver, the weather is immediately apparent. It’s always sunny in Cabos and only rains around five days a year. As a result, the weather isn’t a topic of discussion among locals. 

Every time I brought up the weather with a local, I was met with awkward silence. What’s so fascinating about that? It took me a minute to realign my default talking to other topics. 

Cabos has a dry, desert heat. It’s the kind of heat where you will sunburn without sweating. I sunburn on the first day without noticing!

The dry heat is perfectly balanced by the calm winds of Cortez and the Pacific ocean. So whenever the heat feels oppressive, you can just walk to the ocean and be hypnotized by the crashing waves. It instantly soothes you.

Beautiful weather means that life is lived outdoors. Plaza Mijares is one of the primary gathering places. It comes alive every night as families arrive to enjoy the cool night and talk about their children.  

Plaza Mijares at Night

Culture

Airports are where visitors receive their first impressions of the culture of a city. However, if you get scammed when leaving an airport—taxis are a common scam—it leaves a bad taste. 

Whenever I arrive in a new city, I always worry about the taxi situation. I hate haggling and never know if I’m paying a fair price. I’m thankful for Uber. Cabos taxis are the most expensive in the world. Other travelers told me that prices are comparable to what you would pay in London or New York. 

Cabos solves the airport issue by creating an official shuttle service. Within a few minutes, I find myself on my way to the city center, San Jose del Cabo. I instantly relaxed once I was inside the shuttle. I made small talk with our driver as he explained their tolls and our route. It was one of the smoothest airport experiences of my life.

San Jose is the cultural center of Los Cabos, while San Lucas is the party town. That being said, even San Lucas has its vibe. Behind the parties, there’s a relaxed vibe as you walk the small streets and duck into beautiful old buildings for lunch.

Tequila tasting is a must-see cultural element. I don’t drink much myself, but I was blown away by flavored mezcal. Drinking almond or chocolate flavor mezcal completely changed my view on it.

I always assumed that tequila was something to be taken as a shot. It always burns, and that’s part of the experience. Almond flavor tequila is entirely different. It is meant to sip and savored. I had to buy a bottle and bring it back to Vancouver.

Tequila Tasting in Cabos

On Thursdays, there’s an Art Walk event that showcases local artists. It’s incredible to see the local talent and everyone coming to celebrate. Cabos promote their ideas and people. 

Art Walk in Cabos

History

Cabos is full of history. For example, the Spanish were shocked at the abundance of pearls in the area. It’s not just white ones either. You can find pearls of all colors. Famously, Cabos gifted a huge pearl to Isabel of Spain as a sign of respect.

Pearls are an amazing product. I didn’t know how they were formed, but I loved learning about the process. Pearls are a byproduct of nature—It is a bodily discharge. To us, it is a rare jewel.

Oysters create pearls to deal with an infection, similar to how our eyes can crust up when sick. However, the odds of natural pearl developing are 1 in 10,000, and no one knows how big pearls can get. 

Pearls in Cabos

Cabos feels like a hidden oasis in the middle of the desert. It’s full of Mexican charm and showcases the best of their culture. You can always hear live music, and the locals are incredibly welcoming. 

They even have “cartoon” cactuses.

Cartoon Cactuses in Cabos

A fantastic city at the end of the world. 


Featured Image by Lisa Soots

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