About San Jose Del Cabo
Charming is the word most often used when someone is asked to describe San Jose del Cabo. The old buildings of the historic center, the overwhelming presence of the Parroquia San José church along with the inviting atmosphere of the main plaza, all share in the responsibility for this very appropriate description of the city, San Jose del Cabo instills a sense of old Mexican charm into the harsh desert landscape and beautiful coastline that surround the city. Old customs and traditions prevail here and time seems to be nothing more than a symbol of the modern world…a symbol that is very easily ignored by many of the locals and visitors alike.
San Jose Del Cabo History
San Jose del Cabo was officially founded as a mission in 1730. The first expeditions to explore the area were carried out by Cortés, as early as 1535. The rich and colorful history of San Jose del Cabo includes pirates, Jesuit missionaries and Indian uprisings. Stories of the colorful past have been handed down over generations and can be heard, even today, coming from the lips of the locals in the town square.
San Jose del Cabo is the county seat of Los Cabos and therefore the city bustles with the daily business of local government and the stress placed upon the city by the incredible popularity and growth of the area. The hustle and bustle just seems to fade into the background more easily here than in other busy cities.
San Jose del Cabo is a city of neat and clean residential neighborhoods, some new and some that are very old. The newer neighborhoods seem to be spreading out to the north and west of the historic center. The very first golf course in southern Baja is located here and although the municipal course offers but nine holes, it is still a lot of fun and very affordable. There are many nice homes built around the golf course, which is near the beach in an expanding area of the city. The 40,000 residents enjoy a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. There are jobs here for anyone who wants to work and the zero unemployment factor results in a high quality lifestyle, with very little crime.
A beautiful protected estuary covers a large area on the southeast edge of the city. Over 100 species of birds inhabit the estuary along with a variety of turtles, fish and some pretty exotic marine mammals. Bird watching can be incredible and is easily accomplished from many different angles. ATV and Kayak tours are also of the estuary area are available. The easiest way to get to the estuary is to go the the far east end of the hotel zone, near the Hotel Presidente, there you will find a viewing area by the Italian restaurant. There are also horses and ATV’s available to rent nearby.
The new Puerto Los Cabos Marina will encompass much more than just the 535 slip marina. The master plan calls for a whole new resort community along the shores of the Sea of Cortez, where the village of La Playita is now located. The new community will integrate the existing village and will include the marina complex, mission/museum, ecological/culture park, luxury residences, fishing, and two championship golf courses. The residential area and golf courses will cover the foothills that lie directly to the east of La Playita and also includes a section of beachfront lots. A special part of the marina is set aside for the current Panga Fleet and the plan is to include restaurants, shopping and hotels. We will keep updating the progress of this mega project that will certainly be changing the character of the whole San Jose del Cabo area, hopefully for the better.
Vacationing in San Jose Del Cabo
San Jose del Cabo offers a great vacation experience for the entire family. San Jose is easy to get to and once you are here you instantly forget the rat race back home and ease into a special pace, a much slower pace. Be careful, this is something that could easily become habit forming.
There are many hotels and resorts on the beach in San Jose del Cabo and inside the actual town. Another popular option is to rent a villa. Many villa companies like Cabo Villas have a large directory of places to stay.
Activities abound for all ages, golf, surfing, water sports, boating, fishing, ATV’s, horseback riding, shopping and numerous other activities are all here, just waiting for you. Relaxation seems to come naturally her but if “party till you drop” is the mood of the evening, you can always go to Cabo San Lucas.
San Jose Del Cabo Beaches
San Jose del Cabo is laid out much different than most beach resorts. The downtown area is actually about a mile away from the beach. What most would consider the main beach, in the hotel zone, is really not that popular and not all that safe for swimming much of the year. Costa Azul, an area of resort condos, is probably the most popular beach in San Jose del Cabo. The very west end of this long stretch of beach is home to San Jose’s popular surfing breaks. To the east of San Jose is La Playita, the popular starting point for the areas panga fleet. To the east of La Playita lie miles and miles of deserted beaches, in an area known as the East Cape. This stretch of the shoreline of the Sea of Cortez is getting more popular yearly and for good reason. The dirt road that lingers along this stretch of beach is famous for being in terrible shape, although the government has been promising to pave it for years. A trip along the East Cape can be a rewarding experience, it can also be a bit rough on your tailbone. There are also many quiet beaches and coves located in the Corridor between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
San Jose del Cabo has a few Hospitals in the area. Just like any city, you should try to familiarize yourself with what is around before you arrive. Within the city you will find a few hospitals and clinics, including AmeriMed Hospital, Medica los Cabos, Catholic Hospital, Blue Medical Net Walk in Clinic, and a few more.
Things to do in San Jose Del Cabo
The sport fishing in the Los Cabos area is unparalleled in the world. Marlin of the blue, black and striped variety. Sailfish, Dorado (also known as mahi mahi or dolphin fish), Tuna, Wahoo, Roosterfish and endless varieties of bottom fish and surf fish. Los Cabos is, by far, the world’s very best all around location for sport fishing. Even if you are not an avid fisherman, you should try your hand at fishing while visiting.
The local “PANGAS” of La Playita are the specialty here in San Jose. The panga fleet offers a relatively inexpensive way to catch your trophy fish while having a lot of fun on the water. Surf fishing also can be very productive here and can be great fun for the whole family. The beaches of La Playita, near the panga fleet, and all of shoreline east of La Playita are very productive fisheries, even from the beach. Pack a lunch, have a picnic on the beach and most importantly, relax and enjoy yourself.
PLEASE RELEASE ALL BILLFISH !
San Jose del Cabo has an charming historical district and this is where almost all of your shopping will take place. The city’s main plaza, across from the church, is a great place to relax and get back to reality in between shipping stints. The plaza is also a good place to use as a meeting place, should you need one, as most of the stores you will want to visit are located within a few blocks of the plaza. Shop for wood carvings, unique objects made of pewter, hand painted clothing, jewelry, pure vanilla or designer sportswear at duty free prices. There are several galleries that display the works of the talented local artists. Prescription drugs are often much less expensive here than they are in the United States. There are also numerous sidewalk cafes, bakeries that serve fresh local pastries and a few ice cream parlors in the neighborhood, just in case you want to have a snack or a nice leisurely lunch.
Swimming, scuba diving, surfing, para-sailing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, water skiing, glass bottom boat cruises, wave runners, wind surfing, whale watching, You name it and it is available here or in nearby Cabo San Lucas.
San Jose del Cabo home to a delightful, and somewhat challenging, nine hole public course. Los Cabos is home to six world class championship golf courses, with more on the way. Three of these were designed by Jack Nicklaus, one by Robert Trent Jones II and one by Pete Dye. Cabo del Sol actually boasts of two championship courses. The ocean course at Cabo del Sol is a Nicklaus creation which skirts the shore of the Sea of Cortez and has been called one of the five most beautiful courses in the world. The second course at Cabo del Sol is the stunning desert course which was designed by Tom Weiskopf. Golf has quickly become a major attraction here. Where else can you catch a marlin in the morning, play eighteen holes and still be home by early afternoon?
This area offers some great places to ride. Ride along the beach at sunset, go a little farther, up into the hills and view Los Cabos from an angle most people never get to see. Take your camera! Tours can be arranged for any number of riders. There are a couple also jumping and dressage arenas, located in San Jose del Cabo, for more advanced riders.
ATV Tours & Rentals
The surrounding desert offers unlimited riding possibilities. The desert and nearby mountains combine to offer great rides within a short distance of town. Organized tours are offered to the East Cape, the local beaches and foothills. Another great tour is a half day trip up into the mountains behind Cabo Real. Here you will find rivers with waterfalls (at certain times of year), unparalleled mountain trails which offer a great ride and the bonus of spectacular views to the incredible shoreline of the Sea of Cortez. You can also rent scooters if cruising on the pavement is more your cup of tea.
San Jose del Cabo certainly does not lack in the area of quality restaurants. All types and all sizes of restaurants, from one of the worlds best seafood taco restaurants to elegant candlelight dining, San Jose del Cabo is a great place to be if you are hungry. Fresh seafood and Mexican are specialties of the area, but don’t be surprised if you happen to have the one greatest Italian meals you have ever eaten while you are here. The choices are virtually endless, many of the areas restaurants are now serving imported beef from both Sonora and the United States. Many of the best eating establishments are located within the historic center or just a short walk away. More restaurants are located only a quick taxi ride out of the downtown area.
San Jose nightlife is somewhat subdued when compared to neighboring Cabo San Lucas. That does not mean that you will not be able to have an enjoyable night on the town. Many of the restaurants and bars feature live entertainment presenting everything from jazz to rock. Mariachi bands have also been known to be roaming the restaurant scene in the evenings.
If you are one of those who turn into an animal at night, you may want to take the 1/2 hour journey into Cabo San Lucas. With nightclubs like Squid Roe, Hard Rock Cafe, Cabo Wabo and the Giggling Marlin, Cabo San Lucas is hard to beat for great nightlife. Be glad you remembered to take your afternoon siesta because it can very easily turn out that you end up dancing until dawn. Be careful if you drive!
American dollars are widely accepted here, as are travelers checks. Major credit cards are also accepted in many locations, in the restaurants, it is always best to ask if the accept credit cards, and which ones, before ordering. The banks all have cash machines that will dispense pesos by way of your credit card. You can get dollars with a credit card, but that involves walking into one of the local banks and this can really test your patience if the lines inside are in their normal mode, which is long and slow!