Where to stay in Cabo San Lucas: 6 best neighborhoods
Published Date: August 8, 2023
With beautiful beaches, championship golf and so many year-round outdoor activities — on both land and water — Cabo San Lucas is a world-class vacation destination. More than three million people visit this Baja hotspot every year, and Cabo is well equipped with accommodations, amenities and attractions. Cabo San Lucas is located on the southernmost tip of the 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula. It’s bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on the east. The town is about 40 minutes southwest of the airport. Cabo San Lucas is the undisputed tourist hub of the region, but visitors sometimes choose to stay in quieter San José del Cabo, a quieter town east of Cabo San Lucas, on the other side of the tourist corridor — more on that later. So where should you stay on your next trip to Cabo? It all depends on the experience you’re looking for. Consider these six distinct neighborhoods for your Cabo vacation. And if you want to enjoy regular getaways to your favorite neighborhood, take a peek at Pacaso's co-owned second homes in Los Cabos.
Cabo is known as one of the best sport fishing destinations in the world, so it’s no wonder there is a vibrant marina area. It’s the base for most fishing charters and whale watching cruises, but it’s also a great place to stay. You’ll find charming hotels, a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of great dining. Seafood restaurants abound, some of which have a “you hook it, we’ll cook it” policy, meaning that you can bring whatever you’ve caught back to the restaurant and have it expertly prepared. Part of the Malecon — Cabo’s waterfront promenade — is home to what’s known as the Marina Golden Zone. It’s a luxury shopper’s paradise, with boutiques and easy access to the Puerto Paraiso Mall.
Downtown is a great choice for travelers who want a more affordable and, perhaps, more authentic experience. You’ll find a range of accommodations at different price points, a charming town square and authentic Mexican fare, often served up at family-owned restaurants. At open-air stalls and in boutiques, vendors sell a wide range of traditional arts and crafts, including ever-popular Talavera pottery and Taxco silver jewelry. Many tour operators have offices nearby, making downtown a perfect home base for travelers who plan on exploring the broader Baja California area. It’s also worth noting that two of Cabo’s most famous nightlife spots, El Squid Roe and Cabo Wabo, are located downtown.
3. Medano Beach
Playa el Medano, or Medano Beach in English, is the epicenter of Cabo’s famous spring break scene. Its golden sand beaches are a hub of activity, with beachfront cantinas, watersports rentals and roaming vendors ready to tempt you to try and make a deal on a souvenir. Most of the accommodations in Medano Beach are in the high-rise hotels that line the beach and deliver incredible water views. You’ll find a range of options, from all-inclusive hotels to luxury properties to hotels geared toward revelers — think palapa-shaded swim-up bars and live DJs.
A luxury enclave tucked away on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pedregal is where you’ll find the city’s most luxurious hotels and vacation rentals. Pedregal is the ideal neighborhood for those looking for rest and relaxation. Instead of raucous nightclubs, Pedregal’s after-dark scene is more about swanky hotel bars. The neighborhood also has quite the reputation among foodies. In addition to an organic farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday, Pedregal is where you’ll find great fine dining restaurants, many with incredible views as their backdrop. Visitors staying in Pedregal also have access to some incredibly pristine and beautiful beaches. They’re ideal for strolling, relaxing in a lounge chair or watching the sunset, but strong rip currents make it a dangerous place to swim.
5. Tourist Corridor
The Tourist Corridor is a 20-mile stretch of Sea of Cortez coastline that connects Cabo San Lucas with neighboring San José del Cabo. This area is home to many sprawling resorts, including many upscale options. You’ll also find a handful of boutique hotels for those who want a more intimate experience. Many of these exclusive properties are paired with world-class golf courses, making this the ideal neighborhood for those planning on hitting the links. There are more than a dozen golf courses in this area, including coveted courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones II. Another key benefit to staying in the Tourist Corridor is that the beaches are swim- and snorkel-friendly (compared to the less-friendly riptides on the Pacific Coast). And while you won’t find the around-the-clock nightlife of Cabo San Lucas here, there are plenty of friendly seafood restaurants, low-key hangouts and a charming surf culture that’s worth experiencing.
6. San José del Cabo
While it can’t exactly be considered a neighborhood in Cabo San Lucas, no Cabo exploration would be complete without talking about San José del Cabo. If you follow the Tourist Corridor east roughly 20 miles, you’ll find yourself in charming San José del Cabo. It’s a popular destination for people who enjoy art, history and a slower pace of life. This quiet town is simply bursting with Spanish colonial charm, boasting sites like the 18th-century Misión de San José del Cabo Añuití. On the coast, you’ll find Playa Hotelera, or Hotel Beach, home to a collection of all-inclusive resorts. For those looking for a resort vacation, these properties offer the best of both worlds: You’re away from the hustle and bustle of Cabo San Lucas and near the picturesque San José del Cabo, but you can still enjoy a resort experience. If you’d rather stay right in town, you’ll find an eclectic mix of boutique hotels, guesthouses and hostels.
Pick your favorite … and become a local
Most travelers can agree that Cabo San Lucas is a dynamic destination and the perfect place for a second home. Pacaso co-ownership puts vacation homes within reach for more people. For just ⅛ the cost, find your luxury vacation home in the Los Cabos area. Every home is professionally decorated, fully furnished and expertly managed. That means you can just arrive, unpack and sink your toes into the sand … or board a fishing charter … or play 18 holes … or dance the night away.