Known for its stunning beaches, beautiful weather and nightlife, Cabo is a prime location for tourists. However, with such popularity and mass appeal, the area also loses a lot of charm with its abundance of tourists, opportunistic locals, and inflated prices.
Here are 15 areas that you should avoid despite what travel brochures might tell you, and five lesser-known spots that you should make a priority, usually quieter, safer and less expensive.
Let's start our list with the 15 tourist traps...
20 The Airport - Trouble Right off The Bat
A good start is a better beginning and the opposite is also true. The first sight you'll experience is the airport, and you'll want to make it out quick. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by local traders. Try not to ask for directions as this is a common trap.
19 Paradisus Los Cabos Resort - Hope You Enjoy Waiting
Despite its beautiful appearance, you should avoid this resort in favor of one of the others. The resort is busy and understaffed so be prepared to wait for hours to be served. Chairs are in short supply too, especially around the pool, with large groups of people queuing for seating.
18 Marina - As Many Pickpockets As Fish
The marina is a hot tourist destination. Crowds gather here each day, as do local pickpockets, and questionable merchants. The souvenirs are often counterfeit, restaurants are pricey and mediocre and honestly, the only real reason to visit the marina is if you fish.
17 Nowhere Bar Nowhere's Worse
The 50/500 scam is commonplace here. That is where a merchant, knowing that they are dealing with tourists will rip them off, confusing them over the currency, purposefully claiming they were handed a 50 bill instead of a 500 bill. Aside from this, this bar is overly busy and overpriced.
16 Mayan Palace - About As Off As Their Calendar
There are a number of reasons you should avoid going here. Firstly, the management and staff will hound you into purchasing timeshares. Music plays from 7 till 11, however, it usually lasts into the early hours. People linger after and can easily keep you up until after 2 am.
15 Edith's - Many Better, And Cheaper Alternatives Around
Typically filled to the brim due to its reputation as one of Cabo's best. The food is good, but not great and doesn't warrant its pricing, with dishes oftentimes exceeding $150. There are many other restaurants nearby of a similar quality that are cheaper and less crowded. Visit those instead.
14 Cabo Wabo - Unfit For A Rock Star
If you're a rock enthusiast this place may appeal to you on account of its former owner, Sammy Hagar, a one-time member of Van Halen. However, this bar is more generic than one might expect and due to its owner's reputation, flocks of tourists congregate here making it just a little too overpacked.
13 Lover's Beach - Off To A "Rocky" Start
Don't let the name fool you, Lover's beach is a major disappointment and makes one question its name. The beach itself is small, dirty, filled with tourists, and rocky. The latter combined with its strong current can lead to injury as you are pushed against the rocks.
12 Shrimp Factory - More Tourists Than Shrimp
Another practitioner of the 50/500 scam. This venue is known to show one thing on the menu and then charge you another, hoping you will not notice. The staff is often cited as poor, talking amongst each other rather than attending to patrons and usually, the place is packed beyond capacity. There are plenty of better alternatives in the area.
11 Puerto Paraiso Mall - Fancy Name, Generic Game
This may sound appealing, Cabo's primary shopping center. However, you'll be very disappointed to find very generic shops, ones that can be found almost everywhere but with a twist, the prices are significantly higher. The area is also a hotspot for pickpockets, knowing that the center is brimming with tourists.
10 Mi Casa - Hopefully Not
There is much to be said about the style of a venue and its decor. It can create an amazing environment if handled correctly or ruin it. Here, too many people are crammed into too small a place resulting in a claustrophobic vibe. Of course, a large amount of people means long waits for food, which is also underwhelming.
9 Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Beach Resort - Big Name, Bigger Prices
This resort put simply is overrated and overpriced. Advertised as a leading Cabo resort, you will be surprised to find rooms that are small, poorly kept, dated and even moldy! The food is good but menus are rigid and small, meaning you'll have little variety to choose from.
8 Baja Cantina - 10 Dodgy Salesmen For Every Tourist
Another location that is plagued by persistent hustlers hoping to sell you their trinkets. The food is sub-par also, with canned goods being served as the real deal, food often reheated and like so many places in Cabo, there are too many customers and too few staff.
7 Alexanders - Good Food, Bad Place
The problem with Alexander's is not that the food is bad, or overpriced. Instead, like many places in Cabo's center, locals congregate to sell their merchandise, or in some cases, rob unsuspecting tourists. This coupled with the questionable service makes it one to avoid.
6 Mango Deck Restaurant - Fast Food In Disguise
The long wait to be served, lackluster food, and unwelcoming staff are the least of the problems of this place. The food is more akin to fast food but the prices don't mirror this. Also, like so many other popular sites, local thieves often harass customers, an issue compounded by the restaurant's outdoor nature.
And here are the 5 that live up to the hype...
5 Divorce Beach - In Stark Contrast To Lover's Beach, Its Sister
A humorous contrast exists between this beach and its sister, Lover's beach. Separated only by a rock formation (will come back to this later), Divorce beach is sandy where Lover's is rocky, quiet where Lover's is packed, and warmer due to its location on the Pacific side of El Arco.
4 Cabo's Little Secret Is Cabo's Hidden Gem
A better name could not be picked for this spot. In stark contrast to much of Cabo, this place does not suffer from too much traffic. Rooms come with kitchens, so you can cook yourself, giving you autonomy. The site is situated perfectly also, only five minutes from town. Ultimately, the perfect place to stay.
3 Cabo Pulmo National Park - Where Desert And Sea Meet
Situated 90 minutes from Cabo's center is a marvel of nature as the sea crashes into the desert. The area is interesting, and ideal for snorkelers because, as the warm waters of the Cortez sea mix with the cooler Pacific waters and create an ideal blend.
2 Medano Beach - Beautiful Beach At The Heart Of Cabo
Another beach preferable to Lover's, Medano is located right in the heart of Cabo. Here, the sand is fine, the beautiful, clear water is swimmable and you can purchase food and drink, unlike so many of Cabo's beaches. Sea lions often frequent these waters, providing an additional layer of entertainment.
1 Arch Of Cabo San Lucas - A Dragon Between Lovers And Divorce
Separating the aforementioned Lovers and Divorce beach is 'El Arco', a rock formation resembling a dragon from a distance. This natural rock formation stands at a massive three stories tall and is only accessible by boat tours, kayaking or parasailing.