When most people think of Cabo they picture trinket shops, neon bikinis, drunk frat boys and bachelorette parties, or the tourist trap known as Cabo San Lucas. But that’s not all the Los Cabos area has to offer. Situated on the very southern tip of the Baja peninsula is quaint San Jose del Cabo. San Jose offers an authentic Mexican experience full of great food, awesome waves, beautiful people and an escape from the neon clad droves.
Flights to Los Cabos are short and inexpensive from the U.S. making it an easy getaway. You will find most common conveniences such as super markets and pharmacies and although San Jose is much more local than San Lucas you will still meet plenty of English speakers. But the locals do appreciate an attempt at conversing in Spanish and are quick to help you out as you stumble over verb conjugations and rolling your R’s.
The ease and convenience of Los Cabos has attracted many expats who bought up condos, creating a plethora of vacation rental opportunities. We scored this epic 2 bedroom condo right on the beach at Zippers, a world class surf spot! We merely walked out on the balcony to check the surf or soak in an epic sunrise.
The waves were some of the most fun I have ever surfed. We had three breaks right out front of our condo giving us options to avoid the crowds. We heard some pretty daunting stories about the local surfers and their distaste for gringos but we had no troubles at all. As long as you are respectful, stay out of the way and wait your turn you should have no problem.
To really escape the crowds we took a little adventure around the point to check out Nine Palms and Shipwrecks. Once you leave San Jose you leave roads behind. The dirt trail took a toll on our barely capable rental car, but the bumpy, slow ride was worth every second. The views from the coastal bluffs were breathtaking and the scattered homes and neighborhoods gave you the feeling you were experiencing the real Mexico. When we arrived to Nine Palms we found fun over-head waves with almost no one around, except for a couple curious donkeys (burros).
San Jose del Cabo has plenty more to offer than the beach and waves. The authentic, quaint town has plenty of delicious, inexpensive restaurants, shops and art galleries. Beautiful jewelry made from Mexican fire opal and agate line the windows of the pastel colored shops. Everywhere we looked someone was blowing glass or crafting unique leather-wear along the narrow, cobble stone streets. Many shop walls featured awesome murals depicting local life or calls for social change. The cute town was so alive with creativity and culture, we did not expect to be so captivated by all the art! In the town square, local artists showcase their work every evening outside an ancient church. The beauty and culture of the people alive in every piece.
There are so many great restaurant choices in San Jose del Cabo. I really couldn’t make a recommendation if I tried. Everything we ate was amazing and very reasonably priced. Most restaurants will cook your catch and a boat trip is very affordable. One restaurant owner, our friend Jose, offered us a great deal on a boat charter and we set out to sea early one morning on the hunt for dinner.
San Jose del Cabo is one of my favorite trips to date. While I do love a rugged, unpredictable adventure, the convenience of Los Cabos combined with the excellent waves, delicious food and authentic culture places it high on my list. I can definitely see myself returning frequently for quick getaways. This trip was my first surf expedition after quitting my pump and getting my A1C back under control by whipping myself into shape. It felt so good to feel powerful and in control in the water again!
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