Los Cabos Vacations
San José del Cabo is a charmingly authentic village that still has the soul, spirit and look of a colonial town. Century-old buildings line the breezy central plaza where locals promenade, kids play and tourists rest in the shade of lofty trees.
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Unlike its frenetic cousin, nearby Cabo San Lucas, San José is laidback, peaceful and perfect for relaxing on a sandy beach. You could get stuck into the tempting cafes and bars or simply wander the narrow streets in a happy state of tropical disorientation.
What To Do
Swimming, snorkeling and surfing are popular pursuits along the sandy edge of the Bahía San José del Cabo. Mountain bikers can take to the rugged terrain of the Sierra de la Laguna or the Eastern Cape Coastal Road, which leads to beautiful, remote beaches.
What To See
Iglesia San José
The colonial-style Iglesia San José, built to replace the 1730 Misión San José del Cabo, faces the spacious Plaza Mijares.
Playa Santa María
Playa Santa María at Km 13 is one of the nicest beaches in Los Cabos. It is a good place for snorkeling with plenty of wildlife to gaze at underwater. Even if you're not into snorkeling, there's plenty to see above water.
San José del Cabo has managed to keep its historic colonial atmosphere, laidback friendliness and natural tranquillity. Nowhere are these qualities more on show than in and around the distinctly uncluttered Plaza Mijares, a breezy square shaded by ancient trees, flanked by the mission church, town hall, small stores and restaurants.
Arroyo San José
Between raids on Spanish galleons, 18th-century pirates are rumored to have taken refuge at the Arroyo San José, now a protected wildlife area replenished by a subterranean spring. A riverside Paseo del Estero (Marshland Trail) runs parallel to Blvd Mijares all the way to the Zona Hotelera.
San José del Cabo's patron saint, St Joseph, gets his celebration from March 8-19 during the Fiesta Festival de San José, when the town hosts everything from street dances to horse races and food fairs.
The local church, Iglesia San José, becomes the centre of devoted attention in Holy Week, the Easter celebration in March or April. The cape region joins the rest of Mexico in celebrating Día de la Independencia in mid-September, which marks the start of Mexican independence from Spain in 1821. Expect roving mariachi bands, fireworks, speeches and parades.
Food and Drink
This small Argentine-owned meat importer sells fresh empanadas (baked turnovers stuffed with meat, cheese or veggies). Delivery offered.
Between Calles Coronado and Castro, this clean market has numerous stalls offering simple and inexpensive but good, filling meals.
Lasanta is an upscale wine bar with tastings (not free) on Wednesday and Thursday. Located in an antique house, Lasanta, which means holy place in Spanish, is a beautiful place to drink good wine and relax.
Tropicana Bar & Grill
Part of the Tropicana Inn, the Bar & Grill is a huge space, with garden views and a generous menu of Mexican and American faves. Popular with travelers and locals alike, it's renowned for its super-fresh seafood and signature dishes such as baby-back ribs. There's also live music and dancing as the evening wears on.
Set inside the beautiful Casa Natalia hotel, Mi Cocina is as classy a spot to dine as San José gets. The decor is artful, the entrees sublime, and desserts (such as vanilla flan or basil ice cream!) are creative and mouthwatering.
Baja Brewing Co
A pub-style environment offering local microbrews. The Peyote Pale Ale isn’t hallucinogenic, but it’s darn good.