For years, Cabo San Lucas was the go-to for spring breakers looking to blow off some scholarly steam (and maybe you were one of them). But since Hurricane Odile leveled this beautiful Mexican vacation destination in September 2014, the resort town gracing the Baja Peninsula—along with its neighbor San Jose del Cabo and the Tourist Corridor that links the two—has bounced back in mighty fine fashion (just like you used to at Spring break). Beyond the hotels and nightlife that were already intact, a spate of sophisticated new openings has elevated the area’s reputation, making it ideal for honeymooners who want it all: a lively party scene that never seems to end, buzzy restaurants and hotels, and miles of pristine and powdery beaches. And we’re sure you can find a keg stand or two if you look hard enough.
With this handy Getaway Guide, we’re breaking down everything you need to know, from the best time to visit the sights truly worth seeing (sorry, Cabo Wabo didn’t make the cut), to plan the ultimate honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. We’re also including recommendations from San Jose del Cabo and the Tourist Corridor since they’re next door neighbors and all part of Los Cabos. -By Katie Chang
The Pros & Cons of Cabo
For starters, the area is a breeze to get to. Most airlines offer direct nonstop flights from major cities, and if you plan accordingly, you’ll be able to nab one at a good price. Though there’s no shortage of impressive luxury hotels and resorts to begin with, there’s even more being rolled out through 2020. Given its naturally diverse and sun-soaked landscape, there’s plenty of opportunities for both thrill-seeking adventure buffs and those wanting to just chill out by the ocean or pool. The stellar natural backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Cortes, and rolling deserts is only matched by the legitimate warmth, hospitality, and ahem, patience, of the locals, who’ve learned to endure throngs of obnoxious partiers—so much so they feel compelled (read: welcome) to return. And the culinary scene couldn’t be any hotter, as it’s recently lured in some seriously talented chefs from all over the world. The spa and wellness scene is also top-notch, and the perfect antidote to recovering from all the stress and headaches associated with planning your big day or from drinking too much.
The climate is sunny and warm all year round, but come summer—when many couples plan their honeymoon—temps creep to uncomfortably sizzling degrees. (Chances are: even the fittest of you will you feel downright miserable taking part in outdoor or adventure activities.) As peak travel season spans November to early April, expect to bump into people and lots of them. From rowdy spring breakers to vacationing families with kids, it’ll be tougher (not impossible, mind you) to carve out your own romantic oasis during these months. Also bear in mind the hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Though nothing as devastating as Hurricane Odile has hit the area since 2014, it’s always a possibility.
Remind Me: What’s So Special About Cabo?
It bears repeating: Los Cabos truly has something for every kind of honeymooner. If you dig spending time on the water, you’ve got tons to do. Luxury sailing and yachting, deep-sea fishing, surfing, and whale-watching are just the beginning of a long list. If you prefer to get your thrills on land, let the desert be your trail, whether you decide to trek it on foot or by bike. Feel like tucking into some seriously good eats? From humble taco stands to glittering restaurants helmed by Michelin-starred chefs, your appetite will be sated. In the mood to party late into to the night? You know where to go. And when you need to decompress, there’s plenty of beaches, pools, and spas to cure what ails you. In brief: this destination caters to all types of couples while offering a pretty stellar natural backdrop.
Honeymoon Packages to Cabo
The positive? You’ll discover a really wide range, in terms of pricing. The downside? Depending on the hotel or resort you go with, coupled with the time of year, prices can run the gamut. But, if you’re seeking a more affordable, no-frills option, CheapCaribbean.com is a smart place to start. Depending on timing, you can secure a three-night stay with airfare included (from NYC) starting at $669. But if you’re in the market for a more traditional honeymoon package, you’ve got two options with accommodations: all-inclusive or standard. If you book an all-inclusive resort, like Breathless Los Cabos, you can add on their Make the Fish Blush Honeymoon Package to any reservation for $999, or waive the fee by booking an Xhale Club Romance Suite (Marina View room) category or higher for seven nights. The JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa offers a honeymoon package priced at $779.00 per room per night and includes perks like a tasting dinner for two at Cafe Des Artistes, a couple’s massage, and daily breakfast. The Resort at Pedregal, considered to be one of the area’s swankiest, has an amenity-packed (think candlelit dinners, cooking classes, and massages) seven-night package for newlyweds. (Again: price is dependent on the time of year.) The bottom line: if price is a factor, it’s best to research online, and compare what you find against when you’d like to go. And if money is no option, well then, shoot for the moon.
The Best Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts in Cabo
If you’re looking to stay in Cabo San Lucas proper, Resort at Pedregal is among the most secluded and sophisticated resorts in the area; it encompasses 24 acres on the southern tip of the peninsula. Even to access it, you have to drive through a private mountain tunnel dripping with chandeliers. The Cape, perched along Monuments Beach, the world-famous surfer’s paradise, this six-story stunner matches unbeatable views El Arco with a hip design that exudes California cool. The signature eatery, Manta, is helmed by acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera (of Pujol and Cosme). The all-inclusive Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort and Spa on the Cabo San Lucas Marina is a good match for honeymooners looking to be close to the town’s nightlife. Plus, the dining options on-site are solid. Then there’s Grand Velas Los Cabos. Opened in 2017, the all-inclusive property boasts best-in-class everything: service, food, and beverages (all top shelf), spa, and accommodations. Oh, and there’s the shimmering views of Sea of Cortez, too.
If you’re thinking of Puerto Los Cabos/San Jose del Cabo as your home base, then check out
Hotel el Ganzo. Ideal for culture and arts-loving couples, this chic, boutique hotel swaps out the typical trappings of a luxury property with an eclectic design, laid-back vibes, and just-caught-from-the ocean cuisine. It’s also one of the few with a private swim-up beach.
JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa tucked away in the dunes where the desert meets the Pacific Ocean, is a tranquil oasis that also features a boutique hotel within a hotel. The Griffin Club sports 45 chicly-appointed rooms, and a bevy of perks including a private pool, butler services, and access to the club lounge (think breakfast, all-day snacks, and premium alcohol). Cafe Des Artistes is also regarded by many as one of the most luxe restaurants in the area.
Hitting up the Tourist Corridor/San Jose del Cabo? There’s one definitive option: One & Only Palmilla. But you already knew that, right? This legendary resort is for those seeking the very best. Frequented by A-list celebs seeking an indulgent, but discreet hideaway, everything here, from the hushed service to the butler-serviced accommodations, is faultless.
Best Attractions and Activities in Cabo
El Arco, an eye-catching rock formation situated at the point where the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean meet makes for a fool-proof photo opp, but it also happens to be the area’s best spot for snorkeling, diving, and paddle boarding. Perhaps not quite the name you’re looking for on a honeymoon, but Lovers and Divorce Beach refer to the two opposite stretches of sand flanking El Arco. Lovers is tranquil and calm, while Divorce’s strong rip currents and rough waves make swimming impossible—it feels far more private than its neighbor. And now we understand why they were named as such.
If you want to get your adrenaline pumping and heart racing in the sandy desert hills, try your hand at bungee jumping, zip lining, ATV off-roading with Wild Canyon Adventures. Just make sure you pack properly for any adventuring. For something a little more chill and, dare we say, cultural, every Thursday, between 5 and 9 p.m., downtown San José’s Gallery District comes alive with an Art Walk. The art galleries keep their doors open later, the wine is free flowing, and restaurants entice visitors to linger longer with dinner specials.For the ultimate day trip, head out to Todos Santos. This charming town is a scenic 45-minute drive up the Pacific Coast from Cabo San Lucas. In addition to the sparkling Hotel San Cristobal that opened last year, you’ll discover plenty of hip galleries, restaurants, and bars.
Best Restaurants in Cabo
Situated on Medano Beach, The Office is one of the town’s most popular mainstays. With tables planted right into the sand, the chill factor is set to the exact opposite of Dunder Mifflin. The food is simple and straightforward, with the specialty being seafood. (Regulars flip for the coconut shrimp.)
The newest addition to the bustling Cabo San Lucas marina is Fat Tuna helmed by chef Angel Carbajal turns out all things seafood, from light ceviches to rich lobster alfredo. The bar program is no slouch, either, so be sure to order a cocktail (or two).
Don’t be fooled by the humble appearance, because this low-key Asi y Asado turns out some of the best tacos in town. Pick your protein, load it up at the complimentary salsa bar,
enjoy some of the region’s most authentic tacos, ice cold beers and don’t forget to wash it all down with an ice-cold cerveza.
Occupying ten acres in the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, chic Flora Farm boasts an organic farm, lively restaurant (the pizzas and house-baked breads are exceptional), cottages for rent, and several retail shops.
Tucked into the cliffs of The Resort at Pedregal and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, El Farallon—local anglers catch the fish of the day for every meal—is arguably the most popular dinner destination in the region. Drop by the Champagne Terrace beforehand, to kick off the evening with a sunset and flute of fizz.
This colorful, friendly Don Sánchez features contemporary Baja cuisine and perfectly grilled steaks, live music, and a spacious terrace so you can dine under the night sky. And the service couldn’t be any more gracious or friendly.
Located smack dab in the heart of San Jose del Cabo, La Lupita Taco & Mezcal is the rare spot that packs in both locals and tourists alike. The menu is familiar and crowd-pleasing, with gourmet tacos, craft beers, and an extensive mezcal selection.
Finally, spread out over a 25-acre farm adjacent to San Jose del Cabo, the appropriately named Acre is a design-driven development where the hip set come to eat, play, and stay. The restaurant, led by chef Kevin Luzande, keeps his menu clean, bright, and focused on seafood and vegetables.