Quick Facts about Cabo and Links to More Information
Find A Hotel in Los Cabos
Fantastic deals on hotels in Los Cabos with our booking partners. Amazing discounts on over 100 properties, instant reservation and user reviews/ratings to guarantee you get the hotel you want, when you want it. In many cases you PAY NOTHING now...check it out here!
Since 9/11 all travelers arriving by air must have a valid passport in order to board the airplane and to enter Mexico. You also need a Tourist Card (FMT) and a Customs Form which will be supplied on the plane or are freely available in the arrivals hall.
If you are driving, stop at the border and inquire as to the location of the immigration office and get your Tourist Card there. You will need the counterslip part of this in order to leave the country and that will be taken by the representative as you board the plane or leave the country. Find out the latest advice here.
Los Cabos and Baja California Sur are located within the Mountain Time Zone. The time changes here whenever Daylight Savings Time changes.
Average annual rainfall: 10 inches - Coldest months: December and January
Storm season: July to October - Average water temperature: 72º F.
Average air temperatures: 50 to 80º F. winter; 70 to 100º F. summer.
The Pacific Ocean side of Los Cabos is generally 10º F. cooler than the Sea of Cortés.
The average year-round temperature is 78F. During the high tourist season, October to April, the temperature is typically 80F during the day and cools to the 60's at night. In the low season, May to September, the temperature will go up to 100+F during the day and stay in the upper 70's and low 80's in the evening. The average year-round water temperature in the Sea of Cortez is 72F. During the summer months the water temperature can reach the mid 80's. The climate is arid with over 300 days of sunshine, with some reports of over 350 days. Average annual rainfall is 10 inches (25.4cm), most with occurring during the months of September and October. More on weather here.
The currency is the Mexican Peso. Banks are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or later, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some do not exchange Travelers Checks. Shops and restaurants accept dollars and credit cards but the exchange rate is often hugely marked up so having pesos is wise. Both towns have lots of ATMs but you have to be careful of the charges as many tourists have been stung with high one off “transaction” charges. These ATMs are not banks – they are commercial businesses and make money from your money. Cash is also dispensed in pesos.
All major credit cards are accepted in Los Cabos - VISA and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. American Express is accepted in some stores and restaurants but expect to be asked to pay a surcharge; they don’t tend to like Amex abroad because of their vendor charges. VISA and MasterCard are preferred. Suggest you ask the merchant, in advance, which credit cards are accepted.
Legal drinking age
The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years of age. Drinking alcohol in public is tolerated to an extent in Cabo as it is a party town; however you should know that it is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages on the street, in vehicles, at the beach and other public places. You may be pulled over by the police for doing so and you could be fined. This opens a whole new can of worms too as there have been some accusations of police shakedowns using this as a pretext. It is a criminal offense to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Spring breaker? Find out more here.
Nudity in public is generally not legal in Mexico although enforcement of this law is not always strict. There are several beaches in the Cabo San Lucas and the Los Cabos area that are isolated enough to permit topless sunbathing however use your common sense and avoid situations that may offend others or put yourself in any danger. If others are topless nearby, then the practice may be more tolerated in that area. If in doubt, don’t do it.
No special permits or bonds are needed to drive in Los Cabos. You will, of course, need a valid driver’s license issued by your state of residence. Be sure to check your insurance! You may need to get Mexican insurance before you arrive, as your U.S. insurance may not be valid in Mexico. Do not drive in Mexico without insurance! It is prudent to keep your gas tank as close to full as possible, even if it means extra stops. You never know when the next gas station will be closed or out of gas. It is a good idea to carry a gas can, with gas in it if you want to go on a road trip into the desert for example and don’t forget plenty of water. The roads are regularly patrolled by the Green Angels (daytime hours only) who will help with gas and very minor repairs. These angels of mercy will pass by eventually, although you will probably be helped before they do by others. The roads are generally safe, but narrow by U.S. standards, so extra care in needed especially at first. Even in the daytime, you will need to watch out for cattle and other animals crossing the highway which makes driving at night outside of town a potentially dangerous prospect. At night, the animals tend to wander onto the road and sleep: a black cow on blacktop on a sharp bend is not the way you want to end your vacation.
Taxis are freely available from the airport and are easy to find throughout Cabo. They are well known to be expensive! At the airport the shuttle bus (a minivan really which is the design of most of the taxis in the area) costs about $12.00 per person to Cabo San Lucas, but the journey can take a while as they tend to drop people on the corridor first and if you are staying in town you will be last off. It can take over an hour at times so this is not for everyone! A private taxi from the airport will cost you over $100 into central Cabo so it is worth considering pre-booking a driver – generally half the price. Getting back to the airport from Cabo will cost about $55 to $90 for a private taxi. Most hotels offer a shuttle service for a reduce rate so it is worth checking before you arrive.
Profeco is Mexico's consumer protection agency and they have a website with an English version. This is a totally free service and does not require your physical presence to prosecute the complaint.
Los Cabos has a public transportation bus service. There are buses that run between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo all day, every day of the week. They start running in San Jose at 5:00 AM and in Cabo they start at 5:20 AM, and run until 9:30 or 10:00 PM. There are official bus stops, with seats and shade, but the buses can be flagged down, from almost anywhere along the highway, by waving your arms. They will usually stop, if they see you in time. It is safer and easier to walk to the designated bus stops. The buses only run on the main highway and pass each stop (approximately) every twenty minutes. It is a good idea to have changes for the fares which are generally very reasonable, and at least some Spanish will be needed.
The Ferry leaves from La Paz daily and goes to Mazatlán and Topolobampo on the mainland. There is no ferry service from Cabo San Lucas or La Paz to Puerta Vallarta. The Ferry Dock is located at Pichilingue Terminal n La Paz.
United States Consular Agency and Canada Consulates
The United States of America Consular Agency - Tijuana.
Location: Tiendas de Palmilla, Carretera Transpeninsular Km 27.5
Local B221, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, C.P. 23406
Telephone: (624) 143-3566 | Fax: (624) 143-6750
Canada Consulate - Ms. Peggy Dillman, Representative, #9 Plaza Jose Green (Banamex), Boulevard Mijares, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Telephone: (624) 142-4333 | Fax: (624) 142-4262.
The water supply for all of Los Cabos is piped from aquifers in the Sierra de La Laguna range. All major hotels and restaurants have purified water. Bottled water is available in all tourist areas and many outside regions. The water here is very pure, but the pipes used for distribution and other factors can lead to contamination. Although many local people drink the water directly from the tap, it is not recommended. Drink only bottled or purified water. You will have a safer vacation! Find out more about staying safe here.
There several internet cafes in the Los Cabos area that provide internet access service. These days you will find every hotel has wifi and there is a public Cabo-wide wifi network that is free (at least, it is accessible near the marina), however it has to be said that the connection can be a little flaky and you do have to give some personal details in order to join which is not always a wise idea in a public place. Some more information is here.
Both Cabo and San Jose have modern hospitals and good medical and dental facilities. A diver’s decompression chamber is located in Cabo San Lucas at the Hospital de Especialidades. The hospital is not equipped for severe trauma cases. Check with your hotel for the name of an English-speaking doctor, write their phone numbers down and carry them with you. Medical service here is nowhere near as sophisticated as in the U.S. or Canada.
Please take out adequate insurance! The way emergencies are dealt with here is different – read more here.