Cinco de Mayo is a good reason to enjoy some top-shelf tequila and delicious Mexican beer, however the holiday commemorates much more than the spirits from across the border. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Rather, on May 5, 1862, the Mexican militia claimed a dubious victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is not as widely celebrated throughout Mexico as one might think—the holiday is observed mainly in the state of Puebla and in the United States. Want to experience more Mexican culture? Extend your Cinco de Mayo celebration into a vacation in Mexico.
From lush jungles of Puerto Vallarta to the ruins of Tulum to the cultural hub of Mexico City, there is somewhere for everyone in Mexico. Cabo is one town in particular that always seems to peak travelers’ interests.
Actually, Cabo is not one town, but two, linked by 20 miles of four-lane highway called the Tourist Corridor that skirts the Sea of Cortez. To the south, flamboyant Cabo San Lucas teems with bikini-filled beaches and raucous nightlife. To the north, the more dignified San José del Cabo entices with quieter pleasures. More tranquil still are the jutting cliffs of the Corridor and the surf-beaten enclaves along the Pacific Coast. Most visitors refer to the whole area as “Cabo,” but to locals, Cabo means only San Lucas.
When to Go
Get to Los Cabos any season you can. Pressed to choose the best vacation windows, I opt for mid-October through November, or April through mid-May. With 360 days of sunshine per year, Los Cabos is a sun-lover’s dream. But the rays here are intense, so never forego sunscreen.
Arriving in Cabo
At the airport, brace for long lines at the Immigration counters, where you’ll get a card that must be turned in at the end of your stay. Head straight for Los Cabos Express, which has a monopoly on airport transportation. Depending on where you’re headed, the bus ride can take upwards of an hour, so sit back and enjoy the scenery.
- Crowne Plaza Resort offers daytime club activities for kids and a nighttime club for teens.
- The Meliá Cabo Real boasts a safe swimming beach and a world-class golf course along with club activities for toddlers through 12-year-olds.
A La Carte Hotels and Resorts
- The stunning Westin Resort and Spa, located on the San José end of the Corridor, is perched on cliffs overlooking the Sea of Cortez.
- On the Pacific side, the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach boasts a huge private beach and 50 acres of villa-style suites.
Los Cabos Restaurants
- For fine dining, the 7 Seas Restaurant, Morgan’s Restaurant & Cellar and the Tropicana Restaurant are traditional favorites in San José. Dolce Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria and Damiana round out the mix.
- On a budget, you can’t go wrong at Rosy’s Tacos or Hangman in San José. Rosy’s is open only for lunch, but I’m always happy to take time off from the beach to gobble down fish tacos with all the fixings for about a dollar each. Hangman is fun and affordable for casual dinners. It doesn’t serve alcohol, but you can bring your own.
Plan your trip to Cabo San Lucas on TravelMuse.
Plan your trip to San José del Cabo on TravelMuse.
Adapted from “Tale of Two Cabos” by Deb Vanasse.