When you head to the end of the Baja Peninsula, you won’t find just one incredible seaside destination but two: Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Together, these cities make up the municipality of Los Cabos, and travelers will find a difference between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. For your next vacation, understanding each city’s energy and attractions will help you decide between Cabo San Lucas vs San Jose del Cabo.
While Cabo San Lucas is the more popular city with exciting nightlife and a bustling downtown, San Jose del Cabo is a quieter destination with traditional Mexican charm. Here, you’ll find art galleries, golf, and quaint streets to explore, and the surrounding landscape is filled with natural beauty, including an estuary that’s a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. In Cabo San Lucas, there’s always a party somewhere and new tours to take, and while you can spend your time out and about, you can also slow down and unwind at one of the luxury resorts on the best beaches in Cabo San Lucas. However, don’t worry too much between Cabo San Lucas vs San Jose del Cabo. Since they’re only 20 minutes apart, you can easily enjoy the best of both worlds on your vacation, giving you more things to do and cultural experiences to have.
There’s never a dull moment on a Cabo San Lucas vacation, and travelers from all over the world love snorkeling around the Land’s End rock formation and exploring the mountains surrounding the city. Some of the other top things to do in Cabo San Lucas include deep sea fishing, scuba diving, ATVing, and playing on the beach. In the city’s downtown marina, there’s a variety of delicious restaurants, ranging from romantic gourmet dining rooms to laid back bars with live music. However, if you’re debating Cabo San Lucas vs San Jose del Cabo, you can still visit here no matter which one you choose. Getting from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas is quick and affordable with a local bus or taxi. If you do book your vacation at one of the Cabo San Lucas all-inclusive resorts, you’ll have access to a variety of amenities, including fitness centers, spas, pools, on-site activities, and even safe and secure Kids’ Clubs.
The best beaches in Cabo San Lucas have swimmable waters and plenty of space to spread out. With a number of beach clubs, restaurants, and resorts Medano Beach is the most popular spot, but you’ll still have plenty of room to spread out while building sandcastles or throwing a frisbee. Chileno Beach is another popular beach, and it’s best known as a snorkeling destination. Located on the road from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas, it’s easy to pack a cooler and make your way here for the day. However, the most iconic spot is Lover’s Beach, located on Land’s End by the Cabo Arch.
When you compare San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas, you’ll see that each has its own appeal and things to do, and as the seat of the municipal government, San Jose del Cabo has a charming main plaza that’s flanked by town hall and the old mission. As you stroll around, you’ll also come across the Gallery District, and during the high tourist season, the galleries stay open later on Thursday evenings for the San Jose del Cabo Art Walk. This laidback town also has fabulous restaurants and a long stretch of gorgeous shoreline where you can look out to see whales splashing in the ocean during winter.
While there is a difference between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, these two cities are so close that you can easily experience them both. The main difference is that Cabo San Lucas has a bustling atmosphere with parties and events constantly happening, but for a more laid-back vacation surrounded by traditional Mexican culture, pack your bags for San Jose del Cabo.