Cabo San Lucas is a favorite destination on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. In fact, tourism is a major industry in the region, so this is one city that definitely works hard to appeal to travelers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best places to stay in Cabo San Lucas.
If you are looking for a great place to stay in Cabo San Lucas, you are in luck. Each neighborhood offers a variety of accommodation options.
While some neighborhoods have a good mix of budget and more expensive choices, it is wise to bear in mind that much of the city and the surrounding area caters to an upscale clientele.
This means that you may have to work harder to find bargains, but they are out there, especially in places like downtown and Medano Beach.
Where to Stay in Cabo San Lucas: Best Areas
1. Downtown, where to stay in Cabo San Lucas on a budget and for nightlife
Frequently referred to as the heart and soul of the city, downtown is one of the best places to stay in Cabo San Lucas. This is the best place to find traditional arts and crafts as well as authentic Mexican cuisine.
If you’re lucky, you also may discover that this is one of the more affordable neighborhoods as far as accommodations are concerned.
The shopping is great here too, allowing visitors to splurge in the stores while saving on their hotel.
Another thing for which downtown is known is its nightlife, which can be exceptionally rowdy. Of course, this could be exactly what you’re looking for. Spots such as El Squid Roe and Cabo Wabo keep the party going all night, every night.
Visitors hoping to enjoy an inland adventure or tour will be happy to know that many such tour companies are found in downtown.
Schedule a dune buggy ride on the north side of Cabo, selecting from itineraries that may include mountains, canyons and beaches. Some tour companies even offer multi-day excursions that give participants a real Baja 1000 experience.
While some people come to this neighborhood to party, others choose downtown as the perfect place to stay in Cabo San Lucas because of the superlative shopping.
Visitors who are seeking Mexican handicrafts like Talavera-style pottery and Taxco silver jewelry will be delighted with the selection here. You’ll be able to stroll among open-air stalls as well as visit upscale boutiques complete with air conditioning.
Fashion designer Pepita Nelson has a store called Magic of the Moon here, and you can stop at Plaza Aramburo to pick up food if you want to prepare a few of your own meals. Specialty markets provide meat, seafood, tortillas, pastries and more.
In restaurants in other neighborhoods, tourists can discover offerings from celebrity chefs and fusion menus providing one-of-a-kind dishes. However, downtown is different. This is where you’ll find traditional Mexican cuisine around every corner.
Family-oriented restaurants serve seafood, and taquerias are located on each street.
Tourists who don’t want to spend a fortune on accommodations will find that downtown is the perfect place to stay in Cabo San Lucas.
Many boutique hotels are found here. They don’t necessarily have tons of amenities, but they may offer swimming pools, wireless Internet access, reading libraries and other thoughtful touches.
The properties tend to be small and offer excellent, highly personalized service that is unusual at these price points. You may even find a hostel in downtown.
While Cabo San Lucas is a relatively safe city in Mexico, it is wise for tourists to be on their guard in downtown, especially if they are out and about after dark.
However, given the district’s bustling nightlife scene, you’ll probably be among many other tourists looking for a good time.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN DOWNTOWN
- ($$$) Hacienda Beach Club & Residences
- ($$) Hotel Santa Fe Los Cabos by Villa Group
- ($) Hotel Maria Elena
2. Medano, where to stay in Cabo San Lucas for a fun beach vacation
Frequently referred to as Medano Beach, this neighborhood is a favorite place to stay in Cabo San Lucas for many visitors. In fact, this is one of the chief tourist sectors in the city.
Even if you don’t decide to stay in this neighborhood, chances are good that you will spend quite a bit of time here. That’s because Medano, which you may hear referred to as Playa El Medano, is the hub of all tourist activity in the city.
This is where you’ll find the majority of the luxury high-rise resorts, a selection of which offers all-inclusive vacation packages.
Opportunities for dining al fresco and drinking in palapa-shaded cantinas are abundant in Medano Beach.
The beach here is crowded, especially if you visit during Spring Break. Also, if you’re looking to participate in water sports, this is the most convenient place to rent things like wave runners and kayaks.
The heaviest concentration of outlets offering craft for water sports are found in Medano Beach. Many of these outlets have been operating for decades, providing reliable services year-round.
Operators also offer parasailing tours so that visitors can be treated to unmatched views of Land’s End. Especially adventurous travelers might prefer to try a motorized hang-gliding tour.
While downtown may have the highest concentration of bars and nightclubs, Medano Beach isn’t far behind. The neighborhood has many cantinas that are recognized for their rowdiness.
Patrons at many of these cantinas are invited to participate in bawdy activities, a phenomenon that is especially prevalent during the Spring Break season.
An especially popular menu item at these cantinas is the bucket of beer, the ideal accompaniment to the ocean, sun and delicious food.
Speaking of food, the quality restaurants in this neighborhood make it one of the best places to stay in Cabo San Lucas. Many of these eateries are found right on the beach, enabling diners to feel the sand beneath their feet while they eat.
You’ll find pretty much any kind of cuisine here, including American favorites like hamburgers as well as fine Mexican dining prepared by famous and creative chefs. From casual cantinas to fine dining options, you’ll find a bit of everything in Medano Beach.
You will find plenty of shops here. However, you won’t find much in the way of traditional handicrafts. Most of the shops here are of the souvenir variety, specializing in items like t-shirts, sweatshirts, sunglasses, jewelry and hats.
Many of the resorts have gift shops and mini-markets, and many food vendors are found on the beach, including those selling snow cones, which are delectable on a hot day.
The most popular resorts in Medano Beach are right on the ocean. Many of them are high rises, promising spectacular views of the water below.
Expect plenty of upscale amenities at these resorts, including pools, Jacuzzis, restaurants, bars, fitness centers and much more. You’ll likely pay a premium for these accommodations, but making an early reservation may save you some money.
Most hotels in Medano are independent properties. However, there are a few well-known chains represented too.
Medano Beach is a relatively safe and highly touristy neighborhood. Generally, it’s a safe place to stay in Cabo San Lucas, just exercise caution if you are enjoying the nightlife.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MEDANO
- ($$$) Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa
- ($$$) Villa del Arco Beach Resort & Spa
- ($$) Bahia Hotel & Beach House
Read also: Best things to do in Cabo San Lucas
3. Marina, a wonderful place to stay in Cabo San Lucas with lots of things to do
This is another wonderful place to stay in Cabo San Lucas if you want to make certain that you’ll be in the center of the action. It’s also a charming neighborhood that’s found right on the waterfront.
With shops, restaurants and hotels, this is a very busy district with plenty going on at all times. Take the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views and the luxury yachts moored here.
Not so many decades ago, the Cabo San Lucas Marina and the surrounding neighborhood were more industrial in nature. It was the site of an old cannery, but you could access some charter fishing boats too.
Things have greatly changed today, making Marina one of the top tourist destinations in Cabo San Lucas.
Many water-based activity companies are found here, so you can easily rent a wave runner, a stand-up paddle board or a fishing boat.
This is even the place to be if you’d like to experience a dolphin swim, an unforgettable option for any visitor. Other tour operators provide excursions for parasailing, snuba and helmet diving.
Marina has some decent options for partying the night away. Numerous popular lounges, bars and clubs are found here, ranging from wild to upscale to suit your personality or mood.
The restaurant options are similarly diverse. Many of them serve seafood that was hooked in the nearby Sea of Cortez. In fact, you’ll find plenty of eateries that will cook up the fish that you caught earlier in the day.
Shopping is a highlight at Marina, mostly because of a certain portion of the Malecon that locals call the Marina Golden Zone.
This stretch of high-end boutiques runs alongside the popular boardwalk as does the popular Puerto Paraiso Mall easily identifiable thanks to its distinctive tower. Even the Luxury Avenue complex of designer boutiques is located here.
In accordance with the presence of the many upscale dining and shopping experiences, Marina also boasts some outstanding hotels. Many of these are quite expensive.
If you are looking for a luxurious hotel, this may be the perfect place to stay in Cabo San Lucas. The amenities and accommodations are truly elegant in both independent and chain properties.
Also present in heavy concentration are vacation condos. Providing homelike accommodations complete with full kitchens, a condo can be the perfect way to relax and unwind.
Given the upscale surroundings, you can trust Marina to be one of the safer neighborhoods in which to stay in Cabo San Lucas. Still, the neighborhood can get pretty crowded both during the day and the night, so it’s wise to keep your valuables close.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CABO SAN LUCAS IN MARINA
4. Pedregal Hills/Pacific Ocean, where to stay in Cabo San Lucas in an exclusive and wealthy neighborhood
Located on the Pacific Coast, this is perhaps the city’s most exclusive and wealthy neighborhood. The hillside is dotted with luxury resorts as well as rental properties.
To go along with the upscale properties, there are spectacular views of the land and ocean below. This neighborhood even hosts an organic farmers market that caters to health-conscious families.
The beach is certainly a highlight in Pedregal Hills. That’s because it’s some of the most beautiful, not to mention pristine, sand in the region.
Cabo San Lucas’ other beaches tend to be really congested and busy, so if you’re looking for a quiet escape, this is the place to be.
As beautiful as the beaches may be, the swimming can be treacherous because of particularly strong rip currents. If you want to catch a memorable sunset, consider doing so from Playa Solmar.
Dining is raised to high art in Pedregal Hills, with some of the city’s best restaurants being located here. Spots like El Farallon and Don Manuel’s reside in stunning settings overlooking the ocean and serve seafood that tastes as if were caught just an hour ago.
Other options include Romeo y Julieta and El Galeon where diners may sample gourmet pizzas and sublime Italian cuisine.
Rowdy nightlife is not a centerpiece in Pedregal Hills, which isn’t exactly surprising. Nonetheless, most of the hotels have sedate bars, and there are a few places where patrons can enjoy fine wines while a piano is played in the background.
Beyond the organic farmers market, there is not a great deal of shopping in Pedregal Hills beyond the shops in the resorts. Souvenirs may be picked up at one or two spots.
If you choose Pedregal Hills as your place to stay in Cabo San Lucas, then you will be surrounded by luxury. Of course, it’s wise to be prepared to pay a premium price in any season.
You won’t find budget options or hostels here, but you’ll have grand choices for upscale, exclusive resorts. Incredible amenities like pool complexes, spas, fitness centers, restaurants, shops and hosted activities are just the beginning of the offerings.
Suites and villas are widely available, giving guests an opportunity to luxuriate in style.
Crime is not really a problem in Pedregal Hills, so feel free to roam without fear at nearly any hour.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PEDREGAL HILL
- ($$$) Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
- ($$$) Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort – All Inclusive – Adults Only
- ($$) Castillo Blarney Inn
5. Tourist Corridor, where to stay in Cabo San Lucas for a luxury holiday
Stretching along 20 miles of coastline, the Tourist Corridor is a favorite place to stay in Cabo San Lucas. The road attaches Cabo San Lucas to neighboring city San Jose del Cabo.
Along the way are numerous seaside resorts, each one more luxurious than the last. Also located here is a variety of championship-style golf courses along with beaches and quiet bays.
In fact, the favorite activity in the area is golf. Approximately 12 notable golf courses are found in the Tourist Corridor, include Palmilla and Cabo del Sol’s Ocean course, both of which were designed by Jack Nicklaus. Other courses in the area were designed by Robert Trent Jones II.
The beach is another highlight in the corridor, with visitors stopping at Chileno Bay and Playa Santa Maria. Swimming here is safe as is snorkeling.
If you’re looking for bigger thrills, try bungee jumping and zip-lining with one of the operators in the area.
The dining along the Tourist Corridor is excellent, providing options such as seafood, gourmet pizza and many other choices. Baja Mediterranean cuisine is a highlight, and you’ll even find traditional Mexican specialties.
Nightlife is not particularly abundant along the Corridor, but many of the resorts do have lounges and bars.
On your way out of Cabo San Lucas, stop at Plaza San Lucas for shopping. This is where you’ll find a Sam’s Club and a Walmart as well as smaller boutiques selling beachware and sundries.
Las Tiendas de Palmilla offers high-end shopping in San Jose del Cabo. Offerings here include art, fashion, jewelry and more.
The Tourist Corridor boasts some of the most impressive resorts in the region. Accordingly, this is not necessarily the place for the especially budget-conscious.
Still, with so many options in a concentrated area, you may be able to find a bargain, particularly if you start browsing early.
Lavish accommodations are the standard in the Tourist Corridor, so expect all of the bells and whistles wherever you reserve a room. Deluxe amenities and stunning views of the Sea of Cortez are on offer.
Although most of the resorts are large, you also may discover smaller, exclusive boutique properties promising uniquely personalized experiences.
This is a safe place to stay in Cabo San Lucas, so there’s no need to be especially cautious, even after dark.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN TOURIST CORRIDOR
- ($$$) Grand Velas Los Cabos Luxury All Inclusive
- ($$$) Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos Adults Only All-Inclusive
- ($$) Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Los Cabos
6. San Jose del Cabo, more quiet, Spanish colonial architecture, arts and crafts
While Cabo San Lucas is undoubtedly focused on tourism, its quieter neighbor, San Jose del Cabo, is a more sophisticated retreat. If you want to experience some authentic Spanish colonial character, then this may be the best place for you to stay in Cabo San Lucas.
In downtown San Jose del Cabo, you may discover a wealth of historic architecture in buildings such as Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti, which was built in the 18th century.
Even City Hall is an historic landmark, featuring a courtyard with murals showing life in Baja in earlier eras. A Wildlife Estuary is located here, and there is even an historic art district.
San Jose del Cabo is a great place to find things to do. Don’t miss the Art Walk on Thursday nights if you want to get to know the local galleries. You also might want to check out the zipline tours just outside the city or take a guided walk in the Wildlife Estuary.
Gourmands will fall in love with the restaurants in San Jose del Cabo. Many talented chefs have made this city their home, and their refinements to traditional Baja cuisine are not to be missed. Experience other options that include fusion, French and Spanish cuisine.
San Jose del Cabo provides rich opportunities to buy Mexican arts and crafts. Visit Plaza Artesanos to find more than 75 vendors selling handbags, jewelry, ceramics and a variety of other items.
Also, visit Las Tiendas de Palmilla in the city’s most exclusive sector to pick up antiques, art, fashion and fine jewelry.
As you might expect, you’ll find a good mix of high-end resorts in San Jose del Cabo. Still, this is a city, so you also may be able to locate some more affordable options, including a hostel.
Start browsing early to find the best deals. Many all-inclusive resorts are found here, offering guests a chance to pay once for their accommodations, dining, drinks and some activities.
Most neighborhoods in San Jose del Cabo are fairly safe. Like any other city, some sectors may be less secure, especially after the sun goes down. Just be aware of your surroundings, and you are unlikely to run into difficulties.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SAN JOSE DEL CABO