It depends on what you’re into.
Do you prefer the energy of a busy city abounding with nightlife, bars and restaurants buzzing of tourists on parasails and jet skis? Or, do you prefer a quieter, sleepier, more authentic Mexican town? Cabo San Lucas for the former, San Jose Del Cabo for the latter.
Both places have marinas. Cabo San Lucas marina is a little cheaper but older, and there are options to anchor there in the bay (for free) that don’t exist further north until you hit Los Frailes. The problem with the anchorage is that it’s fairly chaotic during the day.
We pulled into Cabo San Lucas for our first night of anchorage, knowing that we were headed north to San Jose del Cabo the next day. Our night in anchor was quiet and restful, although we could hear some peals of laughter coming from a nearby bar on the beach. By 9am the next morning, the Beach Boys were blaring from a morning booze cruise already in full swing, and there were no less than 6 parasailors in the bay along with dozens of jet skis zooming around us. It confirmed our commitment to head north!
On our way further north, we were greeted by several sea turtles floating on the surface and a Humpback whale who breached 5 times near our boat – a magnificent welcome to San Jose del Cabo! We can’t wait to go diving!
We are staying at the relatively new Puerto Los Cabo marina, which is a little rich for our normal sailing budget, but we needed a marina with a boat yard to do our repairs. There are several hotels here (JW Marriott among them) and a few different restaurants along with jogging paths, a sculpture garden and a botanical garden. The cruisers staying at this marina are “our people”, too. Laid back,
friendly, and experienced sailors who make friends easily and want to share their knowledge and encouragement. We were in awe of their experiences and nautical miles. The boat yard is part of the San Diego Marine Group, and Peter (the GM) is efficient and experienced. http://marinegroupcabo.com/
The bus is the best bargain here in town – they are generally old American converted Bluebird school buses, and the cost to get into town or across town is 11 pesos (~$0.60). Taxis are extremely expensive here, and if you’re planning to make a trip that requires one, it might be cheaper to rent a car. We went all over town looking for parts and equipment for about $3.
Don’t miss the municipal market where you can buy local gifts, fresh veggies and fruits as well as the common cafeteria – this is where the locals eat, and the food was the best we’ve had while in Mexico. Huge plates of enchiladas and quesadillas smothered in refried beans and rice dotted with fresh avocados, onions and tomatoes – with your choice of salsas and hot sauces. You eat community style on the benches with everyone else, and they bring you your order. (The coca-colas were almost as much as our food.) A huge meal for two of us came to less than $10. I saw many locals eating the posole soup with a big dish of tortillas. We chose Loncheria Sonia, but there are about 6 places inside to choose from. https://www.facebook.com/Loncheria.sonia/
We found a couple great coffee shops – Teacher’s Coffee and Coffee Lab. Coffee Lab serves single origin Mexican sourced coffees, and they are one of the few coffee
shops we have found in Mexico so far that also sells whole beans with the roast date printed on the bag! http://www.coffeelab.mx/
The little church in the town square is worth seeing, and we are looking forward to the organic farmer’s market which occurs every Saturday. http://www.sanjomo.com/
THE HIGHLIGHT so far has been a trip to Flora Farms; it’s just 10 minutes from our marina and is a farm-to-table restaurant experience that isn’t to be missed if you’re in the area. Their reservations sell out quickly, and we could only find something for lunch – we hear their brunch is outstanding – and they have cooking classes that look great, too. http://www.flora-farms.com/ We started with their freshly made burrata smothered in farm fresh cherry tomatoes and rocket (arugula) on top of their thick rustic bread baked in their brick pizza ovens. We toured the farm and visited their model home, which are available for fractional ownership. The owners hail from Sonoma and are architects; the farm reminded me of The Carneros Inn – little luxury homes dotting the hillside among the
meandering farm. Just lovely.
We’ll be here until next week, when (fingers crossed) all of our repairs are complete. Next stop: Bahia los Frailes and Cape Pulmo (underwater reserve park).
*SIDE NOTE: The only thing I despise about this place is its Dolphin Discovery building and pool with their “swim with dolphin” program. I’m currently scheming on how I might be able to free them…..please don’t buy a ticket. Ever.