San Jose del Cabo
San Jose street with palm trees
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San Jose is, without a doubt, the heart of Los Cabos. A peaceful oasis nestled on the edge of the sea, early settlers chose this location for the abundance of fresh water that created a lush home for animals and birds. Coming to San Jose is like stepping back into time: an enchanted Mexico humming with vibrant culture. Fall in love with the colors, sounds and smells of Mexico lindo y querido, beautiful and beloved Mexico.
The historic plaza gives you a glimpse of life in the colonial era. Framed by the municipal building and the cathedral, San Jose’s plaza is characterized by graceful balconies and Spanish style architecture. On weekends, the plaza fills with families and visitors enjoying handmade tamales, fruity popsicles and lively music. Enjoy a balmy night with your loved ones at one of the bars or restaurants overlooking the plaza, stroll through the streets exploring the delightful shops, or dance under the stars to live music.
With a more tranquil, peaceful atmosphere than San Lucas, visitors to San Jose are able to enjoy the Baja sunshine with a variety of outdoor activities. Of course, lounging by the poolside is a perfectly acceptable daytime activity, but for those who wish to experience what lies beyond the pool cabanas, San Jose del Cabo doesn’t disappoint.
Nothing says “Good morning!” like a leisurely stroll down the beach. Walk down to the sandy stretch of beach by the estuary to watch the sun rise, perhaps greeted by a pod of frolicking dolphins. If you really want to have the full beach experience, consider taking a horseback ride along the beach. Hotels and outfitting companies can make this a morning walk to remember, on horseback! Once you’ve worked up an appetite, wander back to the Plaza for breakfast. Take your pick of traditional Mexican favorites like chilaquiles or molletes, American standards like pancakes and eggs, French pastries, or simply a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Take the short drive to the Costa Azul (“Blue Coast”) to try your hand at surfing. Acapulquito (“Little Acapulco”) is San Jose’s surfing mecca. There are three spots right off the beach: Old Man’s, a gentler wave for beginners, La Roca for intermediate and Zipper’s for professional surfers. Rent a board right on the beach(or wax up your own, if you brought it) and get out the water. A number of companies offer surfing lessons for first-timers, including large groups. For best waves, plan on visiting in the summer months when southern swells bring churning surf and adrenaline junkies to San Jose. When the surf’s flat but you want to get your adrenaline pumping, head to the Costa Azul canyon, right across from the beach at Zippers, for zip lines and ecotourism outings.
If you’re not a wave warrior (or maybe just need a break), drive a little further out to Palmilla beach. Palmilla is the jewel of San Jose, a picturesque stretch of sparkling white sand and gentle, turquoise waters ideal for swimming. Bring your beach umbrella, your snorkeling gear, choose a sunny spot, and you’ll probably be thinking something along the lines of, “Now this is the life!”. Palmilla is San Jose’s most beloved beach, and can get a little crowded on the weekends with families and fishermen alike enjoying the pristine waters. During the week, however, you’re likely to find yourself alone on this stunning beach. Palmilla is a must-see in San Jose, but be warned: you’re likely to find yourself day dreaming about this beach long after your suntan has faded.
San Jose is also home to a number of world-class golf courses, most just a few minutes away from the historic downtown. These manicured oases of serenity dot the desert landscape, offering golf aficionados an exotic locale and top shape facilities to make golfing more than just a game, but an experience.
A recent addition to the San Jose experience is Puerto Los Cabos, and the opening of a sparkling marina right in San Jose. Yachts and fishing boats can now be docked just minutes away from the historic downtown, near the area known as La Playita (“the little beach”). Book a fishing tour with local outfitters and explore the vibrant Sea of Cortez. Want to try your hand at big game fishing? Marlin, yellowfin tuna and dorado are all swimming right outside the break wall, and other varieties of seafood delicacies. Feel those ocean breezes and keep your eyes open for passing dolphins, whales and sharks, too!
About an hour outside of San Jose is the wild East Cape. Drive through breathtaking desert landscapes and you’ll arrive at a stretch of beaches and surf breaks that give new meaning to “deserted beach.” This is a treat for surfers, adventure seekers and those wanting simply to get away from it all. You’ll truly feel yourself away from the trappings of modern society, though only an hour away from the San Jose airport. Surfers delight in the East Cape, as surf spot after surf spot beckons with empty, peeling waves around every turn. The East Cape is a great place for camping out under the stars, snorkeling, diving, fishing or spending a day (or a few days) exploring these sandy stretches. A number of eco-friendly hotels and lodges are located in the East Cape, as the East Cape community strives to preserve the natural beauty of this place.
Thursday nights can’t be missed in San Jose. San Jose’s plethora of art galleries host the weekly art walk on Thursday nights, inviting visitors and locals to meet San Jose’s finest artists, enjoy a glass (or two) of Baja California wine and get a first-rate education in Baja-bred art. The streets are closed to cars, so that merrymakers can spread into the street, enjoying the lively atmosphere. Once you’ve had you’re fill, be sure to stop into the restaurants and bars that ring the art district to hear live music and dance to salsa, reggae, rock and samba rhythms. There are all kinds of small bars and restaurants to suit every taste, from upscale dining to casual hamburgers and tacos, even Baja’s own artisan brewery. You’ll find something to delight the senses on ever corner in San Jose.
San Jose combines history and energy, vibrant colors and modern amenities. Visit San Jose and you’re sure to be enchanted, too, as this peaceful oasis finds its way into your heart.