San Jose del Cabo Vs. Cabo San Lucas

San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas

If you’re looking for a vacation home at a beachfront or one with an ocean view, you might be thinking San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas. Either may be the perfect fit. These two locations appeal to people in different ways, so before you start Googling Cabo condos for sale, read on to see how these two vacation destinations compare?

San Jose del Cabo is more like a small town, while Cabo San Lucas is more of a tourist destination. The two have stunning beaches with panoramic ocean views. In contrast, their are a variety of things to do in Cabo San Lucas due to it’s popularity that guarantee excitement and fun-filled vacations.

Making an informed decision can be a hurdle, especially when you don’t know where to look. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be such a brainer for you. Our job is to help you make the most plausible decision by providing you with relevant information. 

This is only a sneak peek view of San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas. In the rest of this guide, we go into more detail to compare each destination’s pros and cons. We know you’ll love it; that’s why we’d love you to stick around through the end.

Let’s get going, shall we?

What is Los Cabos?

Cabo, in Spanish, is Cape. Los Cabos refers to the capes. There are many at the tip of Baja California Sur.

But, Los Cabos is a specific area of Baja California Sur.

Los Cabos refers to a county or municipality in the state Baja California Sur. There are many towns and cities within this county, including San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas and Cabo Pulmo. Santiago is just one example.

Where is Los Cabos?

You can see that Los Cabos lies at the southern tip of Baja California Sur as you can see in the zoomed out image below. Baja California Sur is home to cities such as Ensenada, Tijuana and Todos Santos. La Paz and Cabo San Lucas are the states that make up the Baja Peninsula.

Zooming in on the state of Baja California Sur further reveals that Los Cabos actually is quite large and covers a large portion of the southern part of the state.

Cabo San Lucas is located to the southwest. Cabo San Lucas is the farthest south.

To reach San Jose del Cabo, head east on the Tourist Corridor Highway. The beaches of Cabo San Lucas face towards the Pacific Ocean. While the beaches of San Jose del Cabo are facing the Sea of Cortez (also known as the Gulf of California).

Distance between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas

It doesn’t matter where you decide to spend your vacation, it is easy to get between them. You can get them within 30 minutes if you use the tourist corridor road. It’s even faster if you choose to use the toll road.

Taxis between them can be rented for $20-30 USD. I don’t recommend this. Sometimes, you can get an Uber from one to the other for $15-20 USD. You will have to pay the same amount to return to your original destination, which can be quite expensive.

If you don’t rent a car, the bus is the most economical way to travel between Los Cabos. Ruta Del Desierto is a purple-and-yellow bus. It runs from the hotel xone in San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas’ downtown area. It costs 38 Pesos to get from one end to the other (just below $2 USD).

Buses run every 8-10 minutes. This bus is the cheapest and best way to reach the various beaches along the tourist corridor. It costs only 13 Pesos (or 50 cents) to go from Cabo Santa Lucas to Playa Chileno. The same price applies to San Jose del Cabo and Playa Palmilla. To avoid being charged for the full amount, tell the driver exactly where you intend to get off.

Detailed Comparison of San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas

Which is the best Los Cabos destination? Is it San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas? Let’s find out!

cabo san lucas vs san jose del cabo

1. San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas Beach Quality

The two destinations have an incredible beach life experience. It’s the beach’s quality that determines if one will visit again or not, so we understand its importance. In comparison, these two destinations offer different beach life experiences.

Cabo San Lucas is known for its thrilling nightlife. Besides, it would be the perfect spot for anyone who’s into partying, dancing, and water sports. San Jose del Cabo is more peaceful and quiet on the flip side, making it ideal for people who love chilling and relaxing.

Based on the above, you know what would work for you. If you’re into partying, Cabo San Lucas will work for you. However, if you love your peace of mind and looking for a quiet place away from city life, San Jose del Cabo would be a good fit.

2. San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas Quality Time with Self, Family, and Friends

Depending on your status—single, married, or having children—there’s a place for you in Los Cabos. Why would we make such a bold statement? You ask. The simple reason is, the two destinations support all types of lifestyles.

cabo san lucas nightlife

If you’re a family person with kids, we have reason to believe San Jose del Cabo would appeal more to you because, for families, there are many things to do in San Jose del Cabo. On the contrary, if you’re single or looking into marrying, Cabo San Lucas would appeal more to you.

San Jose del Cabo is more peaceful and ideal for folks who want to have a fabulous time enjoying each other’s company. On the contrary, most single people or those looking into getting married love the party lifestyle, so Cabo San Lucas would make perfect sense for them.

3. San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas Tourism Best Practices

For one reason or another, both international and local tourists are attracted to either of the destinations. While local Mexican tourists frequently visit San Jose del Cabo, the Cabo San Lucas appeals mostly to international tourists.

Amazingly, the staff in both destinations are fantastic, and most are bilingual. Don’t be surprised to find out that some are trilingual. This makes communication a breeze and customer service top-notch.

As a foreigner, probably trying out traditional Mexican recipes would interest you more. For this experience, we’d recommend you visit San Jose del Cabo. The downtown area has plenty of Mexican street foods, such as Baja fish tacos. This would be the perfect way to quench your craving.

4. San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas Dusk and Dawns

Sunrise and sunsets hit differently for different people. The two destinations are located in different geographical locations, which means you won’t experience sunsets and sunrises in the same manner.

The first question from us would be, are you a sunset or sunrise kind of person? For sunset lovers, we’d recommend you visit Cabo San Lucas for the perfect evening views. If you prefer the sunrises, then visiting San Jose del Cabo will serve you right.

5. San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas Ease of transport and visiting destinations of interest

The most spectacular place to see in the entire Los Cabos area is the Los Arcos. To go to Los Arcos, you can either use a taxi from San Jose del Cabo or choose to spend in Cabo San Lucas. This is because it’s more convenient to access the place while staying in Cabo San Lucas. Nonetheless, you’re free to go by what works best for you since the call is yours to make.

cabo san lucas

Most importantly, air transport plays a critical role in easing transportation. San Jose del Cabo is closer to the Los Cabos international airport than Cabo San Lucas. Twenty minutes by car is the time it’ll take you to move to and from San Jose del Cabo. This is twice less than the 40 minutes car drive it would take between Cabo San Lucas and the airport.

So, what exactly works for you? Probably you don’t mind the time differential between the airport and the two destinations. Or you value your time and wouldn’t want to waste any of it on the roads. 

Or, you love the drive from the airport to your destination, so you’d need more time on the roads to enjoy the view. Whichever your preference, you can go by the destination that offers what suits you.

Reasons to love Los Cabos

Reasons to love San Jose del Cabo:

  • The best restaurants available at every price point
  • There is a sense of community and care that you don’t get in Cabo San Lucas
  • Great beaches for all types of outdoor activities
  • San Jose del Cabo has a history and culture to learn about
  • The central plaza is the perfect place to relax after a day out
  • There is a plethora of hotel, resort, and Airbnb options to choose from for every budget

Reasons to love Cabo San Lucas:

  • Stunning views (don’t miss a trip out to the arch!)
  • Amazing luxury hotels
  • Top-class party spots
  • Lots of great bars and restaurants
  • More activities than you’ll know what to do with

Final Thoughts on San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas

Today, it’s possible for Americans to buy a property in Mexico. Whether you’re looking to buy a second home in Cabo San Lucas or just browsing San Jose del Cabo homes for sale, there are plenty of options to choose from.

There also the question of financing. Unless you have the ability to pay cash, you will need to look into financing a home in Cabo or San Lucas, in order to buy your new property.

But first, you’d have to get your expectations right by considering the following factors.

  • The ease of transport and accessibility to places of interest
  • Personal interest in sunrise and sunsets
  • Your individual and family safety while in a foreign land
  • Beach quality
  • Size and nature of family—single or married

In the end, we can only help by giving you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. That’s why hope you found this detailed comparison of San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas valuable. So, what’s stopping you now?

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