Los Cabos vs Cabo San Lucas: Is There a Difference?

Are you planning a beach vacation to the beautiful Baja California Sur? As you browse through the various options, you may come across two popular destinations – Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas.

But wait a minute, aren’t they technically the same thing? Well, not exactly.

In this article, we’ll dig deep into the differences between Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas that you need to know before booking your trip.

Is Los Cabos the Same as Cabo San Lucas? What’s the Difference?

Welcome to the wonderful world of Baja California Sur! But first, let’s clear up some confusion. Los Cabos is not the same thing as Cabo San Lucas.

Los Cabos refers to the two towns – Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo – and the 30 kilometers of coastline between them. With that said, it’s time to dive into these stunning beach towns.

Beautiful aerial view of Cabo San lucas Arch
Beautiful view of Cabo San Lucas Beach

Cabo San Lucas Overview

Cabo San Lucas is a dreamy destination located at the southern tip of Baja California Sur.

Known for its picturesque rock formations and sandy beaches, this vibrant town offers an unforgettable beachfront experience.

As you stroll along the bustling marina, you’ll find an array of restaurants and bars, perfect for an evening of fun and excitement with friends.

Cabo is a water sports paradise – whether you’re into jet-skiing, scuba diving, or even swimming with whale sharks, there’s no shortage of activities that’ll keep your adrenaline pumping.

And if you’re a fan of fishing, you’re in luck! Cabo San Lucas has earned a reputation as a world-class fishing destination, attracting anglers from all over the globe.

Best Part of Cabo to Stay in Based on Your Interests

San José del Cabo Overview

Now, let’s set our sights on a different experience – the more tranquil San José del Cabo.

Known for its historic charm and serene atmosphere, this quaint town is the perfect getaway for those in search of something different from the fast-paced environment that Cabo San Lucas offers.

Meandering through the cobblestone streets, you’ll discover a delightful selection of galleries, cafes, and shops to peruse at your leisure.

Don’t forget to stop by the beautiful Mission Church, a remarkable piece of history set in the town center.

If you’re a nature lover, you’re going to adore San José del Cabo’s tropical estuary, home to over 200 species of birds.

For golfing enthusiasts, grab your clubs and head over to one of the many top-notch golf courses, renowned for their stunning views and challenging greens.

Front exterior of Mission San Jose del Cabo on a nice sunny day
Front exterior of Mission San Jose del Cabo on a nice sunny day

Comparing Beaches

Los Cabos is an enchanting land where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. This paradise has it all – from pristine beaches to vibrant nightlife.

It’s important to note that not all of Cabo’s beaches are safe for swimming, so be sure to choose wisely.

But when it comes down to it, whether you prefer the excitement of Cabo San Lucas or the tranquility of San Jose del Cabo, one thing’s for certain: the beaches in Los Cabos never disappoint!

Beaches in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is a sun-kissed haven with stunning beach vibes. Picture yourself lounging on Lover’s Beach surrounded by awe-inspiring rock formations and crystal-clear waters.

This jaw-dropping spot will make your Instagram followers green with envy!

Now let’s talk about Playa Medano, the place to be if you want to eat, drink, and dance the day away.

This bustling beach scene overflows with lively day clubs and restaurants where you can sip margaritas to your heart’s content.

10 Night Clubs in Cabo & Places to Chill After Dark

Beaches in San Jose del Cabo

If quiet contemplation and artistic inspiration are more your jam, San Jose del Cabo has got you covered.

Though this picturesque town isn’t directly on the water, it’s close enough to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Make your way to the serene Playa Palmilla, just a short drive from San Jose del Cabo.

This peaceful oasis is the perfect spot to unwind with a good book, dive into the crystal-clear sea, or simply marvel at the beauty of nature. It’s like finding your own little slice of heaven!

famous arch in cabo san lucas
El Arco in Cabo San Lucas

Activities and Attractions

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is the life of the party; get ready for excitement and adventure in this bustling city.

Known for its iconic rock formation, El Arco, you can hop on a tour to see the famous arch and maybe even catch a glimpse of some whales if you’re lucky.

When you’re ready to hit the beach, Medano Beach is where it’s at. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Crystal-clear waters perfect for a refreshing swim
  • A wide variety of tours, from jet skiing to snorkeling
  • Soft, golden sand for hours of sunbathing relaxation

Cabo San Lucas is also known for its lively nightlife, with clubs like Mandala and Crush Nightspot stealing the show.

15 Cabo Restaurants on the Beach for Seaside Dining

San Jose del Cabo

If you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation vibe, San Jose del Cabo has got your back.

Boasting artsy, artisan bars and a quieter atmosphere, this charming town lets you take a break from the hustle and bustle.

Stroll down the picturesque streets and discover the hidden gems of San Jose del Cabo.

You’ll find fascinating art galleries, colorful boutiques, and mouthwatering local cuisine waiting to be explored.

In need of some vitamin sea? Head over to Palmilla Beach, a swimmable beach with a more serene and natural feel. Here’s what awaits you:

  • Gorgeous coves with crystal-clear waters
  • Public beach club for a day of relaxation
  • Snorkeling spots teeming with marine life

Whether you’re a beach bum looking for a peaceful retreat or an art aficionado seeking creative inspiration, San Jose del Cabo offers the perfect mix of tranquility and culture for your next getaway.

Three horses on a beach of San Jose del Cabo Los Cabos Mexico
Three horses on a beach of San Jose del Cabo Los Cabos Mexico

Dining and Nightlife

When it comes to dining and nightlife in Los Cabos, there’s something to satisfy every taste.

Whether you’re looking for mouthwatering cuisine or a night out dancing, we’ve got you covered. Let’s break it down by exploring Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is the place to be if you’re into lively nightlife and delicious food. With a plethora of restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines, your taste buds will be dancing just as much as your feet.

You might find yourself enchanted by the great options, like Italian, sushi, or taco joints.

Let’s talk party scene. Cabo San Lucas is famous for its crazy clubs and wild nightlife. The vibrant atmosphere and classic spots like Mandala, Crush Nightspot, and El Squid Roe will have you dancing the night away.

Why is Cabo So Expensive? & Top Budget-Friendly Tips

San Jose del Cabo

If you’re more into laid-back vibes, San Jose del Cabo is the perfect spot. This charming town boasts a variety of delightful dining options – from traditional Mexican fare to farm-to-table eateries.

Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the ambiance of the colonial architecture and cobblestone streets.

Nightlife in San Jose del Cabo is more about casual bars, breweries, and low-key live music.

Looking for chill places to grab a drink? Check out gems like Baja Brewing Co, Dalton Gin Bar, and Nomada Bar de Origen for a more mellow experience.

This town is the perfect spot to unwind and truly enjoy the Los Cabos atmosphere.

Luxury Resort in Cabo San Lucas
Luxury Resort in Cabo San Lucas


Looking for a luxurious stay in Los Cabos that will make you want to cry tears of joy? Or maybe something budget-friendly that won’t break the bank?

Whatever your preferences are, we’ve got the inside scoop on the best places to stay in Los Cabos that meet all your needs.

But don’t wait too long – the gorgeous sunsets, sparkling beaches, and endless activities are waiting for you!

Cabo San Lucas

Get ready to relax in style; Cabo San Lucas has accommodations that cater to every taste.

You’ll find luxurious resorts along the golden sands of Medano Beach, where you can just lounge the day away in the sun.

For the budget-conscious traveler, fear not! There are also plenty of affordable hotels and hostels scattered throughout town, so you can save those pesos for more fun-filled activities.

And let’s not forget the fun little fact that Cabo San Lucas is the party capital of Los Cabos.

Many of the finest accommodations here are conveniently located near the bustling nightlife scene, so you won’t have to go far to join the fiesta.

16 Best Golf Courses in Cabo San Lucas

San Jose Del Cabo

If you prefer a quieter, more authentic Mexican experience, then San Jose del Cabo is the place for you.

The accommodations here are just as amazing, but they come with a sprinkle of tradition and a generous dollop of charm.

From quaint bed and breakfasts nestled in cobblestone streets to top-notch resorts boasting serene vibes, San Jose del Cabo has got you covered.

Being the older, calmer sibling of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo boasts a romantic atmosphere, perfect for couples and families alike.

Steeped in history and colonial architecture, this town will undoubtedly make you fall in love with Mexico’s rich culture.

The stunning art walk that takes place every week in the city’s art district is practically the cherry on top!

Roads in Cabo San Lucas
Roads in Cabo San Lucas

Transportation and Accessibility

Los Cabos is a playground for adventurers and relaxation-seekers alike, boasting everything from scuba diving in crystal-clear waters to lounging on pristine beaches.

The distance between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas is a mere 20 miles, and the Tourist Corridor Highway easily connects the two towns.

But the key to unlocking this paradise lies in how you get around – wasting precious minutes hailing a taxi or struggling with foreign roads can mean the difference between an unforgettable experience and a missed opportunity.

Don’t let that happen to you – read on to discover the best tips for navigating Los Cabos like a pro.

Cabo San Lucas

Ready to explore Los Cabos? In Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find a bunch of ways to move about. From public buses to taxis, everything’s easy-peasy!

Hop on the purple and yellow Ruta del Desierto bus for a budget-friendly option, running between Cabo and San Jose del Cabo. It’s just under $2 USD and runs every 8-10 minutes.

Need a faster or cozier ride? Give the blue and green taxi vans a try. They operate 24/7 in Cabo San Lucas and are never too far away.

15 Best Cabo Party Resorts for Wild Vacation Vibes

San Jose del Cabo

Next up, let’s discuss getting around in the charming San Jose del Cabo. Just like Cabo San Lucas, you can use the same dependable and affordable Ruta del Desierto bus for a smooth transit between the two towns.

If you’re in the mood to level up, catch a red or yellow taxi van that operates within San Jose del Cabo.

Available around the clock, these vibrant rides will quickly become your go-to travel buddies.

Final Thoughts

We hope our little exploration of Los Cabos vs Cabo San Lucas has left you feeling more knowledgeable and excited about these two destinations.

Whether you’re seeking the ultimate tequila-tasting experience or trying to decide between Cancun vs Cabo for your next vacation, there’s no denying that Mexico offers endless possibilities for adventure and relaxation.

And don’t forget to dive into our Cabo travel archives to start planning your next epic adventure.