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Destination Guide: San José del Cabo

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Allianz - San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

When they hear “Los Cabos,” many travelers think of the large resorts and rowdy bars of Cabo San Lucas. But there’s another, more seductive side of this part of Baja California: the town of San José del Cabo.

There, you’ll find dramatic seascapes, luxe resorts, art galleries, and beautiful beaches (be aware, however, that steep drop-offs and strong currents make most beaches unsafe for swimming). Best of all, it’s just a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Los Angeles.

Travelers are beginning to catch on. San José del Cabo was the second most popular international destination for American travelers in summer 2022, Allianz Partners research found.1 Want to visit? Here’s the quick guide to the best sights, resorts and restaurants in San José del Cabo.

3 reasons you should always buy travel insurance for Mexico

  1. You don’t want to get hit with huge medical bills. U.S. health insurance is generally not accepted in Mexico. Instead, most healthcare providers require payment up front. Some private hospitals in tourist areas may even check a patient’s credit card limit, rapidly bill for services up to that limit, then discharge the patient to a public hospital, the U.S. Department of State warns.2 The best way to protect yourself? Get travel insurance with emergency medical benefits.
  2. Travel delays are becoming more and more common. If your flight gets canceled or delayed, trip delay benefits can make everything better by reimbursing necessary expenses. Plans with SmartBenefits® can automatically pay you $100 per insured person, per day if you experience a covered travel delay or baggage delay (up to the maximum no-receipts limit). No receipts are required — just proof of the delay.
  3. Trip cancellation benefits can save your vacation. Life happens, and sometimes your long-awaited trip gets called off at the last minute. Trip cancellation benefits can reimburse prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason.

What’s the best travel insurance plan for Mexico? OneTrip Prime is our most popular plan for international vacations, with a broad slate of benefits. If you’re planning more than two getaways this year, you could save money with an AllTrips annual travel insurance plan.

Don’t forget to download the free Allianz TravelSmart app. This intuitive travel app helps you easily access your policy, track flights, get travel alerts, and contact 24-hour assistance.

3 fun things to do in San José del Cabo

  1. Stroll through the historic downtown. Peek into the lovely Parroquia San José church and visit Plaza Mijares (it’s at its liveliest on Thursday nights, when the weekly Art Walk takes place). Better yet, sign up for a walking tour to hear stories of the indigenous people, colonists and pirates who have called San José del Cabo home.
  2. Marvel at El Arco. The most recognizable landmark in Los Cabos is the stone arch that rises from the water at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. It can only be seen from the water, so book a boat trip to see it — whether a serene catamaran sail or a dinner cruise with mariachi music on the Caborey.
  3. Learn to cook authentic Baja Mexican cuisine. Sign up for a private or public class at Tamarindos, a restaurant and cooking school on a 200-year-old farm. Pick your own vegetables and herbs, then try your hand at making traditional ceviche, tamales, or even Cortez lobster chile relleno.

3 of the best resorts in San José del Cabo

Looking for a budget hotel in San José del Cabo? The Hotel Posada Real is a longtime favorite of travelers who want a simple beachfront place to stay. As long as you don’t expect newly remodeled rooms or fast WiFi, this laid-back resort is just right, with hammocks for napping and fresh sea breezes. Choose all-inclusive meals and drinks, or just the drinks-inclusive option.

A popular mid-range stay is the Cabo Azul Resort. While this resort doesn’t offer a lot of fancy amenities, it checks all the important boxes: clean, well-appointed suites, good food and warm hospitality.

If price is no object, check into the One&Only Palmilla. This five-star San José del Cabo resort is famed for its impeccable grounds, excellent food and welcoming staff. It also offers access to one of the few swimmable beaches in the area. Enjoy handcrafted tequila, homemade snacks, and fruit delivered daily to your room. For a uniquely Mexican experience, participate in the temazcal ceremony, an ancient Mayan healing practice taking place in a stone sweat lodge.

3 great restaurants in San José del Cabo

Manta serves a meal you won’t soon forget. This fine-dining spot by Chef Enrique Olvera is inspired by the cuisine of the Pacific coast, including Mexico, Peru, Japan and beyond. On the menu, you might find shrimp, scallop and octopus aguachile; fish tempura tacos; or suckling pig cochinita.

Jazmin’s Restaurant, in the artsy downtown area, serves traditional Mexican cuisine (and lots of it). It may be touristy, but that won’t stop you from enjoying the live music, inviting patio, and tamarindo margaritas.

In the mood for a cold cerveza at a beach bar? Buzzard’s Bar and Grill is everything you want it to be. Dance to a local band, drink under a palapa on the beach, and dine by candlelight. The menu is simple American and Mexican fare: tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, burgers, coconut shrimp and a famously large flan.

Ready to get away? Just remember that any time you travel overseas, you need  to protect yourself with travel insurance. Find the perfect Allianz Travel Insurance plan for you.

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Jul 13, 2022