Medano Beach has the resorts, and the Marina has the charter boats, but the downtown area of Cabo San Lucas is the heart and soul of the city. This is where you find traditional arts and crafts, traditional Mexican food, and much more affordable prices as you move away from the tourist neighborhoods. The best budget hotels are found in downtown San Lucas, and the best shopping as well. But the neighborhood is probably best known for its rowdy nightlife, and popular cantinas such as Cabo Wabo and El Squid Roe offer plenty of late night fun.
See & Do
Most fishing and water sports activities companies are located on Medano Beach or the Marina, but many inland tour and adventure companies are situated downtown. Off-road racing fans will enjoy both Baja Buggys and Wide Open Cabo. Baja Buggys has offices near the town square, but offers dune buggy adventures north of Cabo, with tours that explore beach, canyon, and mountain terrains. The full Baja 1000 experience is available through Wide Open, which also features single and multiday excursions in their off-road race cars. Beginners will want to start with the Taste of Baja, a three hour introduction to off-road racing, or the lunch run from San Lucas to Todos Santos, with a pit stop at the famed Hotel California.
While the tourist districts are rich in restaurants featuring creative chefs and innovative fusion menus, the downtown neighborhood is known for traditional Mexican cuisine. From taquerias to family-oriented seafood restaurants, this area is heaven for those who wish to experience honest and authentic regional food. Early risers will want to enjoy the chilaquiles and local color at Lolita's, a charming restaurant located just off the beaten tourist path. Los Tres Gallos has arguably the finest traditional Mexican cuisine in Los Cabos, and El Torito de los Mariscos is a favorite among locals for their seafood dishes and collection of hot sauces.
Cabo has a well-earned reputation for rowdy clubs and late night revelry. Live music is popular here, from Cabo Wabo Cantina, which features frequent appearances from owner Sammy Hagar and some of his famous friends, to performances by local bands at Jungle Bar, Cabo Blue, and Cabo Lounge. Faraway, a bar owned by three former professional surfers, straddles the line, balancing local groups with the occasional cameo by big-name rock stars. El Squid Roe, meanwhile, remains the standard by which all local bars are judged, and is a mandatory late night party stop for visitors.
Although the tourist neighborhoods of Cabo San Lucas - think Medano Beach, Pedregal, and the Marina - feature superb luxury resorts, the downtown area is the best place to find reasonably priced accommodations. Cabo Inn Hotel is probably the best deal in town, with lots of colorful appointments and amenities such as a swimming pool, reading library, and wireless internet access available at very low nightly rates. Comfort Inn Los Cabos and Mar de Cortez are also excellent budget-friendly options, with the former featuring full-service lodging and a central location near Puerto Paraiso mall, and the latter hosting the best value oriented restaurant in San Lucas: Baja Peppers.
For visitors seeking traditional Mexican handicrafts, Taxco silver jewelry, and Talavera-style pottery, downtown Cabo San Lucas provides the best shopping selection, with an array of shops ranging from open-air stalls to air-conditioned boutiques. Fashion mavens will want to check out designer Pepita Nelson's creations at Magic of the Moon, featuring everything from bikinis to evening wear. Full-service grocery shopping is available at Plaza Aramburo, and the adventurous will want to explore specialty markets such as tortillerias (tortillas), pescaderias (seafood), carnicerias (meats), panaderias (pastries), and dulcerias (candies and sweets).