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Expert Tips

 

Best Shopping in Cabo San Lucas

Souvenirs & Local Specialities: The Best Shopping in Los Cabos


First-time visitors to Los Cabos can’t help but notice the area’s rich abundance of jewelry stores. There seems to be at least one of them on every block, with Taxco silver and Mexican fire opals being the most frequently featured commodities. This ubiquity aside, cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo actually offer a fairly wide array of shopping options, ranging from upscale clothing boutiques and arts and crafts galleries to shopping centers and souvenir markets.

Those seeking to adopt the local style will find regionally appropriate resort clothing available at several excellent boutiques. Magic of the Moon is probably the best known, with original fashions for women from owner and designer Pepita Nelson displayed in downtown Cabo San Lucas. If the men feel excluded they can wander next door to J&J Habanos, the area’s finest purveyor of Cuban cigars, or across the street to Minerva's Baja Tackle, the top stop for big-game fishing gear like rods, reels and lures.

San José del Cabo, meanwhile, is best known for its many fine arts galleries, which are clustered around the charming cobblestone streets of its historic Gallery District. Thursday night Art Walks are a staple of San José’s seasonal events calendar, but the galleries are open on a daily basis, showcasing paintings and sculptures from talented local artists, as well as arts and crafts (Mata Ortiz pottery, beaded Huichol art, etc.) from around México.


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Pepita's Magic of the Moon
Photo courtesy of Chris Sands

Magic of the Moon is Los Cabos' best designer boutique, with ladies' fashions since 1991. Owner and designer Pepita Nelson offers original custom creations, ranging from beachwear and lingerie to skirts, slacks, formal dresses and everything in between. Designs are available in all sizes and for all ages. Matching designs for mothers and daughters are available, as is virtually everything else under the Baja sun. But it isn't just the clothing that is customized. So is the shopping experience, as each client is guided through a series of questions, colors, and fittings until they have something completely unique, and perfectly tailored to their complexion and personality.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Magic of the Moon is the best women's fashion boutique in Cabo San Lucas.

Chris's expert tip: Designs can be realized in as little as three days; yet another reason Magic of the Moon is a mandatory stop for style-conscious vacationers.

Read more about Pepita's Magic of the Moon →


The walk-in humidor at J&J Habanos (AKA La Casa del Habano) smells like a cigar aficionado's idea of heaven, not surprising since the store is the most reliable place in Los Cabos to buy Cuban cigars. Authenticity may be questionable at best at other local tobacconists, but J&J offers nothing but genuine stogies, singly or by the box, from premier Cuban producers like Montecristo, Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta. Prices aren't cheap for top brands, but affordable cigars are available, and J&J also boasts one of the largest local collections of premium 100% blue agave tequilas. Big Papa mojitos cocktails and top-shelf tequila tastings are also popular features.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: J&J Habanos is home to the best cigars in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Cigars are the focus here, and their fine staff knows etiquette and amenities. Matches and cedar strips are provided with every purchase.

Read more about J&J Habanos →


If you love fishing in Los Cabos, you probably already know about Minerva's, which has been around for over 40 years and remains one of the most trusted charter fishing operations in the area. The company also maintains a well-stocked downtown tackle shop, Minerva's Baja Tackle, that carries the area's largest supply of fishing rods, reels, lures, terminal tackle, and fishing gear and apparel. Charter fishing can be arranged from the store, including fishing licenses and boxed lunches, and this is also the go-to place for rod and reel maintenance, repair and respooling. The store stocks Calstar rods and Shimano reels, as well as top lures from Black Bart, Rapala, Yo-Zuri and others.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Minerva's is the top stop for fishing gear in Cabo San Lucas.

Chris's expert tip: Minerva has 31' and 33' Bertram sport fishers available for charter fishing outings.

Read more about Minerva's Baja Tackle →


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Iconic tequila maker Clase Azul premiered its first Los Cabos location at Shoppes at Palmilla in October 2022. For many, the highlight will be the onsite tasting bar. For souvenir shoppers, however, the highlight will definitely be the onsite Boutique, which shows off (and sells, of course) the brand's distinctive line of tequilas in their inimitable hand-painted pottery bottles. The Boutique doesn't just carry standard Clase Azul tequilas and bottles, however, but many limited editions that cannot be found anywhere else. Mexican cuisine at La Terraza, tequila cocktails at El Bar, and the Japanese style omakase sushi bar are also recommended experiences at Clase Azul Los Cabos.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is the go-to spot for those seeking top-shelf tequila (and even cooler tequila bottles) to take home as souvenirs.

Chris's expert tip: There is no telephone number to call. For questions, contact the Boutique via concierge@claseazul.com.

Read more about Clase Azul Los Cabos Boutique →


Cobalto Pottery
Photo courtesy of Cobalto Pottery

Pottery lovers take note. If you're looking for handmade Mexican pottery to take home, all of it lead-free and dishwasher safe, the go-to spot is Cobalto, a charming and colorful store that's conveniently located near the town square (Plaza Amelia Wilkes) in downtown Cabo San Lucas. Store owner Raquel Pantoja travels widely across México to find her treasures, which range from Talavera style pottery and tiles sourced from Guanajuato and Puebla, to painstakingly detailed high-temperature ceramics, whose intricate designs are hand-painted with tiny needles. In addition to pottery items like plates, bowls, vases, serving dishes, and tea sets, Cobalto also showcases Mexican themed tequila decanter and shot glass sets. Hand-painted tiles are also offered, as are a selection of handbags.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Tequila connoisseurs can shop for decanter and shot glass sets to go with their tequila (and hand-painted pottery bottles) from Clase Azul Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: This is the best pottery store in Cabo San Lucas.

Read more about Cobalto Pottery →


Luxury Avenue is a high-end, boutique mall situated next to Puerto Paraíso on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. The mall is accessible from Puerto Paraíso, but it is much more fun to walk up the steps – red carpet accessorized on special occasions – to Cabo's most prestigious address, and what is certainly the area's most exclusive (and expensive) shopping center. If you want to pick out a new watch at Tag Heuer, or browse the latest fashions from Salvatore Ferragamo or Caroline Herrera, this is the place to go. Luxury Avenue is home to chic boutiques from around the world, including Longchamp, Montblanc, Victoria's Secret, Lacoste, Ultrafemme and Ultrajewels. There is another Luxury Avenue location in Cancún.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Luxury Avenue is the most exclusive and expensive shopping mall in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Shops and boutiques are accessible from the interior of Puerto Paraíso.

Read more about Luxury Avenue →


Cabo San Lucas' large Marina-based mall is a multi-level complex with an excellent variety of shopping destinations. Puerto Paraíso hosts many fine arts and crafts galleries offering handmade goods from México and beyond, plus a large number of clothing boutiques featuring the latest swimwear, sunglasses, and resort style clothing. Drinking and dining options are also noteworthy: Ruth's Chris and other marina facing restaurants, as well as a recently installed food court on the mezzanine level. Entertainment options include a 10-theater cinema, Cinemex, which also serves as a host site during the annual Los Cabos International Film Festival. General services and sundries are also available, from an onsite bank branch with ATMs to a money changing station.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Puerto Paraíso is the most popular tourist mall in Cabo San Lucas.

Chris's expert tip: The third-floor theater, Cinemex, has movies in both English and Spanish. Theater 4 has the reclining chairs.

Read more about Puerto Paraiso Shopping Mall →


Zen-Mar Gallery
Photo courtesy of Chris Sands

The finest folk art store, bar none, in Cabo San Lucas, Zen-Mar offers much more than simply masks. But, yes, there are masks aplenty here – from wooden carvings to hand-painted ceramics – displayed throughout much of Zen-Mar's gallery in downtown Cabo San Lucas. Work is sourced from around mainland México, with some forms native to specific regions. The gallery's exceptional tree bark wall hangings (papel amate) are made in Puebla, for example, while many masks, figurines, textiles, and table linens are created in Oaxaca, the state the gallery's owner originally hails from. Day of the Dead themed calaveras and Catrina figures are also also offered, as are rugs, decorative Mexican mirrors, and other artisanal treasures.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is the best arts and crafts gallery in Cabo San Lucas.

Chris's expert tip: This family-owned gallery has an exceedingly helpful staff, who can offer background on the origin of each mask or other craftwork.

Read more about Zen-Mar Gallery →


Baja California Sur suffers no shortage of regional art and artists. Pacific Coast pueblo mágico Todos Santos has been home to a thriving artists' colony since the mid-1980s, and San José del Cabo, the traditional cultural hub of the Los Cabos municipality, has long nurtured its own fertile bohemian scene. In San José, the colorful imagination and skill of local artists is evident in the many galleries clustered in the city's Gallery District, a charming and beautifully maintained old neighborhood located only a few blocks from the main square, Plaza Mijares. The Gallery District famously hosts a Thursday night Art Walk (every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., November through June), with galleries throwing open their doors to the public, and artists, musicians and other street performers crowding the cobblestone streets of the historic neighborhood to showcase their talents. Art Walk is a signature "must see" event, but the truth is that the galleries are open virtually every day, spotlighting vibrant paintings and sculptures from top area artists, as well as notable arts and crafts from around México.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: San José del Cabo's historic Gallery District is one of the best neighborhoods in Los Cabos for arts and crafts shopping.

Chris's expert tip: For a listing of the top local galleries and their specialties, visit the Gallery District's website at www.artcabo.com.

Read more about Gallery District in San Jose del Cabo →


Sometimes referred to as Las Tiendas de Palmilla, but better known among American and Canadians as The Shoppes at Palmilla, this upscale shopping center is, under any name, one of the finest in Los Cabos. Located in the Palmilla resort community just outside of San José del Cabo, near the exclusive ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, The Shoppes at Palmilla is home to fine food (Nick-San, Cream Café, Chin's Chinese, Blue Fish Seafood), fine jewelry (Talleres de los Ballesteros), and high-end real estate offices (Engel and Volkers), as well as chic arts and crafts galleries (Pez Gordo, Pietra Gallery) and trendy boutiques (Lago, SAX). It's also the site of Clase Azul Los Cabos, and the only U.S. consular agent in Los Cabos.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Shoppes at Palmilla is the best upscale shopping complex in the Tourist Corridor that connects Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.

Chris's expert tip: The local U.S. Consular Agency is located at The Shoppes at Palmilla. For after-hours emergencies, call the U.S. number (619) 692-2154.

Read more about The Shoppes at Palmilla →


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Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the Cabo San Lucas local expert for the USA Today travel website 10 Best, writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to numerous websites and publications,...  More About Chris

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