Best Christmas Shopping in Los Cabos, 2015

Los Cabos has plenty of holiday shopping options sure to please vacationing snowbirds of either sex. Women spending the winter months south of the border will undoubtedly appreciate gift-wrapped boxes from Diamonds International, the world's largest duty free jewelry store, as well as custom creations from shops such as Magic of the Moon and AB Designs. The former is the finest women's clothing boutique in Cabo San Lucas, while the latter is commonly considered the area's top stop for personalized, custom made jewelry. Bikinis and beachwear from Zingara also make excellent stocking stuffers.

For men, premium tequilas and cigars from J&J Habanos are perennially popular options, as are fishing rods, surf boards and other beach and boat related playthings. Minerva's Baja Tackle remains the best spot in Cabo San Lucas to pick up fishing gear for the guys, while Cabo Surf Shop offers the best selection of boards in Los Cabos, as well as board shorts and other tropical resort style clothing. Diamonds International, meanwhile, is not just a favorite of the fair sex. The area's top duty free jeweler also maintains a superb inventory of men's watches, including upscale timepieces from producers like Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Bertolucci, Cartier, Corum, Girard-Perregaux, Longines and Movado.


Paquimé is a leading local folk art gallery that specializes in Mata Ortiz pottery and Huichol Indian art. The village of Mata Ortiz is located in Chihuahua, near the ancient Mesoamerican city of Paquimé, where traditional pottery has been practiced without benefit of a potter's wheel for over a thousand years. Paquimé Gallery takes its name from this ancient city, and features some superb pieces from modern Mata Ortiz master Juan Quezada. In contrast, the Huichol Indians hail from the Sierra Madre mountains and are noted for their striking Pre-Columbian style art, which often featuring animal figures adorned with colorful yarn and beads. Contemporary Mexican art is also showcased at the gallery.

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What's the essence of the Los Cabos style? Puerto Paraíso Mall based boutique Cabo Style is the place to find out. From swimsuits and flip flops to shirts, sunglasses and upscale tropical fashions, Cabo Style has all the gear you'll need to hit the local beaches, dine at the coolest seaside restaurants, and party at the most popular late night bars and clubs. Need white linen trousers or a pair of Quicksilver shades? No worries. And unlike other local clothing shops, which primarily cater to women, Cabo Style has excellent options for the entire family, including souvenir t-shirts for kids.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This is must stop shopping for those seeking to adopt the signature Los Cabos style.

Chris's expert tip: Cabo Style has a great selection of flip flops and sandals.

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Fittingly quartered at the boutique Cabo Surf Hotel on Acapulquito Beach, Mike Doyle's Cabo Surf Shop is the preferred provider all the apparel and rentals needed for the perfect Baja Sur surf vacation. Forget trying to bring your board on the airplane. Instead, reserve rentals here for all the best equipment, from Surftech to INT Soft Boards. Browse the latest fashions in board shorts, or long boards, short boards, soft boards, boogie boards and stand up paddleboards (SUP). Cabo Surf also boasts an onsite surf school, with classes for novices. Try the three day clinic, or rent lessons by the hour. All instructors are certified by NSSIA (National Surf Schools & Instructors Association).

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Cabo Surf Shop has an excellent selection of boards, board shorts, and other surfing apparel and accessories.

Chris's expert tip: The hotel's onsite restaurant, 7 Seas Seafood Grill, boasts great breakfasts, so get some ballast before you hit the waves.

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Minerva's has been in Cabo San Lucas for over 35 years - since before the city's Marina was built - and remains one of the most trusted local charter fishing operations. 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 many top lures, such as Black Bart, Zuker, Williamson, Rapala, Braid and Yo-Zuri.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Minerva's is the best fishing gear shop in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: The store stocks many top lures, including Black Bart, Zuker, Williamson, Rapala, Braid and Yo-Zuri.

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One of the best women's beachwear boutiques in Los Cabos, Zingara showcases a large selection of swimwear, dresses, cover-ups, shoes and accessories such as hats and handbags. Zingara sources only fine Italian fabrics, and each seasonal swim and beachwear collection is based on a blend of bold patterns and the best available materials. From hats and flats to tunics, dresses, skirts, shorts and pareos, this is one of the signature local shops for women's resort-style fashions. Zingara even has its own jewelry collection, with bracelets, earrings and necklaces that are perfect for sun-drenched days on Playa El Médano or Lover's Beach.

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The walk-in humidor at J&J 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 Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta. Prices aren't cheap for top brands, but aficionados can still find a nice Cuban in a medium ring gauge for under $10 U.S. In addition to its unmatched array of international cigars, 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 popular fixtures at the store's gorgeous old wooden bar, and espresso drinks are also available.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: J&J Habanos has the best selection of Cuban 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.

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Angel Barrera and his family have been making jewelry in Cabo San Lucas for over 15 years, using a technique called lost-wax casting. Barrera's collection primarily consists of gold and silver rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces, with most pieces featuring settings of fire opal, chryssocola or factory tanzanite. AB Designs is located on Miguel Hidalgo - half a block from the town square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes - and the custom creations are on display in the gallery, next door to Barrera's workshop. The staff at AB Designs is happy to clean or authenticate jewelry, and educational seminars can arranged for those wishing to learn more about Mexican jewelry, as well as the process of lost-wax casting.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: AB Designs is the top custom jewelry maker in Cabo San Lucas.

Chris's expert tip: Custom-made jewelry can sometimes be completed in as little as 24 hours, although matching pieces for destination wedding parties and other large groups takes a bit more time.

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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, with each visitor walked through a series of questions, colors, fittings until they have something completely unique, and perfectly tailored to their complexion and personality.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Magic of the Moon boasts the premier women's clothing boutiques 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.

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Welcome to souvenir central. Set in downtown San José del Cabo, Plaza Artesanos is home to dozens of vendors selling authentic Mexican jewelry, clothing, tote bags, rugs and ceramics. This is one-stop shopping for tourists looking for high-quality, yet affordable keepsakes in a comfortable atmosphere without any hard sell tactics. There is plenty of gold and silver jewelry, as well as hand-stitched dresses, hats, masks, religious iconography, tequila, and just about every kind of trinket imaginable. The plaza itself is clean and airy, and a great place to spend an afternoon, with plenty of benches and shade-giving umbrellas. The complex also houses a coffee shop and pharmacy.

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Diamonds International
Photo courtesy of Chris Sands

With over 125 stores internationally, including a trio in Los Cabos, Diamonds International is the world's largest duty-free jeweler. The company sources stones from the world's largest diamond mines, and offers them at the best possible value. Shop locations near the cruise port, in downtown Cabo San Lucas, and at Puerto Paraíso Mall for rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and pendants featuring emeralds, opals, pearls, rubies, diamonds and tanzanite. In terms of memorable gifts for men and women, from birthstone gems to eternity bands, this is the top shopping destination in Los Cabos. Outstanding collections of engagement rings and wedding bands, as well as great gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen, are also available.

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Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is co-founder of CaboVivo, co-writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to 10Best at USA Today, as well as other websites and publications. His specialty is...  More About Chris