Baja Browsing: The 10 Best Shopping Centers in Los Cabos



There are several large shopping malls and plazas in Los Cabos, most notably Puerto Paraíso and Luxury Avenue on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, Plaza Sendero in the Delegation area of Cabo San Lucas, Plaza San Lucas in the Tourist Corridor, and the Mega mall complex in downtown San José del Cabo. Soriana, the primary store at Plaza Sendero, and Mega in San José (there is now a second location in San Lucas) are both chain-style grocery and sundry stores, and therefore of much more interest to locals than tourists.

For short-term visitors to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Paraíso and Luxury Avenue are by far the most popular malls for souvenir hunting and shopping for resort necessities such as swimwear, sunglasses and warm weather apparel. Puerto Paraíso and Luxury Avenue are located next to each other on the marina boardwalk, with the latter catering to higher end clientele interested in luxury brands like Fendi and Cartier. Plaza Bonita, nearby, also features clothing boutiques and arts and crafts galleries, but is perhaps best known for housing the city's only Starbuck's and Burger King franchises.

Plaza San Lucas is located in the Tourist Corridor that connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, and is popular with both locals and visitors, primarily due to the diversity of offerings at Walmart. In San José, Plaza Artesanos is a mandatory stop for souvenir hunters, with over 75 vendors selling authentic Mexican arts and crafts.



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As the closest plaza to the cruise ship terminal, Plaza Gali is sort of a microcosm of the larger Cabo San Lucas shopping experience. All the types of shops one can expect to find downtown - jewelry stores, arts and crafts purveyors, pharmacies, sunglasses boutiques, duty free shops - are found here first. Tourist-oriented food and drink options too are on hand, including a Starbucks coffee kiosk, and a Señor Frog's bar and grill. Activities can also be arranged, most notably at Manta, one of the area's premier dive shops. There is even an OXXO (a Mexican convenience store similar to 7-11 in the U.S.), where one can grab cold drinks and snacks.


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Plaza Aramburo is only a block or so off the marina, and houses the largest grocery store in the touristy area of Cabo San Lucas. The store, also called Aramburo, carries a variety of goods, from fresh bread to canned foods, dairy, deli meats, beach needs, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, liquor, bottled water and produce. For many years, there were high tourist mark-ups on items, but the appearance of City Club, Mega, Sam's Club, Soriana and Walmart, who offered many of the same things at lower prices, has brought prices down at Aramburo. The plaza is also home to a bank, a bar, a pharmacy and a small hotel called Las Margaritas Inn.


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A familiar name for U.S. visitors, popular warehouse club Costco honors both U.S. and Canadian memberships at its Los Cabos store. The club is located in the Tourist Corridor, a few miles outside Cabo San Lucas, and has perhaps the most spectacular parking lot views of any chain store in North America. In addition to bulk supplies of many household necessities, Costco stocks beachwear and clothing, beauty and healthcare items, groceries, wine and liquors, and has an onsite bakery, pharmacy, optical center and snack bar. Visitors must be members to make purchases, but yearly memberships are available at reasonable rates (individual memberships are 450 pesos, or about $28 U.S.).


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Plaza Bonita

 

Plaza Bonita is one of the larger shopping plazas in Cabo San Lucas. It's located on the marina boardwalk, near Puerto Paraíso, and counts among its tenants several popular nightclubs (Knotty Social Club, Nowhere Bar) and restaurants (Alexander, Tiki Bar), the town's only Starbuck's and Burger King franchises, as well as a clothing boutique (Dos Lunas) and galleries showcasing traditional Mexican arts and crafts. The courtyard is spacious, and a condo complex sits atop several commercial properties, offering superb views of the Cabo San Lucas Marina. The condos are often available for rental by the week or month, and guests have access to a communal terrace with a pool, hot tub and outdoor grill.


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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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Plaza San Lucas is best known to locals as the home of Walmart. The shopping center is located just outside of Cabo San Lucas, and in addition to larger stores like Walmart, also houses La Europea, a well-stocked deli and premium wine and liquor store, as well as Radio Shack, GNC, and numerous clothing, swimwear and sunglasses boutiques. There is also a food court with various offerings, including sushi, as well as a small bakery. This is one of the best "find anything" shopping centers in Los Cabos, and from time to time there will be a circus set up across from the parking lot, or a bungee jumping crane.


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Plaza Sendero is a bit off-the-beaten-track for tourists, just past the bus station in Cabo San Lucas, on the highway to Todos Santos. The expansive mall is extremely popular with locals, however, and offers a large selection of clothing boutiques, specialty shops and food court options. Soriana is the best known shop at Plaza Sendero, and this grocery and general goods store carries just about anything visitors might need, as well as offering delivery options. The onsite cinema complex shows first run movies in English and Spanish, and the food court offers plenty of dining options. Parking is always available.


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Las Tiendas de Palmilla

 

Las Tiendas de Palmilla is better known among American and Canadians as The Shoppes at Palmilla, but under either name it's one of the better upscale commercial complexes in Los Cabos. The small shopping center is located in the Palmilla resort community just outside of San José del Cabo, near the exclusive ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, and it is home to fine food (Nick-San, Cream Café, Chin's Chinese, Blue Fish Seafood), fine furnishings (Antigua de México), and high-end real estate offices (Engel and Volkers, Snell Real Estate), as well as galleries (Pez Gordo Galería) and boutiques (Casa Vieja, SAX), and the only U.S. consular agent in Los Cabos.


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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 the red carpet that is frequently used to guide the chosen few from the marina boardwalk up the stairs to Cabo's most prestigious address. Luxury Avenue is located in the heart of what is referred to as the Marina Golden Zone, and it is certainly the area's most expensive shopping center. If you need to pick up a trendy Fendi Bag or the latest fashions from Salvatore Ferragamo, this is the place to go. Luxury Avenue is home to chic boutiques from around the world, including Chopard, Cartier, Montblanc, Ultrafemme and Ultrajewels. There is another Luxury Avenue location in Cancún.


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Cabo San Lucas' large Marina-based mall is a multi-level complex with an excellent variety of shops, boutiques and galleries. General services and sundries are also available, including an onsite pharmacy and a bank. Puerto Paraíso hosts many fine arts and crafts galleries offering handmade goods from México and beyond, and there are a large number of clothing boutiques featuring the latest swimwear and resort style clothing. Dining options are noteworthy, with upscale American chain Ruth's Chris Steak House, and top local restaurants like Señor Sweets and Baja Brewing Company. A food court was also recently opened on the mezzanine level. Entertainment options include a 10-theater cinema. Individual business hours vary.


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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

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