San José del Cabo

Photo of San José del Cabo

About San José del Cabo

Nestling quietly by a long stretch of white sandy shoreline on the edge of the Sea of Cortes lies San Jose del Cabo, an elegant colonial town full of art, good food and wildlife. Days can be spend spotting birds on San Jose's estuary, exploring 18th century churches, sunbathing on the Playa Palmilla or scuba diving amidst coral reefs and shipwrecks. The best places to stay in San Jose del Cabo tend to be chic seaside properties ideal for simply unwinding in.

Often compared to its wild and noisesome neighbour, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo is its more retiring, intellectually-curious and elegant sister. Dating back to the early 18th century, the town was founded after the Jesuits colonised the area and built a fort to protect against marauding pirates. The murals in City Hall show depictions of Old Baja and are well worth seeing if you're curious about the inception of the town. The architecture is largely of an elegant Spanish colonial-era style and like all Spanish colonial towns, there is a wide plaza - the epicentre of the community - where musicians play and locals gossip. In the plaza lies the church, the Mission San Jose Church, a beautiful 18th century building.

The beaches shine golden in the bright sunshine. The Zona Hotelera, a few kilometers stretch of white sand, contains countless beaches, lapped by enormous waves ideal for surfing. The Playa Palmilla is the most popular, while the Playa Santa Maria offers more intimacy and seclusion. If you head out to the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, you will be able to kayak or scubadive amongst shipwrecks and coral reefs, while sealife swims beneath you. Amongst all the untamed palm-lined lagoons is the San Jose Estuary and Bird Sanctuary - a must-see - where 200 species of bird make their home.

What not to miss

  • San José del Cabo has numerous charming buildings, but the Mission San José del Cabo is the one the whole city was built around. Founded in 1790 it was rebuilt in 1940 but is still a highlight of the historic district.
  • The Church of San Lucas and the market place are particularly pleasing.
  • Nearby you’ll also find some rather nice galleries exhibiting work by local artists.
  • Bask in the sunshine while reading a good book on the Playa Palmilla beach.
  • East of the city is the San José Estuary, which is known as a home for hummingbirds, ibis and herons - among many others. San José del Cabo is also close to several annual whale migration routes.
  • If you're in town between November and June, take part in the Art Walk, when the streets teem with wine tastings, galleries, arts and craft and street musicians.
  • As well as the charms of San José del Cabo you should also see the coastline. Land’s End is a particularly picturesque spot, a ground of rock formations carved by the wind and waves, and with incredible views. This is also a good place to see sea lions.
  • This stretch of coastline is also known worldwide as a fishing and diving/ snorkelling destination.

To start planning your trip to this coastal haven browse through our collection of the best places to stay in San Jose del Cabo.

The Best Places to Stay in San José del Cabo

Seaside charm

  • One & Only Palmilla: a large and luxurious oceanfront property with 173 stunning rooms and suites, all decorated in Mexican design. Rooms have a balcony or private terrace, and there are four restaurants.
  • Villa Del Faro: far out of town sitting by a deserted private beach ideal for spotting whales, this picturesque property offers rooms that marry old-world elegance with modern luxuries. The rooms are full of beautiful antiques, the views are to-die-for and the restaurant is fabulous.

Contemporary style

  • Mar Adentro: an architecturally striking property with sea views. Outside there’s stunning white sand, two oceanfront pools and glorious terraces, and inside it’s all glass and designer furniture. There’s also a spoiling spa.
  • El Ganzo: modern and trendy, with plenty of glass, again, and also plenty of modern art. There’s a rooftop pool with marina views and the hotel has its own art gallery. Adults only.

Value chic

  • Casa Natalia: offering chic and simply decorated accommodation with splashes of local artwork, in a great location just 15 minutes from the beach. There’s a roof terrace perfect for sundowners.

Prefer an Apartment or Villa?

  • Our partner booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel Information

  • The regional airport, Los Cabos International Airport, is just outside San José del Cabo. From the airport, the best way to get to your hotel is by shuttle bus.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • San José del Cabo has an arid climate, with rain a scarcity confined to late summer and maximum daily average temperatures ranging from a pleasant 26°C in January to 34°C in July and August.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in San José del Cabo

  • Casa Natalia 19 rooms from £102

    San José del Cabo (Centro)

    Casa Natalia is situated in Los Cabos Old Town, a 15 minute walk from the beach. It features chic and simply decorated accommodation with local artwork adding a splash of colour. Be sure to enjoy a drink or two on their wonderful rooftop terrace and take in the views! A charming and friendly stay.

    Foodies  -  Their Mi Cocina restaurant serves up delicious cuisine blending local dishes with European influences
    Local exploring  -  Wander through the quaint Centro Historico and get a feel for Los Cabos
    Great walks  -  Explore the city's streets or head down to the beach at sunset and take a leisurely stroll enjoying the views
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Villa Del Faro 8 rooms from £123

    San José del Cabo (B C S)

    The lovechild of twelve Californian artists, set in a glorious spot overlooking azure waters and surrounded by the desert. Packed full of charming antique pieces and with each room boasting enormous windows to marvel at the glorious views. Serving exemplary Mexican fare. The perfect getaway.

    Back to Nature  -  Set in a lush garden overlooking a deserted beach (where one can spot whales) and surrounded by the desert.
    Birdwatching  -  Spot ormorants, brown pelican, the rare Least Tern and sandpipers on the coastline.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • El Ganzo 69 rooms from £161

    San José del Cabo (SAN JOSE DEL CABO, LOS CABOS)

    An oh-so trendy contemporary hotel overlooking the marina. Chic rooms feature large terraces, plenty of glass, white on white style and modern art. A rooftop pool is the perfect place to sip a cocktail by and the art gallery is the 'piece de la resistance'. An achingly cool property.

    City Style  -  A harbour side property complete with art gallery, chic contemporary style and rooftop pool.
    Fishing  -  The nearby ATV adventures offers deep-sea fishing excursions.
    Sailing  -  Spend a memorable day at sea searching for whales.
    Restrictions on children  -  An adult only property.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Mar Adentro 110 rooms from £231

    Zona Hotelera. San José del Cabo

    An architecturally striking property overlooking a pristine white beach. Find stunning contemporary design throughout, all white on white, plenty of glass and designer furniture. Boasting four chic restaurants, two ocean front pools and an utterly spoiling spa. Luxury defined.

    Beach Life  -  A seriously chic beach property for those seeking a dose of luxury.
    Surfing  -  A well known area for excellent waves.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet
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  • One & Only Palmilla 173 rooms from £627

    San José del Cabo (San Jose Del Cabo)

    This luxurious oceanfront property lies a few miles outside San José del Cabo. The stunning rooms and suites are decorated in a Mexican design with light hues and each has a patio or balcony. The hotel also boasts 4 top-notch restaurants that are each worth trying! A truly remarkable place to stay.

    Diving  -  Scuba diving and deep sea fishing is available.
    Outstanding location
    Spa
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
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