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New visitors to Cabo often get confused between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas but the two cities couldn’t be any more different.
Since I moved to San Jose Del Cabo with my husband, we’ve discovered many incredible beachside resorts, including some fabulous restaurants which is why San Jose Del Cabo is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic getaway. The main beach here is lengthy and wide, ideal for those iconic long strolls on the beach. Art galleries and boutiques thrive in downtown San Jose instead of the usual kitschy tourist shops spread all over Cabo.
Cabo San Lucas and San Jose are about 25 miles apart, with Cabo facing the Pacific Ocean and San Jose situated on the Sea of Cortez. The distance between the two cities means you should carefully consider where you want to be based on the type of vacation you want.
If you’re planning a romantic trip to Baja’s peninsula, we think you should consider San Jose Del Cabo over Cabo San Lucas! Here are some reasons why a trip to San Jose Del Cabo can be very romantic.
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5 Top Things To Do In San Jose For Couples
San Jose Del Cabo Downtown Art Walk
San Jose Del Cabo’s downtown art walk is the perfect place to spend a Thursday evening. The beautiful cobblestone streets and colorful buildings set the scene for a romantic night out where you can shop for authentic Mexican artwork and artisanal products.
The art walk takes place from November to June in San Jose’s downtown square, where local artists gather to showcase a variety of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and unique creations. There is even a market with merchandise made by locals, such as chocolates, molé, and coffee.
The art gallery district surrounds the main square and during the art walk, the galleries open their doors late into the evening for wandering tourists. Some of the galleries will feature artists that you can meet and some galleries showcase live music. At the Frank Arnold Gallery, you may even be greeted with a complimentary glass of wine or tequila.
The Thursday Night Art Walk is best described as a Mexican-style block party with several nearby restaurants offering margaritas and beer to go. Of course, you are more than welcome to walk around with your drink!
Be sure to finish your night with the best and freshest churros in town, which you can pick up from a vendor in the square across the road from Mission San Jose Del Cabo.
Horseback Riding On Costa Azul Beach
Horseback riding is a fun couple’s activity no matter where it takes place, however, in San Jose Del Cabo you’ll get the chance to do it on the white sandy beaches of Costa Azul. If you really want to impress your other half, time your ride to coincide with sunset.
Costa Azul Beach is located on the tourist corridor and runs from the Grand Crystal Hotel all the way to the San Jose Del Cabo Marina (Puerto Los Cabos). This gorgeous beach is a lot more laid back than wild Medano Beach in Cabo, offering near-empty stretches of sand on most days.
So how does one go about organizing a romantic ride on Costa Azul Beach? Well, it depends if you are the type of person that enjoys vacations that go with the flow or prefers to stick to an organized schedule.
The horses and their ‘vaqueros’ hang out on Costa Azul Beach every day from about two in the afternoon until about seven or eight in the evening. All you need to do is show up at the beach and approach one of these vaqueros, who will have you hop on for a fun thirty-minute ride. If you’re lucky, your guide may even get your horse to canter.
Guides and their horses reliably turn up and wait for potential guests in front of the Krystal Grand and also further south on the beach in front of Costa Azul Resort and the Vindata.
If you would prefer to schedule an exact time for your horse riding experience, you can book through Bonanza which is one of the best local horseback riding companies in town and conveniently located in the hotel zone near Vindata Los Cabo Resort.
A thirty-minute ride costs between $30 and $50. I would recommend a very late afternoon ride (the later, the better) during the summer months because the heat can be unbearable between June and September.
Enjoy A Sunset Dinner & Cocktail At Hotel El Ganzo
El Ganzo is a chic hotel located on the waterfront by Marina Puerto Los Cabos. This ultra hip establishment has one of the funkiest restaurants in San Jose Del Cabo serving up fine dining and drinks alongside contemporary art. The vibe here is laidback and artsy with several seating areas that include a bar area, outdoor deck, fire pit lounge, and rooftop.
The spaces throughout El Ganzo have been stylishly designed and feature artwork ranging from murals and photographs to sketches by local artists. Once you’re done perusing the impressive art pieces and being wowed by the interior design, you can pop outside and get seated in the al fresco dining area.
On the dinner menu, you’ll find creative dishes like duck breast with chocolate and chipotle curry sauce and fish with bacon, saffron, and vanilla sauce, along with classics like tuna steak and ribeye.
Even if you don’t have time on your itinerary for dinner, you can always stop by for a sunset drink because the bar here serves some of the best margaritas in town! While their margaritas are great, I think the best drink here is the mezcalita, a delicious spicy concoction made with Ancho Reyes.
Sit back and sip while enjoying the cool ocean breeze on your skin as the sky turns a deep purple hue.
Skip the party scene at Cabo San Lucas and opt for a romantic retreat in San Jose Del Cabo instead. Here are the best 5 activities.
Snorkeling at Chileno Beach
Playa El Chileno is one of the best swimming and snorkeling beaches in all of Cabo. The waters at this beach are calm and tranquil, with an unbelievably lively and colorful underwater scene. Under the clear water you can expect to see a variety of fish species including Cortez Rainbow Wrasse, Sunset Wrasse, Cortez Angelfish, King Angelfish, and Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish.
While the fish are colorful, I’ll be honest and tell you that the coral isn’t as vibrantly colored, however the abundant and varied fish species will more than make up for it.
After your exciting underwater encounter, you can relax on the beach and soak up the warmth of the sun.
Chileno Beach is actually located between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas and requires some planning to get to. You will either need to rent a vehicle and drive yourself (plenty of parking), or hop on a public bus. The latter is quite easy as the local buses run frequently and stop near the Playa El Chileno parking area. Keep an eye out for the Ruta Del Desierto Bus. It’s the purple and yellow one (37 pesos/$1.75 U.S.). Uber is also an option.
Snorkeling gear can be rented on Chileno Beach for a small fee, as can chairs and umbrellas (about $20). Keep in mind though, that food and water are not available at this beach so bring your own.
If you are not a strong swimmer and prefer the company of others or don’t feel comfortable taking yourself to Chileno Beach, you can always opt for a guided tour which you can book here. Tours usually include hotel pickup and drop off, a boat ride, snorkeling equipment, and a certified guide.
Private Sunset Cruise
A sunset cruise is the perfect way to end any day here in San Jose Del Cabo and an ideal experience for couples and honeymooners.
The Sea of Cortez offers brilliant blue waters, hidden bays, and endless beaches, which you can discover aboard a luxury yacht. Starting at the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, you’ll sail out onto the ocean and follow the coastline to see Baja’s peninsula from a different perspective.
Marine life sightings, including dolphins, turtles, and leaping manta rays, are almost guaranteed, and if you happen to be out during whale season (November to April), you may even spot a humpback whale or two.
On the tours, you can enjoy snacks and a light dinner, as well as a premium open bar while you wait for the magic hour to happen. Trust me when I say that the sunsets in Cabo are out of this world!
When You Go
Getting To San Jose Del Cabo From LA
Spirit, JetBlue, United, American, Alaska, Delta and AeroMexico all fly nonstop from LAX to Los Cabos International Airport.
Start your research for flights with exclusive discounts from Scott’s Cheap Flights. Try out their free 7-day membership to save BIG money on flights. I’m not kidding. They have the best deals out there and we’ve tried them all, or so it seems. There’s no need to buy a membership (you’ll still have access to great deals).
Another excellent discount site for flights (and cars, hotels) is Expedia!
As you clear customs and pick up your baggage, make sure to ignore the onslaught of timeshare salespeople as you head toward the exit. Don’t worry about being rude when they try to engage you. Just keep walking and feel free to say “No gracias” as you wade through them.
San Jose Del Cabo is about a 10-minute drive from the airport. Rent a car or take a shuttle or a taxi to your hotel. Ubers aren’t allowed at the airport and there aren’t very many yet in the Los Cabos area.
Where To Stay In San Jose Del Cabo
Viceroy Los Cabos
For the ultimate romantic vacation, book a stay at the Viceroy, a stunning hotel located on Costa Azul Beach. The hotel features striking white architecture and a dreamy outdoor pool. All rooms come with Italian linen and vibrant ocean views. There are four different onsite restaurants to choose from, offering Mexican and international cuisine, along with three bars ready to make your favorite cocktail.
For a unique experience, consider booking a stay at Acre Resort situated in the foothills of San Jose Del Cabo. This hotel is on a lush 25-acre property and features twelve boutique treehouse rooms. Each treehouse includes a king-sized bed with a mosquito net, outdoor shower, and terrace. All stays come with a complimentary breakfast and morning yoga.
During your stay, you are more than welcome to explore the sanctuary, where you might run into resident peacocks, dwarf goats, and a burro named Burrito.
Hotel El Ganzo
Of course, you can stay at the Hotel El Ganzo. The modern stark rooms are at once artsy and luxurious, some come with ocean balcony views. The rooftop bar and Infiniti pool is a great place for any meal and a great place to chill and have a drink.
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