San Jose del Cabo | Mexico
San Jose del Cabo and Cabos San Lucas are the two halves that make up "Los Cabos" at the end of the Baja California peninsula. Cabos San Lucas provides the glitz and glam of resort life, the more popular destination of the two towns, and San Jose del Cabo provides a quiet, artsier alternative. We prefer the latter. An extra bonus, San Jose del Cabo is also slightly closer to the airport than Cabos San Lucas, reducing the time between transit and tranquility.
Where to Stay
Drift | Miguel Hidalgo 613, Centro, 23400 San José del Cabo | $99/night
A hotel set up for people who love a well designed space, but don't enjoy paying for (and don't use) the amenities of three and four star hotels. You won't miss the concierge here though - Drift welcomes you in room with a printed insider guide to San Jose del Cabo and it's surrounding area, provides coffee beans for you to make a French press each morning, and boasts a modern pool strategically placed in the center of the 8 room apartment-complex-turned-hotel for you to meet and mingle with other guests. Acapulco chairs are sprinkled throughout on rooftop terraces lined with succulents and cacti. You have your space in the fridge and can wind down at night at the mezcal bar on site, often times with the owner! Rooms are only available to book on airbnb and once you arrive it's cash only. We absolutely adored our stay and can't wait to revisit.
Insider Tip: soap is provided, but not shampoo & conditioner.
Where to Eat
San Jose del Cabo has a thriving art and farm to table restaurant scene, making it the perfect getaway for foodies and design junkies alike. Here are some of our favorites:
Lupita | Calle José María Morelos, San José del Cabo | Yummy tacos served in a charming setting. Live music on Wednesdays and very close to Drift.
Coffee Lab |(check the map drawn on the chalkboard wall in the kitchen of Drift for directions on how to get here) | Started by the architect of the design firm RIMA housed in the same building, Coffee Lab was originally created so that the architect had access to delicious coffee near his office. As a traveler you reap the benefit of it's existence. They serve Baja Beans and some of the best breakfast sandwiches we've ever had, complete with a side of yogurt and fresh fruit.
Flora Farm |Carretera Transpeninsular San José del Cabo Km. 30, Col. Las Ánimas Bajas | Known for Sunday brunch, but great for dinner. You're going to get all the style and goodness that you would at a nice Napa restaurant.
Acre | Rincon De Las Animas, Calle Camino Real S/N, Animas Bajas | Not far from Flora Farm, Acre keeps a similar vibe and is also field to table. You won't be disappointed with a visit here.
El Paisa | Blvd. Centenario S/N, Col. Centro, 23400 San José del Cabo | As much as you love farm to table, you're in Mexico and want some delicious hole in the wall tacos. We here you, and this is the place. They didn't even have a roof for a couple of months from storm damage.
What to Do
We recommend renting a car even thought it's quite expensive (ours cost $400 for a long weekend - we opted for full insurance because we didn't want to risk it). Explore the dirt roads to aguas calientes (hot springs) and waterfalls about an hour from San Jose del Cabo. Surf in Todos Santos. Swim with the whale sharks in La Paz. Go shopping. Lay on the beach. The beauty of San Jose del Cabo is its slow pace of life. It's best enjoyed without a plan.
What to Read While You're There
We wouldn't exactly call this a beach read, but since you're choosing to stay in the more off the beaten path destination, why not reflect on life with one of Mexico's greatest writers and philosophers?
If you're looking for something lighter than the Labyrinth above, The Old Gringo is a novel about an American writer and soldier who disappeared during the Mexican civil war. A classic. If you're feeling ambitious, read it in the original Spanish.
See more pictures from our time in Baja here.