If you’re planning a trip to Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula soon, you might be wondering — is there a difference between Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and Los Cabos?
Well, we’re glad you asked! If you haven’t visited Cabo before, the differences between each destination can be a little confusing. We’re here to provide insight into this commonly asked question to ensure you end up in the right place for your vacation to Baja California Sur.
What Makes San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, and Los Cabos Different?
Cabo San Lucas is not the same as Los Cabos, but it is related to the Los Cabos region. Here is the breakdown of each location and a map of Los Cabos, Mexico, to show the visual differences between the three destinations.
Los Cabos refers to both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo and the Los Cabos Corridor (or Tourist Corridor) that stretches between both locations. Los Cabos is located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Other popular tourist destinations in Baja California Sur near Los Cabos include Todos Santos, Cabo Pulmo, and La Paz (where you can swim with whale sharks).
Both cities in the Los Cabos municipality — Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo — are serviced by the Los Cabos International Airport. Los Cabos International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in Mexico and greets between four to five million visitors annually. The Los Cabos Airport is about a 30-minute drive from San Jose del Cabo and a 40-minute drive from Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is situated on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula and is the most popular tourist destination in Los Cabos. Most visitors find themselves staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Downtown Cabo San Lucas, located near popular tourist attractions like the Arch of Cabo San Lucas (El Arco), Lover’s Beach, and Medano Beach.
San José del Cabo
San Jose del Cabo is a tranquil town about 20 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas. Though it is generally less popular than Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo offers its own unique personality and flair and is worth a visit during your trip to Los Cabos. Popular attractions in and near San Jose del Cabo include Plazere Mijares, Costa Azul Beach, and Flora Farms.
The Tourist Corridor is a 20-mile stretch that connects the two towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo — and it’s a destination all on its own. There are dozens of authentic Mexican restaurants, world-class golf courses, luxurious resorts, and other notable attractions in the Los Cabos area along the Corridor.
Los Cabos Mexico Map
Comparing Cabo San Lucas & San Jose del Cabo
These are some of the primary differences and similarities between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo to help you choose the right vacation destination.
Cabo San Lucas offers a bustling downtown area filled with all-inclusive luxury hotels, multiple restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and lively entertainment, including popular events like fishing tournaments and Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash. If you’re looking for an action-packed vacation with plenty to do, Cabo San Lucas will likely be your preferred destination.
San Jose del Cabo is much quieter and more “authentic” than Cabo San Lucas. The town boasts a vibrant art scene, quaint boutique shops, art galleries, traditional restaurants, and a charming colonial main square that dates back to the 1700s. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation and relaxed atmosphere, you might prefer San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas.
Beaches & Water Activities
Los Cabos is known for its pristine beaches and dramatic rock formations along the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez. While you’ll find beautiful beaches in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo — there are some notable differences to keep in mind.
Cabo San Lucas is home to the best swimming beaches in Los Cabos, including Medano Beach, Lover’s Beach, and the Cannery Beaches. You can also board a water taxi from the Cabo San Lucas Marina to visit the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, where you can enjoy fun activities like snorkeling, kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours, and sunset sailing excursions.
Though there aren’t as many swimmable beaches in San José del Cabo, there are still plenty of opportunities to get “out” on the water, including jet skiing, marlin fishing, and whale-watching tours. However, if spending time splashing around in the waves is on your mind — you’d be better off staying in Cabo San Lucas, where many resorts offer beachfront access to swimmable beaches!
If you’re staying in Downtown San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas, you can walk to most restaurants, shops, beaches, and other major attractions. If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, you won’t have to worry about leaving the property much at all.
However, if you’re planning to drive between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo or would like to spend a considerable amount of time along the Tourist Corridor — you will need a rental car. There are also local buses that run up and down the Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo every 10–20 minutes for just a few pesos per person, and there are other public transportation options, like taxis, that can take you between both destinations.
Is Cabo San Lucas the same as Los Cabos in terms of weather? Well, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are located extremely close together, so each city experiences similar weather patterns.
Generally speaking, the weather is hot, dry, and sunny in Los Cabos, with the most rain occurring during the hurricane season from June to September. The winter months of December to April are the most popular times to visit Los Cabos, and the shoulder season during the spring (May and June) is a great time to visit for beautiful weather with fewer crowds and lower prices.
Stay in the Perfect Beachfront Location in Los Cabos with Cabo Rentals by Jane
If you’re planning your first trip to Los Cabos, we recommend staying in the bustling, vibrant city of Cabo San Lucas! It is near all the major attractions and also planning some time to explore all that the Tourist Corridor and San Jose del Cabo have to offer on a few well-planned day trips.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Cabo San Lucas, we would love to host you at Cabo Rentals by Jane. Our stunning penthouses, panoramic ocean villas, and beachfront rentals at the Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa offer numerous amenities and convenient access to the top attractions in Los Cabos — including the Arch of Cabo San Lucas and Medano Beach.
Browse all our properties to find the perfect location for your upcoming vacation, and if you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to us — we would love to hear from you!
Your Cabo Adventure Begins Here! Secure your piece of paradise by booking your luxury rental with Cabo Rentals by Jane.