Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico

Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico

Planning a visit to Cabo, Mexico? This travel guide covers everything you need to know – including what to pack, things to do, where to stay, and more!

Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo make up “Los Cabos,” a resort corridor with exclusive beaches, preserved natural spaces, and an adventurous nightlife. If you’re planning a trip to this luxury destination (and you should!), here’s everything you need to know to get started.

The Ultimate Cabo, Mexico Travel Guide: What to Pack, Where to Stay, & What to Do

Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico


Transportation in Cabo

Typically, it’s easiest to fly into the Los Cabos airport (SJD) unless you are already in Mexico. Some hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport, but to really see the best of Cabo, you’ll want to rent a car. 

Keep in mind that liability insurance is mandatory when renting a car in Mexico. Loss Damage Waiver (or collision damage) is not mandatory, but before you decline this insurance, make sure your auto insurance or credit card insurance will cover you in Mexico.

If your hotel does not offer shuttle service and you do not want to rent a car, Transcabo offers airport shuttle service starting at $29 USD per person. If you are adventurous and on a very tight budget, it is possible to take the bus from the airport. See more details here.

Where to Stay in Cabo, Mexico


Where to Stay in Cabo


Casa Del Mar in Cabo San Lucas: 

Casa Del Mar sports rooms with ocean view terraces, teak furniture, and marble bathrooms. It’s a paradise of fountains and pools, and has its own private beach and championship golf courses.

This luxury boutique hotel is newly renovated with three gourmet restaurants on site. Each menu features a selection of organic ingredients from their vegetable and herb garden. With impeccable service, saltwater pools, a swim up bar, and stunning ocean views, this 5-star resort has something for everyone.

Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico


El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo:

Art and culture enthusiasts will find live musical performances and curated art exhibits at the Hotel El Ganzo. You’ll always feel avant-garde surrounded by the unique, custom-crafted decor. This adults-only hotel invites artists to come and share their art on the interior and exterior walls of the hotel which creates a truly one-of-a-kind experience for their guests.

El Ganzo offers sustainable farm-to-table cuisine at its three on-site restaurants, including its private beach club with one of the area’s few swimmable beaches. The rooftop infiniti pool and glass hot tub overlooking the marina is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico

Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico


Essential Gear to Bring on Your Cabo Vacation

The weather in Cabo is comfortable year round, ranging from the mid-70’s in the winter to the mid-90’s in the summer.

Wetsuit – If you are visiting in the winter months and you plan to do some diving or snorkeling, you may want to bring a wetsuit. I love this spring suit for snorkeling because it keeps me warm and provides sun protection. For diving in the winter, you will most likely want to bring a 2/3 or 3/4 full wetsuit. I get cold easily when diving, so I prefer the 4/3 suit. Wetsuit Wearhouse has some great deals on full and short wetsuits.

Photo Equipment – I highly recommend bringing a GoPro for underwater photos (or selfies!) and a nice camera for whale watching. (See our complete travel camera buying guide here.)

Clothing – Don’t forget to bring a light cardigan or sweatshirt and long pants if you visit during the winter months. Sandals or flip flops and a swimsuit are a must any time of year.

Activated Charcoal Pills – Montezuma’s revenge is real. We never leave home without our activated charcoal pills.

Carry-on Bag Essentials – Visit our Carry-on Packing Guide.

The Ultimate Cabo, Mexico Travel Guide: What to Pack, Where to Stay, & What to Do


Things to Do in Cabo


Go Whale Watching:

Whale watching can be a breathtaking experience, getting you close to nature’s largest marine animals. Go on a Zodiac — a rigid-hulled inflatable raft that’s lightweight but sturdy, with twin engines that let you zoom over the waves. The best whale watching trip I’ve ever taken (and I’ve been on dozens of them) was on a zodiac with Cabo Adventures.


Visit Wild Canyon:

The Wild Canyon adventure park is chock full of challenges and chances to interact with wildlife. It boasts the longest zipline tour in Cabo, a bungee bomber experience, and off-road ATV tours. You can ride camels through the oasis at the canyon’s bottom; they’re rescues from the circus, and the other pettable, feedable animals in their wildlife kingdom are rescues, too.

Prep, Pack, & Plan: Travel Guide to Cabo, Mexico


Sunset Sail:

Sunset sails are always beautiful. Cabo offers a particularly dramatic scene on the water with its world-famous Arch of Cabos San Lucas, a huge natural rock formation.


Indulge at the Spa:

Hotels like El Ganzo and Casa Del Mar host luxurious spa rooms and treatments with organic and eco-friendly products to help you unwind and feel your best before or after your other adventures. Exfoliate with the aphrodisiacal damiana desert flower or get a massage while watching the ocean from a cabana.


Take a Cooking Class:

Professional chefs open their kitchens to people who want to learn to use the region’s spices, chiles, and other ingredients in delicious gourmet dishes. You’ll get a good meal and take home some recipes to boot. Huerta Los Tamarindos offers cooking classes at their organic farm for $85.


Snorkel with Whale Sharks:

From October through March, whale sharks migrate near Los Cabos, and El Ganzo Hotel offers a full-day package to snorkel with these gentle giants. The package includes transportation, equipment, food, and a guide to make the most of your experience.


Visit Canyon De La Zorra:

Hiking the Canyon De La Zorra will bring you to a beautiful waterfall-fed lagoon. You can walk down to the pool, or dare a dive from cobbled platforms above. The canyon also offers horseback riding and mountain biking.



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  1. Makayla Reyes says:

    If this place is safe for solo female travelers than I would love to visit there as soon as possible. Thanks a ton for sharing.

  2. Travelbllgr says:

    Great tips – Cabo looks amazing and that see through swimming pool – wow!

  3. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Nice list Christy! Pack some cool weather clothes for chillier months. I’ve seen this in many tropical areas. When low season kicks in – or winter season in some cases – temps drop and those with tank tops only, shiver 😉 Thanks much for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I have been based in Mexico for a year now and can’t wait to visit Cabo, hopefully soon!