Cabo San Lucas

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Cabo vs. Hawaii for winter vacation with kids

Sept 2007

We are trying to decide where to take a vacation this winter. I really want to go someplace warm with a beach to relax on. Cabo and Hawaii are 2 options we are considering. We have not been to either place. We would be taking our 3-yr. old daughter and a 9-month old. Does anyone have advice on either place, which one might be better, or suggestions for some other place? Trip Challenged

I personally would go to Hawaii over Cabo. Cabo is nice in parts -- beautiful even -- but the hassle of being scared to drink the water (I went for a wedding last year and was the only one not drinking margueritas, and was the ONLY one not to get heaving sick) would be a headache not just for yourself, but with kids. Also, the focus on DRINKING and drinking HEAVILY is the modus operandi in Cabo, unlike in Hawaii. In the downtown area, it's all about tequila shots. Maybe that's your thing, and you can get a sitter for your kids in your resort or something, but it's just a bit seedier of an atmosphere than I find anywhere in Hawaii. Hawaii is also tailor-made to families - things seem to start earlier and shut down earlier at night. It's not famed for its night life or anything gross like Senor Frogs.

If I were you, I'd go to Maui - great for families with kids, and even adults without them. Mellow vibe, no money changing, not filled with t-shirt stores selling shirts about how drunk you were the other night, etc etc etc. And believe it or not - I'm no prude when it comes to drinking. I love my wine and beer and vodka and sodas. Just don't like the spring break atmosphere that is in places like Cabo and Cancun - and I've been to both. --No prude, just no shots and no worm, thanks.

I have been to both Cabo and Hawaii. I would say Hawaii is much better when travelling with small children. We recently took our 6 year old twins to Maui (Kaanapali) and had a wonderful, relaxing time. Kaanapali is known for it's mild surf.

The ocean in Cabo can have very dangerous surf and if you stay on the Gulf side, it's mild but not very pretty. Plus the beach itself is rocky, more similar to California.

Good luck and have fun! Kerri

Personally, I would go to Hawaii rather than Mexico (but that's a personal preference). You don't need a passport, don't have to worry about the drinking water, and (if applicable for your family) you don't have to deal with language issues. I'm a travel consultant in Berkeley, and if you need any help putting together the trip, I'd be happy to help. David

Nice place to stay in Cabo with 2 year old

July 2005

I'm looking for a nice place to stay in Cabo with a two year old. I'm looking for somewhere with a fun kids beach and pool. I need a real vacation!
need a break from cooking and cleaning

We rented a 1BR timeshare unit, direct from an owner, at Villa del Palmar in Cabo. Our 2-1/2 year old loved it! It's right on the beach, near the town of Cabo (quick cab ride or long-ish walk), has multiple pools (one for wading, another for toddlers/young swimmers), 2 onsite restaurants (one features an outdoor pizza oven), plus the complex has a small supermarket, deli & ice cream shop on premises. We really could have spent all our time there, and our daughter would have been perfectly happy. Do a search on craigslist to find local owners looking to rent their place, or email me and I'll give the name of the person we rented from. Good luck! Amy

Family wedding in Cabo with 18-month-old

Sept 2003

We've been invited to a family wedding in Cabo San Lucas in April. We plan to travel with our son who will be 18 months at the time, and are looking for somewhere that would be toddler friendly. Affordability is a bonus since this is an unexpected expense. At this point we're open to anything from a resort, to a condo to a bigger house that we would share with my husband's parents. If anyone has specific recommendations I'd be very grateful. Thanks. Susannah

I can highly recommend the Hotel Cabo San Lucas, My wife and I spent three days there in May and never left the compound. It's a 50's era swanky hotel, one of the first in the area. Excellent restaurant (we got the 3- meal a day meal plan and didn't have much appetite for dinner, the breakfast and lunch were so good), helpful staff, uncrowded, nice pool. Scuba/snorkeling/swimming beach about a half mile up the beach, large, lovely private grounds with several small beaches (one w/ palapa bar) that are sort of swimmable (big riptides common in Cabo). Other than airport taxi/timeshare sharks, a lovely 3 days. Tim

Considering a vacation in Cabo

Feb 2003

We are considering taking a vacation this spring to Cabo San Lucas. Any recommendations for great places to stay, things to do, and things to avoid would be helpful. I'm also a little worried about my daughter getting sick -- should I be? Jennifer

We took our 2-year old to Cabo last spring and she loved just hanging out at the kiddie pool. I can't remember the name of the place we stayed, but it was kind of a combo hotel/timeshare with several pools and it's own beach. Besides the kiddie pool, they had an entertainment/buffet show that she also enjoyed. We mostly hung out at the hotel b/c I broke my foot on our second day there(and was 6 mos. pregnant but thats another story).

I would caution you against booking a place that is under construction, like many of these timeshare places seem to be, and the travel agent won't tell you unless you ask specifically. They can be very noisy and ugly to look at depending on the location of your room. These larger places can be convenient with kids b/c food, etc. is all on the premisis, but can get pricey compared to the local restaurants that are so much cheaper. Also, ask about proximity to town. Some larger resorts are a taxi or bus ride away from town, and they gouge you for taxi fare to and from town. While the local bus is alot cheaper, it can be quite a walk from the bus stop to your hotel. Also, on the beach the tides are sometimes unsafe so keep a close eye on your little one near the water. They usually post warnings when the water is unsafe.

As for food, just stay away from raw uncooked veggies in places other than resorts or large hotels. Fruit that you can peel is safe, just be sure to peel it. Most large hotels have potable water but its always wise to have bottled water for day trips. On past trips to cabo, we enjoyed taking the ferry to Lovers Beach, and wanted to take our daughter on the glass-bottom boat but we didn't get a chance this trip. That might be something to check out. The local parks w/playgrounds were great because there were always other kids there. Most other aspects of Cabo are adult-oriented (i.e. bars, nightlife, ATV riding, scuba diving) so you kind of have to seek out stuff to do with kids. Aslo if you are going to use a stroller, be aware that the streets in town are cobblestone and have many steps - not very stroller-friendly. Angelica

We lived in the Baja for 2 years (mostly La Paz) and never had a problem with any of the food or water. Even the locals drink bottled water because the Baja is a desert and that's the way water comes. As for the food, you shouldn't have a problem with any of it, including the taco vendors on the street. Veggies are also fine, chances are some of the fruit and veggies that you eat here in the states already come from there. Don't miss out on the smoothies. Most people get sick because they are not used to the amount of fat/lard that they use to cook the food. Personally, if you only eat at the hotels, you'll be missing some of the best reasons for visiting and the local flavour. Mexicans are very kid friendly, so you shouldn't have any problems. In fact, if you pick the right restaurant, you might get lucky and have the waiter/waitress take your kid while you get a chance to eat. anon
I just returned from a trip to Cabo San Lucas with my 3 mos. old. We stayed at one of the major resorts (Hacienda del Mar by Sheraton), so it was fairly easy. The grounds were nice (great kids' pool area), there were ramps so strollers weren't a problem, cribs were available, and the taxi service they used had seatbelts in all vehicles (for strapping in the car seat). They provided babysitter recs ($15/hr), if interested, though we didn't use them. Our daughter isn't eating solids yet, so we didn't have a food issue. However, I was careful that anything her mouth came in contact with only came in contact with bottled water. melissa
Be sure to eat at Mi Casa. The food is good, and there are big adobe benches with cushions that are perfect for sleepy children to nap upon. We've been there over the years, and it's consistent and very pleasant. The Melia hotel on the strip (there's one in town also) between San Jose and San Lucas is nice, because it has a jetty that creates protection for tykes from the Pacific waves, and the beach is much cleaner than those in town. But staying on the strip is expensive if you rely on taxis and want to go into town. One trip into town is plenty for me. If you don't mind driving in Mexico, you can rent a real Volkswagon bug (just like the old ones, but brand new) and tool around. Beware, the back seats on the convertibles didn't have seatbelts last time, but the enclosed models were ok. MW