Visiting Cabo San Lucas

Parent Q&A

  • Hi, A family reunion in Cabo is in the planning stages, and we would love to stay at an all-inclusive resort. Ages range from toddlers to young adults to boomers! We would appreciate any recommendations. Thank you!

    Hola,

    Our family is having a Thanksgiving reunion at an all-inclusive in Los Cabos this year.  After much research and recommendation by a travel agent, we decided to stay at Dreams Los Cabos.  In January 2018 my husband, 7 year old son and I stayed at a different all-inclusive in Los Cabos called Grand Velas.  It was wonderful, but at nearly $1,000 a night, not cheap!  However, it really did include everything (food, alcohol) and it changed my mind about what an all-inclusive can be.  We especially liked that there was no additional cost to have room service.  The rooms were very spacious and the pools were wonderful.  Not having to decide where to eat was relaxing for me, because everything was there and we didn't have to worry about carrying around cash.  We did taxi in to San Jose del Cabo for dinner twice, just to get out of the resort and see something different.  Every Thursday night they have a lively art walk that we really enjoyed - street entertainment, shops and galleries open, festive and fun atmosphere.  We would stay at Grand Velas again, but for the family reunion we needed to pick a property that was more affordable so we are trying Dreams this time.  Grand Velas is in the "corridor" meaning between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.  We also considered the Hyatt Ziva, but we've all stayed at Hyatts before so thought we'd try something a little different.  We have done family reunion trips before, and the idea of not having to go off-site for every meal and splitting checks appeals to me a lot!  

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

Cabo suggestions needed

Oct 2015

We'd like to take a trip to somewhere in the Cabo area for winter break in February with our 15 year old. We've never been so don't know where to start in terms of figuring out where to stay. Any recommendations -- including places to eat, things to do -- would be greatly appreciated. Travelin' family


Been to Cabos lots. You can fly directly into Cabos from the States. It is best to locate accommodations not on the Pacific side of Cabos. You cannot swim in the Pacific side of the ocean, waves are just too rough. The only place to snorkel in Cabo San Lucas is at Lover's beach, which would involve a water taxi every time you go. That gets old every time you want to go snorkeling (which we do a lot). There are other beaches outside of Cabos, but it is outside of the tourism areas and you'll need to rent a car to get to. In Mexico, you must buy 3rd party insurance which can be quite expensive. We love the Vagabundos Trailer Park restaurant, fun, funky and good food. Mi Casa is also a fun restaurant. Most people do their grocery shopping at Walmart and buy alcohol in the same shopping mall, you can take a taxi or bus there. I was recommended to open a checking account at Charles Swab( and get their credit card with the account) before the trip - because they don't charge foreign transaction fee, which, by the way, when you use your credit card out of the country, they'll tag on a 3-4% foreign transaction fee, along with the foreign exchange with each transaction. One word of warning, when you exit the airport, do not fall into the trap of all those vendors offering you free rides or trip excursions. They're traps for time-share sale pitches, they'll promise you 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of your time, but actually will take you much more time. Who wants to spend precious vacation time being suckers in a slide presentation (and they're very good at getting you to commit too). Good luck and have fun on your trip. liu


All-inclusive resort for a short trip without the kids

July 2012

My husband and I are thinking about going on a 4-day trip to Mexico in September (first 'adult only' trip since kids were born 10 years ago!). Of course we have high expectations in terms of location, facility and relaxation ... hoping for a resort that isn't necessary focused on families and children (had that kind of vacation often enough;-)). Now it is time for some serious chilling at the beach, pool, bar, good food choices and a romantic setting.

Online you find plenty of beautiful resort pictures and read nice descriptions on various hotel websites ... however, we trust and like personal reviews the best. Can you recommend an all-inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas (or other Mexican beach area close to reach from the Bay Area) that has a luxurious feeling, is close to the beach, clean and offers an atmosphere that relaxation-seeking adults enjoy?

Chill out, baby!


We went to the Barcelo last October - group of 6 couples to celebrate a 40th birthday. I really liked it for several reasons - price, cleanliness, friendly staff and all inclusive. All the resturants on the property were good - really liked the Japanese one (make reservation before arriving). We ventured into Cabo San Jose (5 minute cab ride from resort) one evening for dinner. I have been to Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose seemed much cleaner. It was my first time at an all inclusive (including alcohol) resort and I would do it again. The spa/gym were also nice and well appointed. Have fun! jean


Travel to Cabo Safe?

Nov 2011

Our family is planning a trip to Cabo San Lucas in February. I am feeling concerned though after recent events. Should we still go? anon


Cabo is very safe. I traveled there alone at the end of July, for my sister's wedding.

At first I was worried about being there without my husband, but I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I felt in the town - there was not one moment where I felt unsafe. I even wandered around for a couple of hours on my own and felt totally comfortable... way more comfortable, actually, than I sometimes feel walking around downtown Berkeley!

Definitely go, and enjoy yourselves - I saw many happy families there, and would not hesitate to take my own family. Monica


We just returned from a trip to Cabo with our 1-year old. We felt completely safe, although we stayed at our hotel most of the time (we went for the R&R and the pool). We researched the area and Cabo is indeed one of the safest parts of Mexico, virtually unaffected by the drug wars/cartels (we reviewed the crime maps and everything). That said, the day we flew home there was a gun fight at a local mall that required over 200 tourists to take cover. Not much information about the fight but allegedly it involved 2 members of a drug cartel, so perhaps the area is starting to feel the affects of the drug war after all. We probably won't return until we learn more about the situation. It is a real shame since the people are wonderful and depend on tourism. Here is a video and link http://www.theblaze.com/stories/cabo-tourists-take-cover-in-mall-during- gunfight/ K


Mellow hotels in Cabo San Lucas

Sept 2010

We are considering going to Mexico in February, and are looking into Cabo San Lucas. My husband HATES the big hotels that are popular in these types of vacation spots. Any recommendations for smaller, mellow places to stay (hopefully near the beach)? Not too fancy, but still a 'vacation' spot for us and our three kids (ages 9, 11, and 14). We never go anywhere, so we want this to be special, but not too over the top. First vacation in a decade!


Check out Playa Del Sol Los Cabos. This hotel is about 20 minutes away from Cabo San Lucas and near a quaint little town called San Jose Los Cabos. It's relatively small, very quiet and right on the beach. I was just there in august and had a great time. It's also really close to the Mega, a huge supermarket so you can have food in your room, not have to eat out all the time. There's a full kitchen in the room fully stocked with what you need. Hope this helps! jody


Trip to Cabo with young teens

Feb 2009

Hi, Has anyone gone to Cabo San Lucas recently, with kids? We have young teens, and are seeking a spring time getaway with beach, pool, relaxation (not heavy drinking as a focus). A place you can walk on the beach? Are there fun, or interesting, ''town'' or ''old town'' things to see or do? What about a fantastic place to stay?

Alternately, has anyone stayed in Loreto rather than Cabo San Lucas, and what were your impressions / recommendations for Loreto?

Any & all recommendations (as well as ''stay away froms'' are most appreciated; thanks! Baja bound, we hope!


We went to Cabo to attend a relative's destination wedding. We own a timeshare elsewhere, so we used Interval International & did a trade. We stayed at:

Misiones del Cabo Vacation Club Km. 5.5 Carr. Transpeninsular Cabo San Lucas Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., , MEXICO Phone: 52-624-1485188

We LOVED it. We had a 1 BR, 1 Bath Condo with a nice full kitchen. It slept 4 people. It was really nice with a view of the ocean & a balcony. It was outside of town -- about a 5 minute drive, so it was really quiet & uncrowded. It had great facilities -- a restaurant, outdoor pool, tennis courts, beach, a little grocery store. It was really beautiful, relaxing, & fun.

Coincidentally, the rehearsal dinner was AT OUR RESORT!!! We were so surprised. The wedding couple had planned it way before we ever made the trade & of course we had no idea where the rehearsal dinner was going to be when we booked our week! But that will give you an idea of how beautiful the surroundings were at this resort.

We went snorkeling at several great places that were very close by as well & saw lots of different kinds of fish etc.

BTW there is even a Costco down there very close to this place, so you can get things there if you are a member! Hope this helps! randi


My husband and I went to Cabo last weekend and stayed at the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar. We don't have kids yet (it was our babymoon) but there were many families there. They have several kid-friendly pools and a kid's camp during the day. The beach is very walkable and some families were swimmng. There wasn't much of a party scene there, all but one bar close at 10:30. I would suggest it if you are looking for a non-all-inclusive place.

We went into Cabo San Lucas for one afternoon. It is ok to walk around, but if you're not drinking or shopping there's not a lot to do. We did take a sunset cruise on a ''pirate ship''. It was kid-friendly, some drinking, but the many kids there seemed to have a good time. They also offer snorkling and whale watching tours. We saw lots of whales, even from the beach. Have fun. Amy


I've stayed in Loreto before. It's about a $40 cab ride to Cabo. I wouldn't recommend it for a young family as all the the beaches prohibit swimming. The surf is extremely strong, with serious undertow. It's better for older people who may just be content looking at the ocean, hanging out at their hotel and playing golf. Teddy


We went to San Jose del Cabo for a week after Christmas. We stayed at the Royal Solaris, an all inclusive resort. (They will try to sell you a time share, but you can just say no. We did.) We choose it because we got a good deal ($240/night)and it had a kids club. There's a great pool and was right on beach. My kids (age 7 and 9) loved both, and spent hours in the water every day, more in the pool. (Some days there were big waves in the ocean, and we just waded, but other days the surf was smaller, and we went all the way in.) Very friendly, bilingual staff. The buffet-style food was pretty good, and included lots of fresh fish and even sushi. Kid-friendly food like hot dogs and nuggets are available all day. My kids liked the swim-up bar for coconut smoothies. Some kids really liked the kids-club program, but my kids were somewhat neutral about it (but then they have felt that way about every kids program we have ever tried.)

Room was fine, air-conditioning worked well, nice hot showers. At the Royal Solaris, we ate cut up fruit, salad, drinks with ice, and brushed our teeth with tap water with no problem at all!

If you need anything Mega (like Target) is a seven minute walk. Mexican buses run frequently, and are cheap, so you don't have to take taxis if you don't want to. Just ask at the desk. One thing: the supposedly four-hour horse-back riding excursion lasted 5 hours, and included only 1 hour and 15 minutes of riding.

Cheaper, a shorter flight, and warmer (our particular week) than Hawaii! CaboHappy


Cabo resorts that are kid-friendly

Feb 2009

Hello - We are thinking of going to Cabo this summer. Do anyone have experience with resorts there? Looking for ocean views, some amenities, clean, safe, with good pools and kid friendly. I am also unclear about the two sections of Cabo and where it is best to stay.
Thanks in advance!
Vacation in Cabo

My husband I spent a week over winter break at the RIU Santa Fe in Cabo, and it was terrific. We were kid-free for the week, but deliberately chose a family-friendly resort so we wouldn't be overrun by drunk partiers. It was terrific, and offered everything you are looking for - on the beach (though you can't swim in the water because of the undertow), lots of pools, lots of families, kid-specific programming, well maintained and very clean. The resort is all-inclusive, so food, beverages, programs (except spa treatments and ''off campus'' stuff like glass bottom boats and snorkeling expeditions) are included in the price. Food was better than I expected, with enough variety to meet the needs of picky eaters. The bartenders at the swim-up bars make virgin pina coladas for the kids.

We never went wandering off the premises, but my understanding was that the places in town (like Cabo Wabo) are for the harder-core partiers. We found the butthead element was light where we were, and didn't want to go into town to see if it was more intense there. We also encountered very little of the sales-pitching we'd been warned about, and what we did encounter was all about activities. Not a single person tried to get us to go to a timeshare pitch. Lisa


My two kids (11 and 7 at the time) had a great Christmas break a year ago at El Presidente, an all inclusive resort south of Cabo. We went into Cabo one day to take a boat out to El Arco and snorkel. Other than that, we walked across the street to go horseback riding. Spent the rest of the time at the pool. 4-5 restaurants, theme nights on the patio (Mexican Fiesta, etc.). The beach is NOT swimmable but you will find that few beaches in Cabo are (rip tides). But still fun to make sand castles and get your feet wet (with close supervision!). Price was very reasonable and with kids, great to get a ''free'' snack, meals, whenever we felt like it. Mostly buffet style. Look at the pictures on the web. We booked it, plus air and transfers, through Classic Vacations. kl


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, www.hotelcabo.com. 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