Christine & Tejal’s family vacation in San Jose del Cabo with lots of pool time, a couples massage, and lots of margaritas at their beautiful hotel El Encanto de la Laguna!
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Things to do in San Jose Del Cabo
Some refer to San José del Cabo as the ‘mild’ sister of ‘wild’ (and touristy) Cabo San Lucas. There are a lot of things to do and it’s perfect for a family vacation, like ours, and other low-key travel. We spent most of the time relaxing by the pool and laying out on the beach. Through the hotel concierge (at El Encanto de la Laguna), we booked two activities below:
The masseuse came to our house and setup on the balcony so we could listen to the ocean. It was very peaceful and they were very professional. We highly recommend! The hotel also offered several other spa amenities.
Horseback Riding on the beach
This sounded awesome, however turned out to be a bit sketchy. Our instructor smoked cigarettes the whole time. The horses laid down and we had to jump off multiple times because they like to roll in the sand, and the horses didn’t seem that healthy. I would not recommend this. You would have better luck booking through a different company.
Other things to do in San Jose del Cabo:
Downtown San Jose del Cabo is known to be an art-lovers paradise. One of the popular things to do on Thursday nights is an Art Walk designed to introduce vacationers to the many art galleries. Some recommended galleries are:
Frank Arnold Gallery – Visit for a tour of the gallery and the artist’s home. The artist and his wife are welcoming hosts who are happy to talk about his work, and you may see an actual creation in progress in the studio. They often offer complementary tequila tastings to patrons during the Art Walk.
Ivan Guaderrama Art Gallery – Very popular art gallery. He incorporates Christian themes and other messages of love into his art. He also incorporates technology into some of his art to make them interactive. (An art gallery where they actually want you to touch the art!) His gallery is popular during the art walk, and he sometimes has a DJ on-site.
Los Tamarindos Organic Farm and Cooking Classes
Los Tamarindos cooking classes are a 4 hour session, where students begin by gathering their own ingredients from the field. The class prepares a 4 course meal, and then sits down to eat the meal together, family-style, at the end. Some of the types of dishes prepared, for example, are mint ceviche, chicken with green mole, and stuffed zucchini blossom with mango and ricotta cheese. The cooking classes are a popular thing to do in San Jose del Cabo, though they also have an organic market and wonderful restaurant on-site.
Canopy Costa Azul Eco-Adventure
Canopy Costa Azul Eco-Adventure is a fun day long experience zip-lining over canyons. You can race each other on tandem zip lines. They also have a section set up for you to try rappelling down a mountain side using a rope. Rappelling is a part of the tour, but is optional and can be skipped. (Though some say it was the best thing to do!) Afterwards there is a tequila tasting back at the base camp. Can arrange a hotel pick up as part of the package. Safety is a big emphasis during all of the activities.
Dolphin Discovery is a dolphin encounter and swim with the dolphins experience for all ages. The trainers are knowledgeable and teach you about the dolphins. There is a good amount of time to interact with the dolphins. They do take pictures and videos which they offer for sale at the end. The company also offers whale watch excursions.
San Jose’s Estuary and Bird Sanctuary
San Jose’s Estuary and Bird Sanctuary is a short walk from downtown, and one of the few places in Cabo that is green and lush. It’s a nature preserve and sanctuary for hundreds of species of tropical and migratory birds. The sanctuary is adjacent to the Holiday Inn, which offers a free bicycle tour to go through it. Unfortunately there is evidence that it has suffered from some hurricane damage in recent storms, but that doesn’t take away from the experience. It’s an easy thing to do in San Jose del Cabo during a quiet afternoon.
Flora Farms Kitchen
Dinner at Flora’s Field Kitchen is a MUST in San Jose del Cabo. They offer an organic farm to table menu in an indoor/outdoor upscale dining setting. They also have live bands. I also hear they have a great brunch. The farm is great to explore too and there are also little shops, so plan to spend a little extra time there. This restaurant is great for kids as we brought a 2 year old and 4 year old.
Buzzards Bar & Grill
Buzzards was a small outdoor bar/grill about a 5 minute walk from the house. It was the only restaurant in the area close to us, without having to go downtown. We loved it – great for lunch or a happy hour snack! Margaritas were strong and delicious. CASH ONLY!!
El Encanto de la Laguna
We rented a house through El Encanto de la Laguna in a gated community, so we felt very safe. The house was very grand, with fully updated, modern amenities inside. We rented a 3 bed/3 bath house with a 1 bed/1bath casita. The backyard had an infinity pool, hot tub, beach access, fire pit, etc. There were a lot of things to do on-site. This was definitely a luxury stay. We were on a family vacation so it was great for multiple families staying together – we had 6 adults and 2 kids. However I could also see going back there for a vacation with a few couple friends. They also have smaller 2-bedroom condos.
We rented a car. There is no public transportation near the house we rented, as you are off the beaten path, about 10-15 minutes from downtown San Jose del Cabo.
San Jose del Cabo Travel Tips:
Weather – The weather was perfect in January. We had all sunny days, and the evenings were calm and warm, so it was great to cook dinner at home and sit on the patio or by the outdoor gas fire pit.
Language – Most people spoke English and our house had a concierge we could reach at any time.
Health – Zika is something to consider if traveling to Mexico.
Currency – Have pesos on you instead of American dollars. If you pay in American dollars at a restaurant, or elsewhere, they give you a bad exchange rate, so you end up paying more. Also, if you use your credit card, ask to be charged in pesos. Again, you will get a better exchange rate through your bank instead of the restaurant doing the math, and giving you a worse exchange rate. PESOS, PESOS, PESOS!
Other travel guides you might like:
Huatulco, Mexico – Relax in the Charm of Secrets Huatulco
Cozumel & Progreso, Mexico – Fun & Food on a Carnival Cruise to Mexico
Havana & Cienfuegos, Cuba – Guide to Travel to Cuba: Culture, Art & Mojitos
Oahu, Hawaii, USA – Relax in Oahu, Hawaii
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