4 Fun Things to do in Cabo for Less than $11
Our 6 months backpacking through Mexico started in Cabo San Lucas and it wasn’t long before we realized how expensive of a tourist destination it is. Everywhere you go, there are vendors trying to sell you all sorts of tours that can cost over $100. While we won’t argue that they’re offering amazing experiences (zip-lining, ATV tours, dolphin encounters, etc), we can say that they were well over our budget. And since we know we’re not the only ones wanting to see the world on a shoestring, here are 4 things we did, enjoyed and would recommend if you’re looking for fun things to do in Cabo that are also pretty cheap!
Lover's Beach and ‘El Arco’ Tour
Cost: $10 CAD per person
Head over to Medano beach to catch a water taxi/glass bottom boat for a wonderful tour of the infamous arch and other rock formations. The boat ride is about 30 minutes or so and ends with a drop off at Lover’s Beach. You can spend a couple of hours there (check out Divorce Beach too!) and arrange for your water taxi to pick you up afterwards. With a bit of bargaining, we were able to get the price down to $125 pesos (per person) and you can find tons of info and photos from our morning here.
Day Trip to San Jose del Cabo
Cost: $8 CAD per person
The word ‘Cabo’ actually refers to both Cabos: Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Most 20 somethings will flock to Cabo San Lucas for the nightlife and shopping while San Jose del Cabo is often regarded to as the sleepier of the two towns. Whichever Cabo you pick, we’d definitely recommend spending a day exploring the other and it’s easy to travel between both towns. There are buses that run pretty frequently and the ride is about 30 minutes each way.
The buses are usually bigger and comfier than the local school buses. Look for a purple and yellow "Ruta del Desierto" bus or a similar green bus. The fare each way was between $32-37 pesos and buses run roughly every 20 minutes between Puerto Paraiso Mall in Cabo San Lucas and the Mega Supermarket in San Jose del Cabo. From there, you can either walk into the old town or take a local bus ($12 pesos) in San Jose. We really enjoyed walking through the old town and visiting the estuary where we saw tons of wildlife and beautiful scenery.
Sunset Marina Walk and Market Browsing
We’ve seen some surreal sunsets in Cabo and there’s nothing quite like a stroll along the marina boardwalk to take it all in. I was surprised to see some pretty impressive yachts docked there, not to mention the frequent pelicans that hang around looking for their next meal.
Nestled in the corner of the marina (beside the large Cultural Pavillion of the Republic building), you’ll find an alley of artisan markets with the usual souvenirs and trinkets. There are even more market stalls at the opposite end of the marina, just past the A9AVE restaurant. After your sunset stroll, you’ve got nothing but options if you’re looking for dinner, drinks or dessert at the marina. But if you’d rather stick to the budget, why not go to the movies?
VIP Movies at Puerto Paraiso Mall
Cost: $8 CAD per person
Puerto Paraiso Mall is a large and rather new shopping mall by the marina and at first we walked through the entire building with no sign of a movie theatre. It turns out that the building was still under construction and so we had to take the elevator up to the 3rd floor that lead us to the Cinemex upstairs. There were two ticket counters when we arrived and we went to the one on the left because the line was a lot shorter. The ticket prices were very reasonable ($95 pesos each) and we were able to select our seats ahead of time using a monitor at the counter. It wasn’t until afterwards that we realized we actually paid more money than the average ticket because we had gone to the VIP ticket line.
We got our popcorn and cervezas (yay for VIP concessions!) before heading into one of the most comfortable theatres I’ve ever seen. The room sat less than 30 people and each of us had a full reclining chair with a small side table and two cup holders. It was pretty impressive and Wes was ecstatic about the fact that the nicest theatre we’ve ever been to was in Mexico of all places.
Yes, I know. Why go to the movies in Mexico when you can watch a movie at home, right? But to be honest, Wes and I really enjoy going to the movies whether we’re at home or abroad so if we’re craving popcorn for dinner and a good film, we go for it no matter where we are!