Baja Properties Blog

 

At Baja Properties, we have nearly 40 years of experience living life to the fullest in Los Cabos. This is our Baja Properties Blog where our goal is to share some of that expertise with you, answering questions with fact-filled posts covering a variety of topics of interest to anyone living in, or considering a move to, this magical paradise in Southern Baja. 
 
Through our Baja Properties Blog, we aim to share Mexico’s vibrant culture and highlight the beauty of our natural surroundings, as well as insider tips on how to settle into your new home and navigate the challenges and adventures of Baja living. We hope you enjoy our posts and please contact us if you have any other specific questions regarding your Baja adventure!


Los Cabos Blog
April 29, 2024

Fishing in Los Cabos, Mexico: Your Guide to Epic Sportfishing Adventures!

Tucked away at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, the region of Los Cabos is a true angler's paradise. This unique area where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez offers some of the most legendary big-game fishing grounds in the world. With abundant marine life, great fishing season weather, and a well-developed sports fishing industry, Los Cabos has rightly earned a reputation as a prime destination for fishing enthusiasts globally.

The twin towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo provide an idyllic home base for fishing adventures. Dramatic rocky outcroppings, pristine golden beaches, and the iconic El Arco rock formation create a picturesque backdrop as fishing boats depart the marinas each morning. On a typical day at sea, anglers have the surreal experience of casting lines just miles from the chic resorts and lively downtowns. Many people move here for just that privilege.

Fishing in Los Cabos at sunrise

Whether you’re a seasoned billfish angler or a curious newbie, here we answer a few questions about Cabo’s world-class sportfishing tradition, hooking you up with answers about the history of fishing in Los Cabos, what kind of fish you can catch, where to get a fishing license, how to book a fishing charter, where the best places to fish are, where to find restaurants that cook your catch, and when the best fishing season is. 

What is the history of fishing in Los Cabos?

While the sun-soaked resort towns of Los Cabos have risen to global fame for world-class golf, beaches, and luxury living in recent decades, the true heart and soul of this region lies in its incredibly rich fishing heritage stretching back centuries. It’s where the Los Cabos fishing charters of today first began.

Long before the first luxury hotel or residential development, the story of sportfishing in Los Cabos begins with the indigenous Pericú people of the Southern Baja peninsula. Using materials like sea turtle shells, wood, and cactus fibers painstakingly woven together, they created advanced traps, hooks, lines and even early boat designs specifically evolved for the region's currents and conditions.

Old fishing in Baja California Sur

After the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez's ships first arrived in 1535 and dubbed the region "Las Californias," word quickly spread of the marine wealth surrounding the pristine capes and inlets. Inspired by reports of calm bays teeming with whales, pearls and schools of fish "so dense they stumbled the ships," colonists and missionaries soon began establishing California's earliest European settlements in Los Cabos. 

From newly erected missions like San Jose del Cabo (1730), these outposts offered Spain's galleon trade routes supplies and fresh water while also pioneering commercial fishing, whaling and pearling industries that kickstarted global economies around the cape's riches.

 

While subsistence needs initially drove fishing interests, curious anglers soon became captivated by the sheer size, strength and aerobatics of the large pelagic species concentrated in Los Cabos' waters. Tales of anglers hooking what they called "pez toros" or "bull fish" too massive to reel in began fueling a worldwide sporting obsession with big game fishing. 

During the mid-20th century Golden Age of sportfishing Los Cabos solidified itself as the mecca of big game fishing, drawing the era's greatest innovators, obsessives and high-rolling celebrities. 

Old Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Names like Ernest Hemingway, John Wayne, Bing Crosby and Desi Arnez pioneered putting the sport on the celebrity map by hosting lavish events from Cabo's rugged outposts such as Rancho Las Cruces near La Paz, Rancho Buena Vista on the East Cape near Los Barriles, and San Jose’s Hotel Palmilla. This was long before a paved road down the peninsula existed, so anglers often flew into primitive airstrips on fishing safaris, embarking on daring adventures in the hopes of hooking into the region’s legendary billfish, tuna and other abundant species. 

In Cabo San Lucas you can still see the vestiges of a former tuna cannery from days past when commercial fishing drove the area’s economy. Many longtime residents worked in the cannery which operated from 1927 through 1980. That was when the  Mexican government began focusing on sportfishing rather than commercial fishing to attract tourism to the remote destination. 

 

What fish can you catch in Los Cabos?

The fishing in these waters is as diverse as it is rewarding. From light tackle and fly fishing to extreme battles with massive heavyweight species, fishing in  Los Cabos has you covered.

Billfish are understandably the crown jewel. The warm and nutrient-rich waters are a prime migratory path for multiple marlin species. Blue, black, and striped marlin all take seasonal residence offshore during peak seasons. Skilled anglers have clashed with true monsters over 1,000 lbs here. But even a run at a feisty striped marlin in the 150-300 lb class is enough to get the heart racing.

Los Cabos Fish types

Sailfish are also a huge draw, although less common than marlin. These sleek and speedy predators are pursued around inshore and offshore banks mainly during the winter sportfishing season. Their explosive surface strikes and long powerful runs make sailfish an immense challenge on light lines. Snap a quick photo and return these beauties to the sea for another run.

While billfish reign supreme for big-game hunters, there's plenty more to angle for. Dorado (mahi mahi) are a beautiful and hard-fighting fish found year-round. Their brilliant hues and lightning runs make them a delight to tussle with. Yellowfin tuna are another prized catch, with their brawn and stamina frequently testing the fortitude of anglers to the limit. Look for boils of baitfish, circling birds and schools of dolphins in order to find your tuna school.

 

Wahoo, roosterfish, and various trevally species also lurk in the waters and provide blistering action. Wahoo especially are a coveted species. Lightning-fast and with razor-sharp teeth they are a challenge to land but one of the most delicious of Los Cabos’ game fish. Legally, restaurants are prohibited from serving sportfish species, so to sample wahoo you’ll need to catch your own. 

 

Do you need a fishing license in Los Cabos?

If you are chartering a boat or just going along for the ride while others fish, you need to have a valid fishing license. Sometimes the charter company will provide them for anglers, other times you need to get your own. If not available dockside, licenses for periods ranging from one day to one year can be purchased online for a modest fee.

 

How do you book a fishing charter? 

Much of fishing in Los Cabos’s appeal stems from the excellent infrastructure and full-service fishing operations based here. With dozens of professional charter outfits to choose from, anglers have virtually limitless options, including luxury sportfishing yachts equipped for extended offshore excursions.

Baja Fishing Team

The captains and crews take immense pride in their local fishing knowledge and put visiting anglers on fish year after year. The boats are usually modern, maintained to the highest standards, and equipped with top-of-the-line gear, fish-finding electronics, and all the needed amenities.

Many charters include an experienced deck crew to assist with baiting, landing fish, advice, photography, and pretty much everything else so the anglers can focus solely on catching. At the end of each trip, professional fish filet services make sure anglers can take fileted, vacuum-sealed catches back home, although check with your airline about regulations on flying with fish. Oftentimes you’ll need to transport your fish in a hard-sided cooler..

 

You can also charter smaller boats, like pangas, which lack some of the amenities of more expensive options, but get you out on the water and onto the fish with equal success. 

Pangas have no restrooms or other creature comforts, although most have a shade structure. Their smaller fiberglass bodies powered by outboards can make for an at times bumpy ride, but for many this only adds to the adventure a full day on the water brings. Often panga captains have been fishing these waters for generations.

Head down to the marina in Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Los Cabos and ask around, or do your research online when choosing a charter company. Trips are typically six hours or more and usually leave the harbor at first light, so be prepared to be on the water at the crack of dawn. Sunrises from a boat are simply epic.

Fishing boat

Whatever you do, don’t bring a banana on board. Fishermen are notoriously superstitious and bananas are thought to bring bad luck. It’s not uncommon for a captain to refuse to leave the dock if a banana is brought aboard.

Be prepared to tip your boat crew in cash, and make sure you’re clear on what is covered in the price of a charter. Sometimes bait and the fileting of your catch is at an extra charge. 

What is the big fishing tournament in Los Cabos?

Every October, the picturesque marinas of Los Cabos, Mexico come alive as the world's premier marlin tournament takes center stage - the legendary Bisbee's Black & Blue. This "main event" of sportfishing draws hundreds of the most elite teams from across the globe to compete for millions in prize money.

Bisbee Tournament in Los Cabos

Now over 40 years running, the Black & Blue has grown into an extravagant festival celebrating the supreme challenge of big-game marlin fishing as much as the sport itself. The tournament's frenzy plays out each fall with a lively energy electrifying the air at the bustling marinas. Massive luxury sportfishing yachts begin converging from near and far, meticulously prepared for the ultimate showdown against the hefty denizens lurking offshore.

Over the years, there have been numerous monumental catches cementing the Black & Blue's legendary status. In 1988, Bobby Brown's 1,223-pound black marlin obliterated the existing tournament record and remains one of the most epic big-game catches of all time. In 2006, the Black & Blue had its biggest overall cash payout of $4,165,960. In 2022, Bisbee’s handed out three checks of more than $1 million each, making for a total of $11,651,300 in prize money awarded that year, shattering an international tournament record.

The electric energy surrounding the Black & Blue builds for weeks leading up to the main event with an entire tournament series happening throughout October. The billfishing action and energy reaches a fever pitch during the highly-anticipated Black & Blue days themselves, although the other two tournaments, the East Cape Offshore Tournament in Buenavista near Los Barriles, and the Los Cabos Offshore Tournament, or “Little Bisbee’s.”

Lots of fish in Los Cabos

Spectators pack the marina to catch glimpses of the monster marlins being hauled up to the scales amidst roaring cheers. After the scales finally close and gigantic checks are dispersed, the tournament transitions into a full-on Mexican celebration. This is when award ceremonies, music, dancing and often plentiful beverages take over for nights of unbridled revelry and carousing. Anglers work hard and play even harder.

The Black & Blue also has an important legacy as a pioneer in marlin conservation. It established standards for safe catch-and-release tactics while educating others about responsible big-game angling. Teams adhering to stringent principles can earn major "release" bonuses by choosing not to harvest their prized marlins. Many teams have walked away winners while promoting preservation as well.

Where are the best places to fish in Los Cabos?

The Cabo San Lucas marina is a hub of activity midday, with throngs of onlookers gathered to admire the day’s catch. Knowledgeable locals will proudly tell you every detail about a prized marlin brought to the scales that day and where it was caught. “San Jaime Bank,” “Golden Gate,” “Cabo Falso” and “Santa Maria Bank” are often fruitful spots depending on the season and ocean temperatures. 

 

Puerto Los Cabos is also a world-class marina located in the traditional fishing village of La Playita just across the bridge from San Jose del Cabo. Both mega yachts and local fishing fleets call Puerto Los Cabos home, and it offers closer proximity to prime spots such as “1150,” “Iman” and “Gordo Banks.”

Will local restaurants cook the fish I catch?

In Cabo San Lucas, world-famous restaurants like Edith's, Baja Cantina, and Hacienda Cocina y Cantina serve up the day's freshest catches in every style from traditional Mexican preparations to exquisite fusion twists. 

Cook your fish

Local restaurants in the tiny port town at Puerto Los Cabos in San Jose are also happy to cook what you hook for a modest fee, and you can choose how you would like your fish prepared. From sashimi to al mojo de ajo, there’s nothing better than dining on your own catch.

 

 

When is the best fishing season?

While the weather in Los Cabos is amenable all year round, there are defined peak fishing seasons that savvy anglers try to plan around. These tend to align with major migratory patterns and optimal water conditions.

Summer (July - September) is considered a shoulder season when good action for species like tuna, dorado, wahoo, and inshore species can still be had. But it's also low season for tourism which means more availability and better pricing. The heat can be relentless so dress sparingly and accordingly and don’t forget the sunscreen.

 

Come October, things really start ramping up. The kick-off of the world-renowned Bisbee’s Black & Blue tournament sees elite teams descending to capitalize on the spectacular marlin action and multi-million-dollar prizes. Peak marlin and tuna bite continues right through the winter until March or April.

January through March are particularly popular and productive times. The winter climate is perfect, and full conservation measures are in effect for carefully managed catch-and-release of sailfish and other billfish. Los Cabos regularly ranks among the best destinations worldwide for the number of billfish caught and released during this season when dynamite bite windows happen almost daily offshore.

 

April through June offer a final window for great fishing for migratory species before the slower summer period hits. Tournaments featuring species like tuna, dorado, and wahoo take place. Toward July, the waters begin quieting down as the fish follow food sources and cooler temps northward. But this cycle starts all over again come October with the peak seasons.

 

Whether it's battling a 700-lb beast offshore or seeing who can boat the most tuna in a day, the pursuit of fish on these fertile Los Cabos waters is never short of exhilarating. 

With prime fishing grounds, a deep-rooted fishing culture, and phenomenal hospitality and infrastructure - it's no surprise the area has become hallowed ground for anglers from around the globe. Those who experience the adrenaline-packed action are forever spoiled, hooked on fishing and keep coming back for more. Picturing the electric moment of an epic striper detonating on a rigged ballyhoo instantly explains the obsession with fishing in Los Cabos.

 

Posted in Fishing, Lifestyle
March 27, 2024

Hitting the Markets!

Farm fresh produce and other local goods abound at Cabo markets

 

Although better known for its beaches and endless sunshine, the splendid farmers markets of Los Cabos deserve equal attention, especially from full- or part-time residents who crave natural food and want to support the local economy.

 

Organic and farm-to-consumer markets abound in the region, with markets in Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the corridor, Los Barriles, and Todos Santos, among others.

 

Los Cabos’ chefs, no matter their skill level, enjoy the freshest produce, artisan goods and creative cuisine offered by small, regional producers that never fail to delight.  It’s a treasure hunt with a guaranteed prize at the end; something your soul and body will thank you for.

 

Farmers markets in and around Cabo also foster community and many feature arts, crafts, music, kids’ activities, yoga, and other experiences that make visiting a farmers market in Southern Baja more than just a way to fill your pantry.

 

 

Ecotourism is on the rise in Cabo as people increasingly embrace nature and sustainability, and the area is renowned for its fresh produce and numerous, world-class farm-to-table restaurants.

 

Los Cabos homeowners reap the benefits of this agricultural movement, whether dining out on working farms or at home using produce and herbs often still warm from the Cabo sun.  

 

Here we explore where it all began by looking back at Cabo’s agricultural roots, from historic to organic. We also explore the unique story of the birth of organic markets through the eyes of its founder, John Graham. You’ll also find pertinent info on the five most popular markets that everyone should visit; San Jose Organic Market, Palmilla, Los Barriles, Cabo San Lucas’s Pedregal Market and the new Todos Santos Organic Market. 

 

Cabo’s Agricultural Roots

Cabo has a long history with agriculture and exports. The pitahaya, also known as dragon fruit, has been harvested for centuries with written records describing the sweet cactus fruit dating back to the arrival of the Jesuits in the late 1600s. These missionaries wrote of a kind of jam the indigenous Guaycura would make, mixing pitahayas with roasted hearts of Mezcal. There are even paintings of Guaycura women harvesting the fruit in the mountains with the aid of a long stick. 

 

The European colonists, who were expelled in 1767 after founding 16 missions, brought new food sources to Baja’s desert tropical climate, including wheat, beans, grapes, date palms, olive and fig trees.

 

Passing ships from China and the Philippines laden with luxuries from the East, such as spices and silks, on their trading journey to mainland Mexico would stop at the San Jose del Cabo estuary to take on fresh water. These merchant visitors brought mangos, apricots and tamarinds to the ‘New World,’ delicious additions to the local diet that Cabo residents still enjoy to this day. 

 

In the late 1800s, sugar cane was king, planted and harvested to make brown sugar, or piloncillo, from San Jose del Cabo to Todos Santos. Longtime residents of the town of Las Animas, where farm-to-table restaurants Flora Farm, Tamarindos and Acre are located, recall the air in the tiny pueblo smelling and tasting like sugar, as well as the incessant noise of the towns’ mills.

 

Sugar cane was the first crop exported from Southern Baja, destined for mainland Mexico where demand was high. For a time Los Cabos was the king of sugar in Mexico.

 

The cane plantations were centers of agricultural activity long before Southern Baja became a state, and helped local entrepreneurs prosper, bringing heretofore unfathomed wealth to the sparsely populated territory.

The sugar boom lasted until the early 1950s when a devastating, seven-year drought drained the water table and proved to be the death knell for the industry.

 

The lack of water forced many farming families to move away to agricultural regions north of La Paz where water was more plentiful, and farming in Los Cabos took a back seat to ranching for a time.

 

Organic farm

 

But the versatility of Southern Baja’s soil, availability of land and near-perfect winter climate beckoned to farmers from the north beginning in 1985 not long after the transpeninsular highway was built and paved, connecting Los Cabos to the United States 1,063 miles to the north.

 

Husband and wife Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin were farmers in California when they visited Southern Baja, falling in love with the people, climate and soil. 

 

The couple, who owned Jacobs Farms in Northern California, were at the forefront of the burgeoning organic farming movement, and brought their seeds, expertise and sustainable growing techniques to farmers in Pescadero, near Todos Santos, founding the Del Cabo farming collective, which today is made up of more than 1,200 farming families spread along the Baja Peninsula.

 

Americans from states as far north as Alaska have for years been able to buy Baja cherry tomatoes and herbs all winter long, an unlikely accomplishment that has put Cabo on the organic agricultural map.

 

The Birth of the Organic Market

 

"Agriculture is the proper profession of the wise, the most suitable to the simple and the most dignified occupation for every free man." The ancient Roman orator and statesman Cicero said more than 2,000 years ago.

 

His words hold true to this day and aptly capture the philosophy of Oklahoman John Graham, the founder of Southern Baja’s organic movement.

Graham also was fundamental in promoting organic farming back in the US and helped start and run Eugene, Oregon’s lauded organic market, before he was dispatched to Los Cabos in 1987. 

 

One of the early legends of the organic movement in the US, Graham was  raised on a farm, driving a tractor in circles around crops such as wheat and sorghum since the age of 12. The last thing on his mind as he entered college in 1972 was agriculture, he says, with a flash of his blue eyes and quick smile. 

 

Being a hippy had more appeal to the young man, whose wanderlust eventually led him to the Peace Corps recruitment table and he signed on. Graham was sent to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, staying for five years on what was supposed to be a two-year stint. 

 

At the same time, books about back-to-basics agriculture and organic farming were trending, and Graham realized there was a niche of farming that greatly appealed to him.

 

After the Peace Corps, Graham traveled to England and studied the methods of agricultural pioneer Alan Chadwick before moving to Oregon and falling in with the state’s growing crowd of organic aficionados.

 

There, he worked where he could, including a stint delivering produce in an old bread truck for a handful of area farmers who used organic techniques. He worked his way up to become the co-founder and manager of Eugene’s farmers market in the early ‘80s, which remains one of the most vibrant markets in the country. 

 

Graham also joined the International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement, a global organization that established basic standards for what organic agriculture should be, and Graham began expecting farms and awarding organic certification on their behalf. 

It was this role that first brought him to Los Cabos in 1990, where he was the first and only organic certifier in the area, and the first in all of Mexico. 

 

“I never intended to stay,” Graham says. “It was a very different back then. San Jose del Cabo was a town of around 15,000 people so it was kind of a backwoods experience.” Graham jokes that he got stuck in’ Los Cabos,’ where he has lived since, thoroughly enjoying the people, culture, and watching the seeds he has planted grow to fruition over more than three decades.

 

The desert topography isn’t what one usually thinks of as farm country, but Graham says that in the winter season, “the soil is easy to bring into fertility.”

 

Organic producers eschew chemicals and opt for natural fertilizers such as manure, earthworm castings and seaweed. Crops can be chosen and attended to in a way that discourages insects, making pesticides unnecessary, and rotating crops helps avoid depleting the soil’s nutrients, which often happens with mono-crops.

 

Graham’s primordial role in the San Jose Organic Market, which he is still active in today, was essential to getting farming off the ground in Los Cabos.

 

 It began as a sort of experiment held out on Gloria and Partick Greene’s land in Las Animas called Flora Farms, a 25-acre parcel just five minutes north of San Jose del Cabo, about 30 minutes up the road from Cabo San Lucas.

 

“We started our local farmers market here at the farm and it was an alien idea for our community at that time; by disseminating seeds and organic growing techniques, organic farming has become part of the fabric of our community,” Gloria Greene told Modern Farmer.

 

Graham and the Greenes managed to cobble together a few organic growers, and the San Jose Mercado Organico, a non-profit from the onset, was born. 

As the market grew, it changed locations, from Flora Farms to the Jockey Club to Huerta Las Marias and now Club La Huerta, with ample parking and a large grassy area for vendors and entertainment. Graham estimates that between 800 and 1,000 people visit the San Jose del Cabo Organic Market each Saturday during the high season.

 

Graham maintains a booth at the market where he sells crops he grows on his land (recently profiled in a viral YouTube video that has nearly 1 million views)  at one of several stands for fresh produce. Also for sale are plants, herbs, tomatoes and decorative plants, baked goods, pizza, lasagna, and even naan tacos and mineral sunscreen on a recent visit. 

 

The makeshift stage features singer-songwriters and African dance, and arts and crafts are everywhere in booths manned by their creators. In total there are around 80 booths this year, with space for more. Locally produced goods are welcome, recycling is mandatory, Chinese gadgetry is forbidden, Graham says. “We do have rules.”

 

And it’s a great place for aspiring entrepreneurs to get their feet wet. “The market has been something of an incubator,” Graham says, a place where people can test out their business models before making a major investment, or musicians can perform in front of an audience to gain experience.

 

Children are warmly welcomed, and there are numerous activities to keep them active and occupied. SanJoMo, as it is affectionately referred to, is an ideal way to spend a Saturday morning, sampling the best of what this community has to offer among friends, old and new. 

 

It’s a cosmopolitan event, with vendors and attendees coming from all around the world to gather together and celebrate creativity and nature every week, and an activity that is now firmly woven into the tapestry of life in Los Cabos.

 

It’s the market’s spirit that Graham rejoices in, and he’s more than pleased to see other communities around the state starting up their own farmer’s markets. “Supporting them helps everyone,” he says.

 

San Jose Organic Market

Baja California Sur’s original farmer’s market, this is the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday. With entertainment, activities for adults and kids, and over 80 booths brimming with locally created products, the organic Market is a true community gathering place drawing a cosmopolitan crown of vendors and visitors and has been since its inception in 1998. 

Organic Market

 

From November through April, the market, which has ample parking, is open every Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm at Club La Huerta, just behind Centenario Street in San Jose del Cabo. For San Jose residents, including those in communities like  Tortuga Bay, Las Mañanitas, Las Playitas, Puerto Los Cabos or the Viceroy Residences, the market’s bounty is just a few minutes from home.

 

Palmilla Market

Just down the road from premium developments like  The Break, Querencia and Club Campestre, and, literally, right next door to the luxurious homes in Palmilla, this market is a must-do. Located at the chic Shoppes at Palmilla, the shopping center just off the transpeninsular highway at the Palmilla exit, this Friday morning market offers delicious fresh food and handicrafts created by local chefs and artists. Embroidery, silver jewelry and fresh cut flowers are just some of the treasures waiting to be discovered.

 

 Los Barriles: 

The quaint and unspoiled beauty of Los Barriles is rivaled by the friendliness and creativity of its residents. The farmers market is a great way to explore the community and meet your neighbors, especially convenient for those living in Azula or Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. Los Barriles is also an ideal destination for a Saturday road trip from Los Cabos and is located just 45 minutes northeast of the San Jose International Airport. Come for breakfast, baked goods from the popular Mango Bakery, artisan cheese, authentic Chinese food from Kung Fu Kitchen, plants, herbs, art, jewelry, compost and an array of vegetables at this market, which is as charming as the town that hosts it. Market hours are from 9 am to 1 pm.

 

Cabo San Lucas Organic Farmer’s Market in Pedregal

This twice-weekly market, held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm is ideal for the Cabo San Lucas crowd, especially those living right next door in the iconic and luxurious Pedregal, or in upscale developments such as Quivira, Diamante, the Waldorf Astoria

The Cabo San Lucas Organic Market is the place to pick up fresh pasta and sauce, cinnamon rolls, muffins, fruits, vegetables, chicken, eggs, and cheeses as well as one of the best gathering places to meet members of our very diverse Cabo community. 

 

Inaugurated in December 2023 with support from the folks behind the San Jose Organic Market, this new entry into the farmers market circuit is not to be missed. 

 

The town itself, deemed a pueblo magico, or magic town, by the Mexican government is reason enough to make a visit to the Pacific beachside community located an hour north of Cabo San Lucas. Hit this one up on Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm and make a day out of it. 

 

The market features stands overflowing with vegetables, fruits, honey, art and baked goods, complete with family-friendly activities, drum circles and live music. 

 

With stated values aslocal, regenerative, organic, holistic, alternative, loving, healing, original, creative and authentic,” and with a devotion to 

“humility, cooperation, sensitivity, spirituality, fun, empathy and quality of family life,” this market embodies the distinctive Todos Santos spirit. Located at Palma Serena, the market takes place from 9 am to 2 pm every Friday in season. Leashed pets are welcome.

 

Apart from these main markets, several others in Cabo San Lucas, Santiago and La Ventana are also worth a visit, each amplifying and supporting the magical Los Cabos culture of creativity and growth. 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle
March 11, 2024

Los Cabos Day Trippin’: Todos Santos, Where Culture, Charm and Nature Flourish

San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, known collectively as Los Cabos, are outstanding places to live and visit, but a trip up the Pacific Coast to the “Magic Town” of Todos Santos is a must for those looking for traditional architecture, pristine surfing beaches, cultural and artistic activities and a slower lifestyle than its neighboring cities to the south. 

Just a 45-minute drive on a four-lane highway that follows the azure ocean, a visit to Todos Santos is like taking a step back in time, yet with plenty of activities and sights that make Todos Santos a charming Mexican gem and a must-visit destination. 

Although geographically close to the glitz and glamor of Los Cabos, Todos Santos has an almost bohemian vibe, and it’s a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. 

Here, dirt roads are plentiful and lead to gorgeous vistas and secluded beaches. In the winter months Todos Santos offers whale-watching and frequent baby sea turtle releases (Olive Ridleys, Leatherbacks, and Blacks make their nests here) and in the summer, Todos Santos enjoys a milder climate than its neighbors to the south. 

There are luxury resorts and world-class restaurants as well as surf shacks and street food. The cobblestone streets and restored haciendas feel like a stroll back in time. There is magic here in Todos Santos, ready to be explored.

What makes Todos Santos a Pueblo Mágico?

What is the history of Todos Santos?

Is the Hotel California in Todos Santos the same as the one in the Eagles song?

What are the best beaches in Todos Santos?

What makes Todos Santos an arts, cultural and culinary hub?

 

Todos Santos

1.What makes Todos Santos a Pueblo Mágico?

Since 2001, the Mexican government has designated 177 towns as “Pueblos Mágicos,” or Magic Towns due to their "cultural richness, historical relevance, cuisine, art crafts, and great hospitality." There is a lengthy and rigorous process for applying for and maintaining a Pueblo Mágico status, which Todos Santos has held since 2006. Visitors can feel the magic as they explore historic architecture, white sandy beaches, world-class cuisine and exceptional art galleries. It’s no surprise that many expats have winter or year-round homes in Todos Santos.

2. What is the history of Todos Santos?

Todos Santos, meaning “All Saints” in English, is located near the Tropic of Cancer and about halfway between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz up the Pacific Coast. 

Todos Santos, with a population of 7,185 according to the 2020 census, lies at the foothills of the imposing Sierra de La Laguna Biosphere, a UNESCO flora and fauna reserve due to its unique climate and endemic species.

The town was founded in 1733 and the last battle of the Mexican-American War was fought near Todos Santos in 1848 after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was already signed whereby Mexico ceded California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada, Arizona, and parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming to the United States for $15 million.

Due to its freshwater spring, Todos Santos became known as the sugarcane capital of the Baja Peninsula in the late 1800s, a designation that faded when the town’s water supply inexplicably dried up in the 1950s and miraculously returned some three decades later. 

Agriculture resumed in the 1980s with crops such as a variety of herbs and vegetables, avocados and mangoes which flourish in the rich soil and slightly cooler climate aided by the Pacific breeze. 

With the paving of Highway 19 in 1984, connecting the capital city of La Paz with Los Cabos, and the revival of agriculture, tourists began discovering this Southern Baja gem. The thriving surfer and artist communities drawn to this tiny town continue to this day.

Hotel California Todos Santos

3. Is the Hotel California in Todos Santos the same as the one in the Eagles song?

The Hotel California in Todos Santos has nothing to do with the Eagles song of the same name. The hotel was first built in 1947 by a Chinese immigrant and was the only place in town to get a cold beer as the owner brought ice in from La Paz. It was purchased in 2001 by a Canadian couple who renovated it extensively. 

After settling a lawsuit filed by the Eagles over copyright infringement in 2017, the owners of the hotel added the following language to its website: 

“The song ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles was not in any way inspired by the Hotel California in Todos Santos. The hotel wishes to inform its guests that there is no past or present connection between the hotel and the Eagles, any of its members, or their song. Any rumors or innuendo suggesting that the song is associated with or inspired by the hotel are untrue.”

It’s still a great place for a meal, a photo op, or a visit to the gift shop; as of this writing the hotel portion is closed.

 

Beach in Todos Santos

4. What are the best beaches in Todos Santos?

Todos Santos is a beach-lovers paradise, although always be aware of tides and undertows at any beach you visit. Grand Pacific swells rolling in during the winter season also make this a surfer’s delight with world-class waves meant for experts only, but there are also options for beginners. 

One of the most popular beaches in the area is Cerritos located south of Todos Santos proper just off the highway at Kilometer 64. Here you’ll find a shallow, sandy-bottomed beach with swimming, surfing lessons, lifeguards, beach chairs, umbrellas and sporting equipment rentals, beachside massages, restaurants, bars and trinket vendors. Cerritos is a lifestyle unto itself, offering that relaxed Baja vibe with striking views.

Playa Las Palmas located off the highway at Kilometer 57 is located in front of a gorgeous, palm-filled oasis. There’s a bit of a walk from the parking area, make sure not to leave valuables in your car, and swimming can be extremely treacherous at times. But it’s a gorgeous area for photos or watching the surf.

La Pastora Beach, a few miles north of town, is rocky-bottomed and recommended for expert surfers as the waves can be challenging for the inexperienced.

Playa Punta Lobos is one of the closest beaches to downtown Todos Santos and is known as the fishermen’s beach, meaning if you go in the morning through early afternoon you may be dodging fishing boats, but it’s a beautiful little protected bay with deeper water for swimming. 

For the adventurous, a hike to the top of the adjacent cliffs at Punta Lobos offers a beautiful view of the old port below and the vestiges of a stone pier. Sea lions like to hang out nearby and it's a stunning sight also possible to be viewed via a kayak tour.

And all beaches in Todos Santos offer excellent opportunities for whale watching in the winter months as blue, gray and humpback whales migrate from northern waters to breed and bear their young near Land’s End, and often entertain by breaching and spouting in coastal waters.

Fine Dining

5. What makes Todos Santos an arts, cultural and culinary hub?

Todos Santos has become a haven for artists who draw inspiration from the town’s beauty, golden sunlight and rich Mexican culture. 

Cultural events are regular happenings in Todos Santos, such as the Tropic of Cancer Music and Art Festival in January, another Art Festival in March and April, the Mango Festival in July, the City’s annual Fiestas Patronales on October 12, and a spectacular Cine Festival in November, to name just a few of the annual events.

There’s also a vibrant Casa Cultural or Cultural Center, a museum, historic buildings and cobblestone streets. Art galleries and specialty boutiques are everywhere, making for great shopping or browsing. You’ll see fine art, Mexican folk art, sculpture, Southern Baja imagery and so much more. 

And for those looking for wellness services, yoga, sound healing, temazcales or sweat lodges, meditation, ecstatic dance and first-rate spas are plentiful. There’s even a nearby branch of the Modern Elder Academy, a school for “midlife wisdom,” offering a plethora of programs and classes.

Blessed with an incredible agricultural bounty and fresh seafood, Todos Santos has everything from street tacos to world-class fine-dining options where you can find Mexican and international dishes served in an unbelievable setting.

The farm-to-table movement thrives here due to the availability of so many fresh ingredients and a passion for those that are locally sourced. Ceviche and fresh fish tacos, tacos al pastor sliced piping off the spit, homemade ice cream and refreshing popsicles are street treats to be enjoyed as you stroll the town’s cobblestone roads, or sit back to more refined delicacies, many enjoyed with a view of the setting sun, in establishments that rival the best restaurants around the globe, Todos Santos and the adjacent Pacific Coast communities have something for everyone, no matter your tastes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Todos Santos
March 7, 2024

Mexican Holidays: A Guide to Celebrations in Los Cabos

Celebrations are a fundamental part of Mexican culture, and in Los Cabos there are many holidays to enjoy. Some are familiar while others can be a bit baffling. 

If you are living in or visiting Los Cabos, whether it be San José del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas, knowing when the Días Festivos or holidays occur is important. 

On a practical note, some holidays can mean bank, business and school closures and even streets can be cordoned off for celebrations. Also, if you have Mexican workers, and require your employees to work on federal holidays you must by law pay them triple their daily wages, otherwise they are entitled to a paid day off.

Other holidays in Mexico are historic in nature, celebrating the birth of Mexico’s founding fathers or important dates in Mexico’s battle for independence. And some are religious, blending indigenous and Catholic traditions.

Celebrating Mexico’s traditions is one of the joys of living in Los Cabos, be it Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Semana Santa, Independence Day, Day of the Dead, Christmas, New Year’s, or any of the other of the many holidays gracing the Mexican calendar

Here’s a chronological guide to some of the major federal and regional holidays and celebrations in Mexico:

 

January 1, Año Nuevo/New Year’s Day:

This federal holiday is meant for recovering from the prior evening’s festivities as well as reflecting on goals for the year to come. As in other countries, expect most businesses, including Costco, to be closed.

New Year's Eve in Los Cabos

January 6, Día de los Reyes/Epiphany:

Epiphany marks the official end to the Christmas season, which begins on December 12th with the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This religious holiday commemorates the Three Kings' presenting gifts to the Christ Child.

It’s a day filled with family and food and more gifts for children. Children leave their shoes out the night of January 5th, and when they awake the next day, those shoes are filled with gifts.

Friends and families gather to share the rosca de reyes, a crown-shaped cake dotted with colorful candied fruits representing jewels. Hidden inside is a tiny plastic baby Jesus figurine. Whoever finds Jesus inside their slice of rosca is tasked with hosting a tamale party in February. 

Rosca de reyes mexicana

January 17, Día de San Antonio Abad/Feast of St. Anthony the Abbot:

Anthony the Abbot was a saint known for his constant companion, a pet pig. On this rather unusual holiday, Catholic churches in Mexico allow parishioners to bring in pets and livestock, often bathed and adorned with ribbons, for blessings in his honor.

 

February 2, Día de la Candelaria/Candlemas:

This religious holiday celebrating Jesus being brought to the temple is a follow-up to Three King’s Day and centers around food. Family and friends gather to share atole, a warm corn-meal drink, and tamales at a party hosted by the recipient of the doll found in the King’s Day cake on January 6th. Both atole and tamales are corn-based, a nod to Mexico’s indigenous people as the holiday coincides with ancient Aztec celebrations marking the end of winter. 

Tamal mexicano

February 5, Día de la Constitución/Constitution Day:

A national holiday, meaning government offices, schools, and banks will be closed, the first Monday in February marks the celebration of the signing of the Mexican Constitution on February 5th, 1917, seven years after the revolutionary war began. 

 

February 8 - 13, Carnaval

Beautiful La Paz has a huge Carnaval celebration each year with parades along the seaside, dancers, floats, carnival rides and musical performances. It’s a Mexican Mardi Gras, and a last hurrah before Lent begins the following day.

 

February 14, Miercoles de Ceniza/Ash Wednesday

Catholics mark the beginning of Lent by attending church where the priest draws a cross on their foreheads in ash where it will remain throughout the day as a sign of repentance. 

 

February 14, Día del Amor y de la Amistad/Valentine’s Day:

Valentine’s Day is a big, unofficial holiday in Mexico, but it celebrates more than just romantic love. As the name in Spanish indicates, it is about love and friendship so everyone is included and eligible for gifts of balloons, chocolate and flowers (expect long lines at the florist), or at the very least a warm embrace.

 

For courting couples, men will often commission a mariachi band to serenade the object of their affection. The suitor and musicians will play music and sing outside the woman’s window hoping to win her heart through song. If the woman comes to her window, that means she is pleased by the gesture.

 

February 24, Día de la Bandera/Flag Day:

Mexicans love their flag and its symbolism and take great pride in celebrating what the flag represents. It consists of three colors, green for independence, white for unity, and red for those who fought for their country. In the center is Mexico’s coat of arms depicting an eagle perched atop a nopal cactus eating a snake, commemorating the Aztec legend about the founding of Mexico City. This is a national holiday so expect banks, schools and government offices to be closed. 

 

March 19, Día de San José/Saint Joseph’s Feast Day:

First known as Añuiti by the indigenous Pericúes, then called San Bernabé by explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1630, San José del Cabo was renamed in the 1730s after the Jesuit mission that still stands in the charming town’s plaza today. 

With March 19th being the Catholic calendar’s Saint Joseph day, the town celebrates in a massive fashion with multi-day events including concerts and performances, fireworks, a carnival, street vendors and other festivities. Expect traffic delays throughout the week, especially in and around downtown San José del Cabo, but don’t let that deter you from taking part!

 

March 21, Día de Benito Juarez/Benito Juarez Day:

This federal holiday means banks, schools, government offices and some businesses will be closed on the third Monday in March, no matter when during the week the holiday falls, in order to give Mexicans a long weekend to celebrate the national hero and former president. 

Born in Oaxaca, Benito Juarez was Mexico’s first indigenous president and served five terms from 1858 to 1872. He saw Mexico through two wars and it’s his face you see on the 20-peso note. Expect parades, fireworks and other celebrations.

 

Semana Santa/Holy Week in Mexico:

Semana Santa, which in 2024 takes place from March 24th through March 31st, is one of Mexico’s main holiday periods with multiple celebrations, family gatherings and vacations. 

Traditionally, Mexican families in Los Cabos take to the beaches on extended camping trips, and Mexican families from the mainland often vacation in Los Cabos as schools in Mexico are on break. Some businesses may be closed during this week.

 

March 24, Domingo de Ramos/Palm Sunday:

Holy Week kicks off with Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. Palm fronds are woven into crosses and other intricate designs and then taken to the church to be blessed at a special mass.

 

March 29, Viernes Santo/Good Friday:

Marking the crucifixion of Jesus, Good Friday is a national holiday with banks, schools, government offices and some businesses closed. Processions reenacting the stations of the cross are held throughout residential neighborhoods, often with people in costume dragging large crosses through the streets.

 

March 31, Domingo de Pascua/Easter Sunday:

Easter is a movable feast with the religious holiday celebrated the Sunday after the first spring full moon. Instead of Easter egg hunts and baskets filled with plastic grass, Mexicans make cascarones, blown-out egg shells filled with confetti meant to be cracked over another unsuspecting person’s head.

 

April 30, Día del Niño/Children’s Day:

Families are of great importance in Mexican culture, and Día del Niño, first established in 1925, is a day to celebrate children. Schools remain open although teachers plan fun activities for students, parties are held, gifts are given, piñatas are smashed and special kid-focused cultural events are held.

 

May 1, Día del Trabajo/Labor Day:

Throughout the world, except in the US, May 1st is a celebration of workers’ rights. In Mexico, this federal holiday means banks, government offices, schools and many businesses will be closed

 

May 5, Cinco de Mayo:

This holiday is actually a bigger deal in the United States due to advertising campaigns that began in 1989 in an attempt to convince more Americans to drink Mexican beer. In Mexico this minor holiday commemorates the Mexican military’s 1862 victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla.

 

May 10, Día de Las Madres/Mother’s Day: 

Always celebrated on May 10, Mother’s Day in Mexico is a huge cultural holiday. Mothers are extremely important in Mexico (for those of you who speak Spanish, think of all the ways the word ‘madre’ is used) and Mexicans tend to go all out in paying their respects.

 

Mother’s Day in Mexico is one of the busiest days for mariachis, who are often hired to serenade mothers by singing Las Mananitas on Mother’s Day eve. Expect to see large lines at flower shops and packed restaurants on this day. 

 

May 15, Día del Maestro/Teachers’ Day: 

Teachers’ Day celebrates the important role educators play in Mexico, and is celebrated with special activities and events in their honor. If you have a child in school, don’t forget to observe this day and let their teachers know how important they are. Often, students give teachers white lilies as a token of appreciation.

 

July 7, Elecciones/Election Day:

In 2024 Mexico will elect a new president on July 7 to serve a six-year term. Note that during elections Mexico adopts ley seca, meaning no alcohol can be sold. 

Mexican Flag

Independence Day in Mexico

September 15, Grito de Dolores/ Cry of Dolores:

Mexican Independence Day celebrations begin the night before with the Grito de Dolores. At 11 pm on September 15 Mexican mayors, governors and the president himself recite the impassioned call to arms which started the war of independence from Spain. This reenactment ends with “Viva Mexico!” followed by fireworks and festivities in the plazas of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. 

 

September 16, Día de la Independencia/Independence day:

This federal holiday celebrates patriotism and independence, equivalent to the Fourth of July in the US. Banks, businesses, government offices and schools will be closed. Like the rest of Mexico, Los Cabos celebrates this important holiday in grand fashion with parades, more fireworks and other special events. Traditional Independence Day foods are pozole, tamales, chiles en nogada, and mole.

 

October 12, Día de la Raza/People’s Day:

Columbus Day in Mexico has a different name and a different purpose, celebrating the fusion of indigenous and Spanish cultures. This is a federal holiday with banks, schools, government offices and some businesses remaining closed. 

 

October 14 - 18, Fiestas Tradicionales de Cabo San Lucas/Cabo San Lucas Festival:

Saint Luke’s Day is cause for celebration in his namesake town, Cabo San Lucas, with carnival rides, concerts including national acts, fireworks and other festivities. 

 

Day of the Dead in Mexico

October 27, Día de los Muertos Para Mascotas/Day of the Dead for Pets:

Day of the Dead festivities kick off with this remembrance of furry companions, consisting of altars decorated with photos, kibble and their favorite toys.

 

October 31, Día de las Brujas/Halloween:

October 31, Halloween, is celebrated in Los Cabos with costumes and limited trick-or-treating, but traditionally is known as the Day of Unborn Souls.

Not to miss is the annual Los Barriles Witches Paddle Out on the East Cape.

 

November 1, Día de Todos Los Santos/All Saints Day:

November 1st celebrates children who have passed on and begins the elaborate Day of the Dead festivities in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. 

 

November 2: Día de Los Muertos/All Souls Day: 

Coinciding with the beginning of high season in Los Cabos, Day of the Dead celebrations are not to be missed. Watch parades of people dressed as catrinas, elegant skeletons with elaborate costumes and makeup, view altars to the departed in front of homes and businesses, or visit cemeteries where families gather to bring food, drink and candles to welcome the souls of their loved ones back for one night a year. Sugar skulls are made around this date, and bakeries produce pan de muertos, bread made in the shape of mummies or round loaves topped with bread “bones.” 

Dia de muertos

Some neighborhoods, such as Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, have their own Day of the Dead celebrations. And not to be missed is the parade of floating altars in the Cabo San Lucas marina.

 

November 18, Día de la Revolución/Revolution Day:

This is a federal holiday with banks, businesses, government offices and schools closed. Although the actual anniversary of the 1910 uprising against President Porfirio Díaz is on November 20th, it is observed on the third Monday in November in order to give Mexicans a three-day weekend.

Christmas in Mexico

December 12, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe/Our Lady of Guadalupe Day:

Christmas season in Mexico kicks off with this celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. Religious processions, ceremonies, dancing, fireworks, and other festivities are held in her honor. 

 

December 24, Nochebuena/Christmas Eve:

In Mexico, Christmas Eve is typically celebrated with a late turkey dinner, midnight mass, huge family gatherings, fireworks, and piñatas for the kids. Many families open gifts on Christmas Eve.

 

December 25, Navidad/Christmas Day:

Christmas Day is spent relaxing at home enjoying family, leftovers from the night before, and children playing with their new toys. Very few businesses are open and Costco is closed, as it is on New Year’s Day.

 

December 28, Día de Los Santos Inocentes/Day of the Holy Innocents:

A Mexican version of  April Fools Day, this holiday has biblical roots and celebrates the innocent or naive through jokes and pranks, including fake or humorous headlines in the Mexican medía . 

 

December 31, Nochevieja/New Year’s Eve:

The ritual for welcoming the new year is similar to many other parts of the world, but with a few Mexican twists. Traditional foods include tamales, salted cod, lentils and pozole. 

At the stroke of midnight eating 12 grapes and making a wish for each one, is thought to bring good luck in the new year. Those looking for love don red underwear, whereas yellow underwear is thought to bring wealth. 

 

Other traditions symbolizing out with the old and in with the new include mopping the floors with water and cinnamon, sweeping 12 coins from outside to inside the house, throwing a bucket of water out the window, and walking around the block with empty suitcases to ensure safe and frequent travels.

Posted in Mexican Holidays
March 1, 2024

Los Cabos Day Trippin’: Laid-back Los Barriles is an East Cape paradise

A day trip to Los Barriles is a must for those looking for a small-town Baja vibe with beautiful, swimmable beaches and a plethora of activities. 

 

Home to many snowbirds and ex-pats who embrace the relaxed lifestyle at the foot of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, Los Barriles is just 40 miles from San Jose del Cabo and 60 miles from La Paz. 

 

Los Barriles and its adjacent town, Buena Vista, are jewels of the East Cape, offering pueblo charm coupled with modern services such as cultural and sporting activities, beaching, banking and health care in a tight-knit community of Mexicans and ex-pats estimated at around 4,000.

 

Located on the tranquil Bahia de Las Palmas, Los Barriles offers year-round activities and a strong sense of community perfect for day trips from your Los Cabos home, or a beach retreat for those looking to purchase real estate away from, but still accessible to, the hustle and bustle of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas

 

Here’s more information on what makes Los Barriles such a special place:

 

            

Los Barriles fountain 

 

What is the history of Los Barriles?

 

The first residents of Los Cabos and the Southern tip of the Baja peninsula were the indigenous Pericúes, whose history in what would become Los Cabos and La Paz dates back at least 10,000 years. 

 

Nomadic and thought to be matriarchal, the Pericúes used rafts and watercraft quite skillfully and developed elaborate and efficient fishing techniques.

 

Encounters with Europeans began in the 1530s when Hernán Cortez ‘discovered’ the Baja peninsula on a quest to find Calafia, a mythical land of beautiful women and black pearls.

 

Later Spanish galleons from the Philippines en route to or from mainland Mexico used the Los Cabos and East Cape areas as a waypoint to stock up on fresh water and supplies during their travels. 

 

Explorers, pirates and missionaries followed in their tracks over the coming centuries, culminating in the Jesuits' arrival to the area in the late 1600s, the founding of the mission in Loreto in 1697, and 20 subsequent missions over the next 60 years.

 

The influx of European missionaries and their attempts to convert the indigenous tribes brought disease and uprisings. By the dawn of the 19th century, the indigenous population had dwindled to some 5,000 and would become culturally and linguistically extinct. 

 

Yet vestiges of their culture remain, including hand paintings adorning a giant boulder known as “Las Manitas” near Santa Anita, on the way from San Jose del Cabo to Los Barriles.

 

 

Los Barriles and the legendary the barrels of gold

 

Los Barriles means ‘The Barrels’ in Spanish, hence the barrels and fountain at the entrance to town, and there’s an intriguing legend surrounding the naming of this sleepy little town. 

 

The story passed down through generations, claims that in the 1800s, a ship bearing treasure was anchored just offshore from Los Barriles, which was then called Ensenada Las Palmas. With a storm approaching, the pirates needed to lighten their ship and offloaded barrels full of gold and jewels which they buried ashore.

 

Martin Verdugo, owner of Martin Verdugo’s Beach Resort, recalls his grandfather telling him the story of the barrels, and that a pirate ship was carved into a tree near where the treasure was buried to mark the spot. 

Many have looked for this elusive buried treasure, he says, but  it has never been found.

 

Although there may or may not be a fortune in Spanish gold in Los Barriles, life in the sleepy town is a treasure trove of activities throughout the year.

 

 

 

Fishing in Los Barriles

 

While the warmer summer months mean a slowdown in tourism for other Baja resorts due to soaring temperatures, not so on the East Cape where as the weather and water heat up, so does the bite.

 

Roosterfish, wahoo, dorado, marlin, sailfish, amberjack, sea bass, sierra, tuna and other species are plentiful in the area fishermen have been frequenting in greater and greater numbers since Highway One was opened in 1973 connecting Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas. 

 

The Sea of Cortez offers some of the best fishing in the world and Los Barriles is a great place to set off on a deep sea adventure. From the gorgeous sunrises to whales breaching to the frequent cries of ‘fish on!’ Los Barriles is uniquely blessed.

 

 

Well-known tournaments include the Dorado Shootout, the Tuna Shootout, the Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore, the Salt Patrol Marlin Tournament and numerous others including a more recently inaugurated ladies-only tournament. Fly fishing, surf fishing and kayak fishing are also options for intrepid anglers.

 

 

Early Los Barriles pioneers

 

The waters around Los Barriles are teeming with sea life and the area has always been a fisherman’s paradise even before northern visitors first began trekking down the peninsula some 70 years ago.

 

American pioneers in the area included Bobby Van Wormer, who first traveled to the area in the mid-1950s after his brother, Frank Van Wormer, and early East Cape developer Harb Tansey, regaled him with tales of bountiful waters. 

 

“I like to dive and came up with a mess of lobster. I thought, well there’s one good thing about this place,” Bobby told author Greg Nieman. “Then I went fishing and caught some nice cabrilla and sierra. Okay, great fishing, two things. I went dove hunting with equal success. Three. Then I looked up and down and saw nothing but unspoiled beaches for miles and realized at least four things make this a paradise. I knew then that this is where I belong.”

 

The Van Wormers built Hotel Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Villas de Cortez and the now-shuttered Punta Colorada

 

Tansey would turn a former goat ranch into a fish camp which later became the renowned Rancho Buena Vista, planting Los Barriles squarely on the map as a sportsman’s paradise with world-class fishing in an incredibly beautiful, yet remote, setting.

 

 Windy weather

Los Barriles: A wind sport Mecca

 

Fall, winter and spring in Los Barriles bring near-perfect conditions for lovers of wind sports which gained popularity on the East Cape in the 1980s as a near-perfect spot for wind and kite surfing.

 

Los Barriles has become a kiteboarding Mecca, drawing wind lovers from across the globe who flock to the area for the steady ‘EL Norte’  breeze that blows consistently from November through March.

 

With rolling swells and 18 to 25-knot winds gracing the expansive Bahia de Las Palmas, the destination draws newcomers to wind sports as well as seasoned veterans. 

 

Balmy air temperatures and comfortable water temperatures, no strong tides or currents, a sandy sea floor free from obstacles, easy entry and exit points and calmer, flatter stretches for beginners make this one of the top wind destinations in North America. 

 

Schools, equipment rentals and other support businesses are abundant, and even for those who don’t partake in the adrenalin-fueled sport, watching the kites sailing through the bay, and the acrobatics of those who pilot them makes this a delightful spectator sport.

 

 

Pickleball in Los Barriles

 

Not all activities in Los Barriles revolve around water. The active expat community has embraced pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in the United States, and several courts are available in the area for those already enamored of the sport or novices itching to see what all the hype is about. Warning: Pickleball can become addictive.

 

An amalgam of wiffle ball, ping pong and tennis, pickleball was invented in Washington State in 1965. It has enjoyed a surge recently due to its short learning curve, drawing players of all ages and athletic abilities. 

 

The NBA’s LeBron James and the NFL’s Tom Brady both own major league pickleball clubs in the United States, and the pickleball community in Los Barriles is strong and welcoming, with a number of courts, players, and tournaments during the winter high season. 

 

How to get around in Los Barriles

 

Los Barriles is quaint and laid back, but residents and visitors do have a well-developed sense of adventure. 

 

In an area with abundant natural beauty, and less abundant paved roads, ATVs are the way to get around. Whether riding along the sand to your favorite beach palapa, dodging occasional cows and goats on a trip to a local restaurant or cafe, or venturing back up the arroyo to a gorgeous waterfall hailing from the Sierra, quads/ATVs/UTVs/side by sides are the way to navigate this welcoming pueblo and its environs. 

 

ATV rental businesses abound if you don’t have your own, some including fishing rod holders and ice chests for that perfect Los Barriles vibe. Guided tours and community fun rides are also available. 

 

Los Barriles beach

 

Los Barriles offers something for everyone

 

There are myriad different yoga experiences and classes available in Los Barriles, where residents prize wellness and quality of life.

 

There’s a homegrown theater company called Baja Shakespeare, live music, a vibrant Saturday market, SCUBA diving, stunning sunrises and sunsets, stargazing, birdwatching, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, horseback riding, art festivals and classes, spas and massage services, miles of beaches to explore, hiking, mountain biking, shopping and excellent restaurants serving a variety of cuisines including ultra-fresh seafood. 

 

Golfers also can enjoy the Four Seasons Resort at Costa Palmas course (as well as its 220-slip marina), just 30 minutes south of Los Barriles. 

 

Los Barriles is a year-round destination offering something for everyone where Baja’s natural beauty and the bounty of nature shine brightly. Don’t miss out on this East Cape paradise. 

 

 

 

Posted in Los Barriles
Feb. 12, 2024

Is Los Cabos Safe? What You Need to Know

Los Cabos is a safe place both to visit and live. In fact, Cabo is the fourth safest city in Mexico according to recent federal government data, and Baja California Sur is the third safest state with the lowest murder rate in all of Mexico, equivalent to the murder rate in the state of Idaho.

Still, some of the most frequent questions asked of expats living in Los Cabos concern safety. These are generally posed by the well-intentioned but ill-informed who wonder why anyone would ever choose to settle in such a lawless, dangerous place, given the shocking headlines about violence in Mexico.

These questions are often met with sighs and reassuring answers from the 15,000 or so American, Canadian and other foreign national transplants who call San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas home and feel completely secure in their adopted city. 

Although certain towns in Mexico are rife with crime and cartel violence, Los Cabos, isolated at the end of a 760-mile peninsula, isn’t one of them. People at the beach

Cabo is a safe and serene place to live, and it's getting even safer with Cabo crime rates plummeting. Rest assured, government authorities are working hard to keep it that way.

This is a municipality of (officially) just over 350,000 residents who welcome more than four million visitors annually. Keeping tourists and residents safe is of the utmost importance.

With very few exceptions, Mexicans are warm and gracious hosts who want to share their culture with you and welcome you back time and time again.

Here, we’ll answer a few of the most pressing questions people have when planning to visit Los Cabos or purchase real estate in Cabo and a few tips on staying safe:

 

1. Is Cabo dangerous? 

2. Isn’t there a lot of crime in Mexico? 

3. How can I stay safe in Los Cabos? 

4. What do I do if I have an emergency in Cabo? 

5. What should I do if I’m stopped by the police in Los Cabos? 

 

1. Is Cabo dangerous?

While everyone has their own perception of what safety or danger is, most of those who live in Los Cabos will tell you they feel safer here than they do in their home cities, states or provinces. 

Cabo, more accurately known as Los Cabos, is a municipality comprised of two cities: the more relaxed San Jose del Cabo and bustling Cabo San Lucas. The last census, in 2020, showed  351,111 inhabitants, although the actual number in 2023 may be quite a bit higher due to the area’s phenomenal growth and Cabo’s commercial and residential real estate boom.

Among those residents are nearly 15,000 foreigners with temporary or permanent visas, according to statistics released in 2022. Although the majority of foreign residents in Los Cabos are Americans and Canadians, the North American expats are joined by Venezuelans, Spaniards, Britons, Colombians, Argentines and other nationalities who have chosen to make Los Cabos their home. 

Cabo is also hugely popular for remote workers and digital nomads who embrace the opportunity of working virtually from paradise, taking advantage of the resort towns’ speedy internet, coworking options, and gorgeous opportunities for home offices away from the urban stress back home.

There’s a fundamental reason why both the permanent foreign population and the number of visitors are growing by leaps and bounds. Neither would thrive in a region fraught with danger.

Los Cabos is safe and beautiful with a slower pace than cities across the northern border. It’s a great place to raise families as well, with second and third generations of expats still calling Los Cabos home.

Residential neighborhoods such as San Jose del Cabo’s Querencia, Palmilla and Club Campestre offer proximity to great schools and health care as well as the added peace of mind of gated, guarded communities, as do Pedregal, Hacienda Beach Club and Chileno Bay in or near Cabo San Lucas. 

Area residents welcome at least 4 million visitors who arrive at the Los Cabos airport each year, plus tens of thousands of cruise ship passengers. The region's growth in recent years has been exponential.

It’s easy to understand why Cabo feels more like a bustling metropolis than the quaint villages Baja Properties owner and broker Michael Schaible encountered when first came to Southern Baja and founded the company in 1986.

Back then, there was no airport to speak of, no paved highway, no golf courses, no home phones and few hotels. Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo were more like villages, Schaible recalls, and residents knew and looked out for one another.

Although the population has exploded, that welcoming sentiment prevails among Cabo residents, new and old.

The sheer number of people in Los Cabos today can and does present public safety challenges, such as petty theft and fraud, but as a whole, Cabo is very safe, with an intentional homicide rate (2.2 per 100,000 population) for the entire state of Baja California Sur on par with Idaho, the latest government statistics show. 

Additionally, the state’s attorney general posits that 80% of homicides are solved by careful police work. Compare that success rate to an average of 52% in the United States as of 2022.

The crime rate in 2023, the lowest since 2013, shows Southern Baja and Los Cabos as one of the safest areas in all of Mexico, landing Baja California Sur in the top three safest of all 32 Mexican states.

The current governor is committed to maintaining and improving safety for residents and visitors alike. 

In late September 2023, 28 new vehicles were delivered to law enforcement and rescue agencies across the state, including eight sedan-type vehicles, 15 pickups and four ambulances. 

The municipal government has also launched initiatives specifically designed to help foreign residents in Los Cabos in emergency situations. Scroll down to read more about those important programs.

 

2. Isn’t there a lot of crime in Mexico?

Mexico is a vast country comprised of 32 states, some of which are, indeed, dangerous, including some of the most dangerous cities in the world. But Mexico is a big country, and cannot be painted with one brush.

For this reason, the US State Department rates safety in Mexico by state, not by the country as a whole.

 “Some Mexican states are quite safe for U.S. tourists, while others are riskier due to narco-trafficking violence,” Ryan Larsen, executive director of the Institute for Global Engagement at Western Washington University told National Geographic recently. Downtown San Jose on the Thursday's Art walk

When news stories of cartel or other violence in Mexico dominate the headlines, it is important to understand that these incidents are confined to specific parts of the country.

The US State Department recommends travelers to Southern Baja and Los Cabos “exercise increased caution,” just as they should if traveling to Hong Kong, Antarctica, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Belize or the United Kingdom. These countries are all at US State Department Level 2 for safety, as is Baja California Sur, whereas six states in Mexico are at Level 4, meaning “do not travel.”

Baja California Sur is at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, isolating it from much of the turmoil other parts of Mexico experience. Criminals here can’t flee to another state without a lengthy car ride north up our only highway or an exit via plane or boat. The remoteness is a natural deterrent.

And while bad things do happen in Southern Baja, as they do everywhere, Los Cabos is no Juarez or Tijuana. 

 

3. What are some Cabo safety tips?

For the most part, staying safe in Los Cabos amounts to using common sense. Don’t visit unfamiliar places at night, keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings are good rules wherever you travel.

Cabo is a safe destination, but, like anywhere, if you are looking for trouble you can certainly find it. 

Recommendations from the US State Department for all travelers include:

Keep people informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi or Uber alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend. And if you decide to stay a little longer in Los Cabos than planned, as many do, also let loved ones know.

Be careful in and around bars and nightclubs. Alcohol and other illicit substances often lead to risky behavior and poor decision-making, no matter where you are in the world.

If you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it. Avoid blatant signs of wealth, like expensive watches or jewelry, in casual situations.

Consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Whether you are an American resident of, or visitor to, Los Cabos, this US government program sends you alerts via smartphone about things like extreme weather and makes it easier for the government to locate you in an emergency. 

Watch out for scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Don’t trust strangers or people on the internet with money or personal information. 

 

4. How do I report an emergency?

If you have an emergency, calling 911 is essential, and this number works in Los Cabos as well. 

However, those with limited Spanish proficiency can find calling 911 challenging, to say the least, especially during an already stressful event. 

To that end, in 2022 the Los Cabos municipal government established a WhatsApp chat for non-Spanish-speaking residents experiencing emergencies. 

It’s a great program that just requires just a bit of forethought to set up. 

Here’s how it works. 

The Foreigners Emergency WhatsApp Chat is designed to provide emergency assistance to all non-Spanish-speaking foreigners living in Los Cabos as part of an emergency system monitored by the police. 

It is available and monitored 24/7 by English-speaking emergency professionals and boasts a response time of five minutes or less, depending upon the location of the emergency. Hundreds of foreign residents are already using it.

How can I sign up?

Download WhatsApp on your smartphone, which is a good idea for many reasons when living in or visiting Los Cabos.

Email Nohemi Romero Guzman (noemiromero@loscabos.gob.mx) of the Foreign Resident Advisory Board with your full name, the neighborhood where you live (El Tezal, Pedregal, etc.) and the phone number associated with your WhatsApp account. She speaks fluent English, is extremely helpful, and will get you set up on the chat. You’ll receive a WhatsApp message when your name has been added to the public safety chat with a set of rules that you must strictly follow. 

 

Here are some of the rules:

Be objective and precise with your information or request for help.

In a single paragraph write or record an audio with your emergency or complaint in detail; starting with the location of the event, description of the suspicious car or person, time, exact location and any photos you may have.

Don’t use emojis in your emergency messages.

Don’t report rumors. 

 

Another important resource is the Tourist Assistance Los Cabos Office (CATTAC for its acronym in Spanish) located right on the Marina in Cabo San Lucas. While this is not an emergency resource for matters regarding life or limb, it can help with other kinds of emergencies such as filing police reports and lost passports. 

As one visitor recently reported: “CATTAC was amazing and totally saved us. My husband’s passport went missing and the only way to travel internationally was to have a police report because there is no US Embassy in Cabo. After several hours of searching, we found CATTAC. They are there to specifically help tourists,” the visitor wrote in an online review. 

“Sandra and a nice gentleman (so sorry I didn’t write down your name) helped us with our police report. So friendly and understanding. We just needed to brief them on the situation, provide an alternate ID, and the report we submitted to the US. Thank you so much !!”

 

5. What should I do if I’m stopped by the police in Los Cabos?

Most police encounters in Cabo involve driving, which can be challenging especially during Los Cabos’ high traffic hours.

Everyone is encouraged to drive defensively, meaning be very aware of your surroundings and potential road hazards, and don’t expect everyone else to follow traffic laws or safe driving techniques.

In order to prevent encounters with police, which is highly advised, here are a few things to remember:

Don’t operate a cell phone while driving.

Don’t drink and drive.

Don’t park in a handicapped space or a red zone. If you have inadvertently done so, the traffic police will issue you a ticket and confiscate your license plate. You’ll need to go pay your fine, usually minimal, at the police station and retrieve your plate.

Make sure you always have your license, registration and proof of insurance in your vehicle.

If you are pulled over by police, don’t panic, be polite and courteous and don’t offer a bribe.

 

Conclusion

One of the great joys of living in Los Cabos is getting to know the Mexican people and share in their culture. 

They have been welcoming expats in growing numbers for more than half a century, and children whose foreign national parents moved to Cabo in those early years are now having children of their own, and raising them in Los Cabos.

As Cabo has grown as a destination over the years, San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, linked by the increasingly populated 20-mile corridor that runs between the two towns, have developed big city amenities coupled with breathtaking natural beauty and very few of the problems associated with larger urban centers. 

Crime in Los Cabos is minimal compared to other cities north of Mexico’s border in the United States and on Mexico’s mainland. 

Cabo is a place to fish, whale-watch, golf, swim, sunbathe, shop, eat, raise children and enjoy life at a slower pace. 

Cabo is safe and it is safe to travel and live in Los Cabos, a fact to which millions of visitors and tens of thousands of foreign residents can attest. 

As you would anywhere, use common sense, familiarize yourself with the steps to take should an emergency situation arise, and then sit back and enjoy life in paradise.

Posted in Town safety
Jan. 4, 2024

Working Remotely in Los Cabos: An Insider’s Guide

 

Living and working in Los Cabos are not two disparate concepts. Digital nomads and permanent remote workers are flocking to Mexico as technology allows many to work online from anywhere.

 

Ocean View while working remotely

 

This remote working trend is reflected in the Los Cabos real estate boom post-lockdown, and what better place to achieve a true work/life balance than this Southern Baja paradise?

 

Boasting an average of 350 days of sunshine per year, and a near-perfect climate during winter months, there is no better place than Los Cabos to relocate your virtual office.

 

Whether you are looking to rent, purchase or invest in the Los Cabos real estate market, it’s one of the best places in Mexico for remote working. Rental properties also offer a high return on investment, so when you are not enjoying your vacation home you can make it work for you.

 

Many real estate options in Los Cabos offer beach and arch views right outside your home office window, and refreshing pools for a quick dip in between meetings. 

 

If you need further convincing to make the leap, either for yourself, your family, your boss or your coworkers, here are a few talking points followed by the nitty gritty on making your Los Cabos remote working dream a reality.

 

1.   What are the advantages of working remotely in Los Cabos?

2.   What is the best place to live for remote working in Los Cabos?

3.   Can I legally work remotely in Los Cabos?

4.   What are the best Los Cabos internet providers?

5.   What’s the best phone service for Mexico?

6.   Do I need a VPN in Los Cabos? 

7.   Are there coworking spaces in Los Cabos?

8.   Where do I get office supplies in Los Cabos?

9.   How do I receive mail in Los Cabos?

 

 

1.   What are the advantages of working remotely in Los Cabos?

 

     Inspiring Workspaces: Whether you dedicate a space in your Los Cabos home or condo to a virtual office or choose from an array of co-working spaces, remote work in Los Cabos brings scenic views, the charm of Mexican culture, and a more relaxed lifestyle that lends itself to increased productivity without the stress of an urban office setting found in other countries. With work/life balance becoming increasingly important, the Los Cabos lifestyle is simply ideal.

 

     High-Speed Internet: Several options are available for a reliable and rapid internet connection, allowing video calls, streaming and downloading at rates comparable, and in some cases better, than many North American cities.

 

     Cost of Living: Many services in Los Cabos are much more affordable than in the United States or Canada due to the low cost of labor. Yes, there are world-class restaurants with world-class prices, but there are also many affordable and delicious options. Car maintenance is extremely affordable, as is employing domestic help such as maids or gardeners to limit time spent on chores once the workday is done. 

 

     Time Zone: Mexico abolished Daylight Savings time changes in 2022 for most of the country, including Los Cabos which is on Mexican Pacific Time, making working with teams in the western regions of the US and Canada extremely convenient. During Daylight Saving Time, Los Cabos is in the Pacific Time Zone, and otherwise, Los Cabos is in the Mountain Time Zone.

 

     Physical Proximity: If in-person meetings are a must, the Los Cabos airport offers direct flights to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Portland, Phoenix San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Auston, Denver, Santa Ana, Seattle, Oakland, New York, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Las Vegas and other destinations in the US, with some routes being seasonal in winter months. Canadian direct flights from Los Cabos include Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Kelowna and Toronto. Numerous destinations within Mexico are also just one plane ride away.

 

 

2.   What is the best place to live for remote working in Los Cabos?

 

Nestled between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, Los Cabos is comprised of two towns, charming San Jose del Cabo and bustling Cabo San Lucas, each offering excellent options for working in harmony with the breathtaking natural beauty Los Cabos offers. 

 

Your Los Cabos realtor can help you determine which neighborhoods and locations are right for you.

 

This resort destination hotspot has grown exponentially in recent years and boasts solid technological infrastructure as well as physical beauty, first-class amenities and activities.

 

Cabo San Lucas is renowned for arch views where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet at land’s end, the iconic tip of the Baja Peninsula. Cabo San Lucas offers a faster-paced lifestyle with a plethora of bars, restaurants and activities designed for the young at heart. 

 

Cabo San Lucas real estate opportunities include great options in the prestigious Pedregalneighborhood with amazing sunset views, and The Paraiso residences offer excellent shopping and dining for the lovers of the Marina area. There are also amazing communities in Quivira on the Pacific side of Cabo and Cabo Del Sol on the corridor just outside of Cabo San Lucas.

 

San Jose del Cabo, founded in 1730 by Jesuit missionaries, is ideal for families or those seeking a slower-paced lifestyle. With farm-to-table dining, a Thursday night Art Walk and historic architecture, San Jose is resplendent with charm. Tortuga Bay or Las Mañanitas are great options for digital nomads in San Jose del Cabo.

 

Looking to catch a few waves on your lunch hour? Los Cabos is a world-famous surf destination with vibrant real estate options close to surf breaks. Querencia, Palmilla and other San Jose beachfront communities allow you have toes in the sand at the drop of a hat.

 

Or how about a round of golf on one of Los Cabos’ world-class golf courses after work in place of a grueling commute? Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson have all designed golf courses in Los Cabos. Savor life on the links at Puerto Los Cabos, Cabo Del Sol, Club Campestre,PalmillaQuivira Golf ClubDiamante, and Rancho San Lucas

 

Is deep sea fishing your passion? Los Cabos is home to the Bisbee’s Black and Blue tournament, the most lucrative fishing tournament in the world. In 2023 a 501-lb black marlin brought home a $3.6 million US payday for the lucky anglers. Puerto Los Cabos, Hacienda Beach Club and the Waldorf Astoria communities put you just minutes away from the water.

 

Whatever your taste, it’s all here. Where you find your home depends on what you are looking for. There are no bad options and no bad days.

 

3.   Can I legally work remotely from Los Cabos?

As far as the Mexican government is concerned, yes, you can work remotely from Mexico. 

 

And what’s not to like about earning in dollars and spending in pesos? As long as you don’t work for a Mexican company or receive payment in a Mexican bank account, your federal tax responsibility lies in the country where you receive payment.

 

You can work remotely in Mexico on a tourist visa for short periods of time, however, the maximum number of days you can stay is 180, and whereas a six-month stay used to be the norm for tourists when entering Mexico, that is no longer always the case. 

 

A better option for homeowners in Los Cabos is applying for a temporary or permanent resident visa, which is a fairly simple process with a few key requirements.

 

     Temporary Resident Visa (Residente Temporal): This visa is typically issued for up to four years and can be renewed. It is often used by retirees, employees, or people with family ties in Mexico. To apply for a temporary resident visa, you will generally need to demonstrate a minimum income or show that you have a job or family ties in Mexico. You'll also need to provide certain documentation, including financial statements.

 

     Permanent Resident Visa (Residente Permanente): This visa allows you to live in Mexico permanently. You may be eligible for permanent residency if you have held temporary resident status for several years, have family ties to Mexican citizens or residents, or meet specific financial criteria. The financial requirements for permanent residency are usually higher than those for temporary residency. Permanent residency never expires and does not need to be renewed.

 

There’s paperwork involved, and consulting with an immigration attorney or specialist is advised unless you are familiar with bureaucratic processes in Mexico and have a good command of Spanish.

 

4.   What are the best Los Cabos internet providers?

If you are going to be working remotely in Los Cabos, high-speed internet is a non-negotiable feature. The good news is, Los Cabos' internet speeds are for the most part rapid and reliable. The top two internet providers in Los Cabos are Telmex and Starlink.

 

Telmex (Telefonos de Mexico) is the telephone company previously owned by the Mexican government but was privatized in 1990 and is owned by Carlos Slim, one of the wealthiest men in the world. In addition to traditional landlines, Telmex offers Infinitum internet in several packages. If your home has fiber optic cable wired in, this is a good option. There are several internet packages available at varying speeds and price points

 

Starlink, powered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites, is becoming increasingly popular in Baja California Sur, and is a slightly pricier but very effective option with download speeds in excess of 150 mb. You must purchase the equipment online ($8,300 pesos/$460 USD at the time of publication, plus shipping and handling) and it often arrives much sooner than the two-week delivery time listed on the website. 

 

Starlink operates a constellation of thousands of small satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). These satellites communicate with user terminals on the ground to provide internet access.

 

It requires a clear view of the sky, which is fairly easy to achieve in Los Cabos due to the scarcity of forests and high-rise buildings and can be installed in 15 minutes or so requiring no technical expertise. Monthly standard plans are 1,100 pesos (around $61 USD at the time of publication). Mounting brackets and other accessories are available on the Starlink website for purchase.

 

Customers in Mexico receive a user terminal kit from Starlink including a sleek satellite dish (also known as a phased-array antenna) and a modem.

 

The dish is designed to automatically align itself with the satellites overhead and the antenna can adjust its orientation to maintain a connection as the satellites move across the sky.

 

Keep in mind that most homes in Mexico have cement walls which tend to block Wi-Fi signals. Investing in a good mesh system to ensure connectivity throughout your home is suggested. 

 

5.   What’s the best phone service for Mexico?

Some US/Canadian carriers have coverage throughout North America which includes Mexico. Others charge a premium for international coverage, so check your own plan for the best option.

 

That said, cell phone service in Mexico is quite inexpensive, and if you purchase an unlocked phone with dual SIM cards you can keep your old number while using a local number for calling friends and businesses in Los Cabos.

 

And, if you’re not already using WhatsApp, you might want to download the app as most Mexicans use this for voice calls and texting. 

 

Also, consider getting a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service such as Google Voice, which allows you to make and receive calls over the Internet. Google Voice and other similar apps also record calls and transcribe voice messages, which can be handy when participating in important meetings or for more detailed voice mails. 

 

6.   Do I need a VPN in Los Cabos? 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers numerous advantages, the least of which being that not everyone you interact with online needs to know you’re working from Cabo. VPNs are relatively inexpensive and can allow access to certain sites that block users in Mexico. They also offer peace of mind and increased security. Some advantages to consider are: 

 

     Encryption: VPNs encrypt your internet connection, which helps protect your data from potential threats.

 

     Access to Restricted Content: VPNs allow you to access content that is geographically restricted, such as many of the streaming services available in the US and Canada, websites, and online platforms. You can connect to servers in different countries to access content that might be blocked in Mexico. For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime have different programming in Mexico, and streaming services like Hulu and Peacock are not available in Mexico at all. Yet add a VPN app to your smart TV and you’ll have access to a greater variety of content.

 

     Public Wi-Fi Security: Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously insecure, and using a VPN on these networks can help protect your data from potential eavesdropping and attacks. Almost all restaurants, cafes and supermarkets in Los Cabos have wifi available with or without a password, thus a VPN adds an extra layer of security if you are out and about and need to get online.

 

     Multiple Device Support: Many VPN services allow you to use a single account on multiple devices, ensuring privacy and security across various platforms and operating systems.

 

Cowering spaces, next to the pool?

 

7.   Are there coworking spaces in Los Cabos?

Whether you need to hold meetings or just miss being around others as you work remotely in Los Cabos, there are several options for coworking spaces with flexible layouts. If you need a boardroom or just a desk, a smile and some air conditioning, coworking in Los Cabos has you covered. 

 

     Coworking at Los Cabos has been around since 2020, and is located along the highway to Todos Santos in Cabo San Lucas.

 

     Colab offers coworking spaces in San Jose del Cabo and La Playa/Puerto Los Cabos.

 

     Biznest on one of Cabo San Lucas’ main drags, Leona Vicario, has been functioning as a virtual office and coworking space since 2015. 

 

     Koral Desk, located along the corridor between San Jose and Cabo San Lucas, offers Sea of Cortez views from its office. 

 

Most coworking spaces in Los Cabos offer free coffee and water, blazing-fast internet speeds, have bilingual receptionists and fully-equipped presentation rooms, but maybe the best part about having a remote office space outside of your home is avoiding distraction when working on important projects. That and working around other people for those times when you are fed up wearing pajama bottoms while staring at a computer screen. Plus coworking is great for networking and making new friends.

 

8.   Where do I get office supplies in Los Cabos?

Office supplies are most conveniently purchased at big box stores you will recognize from home: OfficeMax, Office Depot and Costco have just about everything you could need. Do take note that most computers purchased in Mexico have a Spanish keyboard to accommodate accent marks.

 

With the fluctuating power grid, brownouts and electrical outages can happen, especially during rare storms. Invest in a backup charger for your cell phone and a surge protector for electronics. 

 

9.   How do I receive mail in Los Cabos?

Using the Mexican postal service is not recommended, but there are courier services that can deliver documents, such as Federal Express and DHL, although service takes longer and is costly. 

 

Mail Boxes Cabo, with locations in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo provides you with a California address and ships several times a week. They also take care of the 28 percent duty paid on most packages and can even help with things like car delivery from the US and relocation services. 

 

Conclusion

Remote working in Los Cabos offers a unique work/life balance and a plethora of housing options making a Cabo real estate purchase ideal for those seeking to live — and work — in paradise.

Posted in Digital Nomads