A few weekends ago, we celebrated our fifth anniversary in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was our first big trip since we had our son and the first time we've traveled internationally since we were married! It was such a nice and relaxing trip and we learned a lot about the do's and don't's in Cabo. We'll definitely be going back and our trip may look a lot different whenever that is, because of the things we learned while there!
Months before our anniversary, we knew we wanted to travel somewhere for our anniversary. Being our fifth anniversary, we wanted to make sure to make it a special one. With kids, it's hard to travel away from them and we knew that our anniversary was the perfect reason for a quick getaway.
I scoured budget friendly trips on CheapCarribean.com and found that going to Cabo was the closest and cheapest option for us coming from Phoenix. It's only a two hour flight from here which makes it a great three or four day weekend trip where we don't have to feel too guilty about leaving our son with grandparents.
We ended up booking a combo flight and hotel package and stayed at the Sandos Finisterra resort. We enjoyed our stay but would choose somewhere else for a few reasons. The two main reasons is that our hotel was definitely budget friendly and while we had no huge complaints, we'd probably choose somewhere a little nicer that was in a more central area. We stayed on the Pacific Ocean side of town, which is an area where you cannot swim at the beach. This wasn't a huge issue for us, but we found that closer to the central area of town had a lot more options for restaurants and things to do. Our stay was all inclusive, but we actually would probably opt for non-all inclusive the next time in Cabo.
Cabo is extremely walkable and tourist friendly. I have stayed in Cancun before and our resort was far from other restaurants and town so a non-all inclusive stay was not an option. However in Cabo, there are so many restaurants that are phenomenal and everything is fairly inexpensive. We had three meals out, two a part of our excursions, and one on our own to Tacos Gardenias. Our meal at Gardenias was around $20 with tip for two fish tacos and one drink each. Usually I prefer all inclusive resorts so that you don't have to worry about spending a lot of money while you are traveling, but in Cabo's case, I think I'd opt for an all-inclusive on drinks resort with food being a la carte.
For our excursions, we chose to do a sunset dinner cruise and a city tour of San Jose and Cabo. A quick side note, if you've prearranged travel from the airport, be warned that you will likely get asked to attend a sales presentation for a time share. For us, someone approached us and asked what company we had reserved our travel through and then escorted us to a desk. We assumed at first that the person at the desk was from the travel company we had arranged transportation with. We learned later he was from another hotel. He was able to offer us complimentary breakfast and a huge discount on our excursions. We took the deal and went to the time share presentation which was less than fun. It was mostly worth it for the deals we got though. But just a fair warning that you will be approached many times while there about sales presentations. You may have to be pushy and keep saying no!
Lover's beach with the Pacific Ocean on the other side
Our sunset dinner cruise was definitely one of our favorite parts of the trip! It was two and a half hours cruising around the Sea of Cortez and visiting the famous Arch of Los Cabos. The cruise itself had a delicious Mexican dinner buffet, all inclusive drinks, a live band and music for the whole cruise. It was nice to be able to relax and enjoy the cooler weather on the water and get to enjoy music on the water with a beautiful view!
The next day we had our city tour which was an eventful day of sightseeing! We started back on the water visiting the Arch again, this time in a glass bottom boat. The waters are definitely choppy, so if you're prone to motion sickness, stick to a larger boat for sure! The views are much different at night versus the day and the boat tour was much more informative than our dinner cruise, which was fun to learn more about the natural aspects of Cabo.
Our second stop on the city tour was a tequila tasting. Even if you have never really had tequila outside of a margarita, this tasting is so fun and informative. You try a handful of different tequilas, aged for various time periods in different types of barrels. Like whisky, the age of the distilling and the type of barrel used makes a huge difference in the way that the tequila tastes. We purchased a few of the tequilas that we tasted to bring home and enjoy until the next time we're back in Cabo! One of my favorites was a vanilla tequila that I tried when I was in Cancun four years ago and didn't buy. I didn't make that mistake again this time!
After the tequila tasting we headed towards San Jose for lunch. On the way out of town we stopped at a glass blowing factory and saw a quick demonstration of a glass fish being made. It was amazing to see how they created it and definitely gave us an appreciation for glass blowing! We purchased a few teal rimmed water glasses to bring home as a souvenir!
We stopped at a small restaurant on the side of the freeway and enjoyed quesadillas and marlin tacos for Steven. It was definitely the authentic food in Cabo experience we were wanting!?We continued on to San Jose for a brief tour and some shopping. To be honest, we probably wouldn't recommend the full day's tour. There was another tour that just toured Cabo and while San Jose is much quieter and less of the "party" scene that Cabo is known for, that part of the tour was less than exciting for us. It mostly just made for a really long day and lots of car sickness for me, thanks to crazy driving that is the norm in Mexico 😉
The rest of the trip was spent lounging at the pool or the beach and we were 100% okay with it. When we returned, Greyson was skeptical of us, apparently three days at his grandparents house is enough to forget about his parents 😉 We had a blast on the trip and can't wait to go back! If you're considering traveling to Cabo with kids, do it! It was totally family friendly and honestly we saw tons of families at our resort.
If you're going to an all-inclusive resort, be sure to do at least one meal outside of the resort for fun. It's a great experience and everything is VERY American/tourist friendly. You don't need pesos anywhere and if you know Spanish, the locals love speaking to you in Spanish but everyone we met spoke better English than my Spanish, so we mostly kept to that. I definitely noticed that shopkeepers and waiters appreciated when I did order in Spanish and ask for things, so it was fun for me to use my rusty Spanish skills.
Have you ever been to Cabo? I'd love to hear your stories!