So, you are coming to Cabo for vacation. First–its a 30 minute drive from the airport, how are you getting here? Second–you have heard that Mexicans drive crazy, is it safe to drive? What options do you have? Whether you are staying at a resort on the beach or a vacation rental home outside of town you are going need to understand transportation here.
First–We don’t have Uber in Cabo. We do want Uber but the taxi lobby is very strong here and are not letting Uber at this point. So no matter how handy it would be to just open the app and reserve your ride you can’t, sorry, but I figured that would be a good first tip.
Second–Airport shuttles. Assuming you make it through the gauntlet of timeshare guys in the airport (put up your blinders and just walk through–you do not have to talk to them.) If you don’t have pre-arranged airport transportation from your resort you can take a shared shuttle–which are the blue vans outside. They average is about $18 per person to get to Cabo. The key word is shared. You will wait for the shuttle to fill up and it may take longer since you will be doing multiple stops. You might luck out and have everyone going to the same place.
Third–Private Taxis. They will happily take you to Cabo. Cost more–About $80 one way. You won’t be sharing the ride with anyone. You can probably get them to stop at Walmart or Costco with you while you get some groceries for a propina (tip).
Fourth–Public bus. Ruta del Desierto or Desert Route bus is the big purple bus. It is a very nice, air-conditioned bus that will pick you up at the terminal and take you into Cabo. It, of course, won’t be curbside service unless you happen to be staying along the main road but it is cheap and comfortable for less than 100 pesos (around $5). You will get a tour through San Jose del Cabo and take the main highway with lots of stops. Expect the drive to Cabo to take between 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Five–Rental car. There are several rental car agencies at the airport. The online daily rates appear to be cheap but they usually hit you with insurance when you get to the counter. Cactus, includes your insurance for a decent rate. Your American or Canadian insurance does not typically cover you driving in Mexico. You also would need to contact your credit card company to find out if the optional coverage they sometimes include covers you in Mexico.
Now that you’ve made it here, how do you get around town? How does parking work?
There are pay lots along the main street–range from 10 to 50 pesos per hour. Puerto Paraiso Mall is centrally located and has a large parking 3 story parking structure and charges 20 pesos for the first 4 hours and 10 pesos each additional hour. There is some street parking–but make sure you only park on the white or non-painted curbs. Green curbs are for taxis, red curbs are no parking and blue curbs are handicap–you will be ticketed or have your license plates removed. Many restaurants have valet parking so you don’t have to worry about parking. There is even a pay lot for the beach between the Villa del Arco and Cascadas Hotels for 30 pesos. Remember these prices were all in pesos–so mere dollars compared to what you are used to pay to park back home. But you do need cash to pay the attendants.
Just enjoy the weather and walk. The sidewalks are paved, just watch your step. The streets are safe and clean and you can get about anywhere you want to in a 30 minute walk. If you are out for a walk and get tired there are still options. Hey, there is a ricksaw, in Cabo, well kind of. Bici-taxis are bicycle operated and can get you around downtown for a small fee. There are also a lot of little white school buses. Those buses run two routes around town: the first goes around downtown and the tourist areas getting you to Walmart, the Mall, Cinemex movie theatre, the hotels along the beach, then down the highway toward Home Depot–it then does a u-turn and heads back into town . The second bus route goes outside of downtown and is used more by the locals. It does take you out to the Soriana shopping center and Cineplex movie theatre. You can check the windshield to see which route it is on. The white buses cost 13 pesos per person and will be another Mexican experience to tell your friends about when you get back home.
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