Monika Coulson wrote:
I would like to know any information as far as whether using taxis or a rental car is best. Any suggestions regarding good restaurants, shopping places; historical, interesting and exciting places around Chrismas time in Los Cabos, Mexico? What about diving, where is a good place to dive there and are there any shops to rent diving equipment there? Any information will be much appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
I am a Mexican translator now residing in the US. I have been to Los Cabos twice. To answer your questions, I definitively do NOT recommend the taxis, since they are very expensive, unless you use them for very short distances (like from a hotel to another neighbouring one). Depending on where you will be lodged, the bus might be a good option. There is regular service with stops all across the highway that connects the town of San Jose (which has a more Mexican atmosphere) to San Lucas (designed with tourism -mostly from the US- in mind). Two years ago, the ride was 1 US and you could get on and off the buses at several strategic locations. You will not find a car rental below 50 US (that was the rate for the VW beetles when we was there), plus insurance costs... however, if you have a party of three or four, it might be better than the bus, because you will have much more mobility...
Now, for what to do and see, people go to Los Cabos mostly for fishing and for fun (lots of golf now, too), but you will find plenty of places that rent scuba diving and snorkeling equipment, even though you will have to sail some 20 to 30 minutes to get to good diving spots... apparently there is a place where you can swim among a colony of sea lions!
If you like beaches, you definitively have to visit Playa Santa Maria and Playa el Chileno (some good snorkeling here), but go prepared because there are very few facilities there (this is -however- part of their charm)... and by all means, please do not forget to wear plenty of sunscreen (the higher the number, the better) as you will be exposed to the desert sun for approximately twelve hours if you spend your day mostly outdoors!
Also, you will be there during "whale season" and there are lots of tours to go see the whales... however, these involve 3 or more hours driving back and forth to the best observation spots, which I found somewhat tiring but, with a bit of luck, and early in the morning, you might be able to spot these giant mammals from ashore... We did!
You can also take a sunset cruise to go see the "Arco"; depending on your style, you might prefer a small sailboat or a large cruiser, which carries up to 150 passengers at a time, most of whom usually like to party throughout the cruise (I personally prefer the former option). You can get tickets (Around 35 US per person depending on what they offer, usually lots of alcoholic beverages)for these at Marina San Lucas.
Historical places, if there are any, are not near, since both San Jose and San Lucas are relatively recent towns... I know there are a lot of Mision ruins along the peninsula, but these will mostly be farther north and off main roads... so not very esaily accesible...
As for restaurants, my rule would be to ask the locals, and try to avoid the restaurant strip along Marina San Lucas (expensive and not so good). When we asked the locals, we were directed to a well known place called "Mocambo", about three blocks off the Marina in downtown San Lucas... it was so good (mostly seafood), we ended up eating there every day and thus I regret I cannot provide further suggestions...
As for handcrafts, I only saw one place, the Mercado Mexicano, also in San Lucas, (somewhat expensive and not the best quality, so bargaining is the rule), but I am sure it must have an equivalent in San Jose, so ask the locals as well! By the way, alsmost eveybody there speaks a few words of English and if not, they will still try to help you out!
Though I did not have time to visit it, several people recommended the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, on the highway from San Jose to La Paz.
I hope this information is useful to you and I wish you joyful Xmas vacations!
[Edited at 2003-11-10 07:40]