Mexico / Baja California  / Breakpoints / San José del Cabo
Friday, August 23, 2019

San José del Cabo

The charming colonial town of San José del Cabo is a wonderful combination of peaceful village, endless beaches, and noble beach resorts.

Contrary to roaring Cabo San Lucas with its wide range of activities, recreation is the foremost offer of San José del Cabo. If you are more enterprising, though, you can also take the deep-sea fishing rod, enjoy a sunset from the surfboard or stroll through the colonial lanes of the small town.

San José del Cabo is the eastern companion of Cabo San Lucas at the end of the peninsula of Baja California peninsula. The two towns and the 18-mile (29-km) shoreline between them with their countless hotels and golf courses constitute the municipio (district) of Los Cabos, of which San José del Cabo (50,000 inhabitants) is the capital. The international airport of the area is only 5.5 miles (9 km) north of San José del Cabo; the bus terminal can be found in the Valerio González Canseco street.

Before the first settlement was founded at the place of today‘s San José del Cabo, the whole region was a downright pirates‘ nest. The freebooters lived in camps and pursued the passing ships on their way to Mexico or Manila. This lucrative business came, however, to an abrupt end, when the Spanish crown established a military base in Cabo San Lucas. Pacified and politically organized, the sunny cape region was open for new developments. The opening of the mission by the Jesuits in 1730 laid the foundations of the small fishing village atthe “end of the world”. After independence of Mexico from Spain in 1821 and the troubles of the Mexican war from 1846 - 1848 (San José del Cabo was briefly occupied by US troops), an American stirred up the people of Baja California and the region around San José del Cabo. Walker, a true filibuster, occupied Baja with his private army and intended to incorporate it into the USA as a new state. But this occupation was likewise to fail – and no new attempt was made until the real conquest of San José del Cabo by tourists from all over the world began, when the first hotel resort opened in 1956.

Today the small streets of the town are worth a visit particularly because of the many little shops, where handicraft and souvenirs are offered, and the picturesque marketplace. The heart of the town is the lovely Plaza Mijares. This quiet place in the center of San José del Cabo invites you to take a rest, for example to visit the church of San José, a little jewel which adorns the western part of the Plaza. East of San José del Cabo, the river landscape fed by the Arroyo San José forms the town boundary. The big hotels and holiday apartments are about 1 mile (1.7 km) to the center. All is crowned by the sand beaches of the Pacific coast.

If you want to enjoy the fine sand of the beaches, you will first have to decide, whether you would like to bathe, fish or surf. The best swimming area is the Playa del Nuevo Sol and the adjacent Playa de California at the end of the Boulevard Mijares. The best fishing grounds of San José del Cabo are farther east at the La Playita beach, while surfers will best enjoy their sport at the Playa Costa Azul – also called Zipper‘s Beach. Wherever you put your towel, please observe the warnings of the local life guards – they are most familiar with the strong currents at the tip of the peninsula.

Immediately off San José del Cabo lies the special biosphere reserve “Estero San José”. Once a hiding place for pirates, the shallow lagoon with its exuberant vegetation is formed by the confluence of freshwater from the Arroyo San José and the salt water of the sea. Between the palms and in the thicket lining the estuary, there are numerous water birds; a quiet observer may often spot great white egrets, little egrets, night herons and great blue herons, frigatebirds, white ibises, common coots, northern shovelers, garganeys and cinnamon teals as well as impressive ospreys preying.