In Feb of 2013, my Fiance and I took a little trip to Mexico. Nothing too fancy, just a weekend trip. We like to plan trips on a whim. It's more fun to us when it's a spontaneous vacation, and we don't really know what to expect. With that being said, we learn a lot on our vacations. Here are 10 things we learned, and you should know before visiting Cabo San Lucas.
1. DON'T bring Pesos with you. They want american dollars. Seriously. We exchanged at least $500 american dollars for pesos before going to Cabo, and we hardly spent any of it. Most street vendors, stores and restaurant want american dollars. So don't waste your time at the bank. Tip: Pesos are also indicated with a dollar sign, so when you see a cookie before sold for $35, they're not talking dollars.
2. DO eat the mexican food. Sounds like a no brainer, but you've never tasted mexican food until you've eaten it on the crystal clear ocean with an ice cold corona in your hand.
3. DON'T take a cab. Most resorts or hotels that you book have their own shuttles that will pick you up from the airport, take you back, and drive you around town. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE! The Cabs are a complete rip off, and it's quite possible you will get whiplash.
4. DO book your trip in the off season. It is WELL WORTH IT. No matter what time of year it is, the coast of Mexico's weather is always perfect. We booked our trip the first weekend of February. Since that is technically considered "winter" the resort prices were ridiculously low. We couldn't believe how affordable it was. TIP: Call the resort before booking and make sure it's not sea turtle mating season on their side of the beach. We tried to go for a dip and a man chased us half way down the beach yelling "That is a no, sir! That is a no!" We understood… turtles need alone time too.
5. DON'T GIVE IN TO THE SCAMS. Everywhere you walk in Mexico, someone is trying to sell you something. It can get a bit overwhelming, but you have to know how to handle it. Don't be afraid to tell them no. Be careful when agreeing to pay for activities before you know if they're legit. We found a great glass bottom boat tour (a must) by asking a bar tender at a restaurant we were lunching at if he had any recommendations. He referred us to his friend who gave boat tours for a living with a company. The price was great, and it was the most fun we had on our trip. On our way off of the boat, a couple of guys at the end of the gang-way tried to charge us $10 to exit the dock. My fiancé laughed and we walked right by them while he very clearly told them where they could shove their dock fee. Question everything. Be alert and don't be afraid to say no!
6. DO make friends with the locals. Whenever we found a local that spoke english, be it someone working at the hotel or a nearby shop or restaurant, we asked them what they did for fun. There are so many amazing places in Mexico that you can't find on a tour guide or in a travel magazine.
7. DON'T DRINK THE WATER. I've heard this my whole life, but never believed it. For some reason I thought that even if it were true, an upscale resort in Cabo San Lucas would have upscale water. Not the case at all. Our stomachs were upset for a good three days after returning to the states. Buy bottled water and bring it with you to the continental breakfast, because if you drank as much tequila as we did you're going to be dehydrated in the morning.
8. DO dine and dance at Cabo Wabo. I had been hearing about Sammy Haygar's 'Cabo Wabo Cantina' for several months before visiting Cabo, and I am so glad that we went. We had lunch there during the day, and loved it so much that we came back for drinks later. To our surprise there was an awesome cover band playing on the stage and a full service bar. The staff was friendly and the crowd was a perfect mixture of tourists and locals. We probably had a little too much fun.
9. DON'T fly Spirit Airlines. It was a super quick flight from San Diego to Cabo, and thank god for that. Avoid flying Spirit airlines at all costs. Just take our word for it. If I go into detail, I will get angry all over again. Moving on...
10. DO try to go fishing if you get the chance. You can catch the biggest mahi mahi right off the coast of cabo. Any boat that takes you out will clean and filet the fish for you, and you can even send it home. It's so delicious.
Cabo San Lucas is a truly beautiful town, and I would definitely go back. Next time, I probably wouldn't drink too many margaritas before a couples massage and throw up in the waiting room full of well off women from all over the world.