Los Cabos, Mexico with Baby - Guest Post by Trip Bébé


We're excited to feature a fellow adventure mama of Trip Bébé as a guest post! Welcome!

    Read all about her family's adventure and in-depth tips as she reviews their experience in Mexico's Los Cabos/Cabo San Lucas with their little one.

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    Trip Bebe Guest Post

    If  you were to ask me a year ago what my thoughts are about Cabo San Lucas (Cabo), the words that would come to mind would be nightclubs, spring break, drinking, -- anything but family-friendly. Boy was I wrong. Yes, that exists for those who want it, but there was plenty of baby-friendly adventure and relaxation. The food, the hospitality, the scenery and the people made it the perfect getaway. Plus, many U.S. cities fly nonstop to Los Cabos (less than three hours from Denver!). Forgive me Cabo. You blew us away, and my toddler won't stop talking about you.

    traveling to cabo with a baby or toddler

    Country Overview

    • Language: Spanish, but because this is such a touristy area, everyone we encountered spoke English. Just like any country, they loved when we spoke their native language though.

    • Currency: Peso, however we never exchanged currency, as everywhere we went accepted the United States Dollar.

    • Weather: Temperatures range on average from about 77 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit, with January being the coldest and August the hottest (source: National Climatic Data Center). Hurricane season is June through November.

    • Safety: I'm not going to lie, I was nervous heading here one week after President Trump was elected, simply because I didn't know what the Mexican people would think of us. The moment we landed, all uneasiness disappeared. We were welcomed with open arms by everyone we encountered. Keep in mind this entire area was built for tourism, so it's not going to feel like other parts of Mexico. We also drove two hours north to La Paz and stopped by Todos Santos on the way. We also felt completely comfortable in these cities. Just like any country, Mexico does have negative issues it deals with, so you just have to use some common sense. To give you some peace of mind if you're hesitant about traveling here, I would feel comfortable traveling here alone with my little one and without my husband (although he wouldn't let me leave him at home!).​

    • Geography: The landscape is a combination of desert, mountains and plains. Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, it's where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. The entire area is known as Los Cabos, which makes up the cities of San José del Cabo to the east (closer to the airport) and Cabo San Lucas, a 30-45 minute drive south west. In between the two cities is a highway full of resorts and stores. 

      • Cabo San Lucas is the more well-known city​ and is much busier with a marina surrounded by shops and restaurants. You'll find many "chain" stores here.

      • San José del Cabo is quieter but still offers plenty of shopping (more quaint, artsy stores), restaurants, and has more of a colonial vibe.

    Getting Around

    There are three primary ways to get around the Los Cabos area: rental car, taxi/private transportation, or the public bus. 

    1. Rental car: We typically prefer not to rent a car when it's a place we have never traveled, simply because we get slightly intimidated (Rome driving ruined me for life haha). Because we were only here five days, and had some tours with transportation already included, we didn't feel the need to rent a car. In the future, this is an area we'd feel comfortable driving in a rental. There were only a couple unique intersections (round-abouts with stop signs is the best way I can describe it), so it wasn't extremely intimidating. The main highways were well-paved. Plus with a rental car, you can always have a car seat with you. Most of the big car rental companies are based out of the Los Cabos Airport.

    2. Taxi/private transportation: The great thing about the taxis is that they are everywhere, and we could find one within seconds in Cabo and San José del Cabo. Ask any shop owner, and they will know where to get a taxi. From our hotel, which was located right in between the two cities, it was about $25 to $30 each way for three of us. They don't offer car seat rentals, so if you bring one, you'll need to carry it around. With private transportation, there is typically an option to rent a car seat (you won't have to worry about carrying it around!), but you'll need to reserve it in advance, and it'll cost more than a taxi.

    3. Public bus: If you're traveling on a budget, the public bus is the way to go at approximately $5 per person. We'd much rather pay for the convenience of the above two options, so we didn't experience the bus. This tripadvisor post explains the bus system pretty well. Be sure to check out the bus route to see if it's feasible from where you're staying. This is not New York City or Chicago; you will not find a bus stop every couple of blocks. Walking half a mile with a little one in the heat may not be extremely safe, plus depending on what direction you are headed, you may need to cross the main highway.

    Bébé necessities

    • Car seat: There are not any car seat laws in the Los Cabos area that I'm aware of. It's not uncommon for kids to sit on laps and use seat belts. I'm not saying that's what you should do, but I think it's important to know what it's like in every country. We rented one through a private transportation company and they forgot it, but they didn't seem concerned because it's just not their norm. Here are a few options for how to travel here with a car seat:

      1. Rent a car seat through a rental car company. 

      2. Request one to rent when booking private transportation. Taxis here do not have car seat rental options, so you'll need to go through a private transportation company. As I mentioned, ours was forgotten one time, so there are no guarantees.

      3. Bring your own, which is easiest when you have a rental car. If you are only taking taxis or private transportation during your stay, keep in mind you will have to carry the car seat when you arrive at your destination. It's easier for an infant seat, but convertible car seats are harder to carry around. This is the only way to truly ensure you have car seat. Keep in mind I've heard some taxis don't have working seatbelts, but thankfully we didn't experience that.

    • Groceries: The entire highway stretch from San José del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas is loaded with retail stores, including a Walmart and large La Comer grocery store. While only some hotels are within walking distance from a store, if you're staying anywhere along this major corridor (most hotels are in these areas), it'll be a short drive away to get your baby necessities like diapers, wipes, formula, etc.

    • Hospital/doctor: There are plenty of hospitals in Los Cabos. Hospital H+ is a modern facility with excellent reviews and pediatric care. 

    Hotel 

    Where we stayed: Hilton Los Cabos. This is honestly one of my favorite hotels I have ever stayed at. We ultimately chose this place because it has one of Los Cabos' only swimmable hotel beaches, but we were completely impressed with everything this hotel had to offer: a baby-friendly atmosphere, plenty of activities for all ages, and the best shrimp I've ever had in my life (and I'm a self-proclaimed seafood snob). If you're considering this hotel, here are some of the pros and cons:​

    • Cribs, microwave​s and small refrigerators can be rented (for a fee). Some rooms already come with a microwave and/or fridge, so you may want to double check when booking to ensure you have one. Our room had a small minibar that they stocked daily, and we were able to fit a couple bottles of milk in there, but not much more.​

    • The balconies made me uneasy for a little one. Depending on the room, we noticed gaps in some railings, but not every room had that. For that reason, we had to keep the balcony door locked.

    • Babysitting services are available at the hotel with 24 hours notice. For ages 4 to 12, there is a free Kid's Club with lots of activities.

    • There was plenty to do for kids of all ages: two pools, a playground, the beach, human-sized chess set, soccer on the beach, etc.

    • This hotel's beach is unique because it has a swimmable cove, although depending on the day, there are no guarantees it'll be safe enough for your little one. The sand is a little rough, so don't forget to pack water shoes.

    • There are several restaurants on site, and the food is INCREDIBLE. Seriously some of the best meals I've ever had, and they had kid's menus. When we vacation, we normally eat outside our hotel, but we wanted to be sure not to miss dinner at El Meson. Lunchtime at the Madero Bar and Grill was so ideal for our energetic toddler. It was open-air style so he could take a bite to eat, run around on the grass, then come back again. And there were so many colorful different types of chairs for him to pick from.

    • There is a coffee and gelato shop onsite with lots of snacks and souvenirs. It had some medicine, sunscreen, milk and fresh fruit, but there weren't any other baby items here like formula, diapers, etc. 

    • The hotel is located right in between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo and isn't walkable to any stores or offsite restaurants. You'll need a taxi (the bellman can request one within minutes) or rental car to explore outside the hotel.

    • Depending on the time of year, you may see baby turtle releases or whales jumping right outside your balcony. Watching whales jump while I was in the shower (sorry TMI) was so amazing!​

    • Other hotel suggestions:

      • The Resort at Pedregal: If you want to splurge, this is it. This high-end five star hotel is a five-minute walk to the marina and downtown Cabo, so you can save some money on taxis. The resort is carved into a cliff and incredibly stunning. Every room has a private plunge pool which is perfect for swimming with your baby. If you want to take a quick dip with your little one and avoid the main pools (which I also hear are amazing with a special kid's pool), you can simply open your balcony door. They also have a kid's club and babysitting services.​​

      • Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa: Our boat went by this family-friendly hotel on a whale watching tour, and I immediately had major hotel envy. The stunning rock structures around it make it look secluded, but it's actually walkable to downtown Cabo and the marina. Another plus, it's a short water taxi ride away to swimmable Medano Beach. They also offer childcare services.

    If you are a seafood lover, Cabo is your place. From fresh shrimp to buttery, lobster tacos, I was pleased with every meal. Because it's such a touristy area, you will find anything to suit you and your little one's taste with everything from American chain restaurants to high-end places. There are endless food options, but here are a few of our standouts:
    • Jazmin's Restaurant: If you're planning to walk around the San José del Cabo Arts District, make sure you have a meal here. It's known for its authentic Mexican food, fun atmosphere and live entertainment. So don't bring a sleeping baby! 

    • El Meson: We loved this place so much, we ate here three times (granted, it was conveniently located at our hotel at the Hilton Los Cabos). The views are beautiful, and the wait staff is so attentive to kids. They made our toddler maracas out of cups, saran wrap and wine corks, gave him balloons, and were happy to show him how they make tortillas. And I'm still dreaming about the food! The seafood molcajete (my favorite), fresh ceviche, and the whole grilled red snapper were delicious. They also have a kid's menu.

    • Flora's Field Kitchen: This unique property has their own farm and specializes in farm to table dining. There are also shops with local artisans, gardens, and a playground. If you need to step away from your meal due to a fussy baby, there will be plenty to walk around and see. 
    • Hotel California's La Coronela Restaurant: If you want to venture out of the Los Cabos area, this famous hotel (yes, from the Eagles' song) is about 45 minutes north of Cabo in Todos Santos. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a quaint courtyard with small fountains (AKA great distraction for babies!). We had breakfast here, and I inhaled the huevos rancheros in minutes -- one of the best breakfasts I have ever had.

    • Baja Lobster Co.: This place is all about the location. After a morning whale watching tour, we stopped here for lunch, located right at the marina. If you get a spot outside, you can watch the boats coming in and out, and we even watched a flock of birds and sea lion fight right in the water below! The food was pretty good, although not my favorite meal I had in Cabo, but it was a relaxing atmosphere next to the water.  

    Play Time

    • Beaches: As I've previously mentioned, I was surprised to learn Cabo does not have very many swimmable beaches due to large waves and a strong undertow. Chances are your hotel beach won't be swimmable, but there are some swimmable beaches you can travel to including:

      • Medano Beach: It's considered one the safest and most popular swimming beaches with plenty of people and vendors. There are also restaurants and shopping close by. Bébé necessities: bring a sun tent or umbrella stroller that you can easily carry for shade. You can also rent umbrellas from vendors.

      • Santa Maria Beach: It's much less touristy than Medano Beach, so there are fewer amenities. While it has bathrooms and showers, there are no food options nearby. The surrounding rock structures are stunning, and its popular for snorkeling. Bébé necessities: bring a sun tent or umbrella stroller that you can easily carry for shade. Bring your own food and drinks. The sand is more like small pebbles, so you'll want water shoes.  

      • Chileno Beach: This beach is known for its snorkeling. It's also much quieter than Medano Beach and the sand is less painful than Santa Maria Beach. There are lifeguards as well as bathrooms and showers, but there are no food vendors or restaurants close by. Bébé necessities: while there are a few shady areas, they get taken quickly, so bring a sun tent or umbrella stroller that you can easily carry for shade. Bring your own food and drinks.

    • Whale watching: Whales migrate to Cabo from roughly December through mid-April (primarily Humpback and Gray whales). There are countless tour companies that offer whale watching, but not all have bébé-friendly boats. Many have small zodiac boats packed with people and no room to move around. There is no way my little one could stay seated for two hours on one of those! We highly recommend Roger's Glass Bottom Boat Tours. They are very accommodating to small children. The boat provides ample shade and isn't a massive party boat. Plus, the glass bottom was so exciting for our toddler to watch the fish without having to get in the water. We saw several whales, including one jumping, which was incredible (Side note: their tours offer more than whale watching. We also saw El Arco, Divorce and Lover's Beach, a sea lion colony, and we snorkeled). Bébé necessities: bring your own food, drinks, light jacket (it can get chilly in the shade), towels and life vest for your little one. They had some life vests to borrow, but I'd recommend one that you know will fit your child.  

    the Hilton Los Cabos

    The Hilton Los Cabos was perfection

    Baja Lobster Co.

    If your little one loves watching boats, birds, and sea lions, grab a bite to eat at Baja Lobster Co. at the Cabo marina

    the whole grilled red snapper at El Meson

    El Meson's whole grilled red snapper. Yes please.​

    whale watching in cabo san lucas

    • Snorkeling: Cabo had some of the best snorkeling I've experienced. I was constantly surrounded by fish! If you're traveling with another adult, you can alternate snorkeling while the other watches your baby. We snorkeled not far from El Arco on our whale watching tour, but you can also snorkel on your own. Chileno Beach and Santa Maria Beach are popular for snorkeling, and the water is usually calm enough that you could bring your little one in the water too. Bébé necessities: bring a towel and life vest for your bébé if you plan on bringing them in the water.

    el arco in cabo san lucas

    • El Arco: This is Cabo's distinctive rock structure that you see everywhere. If you want to see it up close, you'll need to take a water taxi or boat tour. The water is too strong to swim through the arch (not to mention all the boat traffic), but if you're lucky, every four years the tide is low enough that you can actually walk through it.

    • Lover's Beach and Divorce Beach: These famous beaches are next to El Arco and are only accessible by boat. One side of the beach is Lover's Beach, located on the Sea of Cortez, and the other side is Divorce Beach, located on the Pacific Ocean. I have seen that Lover's Beach can be swimmable, however the day that we were there, it was extremely rough. They have people that work on Lover's Beach whose sole job is to help people on and off boats (bring cash to tip), and with how rough the water was, I definitely needed their help getting my little one off the boat. Divorce Beach had extremely large waves and is never safe to swim in. These beaches are beautifully surrounded by large rocks. There are no amenities and minimal natural shade. Bébé necessities: bring a towel to lay on, life vest, food and drink, and a sun tent/umbrella for shade.

    • Shopping: If you're looking to bring home a souvenir or two, there are plenty of shopping options in Los Cabos. In Cabo, browse the shops around the marina. You'll find typical souvenir stores and even some chains like Harley Davidson and Forever 21. It's also the home of Luxury Avenue, an indoor mall with high end stores like Fendi and Cartier. I preferred the shopping in the San José del Cabo city center which had more locally-owned, non-chain shops. There's no shortage of jewelry, artwork, hand-painted tiles and plenty more handmade, unique pieces. Bébé necessities: There will be a lot of walking, so unless you're willing to carry your little one, you'll want to have either a baby carrier or small umbrella stroller. The stroller can hold your purchases, but keep in mind the sidewalks in San José del Cabo aren't always even, and sometimes stairs come out of nowhere, so you may have to do some maneuvering. 

    • Swimming with whale sharks: If you're ready for a day full of adventure, you will not want to miss the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants. Every winter through spring, whale sharks migrate to the Sea of Cortez. You'll have to travel north to La Paz, which is about two hours each way from Cabo. We were very pleased with Sun Rider Tours, as they welcome people of all ages (not all the whale shark tour companies allow babies and small children). In order to bring a little one on this tour, you'll need to have another adult with you to watch your child. The boat fits about 12 people, and you alternate swimming in groups of six, so you'll just need to make sure your travel companion is in the other swimming group. While the minimum age to swim is six, you could technically still play with your little one in the water if you wanted to, you just wouldn't be swimming the sharks. Even though our son begged to go in the water, he stayed on the boat because the water was too cold for him and a little choppy. Plus, you'll need to keep in mind people are constantly jumping on and off the boat, so be sure your child isn't in the way. On our tour, we had about an hour after swimming to walk around La Paz and have lunch. We also stopped in Todos Santos for breakfast at the Hotel California on the way to La Paz. We had the option to pay more and have them transport us to and from our hotel (they even provided a car seat) or rent a car and meet in La Paz. We chose the option to have them transport us, but the only downfall was our son was so fussy after this long day that he wasn't very pleasant on the ride back (you share the shuttle with other tour guests). Bébé necessities: Bring food and drinks for your little one, as you'll be stuck in a car and boat for many hours. Don't forget their life vest for the boat ride. If you don't want to borrow a car seat, you'll need to bring your own, as well as a stroller or baby carrier for walking around La Paz. You stop at the Sun Rider office before the boat, so you can store the stroller, car seat, or anything else there and easily grab it after the tour (the boat dock and office are just across the street from each other).

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    Original post link: https://www.tripbebe.com/trips-loscabos

    Cover Image link: http://travelier.mx


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