The two towns that make up “Los Cabos” are fraternal—not identical—twins. They both have long, sandy beaches with crystalline turquoise waters, and they both offer a luxurious escape on the Baja Peninsula’s tip. Whereas Cabo San Lucas is a wild, however, and teems with non-stop partying, San Jose del Cabo is more than happy to drift at a slower pace. Here, 20 miles east of Cabo San Lucas on the road heading towards Los Barrilles, colonial architecture and lazy afternoons replace the thump of beach clubs.
That said, San Jose del Cabo is anything but lazy; grab a snorkel and head north to Cabo Pulmo to explore Baja’s only coral reef, or wax up your surfboard to race along of the numerous world-class waves. The fishing here in San Jose del Cabo is as legendary as Cabo San Lucas, with the main difference being celebrating the catch in Colonial Plaza Mijares—rather than a crowded, oceanfront bar full of travelers all ready to party. Birdwatchers and hikers can enjoy a stroll through Estero San Jose, where red tailed hawks and white herons inhabit the oceanfront trails. Spend a morning tanning on the sand of Playa Santa Maria, and finish the night by wandering the old town past Iglesia San Jose. The town is a fusion of resort luxury with traditional Mexican charm—and a calming respite from its rowdy neighbor just a few miles down the coast.