When visiting a new city in your home state or a village halfway across the world, it’s interesting to get someone else’s “take” on a place. That way, we have someone else’s perspective and can perhaps avoid some of the pitfalls that are inevitable in any location. Allow me to share a few tips for visiting Cabo.
- Cabo is a very old beach town. That means it’s withstood centuries of harsh climate – a climate that constantly chips away at paint and stone and erodes buildings, boardwalks, and wharfs.
Needless to say, the city is in an almost constant need of maintenance and repair, but that’s part of its charm and character. The main parts of town are very well maintained, but get a few blocks away from the tourist area and it changes quickly. Many sidewalks are uneven or crumbling. Streets have been paved but they are not necessarily straight or a certain length, almost all are narrow, and many are unnamed. We feel this adds to Cabo’s allure and personality.
- Cabo has been experiencing a real estate boom for several years, and it’s very evident. Up and down the coastline, resorts and other enormous complexes are in various stages of construction. The economy is booming in the hotel, spa, real estate, finance, construction, or just about any other type of industry.
- The city streets are busy, especially during rush hour, and they’re not especially wide nor are the lanes well-marked. As a matter of fact, in many places, there are no lane markings at all. Just go with the flow, be careful, and don’t get in a hurry. Better yet, call a taxi or a shuttle and have them drive you around until you feel more familiar with your surroundings.
- Don’t rely on the same navigation system that you do at home because it probably won’t be accurate. On our first night in town when we were looking for our resort, our phone navigation systems sent us back and forth several times on the same highway before we finally stopped and asked someone for directions. We later found out that WAZE is an app that works well in Mexico. Just be sure to change the language to English.
- As I mentioned in an earlier article, but it’s worth repeating again, if you rent a car in Mexico, plan on paying a hefty retainer fee for car rental insurance. Yes, you can purchase their car rental insurance but it adds quite a bit to the daily rate. Although we had international car rental insurance through our credit card, the car rental agency didn’t accept it. We paid the retainer which, by the way, is $2,500, plus a daily rate of $19.00 for Mexican Liability Insurance.
- Another tip for visiting Cabo is drink bottled water just to be on the safe side. Enough said! I mean, why even take a chance? The bacteria in Mexico’s water is different than that of other parts of the world and many people react negatively to it.
- If you’re on a frontage road, it’s OK to make left hand turns under many of the bridges. Yes, you read that correctly. Although the frontage roads and highways have retornos (or round-abouts), there aren’t too many of them. So, rather than drive the extra distance, just drive like everybody else and make left-hand turns under the nearest bridges on the freeway. It may seem strange at first as you drive off the pavement, but you’ll see other vehicles doing the same thing and it will save a lot of time.