Situated along the sparkling waters of the Sea of Cortez in the Mexican state of Baja California is a destination that exhibits traditional Mexican charm while impressing guests with its modern, luxurious beach resorts. Known as the “Old Town”, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico is often referred to as Cabo San Lucas’ more elegant twin sister. Located just 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Cabo San Lucas, this charming, seaside town offers visitors a more relaxing ambiance centered around beautiful colonial plazas, shops, restaurants, and of course – beach views.
Whether you are strolling through the town’s historic ‘calles empedradas’ (cobblestone streets), enjoying the full-flavored local cuisine, or wandering along its striking tropical beaches, you can expect to be mesmerized by the town’s traditional architecture and innate beauty. One thing you will want to bring along – a camera. With every twist and turn you are sure to discover truly picture-worthy sights.
If your first thought is, “Yeah, but I’m not really a picture-taker”, think again. While pictures can’t always capture the mesmerizing beauty we witness firsthand, they offer us the chance to reminisce about the amazing adventures that life has provided us. So, grab your camera (or phone) and get ready to capture some of Mexico’s most spectacular sites. To help you get started, below you will find the top 10 instagrammable-worthy spots to explore when visiting the lovely San Jose del Cabo.
1. The Infinity Pool at Cabo Azul Resort
One of the first things to consider when traveling is where to stay. With dozens of award-winning hotels and resorts, San Jose del Cabo has something to offer all of its guests. One particular resort, however, is worth a visit even if it isn’t where you will be laying your head down at night.
Offering sights of blue skies that meet the water’s edge, Cabo Azul Resort is home to a tri-level infinity pool like no other. Equipped with fire-dancing platforms, a luxury swim-up bar, and complementary services from the resort cafe known as Flor de Noche, this is the perfect spot to get an instagrammable-worthy shot. If you’re looking for more than a pool – check out the site’s 5-story, open-aired wedding chapel or one of its 326 beautifully-appointed spacious suites and villas.
A modern, white fortress home to impeccable views and services, Cabo Azul Resort is worth a look. Be sure to enjoy the resort’s plush lounge chairs, which can be found partly submerged in the shallow pool waters facing the stunning ocean views.
2. The Gallery District in San José del Cabo
Sometimes the best views are the ones you least expect – perhaps it’s a look down an unexpectedly picturesque street or a glimpse of the unique architecture of a nearby building. Either way, San Jose del Cabo is full of alluring surprises. Speaking of unexpected beauty, be sure to check out the town’s walkable, artsy streets.
Begin at Plaza Mijares and stop first at the Mission San José del Cabo de Añuití, built by the Jesuits in 1730. As you continue on your way, head west into the gallery district. Here, you will experience quiet side streets showering you with opportunities to view and buy wonderfully hand-crafted souvenirs. It doesn’t always take an ocean view or mountain view for you to take out your camera – Mexican towns and cities, adorned by diverse architecture steeped in rich history and culture, are alone remarkable landmarks. Their beauty is definitely worth a picture (or two).
3. Flora Farms
Imagine a stunning, organic, 25 acre (10 hectare) farm that appears as though it fell out of the pages of a lifestyle magazine. Imagine no more, San Jose del Cabo’s Flora Farms is just that! Arguably one of the most Instagrammable spots in all of Cabo San Lucas, this incredible farmstead is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, just outside of San Jose del Cabo.
Providing locally grown, organic produce to many local establishments, Flora Farms isn’t only a picturesque farmstead, but an important supplier of healthy food options for local businesses. Wonder it’s gorgeous landscape, sign up for a cooking class – where you can learn to make fresh regional salsas, roasted vegetable tacos, or tamales – and enjoy savory dishes at the local restaurant. In addition, this site is home to it’s very own Flora’s Field Kitchen, The Farm Bar, Flora Farms Grocery, Shoppes at Flora Farms, Culinary Cottages , and The Farm Spa, an intimate spa and wellness experience achieved through nature-based spa services, in a supremely peaceful setting. Talk about the full package! Your camera won’t know where to begin.
4. Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park
It’s no secret – some of Baja’s most breathtaking attractions are underwater. Ever heard of Cancun’s Underwater Museum? How about the famous La Paz Sea Lions? Both of these attractions have one thing in come – water! That said, one of the top Mexican destinations to visit if you wish to capture a glimpse of life below the surface is that of Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park.
Situated 35 miles (57 kilometers) north of San Jose del Cabo, this tiny village and 17,571-acre Marine Protected Area (MPA), is one of the most successful national marine parks in the world. Home to arguably the best diving and snorkeling in Baja California, and home to the only Pacific coral reef in the Sea of Cortez, this marine park is truly one-of-a-kind.
With opportunities to witness multicolored fish and deep-sea species and mammals including Whale Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Dolphins, Manta Rays, Turtles, and even whale watching, a waterproof camera is a must. Home to 5 miles (8 kilometers) of pristine beaches, this destination is ideal for both water and beach enthusiasts alike.
5. Cañon de la Zorra
What’s the opposite of down? That’s right – up! After experiencing the tropical beauty off the shores of San Jose del Cabo, be sure to also explore a completely different world just a short drive inland – the Baja’s desert mountains. Approximately 35 miles (57 kilometers) north of San José del Cabo is one of the desert’s biggest attractions – Cañon de la Zorra (Fox Canyon).
This heart-stopping canyon offers visitors the opportunity to hike desert mountain trails, swim in crystal clear waterfalls, enjoy nature walks on camelback, and witness the region’s spectacular species of cacti and desert flora. Who knew that two completely different worlds could co-exist as neighbors? Talk about the best of both worlds!
With ocean views from atop the desert mountains, visitors are offered a once in a lifetime experience – one that you most definitely want to capture.
6. Cabo San Lucas Arch at Land’s End
When people think of Cabo San Lucas, one particular image tends to come to mind – the Cabo San Lucas Arch at Land’s End. The most iconic attraction in the region, this impressive rock formation off the shores of Cabo San Lucas’ most southern point has become a world-renowned attraction. Locally called ‘El Arco’, nearly every Cabo tourist makes a boat trip out to the arch during their stay.
If the beauty of this natural structure wasn’t enough, the trip to get there offers guests some of the best ocean views the region has to offer. Take about an ideal photo op! Snap pictures of the dark blue waters, white-sand beaches, and awesome rock formations aboard a private sailboat tour, glass-bottom boat tour, or a quiet kayak excursion. Either way, you are guaranteed truly unique, eye-catching snapshots.
One of the best times to set sail to this local favorite is around 4:00 PM in the afternoon. Not only does this offer you the best lighting for your photos, but you are sure to capture the stunning hues of gold, orange and blue as the sun begins to set over the pacific side of the peninsula – every photographer’s dream.
7. Palmilla Beach
There are simply too many fantastic beaches in the Cabos region to not dedicate a few days to walk their endless shorelines and soaking your feet in the warm, calm sea waters. With popular beaches such as Playa Hotelera, Costa Azul, and La Playita nearby, visitors have the option to pick from busy, action packed locations, to smaller, tranquil sites such as the region’s famous Palmilla Beach.
A quiet beach with few vendors, Palmilla Beach is the ideal get-a-way for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Its secluded location means fewer beach amenities, but its crescent-shaped shore and clear, turquoise waters are certainly worth the trip and some Insta-worthy photos!
As one of the area’s most cherished beaches, Palmilla Beach is home to numerous snorkeling and swimming activities – including one of the best spots for snorkeling in San Jose del Cabo. With first class palapas for shade, rental umbrellas, and picnic areas, this beach is great for groups and families. Get your camera ready, this alluring, remote beach is one you will want to remember.
8. Las Ventanas al Paraiso
While it may not be the most flattering thing to on a regular basis, when on vacation it’s common for travelers to take nature pictures, pictures of monuments and local attractions, and – you guessed it – food!
With dozens of local restaurants, each one catering to a unique style and flavor, visitors are able to experience some of the region’s most robust flavors. What sets one of these local favorites apart isn’t its delicious cuisine or extensive drink list, but its unparalleled views.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso at the Rosewood Resort is a remarkable food establishment that offers guests the chance to dine alongside one of the most beautiful infinity pools in all of Cabo. Adorned in Mexican decorative touches, every table has breathtaking views of not only the infinity pool, but also the Sea of Cortez.
Grab your camera and come enjoy an exquisite meal, a glass of wine from the restaurant’s award-winning wine program, and unbelievable views at this truly exclusive location.
9. San Jose Estuary
What do you get when you combine a marshy, freshwater lagoon and an underground river system flowing from the nearby mountains? The San Jose Estuary! This incredible tropical landscape and extensive marshland spans over 2,000 acres (809 hectares), creating the perfect environment for numerous species of birds and wildlife.
Home to one of the region’s largest bodies of freshwater, the San Jose Estuary is a protected nature park that now houses a network of well-marked hiking paths and nearly 250 species of birds. In addition, plant species like fan palms and cattails cover a large portion of the park’s grounds.
Ideal for nature lovers, this park is a one-of-a-kind, up close and personal experience with nature and wildlife that will leave you in awe. If you’re quick enough with your camera, you may even walk away with some incredible shots of the region’s most exotic sky dwellers.
10. Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti
A good way to heighten your overall experience on vacation is to learn a little bit about this history prior to your departure. While history class may not have been your fortay growing up, some of the world’s most sensational attractions are themselves historical, and steeped in deep-rooted culture. One such example is Mexico’s Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti.
Located in the heart of San Jose del Cabo, this historic mission once stood tall in a small desert town. Today, the mission is surrounded by fine art galleries, restaurants, and craft shops that attract visitors from near and far. These small shops and food establishments once made up what is known as “Old Town”. With its own special charm and adobe building, this part of the city leaves visitors feeling at home.
When walking the historic, cobblestone streets, however, your eyes can’t help but fall upon this marvelous, religious structure. Founded in 1730, it has seen quite a violent history. Today, it exudes nothing but beauty, with its steeples reaching high nearly scraping the sky. Once in a while you will hear the sound of bells as a bride and groom race off to their honeymoon. Be sure to check out this historic structure as you make your way through the town – some of the best photos are the simplest.
Now, grab your camera and get ready to explore San Jose del Cabo like never before. With this list of the best things to do in San Jose del Cabo, your pictures are sure to say a thousand words. Walking its beaches, exploring its shores, enjoying its flavors, hiking its landscape, and yes – taking your Insta-worthy shots. ¡Vamos!