Our family recently returned from a fabulously sunny week in tropical Los Cabos, Mexico. As it was our first trip to Mexico, I had some basic travel questions regarding general safety, the drinking water, the currency, and the language. Some of these issues are specific to Mexico, but many are the same questions you would consider when traveling to any foreign country with your family. Here are some tips for traveling to Los Cabos, Mexico, based on our experience:
Is it a safe area to bring kids? This, of course, was our first concern. It’s impossible to relax and enjoy your vacation if you’re constantly stressed out about keeping your family safe. We visited both San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, and there wasn’t a moment during our visit when we felt unsafe. That said, we limited our off-resort travels to the daylight hours, and stayed on the hotel property at night.
Can you drink the water? Even though we were told the water was fine for Americans to drink, we made an effort to drink only bottled water. Our resolve crumbled quickly though as most of our drinks were made with ice, and we ended up drinking a little tap water with no ill effects. So, if you stay at a reputable hotel like where we stayed, Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, it shouldn’t be an issue. However, I would suggest bringing bottled water with you when you go off the resort and order it when eating at a restaurant.
Can you use both pesos and dollars? Based on our experience in Los Cabos, pesos and dollars are both accepted. There seems to be a general “surcharge” applied when paying with American dollars. (For example, if the exchange rate was 12 pesos per dollar, they would charge as if the rate were 13 pesos per dollar).
Bartering is expected, and many vendors will not accept the first “No, gracias” for an answer. But usually after some hard-selling tactics, they will walk away with a “Buenos dias.” Also, ATMs may dispense pesos or dollars, so make sure to select the currency you want. Our ATM card worked at the hotel and in Cabo San Lucas, but included a hefty transaction fee.
No Hablo Espanol? No problema! Every person we encountered in Los Cabos — from the taxi drivers to the waiters to the beach vendors — spoke enough English to communicate easily with us. My husband and kids speak a little Spanish, but I don’t speak any, and I discovered quickly that there was no reason to feel uneasy about my lack of language skills.
Are taxis safe and easy to find? We did not have any issues in finding a taxi when we needed one. It seemed that all of the taxis in Los Cabos were big passenger vans with “TAXI” written on the side and on the license plate. There was always one available at the hotel to take us on our off-resort expeditions.
When we wanted to return, we looked for a designated taxi stand on a major city road, or at a nearby hotel. Before our trip, we arranged a prepaid hotel shuttle from the airport in advance, so we didn’t have to worry about finding a reliable taxi among the throngs at the airport exit. It was nice to see a sign with our name on it, and the driver had cold beers and water to welcome us to Mexico — it was a great way to begin our trip!
After experiencing Los Cabos, Mexico with my family, we can’t wait to go back! If you are planning a trip there, but have some additional concerns or questions, please let Vera or me know. We have both been there during different seasons but both had wonderful experiences. ¡Buen Viaje!
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.