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First time to Cabo - newbie advice

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Scottsdale, Arizona
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First time to Cabo - newbie advice

Hello!

What a great forum! This is my first post, but I have been doing tons of research. I couldn't have booked my trip without it!

So rather than make mistakes and learn the hard way on my own, I figured I would reach out and ask the experts on this forum. A friend and I are heading to Cabo Feb 26th - March 4th. We are staying at the ME Cabo. We are both single, 30-something guys who thrive on the singles scene, and still like to party like we're in our 20's every now and then. :-) After doing tons of research on this site, it sounded like the ME would be a good fit.

Anyway, being that this is my first time to Cabo (and Mexico, with the exception of border towns), what kind of advice would you give a newbie? I know the following:

1) Don't make eye contact with the timeshare people at the airport terminal (or any timeshare people, for that matter)

2) Don't drink the water (shouldn't be a problem, as we will be living on alcoholic beverages during our stay) :-)

3) Find out the price of a taxi ride, before you get in, etc.

But, what else should we watch out for, or be aware of?

What about currency? What works best there? US Dollars? Credit cards? Or, do we pay for everything in Pesos? If so, what is the best way to go about doing it? Where do you exchange your currency? At the airport? Or, do you just use an ATM? And, how much currency do you generally carry around on you?

We are not into golfing or fishing. But, are there any "must see" or "must do" activities while we're there? ATV rentals? Jet Skis? Snorkeling? Booze cruise?

I understand that drinks are at bit pricey at the ME. Are there any cool beach bars or nighttime bars in the area that are more affordable? Might be nice to switch it up a few times since we're going to be there for 6 nights.

Also, are there any places to eat around the ME that are cheap? We are easy to please as far as food is concerned, so we could live on cheap tacos or burgers all week. Fine dining would be wasted on us. We would rather save money on food, and spend it on booze. Any places you would recommend for cheap eats in that area?

Sorry to bombard the forum with so many questions. Anyway, thanks in advance for all of your insight and advice!

California
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1. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

Chip,

you have made a good choice with the ME, it is central to the beach action during the day and close to the nightlife of town. I'll try to break down your questions/comments.

1) Get a baggage porter at the baggage claim...there are lots of them...they will help whisk you thru customs check ( a stoplight you have to push....Green means clear to exit, red = they do a random search of your luggage..the light is purely random), they will whisk you past "shark alley" (where all the timeshare booths are) once outside we tip them $5...well worth it.

2) It is the safest to drink bottled water only. The ice in bar and restaurants is made from filtered water...most resorts have filtered water as well, but we don't drink it.

3) Always negotiate the price of your taxi ride before going anywhere...if you are taking a cab from the hotel, ask the bellman what the going rate is to your destination....some resorts even have a list of taxi rates to common destinations posted.

If you are going to do any tours, fishing, etc......do not give a "deposit" to anyone who is not working from a tour booth or office...many people get ripped off from scam artists pretending to book tours or pretend to own a boat.

Currency - you will get the best deal by using pesos, but US dollars are accepted everywhere. Credit cards are accepted and will generally give you a good rate, but make sure you keep ALL receipts and check your charges when you get home....we have been double billed a few times on our trips...we use cash only. Make sure you get and keep all receipts for charges you make at the hotel and check them with your bill at checkout...sometimes bogus charges can appear.

Activities - You guys would probably like one of the "booze" cruises to get the evening started....there are many fun boats. There are also some cool ATV tours that take you on some fun trips. We have Sea Doos at home so we don't rent them there....ther are expensive. However, many people do rent them on Medano beach. Snorkling tours to Chileano Bay are a fun way to spend the day...it is nothing like hawaii or the caribbean but it is still fun.

There are many cool beach bars right on the beach in from of ME. Mango deck, billygans, the sand bar, Tabascos, Baja Cantina....these are the center of the action during the day....many drin specials on buckets of beers, etc....there is also lots of entertainment and people watching. At night, the main hotspots are all within walking distance of each other...El Squid roe, giggling Marlin, Pink Kitty, etc.......There are also many small bars that are cool ...Rips by Cabo Wabo and Slims (HUGE BAR....Not!)

Look at trapperslist on these forums for food...lots of great food in Cabo

You Guys will have a Blast!

Cabo Nut

Lodi, California
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2. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

Welcome aboard!

First, let me say, in most places, drinking the water is absolutely fine! I do it in my resorts and the restaurants where I go. It is purified and just fine. I will occasionally grab a bottle of bottled when I'm on my walks, because I don't want to have to bother stopping just for a drink.

As for the currency, I use USD or Pesos....just depends on what the best exchange is, and I've not checked that lately. Rarely use my C.C. except at the resort and a couple of places that I shop regularly, like Mexico Lindo if I buy a piece of jewelry from my friend Patty Rivera Olguin. She is super honest! I exchange at my resort because I get the going rate, but not all places do that. When I'm wandering about town, I just carry a small amount of cash, but then, I'm not that much of a shopper any more :) so that is a personal decision.

Check Trapper's List for all the restaurants and the maps to find them! There are some great places that we've all tried, in all price ranges. Can't speak to the price of booze, but you will get some great replies on that as well as the other must do things..............if the drinks are as inexpensive as the great fish and chips at the Tiki Bar on the Marina, I'd give that a go. I think you will get plenty of info. from all the folks here......I am a lazy one, so usually don't wander down towards the ME, but most everyone else gets out more ;) Don't miss Gordo Lele's for the best tacos in town-at $1.50!

Enjoy your holiday and just be careful if in town late and drinking a lot ;)

Portland Oregon
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3. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

Here is the web site for restaurants with maps and a map to show the location of the ME to DT. www.trapperscabolist.com Also go to www.loscabosguide.com for a lot of info. The key hangout for you guys will be Medano Beach. Most of the beach bars have 2X1 all day. (try to keep track of your drinks, some beach bars tend to add a few rounds to the bill) I advise NEVER to use a credit card except for the hotel bill, or rental car. Pay cash for everything else. From the ME the taxi should cost 60 pesos for 4 people. That is when pesos are best. 60 peso is about 5.20 US. NEVER tip a taxi driver, their prices are some of the highest in Mexico, and they continually gouge the tourists.

Olympia, WA
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4. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

Chip, I have a couple of recommendations for relatively cheap, good food near the ME: Tacos Gardenias and Marty's La Ricazon. Both are located within a couple of blocks of the ME.

Kansas CIty...
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5. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

A second vote for Gardenias for an inexpensive taco lunch! It's not on the beach, but the backside of ME towards town.

The water at resorts as well as ice at bars/restaurants is complete safe to drink! I drink tap water all the time in Cabo and have not gotten ill from it.

Minnesota
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6. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

You all offer some great tips! I have a question as well. Our family will also be first time visitors to Cabo. We will be staying at the Villa del Arco. We are trying to decide on ground transportation to/from the airport - renting a car, private/shared shuttle, or Suburcabos bus. I've done my price searching on the shuttle topic. But can you, and is it recommended, to take the Suburcabos with carryon luggage? I am a cheap traveler and the $2 US public transport ride sounds too good to pass up, if safe.

Also, since we will not be doing an all-inclusive, we will be shopping for groceries after we get to Cabo. Ideas on how far the Costco or Walmart is from the Villa del Arco?

Olympia, WA
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7. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

MSS, when we stay at the Villa group properties, we never rent a car. It's a fairly short walk into town, or you can use the colectivo bus. I've never used the public bus to get into town, but I understand that they now have a bus stop at or close to the airport rather than out on the highway. I'm also not sure where you would get off the public bus and how far of a walk it would be to the VDA. With those thoughts in mind, I would probably book a shared shuttle, either through Transcabo or Cabo San Lucas tours (also uses Transcabo but somehow gets a better price). For shopping, we usually grab that colectivo bus that turns around just outside the Villa properties, and take it to CCC. I'm pretty sure you can take that colectivo bus to Walmart of Costco as well.

Saint James, New...
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8. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

Here are a few web sites for Beach bars that will be right on your doorstep. Most have video so you can see them in action, www.mangodeckcabo.com and www.billygans.com Lots of video on Cabo on www.youtube.com or just look at the video on this site to the left.

Saint James, New...
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9. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

MSS the buses will not allow luggage or groceries on the Bus. You can bus to the Walmart but you must take a cab back or walk. The Walmart is about 1 1/2 miles from the Villa Del Arco. Thats a brutal walk in the summer heat with groceries.

Olympia, WA
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10. Re: First time to Cabo - newbie advice

I'm not certain about the statement that you can't take luggage or groceries on a local bus. I've seen lots of people at the bus stops in town with bags of groceries waiting for a bus. Since there is now a bus stop about 100 yards from Terminal 1 at the San Jose del Cabo airport, it also does make sense that you could not use that bus while carrying luggage.