By Meghan Fitzpatrick
Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) is located in Baja California Sur, near San Jose del Caboand about 30 miles from Cabo San Lucas. On a map you can see that the SJD Airport is located inland from the coastal areas, and when you fly into the airport you definitely get the sense that you are landing in the desert. Presumably it was constructed in such a location to reduce the noise and traffic levels for Los Cabos, but whatever the reason, travelers should be aware of the location of the airport when they arrive, as it is a bit of a trek to Cabo San Lucas.
If you are staying in San Jose del Cabo, it shouldn’t be a long journey to your hotel. The airport is only about seven miles from San José del Cabo centro (center). If you are staying in Cabo San Lucas though, I highly recommend you have someone waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. Many of the hotels and resorts in Cabo will provide airport transportation. It helps to look into this before you arrive at SJD so you don’t have to figure it out in real time.
If you don’t have a ride prearranged, then you have several options for getting to your hotel or wherever you are staying:
1) Taxis: If budget is not a factor, you can always take a taxi. If you take a taxi from SJD Airport to Cabo San Lucas, you should expect to pay between US$80 and US$100, not including tip. This is a pretty steep price to pay for a 30-mile journey.
2) Shuttles: The shuttles (colectivos) are vans that will hold about 15 to 20 people. This is a good money-saving option (US$20 one-way to Cabo San Lucas), but depending on where you’re going, it could take a while. Shuttles are a great way to meet people though, so you might take one for the entertainment factor alone.
3) Buses: The local bus runs on a loop from the airport, through San Jose del Cabo and all the way to Cabo San Lucas. It will take more than an hour to get to Cabo San Lucas, due to frequent stops. The perk here though is that it only costs about US$1, by far the most economical means of transportation.
If you know how you’re getting to your destination from the SJD Airport, the rest of your experience in the airport should be a breeze. Immigration and customs are a routine part of the arrival process, but nothing to worry about. Lines can be long, but once it’s your turn, simply present the forms you filled out on the plane, and tell them where you’re staying. Provided you aren’t trying to bring in drugs or firearms, they should let you right through.
Once outside the airport, you can expect to encounter a swarm of people who want to sell you transportation, activities, and timeshares. Just politely say No Gracias and continue on your way to meet your party or find your shuttle. . If you have to wait a while, you can have your first Corona, tequila, or margarita before you even leave the airport - Bienvenido a México!
Baja veterans, what’s your strategy for avoiding the crowds at Los Cabos International?