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March Madness: A Local Answers FAQs about Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

March Madness: A Local Answers FAQs about Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

Each year herds of North American college students head south to warm weather climes to participate in that seasonal rite of passage known as Spring Break. Baja California Sur’s southernmost resort destination, Cabo San Lucas, is a prime beneficiary of this mass migration, hosting thousands of bikini and board shorts clad collegians annually for mid-semester fun in the sun.

With that in mind, here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas.

Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

Photo by Camilla Fuchs.

Where does Cabo San Lucas rank as a spring break destination?

Cabo San Lucas is consistently ranked as one of the most attractive and popular destinations in North America. The city draws particularly well from the Western part of the United States and Canada (those on the Eastern seaboard tend to see Cancun as the Mexican destination of choice). Although exact numbers are not available, anecdotal evidence suggests there are at least several thousand youthful partiers present at all times during the month of March.

When is the peak time for Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas?

March is THE Spring Break month, but the mid-semester vacation period in Cabo San Lucas stretches from late February into early April, and involves three distinct waves of Canadian, U.S., and Mexican college students.

Canadian students traditionally break a little earlier than their counterparts in the U.S., and are often the first to flood area hotspots like Medano Beach (see below). U.S. students begin arriving en masse in early March, with peak occupancy during the middle part of the month.

The third wave is contemporaneous with Semana Santa (Holy Week), the week that precedes Easter. Semana Santa is a popular vacation time across Mexico, and a standard mid-semester break period for students (it’s no coincidence that Semana Santa is colloquially known as “Mexican Spring Break”). The country’s collegians frequently take advantage of this time off by heading to major resort areas like Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

What are the most popular gathering places?

Playa El Medano is ground zero for much of the Spring Break action. This two mile stretch of golden sand showcases popular party places like Mango Deck Cantina – AKA Cabo’s unofficial Spring Break headquarters, and the home of the sex position contest – as well some of Los Cabos’ best seaside resorts. After dark, the scene is primarily centered around Plaza Bonita, at the juncture of the main drag (Blvd. Marina) and the road that leads out of town (Lazaro Cardenas). This Marina adjacent area boasts many of the city’s most boisterous late night clubs, including El Squid Roe, Pink Kitty, Mandala, Baja Junkie, La Vaquita and Knotty Social Club.

Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

Photo by Camilla Fuchs

When do students typically start making their Spring Break plans?

Students typically start discussing Spring Break plans during the preceding semester, 4-6 months in advance. For best results, they should book their flights, and confirm their Los Cabos accommodations at least three months in advance. The 90 day window also allows those without passports ample time to make the necessary arrangements.

Is Spring Break related tourism expected to suffer in Cabo San Lucas due to the aftermath of Hurricane Odile?

Los Cabos has made a rapid recovery from Hurricane Odile, and the outlook for the area, as well as México as a whole, is extremely positive for 2015 (translation: tourism numbers are expected to be up from 2014). There are a handful of local hotels that have yet to reopen, but these are by and large luxury properties that are well out of the budgetary reach of most Spring Breakers.

 

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Cornering the Markets: Where to Buy Groceries in Cabo San Lucas

There are many great Cabo San Lucas restaurants, but if you’re staying at a villa, condominium, or other accommodation with kitchen or grill facilities, the most relaxing meals are often those shared in the comfort of your home away from home. Groceries can be purchased at many locations throughout the city, from large American-style supermarkets to corner stores and specialty shops. Both dollars and pesos are accepted everywhere, but bargain shoppers will find pesos the better option, as conversion rates at stores are often set below that of currency exchanges.

Plaza Aramburo has the greatest selection of all the downtown markets.

Supermarkets

For the largest selection, as well as access to American products and producers, there are several large and well-stocked supermarkets. Transportation is necessary, by bus or rental car, to reach chain stores like Walmart and Costco, but those staying in Cabo San Lucas will find the market at Plaza Aramburo a relatively short walk from the Medano Beach and Marina areas. If you buy too much to carry, taxis are stationed in front of the store.

Mini Supers

There are many small markets offering basic food and beverage items. Oxxo, a sort of Mexican version of 7-11, is the most common, but stores can be found on virtually every corner. California Ranch Market (formerly Tutto Bene) and Mini Super El Gallo are excellent options for those staying in and around Pedregal.

Specialty Markets

Mexican shoppers typically augment supermarket purchases with items from local markets. For a touch of the exotic, try shopping at one of Cabo’s specialty shops. A stroll through the downtown streets will introduce visitors to pescaderias (seafood), carnicerias (meats), panaderias (breads, pastries, and cakes), tortillerias (tortillas), and many other Mexican-style grocery stops.

Common items often seem exotic. Cans of chicharos, aka peas.

Where to Go

Walmart – Two miles outside the city at Plaza San Lucas. Accessible from the main highway (Carretera Transpeninsular) between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. (624) 144-7114
Costco – Just outside the city, at Carretera Transpeninsular Km 4.5. (624) 146-7180.

City Club – Paseo del Pescador and Lazaro Cardenas. Nonmembers must pay a small fee. (624) 143-9492.

La Europea – Wine, liquor, and deli emporium at Puerto Paraiso. (624) 105-1818.

Soriana – Supermarket located at Plaza Sendero. Delivery is available. (624) 105-1290.

Plaza Aramburo – Supermarket with a central downtown location at Lazaro Cardenas and Ignacio Zaragoza. (624) 143-0939.

California Ranch Market – Organic specialty market located on Marina Boulevard, near the Cultural Pavilion and entrance to Pedregal. (624) 144-3300.

Mini Super El Gallo – Convenience store one block from the main square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes, on Emiliano Zapata. (624) 143-0370.

Pescaderia Cabo Mar – The freshest local seafood is found here, a little-off-the-beaten-track, at the corner of Melchor Ocampo and Alíkan. (624) 143-4866.

Do you know of any other places to buy groceries or specialty foods in Cabo? Share your knowledge with us below!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.