Cancún or Cabo: Which Mexico Destination Is Better for You?

Historically, Cancún and Los Cabos are two of essentially the most sought-after seaside destinations in Mexico — and for good purpose. Each are well-connected to the U.S., have a variety of resort and resort kinds, provide loads of actions, and have among the many greatest eating places within the nation.

Los Cabos lies on the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, the place the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortés, and it has a extra desert really feel to it; whereas Cancún is on the Caribbean on the east coast and is extra tropical in nature.

Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Whereas true, each Los Cabos and Cancún are among the greatest seaside locations in Mexico, each is extremely distinctive, with distinct variations that create two completely separate trip vibes. That is why we broke them down by a number of classes — seashores, actions, meals, nightlife, and extra — that will help you uncover which is best for you.

Arch of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur in Mexico

The right way to Journey to Cancún and Los Cabos

To make it easy: Vacationers from the East Coast and Midwest would have a shorter flight to Cancún. Vacationers from the western United States would have a shorter flight to Los Cabos. That is the simplest approach to take a look at it, although not with out exceptions. Cancún Worldwide Airport and San José del Cabo Worldwide Airport are two of essentially the most linked in Mexico, regardless of the place you are coming from.

Cancún has direct flights from greater than 30 U.S. cities, together with from the West Coast, however the majority of direct choices to Cancún come from hubs like New YorkMiamiAtlantaDallasHouston, and Chicago.

Los Cabos has direct flights from greater than 20 U.S. cities. You will have extra every day alternatives coming from cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Dallas, however the airport additionally receives direct flights from Chicago, Atlanta, New York Metropolis, and different japanese locations.

Seashores in Cancún and Los Cabos

Drone View of the Beach in Costa Mujeres Mexico

Lots of the best beaches in Mexico are present in each Los Cabos and Cancún. In the case of grabbing that excellent seaside picture, neither vacation spot will disappoint. However a more in-depth take a look at every will assist reveal some key variations.

Cancun’s seashores provide a quintessential picture: smooth, sun-kissed white sand that extends into the gently lapping, crystalline sea. The Cancún Resort Zone alone is a 14-mile sugary stretch, which doesn’t even account for town’s smaller seaside locations. The seaside on this a part of Mexico tends to be the focus for vacationers, because the water is the warmest and most welcoming for swimmers of all ranges.

The perfect seashores in Cancún are possible discovered proper in entrance of your resort, particularly should you’re staying within the Resort Zone. One other Cancún seaside space to contemplate is Costa Mujeres, only a 45-minute drive north from the airport. This group has a number of newer resorts in Cancún, and is taken into account to be a lot quieter than the Resort Zone.

The seashores of Los Cabos, however, are rather more golden in hue, highlighting a desert colour palette backed by the cobalt-colored Pacific. If seaside time is most necessary in your trip, be aware that most of the choices in Los Cabos are usually not appropriate for swimming due to the energy of the present. Whereas some seashores are protected by sheltered bays, Los Cabos has many uncovered stretches of shoreline that make swimming within the ocean unsafe. For this reason the infinity pool recreation in Los Cabos is so sturdy — you may nonetheless have that unparalleled ocean view and vibe, however from the security of a stunning pool.

If you would like a swimmable seaside in Los Cabos, think about Playa el Médano, Playa del Amor, Playa Palmilla, or Playa Chileno. In fact, should you’re exploring the japanese coast of the Baja Peninsula, which faces the calmer Sea of Cortés, you may discover many extra choices for seaside swimming.

Actions in Cancún and Los Cabos

Diving with Whale Sharks in Mexico

Mexico’s seaside locations are well-stocked with activities, regardless of the place you go. You possibly can count on a big selection of issues to do in each Los Cabos and Cancún, together with world-class spasgolf courses, water sports activities, and excursions. The variations are refined, however may make or break a trip, relying in your pursuits.

Cancún could be very a lot a tropical destination, surrounded by thick jungle that spills out to the Caribbean Sea. However it’s additionally one of the vital built-up locations in Mexico — one which was created particularly for tourism. Consequently, you may discover a juxtaposition of historic and cosmopolitan. The Resort Zone is replete with high-end buying malls crammed with recognizable designer labels. However the thick jungle reveals the secrets and techniques of the Yucatán’s historic previous — Maya ruins. From Chichén Itzá to Tulum to Cobá, it is attainable to journey again in time lots of of years to see how the peninsula’s indigenous individuals lived and thrived. Cancún is near a few of Mexico’s best cenotes, that are underground rivers and caves that performed an important function in Maya mythology and faith. Right this moment, they’re mysterious, other-worldly locations to dive or swim by, with many excursions and excursions obtainable to ebook.

Cancún’s location on the Yucatán Peninsula opens it as much as sure kinds of journey actions as nicely. Water sports activities, like diving with whale sharks off the coast of Cozumel, are a significant draw. Cancún has a number of islands to discover off the coast, too, together with Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox, and Isla Contoy. Jungle adventures comparable to ATV excursions, zip lining, and dust biking are additionally fashionable in Cancún.

Los Cabos’ panorama could be very totally different, which modifications the vary of actions. It has the good thing about being on the southernmost base of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain vary, the place the mountains meet the desert, which rolls out to sea. Los Cabos is close to Cabo Pulmo National Park on the Sea of Cortés. Consequently, adventure activities abound on each land and sea, from ATV trails and horseback using to scuba diving and snorkeling within the nationwide park.

Los Cabos occurs to be one of many world’s greatest deep-sea fishing locations as nicely. It hosts one of many largest marlin fishing tournaments on the planet. Whale watching can also be an enormous draw to Los Cabos, as blue whales migrate to the Sea of Cortés each winter to provide beginning. Cabo San Lucas is dwelling to one of many largest and most unique marinas in Mexico, from which most of the boat cruises and journey excursions launch. On the streets of San José del Cabo, you may take pleasure in a thriving arts scene, with a complete district that hosts weekly walks and gallery occasions. And, in fact, you may discover a slew of surf beaches up and down the Baja Peninsula.

Each Cancún and Los Cabos are inside driving distance of many small towns in Mexico, which provide enriching cultural experiences for day journeys or fast overnights. Close to Cancún, discover the sleepy fishing village of Puerto Morelos or the haute, bohemian design of Tulum. Escape even farther south to Bacalar to go to one of many largest freshwater lakes in Mexico. Whereas in Los Cabos, journey up the Pacific coast to the eclectic and mystical Todos Santos, or enterprise farther north to La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur.

Meals in Cancún and Los Cabos

Exterior view of Flora Farms

Gastronomy is commonly what units locations in Mexico aside. Regional specialties make Mexican eating a continuing journey. Seafood is necessary in all coastal kitchens within the nation, with shellfish, marlin, tuna, and octopus taking heart stage. And, in fact, you may discover tasty tacos all over the place you go.

However Cancún delicacies additionally focuses on conventional Maya substances and recipes, like slow-roasted pork, or fish that has been steamed in banana leaves. In Los Cabos, you may discover many extra dishes that heart across the sea, like smoked marlin, Mexican chocolate clam, and comida de pobres, a fish soup made with beans and rice .

Eating experiences are additionally totally different in Los Cabos and Cancún. Whereas each are resort-centric, Los Cabos affords many extra alternatives to enterprise off property to a fine-dining restaurant. Cabo San Lucas options among the most dramatic oceanfront eating choices, like Sunset Monalisa, which serves decadent five- and seven-course tasting menus. You may as well go to El Farallon on the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, a cliffside ocean-to-table restaurant that pairs seafood with a few of France’s most interesting Champagnes.

San José del Cabo is gaining a fame of being the most effective locations in Mexico for farm-to-table experiences. Simply exterior town are three fantastically designed eating places that supply their substances on-site: AcreFlora Farms, and Tamarindos.

Cancún has many fine-dining eating places as nicely, however the culinary expertise tends to focus extra on the resorts. And the vast majority of guests to Cancún dine at their accommodations. You will nonetheless discover elegant eating places in Cancún, a lot of which face the Nichupte Lagoon, in addition to worldwide chains, however vacationers right here largely take pleasure in staying in a resort that meets all of their meals wants.

Nightlife in Cancún and Los Cabos

Boulevard Kukulcan signs illuminated Coco Bongo nightclub Cancun Quintana Roo Mexico

If you image nightlife in Cancún or Los Cabos, visions of Señor Frog’s and low-cost tequila could swirl by your head. You would not be fallacious — each Cancún and Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas, particularly) have had raucous reputations over time, due to spring breakers. However though you may nonetheless discover locations to social gathering on each coasts, these preconceived notions not outline the locations.

Each Cancún and Los Cabos run the gamut, from high-octane events to low-key occasions with reside music. Cancún tends to be extra social gathering heavy year-round, with bass-thumping seaside golf equipment and discos like Coco Bongo. Cabo San Lucas sports activities the same power, significantly within the spring, however San José del Cabo is heralded extra for its smaller bars, cafes, and eating places that characteristic extra toned-down reside music.

Is Cancún or Los Cabos Extra Reasonably priced? 

Aerial of Cancun beach with boat

How a visit to Cancún or Los Cabos matches into your funds is dependent upon what sort of traveler you’re, however normally, Cancún is the extra reasonably priced possibility. As Cancún has a bigger number of lodging, you’re extra more likely to discover a whole lot, particularly should you keep within the downtown space as an alternative of the pricier Resort Zone. Los Cabos is stuffed with extra luxurious, all-inclusive resorts that carry increased worth tags.

Security in Cancún and Los Cabos

Waves and beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Security is a standard concern each time discussing journey, particularly amongst those that are newcomers to a sure vacation spot. At the moment, the U.S. State Division urges Individuals to train elevated warning whereas touring both to Quintana Roo or to Baja California Sur. That mentioned, by and huge, journey to each Cancún and Los Cabos is safe. Vacationers who abide by native legal guidelines and do not go looking for bother can have a secure trip expertise, as is true with most locations around the globe.

Lodges in Cancún and Los Cabos

The pool at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Mexico does many issues fantastically, and that features its accommodations. Each Cancún and Los Cabos have among the best hotels and resorts in the whole nation, and selecting between the 2 primarily based on their property choices makes the choice subsequent to not possible.

Nonetheless, let us take a look at among the distinctions. Cancún focuses on all-inclusive resorts at virtually each worth level. Nearly all of these properties take pleasure in prime beachfront actual property on among the nation’s most beautiful swimmable seashores. Loads of resorts in Cancún are on the smaller, extra boutique aspect, like Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún and Nizuc Resort & Spa. However Cancún additionally has many bigger properties which are outfitted with loads of bars and eating places, in addition to plenty of leisure choices. If you would like selection in a single location, Cancun is not going to disappoint.

Los Cabos has a number of massive all-inclusive resorts as nicely, although it tends to specialise in luxurious choices — suppose the One&Only Palmilla and the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, in addition to smaller, boutique, and design-forward accommodations like Acre or El Ganzo.

Cancún vs. Los Cabos: Conclusion

The selection will not be easy. Each Los Cabos and Cancún are two of essentially the most iconic seaside locations on the planet. But when you understand which journey fashion you are inclined to gravitate towards, you’ll make the precise determination for your self.

If you would like an all-inclusive trip in a celebration city with sugar-sand seashores and ruins to discover, then Cancún is the way in which to go. Or, should you choose a extra luxurious getaway filled with deep-sea fishing and tremendous eating, then ebook a ticket to Los Cabos.

Regardless of which you select, you are assured a calming, enjoyable trip at both of those fashionable Mexican seaside resort cities.

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