Cabo Shuttle Services: Transportation from and to airport:
Email the manager Martin directly at email@example.com, you can negotiate for $125 round trip. Just let them know that Kay Lin referred you and that you “liked” them on facebook. That will help you get a deal. The great thing about this company is that it’s a private shuttle so you won’t have to waste time with picking up or dropping off people. And they will stop by a grocery store along the way (if you wish) so you can stock up on water bottles, beer, etc. You also don’t have to pre-pay: you can pay in cash after the ride. I think tipping between 10 to 15 dollars is good. Just make sure you bring change because sometimes they don’t have change.
If you are married and over 30, they will likely ask you in the lobby for attending a timeshare presentation, but they call it a “tour with free breakfast”. They offered us $250 in food and beverage credit per couple ($500 total. Note that tax and tip is not included.), along with huge discounts on excursions ($30/person for zip line, sunset cruises, etc), 50% off massage). Free basic buffet-style breakfast (eggs, sausage, fruits, yogurt, etc) with the presenter, and the pitch only lasted about 90 minutes. We knew we weren’t going to make any commitment to buy, so it wasn’t a huge risk for us to listen to their presentation. We were pleasantly surprised that they didn’t put any pressure to buy the timeshare. We would definitely do the timeshare presentation again to get the deals.
Tip: Have a plan ahead of time to say no. The sales guy didn’t put any pressure on us because we didn’t present ourselves like we would fall for it. But if you don’t act right, you could end up spending more time, under more sales pressure (some reviews on TripAdvisor said people were in these sales pitches for 3 hours).
Mt. Solmar hike (1 hour-ish roundtrip)
The entrance is in front of the Naval Station (10 min walk from the lobby). We entered through the side metal gate, which was not locked. The trip advisors reviews mentioned that owner was there to let you in but there was no owner there when we went. There were some dogs, so keep the gate closed after entering. The hike gets pretty steep after about 20 mins of hiking uphill. Here, you just need to keep following the flags, then red arrows directing you where to go. There was a lot of steep climbing so our pregnant friend couldn’t go longer after halfway through. Recommend going early in the morning because it gets really hot later.
They do have a nice gym: free entry if you are a timeshare owner or a guest of owner.
There is a doctor at the hotel (building 4 first floor). A few of us got food poisoning after the eggs at Mama Royal Cafe. It says $135 per Dr. visit but she didn’t charge us when we went to her for Grace’s visit. She ended up having to go to the hospital at Cabo Centro Medico. It wasn’t a shady hospital like some of the reviews said. The bill was around $4500 for a day of hospitalization, which was charged to credit card. My friend just had to apply for reimbursement, which should be 100% covered.
Our shuttle allowed us 1 stop at a grocery store, La Comer (took about 30 min to shop there). La Comer reminds me of Superior grocery stores back at home.
Shopping list: 2-3 packs of water (we got 2x 24 arrowhead water bottles), 6-12 bottles of beer (we only finished 4 bottles since we were drinking at the bar), chips, yogurt, fruits, Gatorade, cereal. Not to worry, there are Oxxo convenience stores (similar to 711), where you can buy big bottles of water and Gatorade for cheap.
It’s $125 per person to do all-inclusive, but you have to get it 3 nights minimum. I don’t think it’s worth it because we ended up spending way less than that per person. Plus, we also got to try yummy food from downtown.
Happy Hour is at the pool bar area from 11-12pm and 4-5pm.
Any cocktail drinks are buy 1 get 1 free ($14 regular price). They also have daily drink deal for buy 1 get 1 free (for the whole day!). Their drinks are quite delicious. You can ask them to blend it. All the drinks were yummy and our favorite was the mango margarita.
You can order food at the pool bars too. Since we were at the pool a lot of the time, we used the poolside food service quite a bit and just charged it to our room. We tried the steak burrito, chicken soup, grilled shrimp grand solmar salad, grilled vegetable salad, and ceviche. The only thing I wouldn’t get again is the ceviche due to super small portion size.
Note: tax here is about 16%, and the food comps credit doesn’t cover tax or tips.
Deli bakery between 1-3 pm daily: buy 1 get 1 free pastries ($3): they are average (muffins, chocolate croissants, etc).
Restaurants to avoid:
Mama’s Royal Cafe: 3 of us got mad food poisoning there, and 1 of us got hospitalized.
Mexican night at Grand Solmar $47/person: The food wasn’t tasty, and I got sick the next day from the food.
Safe places to eat from our experience.
- Maro’s shrimp house: get the shrimp molcajete, 1/2 kilo grilled shrimp, but I wouldn’t get the lobster again.
- Gus Tacos: cheap authentic Mexican tacos. Grace really enjoyed the quesadillas and I liked their shrimp tacos.
Zipline: $30/person with timeshare deal
We did the ziplines with Cabo tours. It wasn’t just traditional ziplining though, we got to try various things: 1) walking on ropes, 2) going down a wall 3) upside down zipline 4) superman style zipline where your body is flying horizontal, and 5) swings. They provided home-made quesadillas with hibiscus and kiwi juices afterward. We wouldn’t do it again with the same company because the ride each way took almost 2 hours (7am pickup time, 1:30pm drop off time) (because they had to drop people off). The activities itself only took 2 hours!
Airport check-in process:
Very fast: we left the hotel at 1:45pm and we were through security and got to the gate by like 2:50.
No need to convert to Pesos: Dollars work just as well. If you use a credit card, charge in Pesos to minimize conversion fees.
ONLY drink bottled water even at the hotel.
Enjoy the infinity pools and swim in them.
Take advantage of the nice empty gym.
Enjoy happy hour and drink specials but don’t get wasted.
Bring some bug repellent and sunscreen because there are some giant mosquitoes here.
Don’t expect to practice Spanish here because everyone will speak to you in English.
We will do a day trip to La Paz
Do a sunset sail.