What is the best time of year to visit Los Cabos?
The best time to visit Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowd levels. Generally, the most popular time to visit Cabo San Lucas is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather during these months is typically sunny and warm, with temperatures ranging from 68°F (20°C) to 85°F (29°C).
The peak tourist season in Cabo San Lucas is from December to March, coinciding with winter breaks and holidays in North America. During this time, you can expect higher prices for accommodations, more crowded beaches, and a lively atmosphere. If you don’t mind the crowds and are looking for the best weather conditions, this is a great time to visit.
The shoulder season from April to June can also be an excellent time to visit Cabo San Lucas. During this period, the weather remains warm and pleasant, but the crowds start to thin out, and accommodation prices are generally lower. This is a good time to enjoy the beaches, attractions, and activities without the peak-season crowds. It’s also an ideal time for sport fishing, as various fishing tournaments take place during these months.
The low season, which runs from July to October, coincides with the rainy season and hurricane season in the region. Although there is a higher chance of rain and storms, you can still enjoy warm weather, and the crowds are thinner. Prices for accommodations and activities are usually lower during this time, making it a more budget-friendly option.
- Best Time for Avoiding Crowds: The best time for avoiding crowds is during the rainy season in August and September. These two months see the most number of cloudy days and a slight chance of hurricanes. But with an average of only 18% chance of rain, there are still many sunny days to be had. Beaches will be nearly empty, bars and restaurants will be quieter, and hotels will often have discounts available. May and June are also good months will fewer people around, just after Spring Break and before the rainy season, but not quite as calm as during the August and September, as these are popular months for family travel. Do not visit during March or April, the height of Spring Break season, or during the winter months, December through February, which is the peak season for holidays and snowbirds.
- Best Time for Good Deals: The best time to find travel deals in Cabo is from May through September, with the absolute best rates coming in May, August, and September. May through mid-July are the best weather months during the summer season, not as hot as late summer and just before the rain comes. August and September will offer the best discounts, even at the most luxe resorts, but there will be rain to consider and the rare possibility of a hurricane.
- Best Time for Snorkeling and Diving: The best time for snorkeling and diving runs from early October and through early November. The water is warmest from late July through early November, visibility is highest from early October through the end of November, and waves are generally smaller September through November. October and November are some of the best months for encountering whale sharks that begin to flock to the area as winter approaches. Snorkeling and diving in Cabo is great any time of the year, if cooler temperatures are not a deterrent. Flying manta rays are here most in May; December through March is great for spotting whales, guitarfish, and octopuses. Colorful reef fish and sea turtles are here year-round.
- Best Time for Whales and Whale Sharks: The best time to see whales and whale sharks is from early January through March. Whale Shark season runs from October through March. Most whale shark tour operators are based out of La Paz, around a two-hour drive from Los Cabos, so visitors will need to provide their own transportation there. Whale Shark tours offer freediving and snorkel opportunities to get very close to these huge fish, but scuba tanks are not allowed. Humpback whale season runs from mid-November through April, with most babies born from late December through January. The babies start getting more playful in February. Gray whales have the shortest season in Cabo, from early January through late March. They are less abundant than Humpbacks, though not uncommon. Schedule early morning tours for smaller waves and less chance of seasickness. Afternoon tours find whales at their most active, but the boat ride is usually choppy later in the day.
- Best Time for Surfing:The best time for surfing in Los Cabos is from June through August. Thanks to Southern Hemisphere swells, waves are consistent at most beaches on both the Sea of Cortez and Pacific sides. Good surfing for Los Cabos’ Sea of Cortez beaches, including Old Man’s, Zippers, and The Rock, can be found anytime between April and October. On the Pacific beaches, such as Todos Santos or Cerritos, the best surf is found in the winter months, from December through February. Great winter surf here, but the water is definitely chilly.
- Best Time for Sportfishing: Sportfishing is great all year long, with almost 100% chance of catching something, though different fish bite at different times. September through January is best for all types of marlin. Tuna is most common from June through January, while yellowtail bites from January through April. Grouper and snapper are most abundant from May through September. Several major competitions with huge cash prizes take place here, most notably Bisbee’s Black and Blue. Most tournaments take place in October and early November with a couple of smaller events in the summer months.
Los Cabos Events and Festivals
Los Cabos in January
- Feast Day of San Antonio de Abad: San Antonio de Abad is the patron saint of animals. On this day animals are allowed into churches to receive a blessing. Hundreds of people participate, dressing their pets or working animals in ribbons and bows, for the priest to bless. Expect all types of animals to be in attendance, but especially dogs, cats, horses, and chickens.
- La Ventana Classic: Five days of competitive kitesurfing, windsurfing, and SUP racing, plus a variety of clinics where participants learn from the pros. Proceeds benefit schools in La Ventana, El Sargento, and Los Planes.
Los Cabos in February
- San Jose Jazz Weekend: Two evenings of live jazz, featuring local, national, and international artists. This popular and growing concert series takes place at Plaza del Pescador in the San Jose Hotel Zone from 5-11pm. Admission is free.
- Todos Santos Open Studios Tour: Todos Santos, one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos, is best known for its charming, boho style and art galleries. For two days every year, artists of all mediums open their studios to the public and invite them into their creative spaces. It is free to attend with any purchasing proceeds going to support Palapa Society’s Children’s Art Program.
- Carnaval: This huge six-day celebration is traditionally the last hurrah before the fasting weeks of Lent. Unlike Brazil’s Carnaval or New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, this is a family-friendly event, featuring parade floats, dancing, food stalls, and cultural events. There is a small Carnaval event in downtown Cabo, but the largest celebration in the area is about two hours north in La Paz, attracting crowds in the hundreds of thousands.
Los Cabos in March
- Festival of San Jose: An eleven day festival in honor of San José, the city’s patron saint. Festivities begin with parties and music, then increase to include parades, carnivals, and rodeos on weekends. Expect a fun street party with amazing food stalls, dancing, and rides.
- Festival de Cine de Todos Santos: Since 2004, the Todos Santos Film Festival has screened the best new dramas, documentaries, and short films from Mexico and Latin America with a special focus on local, Baja filmmakers. Screening during this six-day event are held at Teatro Marquez de León.
- Gala de Danza: This annual performing arts event brings together elite dancers, choreographers, and musicians from around the world. Artist collaborations showcase the best in classical ballet and ballroom styles, as well as contemporary Latin Dance. Get ticket early! Tickets have previously sold out in under an hour.
Los Cabos in April
- Paws ‘n Claws Open Golf Tournament: Annual golf tournament and barbecue benefitting Los Cabos Humane Society. Teams may register to play 18-holes on the Palmilla Golf course, followed by barbecue at Acre, an upscale farm-to-table restaurant, or supporters may choose dining only.
- Día de los Niños: Celebrated on April 30 every year, this holiday honors the importance of children in society. This is a fun day for kids, who get the day off from school, and are treated to special events, activities, and gifts. Events take place all over town, with music, shows, and magic. Many water parks and amusement parks offer discounts on this day.
Los Cabos in May
- Cinco de Mayo: This is a celebration of Mexico’s victory over France during the Battle of Puebla – not Mexican Independence Day. Outside of Puebla itself, this holiday is not celebrated in Mexico. However, some hotels and bars in Cabo host fiestas aimed at American tourists with drink specials, music, and food.
- GastroVino Food and Wine Festival: This annual, three-day festival in Todos Santos includes special events at the city’s best restaurants, working alongside Baja’s best wineries. Events include wine tastings, an elegant ball, tapas and wine pairing, and a silent auction benefitting a local charity.
Los Cabos in June
- Los Cabos Open of Surf: The most prestigious men and women’s surfing competition in Mexico, drawing huge local and global crowds. The six-day event includes free concerts after sunset by major international bands, and an accompanying food festival.
- Fiesta de la Música: This is a live music festival taking place every year on the solstice, June 21, in 120 countries worldwide. This free event takes place at various locations in San Jose’s Art District. All musical styles and experience levels are welcome to participate.
- The Stars & Stripes Tournament: Annual deep sea fishing (striped marlin) and golfing tournament combined with music festival. Proceeds benefit seven chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Mexico and California.
Los Cabos in July
- Fiesta of the Virgin of Carmen: This day-long festival celebrates the Virgin Mary as protector of Mexico. The event begins with cultural craft vendors in the morning, followed by an afternoon parade of children, their mothers, and puppeteers. The Cabo San Lucas marina holds a fishing tournament, while bullfights are held near downtown (toned down versions, no animals harmed).
- Festival of St. James: This festival celebrates St. James, the patron saint of Spain credited with bringing Catholicism to Mexico. The saint is often depicted in art riding a white horse. The festival begins with a parade, including riders on white horses, who reenact battles in the towns’ squares. Street parties continue late into the evening.
Los Cabos in August
- Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament: A laid-back, five-day fishing competition out of Buenavista, an hour north of San Jose. The event includes three days of deep sea fishing for marlin, tuna, and dorado.
- Los Cabos Open (Abierto Mexicano de Tenis): This is one of the most prestigious men’s tennis competitions in Mexico. It takes place over 6 days, on outdoor hard courts, with $800,000USD in prize money at stake.
- Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: This holiday celebrates the ascension of the Virgin Mary to heaven, and is celebrated in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose. Churches will be overflowing with flowers, and processions will wind through the downtown areas with floats and live music. There will be many street food stalls, plus buffet feasts at local restaurants. Festivities continue late into the evening.
Los Cabos in September
- Charro Day: The morning begins with parades of charros, Mexican cowboys, wearing traditional clothing with their horses groomed and decked out, too. Festivities with great food continue throughout the day with rodeos, bullfighting, calf roping, and dancing into the night.
- Mexican Independence Day: Beginning on September 15th at night, expect huge crowds in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose. Cabo has a wilder party vibe, while San Jose has a more traditional fiesta. Celebrations at both locations will see the plazas decked out, mariachi, folk dancing, beer, fireworks, and street food. The “grito,” shout of independence, is called out around 11 that night. The following day is a national holiday with a giant parade and continuing celebrations.
Los Cabos in October
- Los Cabos Billfish Tournament: A five-day event including three days of competitive deep sea fishing. Boats leave from both the Cabo San Lucas Marina and the Puerto Los Cabos Marina in San Jose.
- Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament: This is the largest fishing tournament of the year with millions of dollars up for grabs and drawing huge crowds in Cabo San Lucas. Teams compete for three days, and spectators watching the enormous fish as they’re weighed in on the pier.
- Fiesta de Cabo San Lucas: This holiday on October 18 celebrates St. Luke, patron saint of Cabo San Lucas. Downtown streets will be closed off to traffic to make way for the parade, food vendors, dancing, and musicians.
Los Cabos in November
- Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead): Celebrations are scattered around the Los Cabos area on November 1-2 in remembrance of deceased family and friends. Expect gatherings in the main town squares and in cemeteries, where altars are set up, plus costumes, face painting, music, marigolds, and special candy sugar skulls. Los Cabos’ celebration is not as large as in most central and southern areas; San Jose has more traditional festivities than Cabo San Lucas.
- Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament: Four-day event with two days of competitive fishing. Evenings include cocktail parties, mariachi, and festivities. Big money jackpots for the winning teams.
- Revolution Day (Día de la Revolución): Festivities on November 20 celebrate the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. Parades in the morning are followed by food, fiestas, and rodeos.
Los Cabos in December
- Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe): This is an annual Mexican Catholic feast on December 12, celebrating an apparition of the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City. The holiday is celebrated throughout Los Cabos with parades, masses, street fairs, and fireworks, and it marks the start of the Christmas Posadas.
- Christmas Posadas: A nine-day period from December 16-24 commemorating the Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Candlelit processions and reenactments go from house to house each night with parties, food, and piñatas after guests are allowed entry to the “inn.” This culminates in the biggest celebration on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) with the birth of Christ celebrated at midnight, followed by mass, food, and presents. Many hotels and restaurants will offer special dinners and events for travelers.
- Sabor a Cabo Restaurant and Food Festival: The area’s largest food festival with over 50 restaurants involved. The annual celebration features local and international chefs, food, wine, music, tequila, and mezcal. Proceeds benefit several local charities.
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