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Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

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Santa Rosa...
posts: 36
reviews: 52
Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

We are headed to Cabo on Sunday and have reserved a car from Cactus Car Rental. I am starting to get worried about driving in Mexico. Should I be? Any tips or tricks you can give me to help ease my worries?? Please help!

We are staying at RIU palace and flying in to SJD.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

22 replies to this topic
Southington...
posts: 220
reviews: 19
1. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

There are a lot of posts on here about cops shaking down rental car drivers. I actually almost had it happen to me. But I still wouldn't think twice about renting. I am just a bit more careful. So don't be worried...but be smart. Driving around Cabo is easy and actually kind of fun once you figure it out. You can park at any white curb area on the road or the Mall parking garage (close to Marina) or the downtown parking garage (around the corner from the Cabo Wabo).

WATCH OUT FOR THE SPEED BUMPS on the turn around / bypass roads coming into and out of Cabo. They were designed by a Hollywood stunt driver and your car will go airborne if you don't REALLY slow down.

Better to use pesos when getting gas. Many of the gas attendants aren't very good at math and seems to always be in their favor. Every smart phone has a calculator on it so you know that if gas is 10mx per liter and you give him 200 pesos you should get 20 liters right? I've had them pump 10 liters and say "ok bye bye now". If you point it out, they say "oh so sorry" and give you change or pump the rest. This is more common deep in town or off the main road in San Jose. Never had a problem on the main drag.

Take some time to print out some road maps from (google maps or bing maps) from home before you leave. It doesn't take long at all to figure out the roads and there are no "dangerous left turns into the bad area" . Its pretty a much a grid / block system. If you are really nervous play around with Google street view. you virtually "drive" from Riu to downtown so you see what to expect.

Having a car give you the freedom to go to any resort (tell valets you are going to pool / restaurant) and check out new places, go to San Jose (art district is a fun night sjdowntown.com/live-here/… ), go to Chileno or Santa Maria (my favorite) beaches, go to human society and walk the dogs, go to Wal-Mart (etc) for food / supplies, and save money on taxis / transfers.

DO IT!

Edited: 6:16 am, July 29, 2014
Cabo San Lucas...
posts: 1,398
reviews: 18
2. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

Where are you going to drive to? If this is only for going into town for evening activities - food and booze, I would take cabs - don't have to worry about parking or driving home after a few beverages. If you are going to take trips to other beaches, San Jose, Todos Santos, then you will need a car.

Careful of the google street view. A lot of changes since then and some streets now go different directions.

My advice if you get a car. Follow the laws, not what the locals do. Don't count on a sign for one way streets, always look at which way the cars are parked. Take cabs at night for going into town for dinners.

Santa Rosa...
posts: 36
reviews: 52
3. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

Fantastic info! I'm already feeling more confident!!! Can't wait to get to cabo and just relax :-) I will utilize the cabs for night time voyages to town but I will stick with my plan and rent to car from cactus when I arrive in cabo. Thank you!

Southington...
posts: 220
reviews: 19
4. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

cabocarls advice is good. Many of the streets are a little different. Only use google street view for a general feel or the area (which I found very helpful). And I got pulled over only when I started driving like a local which is to say pretty much ignoring all the street signs / rules so... ;)

Santa Rosa...
posts: 36
reviews: 52
5. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

Hey CaboCarl!

We are considering driving to La Paz. My boss said he did it in '78 and it was cool so he said I should check it out. What do you think Mr. CaboCarl? Have you headed to La Paz for a day trip?

Southington...
posts: 220
reviews: 19
6. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

Some good answers...but remember that there has been and always is construction / changes on these roads.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g150771-c66197/La-Paz…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150771-i771-k4468…

Southington...
posts: 220
reviews: 19
7. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

I personally did Todos Santos but no further. Got too sidetracked on the way checking things out to make it the whole way up and back. (you wouldn't drive this at night due to the animals roaming and some road hazards that can sneak up on you). Next trip to Cabo Im going to spend one overnight up there so I can take my time. its an awesome ride.

Search this forum and you find some really cool secret spots on the route. I found a GREAT little beach thanks to the advice. .

Cabo San Lucas...
posts: 1,398
reviews: 18
8. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

The trip to La Paz is a lot different then it was in 1978. There is now a four lane hwy that goes thru Todos Santos and on to La Paz. From Cabo, it is a long day, about 5 hrs of driving for the round trip. Easy drive. From San Jose, you can take Hwy 1 direct, but it is a mountain road and you should not travel in the dark. Except for the beaches, I am not a fan of La Paz. I suggest TS for a day trip.

Dana Point...
posts: 81
reviews: 13
9. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

About 9 years ago we drove to La Paz. Our reaction was "meh", not really worth the trip. We also drove to Todos Santos which was a fun day trip. Take the warnings about not driving at night outside of Cabo seriously.

Last time we went to TS we stayed too late and were coming home after dark. We were driving down the then two land road back to Cabo and were going thru an "arroyo". At the bottom was a huge black bull which I did not see until he was in my headlights. I locked up our little stick shift and had to bring the car completely sideways to avoid hitting him. Still to this day I have no idea how he did not end up on our hood or how I did not roll the car. Someone was definitely watching over us that night.

Santa Rosa...
posts: 36
reviews: 52
10. Re: Should we rent a car for our trip to Cabo?

Whoa! Glad you and your family and the bull were okay that night! That's a wild story! I will listen to your warning and make sure we get back before sunset. I'm sure we will just head to Todos Santos rather than the longer jaunt to La Paz. Thanks for the story!

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