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Topics include Dining Scene, Mexico: For Foreign Visitors & more!
(Also see "Mexico: Bus Travel" and "San Jose del Cabo: Public Transportation")Even solo female travelers can travel relatively safely by taking advantage of Mexico's public transportation. There are local buses that run from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas daily and although they lack a rigid schedule, the buses run at about 20 minute intervals. For $27 pesoes ($2.70 USD) for a one-way trip per person (compared to the $10+/person/ride quoted by the taxi drivers), taking the bus in Mexico makes for a very affordable, week-long transportation alternative to get from one town to the other. As long as you confirm with the driver when the bus service ends each day, and you carry your hotel's business card for reference, getting around is easy!
Phrases you might need are:
"Discúlpeme, este autobús va a Los Cabos?" (Excuse me, does this bus go to ___?)
"Cuanto cuesta un boleto?" (How much is a ticket?)
"A que hora se toma el ultimo autobús para ___?" (What time do I catch the last bus towards ___?)
Know that it is perfectly normal to be dropped off in the middle of a freeway and the next bus will pick you up from that same spot. It takes about 45 minutes to get from one town to the other because of this.
Paraiso Mall is the major Bus Stop where it is easiest to get dropped off in Los Cabos. This general vicinity will be the area to look for the bus returning to San Jose del Cabo.
**Exception: If you are headed towards Wild Canyon Adventures - Ekopark, definitely call a taxi. It will be expensive, but the bus can only drop you off on the freeway. After that there would be a long, hot, desert hike up a mostly-unmarked mountain where the attraction is located, but a taxi driver can get you there in about 10-15 minutes and the driver knows the correct curvy paths to take!
For a fun filled experience - be sure to take the 'Urbano' bus at least once while in San Jose. We ended up liking it so much it is all we used for our local transportation. The fare is $10 Pesoes ($1 USD) one way per person. Sometimes the bus driver gives you a $1 peso in change if you are paying for 2 people with a $20 ($2 USD) peso note....Sometimes not.
The 'Urbano' has some bus stops - but locals (and tourists) typically just step off the curb and flag the bus down. There is a set of bus routes for the 5 different Urbano routes that the locals and bus drivers know but no such route map exists for the tourists.
There are some bus stops - most hardly marked if at all but you can also signal you want to get off between bus stops. When you want to get off you say "Bahan". It seemed the louder I said it - the faster the bus stopped - but that might just be a coincidence. You can also try to walk to the front of the bus to gesture that you want off - however the roads are bumpy and the suspension in these busses is non-existent so be sure to hang on to the one used water pipe they string along the center bus ceiling for hand support.
These are former school busses and have no air conditioning. Although most were reasonably maintained - a very few were not. See photo.
It seems all their routes start at the Mega store and end way out in the boonies. We took a #2 bus one day to see how the locals lived. It took about an hour to reach the end of the bus route. It travelled down Paseo Malicon San Jose (the resort hotel lined street along the seashore) then turned north on Calle Boulevard Antonio Mijares toward the small 'downtown' area with the tourist restaurants and trinket shops, then it entered a residential area of cement block homes of maybe 400 sq. ft. and finally went through some very poor areas with plywood cobbled together walls and corrugated metal roofs.
It would be of interest for your family to take this trip if your kids are whining about not having the latest game or fancy clothes. For $10 pesos per person ($20 pesos round trip) your kids might just stop their whining for a day.
At the end of the line all remaining passengers get off and - in our case at least - there was another Urbano bus ready to go to return back towards the Mega.