El Encanto de La Laguna: A Different Kind of Living
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Los Cabos has long been famed for its nightlife, but there really is no signature must-visit nightspot. Rather, the best bars in Cabo offer a pleasingly wide range of food, beverages and one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences. There is something to appeal to virtually every taste, in other words, from beach bars and boisterous dance clubs to wine bars, craft breweries, jazz clubs and much, much more.
Even the term nightlife is something of a misnomer since afternoon cocktails on the beach or golf course are both perennially popular local pastimes, and hip new “dayclubs” like OMNIA are among the best music and dance venues in the region.
But although Los Cabos nightlife in its entirety may be too diverse to characterize, cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo each have their own styles and their own unique aesthetics. So it is possible to say what city or neighborhood scene is most likely to appeal to people of different ages or demographics.
With that in mind, here’s our guide to the best Cabo bars and the best ways to experience Cabo nightlife based on your preferred level of sophistication.
What to Do in Los Cabos – Nightlife Overview
What is there to do in Los Cabos, México? Plenty.
Cabo San Lucas has three famous bars, each representative of a different facet of the Land’s End city’s vibrant nightlife scene. Cabo Wabo Cantina, for instance, was founded by the “Red Rocker” himself, Sammy Hagar, along with his then Van Halen bandmates back in 1990, and it has been going strong ever since thanks to live rock ‘n roll and an always festive crowd. Cabo Wabo is so well known it has spun off both a successful tequila brand and a handful of U.S. locations, including one in Las Vegas.
You won’t find El Squid Roe anywhere but Cabo. Set in the center of the nightlife district near Plaza Bonita, this three-story party palace has been packing in the crowds for over three decades. If you’ve ever seen photos of celebrities misbehaving in Cabo, chances are this is where it happened.
Mango Deck, meanwhile, is the city’s must-visit beach bar, made famous (or infamous) by the Spring Break crowds that throng it each year for bawdy competitions and tequila shooters from a bandolier wearing Pancho Villa lookalike named Big Johnson.
Cabo San Lucas, suffice it to say, is the place to go if you’re 25 years old and want to have the time of your life (even if you might not remember it). San José del Cabo, on the other hand, showcases a more serene and sophisticated nightlife scene. It’s where you want to go, say, if you’re 45 and prefer Cabernet Sauvignon to jello shots or tequila shooters.
What to Do in Los Cabos, México – Brewpubs
Beer lovers will find their happy place at Baja Brewing Company, the first microbrewery to open in the state of Baja California Sur, and now so successful it retails some of its bottled treasures in the U.S.
Although it now has locations overlooking the marina and Médano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, the original is in the heart of the gallery district in downtown San José del Cabo.
Speaking of which…
What to do in Los Cabos at Night – Arts & Culture
In this area, there is no contest: San José del Cabo is the regional mecca for both arts and culture, most notably drawing large crowds for its weekly Art Walk (held seasonally, November through June). On these nights, galleries in the city’s historic Distrito del Arte stay open late to show off the latest exhibitions and installations from painters, sculptors, jewelers and other artisans, while wandering mariachis serenade passerby on the district’s charming cobblestone streets.
Naturally, the gallery district also has its share of popular watering holes, including La Lupita Taco & Mezcal, which offers two of Mexico’s favorite late night specialties. Also favored by local cognoscenti is Choriarte, an intimate and colorful Latin American street food restaurant.
This is Cabo, México nightlife at its warmest and most authentic, and a much more laid-back alternative to the late night craziness of Cabo San Lucas.
What to do in Puerto Los Cabos
The upscale community of Puerto Los Cabos–located just outside San José del Cabo–has its own world-class art collection, thanks to a group of sculptures from famed Mexican surrealist Leonora Carrington on permanent display along its picturesque boardwalk promenade, and a beautifully ornamented cross from Gabriel Macotela overlooking its private marina, luxury hotels and championship-level golf course.
Those in the mood for palate-pleasing pleasures like fresh local seafood and ice-cold cervezas can find both at El Marinero Borracho (The Drunken Sailor), or opt for more upscale offerings in one of the many pool and beachfront cocktail lounges at Puerto Los Cabos based luxury resorts like the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Secrets Los Cabos, El Ganzo, and the newly opened Zadun, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
If Ritz-Carlton isn’t your luxury brand of choice, a new Four Seasons is also opening just up the coast at Costa Palmas on the Los Cabos municipality’s gorgeous East Cape.
The Beach Club at El Encanto
For many of the same reasons El Encanto de la Laguna is one of the most sought after residential addresses in all of Baja–namely: gated luxury, spectacular beach, and ocean vistas, and a secluded private setting only a few minutes by car from downtown San José del Cabo–the community’s new Beach Club, The Playa Encanto, promises to be a sought-after (and muy exclusivo) spot for tapas, cocktails and al fresco socializing on the poolside terrace.
Flora Farms, a farm-to-table pioneer and one of the top restaurants in the area, is partnering with El Encanto Los Cabos to provide refreshing cocktails at The Playa Encanto, and will also source the fresh produce in the onsite mercantile shop. Besides its restaurant and open bar, beachfront yoga and a state-of-the-art fitness center are also in the works for the soon-to-open lifestyle center.
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