Getting to Baja California Sur in Mexico is easy for anyone who lives in Southern California like me, where non-stop flights abound. As a travel writer who lives on the beach literally right next to Los Angeles International Airport, the hardest part of the trip is when I arrive at Los Cabos International Airport and have to figure out my transportation to whatever part of the area I’m visiting. first. I usually like to stay in two different places during my stays, which last anywhere from four days to a week or more.
I like having a car, so I usually rent one when I land. But sometimes, I want to leave the driving to someone else and book a transfer to my first hotel or just walk out of the airport and get a taxi waiting in line. The airport is not very big and is very manageable for first-time visitors.
Los Cabos International Airport it’s my preferred airport in the region, and flights abound from various parts of the US, Canada, and other Mexican cities, with about 550 a week from about 40 destinations, many of which are direct. US airlines Delta, American, United, Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue, Southwest, and Spirit fly nonstop to the airport, so airfares are often reasonably priced due to the level of competition. High season (October to April) means higher prices on most carriers.
Visitors from countries further afield can find good connections through major US cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Dallas, as well as the Mexican hubs of Mexico City, Tijuana and Guadalajara.
Driving isn’t really an option from the US border unless you want to be in the car for 1,000 miles, which is the distance between Tijuana and Los Cabos. It’s possible to cross the Sea of Cortez by car from the Mexican state of Sinaloa by taking an eight-hour ferry from Topolobampo, but the car and ferry routes are for the truly adventurous. Driving from the US border is not recommended, as much of the journey is through empty desert, passing through small dusty towns with few amenities such as hotels and restaurants.
Before you arrive at the airport, decide how you plan to get around during your stay. Renting a car allows him to move freely, and if he drives an automatic, he’ll save hundreds of dollars on rent. There are numerous car rental companies at the airport, including the major National, Alamo, Hertz, Avis, Budget, and Thrifty, as well as Sixt, Ace, Firefly, and local companies.
Prices are usually comparable between different companies, but it is important to book in advance, especially during the high season. I like to stick with the better known companies like Avis, Alamo, Hertz and Budget as there is less chance of them running out of cars and leaving me struggling.
Leave the driving to others if you plan to stay at a resort along the Tourist Corridor, in Cabo San Lucas, or beyond Cabo City to the Pacific side of the tip of Baja California Sur, as once you get to your hotel (plan to spend $60-$75 for a car/taxi service from the airport) most adventure/tour companies will pick you up there and drop you back. Taxis are also plentiful in Los Cabos, especially in Cabo San Lucas. Trips to the airport take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on where your hotel is located.
If La Paz is going to be your base of operations, expect a 2.5-hour drive north from the airport. There are private car services, taxis, and shuttles to get there, but a rental car will allow you to explore along the way, which is what I recommend. The two routes to drive to La Paz are interesting, with each route taking about the same amount of time. Passing through Los Barriles on the eastern side of the peninsula is wilder and more picturesque, while the drive west takes you through Todos Santos, one of the Pueblos Mágicos de México, or magical towns. Just make sure you get a vehicle big enough to carry both your luggage and your diving/fishing gear.
Once in La Paz, the best ways to get around are walking, driving a rental car or taking a taxi. There, too, adventure/excursion companies will arrange transportation to and from your hotel on the days you travel with them.
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