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Situated on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos is actually two unique towns: Cabo San Lucas, a lively hub for shopping and eating, and San José del Cabo, a mellow pueblo with the historical Misión of San José del Cabo Añuití at its center. Stretching over a 20-mile tourism corridor, the area offers families two distinct vacation vibes.
Los Cabos is known for water sports: kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, and parasailing. But because there are no lifeguards—and many beaches have strong undertows and steep drop-offs—kids should swim only in designated safe spots. Playa El Médano, near downtown Cabo San Lucas, is popular with families; it has musicians, food stalls, and pick-up volleyball games for tourists and locals. The town is also a prime spot for sport fishing—particularly for mega marlin—but you can snorkel with hundreds of species of fish at the eco-reserve Cabo Pulmo Marine Park. For teens who surf or want to learn, the biggest waves hit during the summer, especially at Playa Acapulquito. Boating is also a must: Meet other mates aboard the pirate ship-inspired Buccaneer Queen, which anchors in Chileno Bay, or sail on La Princesa, a catamaran that glides past the Sea Lion Colony and the iconic arched rocks of El Arco (cabosanlucastours.net). The vendors in Los Cabos sell embroidered clothes, pewter earrings, and aromatic vanilla extract, among other local goodies.
Where to Stay
The 375-room Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, with its open-air hacienda courtyard, has two free-form infinity pools, tennis courts, a spa, beach yoga, and a kids' club. Protected by a rocky point, the crescent-shape beach offers safe swimming. Regular rates from $249 a night (hiltonloscabos.com); see below for the FC deal. The family-run Siesta Suites Hotel near the marina in the heart of Cabo San Lucas is a low-cost option for travelers who don't care about frills. It has a restaurant, pool, and free Wi-Fi (cabosiestasuites.com, from $64).
Everyone raves about the sunsets. But be sure to get up early at least once during your vacation to catch a spectacular sunrise.
FC Deal at the Hilton Los Cabos
$179 per night (excludes tax and gratuities)
-- Accommodation for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids under 18 in the same room)
-- Last night free with minimum stay of 4 nights
-- Private Mexican cuisine cooking class
-- Free kids' menu meals for children 12 and under when dining with paying adults
-- 20% off kids' spa treatments
-- Valid through October 15, 2010
Reserve at hiltonloscabos.com/familycircle or by calling (877) 354-1399 and requesting code FC. Subject to availability.