All About Cabo San Lucas

 
 

The Complete Travel Guide to Cabo San Lucas,
Baja California Sur, México.

 
 

So...you want to live in Cabo San Lucas.

 

 

Condos make a good first effort Living in Cabo can be very pleasant! Hillside condos offer spectacular views.

 

Cabo San Lucas - It's not for everybody.  But it is a very pleasant place to live.

If you, like many others, have given thought to living in your favorite vacation resort this page is for you.  Cabo San Lucas is a great place to live...but, it also has it's drawbacks, many that are not so visible when you are visiting on vacation.  Yes, there are many foreigners that live and work in Los Cabos, and yes...most get along just fine - some do not!  Here is a brief summary of what it takes and some of the situations that are not immediately obvious to a vacationer, even a frequent visitor.  

First:  I will assume that you have visited Cabo San Lucas many times. I will also assume, that if you seriously think you want to live in Cabo, you have deeply enjoyed your vacation time in Cabo San Lucas.  Hopefully you already have a favorite neighborhood picked out.  The very first thing I am going to suggest is almost a no brainer, but one that is very often overlooked.  Make sure you have visited the particular neighborhood of Cabo in all of the different seasons (hopefully more than once in each season).  The climate that may seem perfect in fall, winter and spring may get a little harsh in the summer months.  The neighborhood you have picked out may be susceptible to particularly cold winds or extreme lack of wind at certain times of year.  Water may only be available a couple of times a week. Not everyone you talk to will tell you about the less pleasant idiosyncrasies of their particular neighborhood, and it is easily possible that you have missed them on each of your previous visits.  Talk to as many local residents as possible, even those that do not live in that particular neighborhood and be sure to grill them deeply on the local weather patterns and anything else you can think of. 

Water supply, sewer connections, electrical outages, Internet access, local health care, recreation facilities, availability of transportation (local and long distance, in case you need to get back home in a hurry), road maintenance and other things that you take for granted elsewhere are usually quite different in Cabo San Lucas.  All of these are topics that you should have many intense discussions about, with local residents and your family, if they are going to make the move with you.  If you have children, the schooling that is available locally will be a major concern.  The quality of education, even in the many expensive private schools, varies greatly in the different educational facilities available locally.

Second:  Rent for a while!!!  I suggest a minimum of four to six months, but a year makes more sense if you are considering a permanent move.  There are a lot of furnished condos for rent all over our area.  Many permanent residents rented here for years before they were ready to make the full commitment to live here permanently.  Don’t jump in and buy a place and make a permanent move right off the bat…try it out first!  It does not matter how many people you have talked to or how many great stories you have heard, remember everyone sees things through different eyes.  The very things that your friends, or acquaintances, love about living here may seem very nice during a friendly chat over cocktails, on a perfect Cabo evening. Until you have experienced those same things personally, along some of the small daily frustrations, over time, you have no way of knowing what your reaction to the local life will be.  Your experience in an area during a vacation is usually entirely different than the daily reality of living in that same place.  Renting will also let you get a long term look at the real estate market in your chosen area.  You can window shop for a permanent residence the whole time you are renting. Be very careful about choosing a real estate agent, referrals from friends or local residents, may or may not work out.  This can be one of the most important choices you will make before your move...approach it with great caution.

Third:  (This should actually be # 1)  Learn some Spanish!!!  I can't stress this enough!!!  On your previous visits to the Los Cabos area, you may have enjoyed many vacations without so much as uttering a single word of Spanish (except maybe playfully).  That is all well and good for vacations - not so good when you are going to be living here full time.  Remember that you are not going to be living in a tourist oriented hotel and you most certainly won't be doing all of your shopping in tourist oriented stores.  Small things like talking to your maid, local storekeepers, the handyman or your automobile mechanic can become totally chaotic if you do not speak or understand a little  basic Spanish.  You can live here (many do) with out speaking the language, but is is so much more rewarding (and life becomes so much easier) if you are able to, at least, have simple conversations with everyone.  You will also be surprised at how much the locals will appreciate your efforts...they will be more than willing to help you along.  An amazing irony of the Spanish and English languages is that many (even simple) conversations will be understood as the complete opposite of what was trying to be conveyed (it's the verbs).  It still happens to me, and I have lived here over twenty years (no I am not yet fluent in Spanish, but I do manage OK). 

Forth:  Take your time!  Things have a way of moving a bit slowly in most of this area...learn from it.  You have finally made the decision to move to Cabo San Lucas...from now on slow down, take your time.  Quick decisions can come back to bite you (big) - over and over.  Review, and review again, all of the research you have done - include any family members who will be making the move with you.  The more input, from all involved early in the process, the better everyone will feel about this move.  This is a huge step in your life (and that of your family) and you should weigh it carefully.  If there are doubts, no matter how small, address them before you make your move - not after!  Usually taking a few more weeks or even a few more months will not have any negative effects on your overall quality of life, but hastily made decisions may have enormous consequences.       

That said...I hope we haven't scared you too much.  There are many positives to living in Cabo San Lucas - most foreigners who live here absolutely love it.   But again, it is not for everyone.   That is why I suggest renting for a while, if all is well, make the plunge.  While you are renting make extreme efforts to explore all aspects of daily (non touristic) life in Cabo.  If all is not what you thought it would be, all you have lost is some time.  I know of quite a few people who have moved to Baja without doing enough research or spending enough time here before their move.  Many chose to move back after having sold their home in the north and had to undergo the whole process again.  I also know many people who have lived here for well over twenty years and would never think of moving back.

Note: The Internet has made living in Baja much easier than it was not that long ago.  Online banking, along with other chores, means that you can do so many things from Baja that used to be a major hassle to get done for anyone living here.  Money movements, credit card payments, paying other bills that are still due back home, newspaper and magazine subscriptions - all taken care of easily - via Internet.  E-mail, chat, personal webcams and IM all put you easily in contact with your friends or business associates back home.  In the Internet age, for certain professions, it is possible to work in your home country via Internet and still live in Cabo...what a world!

When you have made your final decision that Cabo San Lucas is going to be your new home is when the fun really starts.  Good luck!

Also see:  Cabo San Lucas Real Estate  |  Cabo San Lucas Rental Properties

Enjoy Cabo San Lucas - Please keep this part of the incredible Baja peninsula clean!

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