With an emphasis on booze and music, Cabo nightlife begins early and ends late. On any given night, there are dozens of options for entertainment. The drinking begins at the bars along the marina and moves to the dance clubs around midnight. The clubs stay open until 3 or 4 A.M., at which point the party moves to any hotel that will tolerate the noise.
You won’t have any trouble finding a watering hole in Cabo—there are far too many for a comprehensive list here. One of the most famous is the Giggling Marlin (Matamoros at Blvd. Marina, tel. 624/100-6956, www.gigglingmarlin.com ) with a nightly dance show and signature block-and-tackle hoist from which well-imbibed patrons hang upside down like hooked marlins.
Carlos’n Charlie’s (Blvd. Marina, tel. 624/143-1280, 11 A.M.–midnight daily, mains US$10–20) is a tourist-oriented chain with a popular bar and decent Mexican food.
Among the row of bars and restaurants along the marina in Plaza Bonita, The Nowhere Bar (tel. 624/143-4493, www.nowherebar.com , 11 A.M.–1 A.M. daily, margaritas US$5) is a popular stop, especially during March Madness NCAA basketball championships. At happy hour (5–9 P.M.), you’ll get two drinks (served in glasses, not plastic) for the price of one, whether you need them or not.
For sunset views, head to the newest outpost of the Baja Brewing Company (tel. 624/143-9199, noon–11 P.M. daily), atop the Cabo Villas resort, on Camino de los Pescadores, a short walk up from Playa El Médano. Artisanal beers on tap are made of water, barley, yeast, and hops—about as simple as it gets, and a most unusual find in Southern Baja. There is live music on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Order from a menu of pub fare. The hamburger buns are made fresh daily on-site.
At Hemingway’s (Guerrero btw Cárdenas/Madero, tel. 624/143-9845, www.jnjhabanos.com ), you can order a sip of tequila for US$150 (the bottle costs more than US$1,000). Or the knowledgeable bartenders can help you taste a variety of high-end tequilas in the range of US$7–10 per taste. There are more than 345 tequilas from which to choose. The immense walk-in humidor has a full selection of Cuban cigars from Cohiba, Montecristo, and Partagas. A cigar roller, or torcedor, rolls well-made cigars for US$11–15.
Fumari Café Hookah Bar (Lázaro Cardénas, across from the Paraíso mall, 4–11 P.M. Mon.–Thurs., 4 P.M.–2 A.M. Fri.–Sat., drinks US$2–4) is a cozy second-story café with several tables inside and a large roof deck outside. Curl up on a sofa and play a game of chess while you smoke a flavored hookah (US$13) or sip a chai tea.
Friday is tango night at super-chic Barometro (tel. 624/143-1466, 10 P.M.–2 A.M. daily) on the Plaza Marina.
For nightly jazz music, try Edith’s (tel. 624/143-0801, www.edithscabo.com , 6 P.M.–1 A.M. daily), a block from Playa El Médano, on the west side of Camino de los Pescadores.
Two-story Desperados Restaurant and Cantina (Morelos at Niños Heroes, tel. 624/143-4331, 1 P.M.–midnight Mon.–Thurs., 1 P.M.–3 A.M. Fri., 1 P.M.–4 A.M. Sat., 1 P.M.–11 P.M. Sun., mains US$10–30) serves hearty fare with a Mexican/Tex-Mex theme—think seafood kabobs and baby back ribs. Free Wi-Fi makes this a good place to stop in for just a drink and some Ultimate Nachos. You can also watch whatever sports event happens to draw the biggest crowd that day. On Saturday nights a Latin rock band called La Flaca plays 10:30 P.M.–2:30 A.M. Pay a US$12 cover and your cervezas cost just 1 peso each the rest of the night.
Cabo’s discos are empty before 11 P.M. and packed from midnight on. Among them all, none embodies the party-till-you-drop Cabo spirit better than El Squid Roe (Lázaro Cárdenas at Zaragoza, tel. 624/143-0655, noon–3 A.M. daily). Giant margaritas and piña coladas appear two at a time to set the mood. Balloons and confetti fall from the sky, while staff and patrons climb on tables, form 50-person centipedes, and whoop it up on the dance floor.
Rock-and-roll music artist Sammy Hagar often celebrates his birthday by performing at the club he owns, Cabo Wabo (Guerrero btw Madero/Lázaro Cárdenas, tel. 624/143-1188, www.cabowabo.com , 7 P.M.–2 A.M. daily). Open since 1992, the club plays recorded and live music. Hagar often makes a New Year’s Eve appearance as well.
Zoo Bar & Dance (Blvd. Marina across from Plaza Bonita, tel. 624/143-5500, 9 P.M.–4 A.M. daily) targets the younger crowd.
On the second floor of the Puerto Paraíso mall, Cinema Paraíso (Cabo Bello at Gómez Farais, tel. 624/143-1515), with 10 theaters, shows a mix of blockbusters and independent films from Mexico, the United States, and elsewhere around the world. The VIP area has comfortable reclining leather seats.
Bike races, fishing tournaments, golf tournaments, music festivals, and national holidays are just a few of the gatherings that take place in Cabo San Lucas each year. The Los Cabos Guide (www.loscabosguide.com ) has the most up-to-date listing of events online.
The annual Stars and Stripes Fishing & Golf Tournament (www.starsandstripestournament.com ) takes place in June and raises money for children in Mexico and the United States. This is a family-friendly event, and the fun continues well into the night. Performers such as Super Diamond provide the Friday night entertainment.
The largest of the fishing tournaments is Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Jackpot Tournament (tel. 624/143-1622, www.bisbees.com ), held for three days each October.
The San Lucas Fiesta takes place on October 18 and includes a traditional mix of music, dancing, crafts, and foods.