Do You Need a Car in Cabo San Lucas?

A car will always provide travelers with flexibility and a more personalized trip. As such, if you’re planning to visit Cabo San Lucas, you might be wondering if you need a car when going around the city.

You don’t need a car when exploring Cabo San Lucas. Most of its major tourist spots need a boat ride which means a car isn’t that necessary. Also, public transportation is accessible and more affordable than having a car. That said, a car can still be handy in some instances.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of having a car in Cabo San Lucas. This way, you can know if the benefits or downsides will match your preference and help you decide if a car will make your trip more convenient. We’ll also cover some alternatives if you decide otherwise.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Do You Need a Car in Cabo San Lucas

Benefits of Having a Car in Cabo San Lucas

While a car is unnecessary when exploring Cabo San Lucas, you’ll always find some benefits. Here are some of them:


One of the main reasons why a car is preferred by many is flexibility. With a car, you can drive long distances anytime and anywhere you want. 

Cabo San Lucas is small, so that a car may seem something other than necessary. However, having a car can be handy if you also want to visit nearby cities and towns.

Traveling with Large Groups

When traveling with large groups, you’ll find a car more economical than depending on public transportation. With a large group, you can go anywhere at any time. 

Also, you can split up the gas expenses with each member, making your trip convenient and affordable.

For instance, relying on public transportation can be a hassle if you’re traveling with your family. But it’s also necessary if you’re bringing small kids, seniors, or even a person with a disability.

If you’re a group of more than four or ten, an SUV or a van will always be a comfortable way of traveling and exploring Cabo San Lucas.

Now, if you’re traveling solo or as a couple, you won’t find the need for a car. As such, it depends on how many people are coming with you to Cabo San Lucas.

Personalized Tour

Some people prefer to avoid relying on public transport, so they want to bring a car as much as possible.

With a car, you can have a more personalized tour and save yourself from private companies’ fees.

Moreover, you can use online navigation services to visit a particular place you want to visit.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cabo San Lucas, a personalized tour can be a hassle, especially if you need to know the best places to visit.

Thus, if you already have an itinerary and are good with navigation, a car can give you the best and most personalized tour of Cabo San Lucas.

Easy Access to Accommodations

After passing the guard gate, a home may be located a long distance away after being in a guard-gated community or a resort.  

Public transportation may not get you to the front of the community, so you must walk quite a distance.

It can be a hassle, especially if you’re not that active and are not used to walking long distances.

Downsides of Having a Car in Cabo San Lucas 

While a car is necessary for exploring some cities, you’ll also find some downsides to using such. For example, in Cabo San Lucas, here are some of the cons you may experience if you use a car:

Expensive Gas Prices

Some might argue that gas prices can be more economical than public transportation. However, in Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find it more expensive to pay for gas than public transportation.

In general, if you’re coming from the US, you’ll find gas prices in Cabo San Lucas cheaper. However, it only applies when using a local currency, the Mexican peso.

If you’re using US dollars, you’ll find the exchange rates high, and sometimes the gas stations even scam you with shortchanging.

Also, gas stations in Cabo San Lucas and the entire of Mexico don’t accept card payments. As such, you can get slashed with gas prices if you continue using foreign currency.

For this reason, it’s best to use public transportation since it’s cheaper than the expenses you’ll have with gas prices.

Most Tourist Spots Are Not Accessible by Car

Another reason a car isn’t necessary for Cabo San Lucas is that most tourist spots are accessible by boat ride.

For instance, if you’re planning to visit Lover’s Beach or the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, you’ll need to ride a water taxi or hire a private boat tour.

Also, most activities are beach activities, which means you will only use a car a little. For example, most boat tours start at the Marina, and if you’ve checked in at a nearby hotel, you won’t need a car.

For this reason, if you’re booked at a hotel downtown, you may not need a car since the Marina is within walking distance to the boat docks and the start of the tour.

Most Spots Downtown Are within Walking Distance

Another thing about Cabo San Lucas is that most restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops are packed downtown.

If you want to know more about the best options for food, drinks, and parties in the city, read our article about The Best Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife in Cabo San Lucas

As such, if you’re staying at a hotel downtown, you can explore the town on foot, and a car may even slow you down because you’ll need to face the traffic and the hassle of finding a parking spot.

It’s a Long Drive to Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is a distant city to reach by car if you’re from the US. If you travel non-stop, it will take you at least 24 hours to reach the city.

It can be a journey if you want to visit other areas throughout the route. However, it can be tiring and not worth your time if you’re on a limited-time vacation.

However, if you want to enjoy the entire Baja California and see more sceneries, a drive will always be a worthwhile experience.

Overall, it depends on your time, but public transportation is always handy for those who want to maximize their stay.

If you plan on visiting this city by car, read: Can You Drive to Cabo San Lucas?

Other Transportation Modes Besides a Car in Cabo San Lucas

Now, if you decide not to use a car in Cabo San Lucas, you might be wondering about the modes of transportation you can find around to explore the city. 


Taxis are widely used in Cabo San Lucas and the entire area of Los Cabos. As such, from the moment you arrive at Los Cabos International Airport, you can find a taxi that can take you to any point in Cabo San Lucas.

As always, ensure you negotiate the fare and don’t get overcharged. It’s also best to pay in Mexican Pesos to avoid the low exchange rates.


If Taxis are too expensive for you, you can find bus systems a better option. It’s ideal if you don’t have big luggage and traveling solo or as a couple. 

The bus system in Los Cabos has routes that will take you to the popular drop-off points in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Thus, you won’t have a problem traveling on this public transportation.


Uber isn’t well-known and well-used in Cabo San Lucas, but it exists, and you can use it if you’re uncomfortable with taxi prices. The Uber app works well in Cabo San Lucas, and you can use it if you’re headed somewhere far from walking distance.

Private Transportation

Most hotels and resorts have concierge services that include private transportation arrangements. You can also book in advance; private transportation will make your exploration more convenient.

Private transportation includes private transfers from the airport to your hotel to help you with your luggage. The same service applies when you depart from the city and return to the airport.


A bicycle rental will be handy if you’re not venturing the highways or exploring the streets. It’s best when exploring in the evening or the morning, like checking out shops and restaurants.

However, if you’re planning to visit a nearby town, it can be a long biking journey, and it will be tiresome. It’s also not a safe option for highways.


Overall, a car is not necessary for Cabo San Lucas, but some instances will make you decide otherwise. In the end, it depends on your travel preferences. Either way, you can enjoy Cabo San Lucas whether or not you have a car with you.

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