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Interesting stuff on Los Cabos

The following information will help you to know your way in Los Cabos, Mexico. For more information on Los Cabos, call the Mexican Ministry of Tourism toll-free from the U.S. at 800-44-MEXICO. Once in Los Cabos, you can call 2-0377 or 2-0383 for tourist information. If you don't speak Spanish, don't worry. English is very widely spoken here.

Local Time

Los Cabos and Baja California Sur are located within the Mountain Time Zone, that is Pacific Standard Time, two hours behind Central Standard Time, the same time as Denver (that's one hour later than Los Angeles, one hour earlier than Chicago, and two hours earlier than New York). The time changes here whenever Daylight Savings Time changes.

Immigration Requirements

U.S. citizens must present a valid passport or notarized birth certificate to enter Mexico. Mexico issues visitors a tourist card that is valid for up to 90 days from the date of entry. You will receive this card on your flight to Mexico; be sure to keep this card throughout your stay in Mexico because you must present it upon leaving the country. In some European, Asian, African and Southamerican countries a visa is mandatory. Please consult your nearest Mexican Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Taxes

The VAT tax in Baja California and the border areas is 15% (as in other states of Mexico). There's also a lodging tax of 2% (in case you stay at a hotel).

Tips

The average tip is 15%. You can tip in dollars or mexican pesos. Avoid giving dollar coins, since local employees will not be able to use or change them.

Dress Code

Casual resortwear for the day; light jacket or sweater for the evening. Bring shorts, sundresses, cotton skirts, blouses and slacks. Bathing suits, cover-ups, sandals and sneakers are a must, as are film, sunscreen and a good hat! Don't forget binoculars for whale watching!

Add a dressy outfit if you're planning to try some of the fancier restaurants and discos.




Transportation

A rental car is handy to have if you're planning on exploring beaches outside the town areas. Once in Los Cabos, taxis and foot are reliable means of transportation. One adventurous option is to rent an all-terrain vehicle or mountain bike to explore the desert surrounding Los Cabos.

Taxicabs are clean and are always available at every hotel lobby, from the airport and at most locations in Los Cabos. They don't use a taximeter, instead, pre-established fares according to the distances will be charged. At the airport the collective taxi (a small 9 passenger van) costs about $12.00 per person to Cabo San Lucas. There are larger buses available for about $12.00 per person. The collective taxis and buses will make several stops on the way from the airport to your hotel. Getting back to the airport from Cabo will cost about $55 to $90 for a private taxi. You can easily consult these fares with your lobby concierge and always confirm the rate with the taxi driver before getting underway.

Los Cabos does have a public transportation bus service however there is no local bus service between downtown and the beach. The busses run between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo all day, every day of the week. They start running in San Jose at 5:00 AM and in Cabo they start at 5:20 AM, and run until 9:30 or 10:00 PM.

There are official bus stops, with seats and shade, but the busses can be flagged down, from almost anywhere along the highway, by waving your arms. They will usually stop, if they see you in time. It is safer and easier to walk to the designated bus stops. The busses only run on the main highway and pass each stop (approximately) every twenty minutes. The fare is around 16 pesos (about $1.50 U.S.) between the two towns, less if your only going part of the way. It is a good idea to have changes for the fares.




Banks and Currency

The Mexican official currency is the Peso ($ or MXP)
The paper bills available are $20, $50, $100, $200,$500 and $1000 pesos. Regarding coins, there are $0.10, $0.20, and $0.50 cents, and $1.00, $2.00, $5.00 and $10.00 pesos (recently $100 pesos, which are quite unusual).

Dollars can be readily exchanged for pesos at a variety of banks, hotels, and "casas de cambio," or change houses.

You'll also find that U.S. dollars are widely accepted by many tourist-oriented establishments and market vendors but definitely you will get a better exchange rate at currency exchange booths than at the various stores and restaurants. Your best bet is to use an ATM to withdraw pesos, as the exchange rate is based on that offered in Mexico City.

Money Exchange service can be find mostly everywhere (banks, money exchange booths, airports and hotels). Banks in Mexico usually open from 9:00 am to 4:00pm; despite this fact, you can make cash withdrawals from ATMs located everywhere, 24/7.

Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) are accepted all over Los Cabos as well as Travelers Checks.


Telephones

The Mexican long-distance phone service, Ladatel, has phones in many hotels and downtown streets that allow you to make calls on your credit card. You can purchase these cards on any convenience store near you. You can also access American long-distance carriers, enabling you to bypass the Mexican phone system and call collect or charge the call to your phone card. These options are worthwhile, given the 60 percent tax Ladatel places on all international calls.



Visitor Information

San Jose del Cabo
The Los Cabos Tourism Office (tel. 624/146-9628) is in San Jose, located in the Plaza San Jose, locals 3 and 4. The English-language Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos News, Cabo Life, and Baja Sun and the irreverent and extremely entertaining Gringo Gazette are distributed free at most hotels and shops, and have up-to-date information on new restaurants and clubs.

Cabo San Lucas
The city tourist information office (tel. 624/142-3310 or 624/142-0465; fax 624/142-9628) is in the old post office building on Zaragoza at Mijares. It offers maps, free local publications, and other basic information about the area. It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm. Prior to arrival, contact the Los Cabos Tourism Board (tel. 866/567-2226).


Things you should know about Los Cabos, Mexico:
Fact Information
Airport Name:
3-letter Code:
San José del Cabo International Airport
SJD
Mexico country code:
Los Cabos area code:
52
624
Currency: Mexican Peso
Language: Spanish (English is understood by most employed in the tourism industry)
Time zone: Pacific Standard Time, two hours behind Central Standard Time.
Tourist Board Phone #: 1-866-567-2267
Taxes: 15% and lodging tax of 2% (in case you stay at a hotel)
Tipping: 15-20% in resort areas, but make sure it hasn't already been added to the bill.
United States of America Consular Agency: Mr. Michael J. Houston, Consular Agent, Boulevard Marina, Local C-4, Plaza Nautica, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Telephone: (624) 143-3566 | Fax: (624) 143-6750 | E-mail: usconsulcabo@yahoo.com
Canada Consulate: Ms. Peggy Dillman, Representative, #9 Plaza Jose Green (Banamex), Boulevard Mijares, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Telephone: (624) 142-4333 | Fax: (624) 142-4262.







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