Cabo is a town steeped in Mexican traditions and home to a number of festivals where you can enjoy a wide range of music and foods. Learn more about those traditions and festivals here.
While for many Cabo is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination, for locals it is their home 365 days a year. Cabo has a rich and vibrant history which are celebrated in two main festivals each year. In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at both events, and what you should expect to experience should you visit Cabo at this time.
San Jose Del Cabo Traditional Festival
This 7 day festival perfectly coincides with when many visitors come to Cabo to watch the whales who flock the surrounding sea of Cortez to calve. This festival is a vibrant celebration of local music, with some of the region’s best-known stars performing.
Catching this celebration is a must for any party lovers, with a variety of different musical acts to let your hair down to.
This celebration happens yearly and is a festival to celebrate Cabo’s patron saint, Saint Joseph (Jose). It also commemorates the 1730 building of the Anuiti Mission, one of Cabo’s oldest buildings, which can be found at the very heart of San Jose del Cabo. As part of tradition, during the event the local community carries an effigy of Saint Joseph on a pilgrimage through the town.
If live music or historical tradition aren’t your thing, then the week-long event also boasts a wealth of local foods and delicacies, allowing you to taste authentic cuisine. There are also more adventurous activities to explore, such as horse riding, mechanical games, and dancing.
The Festival of Cabo San Lucas
October 14 – 18
Those looking for a winter escape will also find plenty to experience in Cabo, including the day-long event known by the locals as The Great Day, but referred to in guidebooks as ‘the festival of Cabo San Lucas,’ which is part of a wider 4-day celebration.
Unlike the traditional festival, which is much more of a week-long party, this event is held to memorialize the patron saint of San Lucas, Saint Luke, and therefore has much stronger religious undertones.
If you’re looking to experience this event in full then it’s best to set your watch early, as the day kicks off at 4:00am. At the break of dawn, locals take the statue of Saint Luke (San Lucas) out on a boat into the water. This trip is short but highly symbolic and sets off from the harbor out into the bay, stopping at the famous ‘Arch at Land’s End’. This process represents the coming year of locals’ lives, and participants ask Saint Luke for another happy and healthy year of productive work.
This ceremony is followed by flowers and songs which really encapsulate the culture of Cabo, and are certainly well worth seeing. During the day there is also a whole host of traditional foods available, allowing you to live and eat in the local way while enjoying the revelry.
Not to despair if you love to party though, as the people of Cabo are right there with you! Come the evening, the party begins, with a whole host of different musicians and singers from around the globe to dance to!
It is worth noting, however, that this is one of Cabo’s busiest events, with thousands of people flocking to the area to celebrate. Therefore, if you’re not a fan of crowds, it might be best to enjoy the more reserved daytime celebrations before finding a place to relax for the evening. However, you’re sure to still hear the music from many locations in the town, possibly even when enjoying a sunset cruise.
While the San Jose Del Cabo Traditional Festival and The Festival of Cabo San Lucas are no doubt the standout events of the year in Cabo, you can still experience some of the traditions of the town no matter when you chose to visit. You could choose to visit one of Cabo’s many clubs, which serve traditional foods and music, and take part in a number of Mexican customs.
There are also a whole host of flea markets, which offer a chance to buy unique souvenirs local to the area to bring back for loved ones, and you may even enjoy a busking Mariachi band while you shop! There’s also a wide range of traditional Mexican dishes available at restaurants and food carts around town for a bit of local flavor.
Explore the Sea
One of the ever-present features of Cabo life and tradition is the Sea of Cortez, which the vibrant town shares its coastline with. While the traditions of the human residents are must-see events, Cabo is also host to an underwater world of fascinating creatures just waiting for you to explore.
There are many ways that you can get up close and personal with Cabo’s marine life, but definitely the best way for those wanting a hands on experience is to take one of the many snorkeling tours available, often led by Cabo locals familiar with all of the best features of the area!