Getting to Los Cabos - Navigating the San Jose del Cabo International Airport

The San Jose del Cabo International Airport in Los Cabos, Mexico
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The most common way to get to Los Cabos is by plane. The San Jose del Cabo International Airport (SJD) is the facility used by most commercial aircraft but there is also an airport just outside of Cabo San Lucas that serves mostly private jets and flights from within Mexico on smaller planes. Several terminals make up the SJD airport with the newest having opened for use in late 2012. If you're landing at the new terminal, you'll be getting off the plane onto a jetway that takes you directly into the interior of the building. If you're landing at any of the older terminals, a rolling staircase will get you off the plane and onto to the tarmac for a short walk into the appropriate terminal. Either way, you're going to need to clear customs.

During your flight you'll be given customs forms to fill out. One per family or one per individual if you're traveling alone or with non-family members in a group. Make sure to fill this out on the plane and you'll save yourself time clearing customs. The first step in the process is to present your passport. The next step is getting your luggage. We've always found baggage handling to be quick and efficient so you won't be waiting too long before your bags arrive on the carousel. Gather your luggage and head to the next step in the process... baggage inspection and final clearance by customs. You'll load your bags onto a scanning machine's conveyor and retrieve them at the other end provided nothing questionable was spotted by the agents. Next, a contraption that looks like a traffic signal… you'll push a button and if it lights up green, your done. If it lights up red you'll need to open your bags for manual inspection.

The last part of the airport experience is passing a veritable army of timeshare representatives. If you've ever been to a timeshare presentation, you know what it's all about. But, if you haven't, now's the time to decide if you want some of your vacation time taken up by presentations at any one of more than a dozen timeshare properties in Los Cabos. Sure, go along with them and you'll get some type of gift – a cheap fishing trip, vouchers for free activities or tours or a bottle of tequila. If you're actually in the market for a timeshare, it may be worth your while to check them out, but you'd also be wise to check into timeshare resales and rentals in Los Cabos that can save you big bucks. Me, I'd rather spend my time doing what I want to do. The thing to know is how to get past the reps hawking those timeshare promos. What works best is act like you've been here before and head straight towards the exits. When you're approached, a simple yet polite "I live here" or "Friends are picking me up" will get you on your way quick.


Once outside the terminal, it's time to find your ride to your room. If you've arranged transportation with your resort or hotel, you'll find their shuttle vans outside the terminal. If you've arranged a rental car (we highly recommend Cactus Rent a Car) look for their shuttle vans or agents holding your rental car company's sign. Taxis are an option but the cost is quite high. The average fare from the airport to Cabo San Lucas runs $75 USD so a round trip by taxi will end up setting you back $150 or more. When you consider that you can rent a car in Los Cabos for about $40-$50 a day with full insurance coverage it makes great sense to check into that option. Not only will you have your own car for your airport runs, you won't be forking out cash for taxis once you get settled in. If you're lucky enough to have friends picking you up they'll most likely meet you at the curb. For more information, visit our getting around Los Cabos section of this site.


Use the handy widget to the right to check and see. FlightStats makes it quick and easy to check for flight cancellations or delays so you know before you go to the airport and end up wasting a trip or sitting around waiting for your flight. Flight status is generally available up to 72 hours prior to arrival or departure. They also make an app for your mobile device that comes in real handy. Visit them online at FlightStats to get yours.