Parking in Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
These days it is easier to catch a marlin than find a parking spot in Cabo. But as with fishing, the secret lies in knowing where to look to score the best ones.
At first glance Cabo San Lucas seems devoid of public parking spaces: In a recent push to ease traffic congestion and encourage public transportation and private pay lots, the city has painted much of the street parking areas red. And downtown street construction projects have blocked off many roads and some of the remaining legal spaces. Construction should be completed this winter—God, hurricanes and unions permitting.
Nevertheless public parking in Cabo does exist now.
The major parking facility for the downtown area is the multilevel structure at the Puerto Paraiso Plaza shopping center, which is adjacent to the southeast side of the marina one block off Marina Boulevard (one block behind the McDonald’s, post office, fire station, and police substation).
There are two entrances to the Puerto Paraiso parking structure: one on the one-way street that passes two blocks behind McDonald’s, and the other on the two-way street that leads to the Marina Fiesta hotel and passes the northeast side of McDonald’s. At 15 pesos per day—and with constantly roving security—this is the best bet in town for easy parking. Another plus: The restrooms located inside the doors to the mall are up to five-star hotel standards.
Cabo’s second dedicated parking structure, Plaza Alamar Parking, is located on Francisco (Fco) Madero Street between Hidalgo and Guerrero. This facility is convenient for restaurants on Restaurant Row (Hidalgo Street), the Regional History Museum and plaza, Cabo Wabo, and other attractions in downtown Cabo.
On the south side of the marina, there is parking for shoppers at Embarcadero Plaza, as well as rooftop parking at the adjacent Galli Plaza (when the lifts are in operation) and a large pay lot next to Gali Plaza, which is operated by API, the agency that maintains the marina.
There is a large pay lot in front of Tesoro Los Cabos Resort. Parking is free for hotel guests, and many of the waterfront restaurants, such as Solomon’s Landing and Baja Cantina Dockside, and businesses in the immediate area offer validations. The price for non-validated parking is 30 pesos per hour.
Plaza Bonita. Car washers will help score you a parking spot in the alley in return for tips and the opportunity to bucket wash your car. One hundred feet past the Century 21 real estate office there is a gate to a large construction yard where pay parking is offered during the day since the project is currently on hold.
On the northeast side of Bonita Plaza, there is a pay lot that accepts validations from Plaza Bonita businesses. The lot has a premium location and accordingly charges premium hourly rates. Cuidado (careful).
On Marina Boulevard, immediately next to the abandoned condo or hotel project midway between the Giggling Marlin and Burger King, is a crudely painted sign offering parking behind the abandoned building for 10 pesos an hour. The itinerant artisan concessionaires who have taken up space beneath the building run the lot intermittently.
Another parking lot is located at Supermercado Aramburo, at the corner of Lazaro Cardenas and Boulevard Marina. One hour is free with validated parking stamp or 10 pesos per 15 minutes.
There is yet another fenced parking lot, Estacionamiento Emmanuel on Calle 5 de Mayo, between Cabo San Lucas Avenue and Miguel Hidalgo, across from Papelería Ruiz. They are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday an 9 am to 2:30 pm on Saturdays. This lot charges 10 pesos an hour and is one block from Lazaro Cardenas and about five blocks from Boulevard Marina.
Parking is scarce around the popular Médano beach, which begins northeast of the harbor entrance and runs more than a mile east, beyond the RIU hotel. You can leave your car with a valet and spend the day on under umbrellas and on chaises provided by beach restaurants such as Baja Cantina Beach, The Office, and Mango Deck (when you patronize them). These businesses are located below on the beach, in front of the Cabo Villas resort complex or south of the ME Hotel.
On the beachside end of the huge dirt soccer field that lies between the Villa de Arco and Club Cascadas de Baja, and others, you will find ample open parking that fronts the beach. Vendors maintain canopies here and offer everything from ATV and Jet Ski rentals to rides on ultralights.
An often-overlooked lot in downtown Cabo is the one-acre-plus lot immediately behind the AmeriMed hospital, banks, and Mail Boxes Cabo. This lot serves a variety of businesses in the adjacent hospital, retail, and office complex that front Marina Boulevard. As of 2016 there is a charge for parking. The business in this center usually validate parking.
A pay lot is located behind Mexican Immigration—the fortresslike building on Marina Boulevard just opposite and between Pemex and McDonalds across the street to the south.
While the downtown street construction continues, people are parking everywhere—in red zones, on the construction sites themselves, and on newly paved streets still not open to traffic. Our advice: Do what the locals do. And if in doubt, ask a friendly cop for permiso (don’t forget to smile). By David Mandich – 20 October 2009
Editor’s update: 07 November 2009 – Most of the construction in downtown Cabo San Lucas has been completed. There will be a few more months needed to finish planting palm trees, and completing other finishing touches. The sidewalks are now much wider and easier to walk on. The changes are a welcome touch to the downtown area. Parking prices are subject to change without notice.
Editor’s update: December 2016 – There is a parking lot next to the Cultural Pavilion (Pabellon Cultural Cabo) on the marina, near Solomon’s Landiing