Living in Cabo San Lucas: Could It Be Your Dream Retirement?


Everyone dreams of living in paradise, right? If your idea of paradise is a place where the golden sand meets the pristine azure ocean. Where you can have your fave fish tacos for lunch and then sundowners and steak for dinner. A city where you can buy local fruit off the truck on the corner and then pop over to Costco for all your other necessities. If that sounds like a dream come true, then living in Cabo San Lucas just may be your paradise.

living in cabo san lucas

About Cabo San Lucas (or Cabo for short):

Cabo San Lucas is situated at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula in Baja California Sur. 

It’s half the area known as Los Cabos. The other half is San Jose del Cabo, its sister town, which is more relaxed and family-oriented.

The Cabo San Lucas population is around 200,000, so it’s a small city but retains its rural vibe in some areas. It’s not unheard of to see cows sauntering lazily down the road outside your home if you live away from the main tourist areas. That’s one of the cool things about Cabo. You can have the best of both worlds, a vibey electric city center with a small-town feel. 

Cabo is a bustling city that meets the water at the convergence of the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez. Just beyond the city are the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. So, if you’re feeling pruned from all those hours snorkeling with manta rays and turtles, you can go hiking in the mountains. 

Living in Cabo San Lucas means you can have it all, city, beach, and mountain life. 

What Is It Like Living in Cabo San Lucas? 

The thing about Cabo is that it’s not just fabulous for expats and retirees; it’s a tourist haven as well. And with decades of tourism comes the ease and amenities that make your life a bit more convenient. 

Because of its proximity to the US, living in Cabo San Lucas will have a familiar feel in some ways. You’ll find Costco, Walmart, and Home Depot, so you’ll never have a hard time finding American products.

But make no mistake, Cabo is just as Mexican as every other touristy city in the country. You might just have to dig a little deeper to find it. Because of its massive tourism industry and work opportunities, Mexican locals from all over the country have made Cabo home. With them came their traditions, festivals, holidays, food, and music. Which makes living in Cabo San Lucas exciting and diverse. It’s one big Mexican melting pot with a side dish of expats, snowbirds, and retirees.

It’s a non-stop party central (if that’s your thing), but it’s also lazy days at the beach or a rustic mountain getaway. It can be bustling and busy and full of adventure or just the opposite, you decide. Having it all at your fingertips mean getting to try new things and never wanting for anything. 

living in cabo san lucas

What to Do in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas originated as a tiny fishing village and has stayed true to its roots. It’s one of the premier fishing cities in the world and host to the Bisbee marlin tournament with its multimillion-dollar jackpot. 

Is fishing your hobby? It could become a regular occurrence or your next windfall if you are an expat living in Cabo San Lucas. 

Since it’s at the very tip of the Baja California peninsula, the beaches and marina are the city’s main attractions. It’s an ocean lover’s dreamland because you have the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other. 

The deep azure ocean is crystal clear, making it the ideal place for scuba diving and snorkeling. It’s not uncommon to see manta rays, turtles, and sea lions in your underwater adventures. Of course, you’ll have no problem finding adventures on top of the water with jet skis and parasailing options aplenty. 

What are The Best Beaches around Cabo San Lucas?

The main beach is Medano, but it’s also very touristy. There are 19 blue-flag beaches in the area, so the hardest decision is which one to plunk yourself down on for the day.

Some of the more popular beaches are: Playa Grande, Chileno Beach, and Santa Maria.   

Sick of the water yet?

Don’t worry. Cabo has you covered. 

There are numerous award-winning golf courses to get frustrated on for players of all levels. 

Golf not your thing? How about hiking? Ziplining? Horseback riding? Tennis anyone? Ironman marathon? And those are just the activities when the sun is up. 

The point is, in Cabo San Lucas, you do you. There is something for everyone. 

Nightlife in Cabo

Just as days are filled with sunshine and ocean adventures, the nights are filled with restaurants, bars, and clubs to dance the night away.

When the sun goes down, everyone living in Cabo is spoiled by a bevy of nightlife options.    

First of all, you can’t miss sundowners. I mean, what’s the point of living in paradise if you don’t enjoy the stunning sunsets? Luckily, there are loads of restaurants and bars to settle into and watch the sky turn into a kaleidoscope of colors. 

Cabo San Lucas is a playground for the rich and famous. There are as many fine dining Michelin starred restaurants as taco joints – and everything in between.

Just because this is all on offer doesn’t mean you’ll be living like you’re on vacation – unless you want to. Obviously, you can still have your quiet nights at home, but when you are ready for a night on the town, it’s there for you. It all depends on your lifestyle and what’s important to you. 

Cost of Living in Cabo San Lucas

While it’s true the cost of living in Cabo San Lucas may be higher than in other parts of Mexico, like San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca or Merida, it’s still far less than it is in the US.

For the most part, it depends on your lifestyle. If you want a luxurious beachfront home, it’s going to cost you. Beachfront real estate is the same world over – pricey. 

But move a few minutes off the beachfront, and you can find luxury for less. If you aren’t concerned with luxury and just want a modest home, it can be easily found. There are definitely affordable homes in Cabo San Lucas. 

Your lifestyle dictates your budget – period end of story. But no matter how you slice it, you’ll spend less living in Cabo San Lucas than you would in the US.

Things like healthcare and health insurance must also be taken into consideration. However, both are a fraction of the cost they are in the United States. And not because it’s a fraction of the quality of care. In fact, there are multiple world-class hospitals and medical centers there. 

Cabo San Lucas Food Prices

If you want to shop at the organic markets, you’ll find those in many neighborhoods, but of course, just like in the US, it’ll be more expensive. 

If you are watching your budget, head to the local fruit truck guy on the corner for all your fresh produce. Check out La Comer, a Mexican Superstore with fresh foods, baked goods, and local products — think Whole Foods meets Target. The point is that you can choose your cost of living in Cabo San Lucas. 

You can find the high-end imported products as well as the local foods and everything in between. 

Your lifestyle will dictate your bottom line. 

Is Cabo San Lucas safe?

A lot of people might wonder if living in Cabo San Lucas is safe. It’s understandable to be concerned about safety. You should be. As with any city, there is bound to be some sort of crime. There are break-ins and minor thefts, but violent crime is rare.  

Cabo isn’t the wild west, nor is most of Mexico, regardless of what the news outlets want you to think. 

living in cabo san lucas mexico

Pros and Cons of Living in Cabo San Lucas

No matter where you live in the world, there are always pros and cons. Cabo San Lucas is no different.

Cons of Living in Cabo 

  1. Some people find it a little too Americanized. A lot of American tourists head there, and many places cater to that crowd.

But for others, that’s a benefit. 

Do with that info what you will. It could be a blessing if you want to move somewhere, but aren’t comfortable going too different than what you are used to.

So, it depends on your outlook and comfort level.

  1. There can be a lot of traffic in Cabo San Lucas. So be prepared or join the thousands of expats living in San Jose del Cabo, the less touristy sleepier town, just a hop skip and a jump away. 

Pros of living in Cabo San Lucas

  1. Almost everyone speaks English, which makes living there less complicated than in other parts of the world.
  2. It’s very laid back, but you can party the night away or find something perfectly in the middle.
  3. It’s close to the US, so travel times are quick, and there are loads of flights in and out. 

The Wrap Up

Living or retiring in Cabo San Lucas is an attainable dream. This pandemic has taught us that we don’t have to wait until we are 65+ to start planning for paradise.

If you want more info about what it’s like to live and retire in Mexico, sign up for our upcoming FREE Webinar DREAM RETIREMENT IN MEXICO. We will discuss how to choose your ideal location based on your lifestyle preferences, how to buy property in Mexico and the basics of healthcare and health insurance for ex-pats in Mexico.

This FREE webinar will be held on

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 7pm EST

Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 8pm EST

Sunday, June 13, 2021 at 1pm EST

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 8pm EST

Just choose the date and time that works best for you.

Go to for more info.


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