Lately, several people have asked which I would prefer Cabo or Cancun. While both are great options my answer is always, “What kind of vacation do you want?” Do you prefer to relax next to a crystal blue ocean, the feel of salty air rushing through your hair? Or do you prefer to go on an adventure and tromp through the dusty desert? Do you crave exotic nightlife or a quiet night on the town? I will list the major differences between the two, and let you decide which is better. I want to note though both options are amazing, and you will not be disappointed either way.
The most notable difference between the two places is the terrain and climate. Cancun is very tropical with high humidity at certain times of the year. It is generally considered to be pretty flat. Cabo is more desert and sand, with several mountainous areas, and is typically much drier. Cancun is located in the Caribbean Ocean, which gives way to the bright blue ocean and sandy white beaches many people look for in their tropical oasis. Cabo is located where the pacific ocean and the Sea of Cortez come together. It’s not quite as turquoise blue however, its’ beauty cannot be denied. With the Pacific Ocean being the main migratory path for whales, you are certain to catch more than a few playful whales from mid-December to mid-April. While the beaches are fairly flat in Cancun, Cabo’s tend to be more rocky and steep.
As for things to do, you will find the two to be pretty similar. Both places offer plenty of excursions you can participate in, as well as cultural experiences. You can also head downtown and find yourself amidst plenty of local souvenir shops, and authentic cuisine. One difference I have noticed is the shopping in Cancun seems to be a little more upscale. The mall is slightly more luxurious and modern. If you are looking to go out and experience the party scene Cancun is definitely the place. Several bars are used to supporting the thousands of spring breakers that flock there every year. While Cabo still has a pretty active nightlife it’s not quite as big as what Cancun tends to experience. Cabo’s nightlife dies down much quicker than that in Cancun.
If you are looking to divulge yourself into more of a historical vacation I would definitely recommend Cancun. Cancun is said to be the gateway to the ancient Mayan civilization. Whether you are looking to explore ancient Mayan cities in Tulum or visit the pyramids of Chichen Itza. No matter which you would prefer to experience, there are several day trips leave from Cancun that are sure to appeal to your inner historian.
Currently, both Cancun and Cabo are rated a Level 2 warning to exercise caution. There are no travel restrictions for government employees. As always, though, it is best to stick to public streets and use good judgment. Don’t go places alone, if possible, and stick to heavily populated areas. I will say I have visited both places and have never felt unsafe, both on the resort and off. If you want to find the crime rating of another country this is a great resource to use. They have a ton of great information and will help you be prepared for wherever you are headed next.
Have you been to either of these places? Which is your favorite and why? I would love to know your thoughts, drop a comment and let’s chat. If you are planning to visit Cabo soon be sure to check out this place we stayed at on our visit. Also, be sure to subscribe so you can stay up to date on everything going on.