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Los Cabos Airport Arrival & Departure Tips Travelers Need To Know 

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If you’re used to traveling domestically you know what to expect at airports in your home country, but traveling internationally can be a little different.  Rules and regulations usually vary from country to country and some of them are really things you need to know before arriving at, or departing from, a foreign airport.  Despite the close proximity of Los Cabos to the U.S., it is still a foreign country so the airport is going to have some differences compared to airports in the United States.  So, we’ll share some airport arrival and departure tips that all travelers need to know to help the process go smoothly. 

Los Cabos Airport with vehicles parked out front.

Arriving at Los Cabos International Airport  

It’s important to remember that whatever you leave your home airport with is what you’ll be arriving at Los Cabos Airport with.  For this reason, you should make sure that you not only have the things you need but also make sure you don’t have anything you shouldn’t.  An American was recently detained at a Mexican airport for having ammunition in a backpack that he had forgotten about and this is not a situation you want to be in.  Some helpful tips for arriving in Los Cabos will help you avoid this and other mishaps. 

Road to San Jose del Cabo with a sign also pointing toward La Paz.

Forbidden Items – Unless you have special authorization you are not allowed to carry a firearm into Mexico so leave them at home.  This also goes for ammunition, even if you do not have a firearm, and the penalties can be pretty stiff for not following this rule.  Cannabis products are not legal in Mexico so it is also illegal to bring them into the country, and obviously any other drugs for that matter. 

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Airport Security in Mexico with people walking through and having their belongings checked.

“The Shark Tank” – Upon arriving at Los Cabos Airport and getting through customs you’ll come to an area most people would rather avoid because it is filled with timeshare salespeople offering you “the best deal of your life.”  You can choose to put your head down and walk through what is referred to as the “shark tank,” repeatedly saying no thank you.  But they can be pretty convincing, and sometimes even tell outright lies to get your attention, like saying that they are your shuttle driver, for example.  Hiring a porter to help with your luggage can also help with getting through the “sharks” too.   

Parked Shuttles in Mexico

Transportation – All of the transportation drivers and representatives will be outside the airport, after the dreaded “shark tank.”  Here you will find hotel shuttles, private shuttles, public transportation, and taxis either already waiting for you, if you booked ahead of time, or waiting to be hired.  What you will not find are Ubers because they are not permitted to operate at the airport.  While you can hire transportation on the spot, it is highly recommended to book in advance, because not only will you likely get a better price, but you won’t have to wing it when you get there. 

Departing From Los Cabos International Airport 

When it comes time to leave Los Cabos you have to make sure everything is in order for the trip home too.  As long as you have everything you need, though, departing from Los Cabos is just like departing from anywhere else.  A few tips going through the process will help you make the most of the experience and prevent any mishaps along the way. 

List of departures leaving Los Cabos Airport.

How and When To Get To the Airport – Since you’ll have to pass through security and customs when leaving Los Cabos it is important to get to the airport at least three hours before your flight.  The best thing to do is plan your transportation ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about it, otherwise, call a taxi well in advance.  If your hotel has a shuttle you’re in luck because it will be handled for you. 

Waiting For Tourists At Cabo Airport in the pickup area.

Waiting for Departure – Having to get to the airport so early means you’ll be waiting for your flight for a bit, but you have some options for how to spend that time.  There is a handful of eating establishments, a couple of bars, and a duty-free store at the airport so you can always eat and shop.  But if you’re tired from your vacation and just want to relax there is ample seating and the airport has free WiFi so you’ll be able to use all of your devices for work or entertainment.  

Airport Lounges – If you really want to relax at the end of your vacation while you wait for your flight you can pay extra to use the airport lounge.  It costs around $40 for the day unless you have certain platinum credit cards, and to some, it is really worth it.  In addition to more comfortable seating and private bathrooms, you’ll have access to complimentary snacks, sandwiches, and beverages, including beer, wine, and a small selection of cocktails.   

People waiting at Los Cabos International Airport.

Traveling to Los Cabos is just like traveling anywhere else really, so you shouldn’t overthink it.  The biggest difference is knowing what you can and can’t carry in checked and carry-on luggage so you don’t end up in a bad situation as we’ve just seen American basketball star Brittney Griner go through.  Otherwise, the traveling part of the trip is no different – exhausting, at times annoying, and too long no matter how long it is – but a vacation in Cabo makes it all worthwhile.  

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Tuesday 13th of December 2022

There last week.EVERY Global Entry machine was turned off. Took a LONG time to get through. TERRIBLE.