Viva Los Cabo

On the eastern end of the cape, San José del Cabo is a traditional Mexican town near the site where Jesuits founded a mission of the same name in 1730. The main square, with its wrought-iron bandstand, is surrounded by pleasant cafes, a number of jewelry stores, and several excellent art galleries.

Surf watching. Just south of town, Playa Costa Azul (exit Hwy. 1 at km. 28) is a spectacular surfing beach. Rent boards from Costa Azul Surf Shop, right on the beach, or watch from the highway lookout point.

Down fish tacos. The main road into San José bustles with students and locals who stop at Taquería Rossy (Hwy. 1 at intersection of Manuel Doblado; 624/145-6755) for beef or fish tacos at a buck each. Splurge on scallop tacos for less than $2.

Finding art. In town, Sabina Macouzet owns Veryka (Blvd. Mijares #6-B; 624/142-0575), a fine folk-art gallery carrying items from all over Mexico. Pieces like a hand-beaded jaguar mask aren't inexpensive, but they are the best.

Silver hunting. Several jewelry stores ring the plaza, many selling Mexican fire opals as well as good selections of silver, which are sold by weight. Three shops are run by members of the Sanchez family (Plaza Mijares; 624/142-6394).

Festival of chilies. An 18th-century hacienda houses Damiana (San José town plaza; 624/142-0499), the best restaurant in town. Try the Festival de los Chiles: four flavorful chilies stuffed with shrimp, tuna, cheese, and picadillo (minced meat).

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