How To Navigate The Cabo Airport (SJD)


6 Tips for Navigating Through the Cabo Airport

Planning a trip to Cabo entails preparing for lots of sunshine, relaxing vibes, and time dedicated to yourself and/or loved ones. Vacationing in Cabo already places you down the path to paradise, but before you arrive at your luxury villa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, you’ll need to first get through the Cabo airport.

Navigating through any airport can pose a challenge for some. All airports are different, and it’s not difficult to get turned around while trying to find your way through SJD (San Jose del Cabo Airport code). Arriving in an airport in a different country only makes the navigation process that more difficult.

Before you arrive at the Cabo airport, you must do a bit of research on what to expect. Having a few tips in mind on navigating through the airport will make your arrival to Cabo a smooth journey with no surprises.

Continue reading below for everything you need to know!


1. Know the Terminals

If you’re traveling through the Cabo airport, then you should be familiar with the two terminals. Terminal 1 mainly deals with domestic flights located inside Mexico. There are a few international flights that arrive/depart, but not often. Terminal 1 is not properly equipped with Customs and Border Patrol officials or the shopping/dining variety that one can find in Terminal 2.

Terminal 2 is where mainly all international Los Cabos flights at the SJD airport are handled. If you’re flying into Cabo from another country, expect to fly into terminal 2. When your flight arrives, you could land and exit through a jetway, but you will almost always board a bus and be transferred to Terminal 2.

You might also need to go down a few stairs before arriving in the terminal. Once arriving in the terminal, there are some more steps you’ll need to take before getting into your Cabo airport transportation.


2. Exchanging Money at the Cabo Airport

No matter which terminal it is that you arrive in, there will be a money exchange office inside it. Each terminal also offers ATMs for your convenience. Keep in mind that many places of business in Cabo will accept American dollars.

All major credit cards are also accepted here. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about exchanging too much of your money into pesos. If you decide to use the SJD currency exchange, expect expedited service, but also know that you will pay a premium.  This is true in almost all airports around the world–currency exchanges are more expensive at the airport and Cabo is no exception.  Although currency fluctuates and prices vary, we’ve had some customers that claim to have paid a 10% premium on currency exchange at the airport.

If you plan on visiting small shops and restaurants while on your vacation, then expect to pay with pesos. It’s the small, privately owned businesses that give you an authentic Cabo experience, so you’ll want to visit them. You’ll also need a few pesos here and there for tipping your transportation services and other types of services while in Cabo.


3. Make Your Way to Immigration 

Before you can make your way to your luggage, you’ll need to get through the immigration office. It’s a good idea to have all of your documents ready while you’re waiting in line. Luckily, this line tends to move quite quickly so get your documents out as soon as possible.

These important documents include your passport and your tourist card or immigration form. You most likely filled this form out while on the plane. If you weren’t given this card to fill out while on the plane, then be sure to keep your eye out for one as you disembark your plane. There is usually an official that will want to see a completed document before you advance to the customs area.

After passing through immigration, you’ll be given a form (or visa). Be sure to keep this form as you’ll need it when departing. If you lose it while in Cabo, then plan to arrive 20 minutes earlier than normal so you can purchase a new one.  It will cost you about USD $30.


4. Grab Your Luggage at the Baggage Carousel

After getting through the immigration office, you’ll then need to grab your luggage at the baggage carousel. When arriving at customs, you’ll be asked to press a button. This button will give you either a red or green light.

If the light turns green, you’re free to grab your luggage and proceed to the next step. If the light turns red, then your bag will need to be inspected. A good tip to keep in mind is to not bring any agricultural products or fruit with you to Cabo.

After grabbing your luggage, you can then proceed to transportation.


5. Know the Los Cabos Airport Map

After passing through customs, know where you need to go.  Although most transportation is located in a similar area, you will want to make your way directly to your destination. Chauffered Transportation will be waiting for you outside the building. If you’ve rented a car, then this is where you’ll go to get all of your car rental information. Know your SJD Airport map so you understand where these areas are located.

If you’ve opted for a private Cabo airport shuttle or taxi to take you to your villa or rental from the airport, then you’ll be able to find your driver just outside the airport doors. Your driver will most likely be holding up a sign with your name on it. If you booked with our company, your Concierge will give you precise instructions on how to find your driver.

Do keep in mind that there will be plenty of taxi options waiting at the airport for travelers in need. You always have the option of hopping into one of these taxis as well. Make sure you know the price of your trip before you get into the car.  Although 90% of the time you’ll be fine, there’s always a small chance you pay more than expected.


6. Pass by a Few Sale Pitches 

Don’t be surprised if you run into a few people looking to pitch you some great deals for exploring Cabo. These timeshare sales will be something you walk past upon leaving the airport. If you already have booked a package or have everything planned out for your stays, such as a villa rental, transportation, and activities, then you won’t need to purchase/negotiate any other offer. You can simply tell them, “no thank you,” and continue to your Cabo airport transportation.

It helps to mention that timeshare representatives will be offering you transportation the moment you pass through customs.  They are known to tell people they will help find your transportation or even get you better-priced transportation.  What sounds like an interesting trade almost always turns into a terrible ordeal.  Push through them and proceed to your pre-arranged transportation.  If you give them an inch, they’ll want to take a mile…

Navigate the Cabo Airport Like a Native!

When traveling to Cabo through the Cabo airport, be sure to keep these tips in mind. Knowing these tips will ensure you’re able to navigate the airport like a true native!

Are you ready to book your stay in Cabo?  Begin by searching for a flight…

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