Looking to escape the cold for New Years Eve, I took a 4 hour flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What’s not to love? The food is delicious, tequila flows like water, and the scenery is stunning. As for the nightlife, Cabo has a reputation that rivals Las Vegas. But I was looking for a different vibe…
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3 Types of Cabo Celebrations
LOW BUDGET: Dive bars and beach fireworks
Budget for the night: Under $50 USD
For budget travelers, there are multiple dive bars located in Cabo. For an even cheaper option buy a six pack at the local market and stroll through the streets eating street tacos and people watching. There will be no shortage of drunk gringos to chuckle at while enjoying the perfect weather and delicious grub. At midnight, Cabo San Lucas puts on a huge firework display at Médano Beach. Grab a few cervezas, a Mexican blanket and enjoy the show!
MID-BUDGET: “Mexican-Themed” bars and clubs
Budget for the night: $50-100 USD
If you’re interested in getting overpriced tequila poured down your throat, dancing on the bar and waiting an hour for the bathroom, there are a plethora of Señor Frogs-type bars to accommodate you. These clubs are what I call: “Mexican-themed.” Think Las Vegas, but with Mexican prices. They roll out the spotlights, smoke machines, and (literally) a red carpet for New Years. These bars feel anything but authentic, and you’ll be sure to find them full of young partiers dressed in sequins. Personally, I avoid these places like the plague, but to each their own.
HIGH BUDGET: Open Bars and Live Performances
Budget for the night: $100-175 USD
Many of the larger bar/restaurants in Cabo offer New Years eve packages, including: dinner, drinks and a show. Some of these events sell out, especially the ones with A-list bands. The price tag brings in a slightly older and mature crowd. You won’t find 18 year olds vomiting on the dance floor here! Well, hopefully not. It is still Mexico.
Desperados Cantina hosted me for their New Years celebration. Their event included a dinner of Tex-Mex style BBQ, open bar and a special performance by Jonny Lang. Tickets for the show were $100 or $140 with dinner and drinks.
Is it worth the splurge?
I intended on leaving Desperados before midnight to catch the fireworks, but I was enjoying myself so much, I decided to stay! For me, this type of party vibe is worth the splurge.
I had a great time at Desperados, and the performance by Jonny Lang was so much fun to watch! The venue was very intimate and not overly crowded. I was able to stand near the front of the stage, without being too crammed. Getting a drink was easy and only took a few minutes. Bathroom wait times were minimal. This is my type of Cabo-scene. Worth the money. After all, I saved on January 1st with street tacos and beers from the local market.