Like some foreign places, Mexico, including Los Cabos, has myths and assumptions, many of which may not be true. Living in Cabo, you hear a few of the same untrue statements being repeated over the years.
Here are 10 things you may have wrong about Cabo.
1. You must speak Spanish. Los Cabos is a resort town, people from all over the world come and work here and Mexicans love to practice their English. It is always good to know a few basics – saying “Buenos días”, “Gracias”, “De nada” or “Cerveza por favor” with a smile, goes a long way.
2. Property taxes are high in a luxury resort area. Property taxes are much lower in Cabo than in most areas of the US or Canada – check out Casa Suzanna. Taxes on this five-bedroom home are under $1,000 USD per year.
3. A Mexican notary is the same as a notary in the US or Canada. A notario is a third party who works for the buyer, seller, and state and national governments. The government-appointed notario plays a larger role than in the U.S. and other common-law jurisdictions. The notario will be involved in the closing process when you purchase real estate in Los Cabos. Check out this article on the Closing Process from one of our local legal firms, – Lex Advisors.
4. You own property through a 99-year lease. No, you do not own property through a 99year lease. The Baja and certain other areas in Mexico fall under the restricted zones as per an amendment to the Mexican Constitution in 1992, and the Foreign Investment Act of 1993 allowing foreigners property ownership in Mexico in a fideicomiso (bank trust). This bank trust is for 50 years and includes the bank, the beneficiaries, the substitute beneficiaries, and the property description. The fideicomiso is renewable in perpetuity for a small fee at the end of its term – it is also a great ownership vehicle for estate planning as you designate your substitute beneficiaries.
5. Los Cabos is a blazing hot desert. Los Cabos is where the desert meets the sea. The team members at The Agency Los Cabos include golfers, scuba divers, surfers, fishermen, and explorers. Enjoy the sub-climates where farming communities are known for their chilies, tomatoes, mangos, and basil and the Sierra Laguna mountains which offer waterfalls, freshwater pools, and hiking trails. Winters are mild, averaging in the mid to high ’70s. The summer is hotter, often in the ’90s, but with the relief of ocean breezes from the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez.
6. The only foods are tacos, chimichangas, and burritos, and it’s all too spicy! Al contrario, Cabo has many culinary choices, from the daily catch prepared in Baja fish tacos or ceviche to the local harvest or free-range chicken at one of the farm-to-table restaurants, and everything in between. Check out USA Today 10Best Los Cabos restaurants, including many local and visitor favorites!
7. Cabo is too far away. Not from San Francisco or Denver and most of the southern United States! Cabo is about a three-hour (or less) flight time from most of the southern states. You can expect a 24-hour drive from San Diego or Phoenix…. don’t drive at night as the roads are often shared with large trucks and livestock. If you’re from Canada there are flights from Vancouver, around five hours in duration.
8. There are worms in tequila bottles! Sorry, but no. Worms can be found in tequila’s cousin, mezcal, which is derived from the maguey plant. The ‘worm’ is actually a moth larva called a gusano de maguey since it feeds off of the maguey plant. Both tequila and mezcal are popular in Cabo – you can find a wide selection in various tasting rooms taquerias and bars such as La Lupita and Mezcal.
9. Mexicans wear big hats and sit under the shade of a cactus. This is far from the truth; however, all Mexicans value the afternoon siesta for a long lunch break often shared with family and friends devoted to mealtime, relaxation, or running errands. Los Cabos is a growing touristic destination with people from all over Mexico relocating to work in the tourism and construction job force and to open businesses. From laborers and resort workers to medical and business professionals, Mexicans love the Baja and all it has to offer. Be mindful of expecting some businesses to be open in the afternoon, anywhere from 1 pm until 4 pm they may be closed for siesta.
10. Mexico is in Central America. Mexico is a country in southern North America, bordering the United States and, to the south, Guatemala and Belize. The northern Baja borders California and Arizona – The Baja is not part of California.
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