Despite the current violence in Mexico, Los Cabos is a very safe area, much safer than the average downtown area in any major U.S. city. If you are cautious and alert, and exercise common sense, there is very little chance you’ll need emergency assistance. However, if something does happen, it’s important to remember that dialing 911 doesn’t work here. Call 066 for emergency ambulance services in Los Cabos.
Generally speaking, the most common emergencies here are minor, and involve lost credit cards and passports. Yes, they are minor emergencies; anyone who has experienced losing a credit card or passport in Mexico knows how frustrating the experience can be. You can’t write or cash personal checks here, and wire transfers are difficult to impossible. If you do lose your credit card, call your bank immediately to have the card canceled. If you do not have a back-up credit card, and are short on cash, Western Union offices are located in the two Elektra department stores in downtown San Lucas. If you lose your passport, contact the consular office of your country immediately (American Consulate 624-143-3566, Candian Consulate 624-142-4262). Without a valid passport, you will not be able to reenter your country, so be very careful with your personal documentation. It is a good idea to leave your passport in the hotel room, and walk around with a driver’s license for identification.
No one thinks of a day at the beach as being terribly treacherous, but there are a couple things to keep in mind. Firstly, Los Cabos is near the Tropic of Cancer and the sun is very intense here, particularly in the early afternoon hours. It is a good idea to always wear sunscreen, preferably a water resistant lotion with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. You can find a variety of sunscreens in any of the downtown farmacias, and although you will still get color with SPF lotion, you will do so without damaging your skin or suffering painful burns. Secondly, there are no lifeguards on the public beaches of Los Cabos. Medano Beach is generally safe for swimming, as are many of the other bay-protected beaches in the area. However, Pacific Ocean-side beaches can be very dangerous. The rip currents are extremely strong and rogue waves are not unknown. At least a couple tourists drown every year while swimming off Pacific-side beaches, even though warning signs are posted in English. Enjoy the spectacular views from Divorce Beach or Playa Solmar, but stay alert and out of the water.
This is a vacation resort area, which means people are here to have a good time and alcohol overindulgence occasionally causes people to make poor decisions. Please be careful and know your limits. Most importantly, don’t drive drunk. The tourist corridor highway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in all of Mexico. Plus, drivers here are much more aggressive, generally speaking, than you will find in the U.S. or Canada. If you’re partying, pick a designated driver or call a cab. Taxis are everywhere in Los Cabos, and although they can be somewhat expensive, they are far preferable to certain alternatives.
Other local numbers to know include the Federal Highway Patrol (624-146-0573 and 624-146-1240), Cabo San Lucas Fire Department (624-143-2466), San José del Cabo Fire Department (624- 142-2466), Red Cross (624-143-3300), and San Jose del Cabo International Airport (624-122-1486). Medical assistance is available at AmeriMed (624-143-9670), or Northwest Medical (624-143-5404).