How to take the Ruta del Desierto bus in Los Cabos

Many things in Mexico are quite affordable, but airport transportation gets tourist pricing. So the Ruta del Desierto bus to/from the San José del Cabo airport and Los Cabos (or between San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas) can save a fair amount of money.

The bus travels from the airport to San José del Cabo, then along highway 1 to Cabo San Lucas.

Fare to/from the airport is MX$80, regardless if you only go to San José del Cabo or all the way to Cabo San Lucas. Still much more affordable than even a shared shuttle. At the airport, there is a uniformed man selling tickets at the bus stop. (If boarding elsewhere, just pay the driver.)

Fares between San José and Cabo San Lucas is MX$37. There appear to be other local fares, but you’re unlikely to score those fares with luggage or without speaking decent Spanish. (Something to work towards.)

The airport bus stop is located at Terminal 1. International flights use terminal 2, so you will need to make the short walk outdoors between terminals. (When arriving in Terminal 2, go upstairs to the departures level, then walk towards the side with a door. Go outside and follow that direction to Terminal 1. There’s a small sidewalk that goes the entire way, and you’ll pass car rental agencies and an OXXO.)

Their website lists their main stops, but doesn’t have a route map. The bus stops frequently, so you can definitely board or disembark between these main stops.

Ruta del Desierto bus stop map
Ruta del Desierto bus stop map
 

Hard to make much out of the bus stop map. A main stop in San José del Cabo is at the “La Comer” supermarket. In Cabo San Lucas, it’s near the “Puerto Paraiso” mall near the marina. The bus stops frequently between these mains tops, at the yellow-roofed bus stops along the way. When you see the purple and yellow bus, flag it down to ensure it stops for you.

When you want to disembark, the buses have the usual “stop requested” buttons. Or do like the locals and holler “bajar!” to the driver. Just be ready to get off quickly… they don’t stop for long.

Enjoy the adventure!

13 thoughts on “How to take the Ruta del Desierto bus in Los Cabos”

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for posting this info. My first time to CSL, and the shuttles want $98 r/t to my hostel in el centro. Nope. I just hope the locals dont’ look at me like a robbery candidate while walking from my stop to the hostel. Ha.

    1. Matthew Clemente says:

      Yes, that’s too often an issue with local transportation in Mexico. But never with the bus! We’ve never experienced issues walking to and from bus stops, especially in more touristy areas.

      1. John says:

        Hello Mathew
        Great info, thank you.
        Can you tell me if we can board the bus in Cabo San Lucas (Marina Fiesta hotel)(I see there is a bus stop near the marina) for Los Cabos (Krystal Grand Los Cabos)?
        Would this take us via the airport where we would just stay on the bus until it arrives in Los Cabos, or does it run in reverse also so we could just ride direct from Cabo San Lucas to Los Cabos?

        Thanks
        John

        1. Matthew Clemente says:

          Hi John – the bus takes the same routes in either direction, so you can go directly from Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. It passes right by the Krystal Grand. (P.S. Avoid the hard sell for the Krystal International Vacation Club. It’s a scam.)

  2. cathy sakamoto says:

    Hello Matthew,

    We’re staying at La Jolla condo/complex in San Jose del Cabo. If we take the Ruta Del Desierto, do we just tell the driver when we need to get off? I can probably muster some spanish so he’ll understand. I think it stops on the other side of the highway, how do we cross the 4 lane highway to get to the condo please? I don’t think there is a traffic light for the cars to stop

    1. Matthew Clemente says:

      We stayed right nearby at the Krystal Grand Hotel. We actually got off the bus a stop too early, right at La Jolla. If you Google Street View the area, you’ll see a yellow bus stop directly across the street from La Jolla… that’s your target. Try communicating your destination to the driver. They might be helpful, but please don’t rely on them remembering. Once you pass through downtown San José del Cabo, keep a keen eye out for your bus stop. The white stone embankment across from La Jolla is pretty unique and hard to miss. Worst case, just get off at the next stop and walk back (it’s not that far, unless you have a ton of luggage). And there are enough breaks in the traffic that it’s pretty easy to cross the street (be careful, obviously!).

  3. matt says:

    Matthew,

    Just following up on the last posting/reply…I’m going to be staying at the Reflect Krystal Grand…looking at the Google street map view, it appears the stop (heading towards Cabo) in indeed tight across from the La Jolla condos. You mentioned you got off one stop too early, but that looks to be the closest one to the resort. Can you explain what stop you were trying to get off at if that was indeed incorrect?

    Heading back to the airport, it looks like the closest stop is to the LEFT when you walk out to the Highway. Thanks much.

    1. Matthew Clemente says:

      Hey Matt – I seem to remember the bus stopping pretty much right in front of Krystal Grand (in both directions). (We didn’t go back to the airport after our stay, so we didn’t take the return bus.) Streetview doesn’t show the stop because when they went through, the hotel and street section are under construction.

  4. Gage says:

    Hey Matt, thank you for the helpful information!

    I plan on taking the bus from San Jose to San Lucas during my visit to Cabo. It appears the stop in San Jose will provide walking access to Medano Beach and Cannery Beach. I was curious, in your experience, as to whether the bus makes any stops close enough to walk to either Chilleno Beach or Santa Maria Bay as snorkeling was on the docket.

    Thanks Again!

    1. Matthew Clemente says:

      It should go right by there on Highway 1, and the driver should let you off nearby. Brush up on a bit of Spanish and you should be good! But I’m not the driver, so I can’t make any promises!

  5. Claudia says:

    Hello! I need to go from the airport to Plaza Mijares in San José. Could you tell me which is the nearest stop to get off? I saw that the stop at Terminal Camionera Aguila is about 1,5km away so I wonder if there is another closer.

    1. Matthew Clemente says:

      You should be able to get off sooner along Highway 1, especially if you know where you want to get off and can communicate this to the driver. But it will still be about a 1km walk over to Plaza Mijares.

  6. Victor says:

    Hi Mat,
    Excellent information. We are staying at San Jose Del Cabo at “La Zona Hotelera”. Where exactly is the bus stop for the “La Ruta Del Desierto” near El Comer. I spotted “El Comer” supermarket on Google maps. What side of the store is the bus stop? The map shows a Starbucks and a McDonalds near by. Thanks again. Great information. .

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