Guide to the San Jose del Cabo Airport
A commercial air travel guide to Cabo San Lucas and the SJD Airport in San Jose del Cabo
Updated April 15, 2014 The Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico airport is actually located 6 miles north of San Jose del Cabo and has the three letter airport identifier, SJD for this reason. This actually makes the Los Cabos airport about a 20-40 minute drive from Cabo San Lucas proper which is on the western end of “ the Corridor” (see map)
Significant improvements have been made to the airport since our last update of this information. The runway can now accommodate larger jets, having been extended more than 2000 feet. Terminal 2 also has conveniences like food. Before, flights out of that terminal could only refresh you with a very expensive bar drink or a $5 can of Coke.
For those of you who are interested in some of the airport details the runway elevation is 358’, runs 160 or 340 degrees depending on wind direction and is over 9843 ft paved accommodating full sized sized commercial jets. It is a full service international airport with Aduana (Mexican Customs) and Migracion (Mexican Immigration) offices open during all flight operations. It is a major port of entry into Baja with many direct flights from the U.S.A. and Canada.
If you want to get around town during your visit or might like to explore the Baja Sur Loop, car rental can be very economical compared to taxis and shuttles!
One major thing to know about the Los Cabos Airport is that they now have three terminals which are placed at a fair distance from one another. This has created an added confusion for many of those that are being picked up by friends or are flying out of San Jose del Cabo airport.
Terminal 1 is for Aeromexico, Aeropacifico, Interjet, Magnicharters, Viva Aerobus, Volaris and United. Terminal 2 is used by Air Transat
, Frontier, Jazz Airlines,
Spirit, Sun Country , Sun Wing, US Airways, Virgin and West Jet. (the furthest from the entrance of the airport). Between terminals 1 and 2 is the private terminal which handles general aviation, some charter flights and cargo.
The reason it is important to know this, is that walking from terminal 2 to terminal 1 or vice versus, because your friends picking you up are at "the other terminal" is really unpleasant when it is hot. I have seen many a person cruising from one terminal to the other in hopes of spotting their guests. I have myself waited in the wrong terminal for a flight because that is where security told me the flight would leaving from only to find out I had to hurry to the other terminal just in time to catch my flight.
This confusion is especially common from charter flights for example like Sun Trips where people don’t know the actual airline their guest are using. Be sure to ask anyone you are picking up for the actual airline name and flight number.
Unfortunately, between flights there can be reduced personnel to help you find out when and where planes are departing and arriving. In the main terminal (1) of Los Cabos Airport they have the usual screens that give you the gate and information. Unfortunately in the Alaska Airlines terminal (3) the last few times I have been there the screens have not been working.
For airport transportation we recommend using shuttles or renting a car for your stay. Cabo taxis are amongst the most expensive in all of Mexico. You can expect to pay around $75USD for a cab into central Cabo, 45 minutes away and there seems to be little break for those closer destinations. It's quite a walk to Hwy 1, about 1 mile, where you can catch a bus.
Parking Rates - in Pesos as of 4/2014
There are now a number of private shuttle companies which can take you to and from the airport to as far away as Loreto. With the end of direct flights from Los Angeles to La Paz these shuttles not only make sense, but are now about the only way to get there. I find this sad, because for decades La Paz airport was the gateway to Baja Sur, when SJD was a dirt track.
There are five car rental facilities very close to the airport and several more just a shuttle ride away. Advantage, Thrifty and Budget are located across from T1, Dollar and National are on the entrance road less than a mile away and Alamo, Hertz and Avis are located on Hwy 1
We have created a map so that you can see where you are arriving in relation to the other terminals as well as services such as car rentals. We hope this helps. Tienes un buen viaje (have a good trip)!
At the new Terminal 2 which is for most international flights it is good to know that when picking people up the public is not allowed to drive down to in front of the area for arrivals. It is only for taxis and shuttles so the arriving passengers must walk up and out of the entrance to the general parking or many people just go the upper floor where departures are and get picked up right in front of the door because the public can drive to that area
Like most governments, Mexico is tightening the importation rules and enforcing those in existence with greater ferocity. Publisher James Glover found an exorbitant tax on pipe tobacco for example, more than six times the cost of the product. He had been bringing the same amount (500 grams) in for years and unbeknownst to him the quantity allowed was cut more than in half to 200 grams. He was told discarding the extra product was not an option (What?) until a friendlier agent offered to lend a hand and the charge was mitigated to only quadruple. You are allowed to bring in one computer per person. No matter how used it may be, that second computer will be taxed at a minimum $400USD at around 23%. This has its down side for Mexico as I know many folks that use to bring down older machines to donate to schools are less fortunate students. Since today's business travelers like me often carry a laptop, tablet and smartphone, we'll see how this is applied in real life.
For years it seemed the red light/green light lottery was rigged in the favor of tourists to encourage and expedite travel through Los Cabos. I once watched almost a full plane load disembark with only two or three persons getting the red light inspection. It now seems weighted just like any other point of entry, bags are X-rayed on claim, and operators instruct customs agents to inspect any unseen items which might be of value.