Is Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas Better for Your Next Vacation?

Hawaii and Cabo San Lucas are two of the most popular beach destinations for vacationers. It’s no wonder that tourists often have to pick whether to travel to Cabo or Hawaii. Which one is the better choice for your next getaway? Let’s dive in and compare these tropical paradises across various factors to help you decide.

Weather

Both Hawaii and Cabo offer fantastic weather year-round, but there are some key differences:

Hawaii

  • Has a tropical rainforest climate with higher humidity
  • Temperatures are consistently warm, ranging from 72-85°F (22-29°C)
  • Experiences frequent light showers, especially on windward sides of islands
  • Water temperatures average 75-80°F (24-27°C).

Cabo San Lucas

  • Desert climate with very low humidity
  • Slightly hotter temperatures from 61-91°F (16-33°C)
  • Virtually no rain from November to June
  • Water temperatures of 70-85°F (21-29°C).

While Hawaii has that lush, green tropical vibe, Cabo provides a drier, sunnier experience overall. The ocean water can be a bit cooler in Cabo compared to Hawaii.

Beaches

With over 750 miles of coastline, Hawaii is a beach lover’s paradise. Some of the most famous stretches of sand include:

  • Waikiki Beach (Oahu) – The iconic city beach with resorts and nightlife
  • Kaanapali Beach (Maui) – A long, walkable beach with calm waters
  • Poipu Beach (Kauai) – Crescent-shaped beach great for families.

Beaches in Cabo are also real stunners, offering not just sandy shores but also memorable views:

  • Lover’s Beach (Land’s End) – A unique beach tucked between dramatic rock formations
  • Medano Beach – The lively, swimmable beach in the heart of Cabo San Lucas
  • Santa Maria Beach — A quieter option with great snorkeling

In terms of coastline length, Hawaii has more beach inventory, but Cabo has some truly breathtaking and photogenic spots.

Activities

You’ll find plenty of activities and adventures in both destinations:

Hawaii

  • Hiking trails like Diamond Head, Waimea Canyon, and Haleakala Crater
  • Snorkeling and diving at spots like Molokini Crater and Hanauma Bay
  • Surfing the legendary North Shore waves on Oahu
  • Visiting volcanoes like Kilauea on the Big Island
  • Experiencing Polynesian culture through luaus and historical sites.

Cabo San Lucas

  • World-class sportfishing for marlin, tuna, dorado, and more
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving at spots like Cabo Pulmo and Santa Maria Cove
  • Surfing beaches like Monuments and Zippers
  • Swimming with dolphins and whale watching tours
  • Exploring the quaint downtown area and vibrant nightlife
  • Golfing at championship desert courses like Cabo del Sol.

Both offer a wide range of activities in and out of the water. Hawaii has more of a focus on cultural experiences while Cabo leans into the sportfishing, snorkeling, and golf scenes.

Accommodations

You’ll find luxury resorts and vacation rentals in both destinations:

Hawaii

  • Iconic resort brands like Disney’s Aulani, Grand Hyatt Kauai, and Hilton Hawaiian Village
  • Luxury boutique hotels like Four Seasons Hualalai and Montage Kapalua Bay
  • Vacation rental homes, condos and villas across all islands.

Cabo San Lucas

  • Luxury all-inclusive resorts like Grand Velas and Garza Blanca
  • Boutique hotels like Chileno Bay and Esperanza
  • Vacation rental villas managed by companies like Come To Cabo.

Hawaii has more total hotel inventory, but Cabo has seen tremendous growth in high-end resort and luxurious villa options in recent years.

Dining

From high-end fine dining splurges to cheap roadside eats, both destinations have you covered:

Hawaii

  • Hawaiian Regional Cuisine from acclaimed chefs like Roy Yamaguchi
  • Fusion cuisines blending Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese influences
  • Iconic dishes like poke, loco moco, saimin, and Spam musubi
  • Luaus offering traditional kalua pork and poi feasts.

Cabo San Lucas

  • Upscale resort dining with ocean views at spots like Edith’s and Pitahayas
  • Authentic Mexican cuisine from street tacos to mole and ceviche
  • Fresh seafood from signature dishes like chocolate clams and tuna ceviche
  • Lively bar scenes in downtown Cabo San Lucas.

Hawaii offers diversity in its culinary scene with unique local flavors, but Cabo brings delicious Mexican flair and some world-class resort dining as well.

Getting There

Is Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas Better for Your Next Vacation?One potential deciding factor is transportation convenience and costs:

Hawaii

  • Major airports on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island
  • Nonstop flights from most major US mainland airports
  • Can be very expensive to fly, especially from the East Coast
  • Inter-island flights or boat rides required to get between islands.

Cabo San Lucas

  • One major airport (SJD) servicing the Los Cabos region
  • Nonstop flights from over 20 major US airports
  • Closer proximity makes flights cheaper from the West Coast
  • Everything is centrally located once you arrive.

Cabo is generally easier and cheaper to get to, especially from the West Coast. Hawaii has more options for airports and inter-island travel.

Cost

Prices can vary dramatically in both destinations based on travel dates, lodging, and more. In general:

Hawaii

  • Hotels and vacation rentals are very expensive year-round.
  • Dining out can be pricey, especially at resort restaurants.
  • Activities like luaus, tours, and inter-island travel add up quickly.

Cabo San Lucas

  • Luxury resorts and villas come at a premium.
  • More affordable lodging options available in downtown Cabo.
  • Dining and drinking can be cheaper, especially street food.
  • Activities like fishing, golf, and tours may be at a lower cost.

Final Considerations

While neither is a “budget” destination per se, you can likely get more overall value in Cabo compared to Hawaii if you choose wisely. So which one is the better vacation spot – Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas? As you can see, both offer incredible beaches, activities, dining and lodging options. The choice may come down to your specific interests and travel preferences:

Go to Hawaii if:

  • You want a lush, tropical island experience
  • Cultural immersion and activities are a priority
  • You want to visit multiple islands
  • You don’t mind higher overall costs.

Go to Cabo San Lucas if:

  • You prefer drier, sunnier weather
  • Golfing, fishing, and water sports are priorities
  • You want a shorter, easier flight from mainland US
  • Getting more overall value for your money is important.

Whichever you choose, both Hawaii and Cabo San Lucas provide the ultimate beach getaway. The hardest part is just picking which paradise to explore first!

Decided on Cabo San Lucas? Visit Cabo with Us!

If you opt for Cabo San Lucas over Hawaii, Come To Cabo is the premier luxury villa rental company to book your accommodations through. We have over a decade of expertise in providing exceptional villa rentals and vacation planning services in Los Cabos. With an extensive local network, our large portfolio features thoroughly vetted villas in all areas of Cabo, from beachfront to hilltop properties.

Come To Cabo’s friendly concierge team can help craft your entire Cabo experience, arranging everything from airport transfers to private chefs, pre-stocked groceries, activities and more.

All our offerings at Come To Cabo are trusted, as we are an accredited member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA), the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN), and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

With professionalism, integrity, and insider knowledge, Come To Cabo takes the hassle out of finding the perfect Cabo villa rental tailored to your needs and budget. Visit us online or call us toll-free at 1.800.975.5569!