For many Australians, a Los Cabos holiday is the first time that they’ll set foot in Mexico. With so many activities and tours to keep you busy in this tropical paradise, it might not have crossed your mind to uncover the more cultural side of the region. From the comfort and luxury that Los Cabos offers, you’d be loco not to get around and experience the beauty, thrill and depth of Mexico.

Brain Up In Baja

If you flew all the way across the Pacific to get an authentic Mexican experience, nothing quite starts you off on the right foot like taking an afternoon to step back in time, and learn about the history of the area in one of the many museums. If you fancy yourself as quite the Indiana Jones, grab your hat and take a relaxing stroll through the Natural History Museum of Cabo right in the centre of Cabo San Lucas, where you’ll peek at the displays of human activity, flora and fauna that show off the area from prehistory to today.

For a more close-to-the-community vibe, a lot of smaller and specialty museums can be found around the surrounding towns, such as the Museo de la Casa de Cultura, which houses artefacts from the indigenous cultures, and The Huichol Collection, which shows off the folk art of the Huichol people.

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

San Jose del Cabo is renown for its galleries that show off local and international artists in all forms and mediums, from painting and photography to sculpture and jewellery. If you’re an art aficionado, this will be your time to shine, and you can brush up on the exhibits ahead of time to show off to your travel buddies. Hidden in amongst the galleries are some of the region’s best restaurants and eateries, so you’ll always have some refreshments to keep your keen critic’s eye on track.

However, if you don’t know your Pablo Picasso from your Prosecco piccolo, don’t fret, because in the cooler months between October and June, San Jose del Cabo plays host to the ArtWalk. During this chance to have a more casual encounter with the town’s artistic scene, the galleries stay open later in the night, and a glass of wine or quiet eat is never hard to find, especially around the live music on show.

Catch a Flick

If you want to experience more contemporary authentic Mexico, then the annual Los Cabos International Film Festival offers a great opportunity to update your DVD collection, or, more importantly, get in touch with local artists and filmmakers. Mexican directors, writers, producers and actors contribute to the screen with everything from small passion projects, to blockbusting stars and worldwide hit shows. While we may not have a huge Spanish-speaking film market in Australia, you’re sure to recognise some of the big names that showcase at the LCIFF from time to time, such as Star Wars alumnus Diego Luna, or Alejandro Iñárritu, the director of The Revenant.

While we couldn’t strictly classify star gazing as an authentic Mexican cultural experience, the LCIFF brings a huge list of international stars, such as Alexander Skarsgaard and Liam Neeson. So if you’re a celebrity spotter, there’s even more reason to put Los Cabos on your list.

Get Your Fill

In many parts of Australia, “Authentic Mexican” refers solely to a restaurant slogan, and in many ways, nothing can get you closer to a place or people than experiencing the very best of their cuisine.

However, the very best restaurants in Los Cabos offer a little more than just great food. With views down onto the beach, over the cliffs and the Pacific Ocean, many eateries offer an atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. You can feast on a range of styles and cuisines, but if Los Cabos does one thing well, it’s luxury, and in that vein, establishments come with a lot of high-ranking recommendations. Palomar was a favourite of John Wayne, the exclusive Seared has played host to Oprah Winfrey, and Agua by Larbi is a once-in-a-lifetime experience of Mexican fusion.

Perhaps the best food you’ll find is far away from the celebrities, tucked away in a back street or alley, serving more traditional offerings, and the towns around Los Cabos offer plenty of those storied opportunities to encounter a hidden gem off the beaten track.