We are in our second summer of living in Cabo San Lucas as full-time residents and as recent arrivals often are asked: What is summer like in Los Cabos?
The transition was a bit easier for us because we moved here from Scottsdale, Arizona, so we knew heat. Starting around July, you wake up and go to bed with temps over 90 F and during the day it shoots up to 100 F or more for weeks at a time. Our electricity bills would easily double during the summer as air-conditioning was a necessity.
During our years in Scottsdale, we always came to Los Cabos for vacation around my husband’s birthday in July. Our friends thought we were crazy going to Mexico then. We found Cabo to be great during the summer. Yes, it was hot, but not even close to what we were experiencing in Arizona. The mornings were pleasant enough to sit outside drinking our coffee and the evenings cooled down enough to be outside with a glass of wine.
After many years of vacationing in Los Cabos during the summer, we decided to make the permanent move last June, right before the heat of the summer months. We thought we knew what to expect, and for the most part, we did. But there were a few surprises during the months of July, August and September.
People talk about dry heat versus wet heat, or heat with humidity, which can definitely affect how comfortable you feel. Walking out the door in Scottsdale felt like you were walking into a sauna, with a blast of hot, dry air. Here, when you walk out the door during the afternoon hours, it feels like you are entering a steam room. I’ve never sweated before like I do now.
But, believe it or not, it actually feels cleansing. And, unless you are sitting directly in the sun, it is not that oppressive kind of heat that is so uncomfortable.
The biggest adjustment we had to make was recognizing that electricity in Mexico is expensive, and if you run the air constantly, like we did in Arizona, your bill can be crazy high. So, we have learned to live a bit differently.
Last summer, just after we arrived, we were running the air non-stop and leaving doors open occasionally so we could enjoy the feeling of indoor-outdoor living. Our bill came for July/August (we are billed every two months) and it was double what we had been paying in Scottsdale. Ouch!! The other thing about electricity here is this: if you use a lot, like we were doing, you are moved into a higher rate bracket so you really get hit twice. It takes 3-to-4 billing periods of reduced usage to drop back down to a lower bracket.
This summer we are being more careful. We have air-conditioning mini-split units in every room, but we never turn them on unless we are in the room and it is the middle of the afternoon, which is the hottest part of the day. We turn off everything when we go to bed except the unit in our bedroom. My hubby turns that one on about 20 minutes before we go in. It feels so lovely after being out in the living area where we haven’t had the air turned on. We sleep like babies!
The other learning came in late August and early September as we entered our first real hurricane season in Los Cabos. While we didn’t have an official hurricane last year, we did have Tropical Storm Lydia. We were incredibly lucky compared to a lot of people who lost everything last year. Unlike 2014’s Hurricane Odile, which came with tremendous winds, Lydia dumped a ton of water in Los Cabos in a very short amount of time. We had some water damage inside our house, but beyond that we were safe. We didn’t even lose power. Friends of ours were not so lucky. Cars and houses were a total loss for many as the rain created rivers of water in areas of Cabo.
We have taken precautions this year by fixing the areas that leaked, buying hurricane shutters, stockpiling food and water supplies and investing in a generator (that we hope we don’t have to use) for back-up power.
September is the month that people worry most about storms. The community here is awesome, though. People work together to help one another both in preparing for and cleaning up after storms. We could not believe the community spirit during and after Lydia last year. It made us proud to be here.
Finally, Cabo slows down a bit in the summer. We vacationed here in July for years, but most tourists, especially from the U.S. and Canada, wait until the Season starts (around November 1) to visit. We love that the town slows down a little. The streets are not as crowded nor are the restaurants. My business, real estate, quiets down as well. Those that come into look at homes are generally more serious about buying, which is great. And, like with any career, the slowdown gives me the opportunity to step back and think about how I can be an even better real estate advisor for my clients.
So, bottom line, how is summer in Cabo? We love it!