Travel Tips

Air Travel to Los Cabo, Mexico

Arrival, Customs, and Depature Tips

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If you have never flown internationally or entered Cabo, Mexico via air transportation, then this is a great post for you to review! I will describe the customs process and then provide tips for the SLD Los Cabos Mexico International Airport.

Customs Paperwork

When flying internationally, flight attendants will typically provide customs paperwork to complete within an hour prior to landing. When flying to Cabo, we were provided two forms:

  1. Customs Declaration Form (one per household) – On this form, you will need to declare the following:
    1. Surname / First Name
    1. Nationality
    1. Date of Birth
    1. # of Visitors
    1. # of Days Staying
    1. # of Luggage
    1. Means of Transportation (air, ship, car)
    1. Declarations
      1. Cash
      1. Animals
      1. Weapons
      1. Samples
      1. Merchandise
      1. Soil
  2. Forma Migratoria Multiple (one per person) – On this form, you will need the following information:
    1. Full Name (as it appears on passport)
    1. Nationality
    1. Date of Birth
    1. Passport Number
    1. Gender
    1. Purpose of Trip
    1. Means of Transportation (air, ship, car)
    1. Airline / Flight #
    1. City Visiting
    1. Hotel Address

The flight attendants are well educated on how to complete these forms, so if you have any questions, be sure to ask before you exit the airplane. Having the documentation completed and placed inside the respective passport will make everything more efficient when you are at the customs desk.

Looking for a great hotel in the Cabo area? Check out our review of Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos!

Customs Process

When you exit the airplane, you will be guided down to the customs area. At the custom’s desk, be sure to put your cell phone away and remove sunglasses and/or hat. The officer may or may not talk with you. Typically, they perform their checks, remove the paperwork necessary, and do a few stamps. A small section of the FMM will remain in your passport. Important: Do not lose this piece of paper. You will need it when you return to the airport!

Next, you will collect your luggage. This is a perfect time to take a potty break!!! In Cabo, most hotels are 20-40 minutes away from the airport. Longer if you didn’t get private transportation. Trust me, take this time for a potty break!

After you have your luggage, be sure to keep your passport and paperwork handy. You have one more check to go through before you can put it away. With luggage in hand, you have to exit the customs area by pressing a button. This button will either produce a “green” or a “red” light. If “green”, then you are free to leave. If “red”, then you will be subjected to more checks. I understand this is random, but luckily our light has always been “green.”

Update: During our recent trip to Mexico, our light was red. Your bags go through another scanner and then an agent will open each bag up for an inspection. Since my bags were filled with nothing but clothing and sunscreen, our extra inspection only added approximately 10 minutes to our customs process.

Finding Transportation

Ok, here is my biggest tip for the Los Cabos International Airport. Before reaching your transportation, you will go through two additional rooms. These rooms are filled with helpful people trying to sell you excursions and time-share opportunities. Now, per our private transfer’s instructions, I was on the look out for an individual with an orange polo shirt! In each of these rooms, were LOTS of people in orange polo shirts (and blue, green, red, etc.). You would assume they were with your transportation company, but they are not. If you don’t want to be hassled, then go through these two rooms until you are on the outside of the airport. On the outside is where you will see all the transportation options with lots of signage!

If you didn’t prearrange a shuttle or private transportation, you can catch a taxi. Please note, you can only pay in cash if taking a taxi.

Important Tip: Everyone between the customs desk and the outdoors are only there to sell you excursions and timeshares. They will pretend to be part of your transportation company, but they are not! Keep on walking until you get outside.

Departure Tips

After your fun-filled trip in Cabo, you will return to the Los Cabos International Airport. Again, if you don’t have prearranged transportation, be sure to check with your hotel about taking a taxi back to the hotel. Here are two additional tips you need to know about the airport:

  • Don’t wait to purchase vacation souvenirs at the airport. The airport is small and you will not find a lot of variety of souvenirs.
  • Eat before heading to the airport. Again, the airport is small and only has one sit down restaurant. They have several fast food places, but the lines were crazy.

Are you flying to Cabo, Mexico soon? If so, be better prepared by reading our tips on customs and the airport. #Cabo #Mexico

Advertising Disclosure: As with all content on Travel + Family, this review was based on my own opinion. This post may or may not contain affiliate links, which if you click on, will give me a small commission at no cost or risk to you.

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  1. This is a hugely helpful post! It’s similar when arriving into Cozumel or Cancun’s airport. We’ve always gotten the green light too! This is really helpful for a first timer.

  2. Very handy and practical tips! I would hate to misplace that little slip of paper, do they at least tape or staple it to your passport?

    Very helpful for a first timer visiting Cabo.

    1. They don’t tape or staple, but they place it in the passport. Based on its size, it is pretty easy to keep track of inside your passport.

  3. Thank you for sharing this important information. WE had no idea that immigration is strict there. We will keep in mind about the FMM slip, so that we wont lose it 🙂

  4. Very helpful and detailed post about the customs process entering SLD Los Cabos Mexico International Airport. I had no idea about all these rules 🙂

  5. This is a very handy piece of information. With almost everything that one would need at this airport. Glad you included transportation details as well. That will definitely help a new comer

  6. These are great tips! I would love to go someday, and I must admit, the customs part scares me a little. If I go, I will heed your advice and go to the bathroom before leaving, and I’ll be sure to eat before arriving at the airport to go home!

  7. Great tips! I find customs overwhelming, but a little preparation goes a long way. I always try to remember to bring a pen on the plane–it’s hard to find someone to share sometimes

  8. This is Super Helpful! I’ve only flown out of the country once and a post like this would’ve been SUPER helpful because the customs process can be confusing if you’ve never done it before!

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