The history of the mango in Mexico dates back to the late 1700’s when Spanish explorers brought seeds of the mango tree to the shores of Acapulco. The mango tree, which is native to Eastern India and thrives in warm tropical climates, flourished in the coastal regions of Mexico and quickly became one of Baja California’s most important crops. To this date, Mexico is one of the largest worldwide exporters of mangoes.
Given its history, it is only natural that the mango holds an important place in the Mexican culture, and especially in the Baja. To date, Baja California Sur is home to more than 40 varieties of mangos. The three most common varieties are the Petacón (more commonly called the Paraíso), Ataúlfo, and Manila. Each has its own unique flavor profile—the Paraiso is the sweetest and best for smoothies (and margaritas!), while the Ataúlfo is the tartest and pairs best with savory dishes, and the and the Manila lies somewhere in the middle.
While you will find mango on the menu and in supermarkets year-round here in Los Cabos, mango season begins in late July and lasts until the end of September. If you happen to be visiting Los Cabos the last week of July, you should venture to the nearby magical town of Todos Santos for the festival del mango, which marks the beginning of mango season each year. There you can experience the diversity of varieties and taste dishes featuring local mangoes. Don’t miss the mangate, which is a sweet mango dessert (think apple or pumpkin butter, but with mango) that is very much local to Los Cabos.
During late summer, you will find an abundance of the fruit everywhere you look—from beachside fruit carts serving up sliced mango with tajíin, to pick-up trucks parked curbside loaded with crates of freshly picked mangos for 20 pesos/kilogram (that’s about $0.50 USD per pound!), to the Mango Grove at Flora Farms. We don’t want you to miss out on this local delicacy, so we’re sharing with you some of our favorite mango treats…
Mi Casa is a no-frills Mexican eatery with fun, Día de los Muertos décor, live mariachi music, and locations in both downtown Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Order up a frozen mango margarita to go with your tacos al pastor. Our favorite thing about Mi Casa’s mango marg? They don’t add any sugary syrups, so the bright sweetness of the fruit shines through while still being light and refreshing.
Don’t get me wrong, the lobster roll at Nick San is delicious any time of year. However, it is never better than in mango season when the mangoes are melt-in-your-mouth sweet. Tempura lobster is accompanied by rice, avocado, and mango slices, wrapped in rice paper, and served with a light curry sauce. The rich tempura lobster is lightened by the sweet tang of the mango and all brought together with the curry sauce. This decadent roll is a bit outside the box, but it is true Baja-style sushi and that’s what Nick San does best.
The Mango Grove at Flora Farms is known for its rustic romance and is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in Los Cabos. It is no more beautiful than in late summer when the branches of the mango trees hang heavy under the weight of the large, ripe mangoes, almost giving the illusion of melting in the Baja sun. Take a stroll through the Mango Grove after lunch at Flora’s Field Kitchen and you’ll feel transported to a true tropical paradise. Make sure to stop by the market on your way out to pick up some of Flora’s own homegrown mangoes or baked goods to take with you for an afternoon snack.
Don’t sleep on the beach-side (or curbside) fruit cart! Some of our favorite breakfasts are had at these local stands and, in the hot summer months, there’s nothing we love more than a freshly-carved mango on a stick sprinkled with tajíin. Lucky for us it’s as healthy (and affordable!) as it is tasty. If you’re looking for a less messy option, try a cut mango served in a cup with tangy-sweet chamoy and tajíin. While you are out and about exploring Medano Beach, downtown Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, keep an eye out for these no-fuss fruit carts and enjoy a fresh, local treat.
Our chefs take pride in using the highest quality, fresh local ingredients available. So, what are they to do when mango season rolls around? Create a special menu dedicated to Baja’s favorite fruit, of course! Using fresh local varieties, our chefs have highlighted the mango in both sweet and savory dishes—from gazpacho and ceviche, to pescado empapelado, to churros. We love sharing local Baja culture with our guests and doing so through delicious food is our favorite part. Want to try our special mango season menu?
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