Aaaah! The beach.
It’s the reason why you’ve come to Cabo, Mexico.
Kicking back, enjoying the beach – that’s one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas, right?
(“Cabo” is the nickname used to refer to the whole resort area of Los Cabos as well as Cabo San Lucas, the main town in Los Cabos.)
Well, there are plenty of superb beaches in Cabo!
Are there swimmable beaches in Cabo?
Yes, but only some Los Cabos beaches are safe for swimming.
Many beaches are red-flagged as non-swimmable because of strong waves, steep ocean floor drop-offs and undertows.
So be sure you heed the warnings! (Each year, someone dies in Cabo on these unsafe beaches.)
In particular, most beaches on the Pacific Ocean side of Cabo are too dangerous for swimming.
But the collision of blue ocean and long wide stretches of gold sand there is scenically stunning!
The best beaches in Cabo
So, what are the best Cabo San Lucas beaches?
The following 12 top the list.
And all but four are great swimming beaches in Cabo too.
1) Medano Beach
Of all the beaches in Los Cabos, Playa el Medano is probably the best.
A two-mile expanse of coarse golden sand stretching from the marina in Cabo San Lucas, Medano Beach is also the best place to swim in Cabo.
The tequila-clear turquoise waters are usually calm, with very little surf.
Not surprisingly, this beach is also the most popular.
Several luxury hotel, timeshare and villa resorts have staked out prime real estate here (including two lovely Pueblo Bonito resorts).
Restaurant-bars galore (known for their all-day happy hours) are squeezed in beside parasailing, jet ski, boogie boarding, kayak and other water sports rental shacks.
Water taxi boats also pick up bikini- and shorts-clad guests on Medano Beach for trips to Land’s End.
For people-watching and good times, plunk yourself down at a table in the sand and order a 2-for-1 margarita or beer. Chairs at some bars are like short loungers, so you can even work on your tan at the same time.
And don’t forget to check what the beach vendors are selling! Silver jewelry, colorful Mexican blankets, hats, beach cover-ups…
2) Lover’s Beach
It’s not exactly an undiscovered secret cove.
But for a couple of hours, it’s worth shaking out your towel on Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor) at the tip of Land’s End.
Striking rock formations tower above on either side.
If you walk all the way out across the golden sand behind, you hit Divorce Beach (see #3).
Part of the fun is getting there – you can only get there by sea.
You need to take a water taxi boat to set foot on Lover’s Beach. Jump on one at the marina, or hail one from Medano Beach (see #1).
Or you can kayak or SUP over from Medano Beach.
Can you swim in Cabo at Lover’s Beach? Indeed! It’s generally calm and a safe place for swimming.
3) Divorce Beach
No one really knows why it’s named Divorce Beach (Playa del Divorcio). The locals joke it’s the rough seas encountered there.
Whatever, it contrasts nicely with the calm waters of Lover’s Beach across the other side of the sand.
A world away from happening Medano Beach, secluded Divorce Beach is ideal for quiet sunbathing and relaxing.
But don’t be foolish and try to swim.
The strong rip tides and crashing waves make swimming extremely dangerous here (rogue waves have been known to sweep people out).
4) Chileno Beach
Another of our favorite Cabo beaches is Chileno Beach (Playa Chileno).
It was certified a “Blue Flag” beach in 2015 by the Foundation for Environmental Education for its clean water quality.
Chileno Beach is safe for swimming and offers excellent snorkeling for older children and adults. (The swimming and snorkeling area is roped off from boats.)
A paved parking lot, two new outdoor showers, public restrooms and a wide boardwalk leading to the beach make it easy to access.
You’ll find it very clean (it’s groomed every day).
And unlike Medano Beach, it’s not frequented by beach vendors.
5) Santa Maria Beach
We also love Santa Maria Bay (Playa Santa Maria) for snorkeling.
And we’ve seen whales there too!
Recommended reading: Find out all you want to know about swimming and snorkeling at Santa Maria Beach
6) Cannery Beach
Cannery Beach is one of those under-rated and little-known Cabo San Lucas beaches. It sometimes goes by different names: The Locals Beach, Old Peoples’ Beach or Playa Coral Negro.
Whatever, it’s right in the heart of Cabo San Lucas, located at the entrance to the marina. For the location, see this link to Google Maps.
You’ll often find locals relaxing here.
Some kayak and SUP tours heading to Lover’s Beach also leave from this Cabo beach, as they don’t have to contend with boat traffic departing and entering from the marina (which is the case if they leave from Medano Beach).
7) Los Cerritos Beach
On an easy day trip from Cabo San Lucas, you can explore Playa Los Cerritos (Los Cerritos Beach), about a 45-minute drive away.
It’s one of the only beaches on the west coast of Baja Sur where you can swim. (Others are too wild, with wicked waves.) In summer, especially, the water is very calm.
This is also a great surfing beach. There are areas with waves that appeal to both beginners and experienced riders, and you can take surf lessons or rent a board here.
When we drive up to the artsy town of Todos Santos, we always make a point of stopping at this beach to check out the surf scene – which is always fun to watch.
8) Playa Bledito (Tequila Cove)
Another beautiful Los Cabos swimming beach is the small cove in front of the Hilton Los Cabos, called Playa Bledito or Tequila Cove.
To chill in style, get a day pass at the Hilton’s new Enclave Beach Club. It features a boardwalk, beach chairs shaded by umbrellas and a waterfront bar serving craft margarita cocktails and tapas.
9) Playa Costa Azul
For a signature surfing beach in Los Cabos, head to Playa Costa Azul on the Sea of Cortez side.
The Zippers reef break reels in pro surfers, especially during the summer months.
The Los Cabos Open of Surf is a prime surf competition which take place each June at Zippers. The event includes live music, swimsuit fashion shows and fine food.
If you’re looking for a cool beach bar, Zipper’s Bar & Grill is right on the beach, offering perfect views of the surf action and easy-on-the-wallet prices.
Summer? Really? Yes, summer in Cabo is a great time to visit, especially in early summer
10) Playa Solmar
Anchored by the Grand Solmar Land’s End and other Solmar Resorts at one end, Playa Solmar (Solmar Beach) is one of the best Cabo San Lucas beaches on the Pacific Ocean side, along with Divorce Beach (#3).
It’s postcard-pretty and seems to stretch on forever!
Its not a swimming beach, however – the strong currents are ferocious.
But Playa Solmar is free of beach vendors. And it’s perfect for a long stroll on thick golden sand. Keep your eyes out for passing whales in winter!
The sunsets in Cabo are also spectacular here.
Pssst! Want to go whale watching? See our reviews of the best whale watching tours in Cabo San Lucas
11) Playa Hotelera
Among the San Jose del Cabo beaches, Hotel Beach (Playa Hotelera) is one of the most popular – if for the only reason that it’s home to numerous resorts, like the Viceroy Los Cabos and all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.
Again, there’s no safe swimming in the sea here.
The waves are often huge, and the sound as they crash on the beach can be thunderous.
But for walking?
Oh yes! And it’s never crowded.
12) Monuments Beach
Popular with surfers, Playa Monumentos or Monuments Beach offers some of the best surfing for seasoned surfers.
This small beach is located by The Cape, a Thompson Hotel.
When we stayed here, it was fun swinging on the hanging daybed on our balcony and watching the surfers catch the waves.
And when you’re paddling out on your board, you can see El Arco (Cabo’s famous rock arch) in the distance.
Beginner surfers should beware of sea urchins, rocks near the beach and other hazards.
When should you visit? See our guide on the best time to visit Cabo on a month-by-month basis – for the best weather and activities
Resorts with swimmable beaches in Cabo
Yes, there are some…
Medano Beach resorts where you can swim:
With Medano Beach arguably being the best swimmable beach in Cabo, it stands to reason that you can swim in the sea at most hotels on the beach here. Most of the time, that is…
The calmest ocean swimming in Cabo San Lucas is closer to the town.
Close-in Medano Beach hotels
Starting from the town-end of the beach, these hotels offer the best swimming on Medano Beach:
Medano Beach hotels further away from town
Once you get beyond Club Cascadas de Baja and further away from town, the steepness of the beach entry increases and waves get bigger.
All-inclusive Medano Beach resorts
Swimmable beach resorts in Cabo on the Corridor:
San Jose del Cabo beach resorts where you can swim:
Apart from the Corridor and Medano Beach resorts above, there are very few other hotels with swimmable beaches in Cabo – except for these three in San Jose del Cabo:
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Photo credits: 4, 7 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 2, 6, 8 courtesy Los Cabos Tourism