Beaches with buzz? Check.
Eye-popping resorts? Check.
Stunning coastal scenery? Check.
We’re talking about Los Cabos – the chic desert-meets-the-sea resort destination at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where Hollywood celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Selena Gomez and George Clooney holiday.
And we’ve pretty well tried out all the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas!
To put the area in perspective, the two main cities in Los Cabos are Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. “Cabo” is often used to refer to the whole area, and sometimes just to Cabo San Lucas, but we use “Cabo” here to refer to the general destination.
We visit Cabo at least once or twice a year – it’s our family’s favorite go-to holiday place.
There’s whale watching between December and March, sailing, championship golf, sportfishing (Cabo hosts the richest marlin fishing tournament in the world), awesome scuba diving and so much more…
Things to do in Cabo San Lucas
Based on our umpteen visits, we’ve written lots of travel articles on Cabo (and Cabo activities) for top North American magazines and newspapers, as well as for our Los Cabos travel guide.
So what are the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas (and Los Cabos in general)?
Which are the best Cabo tours (and tour operators)?
Whether this is your first visit (or you’re a repeat Cabo visitor like us), check out these 25 wickedly fun things to do in Cabo from our epic list below.
1) Go whale watching
Every year between mid-December and early April, thousands of gray, humpback and other whales migrate from their Arctic feeding grounds to the warm waters off the Baja Peninsula to mate and give birth.
In Cabo, you see mainly humpbacks. They’re the most active and fun to watch.
You often see them right from shore, spouting and jumping.
But to see whales up close, take a whale watching boat tour. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Los Cabos in winter!
You’re almost guaranteed to spot whales.
We’ve gone whale watching in Cabo at least six times now and had great sightings on all trips except one.
If you happen to be unlucky, tour operators usually give you another tour complimentary. (They don’t want you to be unhappy!)
See this top-rated small group tour on a Zodiac boat, with expert guides. (The most recent time we went whale watching was with this company – they’re very good and environmentally conscious.)
Or if you’d prefer to venture out on a larger boat (and enjoy brunch too!), see this tour.
2) Snorkel at Santa Maria Bay
Santa Maria Bay is one of the three best places to snorkel in Cabo. And you might see whales too!
A popular way to get there is on a snorkeling boat tour.
But you can also beat the crowds and drive (or take the bus) to Santa Maria Beach first thing in the morning – and have the bay all to yourself.
For details, read our post: There’s great snorkeling at Santa Maria Beach in Cabo San Lucas!
3) Visit Flora Farms
While Flora Farms has been around for several years now, it just keeps on reinventing itself, getting bigger and better.
Hidden away at the end of a bumpy sand road near San Jose del Cabo, it’s a 25-acre organic farm growing all sorts of flowers, veggies and herbs.
Flora Farms also has a field kitchen and farm-to-table restaurant onsite.
One of the best ways to experience Flora Farm is to join a free walking farm tour (reserve here), followed by lunch.
Read more in our post: Flora Farms dishes up yummy farm-to-table eats
4) Have fun at Medano Beach
Medano beach is the beach in Cabo.
Think perfect golden sand.
Calm for swimming (one of the few beaches where you can actually swim in Los Cabos).
And lots of fun water activities like jetskiing and parasailing.
Discover more beaches: These are the 5 best beaches in Cabo San Lucas
5) Hike up the Pedregal
That rocky mountain (hill?) you see rising just behind Cabo San Lucas is Pedregal, which means “rocky ground.”
It’s home to uber-swank, multi-million-dollar luxury villas (Sylvester Stallone is said to be a home-owner) – all clinging to the mountainside within a private gated community, where the roads are made of rock and stone slabs.
And one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas for a great outdoor cardio workout is to walk up the steep switchback roads in Pedregal.
The walk offers awesome views too.
Up top, you can see the marina way down below on the Sea of Cortez side plus the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean on the other side.
From town, walk west along Lazaro Cardenas and cross Miguel Hidalgo. You pass through a security gate and guard to get into the Pedregal gated community.
The road starts to climb soon after that – you’re aiming to make it to the top near the white round observatory.
6) Chow down on seafood tacos
One of the funny facts about Mexican food we’ve discovered is that there are ho-hum tacos.
And then are seriously mouth-watering tacos!
After trying various places, we’ve found the best tacos in Cabo San Lucas are to be had at Gardenias.
Once a true hole-in-the-wall, this taco joint has tidied itself up over the years to attract even taxis of high-heeled, mini-skirted, 20-something tourists who come for a bite before going clubbing.
But “Mama” (the founding grandma) still works in the kitchen and takes taco orders.
We sometimes mix it up and order the fish tacos. The fresh shrimp tacos are still our favorite though.
The tacos come with all the fixings on the side, and you can specify corn or flour tortillas.
Oh, and they’re so inexpensive too – some $2 or $3 USD each, depending on what you get.
Wash that down with a good strong margarita.
Tacos (and margaritas) back home will never taste the same…
If you’ve got a real crush on tacos, this Cabo taco tasting tour might tempt you.
7) Swim with whale sharks
Whale sharks aren’t whales – or sharks. They’re actually the largest fish in the world, growing up to 40 feet long in size.
They’re also very gentle creatures. They eat only plankton and krill, by opening their cavernous mouths very wide.
Between October and February, whale sharks gather to feed in the Bay of La Paz, about a two-hour drive from Cabo San Lucas.
And you can snorkel with these wondrous endangered species in La Paz on an all-day tour from Cabo.
A spotter plane looks for the whale sharks from above, communicating their location to your boat captain.
When your guide yells “Jump!,” you leap into the water and swim alongside a giant whale shark, while peering down at it through your snorkel mask.
Whale sharks feed close to the surface, so what’s amazing is that you swim almost within touching distance of them. (But don’t – touching them can hurt their skin.)
Read more: Swimming with whales sharks in La Paz is a bucket-list experience!
8) Splash out on a splurgey hotel
Cabo is the place to go to pamper yourself silly at a fabulous hotel.
Over the years, we’ve stayed at many of the best hotels in Cabo.
There’s the fabled One & Only Palmilla.
Once the holiday getaway for a Mexican president’s son, it now spoils privileged guests with Mexican-inspired beachfront suites, a drop-dead gorgeous (virtually private) beach and a restaurant run by a Michelin-star chef.
We also love The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, with its splendid views of Cabo’s 200-foot-high rock Arch and hip contemporary vibe.
For an all-inclusive hotel, you can’t beat the luxurious Grand Velas Los Cabos. It blew us away with its posh suites and foodie-worthy restaurants.
See our reviews of more than a dozen Cabo hotels! These are the best boutique and 5-star hotels in Cabo San Lucas
9) Go on an art walk
On Thursday evenings in the high winter season (November to June), you can stroll the streets of San Jose del Cabo on a free cultural Art Walk.
Dozens of art galleries in the town’s art district stay open until 9:00 pm. Some organize lectures and wine evenings, and you can meet the artists too.
Many of the streets are car-free during this weekly evening event.
The Art Walk has become very popular over the years. It’s a buzzing event you won’t want to miss!
Read more in our post: It’s all about art and wine at the Art Walk in San Jose del Cabo
10) Fly on a zipline
One of the most adrenalin-charged activities in Cabo San Lucas is to whizz through the air like a bird on a wire – aka ziplining.
A zipline is a cable strung between two platforms standing on a cliff high off the ground some 100 to 200 feet or more apart.
You’re strapped into a harness that hangs from a pulley, attached to the zipline. Step off the platform and you speed down the cable to the next elevated platform.
Not only is ziplining in Los Cabos exhilarating, you get to see another side of Los Cabos away from the beach – the stark dramatic beauty of its desert mountains and canyons.
Choose from three different Cabo ziplining operations:
11) Party at El Squid Roe
You haven’t been to Cabo if you haven’t partied at El Squid Roe.
Clubbers rave about its three stories of throbbing energy with flashing neon lights and dance cages.
We love the people watching!
Servers with tequila spray tanks roam the crowds, and revelers hang over railings above to watch dudes and divas shake it up on the dance floor below.
While El Squid Roe is open for meals during the day (try the guacamole made at your table), the real party heats up after 11:00 pm.
Some nights the non-stop fun continues long after official closing; is that the sun coming up?
12) Learn to stand-up paddle board
The SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) craze has hit Cabo.
And one of our favorite early morning Cabo activities is to head out on a SUP board from Medano Beach and paddle to Land’s End and back!
(Land’s End refers to the dramatic rock formations and iconic rock Arch at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.)
Many rental shacks on Medano Beach rent out paddle boards.
The cost varies, depending on how busy they are (and how well you negotiate). But expect to pay about $25 USD for an hour.
It’s easy to learn how to SUP.
But if you want a little help, check out Cabo SUP. They also organize guided SUP tours early in the morning from 7:00 to 9:00 am.
See this paddle boarding tour as well. It takes you paddling along Land’s End, with a snorkel stop at Pelican Rock.
13) Jog or stroll around the marina
The Cabo San Lucas Marina is Cabo’s central hub.
Go for a stroll or jog on the waterfront promenade skirting the marina. Check out the luxury yachts moored in the water while you’re at it.
Maybe do some shopping too? Or kick back with a beer, ice cream or cappuccino and enjoy some people watching.
We also love the pelicans that hang out at the marina.
14) Shop on the beach
Every time we visit Cabo, we inevitably end up buying something from one of the beach vendors.
Dressed in white, the vendors stroll up and down Medano Beach hawking silver jewelry, sun hats, ceramic plates, beach wraps, Mexican blankets, children’s toys and more.
We once even bought a pair of wooden bears. (Go figure! It must be because we’re Canadians.)
Of course, you have to bargain. But that’s part of the good-natured fun.
And (most of the time) you end up with a nice little Cabo memento to take home.
Learn “Bargaining 101”: Bargaining in Mexico? It’s fun! Discover how to haggle like a pro
15) Eat at an Italian restaurant (really!)
So you’re in Mexico. But the Italian food is really good. Don’t ask why!
Chances are you won’t want to eat guacamole and enchiladas every night. So treat your taste buds to a change, and check out one of Cabo’s great Italian restaurants.
Drool over our post: Check out the 3 best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas
16) Visit Lover’s Beach
Lover’s Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in Cabo.
Also called Playa del Amor, it’s a gorgeous patch of sand nestled between two soaring cliffs at Land’s End.
The water is usually calm and perfect for swimming and snorkeling, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
There are no roads to Lover’s Beach. The only way to reach it is by sea.
Most people jump on a water taxi to get there (see #18 below). Or you can kayak or paddle over on a SUP board from Medano Beach.
17) Take a sunset cruise
One of the most romantic things to do in Cabo San Lucas for couples is to set sail on a sunset cruise.
You’ll see the last of the sun seekers linger on Lover’s Beach, sail around Land’s End, watch the sky turn neon pink and fiery orange – and then glide silently back through the sea as night weaves its starry magic.
You can even book a private sailboat charter for two – it’s a very special way to propose…
Romantic sailing cruises are only one type of sunset cruise.
Other sunset cruises in Cabo range the gamut from classy dinner cruises to party booze cruises.
For details, see: The #4 item in our post on the 8 popular water activities in Cabo San Lucas
18) See Land’s End by water taxi
If you want to set foot on Lover’s Beach (#16 above), the easiest way is to hop aboard a water taxi.
But maybe you just want to see Land’s End up close during the day? You’ve heard about those humongous sea lions barking on the rocks, and you want to spot them too.
Again, hail a water taxi.
These small wooden boats putter back and forth all day long between the marina, Land’s End and Medano Beach.
Get all the details! See the #1 item in our post on the 8 best water activities in Cabo San Lucas
19) Explore Todos Santos
Ahhh… Todos Santos…
Visiting Todos is one of the nicest day trips you can take from Cabo San Lucas.
The sugar mills that once supported the town’s colonial buildings in the 19th century are long gone.
But the surrounding green oasis of palm groves and fertile land – for mangos, avocados, oranges and papayas – remains.
And since the mid-1980s, when the paved highway from Cabo to Todos Santos arrived, American artists have set up shop to paint and live in what is now an utterly idyllic, quaint community.
(A recent highway upgrade means you can now zip up to Todos from Cabo in about an hour.)
What to do?
Wander art galleries, craft studios and jewelry shops, scattered higgledy-piggledy among cute coffee bars and garden courtyard restaurants.
Perhaps pick up some fine hand-crafted beaten silver earrings or a unique bronze sculpture or oil painting.
20) Play golf in Cabo
Are you a golfer? Well then, planning what to do in Cabo San Lucas is easy for you!
With more than a dozen championship golf courses, Los Cabos is a golf paradise.
Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Tiger Woods have all designed spectacular courses here. Several consistently rank among the 100 best courses in the world, according to Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.
No question. You’ll be stoked teeing off on one of these Cabo golf courses!
21) Try deep sea sportfishing
Hook up with one of Cabo’s premiere fishing charters for a “reel” experience of a lifetime!
The waters off Cabo – known as the “Marlin Capital of the World” – teem with magnificent marlin, swordfish, dorado (mahi-mahi), yellowfin tuna, snapper, wahoo and more.
So fertile are the waters that some 12,000 are caught annually (most fishing is catch-and-release).
Every October, Cabo hosts the world’s richest fishing tournament, the Bisbee Black and Blue.
More than 500 fishing vessels – from 21-ft budget boats to luxury 100-ft yachts – can help you test your mettle against these trophy-sized fish.
The average marlin caught weighs between 100 and 500 lbs, but lucky sport fishers have fought with beauties weighing up to more than 900 lbs.
Most of the best fishing grounds, including Gordo Banks, the Golden Gate Bank and Jaime Bank, are found within 40 miles of the Cabo San Lucas marina.
The fish bite year-round.
But marlin fishing is best between May and November. Cabo in summer is particularly hot for marlin fishing (yep, pun intended!), especially August to October.
April to December is good for dorado.
You need a fishing license, which can be bought the day of your trip at the marina.
Daily fishing charters cost anywhere from $350 to upwards of $9,500 USD.
22) Watch a blockbuster at Puerto Paraiso Mall
Catch the latest Hollywood flicks at the multiplex cinema in the Puerto Paraiso Mall.
Ten air-conditioned theaters show first-run films; many are in English (with Spanish sub-titles).
Get tickets for the VIP theaters if you can. For a few pesos more than the regular theaters, you sink into big reclining leather seats, lie back and watch Bradley Cooper or Scarlett Johansson in cushy comfort.
23) Scuba dive in Cabo Pulmo
We’ve gone scuba diving in Cabo several times at different spots.
But some of the absolute best diving is at Cabo Pulmo.
October and November are great months – for warm water and clear viz. And the weather is lovely and warm on land for other holiday activities too.
What will you see diving in Cabo Pulmo?
Sharks are almost guaranteed.
We saw bull sharks and a tiger shark. Thrilling!
Porkfish, moray eels, octopus, sea turtles and moray eels are also commonly sighted.
For more, see our post: It’s wonderfully wild in Cabo Pulmo, Mexico!
24) Bicycle to the Wirikuta Botanical Cactus Gardens
One of the fun things to do in Los Cabos we enjoy when staying in San Jose del Cabo is bicycling or strolling around the Puerto Los Cabos marina – and hitting the Wirikuta Botanical Cactus Gardens.
These gardens sprout more than 1 million cactus plants, including some 1,500 varieties of succulents from around the world.
Also check out the rock sculptures in the nearby Sculpture Garden and quirky bronze sculptures lining the marina walkway.
See more in our post: It’s prickly at the Wirikuta Desert Botanical Garden!
25) Swim with dolphins in Cabo
Want to hug, kiss and swim with dolphins?
Dolphin Discovery is a “dolphinarium” in Los Cabos, where playful bottlenose dolphins, including babies born to their moms here, live in a natural ocean cove.
It’s certified by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums – so American standards of animal care are met or exceeded.
A few years ago, we had fun making out like “Superman” as two dolphins pushed each of us up out of the water in the “foot push.”
You can also go for a “belly ride,” where you hold on to a dolphin’s fins as it swims on its back.
Our views about interacting with wild creatures have changed over the years. So we personally wouldn’t swim with dolphins now.
But we understand the desire to learn more about them and spend some special time with dolphins.
We also know that after interacting with dolphins up close, you’re very likely to be moved to do more to protect them, e.g., by reducing your use of plastic (so it doesn’t go into the oceans).
Read our post: What’s it like to swim with dolphins in Cabo?
What to do in Cabo: Bottom line?
We love Cabo San Lucas. You’re sure to love it too!
The weather is great, the beaches are super clean, the resorts are cushy and the people are friendly.
And as you can see, there are scores of fun and unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas – more than enough to turn your Cabo visit into one of the best trips ever!
When you’re ready to book your trip, head on over to our Resources page for tips on snagging the lowest airfares, how to suss out great hotels and more…
Photo Credits: 11 to 15, 20, 23, 25, 29, 33 to 35, 40, 42, 46 to 48 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 7 to 9 Flora Farms | 17 One & Only Palmilla | 19 Canopy Costa Azul | 30 Cabo Sails | 32 Pez Gato | 36 Palmilla Golf | 39 Bisbee