So you’re jetting off to Los Cabos in Mexico for a beach holiday. Lucky you!
You’ll love the Los Cabos beaches – we do! This desert-meets-the-sea resort destination is ideal for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
8 Best beachy things to do in Cabo San Lucas
This is an epic post, folks, so feel free to scroll down to what you want to read in particular…
Okay, let’s dive in!
1. Best Los Cabos beaches
Aaaah! The beach.
The reason why you’ve come to Cabo… (“Cabo” is the nickname used to refer to both Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas, the main town in the Los Cabos area.)
There are plenty of superb beaches in Los Cabos.
Many beaches are red-flagged as non-swimmable, however, because of strong waves and undertows – so be sure you heed the warnings! (Each year, someone dies on these unsafe beaches.) In particular, beaches on the Pacific side of Cabo town are too dangerous for swimming – but the collision of blue ocean and long, wide stretches of white gold sand is scenically stunning!
So, what are the best beaches in Cabo San Lucas?
These top the list.
Of all the beaches in Los Cabos, this 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 water is 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), and restaurant-bars galore (known for their all-day happy hours) are squeezed in beside parasailing, jet ski, boogie boarding and kayak rental shacks.
Water taxi boats also pick bikini- and shorts-clad guests on Medano Beach for trips to Land’s End (see #3 below).
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… Have fun bargaining!
Tip: Most of the action happens closer to the Cabo San Lucas marina. To escape the blare of music and/or for fewer crowds, head further up along the beach towards Tabasco Beach Bar & Restaurant.
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 at the tip of Land’s End.
Striking rock formations tower above on either side, and if you walk all the way out across the golden sand behind, you hit Divorce Beach.
Part of the fun is getting here – you need to take a water taxi boat (or kayak or SUP over from Medano Beach) to set foot on Lover’s Beach. (See below under #3 on water taxis.)
Tip: Wear your bathing suit. There are no change facilities or bathrooms. And don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen and water, as there is no shade.
No one really knows why it’s named Divorce Beach. The locals joke it’s the rough seas encountered here. Whatever, it contrasts nicely with the calmer 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 (rogue waves have been known to sweep people out).
Other great beaches in Los Cabos:
See Santa Maria and Chileno Beaches are great for both snorkeling and swimming. See more under #3.
2. Take a water taxi to Land’s End
In Cabo, you can’t help but notice the magnificent natural rock formations jutting out into the sea. That’s Land’s End, at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula.
And one of the best ways to see Cabo’s signature landmark is by taking a water taxi.
These small wooden boats (some with glass-bottoms) shuttle back and forth between the marina, Lover’s Beach (and Land’s End) and Medano Beach.
BTW: We took the photo of the famous rock Arch at Land’s End, shown at the beginning of this post, a few years ago when shifting sands created a beach and you could walk through the Arch. There’s no beach there today, but you never know, with changing sea and weather conditions, a beach could form there again in future!
What you see:
As you pass Lover’s Beach, you get gob-smacking views of the Arch (“El Arco”) – the famous 200-foot rock arch that looks like a donkey drinking from the ocean.
Steller sea lions bask in the sun on a cluster of large nearby rocks and play in the surge. You can smell their strong ammonia stench and hear them barking too.
And you’re sure to see pelicans hovering about the lime-splattered Pelican Rock.
Have your camera ready!
What you get:
Typically, the boats take you on a 30- to 45-minute, mini-sightseeing cruise around Land’s End to Divorce Beach, then drop you off at Lover’s Beach. You agree on a pre-arranged time for the boat to pick you up from the beach and take you back to the marina (or Medano Beach).
The price is good – between $10 and $12 per person.
Note: There are no docks at Lover’s Beach or Medano Beach, so it can be tricky getting in and out of the boat. As the boat rides in on the crest of a wave, you have to jump into the water and wade ashore. A local is usually on hand to help you in exchange for a small tip. But you likely will get wet!
3. Snorkeling in Los Cabos
There’s lots of fun to be had gazing at what’s under the water.
Land’s End is nice and close. Santa Maria Beach and Chileno Beach also offer good snorkeling. Snorkeling tours by boat typically combine snorkeling at two or more sites.
4. Whale watching in Los Cabos
Whale watching is hugly popular between December and April, when gray and humpback whales migrate to the warm waters off Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
See them up close on a whale watching tour. For adrenalin thrills, go on a high-speed Zodiac. Or if you want something more stable, choose a tour aboard a big catamaran.
5. Sunset cruises
There’s no better way to take in Cabo’s stunning sunsets than out on the water on a sunset cruise.
You might have seen Land’s End by day, but it’s a whole other experience when the sun starts to drop below the horizon. The golden light shimmers on the water and a fiery glow outlines the stark rocky cliffs. Then when the night turns dusky black, the twinkling lights of Cabo are so romantic, you can’t help but hug the person beside you.
Most cruises are between two and three hours long and offer drinks and appies. Some offer dinner too.
We’ve been on the Rissalena a couple of times; Laura (the owner/manager) does an excellent job taking guests on a sunset dinner cruise on a custom-designed power catamaran.
The size is just right for an intimate experience (maximum 24 guests), and the Rissalena is always spotlessly clean, with white leather banquette seating and additional reclining leather seating areas for couples up front. The music is mellow, perhaps opera in the background as the sun sets. (This isn’t a party boat!) And dinner is surprisingly very good (considering you’re on a boat) – home-made finger lickin’ barbecued ribs or chicken, healthy fresh salad, guacamole, fresh fruit, etc.
This is a premium experience and one that consistently gets top reviews year after year, for good reason.
See the sun set from your own private sailboat (well, your own sailboat for a couple of hours at least).
Cabo Sails offers private charters for two to 20 guests on a selection of sailboats ranging in length from 28 to 44 feet. On the 44-foot Espiritu Santi, we lolled about like Romans on plump big cushions scattered on the deck of the bow, as we sipped wine and nibbled on fresh veggies and chicken taquitos.
If you’re looking for a party cruise, pick Pez Gato (some of the cruise lines book their shore excursions with Pez Gato). It’s fun, reputable and you can’t beat the price. The tour operator has a few different boats, but their “Cabo Booze Cruise” is the one for dancing, drinking, games and high spirits.
Slip on your dancing shoes (blue suede?) for this sunset dinner-and-dancing cruise. It’s not a booze cruise, but a fun 2 ½ hour cruise suitable for couples and families. Bonus: You’re not likely to get seasick on the Cabo Mar – it’s a double-decker catamaran, 65 feet long and 36 feet wide.
6. Scuba diving
You can dive at Land’s End.
But for knock-your-socks-off diving, head to the national marine park of Cabo Pulmo – where the wild things really are (like sharks).
October is an awesome month to go diving in Los Cabos.
7. Surfing in Cabo San Lucas
Get amped on big barrels and pumping wave action! Los Cabos and beyond boasts some rocking surfing beaches.
Surf spots in Cabo San Lucas:
On the Sea of Cortez side, the waves are largest in spring and summer (March to October). Check out Playa Acapulquito and Playa Costa Azul.
For winter waves, head to Los Cerritos and Pacific-side beaches near Todos Santos.
Baja surf report:
Find free daily Baja Sur surf reports on Surforecast.com.
Tours and surf lessons in Cabo San Lucas:
Check out these surf shops in Cabo San Lucas for lessons and tours:
- Costa Azul Surf Shop – Excellent rental equipment and instructors; they also take small groups on surfing excursions. See website.
- High Tide Sea Expeditions – One of the best tour operators, with friendly professional guides who go the extra mile to get you standing up on your surf board. See website.
- Mike Doyle’s Surf School – A good place to learn to surf; all instructors are certified by the National Surf Schools & Instructors Association (NSSIA). See website.
- Cabo Surfer – A new surfing outfitter based in San Jose del Cabo. See website.
More information on surfing Los Cabos:
See the Surfers Guide to Cabo 2018 on WaveTribe.
8. Swimming with whale sharks
There are few places in the world where you can swim with endangered whale sharks – La Paz is one of them.
La Paz (which means “peace” in Spanish) is an authentic Mexican town on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula. The drive from Cabo San Lucas takes a little over two hours.
Basically, you go out by boat into the Bay of La Paz. When whale sharks are spotted, you slip into the water wearing snorkeling gear, and watch as the huge gentle fish swim by you.
It’s an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience – and highly recommended if you visit Los Cabos between October and February.
Best time to go to Cabo San Lucas
The weather is typically very reliable from October to May (sunny and hot), making fall to spring the best time to visit Cabo San Lucas. That works out very nicely for North Americans and Europeans – you can go somewhere warm when it’s cold where you live!
Enjoy Los Cabos!
Whew! You made it to the end of our post on the best things to do in Los Cabos for beach and watersports lovers!
Now all you have to do is pack your bags and go… Enjoy your trip!
Except where noted, photos are ours and © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.