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Cabo San Lucas Marina: Restaurants, shops and snoozing pelicans

Please only travel when it’s safe to do so.

Up early to reel in a marlin?

Heading out on a sailing or Cabo whale watching tour?

Catching a water taxi to Lover’s Beach or Medano Beach?

It all happens at the Cabo San Lucas Marina!

Cabo San Lucas Marina at night

Cabo San Lucas Marina

Cabo San Lucas Marina

The marina in Cabo San Lucas has 380 slips for yachts and luxury vessels up to 200 feet.

Lining the marina are countless bars, restaurants and shops, including the grand Puerto Paraiso shopping and entertainment mall and the newer Luxury Avenue shopping complex.

Snaking all around the marina’s edge is a pedestrian-only waterfront boardwalk.

In the early mornings and late afternoons (when it’s cooler), this boardwalk is the perfect place to join the spandex-suited joggers and Nike-shod walkers for a bit of exercise.

Cabo San Lucas Marina

Indeed, strolling around the marina is one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas!

It’s fun to gawk at the sleek white yachts. (Wonder who owns that beauty!)

And you often see pelicans dive-bombing for fish and snoozing on the docks too.

Pelicans at the Cabo San Lucas Marina

It takes about 30 minutes to walk around the whole length of the marina from one end to the other.

The Cabo San Lucas marina is also where cruise passengers set foot on dry land after tendering in from their ships, which anchor a mile or two away in the Cabo San Lucas Bay.

Marina, Cabo San Lucas:

The marina is a luxury Island Global Yachting (IGY) marina. In 2013, it won the International Marina of the Year Award from Charter World.

For information on available slips, marina yacht amenities, etc. see IGY’s website.

Marina at Puerto Los Cabos:

There’s another marina in San Jose del Cabo – the Marina at Puerto Los Cabos.

Don’t confuse the Cabo San Lucas Marina with the Los Cabos marina in San Jose del Cabo.

Most of the fishing, boating, diving and other water activities operate out of the marina at Cabo San Lucas.

Cabo San Lucas Marina map

See this link to a map of the Cabo San Lucas Marina.

The pedestrian promenade around the marina winds all the way from the Medano Beach side at one end to the Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port at the other end.

Map of Cabo San Lucas Marina

Cabo San Lucas Marina restaurants

You’ll find some 50 bars and restaurants on and around the marina.

Many have outside patios facing the water. When walking by, you can check out the restaurant menus on outside stands.

If we’re being totally honest and you’re thinking mainly of the food, you won’t necessarily find the best restaurants in Cabo on the marina.

For example, Flora Farms dishes up yummy farm-to-table dining, but it’s tucked away in rural countryside near San Jose del Cabo.

The marina is prime real estate, and you really go to bars and restaurants there for the views.

That said, we’ve eaten at many places along the marina – and always had a good time!

Some of the best Cabo marina restaurants and bars?

Lorenzillo’s:

Lorenzillo’s serves up fresh lobster and has an attractive waterfront patio. (Lobster Thermidor is a fave pick.) Lorenzillo’s gets good reviews on TripAdvisor and received a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2020 award.

Just note that Lorenzillo’s is expensive.

Solomon’s Landing:

Solomon’s Landing has a solid reputation for serving tasty fresh seafood at reasonably affordable prices. It has a breezy, casually-pleasant setting under a thatch palapa roof.

If you take your own fish that you’ve caught, they’ll prepare it several ways for you (e.g., blackened New Orleans style and grilled). Check to see how much notice they need.

The fish tacos and Mexican margaritas are good too.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House:

The Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain has an upscale eatery in the Puerto Paraiso mall. You can sit inside (air-conditioned) or outside on the terrace.

USDA Prime beef steaks, sizzled on a 500-degree grill, are the specialty (ka-ching, ka-ching).

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream:

Haagen-Dazs Cabo San Lucas

Got a sweet tooth?

Satisfy your craving for caramel Belgian waffles or chocolate brownie crepes at the always-popular Haagen-Dazs ice cream parlor.

Or get a lemon sorbet or mango-and-raspberry ice cream cone to go.

And if a fruity ice cream isn’t your thing, the parlor has more than 20 flavors of ice creams to choose from. Maybe try macadamia nut brittle?

Soursop? Dragon fruit? Chocolate pudding fruit? Discover 17 types of fruit in Mexico that you must try!

Great restaurants in the Cabo San Lucas Marina area:

If you move just a block or so away from the marina, you’ll find some of our favorite restaurants in Cabo San Lucas.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina:

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, Cabo San Lucas

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina is right on Medano Beach, a block or so behind the marina (at the Medano Beach end). With a lovely Mexican-style beachfront setting, it offers tasty Mexican dishes.

Make sure you order the sugar-crusted churros for dessert – dip them in chocolate sauce!

Nicksan:

We love Nicksan! This resto is all about Japanese tapas, tweaked with a Mexican touch.

The sushi is always incredibly fresh, and just thinking about their lobster rolls, pan-fried fish in a spicy Cajun sauce and tuna tostadas makes us drool.

You’ll find Nicksan just steps behind the marina (on Paseo de la Marina), near the Hotel Tesoro Los Cabos.

Cravin’ pasta and everything Italian? Check out the 3 best Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas!

Cabo San Lucas Marina shopping

Sign for Puerto Paraiso, Cabo San Lucas

Whether you’re looking to pick up inexpensive souvenirs or museum-quality art, Cabo has a shop for you.

Silver is big here.

Cuban cigars are also popular (but don’t take them back to the U.S.), as are Mexican blankets, Talavera pottery and even over-the-counter prescription meds.

Mexican ceramic pottery for sale at Puerto Paraiso

Among the best places to shop in Cabo San Lucas are the two side-by-side shopping malls on the marina: the Puerto Paraiso and Luxury Avenue shopping malls.

Note: The prices are fixed in these malls. You can’t bargain like you can bargain with the beach vendors.

Puerto Paraiso:

Puerto Paraiso Shopping Mall, Cabo San Lucas

Bring a credit card (or two). You need plastic at this giant shopping, dining, and entertainment complex.

The Puerto Paraiso mall is a classy shopping experience. Inside the peach-colored, colonial Mexican structure, floors have inlaid marble mosaics. Outside, cascading waterfalls invite you to rest awhile on a bench.

Some 200 shops and boutiques tempt you to part with your money. Find everything from Kenneth Cole clothes and Maui Jim sunglasses to cigars, jewelry and unique handmade Mexican arts and crafts.

If you need some beach wear, check out these shops:

Cabo Hats:

Pink hats, blue hats, lemon hats, cute hats – Cabo Hats is full of eye-candy for anyone who wants something a little more stylish than a Tilley topper. (No offence Tilley! You make great hats.)

The Scala label is showcased, and there’s a huge selection in raffia, crocheted cotton and other materials.

Find cowboy hats, big-brimmed white-and-black hats that make you look like a movie star, packable and crushable hats, and caps and straw boaters for men.

Cabo Hats is one of our favorite shops in Cabo San Lucas

If you forgot your hat – or just want to add to your collection – check out Cabo Hats.

Your dermatologist will thank you.

Fullsand:

Find swimsuits and snorkeling rashguards at the Fullsand clothing shop.

Sunglass Hut:

This chain store sells all kinds of trendy and designer sunglasses. So if you forgot yours, you can pick up a pair here.

Puerto Paraiso movie theater:

Watch the latest blockbusters at the Puerto Paraiso Cinemex, located on the third floor of the Puerto Paraiso mall

Choose movies in English (with Spanish subtitles) and go for the VIP showings in theaters with reclining seats.

Luxury Avenue:

Luxury Avenue shopping mall in Cabo San Lucas

Ooh la la.

Carolina Herrera fashion and accessories. Longchamp bags. TagHeuer watches. Montblanc pens. Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, perfumes and watches. And all under one spiffy roof too!

Following the success of its Cancun location, Luxury Avenue opened a Cabo location with drool-worthy designer boutiques. Lavish touches like quartz columns, fountains, and marble and granite floors add to the privileged shopping experience.

Of course, there are VIP services, such as a shopping concierge.

Cabo San Lucas Marina hotels

Several hotels are perched right on the marina:

Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort and Spa:

Champagne at Breathless, Cabo San Lucas

Located at the end of the marina by the Medano Beach side, Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort and Spa is the newest and most upscale of the marina hotels.

For adults-only, this all-inclusive hotel has 169 modern suites, all with balconies offering fabulous views of the Cabo marina.

Room at Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort

There are two infinity pools – one overlooks Medano Beach on the other side of the hotel. (That rooftop pool has a DJ and foam parties, and you can go topless there.)

Marina Fiesta Resort, Cabo:

Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa

Located next to Luxury Avenue, the pleasant 4-star Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa has suites with kitchenettes overlooking the pool or marina.

(It’s also a timeshare resort, so you’ll be asked if you want to experience a time share presentation when checking in.)

Hotel Tesoro Los Cabos:

Hotel Tesoro Los Cabos

The older 3-star Hotel Tesoro Los Cabos is right in the heart of Cabo, located in the middle of the marina. It has 286 clean rooms and a rooftop sky pool with great marina views.

Where else to stay? See our reviews of some of the best Cabo San Lucas hotels and resorts (from the artsy Hotel El Ganzo to the hip Cape, a Thompson Hotel)

Cabo water taxis from the marina

The marina is the main place for finding water taxis and glass bottom boats. They can whisk you out to see Land’s End, or drop you off at Lover’s Beach or Medano Beach for a few hours of fun in the sun.

The water taxis in Cabo San Lucas are cheap and plentiful.

For details on the Cabo San Lucas water taxis: See #1 in our post on 8 crazy fun water activities in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas cruise port terminal

If you’re on one of the 400 cruise ships that visit each year, welcome to Cabo!

Ships anchor offshore, and you’re tendered to the Cabo San Lucas Marina dock. If you’re going on an excursion, that’s where you meet the tour operators.

Visiting Cabo on your own from the ship?

Cabo is very walkable, and it’s a pleasant 10- to 15-minute stroll from the Cabo cruise terminal, along the marina waterfront, to the heart of town.

Interested in a cruise? See our ultimate Cruise Guide (it’s packed with boatloads of reviews of different cruises)

Fish filleting station

Pelicans fighting over fish in Cabo  San Lucas

Ever seen pelicans fighting over fish? Or a sea lion steal fish from a pelican?

It’s a colorful comical sight watching the Cabo San Lucas pelicans down at the fish cleaning and filleting station, located near the cruise terminal side of the marina.

Tourists mill around, snapping pics, adding to the melee. Have your camera ready too, as there are some great photo opps.

The scene is not for the squeamish though – expect to see blood, guts and entrails.

Fish filleting station, Cabo San Lucas

“Poncho” and the pelicans:

Fishermen take their fish to the boat ramp on the marina dock, where fish cutters strip the skins from the fish, cut up the fish meat and baggie up the raw fillets.

The guts and skin are thrown out for pelicans and gulls to grab – they end up playing a tug-of-war with their beaks.

Poncho the sea lion in Cabo San Lucas

But they all lose when “Poncho,” the marina’s resident sea lion, lumbers up the ramp to steal their prizes. (We think there have been a few “Ponchos” over the years.)

Experience more of Los Cabos!

Read our posts on:

Snorkeling | Want to be surrounded by clouds of yellow porkfish? See our insider guide to the best snorkeling spots in Cabo San Lucas (and the best snorkeling tours).

Day trips | From the artsy town of Todos Santos to wild Cabo Pulmo, these are the 9 best day trips from Cabo San Lucas.

Airport transfers | Check out the best Cabo airport transportation options. We’ve reviewed the top ones.

Complete Cabo guide | Oh heck, just read our ultimate Cabo San Lucas travel guide. It’s packed with info on the best restaurants, what to do, tips (like, can you drink the water?) and more!


Photo credits: 3, 8, 10, 12, 17 to 19 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Hotel and restaurant photos courtesy the respective businesses


About the authors:

Janice and George Mucalov

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the owners and founders of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, luxury hotel reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

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Jenn Smith Nelson

Wednesday 13th of November 2013

Yay more opportunity to photograph wildlife! I am always looking for that. Hoping to see some sea lions as I am likely heading to Cabo for my first time next month.

Love your pic of Poncho!

Janice and George Mucalov

Wednesday 13th of November 2013

Great time to visit Cabo! If you take a water taxi out to Lover's Beach, you'll pass by rocks where sea lions are always sunning and barking. Have fun!

Michele Peterson

Thursday 7th of November 2013

That sea lion Poncho is the cutest! I agree with your comment on too bad the marlin wasn't released. I wonder how many there are of that size left in the ocean.

Janice and George

Thursday 7th of November 2013

Interesting question about the marlin. Cabo is the "Marlin Capital of the World." It strongly encourages "catch-and-release" to preserve the abundant fishing environment, but allows fishers to keep one marlin per boat.

Becky Padmore

Friday 25th of October 2013

There's just something about pelicans, love the top photo!

Janice and George

Friday 25th of October 2013

We also love watching them swoop low over the water at Cabo San Lucas. They're funny creatures - almost prehistoric looking.