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Insider guide to the best snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas and tours

Please follow local guidelines to keep yourself and others safe. Also double-check what’s open before your trip, as things are constantly changing.

Go snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas with the right attitude, and you’ll have fun!

Over the countless visits we’ve made to Los Cabos, we’ve gone snorkeling many times and enjoyed many Cabo snorkeling tours.

Indeed, snorkeling is one of our favorite things to do in Cabo!

You'll have fun snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas!
You’ll have fun snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas!

Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas

Contents: Los Cabos snorkeling 

Best places to snorkel in Cabo San Lucas

5 Best Cabo snorkeling tours – From classy sailboat tours to “Three Bay” kayaking and snorkeling trips

Best time of year to go snorkeling in Cabo?

snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
There are lots of fish to see underwater!

When comparing the snorkeling to other tropical places we’ve explored around the world, we’d say the reefs are more rocky protrusions, rather than the colorful corals of the Caribbean, the Red Sea or Indonesia.

And the fish variety is not as diverse as in Hawaii or Thailand.

But there are still lots of colorful critters to see underwater in Cabo.

And if you take a baggie of bread with you when you go snorkeling, the fish will be all over you!

snorkeling in cabo san lucas
Come on in! There’s a whole fishy world to see underwater

Where to go snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas?

The three best places for snorkeling in Los Cabos are:

  • Santa Maria Bay
  • Chileno Beach
  • Land’s End
snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
A snorkeler views a 7- to 9-foot manta ray (Credit Eagle Divers)

1) Santa Maria Bay

Protected from ocean swells, the water is usually calm at Santa Maria Bay.

We haven’t spied Captain Nemo here, but clouds of other candy-colored fish are plentiful at this lovely scallop-shaped bay.

This spot is on most snorkeling tour boat circuits, but do-it-yourselfers who want to be independent and avoid the snorkeling crowds can also get to Santa Maria Beach by car or bus.

Read our post: Here’s all you need to know about snorkeling at Santa Maria Bay

2) Chileno Beach

This clean, coarse, golden-sand beach is great for both beaching and snorkeling. The public beach offers clean toilets, showers and even a life guard.

It’s also on the snorkeling tour boat circuit, so it’s better to get there earlier in the morning than later.

Tip:  Bring snacks and water, as there are no vendors on the beach.

Recommended reading: Discover the 5 best beaches in Cabo San Lucas

3) Land’s End

At Land’s End, pelicans love to roost on Pelican Rock (and they have a tendency to poo all over it). 

But there’s good snorkeling under the water here near the famous rock Arch.

Snorkeling Los Cabos
At Land’s End, you might see a sea lion underwater!

The water is clear, and as well as lots of reef fish, you may spot sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea stars, crabs and sting rays.

Another snorkeling site at Land’s End is the tall rocky pinnacle of Neptune’s Finger. It rises up out of the sea between the Arch and Lover’s Beach.

There are usually lots of colorful tropical fish here too.

Read next: There’s some great scuba diving in Los Cabos too!

5 Best Cabo snorkeling tours

We’ve gone on great snorkeling tours in Cabo San Lucas with all the following 5 operators:

1) Cabo Adventures

snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
How about a luxury day sailing trip that includes snorkeling? (Credit: Cabo Adventures)

Cabo Adventures is a leading adventure tour operator that runs many safe exciting tours in Cabo – often with an eco-learning bent.

It’s a good combination – gain an understanding of the Baja environment, and have fun too.

snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
Are you feeling playful today? (Credit: Cabo Adventures)

Trips include:

  • Snorkeling with sea lions at Espiritu Santo Island near La Paz on a yacht cruise
  • Zodiac-type tours to Land’s End, with snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking thrown in

Cabo Adventures:  Website

2) Cabo Outfitters

Cabo Outfitters offers fun, nature-oriented snorkeling tours by kayak.

In winter (December to March), their best tour for kayaking and snorkeling in Los Cabos is the “3 Bay” trip.

It starts at Twin Dolphin Bay, then you paddle to Santa Maria Beach/Bay and haul out at Chileno Beach. You snorkel at two of the bays – Santa Maria and Chileno. Book this tour here.

snorkel in Cabo San Lucas
Cabo Outfitters combines kayaking with snorkeling on their Three Bay tours (Credit: Cabo Outfitters)

Paddling along the craggy granite cliffs between these Corridor beaches gives you a different perspective of Cabo – it’s quiet.

It’s just you and the sun-kissed turquoise sea, with only the occasional seabird swirling and squawking above you.

(Okay, there’s your guide, and you paddling partner too if you’re in a double kayak, and the others on your tour – you usually can’t hear them. But you get the point, right?)

The kayaking isn’t strenuous (in fact, the distance paddled is fairly short). And at both Santa Maria Bay and Chileno, it’s easy to paddle into shore and hop out.

The hard part is donning snorkeling gear so you can find the fish that swim among the rocks!

snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
It’s tough sometimes to put your snorkeling gear on! (Credit: Cabo Outfitters)

Your guides carry your snorkeling gear with them in their kayaks, and at the beaches, they typically pull out shade umbrellas, snacks and drinks.

After snorkeling at Chileno, you’re driven back to your hotel.

Cabo Outfitters:  Website

3) Cabo Expeditions

We found this adventure tour company to be highly professional and safety conscious.

Guides love what they do and respect the natural environment.

In business for more than 15 years, Cabo Expeditions want you to have the time of your life – and feel that you’ve gotten one step closer to nature.

You’re in good hands when you sign up for any of their Cabo snorkeling tours:

Cabo Expeditions:  Website

4) Day Sail Cabo

Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
Sailing out for a snorkeling trip with Day Sail Cabo

You could choose one of the big boats which jam in up to 40 people or more.

But for a classy sailing and snorkeling experience, we like Day Sail Cabo. “Captain Bob” skippers the beautiful sleek 52-foot sloop “L Attitude 32” – and you actually sail part of the way.

Half-day trips (maximum 12 guests) depart the Cabo San Lucas marina.

Cruise past Lover’s Beach and around Land’s End for a peek at Divorce Beach. Perhaps spot humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins.

Then sail to Santa Maria Bay while munching on freshly-prepared shrimp ceviche and sipping a beer or margarita.

snorkeling in Los Cabos
Getting ready to jump in!

After snorkeling with clouds of yellow butterfly fish and stately parrot fish, enjoy a healthy sandwich lunch, followed by a snooze on puffy beanbags at the bow, as you cruise silently back down the coast to town.

Drinks are included and good new snorkeling equipment is provided.

Day Sail Cabo:  Website

5) EcoCat (Cabo Eco Tours)

snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
The EcoCat is a a large and comfortable boat for snorkeling in Los Cabos

If you’re prone to seasickness, the 2-storey Ecocat is a good choice.

Offering afternoon snorkeling tours to Santa Maria Bay, it’s the most stable boat – Cabo’s longest (100 ft) and widest (50 ft) catamaran.

Sit inside the huge air-conditioned salon with big windows or up on the bridge deck on lounge chairs. Or sun yourself on the giant trampoline up front.

There’s plenty of room for the 150 people she can carry.

Beer, sodas, margaritas are included. A  full BBQ meal can be purchased as an extra. Wetsuits and towels can be rented.

EcoCat:  Website

Are you a water baby? Discover 8 fun water activities in Cabo for beach lovers?

Best time of year to snorkel in Cabo San Lucas?

snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
October is a terrific month to go snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas! The water is really warm then (Credit: Cabo Outfitters)

The water temperature is the warmest between October and early December (and the visibility is better too).

Summer in Cabo is also a good time for snorkeling and other watersports.

From January to May, you may find the water a tad chilly for snorkeling unless you have a thin wetsuit.

Read about this amazing experience: Yes, you can swim with whale sharks in La Paz!

Pin to Pinterest!

Here’s a good pin for your Pinterest board…

Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas

Photo credits: 2, 3, 10, 11 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase

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 publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

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

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Thursday 30th of January 2020

Please don't ever take bread - or anything else - to feed the fish!

I suspect from the pics (using floating devices to snorkel) that you might not be very experienced in the water so I assume there was no ill intent. But please know feeding the fish is NEVER the right move. You're messing with the eco system and ultimately, killing them and the coral.

Also, let's not now discuss the likelihood that the bread would be in a plastic bag that would likely end up in the ocean....

Other that that.. great resources, here. Thank you!

Janice and George

Thursday 30th of January 2020

Thank you for the information. Never really knew feeding bread to fish isn't good for them or the eco-system!

Oh, and that's not us wearing the floaties :-).