Cabo is located at the end of the Baja peninsula and is now the fastest growing resort destination in all of Mexico. Cabo or Los Cabos refers to both cities, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, plus the stretch of resorts in between.
Cabo San Lucas draws most of the tourists and spring breakers, while San Jose del Cabo gives you a quieter and more authentic experience. Because we were on a cruise and had limited time to explore, we only explored Cabo San Lucas. It was off season, so it was a rather quiet experience too. We’ll just have to come back for you later, San Jose del Cabo.
Here’s a photo showing you how all these landmarks are all connected on Land’s End:
Whether you’re looking for a party, an adventure, or a relaxing afternoon on the beach, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of all the things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
21 THINGS TO DO IN CABO SAN LUCAS + ONE YOU SHOULD NEVER DO:
1. Visit El Arco de Cabo San Lucas and Land’s End
El Arco is their most famous landmark in Cabo and Land’s End is just the end of the Baja peninsula. This is a stop on almost all water activities you book. Approximately every four years, the tide changes, and the beach emerges so you can walk underneath the Arch. Unfortunately, for us, it wasn’t the right time, but the arch still looks very beautiful regardless. We were told that it occurred unseasonably last year, so the cycle might be irregular now.
2. Go for a swim at Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amore) & walk along Divorce Beach
These are two connected beaches. Lover’s Beach is on the bay side and is much more calm, while Divorce Beach has turbulent waves and we were cautioned not to swim there because of the rip currents. It’s like a relationship. One side is more calm, while the other turbulent. ;) Although the beaches are connected, we noticed that it gets much more crowded on Lover’s Beach even for people who are simply sunbathing. Also, lucky for us, we were one of the first few people to get here, so we took plenty of photos without the crowds – full post coming soon!
3. Window to the Pacific
You will see this on any boat ride to El Arco, but if you want to get up as close as we did, you have to take a water taxi or glass bottom boat. All the others do drive bys.
4. Take a Glass Bottom Boat Ride to Land’s End, Lover’s Beach, and the Window to the Pacific
This is the cheapest and most perfect way to see all the major landmarks. We originally were just looking for a cheap water taxi for transportation to Lover’s Beach, but they ended up having a glass bottom too. On top of getting a great tour of Cabo San Lucas, you get to see lots of fish through the glass without having to get wet. They typically go for $10-15 a person round trip, but we negotiated them down to $6 a person and tipped them well after.
5. Relax at Chileno Beach (Playa Chileno)
This is a quiet beach 9 miles east of Cabo San Lucas that is popular with the locals. It’s rated one of the cleanest beaches in all of Mexico and perfect if you’re looking for a chill place to relax. You can also bring your own snorkel gear and snorkel on your own here. We had a guided trip that took us by boat to this spot and Santa Maria Bay.
6. Medano Beach (Jetskiing, Parasailing, Kayaking)
This beach has a lot of bars and is one of the few swimmable beaches on the peninsula. Our cruise ship was actually docked closest to this beach. There are a ton of water activities like jetskiing, parasailing, etc if you’re looking for a good time out on the water. There is also a quiet stretch of beach to the left (or south) of this beach. They told us they call this quiet beach “the local beach”, while they call Medano “the loco beach” since it attracts all the vacationers.
7. Kayak to El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
If you love being out on the water and want to get some exercise in, kayaking is a great way to sightsee and get your blood pumping. These guys are paddling up next to Neptune’s Finger.
8. Scuba Dive
This is an amazing place to scuba dive. At Cabo Pulmo (closer to San Jose del Cabo), there are over 300 different species of fish, which has helped it earn its nickname “Aquarium of the World”. We’re hoping to get certified, so we can explore more of the ocean next time. :)
We couldn’t dive, so snorkeling was a great way to get a glimpse into the world below. There are tons of fish to see and the water typically has great visibility. The guide told us it’s usually up to 60 ft, but we happened to come right after a storm. They often bring food to attract fish to the group.
10. Snuba / Helmet Diving
If you want to get closer to the fish but aren’t scuba certified, check out Snuba or Helmet Diving. These options give you a chance to reach the ocean floor while breathing air from above!
11. Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons
Seems like stand up paddle boarding is the thing to do lately. It’s everywhere! We have yet to try it, but it looks like a fun activity to do out on the water.
12. Deep Sea Sport Fishing
If you’re a pro angler or just want to check this off your bucket list, Cabo is a great launching point for deep sea fishing.
13. Eat fresh fruit
If you’ve never had fruit with a bunch of seasoning on it, then you’re missing out. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy!
14. Walk along the Marina
With tons of shops, people watching, restaurants, and bars, there is something for everyone to do along the Marina. There are also a ton of vendors trying to sell their services for snorkeling, diving, glass bottom boat tours, kayaking, etc. If you’re looking for something less touristy, you’ll have to wander further in.
15. Shop at the Flea Markets
Buy souvenirs to your heart’s content or just walk around like us and see all the colorful displays. The souvenirs weren’t as cheap as I thought they would be, but they’re cheaper than San Diego.
16. Swim with Dolphins
You can encounter one of the most playful and fascinating animals and swim alongside them in a safe and enclosed environment. Cabo Dolphins is located right by the marina, and Dolphin Discovery is 25 minutes away in San Jos del Cabo. Also, it’s good to double check if it’s accredited to know if the dolphins are being well taken care of. Dolphin Discovery is accredited by AMMPA. We would much rather swim with wild dolphins in the ocean, so we opted not to do this.
17. Cliff Jump off Pelican Rock at Pelican Beach
Conquer your fear of heights by jumping off Pelican Rock. Then climb by up and do it again! This area is great for snorkeling too, so don’t forget your mask and snorkel!
18. Flyboard at Santa Maria Bay
Flyboarding is a lot of a fun and not available in most places. Don’t miss out on this unique experience! You can also watch a video of us attempting it at Lake Las Vegas.
19. Mexico’s Longest Zipline
Fly through the air on Mexico’s longest, highest, and fastest zip line. You’ll get a chance to see the beautiful landscape from a really unique perspective.
20. Bars and Clubs
This isn’t really our scene. Plus, we went during slow season and during the day, so none of the bars and clubs had many people in them. But you can get your taste of nightlife at Cabo Wabo Cantina, Giggling Marlin, The Office, El Squid Roe, Nowhere Bar, and more.
21. Outback and Camel Safari
We found this one a bit strange, but you can explore the inland desert through this eco-adventure. This allows you to see the Baja Outback and top it off with a camel ride on a private beach. During the winter months, you might even see humpback whales as they swim by.
BONUS: DON’T DO THIS! Don’t Take a Photo with a Lion Cub
As we’ve been working with and visiting conservation centers, they all warn us about these kinds of tourist traps. Although this lion cub was really cute, and I wanted to hold him so bad, I knew that it would only be supporting a cruel business. They tell you the money goes towards lion conservation and that the cub just ate and became sleepy, but it was obviously sedated and most likely these cubs get killed for their pelt when they get to a certain age. Ma, can we keep him?!
I wasn’t impressed with any of the food we had here, but the locals will say Los Claros and Las Guacamayas are the best local spots to eat. They were’t bad, but they weren’t great either. Let me know if you’ve been and you’ve found some good eats we don’t know about!
If you’re here longer than we were, you can also take some day trips to some great towns nearby. Todos Santos is an artsy quaint town north of Cabo and home to Hotel California. You can also visit San Jose del Cabo, which is perfect for the art-lover.
Which of these activities would you want to do most?
What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?
A huge thank you to Carnival for hosting our trip. All opinions, photos, and text are our own.
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