21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do

21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do

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.

Here’s the difference between the two. 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.

21 Incredible Things to Do in Cabo

A big thank you to Carnival for hosting our trip. All opinions are always our own. This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

Last Updated: August 28, 2019.   First Published: Jul 28, 2015

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21 THINGS TO DO IN CABO SAN LUCAS + ONE YOU SHOULD NEVER DO

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.

First of all, here’s a photo showing you how all these landmarks are all connected on Land’s End:

What to Do in Cabo San Lucas Mexico

1. Visit El Arco de Cabo San Lucas and Land's End

Coordinates: 22.877065, -109.894760, map

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.

Local Tip: 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.

El Arco de Cabo San Lucas (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + One Thing You Should Never Do).

Coordinates: 22.876319, -109.897012, map

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.

Pro Tip: Head out there early morning to beat the crowds.

Lover's Beach (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do).
Divorce Beach (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do).

3. Window to the Pacific

You will see this on any boat ride to El Arco. If you want to get up as close as we did, you have to take a smaller boat like a water taxi or glass bottom boat. All the others drive by.

Window to the Pacific (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do).

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.

Pro Tip: They typically go for $10-15 a person round trip, but we negotiated them down to $6 a person and tipped them well after.

Glass Bottom Boat / Water Taxi (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas Mexico + 1 Thing You Should Never Do).

5. Chillax 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. We had a guided trip that took us by boat to this spot and Santa Maria Bay.

Pro Tip: You can bring your own snorkel gear and snorkel on your own here.

Chileno Beach (21 Things to Do in Cabo + One Thing You Should Never Do).

6. Medano Beach for some Jetskiing, Parasailing, or 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 plenty of water activities like jetskiing, parasailing, etc if you’re looking for a good time out on the water.

Local Tip: There is also a quiet stretch of beach to the left (or south) of this beach. The locals told us they call this quiet beach the “local beach”, while they call Medano the “loco beach” since it attracts all the vacationers.

Jet Skiing at Medano Beach Cabo Mexico.

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.

Kayaking to El Arco de Cabo San Lucas (21 Things to Do in Cabo).

8. Scuba Diving at Cabo Pulmo

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”. Now that we’re finally certified, we need to go back and more of the ocean. 

Scuba Dive at Cabo Pulmo (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do).

We couldn’t dive at the time, 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 (up to 60 ft).

Unfortunately, we happened to come right after a storm. On the upside, storms bring food to attract more fish. You just have to wait for the water to settle.

Snorkel at Santa Maria Beach Cabo San Lucas Mexico (21 Things to Do in Cabo).

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! Depending on the current and how turbulent the water is, it can be a workout or a leisure paddle.

The last time I paddle boarded, I almost gave up because the current was too strong.

Stand up Paddleboarding (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas Mexico).

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.

Cabo San Lucas Fishing Charters
Deep Sea Fishing Cabo San Lucas

13. Eat fresh fruit

If you’ve never had fruit with their seasoning on it, then you’re missing out. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy!

Fresh Fruit (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas Mexico).

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.

Cabo San Lucas Marina (21 Things to Do in Cabo).

15. Shop at the Flea Markets

Blvd. Paseo de la Marina 15, Centro, Marina, 23400, B.C.S, map

Buy souvenirs to your heart’s content or just walk around like us and see all the colorful displays.  We visited the market at the marina. The souvenirs weren’t as cheap as I thought they would be, but they were cheaper than San Diego.

Some other spots to shop are Artesano’s, Eclectic Array, and La Coyota.

Shopping in Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas Flea Market

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.

Note: We opted not to do this one, since we still have mixed feelings about it, so we’ll leave it up to you.

17. Cliff Jump off Pelican Rock at Pelican Beach

Conquer your fear of heights by jumping off Pelican Rock. Then climb back 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.

More: Watch a video of us attempting it at Lake Las Vegas.

Flyboard at Santa Maria Bay Cabo Mexico (21 Things to Do in Cabo).

19. Cabo Zipline - 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 anymore. Plus, we went during the slow season and during the day, so none of the bars and clubs had many people in them.

From what we hear, you can get your taste of nightlife at the famous Cabo Wabo Cantina. Others include Giggling Marlin, The Office, El Squid Roe, Nowhere Bar, and more.

Partying at Giggling Marlin (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do).

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.

Pro Tip: During the winter months, you might even see humpback whales as they swim by.

Partying at Giggling Marlin (21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + 1 You Should Never Do).

BONUS: DON’T DO THIS ONE! Take a Photo with a Lion Cub

As we’ve been working with and visiting conservation centers, they all warned 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.

Many of them tell you the money goes towards lion conservation and that the cub just ate and became sleepy, but it was obviously sedated.

We learned that most likely these cubs get killed for their pelt when they get to a certain age since you can’t keep getting cubs unless you’re willing to take care of an unlimited number of adult lions. Ma, can we keep him?!

We wouldn’t have known if someone didn’t tell us. Obviously, you can decide for yourself what you want to do, but at least now it’s a well-informed decision.

21 Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas + One Thing You Should Never Do.

 

More Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas

  • Sunset hike on Mount Solmar
  • Whale Shark Snorkeling Tour (Sept – May)
  • Whale Watching
  • Golfing at Club Campestre San Jose and Palmilla Golf Club, San Jose del Cabo
  • Inglesia de San Lucas and Town Square
  • ATVing with Cactus ATV Tours or Wild Canyon Adventure

Places to Eat in Cabo San Lucas

I wasn’t impressed with any of the food we had here, but the locals we asked said Los Claros and Las Guacamayas are the best local spots to eat. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either. Given the short amount of time, we didn’t get to try many others.

These are some of the places recommended on eater and yelp.

Let me know if you found some good eats we need to know about!

Essential Tips

What to Pack for Your Cabo Trip

What's Nearby

If you’re here longer than we were, you can visit San Jose del Cabo, the twin city, which together with Cabo San Lucas makes up Los Cabos.

It is perfect for the art-lover. 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. 

  • Santa Rita Hot Springs (99 km N, 1 h 35 min drive, map)
  • Cabo Pulmo National Park (141.6 km NE, 2 h 23 min drive, map)
  • La Paz (157 km N, 1 h 58 min drive, map)

Best Places to Stay in Cabo San Lucas

Have you done any of these things in Cabo San Lucas? What interests you the most? Anything you would add?

Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later

First Timer's guide to Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Best Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas
21 best things to do in Cabo San Lucas Mexico + the 1 thing You Shouldn't Do
Cabo San Lucas Things to Do
What to Do in Mexico
20 Best Things to Do in Mexico Bucket List
Your Essential Mexico Bucket List
Top Mexico Tourist Attractions

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for the insight on San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. We are heading there next week and this help me plan my vacation and also be wary of some things like the lion pics as I also am an animal lover and will avoid this! Keep up the good work great posts everyone! Thank You

    1. Thanks for reading! Hope you have a wonderful trip! :)

  2. what happen to the one thing you do not do in CABO SAN LUCAS, never mention

    1. Do not take picture with the Lion cub. Its the last thing.

  3. Reading all of this has been extremely helpful.. Thank You! Going in January on a 10 day cruise, never been before so again, thank you so much…

    1. Thanks, Carrie! That sounds like so much fun! We hope you enjoy it. :)

  4. Thank you so much for not recommending the dolphin swim or the lion cub. You now have our attention and we are listening to your advice!!

    Jim & Joanne, San Diego

  5. LOVE that you mentioned not to take a picture with the lion cubs!!!! Most tourists need to be aware that this only promotes animals in captivity.

  6. La puerta vieja for a nice dinner with a view. Try the marinated calamari!!! Gardenias for amazing local shrimp and fish tacos. One visit wasn’t enough the last time we were there. I am looking forward to our next visit in August.

  7. Gotta agree with most, great review, and those pictures are absolutely stunning!

  8. If you are visiting Cabo San Lucas it is a great place to take a surfing lesson on the many beaches. There are lots of companies to choose from. The water is much warmer than California and some of the surf breaks are just right to learn on.

  9. My boyfriend used to live in Cabo and we’ve visited MANY times. For food, you must go to Maro’s Shrimp House and order the grilled shrimp and a bulldog! We live in Sam Diego where we get great seafood, but I’ve yet to have better shrimp than the grilled shrimp at Maro’s. It’s not fancy, writing on the walls and small- but so delicious!

  10. Really enjoyed both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo….. I personally prefer the atmosphere at San Jose Del Cabo better….all the blogs are accurate about how beautiful and quieter it is. Take along good walking shoes – lots of uneven surfaces. Looking forward to it again – be there in a couple of days…venture out to Todos Santos – visit the authentic small “Hotel California” …… very beautiful… and also La Pas…..

  11. Great tips! And thank you so much for mentioning the cruelty of wildlife photos!

  12. Hi there! If you don’t mind me asking, what company did you use for the glass bottom boat ride?

    1. I can’t remember the name of the company, but there were a bunch of similar ones on the streets soliciting. We asked a few for prices until we found one that did it for the lowest price.

  13. My hubby and I have been to Los Cabos seven times, and it’s fair to say it is our favorite vacation spot. WE have stayed at various places but our favorite resort BY FAR is Hacienda Beach Club & Residences. It’s an amazing property – pretty pricey but worth every penny! It’s on medano beach and has a private section blocked off. One of the few resorts with a swimmable beach, and located right next to the marina. It’s about a 10 minute taxi ride to an amazing authentic Mexican restaurant, called Del Torro. If you venture off property, I recommend you check it out. You won’t be sorry!

    1. Thanks for the recommendations, Tamara. We’ll have to make it back one of these days! :)

  14. Hi, my wife and I travel to lost Cabo’s Mexico last year and our favourite place to eat was Gardenias … they have been open for almost 40 years and serve the best tacos with all the toppings you can imagine … The atmosphere is great and the staff are family

    we are headed back to lost Cabo’s in January and let you know if we find anything new

  15. Good info- Heading there in November. Has anyone eaten at the Sunset Mona Lisa or Sunset Point?

  16. We will be more towards the Cabo San Jose on the 22nd for 8 days. I’ll provide you my activities and how to help others. Two years ago we stayed on the Maya Riviera Mexico absolutely loved it. We toured 50%of the time.
    Glad I came across this blog

    1. Can’t wait to hear about it!

  17. Great Article, my family will be Carnival cruising there next month. This is a great list of things to do! I was wondering can you get a snorkeling tour right off the ship? what about a tour that takes you to Chileno Bay? i know there are tons of tour companies waiting for you when you arrive. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Celeste. They always recommend you book tours right off the ship because they’re the tours that can guarantee to get you back to the ship on time even though they might be pricier than the other tour companies. We booked the snorkel tour through the ship. I’m sure you can risk it and give yourself enough of a time buffer, but we just wanted to be safe. I think there was only one snorkeling option, but if not, the booklet should tell you where you’ll be going. :)

  18. HI,

    We went to CSL last year in August. We stayed at The JW in San Jose del Cabo- What an amazing hotel. I recommended it to anyone who can afford it. We usually do not eat at the hotels, we prefer to try local food. But we found that the hotel food was the best- so we ate most of our meals here. Fantastic food, fantastic service.

    Gosh, I am missing that trip and need to go back soon.

    I really loved your blog.

    1. We’ll have to check it out too the next time we go back! :)

  19. Great information thank you. I am here with my girlfriend and have done sone of these already but looking for more. We tried las guacamayas and loved it. The food at Solmar is amazing too. I think we are going to try snorkeling at chileno beach next

  20. Thank you for the information, My hubby and I am planing to visit Cabo SanLucas in 6 month with Princess Cruise

    1. You’re welcome! Thanks for reading, Helen. I hope you and your hubby have a wonderful trip! :)

  21. Thanks for sharing your travel guide about Cabo San Lucas. I haven’t been yet but I really hope to go this Christmas. I visited Playa Del Carmen and Cancun last year using mayangateway.com to help me plan my trip. I loved both my experience with the company and the opportunity to travel around Mexico a bit. Very excited to go back and thanks for the inspiration!

  22. Wish I saw this before going to Cabo last month! I really like your guides, the upbeat theme of your site and the fact that you consider conservation efforts over photo ops! Keep up the good work :)

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