Visiting Cabo San Lucas? Don’t miss these awesome activities!
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.
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: April 25, 2023
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:
1. Visit El Arco de Cabo San Lucas and Land’s End →
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.
2. Go For a Swim at Lover’s Beach (Playa Del Amor) & Walk Along Divorce Beach →
Coordinates: 22.876319, -109.897012, map
These are two back-to-back beaches. Lover’s Beach is on the bay side and is much calmer, 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 calmer, while the other is 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.
Local Tip: Head out there early morning to beat the crowds.
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. Otherwise, you’ll just pass by from a distance.
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.
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.
We hung out on the beach for a bit and it was so much quieter than the touristy beaches.
Local Tip: You can bring your own snorkel gear and snorkel on your own here.
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 jet skiing, 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.
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. You also get a chance to get closer to these formations. These guys are paddling up next to Neptune’s Finger which we may have to do next time we visit.
See More: These are Other Spots We’ve Kayaked. Find One Near You.
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.
See More: The Best Scuba Diving Spots in the World
9. Snorkel (at Chileno Beach and Santa Maria Bay) →
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 so visibility wasn’t great. On the upside, storms bring food to attract more fish. You just have to wait for the water to settle.
See More: Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas with Cabo Expeditions
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.
See More: Our First Time Helmet Diving in Bali
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.
When I’ve gone SUPing in other places, I almost gave up because the current was too strong.
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. This is something we definitely want to do next time! Have any of you chartered a fishing boat in Cabo?
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!
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
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 in San Diego.
Some other spots to shop are Artesano’s, Eclectic Array, and La Coyota.
See More: 25 Best Markets in the World to Put On Your Bucket List
16. ATV Tour →
Strap on a helmet, goggles, and bandana and explore Cabo’s hills, dunes, desert, and beaches on an ATV. During the winter months, you may even seen whales in the distance.
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 only available in select locations. Don’t miss out on this unique experience.
Local Tip: Head out there early morning to beat the crowds.
See More: Watch a video of us attempting it at Lake Las Vegas.
19. Cabo Zipline – Mexico’s Longest Zipline →
Fly through the air 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 the Fenway Bar, 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 guided adventure. This allows you to see the Baja Outback and top it off with a camel ride on the beach.
Local Tip: During the winter months, you might even see humpback whales as they swim by.
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.
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.
- Tacos Guss (Tacos, 💰)
- Hacienda Cocina y Cantina (Mexican, 💰💰💰)
- The Office (Mexican, 💰💰)
- The Sand Bar (Mexican, 💰💰)
- El Perigrino (Steak / Seafood, 💰💰)
- El Farallon (Seafood, 💰💰💰💰)
- Manta (Mexican, 💰💰💰)
Let me know if you found some good eats we need to know about!
How to Get to Cabo
Flying into Cabo San Lucas is easy. You can fly into the San Jose del Cabo International Airport (Airport Code: SJD). Once you arrive, you have a few different options:
- Cabo Airport Transportation – Convenient transportation to your hotel with plenty of options from private vans to luxury transportation.
- Rent a Car – Depends on your plans. If you aren’t venturing outside the city and are staying at a convenient location, I wouldn’t rent a car.
- Taxis – Lower costs but can be hit or miss.
- Public Buses – You’ll need to know your way around.
We visited for the day while on a cruise, which is a great way to get a taste of the city, but doesn’t leave you much time to cross off much off your bucket list.
Let me know if you found some good eats we need to know about!
Best Places to Stay in Cabo San Lucas
- Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
- Find a great deal on Cabo San Lucas hotels.
- Arrange a rental car for your trip.
- Book a tour for your visit.
- Get airport lounge access.
- Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
- Get a new backpack for your trip.
- Buy a Cabos travel guide.
- Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
- Don’t forget your in-flight essentials.
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.
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
SEE More City Bucket Lists
15 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN PORTO PORTUGAL
21 REMARKABLE THINGS TO DO IN MADRID SPAIN
11 THINGS TO DO IN REYKJAVIK ICELAND YOU CAN’T MISS
15 INCREDIBLE THINGS TO DO IN TOKYO JAPAN
21 THINGS TO DO IN CABO SAN LUCAS + 1 YOU SHOULDN’T
15 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN TURKS AND CAICOS
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found 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 Las Vegas.
Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.
This Post Has 36 Comments
great food and ambience at Lupita’s tavern on the main drag. About 2 blocks east of Squid Oe. Big Very pink door. Absolutely marvelous!
Where would one go to get the best deal to get to lovers beach?
We just walked around and negotiated with people on shore
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
Thanks for reading! Hope you have a wonderful trip! :)
what happen to the one thing you do not do in CABO SAN LUCAS, never mention
Do not take picture with the Lion cub. Its the last thing.
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…
Thanks, Carrie! That sounds like so much fun! We hope you enjoy it. :)
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
Thanks, Jim and Joanne!
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.
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.
Gotta agree with most, great review, and those pictures are absolutely stunning!
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.
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!
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…..
Great tips! And thank you so much for mentioning the cruelty of wildlife photos!
Hi there! If you don’t mind me asking, what company did you use for the glass bottom boat ride?
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.
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!
Thanks for the recommendations, Tamara. We’ll have to make it back one of these days! :)
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
Yes, please do! :)
Good info- Heading there in November. Has anyone eaten at the Sunset Mona Lisa or Sunset Point?
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
Can’t wait to hear about it!
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!
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. :)
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.
We’ll have to check it out too the next time we go back! :)
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
Thank you for the information, My hubby and I am planing to visit Cabo SanLucas in 6 month with Princess Cruise
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading, Helen. I hope you and your hubby have a wonderful trip! :)
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!
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 :)