With a dramatic landscape made up of a desert background and a scenic seaside front, this mix of unusual elements creates an exciting long list of fun things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo, as referred to by the locals is one of Mexico’s premier beach resort destination. It’s located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Its exclusivity and beauty make it a beloved off-the-grid location by many celebrities.
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While it’s wild nature makes it a major spring break destination. For cruisers, however, it’s one of the most fascinating cruise stops on the Mexican Riviera.
If you are scheduled for a Mexican Riviera cruise with a stop in Cabo San Lucas, then here is a list of 20 things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
1. Wander Around the Marina
Cabo San Lucas doesn’t have a cruise terminal yet. Cruise ships anchor a short distance offshore and tender to the Marina. Cabo San Lucas’s Marina is the heart of Cabo. This is a world-class destination marina that hosts fishing, sail, and luxury boats.
More details about the cruise port can be found here.
The large marina features a wraparound Malecon with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping stalls. You will love the lively atmosphere at the Marina as you pop into restaurants, shops, and art studios. Or simply wander around admiring the luxury yachts parked at the Marina.
Many flags on a boat indicate the captains fishing prowess. Enjoy the mariachis playing music along the Malecon and check out Puerto Paraiso, Cabo’s mall at the end of the boardwalk.
2. Explore Lands End
Cabo is famous for its mesmerizing rock formations and most popular is the arch (El Arco de Cabo San Lucas). The first thing you will want to do is take a boat from the Marina to the arch.
Once there you will get a chance to explore the rock formations, the window to the sea where the sea of Cortez meets the Pacific. Or go beach bumming at lover’s beach and divorce beach which lie side by side; each with its own unique seafront.
Find tours featuring this famous sight in Cabo San Lucas.
While at this site you can spot whales, play with sea lions or snorkel. There is plenty of marine life in the waters around the rocks. You can charter a boat at $15 round trip from the marina to El Arco.
3. Bask at Lovers or Divorce Beach
Cabo San Lucas was created for outdoor pursuits especially beach bumming. One of its most popular beaches is Lovers Beach also known as Playa del Armor. Lovers beach is located at the bottom of the rock formations at land’s end.
It features a wide stretch of soft sands caressed by the Sea of Cortez. While its twin, Divorce Beach, is located on the side of the Pacific sea.
Check all the tours for this stunning beach right here.
The pristine Divorce beach, Playa del divorcio as known in Spanish, is great for sunbathing. If you are looking to lie on the sand all day catching some rays, then this is the beach for you. The underwater currents, however, render it unsafe for swimming.
4. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
Water-based activities are popular in Cabo and so is snorkeling and diving. The best place to start your snorkeling adventures is at the pelican rocks in Land’s end. Lots of marine life here, colorful candy-colored fish, sea lions, and sea urchins.
Santa Maria Bay in the east is also a good place to snorkel and see some schooling rays. You might even spot a banded guitarfish.
Another great snorkeling spot is Chileno beach. But its best visited early before the snorkeling boats make the rounds. Take a bus or taxi to get to either Chileno or Santa Maria beaches.
However, if you are looking for an advanced snorkeling experience then you should try Cabo Pulmo Park, a UNESCO heritage marine park with over 800 species of marine life including 5 of the 7 endangered turtle species. Cabo Pulmo is a bit far, book and go early enough.
5. Go Whale and Dolphin Watching
Witness one of the most memorable experiences on a whale watching tour. Cabo San Lucas has the lucky advantage of being a birthplace of nine of the most common whale species. Best of all, they return yearly to birth their calves in the warm waters of Baja California Sur.
Book a whale watching cruise with a reputable tour operator and enjoy sighting these marvelous creatures as they breach and blow. Cabo has some of the most skilled whale watching tour operators who combine the prowess of a seasoned captain with marine biologists.
They use sound technology to track the whales and teach you a lot about whales. A whale watching tour lasts about two and a half hours and you are almost always guaranteed to spot them especially from January to march.
6. Desert ATV
Another fun way to explore Cabo is on an off-road adventure. Baja California Sur offers a perfect landscape for off-roading. The desert terrain offers a challenging, scenic and fun opportunity for adrenaline junkies.
Take an ATV tour of the desert, negotiate the dusty, rocky, and muddy terrain as you zoom past multiple species of cactus that are endemic to the Baja only.
Drive past canyons, over sand dunes, and along the cliff enjoying panoramic views of the ocean. This is a truly incredible experience that you don’t want to miss. Expect to get dirty, so don’t wear anything you value too much.
7. Taste Cabo
Don’t miss out on Cabo’s impeccable cuisine made up of different flavors from Mexico and the international scene. Try chocolate clams, fish tacos, shrimp, lobster, chicken or pork tamales fajados and the smoked marlin.
Thanks to the high population of expatriates in Cabo San Lucas; interesting flavors from all over the world have made their way to Cabo creating an interesting array of dishes and flavors. However, Mexican staples such as fish tacos and guacamole still stand out and taste better than they ever did.
Check all these food and wine tours which will get your taste buds going!
Move further away from the touristy places venturing deeper into downtown Cabo San Lucas for authentic Baja cuisines. Some reputable joints include Los Claros, Maro’s Shrimp House, Hacienda Cocina Cantina, and Maria Corona.
Some touristy places that you should also check out include ‘The Office’, Captain Tony’s, and Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant.
8. Zip Line
Los Cabo boasts of having the longest zip line in all of Mexico. Get a bird’s eye view of Baja’s dramatic landscape as you zip line the course. This energetic and fun activity is set up in Boca de la Sierra. A biosphere protected by UNESCO.
Your zip line adventure includes a scenic one-and-a-half-hour drive to a nearby town. A short hike or ATV ride takes you to the base of a mountain where you are given a safety briefing.
Then on begins a thrilling ride high above the canyons with stunning views of incredible rock formations, the landscape, and lagoons in the area. The highlight of the trip is probably zip lining on the Superman.
After all the fun, you can grab a nice authentic Mexican dish at the base of the mountain.
From Talavera pottery to Huichol yarn paintings, blown glass, sarape, huaraches, and beaded masks. You can shop for authentic Mexican souvenirs when in Cabo San Lucas.
Purchase your souvenirs from Amazon by clicking here.
Your shopping tour starts at Plaza Puerto Paraiso on the Marina but for cheaper and authentic souvenirs venture further into downtown Cabo.
Cabo San Lucas is known as the art center of Mexico keep an eye out for interesting pieces of art from local and international artists.
10. Get a Relaxing Massage for Half the Price
Some cruisers stay back on the ship on port days to take advantage of spa discounts. In Cabo San Lucas you will want to get out, breath the desert-ocean air as you take a relaxing massage on the beach or at a luxury resort Spa.
The deep tissue massages in Cabo are famous for getting you as relaxed as you deserve. There are plenty of massage places but for the best prices go to the tents at the beach.
Also Read: 60 Things to Do in Cozumel, Mexico for Cruise Passengers
11. Water Sports at Medano Beach
If you are looking for a swimmable beach in Cabo San Lucas, then Medano Beach is it. This is the beach that runs from the mouth of the Marina past the Villa del Palmar Riu hotel. It’s warm, clear and calm waters coupled with soft white sands make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
It’s a lively, active beach packed with plenty of water sports. Medano is where you go to Jet ski, kayak, paddle board or even get that rejuvenating deep tissue massage.
You’re going to need a waterproof pouch for these type of activities.
It can get crowded with many ships in port but the further you walk from the crowds the better chance you have at getting secluded spaces.
12. Swim at Chileno Beach
Chileno beach is arguably the best beach in Cabo San Lucas. It’s located along the 33km highway connecting the Los Cabos towns known as the ‘Tourist corridor’. It features a wide stretch of white soft sands.
It’s clear, shallow turquoise waters are the reason it’s so beloved. It’s a good swimming beach even for the kids, snorkeling is also good at Chileno.
Chileno has a great ambiance to it, with a scenic surrounding landscape. Since it has amenities in place you are guaranteed to have an excellent beach time with a nearby place to grab a bite or drink.
13. Snorkel at Santa Maria Beach
Still on the tourist corridor is another great beach. Santa Maria beach is one of the best beaches for snorkeling. It is a well-protected bay that acts as a haven for marine life.
The horseshoe-shaped beach has perfect soft white sands, warm, clear and calm waters. It’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling or just sunbathing. It’s about a 20minute ride from Cabo San Lucas. You can take a $2 bus, taxi or an UBER.
14. Visit the Nearby Town of San Jose del Cabo
Escape from the noise and busyness of Cabo San Lucas by taking a sightseeing trip to the neighboring town of San Jose del Cabo. San Jose is the quieter and more elegant of the two.
It’s a good example of a traditional Mexican town with a family/community vibe to it. Put together, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo make up the Los Cabos.
San Jose’s colorful colonial-style streets are often quiet and uncrowded. Take refuge under a palm tree, or people watch at Plaza Mijares (main plaza) taking in the rich culture and heritage of the place.
Some of the town’s highlights include the beautifully decorated Mission of San Jose del Cabo church and the city hall built back in in the 18th century.
One major thing to do in San Jose is to participate in the art walk at the art district. The art walk is fun for everyone not only the art connoisseurs. It involves strolling from one art gallery to another enjoying the incredible creativity exhibited in the place.
15. Go Sport Fishing
Cabo San Lucas is a paradise for sport fishing fans, it’s where you can catch your greatest catch yet. Sport-fishing is one of the most popular activities in Cabo San Lucas and what put this once sleepy fishing village on the map.
The nutrient-rich waters of Los Cabos play host to a myriad of fish species with the striped Marlin being Cabo’s claim to fame. Charter a fishing boat at the marina and enjoy the day deep or fly fishing.
You might be surprised to catch one or two large marlins on your trip. Dorado and Mahi Mahi might also end up in your fish basket. Enjoy the support of skilled, experienced and helpful fishing crew.
16. Swim with Whale Sharks
Swimming with whale sharks is a rare experience offered in Cabo San Lucas. If you crave a closer contact with some of the largest creatures in the deep blue sea, then this is it. It’s one of the most memorable experiences and many have called it a highlight of their trip.
This exhilarating adventure takes place in La Paz. Enjoy the scenic ride to the capital of Baja California del Sur where you will take a guided boat trip to the sea and get to swim with these gentle creatures. You will part with approximately $200 for this trip, but it’s something you will never forget.
17. Camel Safari
Camels are the ultimate desert animals, and if you are going to explore one up close, then these gentle creatures are your ticket to such an experience.
Enjoy a fun and unique experience in Cabo San Lucas on a guided camel ride across the desert. You will explore amazing sceneries and even get to ride the camel on the beach.
The tour starts with a ride to the desert mountains, then an ATV takes you to the beach where you get to ride these lovable animals.
Sunscreen can be expensive on the ship, get a cheaper one from here.
It’s a guided tour and you get to learn tons of interesting stuff about camels and the desert flora and fauna. Afterward, you are treated to an authentic Mexican lunch and to tequila tasting.
18. Learn to Standup Paddle Board
Have you been wanting to try to stand up paddle boarding but just didn’t know how to? Well in Cabo San Lucas you can get an instructor to train you on how to use the board and maneuver with it.
Paddleboarding classes take place at the beautiful and calm Medano beach. They guarantee you will know how to use the board within an hour. Once you know your way around the paddle board; you practice some and are released to go on longer gliding tours like to land’s end, where you can snorkel at pelican rock.
Los Cabos is on a fast track to becoming Mexico’s ultimate golf destination if it isn’t already. It features 15 world class courses with seven of them in Cabo San Lucas. Some of the most challenging and distinct golf courses in Cabo include the Cabo San Lucas Country club a 27 hole course designed by golfing expert Jack Nicklaus.
A unique desert course found at del Sol overlooking the sea of Cortez, designed by Tom Weiskopf and the stunning diamante el cardinal designed by Tiger Woods. Tee off early and sink a hole in one in one of these perfectly manicured courses while enjoying the views with a cold cocktail.
20. Tour Down Town Cabo
Nothing beats a scenic sightseeing tour of a destination. It’s informative, free and a great way to interact with locals. Take a walking or bicycle tour of downtown Cabo San Lucas and discover it’s charming cultural diversity.
Places of interest include the national museum of history located in the heart of downtown. It’s a great place to escape the heat of the day and learn something about this town which has been inhabited for over 10,000 years.
The museum features a paleo-botany exhibit, a sea bio-diversity exhibit, and a large history exhibit. Explore skeletons of the Pericú people who were the original inhabitants of Baja California and great paleo-anthropology discoveries. It’s an exciting place for history buffs and everyone in the family including the kids.
Also Read: What to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on a Cruise Vacation
See You in Cabo…
As you have read, Cabo offers a lot of unique things to see and do. It’s a great place to visit any time of the year but if you are going for a specific activity like whale watching, or big game fishing then knowing the right season is crucial for perfect results.
A most popular time to visit Cabo is during the winter season running from mid-December to Mid-April. This is also the perfect time for whale watching, the temperatures hover in the mid 70’s which is great for outdoor activities. This is, however, the most expensive season.
The best time to visit Cabo is May- June, that is before the rainy season kicks in and after the winter crowd has left. The sport-fishing season is best experienced from September onwards. Mid May to November is the hurricane season but Baja California seldom experiences direct hits.
There you have it, everything you need in preparation to help make your trip to Cabo San Lucas memorable. Happy cruising!!