Cabos San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos…wherever you end up, this sun-soaked strip is one of the top destinations in all of Mexico.
Camel rides across a windswept beach, sunset sails where a cotton-candy pink sky casts a soft light over the famous Arch, and swimming with sea lions in the sparkling Sea of Cortez are just some of the fun things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
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Famous for its long stretches of golden beaches framed by dazzling turquoise water, great restaurants and oceanfront resorts, Los Cabos has it all whether you’re looking for adrenaline-fuelled adventures or a more laid-back, scenic outing.
Here’s an overview of this beloved area of Baja California Sur, including 30 of the best activities in and around Cabo.
San Jose del Cabo vs Cabo San Lucas vs Los Cabos
Before getting into all the unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas, it’s important to understand the area a bit.
The entire resort area consists of Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos and San Jose del Cabo, which are actually three different small cities along the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Cabo San Lucas is the more developed area with dozens of of golf courses, luxury and boutique hotels, a marina where huge, glittering yachts are docked, and a bustling centre with lots of great restaurants, outdoor patios, bars and shopping. Most tours depart from here, and it’s also the getaway to the famous Arch (El Arco) which was naturally carved out of the sea cliffs.
Usually, hotels in Cabo San Lucas don’t all include dining plans or beach access which is why the majority of people only visit Cabo San Lucas to join a tour or go out for dinner versus basing themselves there for the week.
Los Cabos is a short drive down the road, and refers more to the tourist corridor of resorts so this is actually where most people visiting on an all-inclusive vacation to Mexico end up staying.
The colourful, artsy town of San Jose del Cabo is a 40 minute drive east of Cabos San Lucas, and there are a number of all-inclusive resorts here as well.
It’s extremely important to note that the water can be extremely dangerous to swim in, due to the strong waves and an undertow. This means tourists are encouraged to simply lounge on the beach and jump into a pool to cool off instead.
1) Take a boat ride to El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
El Arco de Cabo San Lucas is Baja’s most iconic landmark, so visiting ‘the Arch’ is a must-do in Cabo.
The Arch is made up of giant rock formations where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, and surrounded by golden beaches.
The massive white rocks are complemented by the brilliant blue water, making it a great spot for pictures. There are vibrant, tropical fish in the water (which makes this a popular diving spot), sea otters lounging on the rocks, and if you’re lucky maybe even whales or dolphins off in the distance.
There aren’t any facilities on the beach, but you can usually rent a chair or buy some overpriced water from an enterprising vendor.
It’s extremely important to take note of the warning signs sprinkled across Divorce Beach to not go in the water, as numerous tourists have drowned after being swept away by large waves. Take a leisurely walk around the beach and scramble up on the rocks, before laying out your plush towel to soak in the sun.
Most tours to the Arch include hotel pickup, or you can head to the boardwalk at the marina in Cabo San Lucas and hire a boat to drop you off there. Click here to book
2) Enjoy a romantic sunset sail to The Arch
Another unique way to visit the Arch is during a dreamy sunset sail to see the formations framed by a soft pink sky.
Most tours include live music, dinner and/or an open bar, and you can cheers to the end of a perfect day in Mexico as you sail past the sea lion colony, Lover’s Beach and along the Pacific coast.
3) Enjoy an epic view while parasailing in Cabo
To get a unique viewpoint of The Arch, head up…way up…and go parasailing.
Cabo San Lucas is a great place to parasail since there’s so much to see; enjoy a birds-eye view of Cabo San Lucas Bay, El Arco and the Medano Beaches from 600 feet above. Flights last about 15 minutes and can be done single or tandem.
Book a parasailing Los Cabos tour:
4) Check out the San Jose del Cabo Art Walk
One of the top, cheap things to do in Cabo San Lucas is drive, take a bus or taxi over to San Jose del Cabo and walk around this charming area known for its artisans.
Every Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm there’s an Art Walk where artists showcase their work along the streets, and galleries are open to walk through.
The historic centre is lined with cafés, restaurants, boutiques and souvenir stalls, many with vibrant facades that turn the streets into a living canvas.
One of the best things to do in San Jose del Cabo is join an organized walking tour to learn more about the town’s history; otherwise, it’s easy to hop on one of the buses that frequent the strip between San Jose del Cabo and the resort areas for those who prefer to explore on their own schedule.
Sip a cold margarita on a rooftop patio as you look down at the quaint town square, which includes a fountain and coloured tile covering the plaza.
Book a guided tour to San Jose del Cabo:
5) Try camel riding in Cabo
You don’t have to head to the Middle East to ride a camel: just book a camel tour in Baja.
The half-day excursion includes a nature walk through the desert, a delicious traditional lunch of Mexican favourites like quesadillas, beans and mole (topped off with a tequila tasting, naturally), and the main event: riding a camel.
Get decked out in a flowing turban before hopping up onto the hump of one of the calm camels for a leisurely stroll along a white sand beach, which just might be the next best thing to being in the Sahara.
Watch the water for breeching whales or jumping pods of dolphins that frequent the area, then finish off the day with a camel selfie. Yes, that’s really a thing. And it’s amazing. Click here to book
READ MORE: Camel riding in Cabo: Adventure in Mexico’s Baja outback
6) Go horseback riding on the beach
Camels not quite your thing? Opt this horseback riding tour in Cabo instead and canter along the Pacific coastline.
Saddle up at an authentic Baja Californian ranch, then gallop along pristine beaches, ocean-side cliffs and check out the incredible six-metre-tall cacti. Click here to book
7) Get your adrenaline pumping during a Los Cabos zip lining tour
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush in Cabo, zip lining fits the bill.
Soar over the tree tops and desert canyons on the multi-track steel cables: some courses are nearly 3,000 feet long, have suspension bridges and allow guests to latch on to each other to enjoy the ride together.
The adventure lasts a few hours, includes transportation and some even cap off the fun with a tequila tasting.
Book one of these tours to zipline Cabo San Lucas:
8) Go on a high-octane Cabo ATV tour
One of the most thrilling–and dirty–activities in Cabo San Lucas is an ATV adventure into the Baja outback.
Zoom across the desert landscape, canyons and beaches in areas that are only accessible to 4X4s, to see a different part of Baja. This tour combines a trip with camel riding and tequila tasting, while this one includes horseback riding.
Book ATV riding in Cabo:
9) Play all day at Wild Canyon Adventures
If both the ATV tour and zip lining sound like fun, you do both by booking this Los Cabos Adventure Park Pass. Admission to the Wild Canyon Adventure Park is like an all-inclusive tour with unlimited rides on the zip line, horseback and camel rides, bungee jumping, ATV and UTV tours.
There’s almost no way to try and fit all of these fun Los Cabos activities into a single day, but this is the best way to try!
10) Admire the views while hiking in Cabo San Lucas
For a more chill way to explore the Baja California Peninsula, hiking near Cabo San Lucas is a great way to get some exercise while learning more about the local flora and fauna.
Some of the most popular hikes in this area are:
- Esperanza, an easy 1.6km loop with great views of the ocean and surrounding islands
- Playa El Medano, another easy option that’s a 1.2 km out-and-back trail along a couple of beaches that’s great at sunrise and sunset
- Fox Canyon, where trails lead past a series of pools and a waterfall where you can take a dip and cool off
Of course it gets very hot in the desert, so head out first thing in the morning or late afternoon, wear a hat and sunscreen, and bring plenty of water. Going with a guide who’s knowledgable about the area is also a good idea for safety reasons, here are some top-rated options:
11) Snorkel around vibrant reefs in Cabo Pulmo National Park
Love crystal-clear water and seeing incredible sea life up close? Then you’ll want to head to Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, which is a two hour drive northeast of the Cabo area.
Surrounded by vast desert and a towering mountain range, pristine beaches frame a shallow bay with three living reefs, including the only hard coral reef in North America.
Slip on snorkel gear and you just might spot turtles, tropical fish and sea lions.
Book a tour to Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park:
12) See the underwater world while diving in Cabo
Cabo Pulmo is also an excellent dive site, and during this two-tank tour it’s possible to spot the likes of hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, coral reefs, turtles and a 19th century shipwreck.
No worries if you’re not PADI-certified yet: you can book a beginner scuba diving experience to learn the basics in a shallow pool before heading to The Arch for a quick dive with instructors.
13) Explore the lively city of La Paz
To see a more traditional side of Mexico, head two hours north to the lively city of La Paz.
There are so many things to do in La Paz that many people base themselves here for a week, though it is possible to get a taste of it during a day trip.
Book a guided excursion with a local company for some insider knowledge, or venture out on your own through the compact quarter starting at the famous La Paz Malecon.
The five kilometre long walkway hugs the waterfront, and is lined with plenty of fantastic restaurants, bars, shops and marine-themed sculptures honouring the city’s deep roots in the pearl industry.
Head down one of the quiet side streets to admire the colourful murals, then drop by the towering Catedral de La Paz, the historical city hall and Teatro Juarez which houses history and art exhibits.
14) Sail on a luxury catamaran in the Sea of Cortez
One of the best Cabo excursions (and one of my all time favourite day trips ever!) heads to La Paz where a gleaming, white catamaran awaits.
The Sea of Cortez Adventure is an incredible full day excursion on a yacht outfitted with bathrooms and multiple lounge areas both inside and out.
Set sail for the UNESCO-protected national park which is made up of 244 islands. Note the rust-red topography of Espiritu Santo Island as you pass by en route to the first stop of the day: snorkelling with sea lions.
About 500 of them call the area home year-round, and the playful pups have been known to swim right up to snorkelers and divers.
Those who aren’t comfortable in the water can get a glimpse of them from the boat, as there are usually dozens of sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks. Even if you can’t see them, you’ll definitely be able to hear them!
The fun continues after noshing on a delicious lunch, when the boat sails into pristine Candelara Bay. The secluded spot has water so blue you’ll be left awestruck, yet it’s so clear that you can see almost down to the bottom—perfect for spotting tropical fish, octopus and starfish.
Slip on your snorkel gear to explore, or simply relax on a floaty as you sip a cocktail and soak in the picture-perfect scene. Click here to book
15) Swim with whale sharks in La Paz
For another bucket list-worthy adventure, head up to La Paz and go face to face with whale sharks.
From November through March, this is one of the few places in the world where you can snorkel with these gentle giants who are the world’s largest fish and reach lengths of up to 17 metres and weigh more than 30 tons.
Luckily, they’re totally harmless since they feed exclusively on plankton and small fish, which makes them easy to spot from above the water’s surface when they bob their heads up to feed.
Book this whale shark tour from Los Cabos which includes transfers, snorkeling with the whale sharks, lunch and a quick stop in Todos Santos.
16) Spot humpback whales during a whale watching tour
You don’t have to go all the way to La Paz to see big fish: instead, book a whale watching tour in Cabo San Lucas for a chance to see humpbacks up close.
Led by marine biologists, spend a few hours sailing past spots like The Arch, keeping an eye out for the majestic creatures which frequent these waters from December to April.
Book a whale watching tour with Viator:
17) Reel in a big catch while deep sea fishing in Cabo San Lucas
Speaking of big fish, reel in a big catch by booking a deep sea fishing tour.
Half and full day tours depart first thing in the morning, so you’ll enjoy a gorgeous sunrise with your morning coffee while casting a line to snag snappers and marlins.
This is one of the best things to do in Los Cabos for groups since most boats are set up for private groups of four people are more, and if you’re lucky you might even catch something to eat for dinner!
Book one of the best Cabo fishing charters:
18) Go skydiving–inside
Mexico is known for its hot, sunny days, but it can rain from time to time. Instead of losing a full day of vacation, try indoor skydiving.
Whether you’re a first time flyer or have done the real thing a few times, this activity is suitable for all skill levels and the time you’ll spend experiencing the fun feeling of weightlessness is the equivalent of two skydives–without having to jump out of an airplane.
19) Explore the cute town of Todos Santos
Todos Santos is one of my favourite places in all of Mexico, so to be honest I don’t even really want to mention it here in case it gets overrun with tourists, but it’s such a special spot it’s kind of unfair to keep this place a secret.
Todos Santos is a one hour drive north along the coast from Cabo San Lucas, and designated as a Pueblo Mágico (essentially Mexico’s version of a UNESCO site).
Known for its colourful town centre, local artisans and colonial buildings, it feels like a place untouched by time.
Spend a day ducking into the crafts market, boutiques, art galleries and handicraft shops, with a compulsory stop at the Hotel California.
Yes, it’s the same hotel that was made popular in the iconic song by The Eagles’, though it’s not actually what the band was technically referencing. But, anyway, now it’s a thing.
Enjoy lunch there, or at eateries like farm-to-table Jazamango which fantastic though you’re just as well off grabbing a $2 taco from one of the local spots–yes, they’re that good!
Another reason to love Todos Santos are the beaches, which are among the best in all of Baja and chances are you won’t see another soul around.
Book a guided tour of Todos Santos from Cabo San Lucas:
20) Pretend to be a superhero while flyboarding
One of the cool, crazy things to do in Cabo San Lucas is called flyboarding, where you can channel your inner superhero by shooting out of the water and hovering about eight feet above the surface on a board attached to a water jetpack.
The first time you try it will be more about getting your balance and enjoying the thrill, but if you happen to get the hang of it quickly your instructor might teach you some acrobatic stunts! Click here to book
21) Learn how to kiteboard in La Ventana
La Ventana is a wind sports hot spot in Baja California Sur about two hours north of San Jose del Cabo, making this an ideal spot to learn how to fly a kite.
The small fishing village hits its peak from October through April, when surfers and kiteboarders load up their gear and head down to play in the surf with a stunning backdrop of the Sea of Cortez and Jacques Cousteau Island.
One of the top spots for kiteboarding La Ventana is Baja Joe’s, thanks to its on-site kiting school with jet-ski assisted lessons, two way radios, lessons and rentals, while ChiloChill offers lessons right from the beach.
22) Hit the links
Los Cabos has more than a dozen golf courses, including some designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Greg Norman.
Some of the holes are stunning, with views of the Sea of Cortez, Pacific Ocean and foothills dotted with cacti.
Top picks for hitting the fairway include Cabo del Sol, Solmar Golf Links and Quivera Golf Club which was ranked as one of the world’s top 100 courses by Golf Digest.
23) Get away from the crowds on the best beaches in Baja
The Baja California Sur beaches are among the world’s best stretches of sand, so one of the fun Cabo day trips is to hop in a car and go beach hopping along the peninsula. Some top picks are:
El Faro Beach Club (1 hour drive from Los Cabos)
This happening beach club is owned by the Guaycura Boutique Hotel, but you don’t have to be a guest of the property to enjoy this spot. With a fabulous restaurant, spa, multiple bars serving up cool cocktails, plenty of loungers and an infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, El Faro Beach Club is the ultimate place to unwind.
Playa Balandra (2.5 hour drive from Los Cabos)
This picturesque bay has a handful of white sand beaches, a salt water lagoon, swirling sandbars, dunes and rock formations. You can rent a paddleboard and SUP through mangroves, then enjoy fresh ceviche right on the beach.
READ MORE: Baja beaches: The best sun spots near La Paz and Todos Santos, Mexico
Book a guided tour from Cabo:
24) Ride the waves during a Cabo San Lucas surfing lesson
Surfers can’t get enough of Los Cerritos beach in Todos Santos, renowned for its forgiving swells which are great for all skill levels from expert riders to those catching their first wave.
Book a surf lesson, or rent a board from one of the operators on the beach. There’s also a beach club with a restaurant, bathrooms and outdoor showers.
This tour includes transportation from the Cabo San Lucas area, a surf lesson, beach and fresh tacos for lunch before heading back. Click here to book
You don’t have to head to Todos Santos to surf; Cabo has e-foiling, a unique experience where you’ll essentially hop on a motorized surf board and glide along the water’s surface in Medano Bay.
If your balance is good enough, you might even catch some air!
25) Kayak to the Arch
Explore the area around the famous Arch without as many crowds, by hopping in a kayak or onto a standup paddleboard.
Take a break on the beach, then head over to Pelican Cove for a snorkelling session to see large schools of fish and, yes, pelicans!
26) Spend the night glamping in Mexico under the stars
Looking for an escape from the busy all-inclusive resorts? Why not book a night or two of glamping in Mexico.
Camp Cecil is an incredible option right on a secluded beach right on the Sea of Cortez. Spacious, beachfront tents are nestled into a peaceful bay, perfectly located just steps from the calm water which makes it easy to head out for a sunrise paddle or sunset SUP session at a moment’s notice.
Each one is beautifully decorated, and outfitted with comfortable queen or twin beds, crisp white towels and linens, multiple chairs for lounging, a fan, mirror and wicker side tables, and plenty of space to store suitcases.
Another option is ChiloChill glamping resort in Le Ventana, which has 10 tents right on the white sand beach just steps away from the water. Each one has either a king size or two queen beds, a fan, and a private, open-air bathroom complete with a bathtub. Click here to book
27) Sample local flavours during a Cabo food tour
Celebrate #TacoTuesday by indulging in a local food tour, tequila tasting, or both!
This guided food tour in San Jose del Cabo combines a visit to a market with sampling both savoury and sweet specialties and tequila, while this 90-minute tasting workshop in Cabos San Lucas features handmade tequilas and smoky Mezcals with food pairings.
Book a food tour in Cabo with Viator:
28) Eat at The Office
Speaking of great food, one of the top restaurants in Cabo San Lucas is The Office on the Beach.
A mainstay since the 1970’s, it started in a little palapa on Medano Beach and has since grown and attracted celebs including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and George Clooney who’ve come to nosh on coconut shrimp, fresh sea bass and tuna tiradito while enjoying views of San Lucas Bay and the Land’s End Arch.
29) Let loose and party
If there’s one thing people love to do in Mexico it’s party, and here you can dance the night away on land and water.
Book a late-night party boat complete with a live DJ and champagne showers, sunset party cruise, or a VIP nightclub tour to see three of Cabo’s hottest nightlife spots.
30) Celebrate Dia de los Muertos, AKA the Day of the Dead
If you time your trip to Mexico just right, you’ll be able to take part in what’s considered a bucket list item for many people: celebrating the Day of the Dead.
The festival happens every year from October 31 to November 2, when shrines dedicated to loved ones who have passed are created by placing their photo on an altar and surrounding it with items that remind them of the deceased.
While the best celebrations happen in Mexico City and Oaxaca, you’ll still be able to get into the festivities since smaller parties take place in places like La Paz where a plaza is transformed into a sea of altars, food stalls, and a main stage with live music.
There’s also a parade of ‘Catrinas’, where contestants outfitted in incredible skeleton costumes complete with over the top hats and even stilts compete for the best-dressed title.
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It looks so beautiful! What time of year did you go and which are the best months to visit Cabo in terms of climate?
It is beautiful! I went in March, and the weather was hot hot hot. It’s hot year-round, so there really is no bad time to do. However, it can be more expensive around Christmas since so many people go. I’d say January-April is a good bet.
Thanks for the tips! I’ll now have to work on finding a good deal – last time I browsed, trips from London to Cabo were quite pricey but everybody who goes seems to say it’s worth it so I’m very keen! Happy New Year!
Best of luck, hope you find something!!
Best time to go is around the second week of May, then you don’t have the spring breakers or the young kids who are out of school.
Hi Jessica, thanks for the tip!
Good catch- unfortunate typo! I think I meant to write that it’s “safe to walk around in” versus “safe to walk between.” You’re right, that would be a very long walk indeed wouldn’t it!
Another great place to visit is TodasSantos about 30 miles north of Cabo….there is a beach called Cerritos where a lot of locals hang and surf…super laid back area but to get to the beach you’ll have to drive at least 5 miles on a dirt road but so worth it IMHO.
TS is my happy place! I plan to write an article about it soon but also touched on it in this piece 🙂 https://www.globeguide.ca/baja-beaches-near-la-paz-todos-santos/