Located on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is a popular port of call on many Mexican Riviera itineraries. Originally a fishing village, it quickly grew to become one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations.
For those sailing to Cabo San Lucas, there is a huge range of activities to fill the day, many of which take advantage of the warm, inviting sea and fantastic weather. The resort town sees little to no rain most of the year, a bonus for any traveler.
With diverse terrain including desert areas, incredible nature, and many seaside locations, the outdoor activities are endless. Alternatively, guests wishing to explore the city, gastronomy and culture can choose from many top notch excursions.
Here’s a rundown of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
Do whale watching
Although this can be said of many ports along the Western Riviera, Cabo San Lucas is truly one of the best places for whale watching. Thanks to its geography, the resort town has a prime view of the migration of these mighty creatures as they enter and exit the Sea of Cortez.
The best time to see whales is between December and April, with peak times in late December and January. High-billed starfish include humpback whales, in addition to gray whales and killer whales. Some lucky guests may see blue whales, the largest animals on earth, reaching up to 100 feet in length.
Whether you want to get closer in person in a small zodiac boat or prefer the comfort of a larger vessel, there are plenty of options.
Visit a beach
For an easy and relaxing day, visit one of Cabo San Lucas’ famous beaches. With over 340 days of sunshine a year, it’s always a good time to hit the beach, and there are plenty to choose from. With temperatures averaging in the 80s throughout the year, it’s always warm enough to lie on the soft sands of the local beaches.
Among the best to visit is Chileno Beach, whose crystal clear waters are ideal for snorkeling and swimming. Alternatively, grab a taxi and head to Medano Beach, another great choice. With some of the best watering holes and dining options, plus plenty of water sports like jet ski rentals, it’s a crowd pleaser.
For spectacular views, take a water taxi to Playa del Amor (also known as Lover’s Beach), a great place to sunbathe and enjoy the day. The nearby Divorce Beach is also beautiful, but it is so named because of the choppy water in the area facing the Pacific, so swimming is best skipped.
Try local food
To see a different side of Cabo San Lucas, take a tour or stroll on your own to see what the town has to offer among the many bustling culinary establishments.
Sample the exceptional regional cuisine which includes an abundance of seafood, smoked marlin, pitahaya (dragon fruit) and tamales. To wash it all down, try Damiana Liqueur, an herbal drink made from the leaves of a local plant. Used in ceremonial rituals, the drink has been around for centuries.
Visiting local fresh produce markets is another way to see daily life, trying authentic tacos and other locally made dishes and staples. Be sure to bring home a bottle of Baja seasoning.
Spend a day on a boat
Cabo San Lucas is famous for the picture-perfect El Arco (arch in English), rock formations that jut out of the sea to frame the bay in the most dramatic way. Although this iconic monument can be seen from the beach, it is best explored by boat.
There are many ways to get there, including sailboats and motorboats, with most offering the option of stopping to swim, snorkel, and relax.
Another alternative for families looking to entertain all ages is the Buccaneer Queen, a replica pirate ship that heralds the golden age of piracy. Re-enacting sword fights and a Mexican feast on board, it will keep any potential mutineer out of trouble.
Enjoy thrilling activities
For a day full of energy and adventure, Cabo San Lucas offers a variety of activities that are sure to please. ATV tours are extremely popular and are a great way to explore the region’s deserts and beaches.
A knowledgeable guide will help you see off-road and off-road gems, with options for solo ATVs or larger four-seaters. Some packages even include stops with a zip line for a full day of activity.
On the water, try parasailing. Boats will take you above the bay to see the rock formations from above, the blue ocean and the surrounding town. Mornings often have the best weather conditions for this activity, a great time to try it.
With a thriving underwater ecosystem and a vast array of marine life, snorkeling is hugely popular in Cabo San Lucas. Cruisers can make a day of it, kayak to well-known spots, or enjoy it as part of a boat tour.
One of the highlights is Pelican Rock, where you can snorkel and swim with a multitude of colorful tropical fish against a backdrop of incredible corals. Some lucky guests may even spot playful sea lions or turtles.
Ocean temperatures tend to be mild, ranging between 70 and 80 throughout the year, making it comfortable to engage in water activities of all kinds.
ride a camel
With a dry and arid climate, the local terrain offers unique opportunities not always available in other ports. Taking a luxury camel ride in the desert is a very unique way to experience this popular tourist destination.
Guided tours highlight local flora and fauna, local culture and history while exploring the countryside.
For a midday break, stop for an authentic Mexican lunch, where you can feast on a feast of local dishes. Always a highlight, guests have the chance to sample Mexico’s famous national product, tequila, to complete the experience.
Admire local art and culture
Downtown’s eclectic vibe lends itself well to numerous art galleries, and the city hosts an art walk in the fall and winter to showcase local talent. The area is also known for its silver jewelry, with many handmade pieces making the perfect souvenir.
To learn about the past, visit the Museo de Historia Natural; the town’s Natural History Museum which showcases the area’s rich history dating back thousands of years.
For a fun activity, take a salsa and salsa class where guests learn how to make the traditional Mexican condiment and the famous fast dance with lots of laughs.
Go deep sea fishing
Cabo San Lucas is renowned for its fishing, with the waters home to a wide range of species. Popular with anglers, the town is known as the Marlin Capital of the World and hosts Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament. The legendary competition has been running for over 30 years, attracting participants from all over the world.
There are plenty of other fish in the ocean (as the pun says), including wahoo and yellowfin tuna. Whether it’s a serious day of fishing or a fun afternoon, there are charters to suit everyone.
After a good fishing, take advantage of the local marina, close to the wharf. While enjoying incredible views, sample legendary food and drink at many local establishments.
Visit San Jose del Cabo
Unlike the bustle of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo is its quiet sibling. Offering a taste of a more traditional colonial town, it’s a quick half-hour from Cabo San Lucas and makes a great day trip. (The two cities collectively form the area known as Los Cabos).
Stroll through the town’s main square or step back in time and visit the Mission San José del Cabo, which was built in 1730. Take a stroll, enjoy the excellent local cuisine, shops and galleries.
For those who love birds, a visit to the San Jose Estuary and Bird Sanctuary is a peaceful way to spend the day. Discover the colorful local plants and wildlife, a side of the region that can easily be missed in the city.