Discover miles of beaches of Los Cabos
Beautiful deserted beaches are all around Los Cabos
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Sure, we talk about fishing, about surfing, about diving. About drinking and dancing the night away at a glitzy bar, about riding ATVs on a dusty mountain path. There are a million reasons to visit Los Cabos, but the big one, the reason celebrities and powerful people and tourists of every nationality visit Los Cabos, is simple: miles of beaches. Miles and miles of powdery sand, turquoise waters and sunny vistas, just begging for someone to set up an umbrella, open a refreshing drink and relax…you could do that, couldn’t you?
There are no limits when it comes to beaches in Los Cabos. Whatever you taste, there’s a beach for you. Secluded coves, party central, and surfer’s paradise: we’ve got you covered. So open your imagination, visualize your perfect spot, and enjoy our guide to the beaches of Los Cabos.
Cabo San Lucas and the Pacific Coast
Let’s begin where it all starts: the very tip of the peninsula where the Pacific ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Here is the famous Arco of San Lucas: a delicately arching piece of rock that forms Land’s End, the end of thousands of miles of Baja coastline. Tucked right behind the arch is the romantically inclined Lover’s Beach. So named because this stretch of sand “kisses” two oceans, it’s a short water taxi ride away from Cabo San Lucas. For a few dollars, you can hop on a little boat, tell your captain when you’d like to be picked up (don’t worry, he’ll be there!) and enjoy a unique experience of swimming in two oceans, just a few feet from each other. The Sea of Cortez side is best for swimming, and be careful on the Pacific side, as waves and currents can be strong (if you’re not sure, ask your water taxista).
San Lucas’s famous Medano Beach is a must for partygoers and people watchers. Restaurants and beach clubs line the shore, and jet skis, water taxis and more zip out from the coast. This is spring break central, where the beach is best enjoyed with a tequila shot in hand. Check out some of the beach clubs here: you’ll know them by the music (choose from loud and raucous to chill-out electronica), the wide umbrellas and lounge chairs. But the great thing about Medano, easily the most accessible beach in San Lucas, is it’s size. If you’re not into carousing during the daylight hours, simply take a walk down this powdery stretch of sand. Away from the action, you’ll find it’s a great place to bring families, or watch a spectacular sunset as the sun dips below the arch. The water here is excellent for swimming: boats and water vehicles all enter and exit the water at carefully designated zones, and the tranquil water is perfect for children. Medano Beach has a little something for everyone, and is worth checking out.
Further up the coast on the Pacific side, you’ll notice a distinct change in scenery. Here, you’ll see more “California style” coastline: rolling hills and rock outcroppings dipping into deep blue water. Here it’s all about wild, unspoiled coastlines at then very edge of the world. Enormous cacti line the highway, all the way down to the beach. Cruising up the coastline to Todos Santos, there are some great surfing beaches, including Cerritos. The sand here is extra fine, and not as white as you’ll see on the Sea of Cortez side. The wild Pacific Ocean whips up great beach break waves, perfect for surfing, body boarding or body surfing. Miles of coastline mean lots of empty beaches just waiting for you. Be careful of strong currents on the Pacific side, though: if in doubt, ask a local about currents, or simply enjoy the ambiance close to shore.
The Corridor is the stretch of highway that connects San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas: 30 kilometers of pure bliss, where the crystalline waters of the Sea of Cortez meet the untamed Baja desert. There are a few beaches here that stand out for swimming, but the majority of the coastline is great for a long stroll, but with too many rocks and strong currents for swimming.
Chileno Bay is a local favorite for a number of reasons. Here, little palapas (those grass-covered huts) dot the beach, providing a shady retreat. The water here is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Get into the water on the right-hand side of the beach and you can explore a rocky little coastline teeming with all kinds of fish. The left-hand side of the beach is perfect for swimming, and shallow enough for children. Chileno also has bathrooms and a fresh-water shower, as well as a safe parking lot.
Next to Chileno Bay is another favorite, Santa Maria. This quiet little cove is a white crescent of sand framed by two steep hillsides. The water here is great for swimming and snorkeling, as fish frolic in the rock outcroppings on both sides of the bay. There are no showers or bathrooms here, which cuts down on the beach traffic in general (just be sure to bring your own water for drinking and rinsing off). The parking lot is a dusty little affair at the end of the road, but a friendly security guard is usually on duty making sure your belongings are safe. For many, Santa Maria is the epitome of Cabo: unspoiled, beautiful and often deserted.
San Jose del Cabo
San Jose is home to a number of lovely beaches, each with their own distinct character. As you drive from Cabo San Lucas, the first beach you’ll come to is Palmilla. Palmilla is a true gem: a long, immaculate stretch of white beach, dropping off into placid turquoise waters. Perhaps one of the most beloved beaches in Los Cabos, the hillsides around Palmilla are dotted with luxurious homes and a resplendent golf course. The local community fought long and hard to ensure public access to Palmilla, and today the beach is open to everyone. On weekends and holidays, locals and families crowd the beach and fishermen bring up their catches. However, during the weekdays, take a spin down to Palmilla and you’ll often have the beach to yourself: nothing but swaying palm trees, white sand and the endless ocean to contemplate.
Right past Palmilla is the Costa Azul (or, blue coast) stretch. This includes the famous surf breaks of Acapulquito, La Roca and Zippers. Surfers love Costa Azul for the great summertime waves, but beachgoers can enjoy the sand, sun, sea, and rocky cliffs any time of year. Park your car near the hotel or under the highway at Zippers, walk along the beach and choose a secluded spot to watch the surfers or dip in the water yourself.
Past the estuary in San Jose is the newly-created marina of San Jose del Cabo. Locals love La Playita (or, little beach in Spanish), and it continues to reflect traditional life in Los Cabos, before all the fancy hotels came to town. Here, fishermen use traditional pangas to catch small reef fish, and boats routinely come in with the freshest catches in town. Here you can sample the bounty of the sea, either with freshly caught fish you can cook up later, or ceviche and fish tacos at the little stands along the beach. La Playita is a step back in time, a beach that doubles as a cultural experience.
The East Cape
The East Cape is the place for adventurers: wild landscapes, big waves, big fish, and endless stretches of beaches without another person in sight. Take a drive out here and literally take your pick of what you want: this deserted beach, or the next one? This long, peeling surf break or another one right down the road? You won’t see many other tourists out here, but you will see the clean waters of the Sea of Cortez, some stunning landscapes and perhaps a cow or two.
Most of the beaches here are designated by little handmade signs that state the name of the beach (take Shipwrecks or Nine Palms, for example), and all you do is simply pull off the road and park near the shore. It’s best to come out here with a truck or SUV that can handle some wear and tear, but all sorts of cars can make it out here. Check out the beaches near San Jose, or journey up the coast towards La Paz and check out the Cabo Pulmo marine park and ecological reserve, a diver and snorkeler’s paradise. This is a place to escape from it all and commune with nature, to take a break from the stresses of everyday life. Stay for a while at some of the eco-friendly lodgings along the way, or camp under the stars whatever you prefer. But, when you are ready to rejoin the rest of the world, you’re only a short drive away from San Jose del Cabo.
With so many beaches to choose from, you could easily spend your time in Los Cabos exploring a new beach every day. We’re willing to wager that you’ll find a spot that you like to call your own, a sandy little home-away-from-home. Exploring the miles of beaches here is all about following your heart and discovering something new, whether it be new friends over a round of drinks, a new surf break, or (perhaps) a new outlook on life. Be sure to bring your swimsuits and plenty of sunscreen, and your spirit of adventure.