A view of Lover's Beach Cabo San Lucas

20 Exciting Things To Do in Cabo San Lucas

Travelers from around the world are drawn to the aquamarine waters and pleasant year-round temperatures of Cabo San Lucas. Unfortunately, it sometimes gets a bad rap because of it’s party reputation. And yes, it might be a bit more touristy than some other beach destinations like Puerto Vallarta or La Paz, but don’t count it out.

Cabo’s unique location surrounded by water, on the Baja Peninsula, makes it one of the best places to visit in Mexico. I’ve been traveling south of the border since I was 15 and fell in love with Cabo a long time ago. So, if you’re headed to Cabo then bookmark this list of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas. It’s ideal for first timers, repeat visitors and even someone who’s only in town for a day on a cruise.

.

This post contains affiliate links. That means I may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you book or buy something from a link I provide. This keeps Southerner Says online and on the road. Thank you for your support.

Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

1. Visit Land’s End

One of the most recognizable places in North America is Land’s End and Cabo’s iconic Arch, or el Arco. You can see the Arch from most of the beaches and many of the hotels in Cabo but getting up close on a boat tour is definitely best.

Whether you prefer an organized tour on a catamaran or a smaller panga (boat) with one of the many guides offering tours on Medano Beach, getting to the Arch is just a short ride across the Sea of Cortez. This should be at the top of your best things to do in Cabo San Lucas list.

A boat tour to the Arch will take you along the stunning coastline of Land’s End and provide awesome views of the rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Along the way, you might spot sea lions lounging on the rocks at the Reserva de Lobos Marinos and possibly even see whales breaching in the distance.

Want to see the Arch in a different way? Then book a kayak tour to the Arch or a glass-bottomed boat.

The beautiful Arch of Cabo San Lucas at Land's End, Baja Sur, one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas.

2. Stroll Lover’s Beach

The tip of the Baja Peninsula forms two of the most gorgeous beaches in Cabo San Lucas – Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach. Because of Baja’s shape, Lover’s Beach, or Playa del Amor, faces the mainland of Cabo so it’s somewhat protected and calmer.

Divorce Beach, on the south side of the peninsula, faces the open waters of the Pacific with rougher surf and bigger waves. In fact, it it’s not already obvious, the two names come from the differences in the two beaches.

You can access both beaches on a boat tour and most of the Arch tours drop passengers off for a chance to explore Lover’s Beach. From there you can easily walk over to Divorce Beach. Just remember that swimming is not recommended on Divorce Beach because of the rough water and currents.

There are no vendors or facilities of any kind on the beach so if you want drinks or snacks or a towel to sit on, then bring it along. A drybag to keep your phone from getting wet or a backpack for your stuff also isn’t a bad idea. I like these towels or now you have a reason to purchase something local.

3. Go Deep Sea Fishing

I could list plenty of reasons why I’m not a huge fan of deep sea fishing but the main one is because it usually means getting up before the sun to get to your fishing spot. Not my idea of fun on a vacation.

However, turns out that deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean is one of the most amazing things to do in Cabo San Lucas. Even though it’s deep sea fishing, the tour we were on only went a few miles out so there was always land in sight and that was very reassuring.

Of course, the best part of the experience is the catch if you’re lucky. On our last trip, we not only reeled in mahi mahi but also a marlin. Cabo is known for sportfishing so you are almost guaranteed to catch something. And if you are lucky, you might just spot other sea life like turtles and whales.

4. Meet Pancho the Sea Lion

As you return to the marina from deep sea fishing, tell your captain you’d like to meet Pancho the sea lion. Pancho has become quite a celebrity in Cabo San Lucas.

He likes to greet the boats as they return with their catches because he knows they are good for a quick easy meal. Pancho jumps on the back of the boat for his handout. I suspect there is more than one Pancho but it’s still a fun thing to do in Cabo San Lucas.

Pancho the Sea Lion looking for something to eat Cabo San Lucas
Pancho and a pelican friend

5. Try Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle, or SUP, is a popular activity in Cabo San Lucas. With its (usually) calm, clear waters and stunning coastal scenery, Cabo is the perfect place to enjoy this fun water sport. SUP enthusiasts can paddle along the shoreline, admire the rock formations and interesting marine life.

If you’re a first-timer, the calm waters at Medano Beach are the ideal place to learn. Plus, it’s super convenient to rent a board from your hotel or a tour operator on the beach. Many of the resorts have protected, roped-off areas so you’ll feel comfortable and safely tucked away from boats and jet-skis.

Generally, rentals are available by the day or by the hour. However, if it’s your first time, I suggest starting with an hour to see how you like it. You can always extend your time or try again on another day.

6. Check Out San Jose de Cabo

For as much as Cabo San Lucas has a party vibe, its sister city, San Jose de Cabo, is the complete opposite. Quieter, more laid back and totally chill, it’s a different, welcome experience from the much livelier Cabo San Lucas.

Just a short drive, or bus ride over, San Jose del Cabo is about an hour away from Cabo San Lucas and 20 minutes from San Jose del Cabo Airport (SJD). You actually drive through when you arrive by airplane.

Get a taste of authentic Mexico culture in the colorful historic center and attend the weekly art walk focusing on local artists and vendors. Or check out some of the beachside hangouts or the marina for the day.

7. Set Sail on a Sunset Cruise

Some of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life have been in Baja. Experiencing a sunset on a boat makes a vacation in Cabo that more memorable a way to experience the end of the day. There are several tour companies that offer sunset cruises but Cabo Blue’s catamaran sail tour is one of a kind.

Instead of a bigger party type boat, the vibe on the catamaran is is more peaceful. Just a bunch of people drinking beer and watching the sunset. Many of the tour companies serve dinner but the Cabo Blue tour we chose was strictly appetizers that included ceviche and other snacks, served along icy cold Pacificos. It was the perfect way to end the day.

If you can only swing one tour in Cabo San Lucas then I recommend booking a sunset sail like this romantic one or this luxury yacht and chef dinner cruise. Sunset on the water is truly an unforgettable experience and one I would do again and again.

8. Get Off-Road

For a bit of off road excitement on your Cabo vacation, get the adrenaline flowing is with an ATV trip to the desert. The tours guide you through the surrounding desert landscapes and you’ll get a chance to see some of the rural parts of the city. Plus, terrific ocean views.

Most tour agencies offer half-day and full-day excursions with varying levels of difficulty and terrain. Some include a beach stop so you can cool off in the surf. Remember to check the reviews and policies on things like helmet use and insurance coverage. Dress appropriately for the activity and wear closed-toe shoes.

Julio, a local from Chilango Store Tours, took us swimming with whale sharks on our very first trip to Baja Sur, offers any kind of tours you could want in Cabo as well as in La Paz.

ATV riders in Cabo San Lucas

9. Relax at a Beach Club

If you came to Mexico to relax, there’s no better way to do that than by spending a day lounging by the ocean and having someone else serve the drinks. Medano Beach has several beach clubs where the only thing you have to do all day is pick out your chair and let someone else do the rest.

One of the more popular one is Mango Deck. Just know that some of their entertainment and events can be a bit bawdy. If that’s not your thing they do have some quieter areas and actually have a pretty good breakfast buffet.

Depending if you are visiting in high or low season, most beach clubs will give you a lounge chair for free as long as you eat and drink there. Understandably, they want to make sure it’s worth their while for you to take up space in their club, so there’s usually a minimum of two drinks, as well.

10. Experience Whale-Watching

Cabo San Lucas is known for the whale watching. During the winter months, primarily December to March, humpbacks, gray whales and other species, migrate to the warm waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula. During that time of the year it’s not unusual to see whales right from the shore but for the best views, book a whale watching tour.

Tours include knowledgeable guides who know where to go and will help you spot the whales, plus give information about their behavior and habitat. Tour operators provide everything you need to enhance the experience and some tours include food and drinks.

When looking for a tour, it’s important to choose a reputable and responsible operator that follows local regulations to minimize disturbance to the whales and their environment.

Humpback Whale in the Bay of Banderas

11. Chill at a Brewery

I usually reach for a Pacifico when I’m in Baja, or Mexico in general, but for those who have a more sophisticated taste, Cabo has a thriving craft beer scene, with a handful of local breweries serving delicious brews.

With its warm and sunny climate, Baja is ideal for growing hops and other fresh ingredients needed for beer making. And even though it’s the desert, there’s plenty of access to fresh water, which is essential for high-quality beer.

Baja Brewing Company is one of the most well known breweries in Cabo San Lucas, and offers a range of craft beers. Not to mention they provide some of the best views from the rooftop of their restaurant located in Cabo Villas on right on Medano Beach. Land’s End Brewing Company – love the name – and Yenekamu Brewing Co. are a couple of other breweries to try.

12. Play Golf

You might be surprised to find out that Cabo San Lucas is a golfer’s paradise and features a number of world-class golf courses in the area. The courses cater to all skill levels and are known for their gorgeous ocean views among the desert landscape.

In addition to the courses, many of the resorts often provide luxurious accommodations and top-notch amenities like spas, fine dining options and, depending on the location, access to beautiful beaches. If you choose not to overnight, several resorts offer golfing day passes.

Diamante Cabo San Lucas is one of the popular resorts. This property, located on the sand dunes along the southernmost tip of Cabo San Lucas, is most famous for featuring a top-100 ranked course co-designed by Tiger Woods.

13. Eat Delicious Tacos

Okay, it’s Mexico so you probably don’t need too much arm twisting to eat tacos. If you’re going to do it then Cabo is the place. For me, besides Mexico City, Baja rates second on the best taco list. Especially fish tacos. The best ones I’ve ever eaten have been in Cabo at Taco Gardenias.

This popular restaurant has been around for over 20 years and is known for serving delicious tacos. The menu features a variety of traditional tacos, with handmade tortillas and all the toppings like cilantro, onions and a variety of fresh salsas. Of course, you can get the always popular al pastor (spicy marinated pork) but it’s the fried fish and fried shrimp tacos.

Not a taco fan? Tacos Gardenias serves other Mexican specialties, including burritos, quesadillas and tostadas. And for more taco experiences, check out a food tour while in town.

Tacos Gardenias Cabo San Lucas

14. Go Snorkeling

With its crystal-clear waters and marine life, Cabo San Lucas is ideal for snorkeling. Explore popular spots like Land’s End or Lover’s Beach, right in Cabo, or venture out a little further on the tourist corridor to Chileno Bay and Santa Maria Beach. Both of these beaches offer sheltered coves that provide calm waters ideal for snorkeling and first-timers.

There are plenty of tour companies that offer organized outings and packages, providing all the equipment you need or depending where you are staying, you can simply rent some equipment on your own and snorkel right from the beach.

15. Enjoy a Farm to Table Experience

Farm-to-table restaurants have become a popular way to experience local Baja products. The sunshine, fertile soil and mild climate allow for year-round cultivation of fresh fruits and vegetables, making Cabo the ideal destination for this type of dining due to the farms in the area.

The nearby Sea of Cortez provides plenty of fresh seafood so restaurants in the area can easily source high-quality, locally caught fish and incorporate them into their menus.

Los Tamarindos, a farm-to-table restaurant, located on a historic 17-acre farm in San Jose del Cabo offers you the opportunity to sample some of Baja’s freshest food.

chocolate clams at Jazamango

16. Catch a Sunrise

We’ve already established that I don’t like getting up super early on vacation but getting up early for a Cabo sunrise is one exception to that rule.

Because of its geographical location and the unique natural shape of Baja, Cabo San Lucas is an excellent destination for sunrises. The east-facing coastline provides unobstructed views of the horizon, allowing for clear views during sunrise.

The way the light plays on the water and the reflection of the sun, the colors are some of the most vibrant colors I’ve even seen at sunrise. It is so vivid it looks like sunset! Totally worth it. And, you can always just go back to sleep afterwards.

catching a sunrise is one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas

18. Hang Out in the Cabo Marina

Cabo’s marina is a lot of fun and strolling its pedestrian boardwalk is one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas day or night. With countless shops, including the huge Puerto Paraiso shopping mall, and over 50 restaurants and bars, you can find just about whatever you want.

A couple of my favorite restaurants in the Cabo San Lucas marina are Lorenzillo’s, for its patio and lobster and La Galeria, with their fresh seafood menu and friendly staff. Be on the lookout for roving Mariachi bands to serenade you for the complete Mexico experience.

19. Try Tequila

Tequila wasn’t invented in Baja. Jalisco state, where Guadalajara is located, was the birth place of tequila. But as the national beverage of Mexico, most other destinations offer some kind of tequila tours or tastings.

And Cabo San Lucas is no exception. Santos Destilados, a liquor store in downtown hosts a tequila and Mexican spirits tasting and workshop. If you’ve never done a tequila class, now’s your chance. Most people equate tequila with shots but it’s so much more than that and I promise you will walk away with a new appreciation of this beverage.

During the tour you’ll pair 9 different beverages with traditional snacks and foods and learn the ins and outs of tequila making. And conveniently, the shop stocks all those beverages so you can take some home.

20. Take Day Trip to Todos Santos

Baja California Sur is perfect for road tripping and one of the most incredible day trips from Cabo San Lucas is to Todos Santos, a cute, laid back village about an hour north. Known for its picturesque streets, colorful buildings and the infamous Hotel California, Todos Santos couldn’t be any more different than Cabo.

Full of unique experiences and a chance to learn more about Mexican culture, Todos Santo’s interesting history can be seen in its historical landmarks, including the 18th-century Mission Santa Rosa and the plentiful art galleries found around town.

If you have your own car, don’t miss one of the most popular beaches in the area, Playa Los Cerritos. You can surf, swim, or simply relax and soak up the sun. And catch a gorgeous sunset.

Cabo San Lucas FAQ

How many days in Cabo is enough?

My rule of thumb for just about anywhere I have to fly to is a week but if you live on the west coast then 5 days in Cabo is a good start for relaxing and a few tours or activities.

What is Cabo San Lucas best known for?

Cabo San Lucas is known for Land’s End, its beaches and water activities. It also one of the best places in Mexico for sport fishing, hosting several tournaments and events year round.

Can you swim in the ocean in Cabo?

Yes you can but only at designated beaches and when the conditions permit swimming. Cabo San Lucas beaches are notorious for large waves and fierce currents. Remember, never turn your back to the ocean.

Final Thoughts on Things To Do in Cabo San Lucas

There are so many fun things to do in Cabo San Lucas. You could easily spend several weeks in part of Baja California Sur exploring the area. And for even more Cabo experiences, there’s also ziplining, skydiving and even camel rides. Cabo San Lucas is sure to have you busy from sunrise to sunset and every hour in between.

See you on the road!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.