Where is Cabo? Cabo San Lucas, commonly called Cabo in American English, is a city at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Cabo San Lucas together with San José del Cabo is known as Los Cabos. As far as beach travel destinations go, Cabo is one of my favorites! Finding which beaches in Cabo (Los Cabos) is the best is not an easy thing to do. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
There are many great beaches here, some are more picturesque than others, some have safe swimming and awesome snorkeling, and others with good surf breaks make them best for beachcombing. Figure out which beaches you want to hang out ahead of time. If you plan on visiting several of them, you’ll need a rental car to get to them. If you plan to stay close to the heart of Cabo, you can easily walk to some of them. You can take a Cabo beach hopping tour, but that’s not ideal for seeing all of them or spending a day at a particular beach.
One thing to remember is Cabo is where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez and there are areas with a very powerful undertow and treacherous waves. Those beaches are only good for sunbathing or beachcombing, but not swimming. For instance, in front of the Solmar and the Playa Grande, they have warning signs that say “Stay Out, Stay Alive” and never swim alone. I have seen many times how powerful those waves are and know firsthand how powerful they are. Here is the list of the best beaches in Cabo:
Solmar Beach is on the Pacific side of Los Cabos. The word Solmar means the “sun sea,” and this beach got it’s name for the beautiful sunsets you can view from this secluded beach. Playa Solmar spans the Cabo coast from Divorce Beach all the way to the base of Pedregal. It is very close to the famous Cabo rock formations at Land’s End. Since Solmar Beach faces the open sea of the Pacific Ocean, swimming is strictly prohibited. This beach is great for sunbathing, beachcombing, or a walk in the sand. You may enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at any of the restaurants serving the hotels on Solmar. The Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, Hotel Finisterra, TerraSol Beach Resort, and Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa are the four hotels you will find on Solmar Beach. If you’re traveling to Cabo any time between January and March, you’ll be able to see the whales that hang out within a few hundred meters from the shore of Solmar Beach. The Whale Watcher Bar is a great place to enjoy a margarita while you watch. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Lover’s Beach & Divorce Beach
Lover’s Beach is located on the Sea of Cortez side of Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas. To get to this beach you must take a water taxi from Medano Beach which can run you about $20 round trip. Lovers Beach is a fun place for everyone to visit. I recommend coming here at least once in your trip to Cabo San Lucas. Due to its natural setting, there aren’t any restrooms or showers here. Don’t forget to pack along sunscreen because it gets pretty hot during the day, and there are no shades provided as in other Cabo beaches. It’s not quite the secluded and quiet beach you may think it is, but you will find the geography very beautiful. Neptune’s Finger, a large rock protruding out of the sea, can be seen from this beach. This beach is world famous and has been in many photo layouts. Make sure to bring your camera (underwater cameras are a good idea if you plan on snorkeling) as the views are spectacular. A five minute walk west from Lovers Beach will take you to Divorce Beach. It got this name because of its harsh undertow and dangerous shore break. Divorce Beach is not safe for swimming in, but it has a more secluded feel than Lover’s Beach. If you stay here for the sunset over the Pacific, it is quite a fabulous view. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Médano Beach is the most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas. It spans several kilometers along the Cabo Bay. Imagine the sound of ocean waves as the sun’s warmth encompassing you while on the white sand beneath. Only after coming here in person will you truly experience the beauty of the Sea of Cortés. Since this beach is the most frequented in Cabo San Lucas, many of the chairs with umbrellas fill up quickly and you will need to arrive early to claim your chairs. If you stay at one of the resorts lining the beach, you can enjoy the convenience of waiters taking orders right from your beach chair. No matter where you are staying, there are always many options for eating and drinking here. Palapa bars offer seafood, burgers, quesadillas, and cold beverages can be found throughout. There is an ample amount of stands selling activities at Médano Beach, making any watersport just a short walk away. Your choice of jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, and more can be done without ever having to leave. You cannot snorkel at this beach as underwater visibility is exceptionally low. As you walk around the beach, vendors may approach you. If you’re not interested in what they are selling, just let them know and they will politely move on to the next person. If you are interested, then negotiate with them for a good bargain. There defined boundaries in front of some resorts in which vendors are not allowed to cross to approach tourists. Playa el Médano is characteristic of the party atmosphere, as here people are enjoying margaritas or other frozen concoctions, meeting new people, or just having fun. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Chileno Beach is the most popular diving and snorkeling beach in Cabo San Lucas. Located just a bit more than halfway along the Corridor, swimming conditions are excellent here thanks to the Chileno Bay. Unlike in Médano Beach, underwater visibility is perfect for observing the sea life below. You will find plenty of exotic fish such as angelfish and parrotfish. It is also home to tropical fish, moray eels, sea turtles, sea urchins, sea fans, sponges, starfish, and invertebrates. Just be careful of touching the rocks as you can get in contact with barnacles. There are restrooms and showers on the beach, and Chileno Beach is one of the few beaches in the Corridor to offer shade by palapas. You will not find any restaurants here, so pack those necessary food and beverage items. Drive your rental car as parking is free and there is always plenty available. There are hundreds of tropical palm trees at Playa Chileno. At Chileno Beach you can enjoy a day at the beach with few vendors as they do not come to this beach often. You can book a snorkeling tour in Cabo and get here by boat which will take you between 45 minutes to an hour. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
This is not a beach to go to if you’re looking to do any beach activities or swimming. Really, once you’re on the sand there’s not much to do other than avoid the water best as you can. The Pueblo Bonito at Sunset Beach resort is the complex that rests on this beach. There’s a lot to do at the hotel and the atmosphere is as good as it gets. Sunset Beach is one of the best places in Cabo to work on your tan. There are no obstacles in the way to interfere with your sunbathing. If you’re on the beach, make sure to stay away from the water at all times and do not go near it. People do drown here, and it is among the most dangerous beaches to attempt a swim in Cabo. The ocean current is too powerful, and crashing waves can even be seen from over a mile away. Sunset Beach is a great place to do some whale watching between January and March. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Las Playitas does not refer to a single beach, but rather refers to several very small beaches that are overlooked by most who go to Cabo. They are adjacent to the rock formations leading up to Lover’s Beach and Land’s End. Being small beaches, some of them may be underwater during high tide. When tide is normal, they are a popular location for the locals. There are no vendors here and some times you can have the entire beach all to yourself. The surf is pretty calm and snorkeling is pretty good here with decent underwater visibility. There are no restrooms here, but it’s a great place for a picnic. To get to these beach, you will need to get a water taxi or by kayak. It is very peaceful and quiet here, which makes it a great beach. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Santa Maria Beach
Along the highway at kilometer twelve is this must see beach next to the exclusive Hotel Twin Dolphin. Look for the beach access sign and follow the dirt road to the parking area. It is a short walk to this beautiful protected cove. As you look out at the beautiful sea you will see the horseshoe shaped beach with pinkish sand the consistency of rice. It is relatively secluded, and a protected marine sanctuary, so bring along a bag of bread or tortillas and hand feed the tropical fish. This is an excellent spot for snorkeling or just relaxing on the beach.This marine preserve is a prime destination for many charter boats that offer snorkeling departing from the Cabo San Lucas harbor. If you want to see a world of friendly colorful tropical fish, this is the place to go. Mornings, when it’s calm, is usually best for optimum underwater visibility. There are no facilities available other than a dirt parking lot and a few beach vendors so bring what you need with you. This is truly one of the most beautiful places in Los Cabos and well worth a visit. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Tequila Cove Beach
Tequila Cove Beach (Playa Bedito) is just west of the protected cove of Playa Cabo Real and fronts the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort and Meliá Cabo Real hotels at Cabo Real. The manmade breakwater makes swimming possible; with Jet Ski and Wave Runner rentals on the beach. If you want more solitude, walk toward Las Ventanas al Paraiso, but make sure to only swim in the protected waters behind the breakwater. You can gain access through the Hilton and Meliá Cabo Real hotels or enter through the arroyo at Kilometer 19.5. The easiest access is through the Meliá Cabo Real at KM 19.5. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
You’ll find this beach at the north end of Hotel Row in San Jose del Cabo. It fronts the San Jose Estuary and offers up great bird watching, especially if you hike around the area. Swimming really isn’t an option here as the waves and undertow can be fierce, but a protected beach can be found just a short walk away inside the jetties that protect the Puerto Los Cabos marina. This beach is all that separates the estuary (left) from the Sea of Cortez. When storms are nearby, heavy surf erodes the beach. Storms at sea send waves crashing over the beach and into the estuary. Storms in the mountains flood the estuary into the sea. Wave action replaces sand lost during storms, in an annual cycle. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Hotel Beach (Playa Hotelera)
Hotel Beach is a mile long beach which runs from the south side of the San Jose del Cabo estuary next to the Presidente InterContinental All Inclusive Los Cabos Resort. You can access the beach from a path adjacent to the Presidente next to the estuary, as well as public access between the hotels. Between the estuary and the Presidente is a fenced in area where sea turtle eggs are brought in for hatching and released back to sea. This is a lot of fun to watch. Just check with the hotel front desk to get information. The estuary is home to over 300 species of wildlife. There is also a path you can follow which is great for bird watchers. Hotel Beach is not recommended for swimming due to the steep drop-off, under-tow, and high summer surf. It is fine for beach walks, surf fishing, horse riding or soaking up some sun. Public palapas can be found on the beach there is a lush park with fountains, and a childrens playground. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Pamilla Beach is great for families and has the best swimming beach near San Jose del Cabo. Swim anywhere, or snorkel near Punta Palmilla, charter a fishing panga, go for a walk, kayak, or just relax and watch the anglers returning with their catch. There are no restrooms or services, only palapas for shade and garbage cans. Parking is very close to the beach. Pamilla Beach is a wide and inviting crescent-shaped bay surrounded by the Palmilla resort, and the Jack Nicklaus Ocean Nine golf course. It is the longest swimming beach in the Corridor, and features more than a mile of protected shore, with good swimming and snorkeling. It’s safe for families if water conditions are calm. There are pangas and cruisers available to charter for fishing. It’s best to go to Palmilla Beach by car or taxi. Take the Palmilla exit at Kilometer 27 and follow the signs down to the main beach area which is before the entrance to the hotel. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Blue Coast Beach
Blue Coast Beach or Playa Costa Azul is home of world famous Zippers and La Roca surf breaks. Swimming is risky and only recommended for surfers. Many surfing competitions take place here every year. At the Costa Azul Surf Shop there is surfboard rentals, and nearby is a restaurant and convenience store. In the winter, when the surf is calmer, one can enjoy swimming and snorkeling here. Walking, surf fishing and horse riding are good year-round. This beach is through the arroyo at Costa Azul Bridge, at Km 29 off the main highway, and is a great place to surf or to watch others surf. Adjacent to the arroyo is Zippers restaurant where you can enjoy watching surfers riding waves while dining on burgers, ribs and tacos. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Just west of Playa Costa Azul in San Jose del Cabo is Acapulquito Beach, known as Old Man’s Beach. It looks like the local surf spot has migrated to this area. If surfing is your thing, don’t miss Playa Acapulquito just off the highway before the lookout at Km 27.5. A surf school and restaurant make this small beach popular with the local surf crowd. Acapulquito also offers good swimming during calm seas. The beach’s west side is home to the Zippers surf break where surf competitions are held every July. If you are not a surfer, you might want to head over to Palmilla Beach for swimming where conditions are less rocky near the shore. To access, turn off on either side of the Puente Costa Azul bridge at Km. 28. Services include a beachfront restaurant, a small grocery store and beauty salon. Surfboard rentals are nearby across the highway. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Shipwreck Beach, or Playa Barco Varado is named after the wreck of the Inari Maru, a Japanese tuna boat sunk offshore in the 1960s. None of the wreck remains. This is a great beach for swimming, snorkeling, relaxing in the sun and even surf fishing. There are many tide pools for you to explore marine life. Diving is also good here and many dive tour operators come to this beach. Although swimming is generally safe, stay out of the water during times when the sea is rough. You can enjoy exploring the tidal pools, and swimming is possible, too, but not recommended for small children. Access to enter the beach is on the southwest side of the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort and Spa in Cabo del Sol at Kilometer 10. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.
Widow’s Beach, or Playa Las Viudas offers privacy, tidal pools, snorkeling and swimming, with caution. There are no services. there are many coves and volcanic rock formations, and it’s easy to find a private spot even when there are a lot of people. Access is at Km. 11.5, to the west of the former Hotel Twin Dolphin entrance. Visit our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide Here.