Over the last few years, Cabo San Lucas has cemented itself as one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. Attracting everyone from A-list celebrities to wild spring breakers, this vibrant city is best known for its sun, surf, and social scene.
In our latest blog post, we take a look at some of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas. Whether you prefer watching whales or swimming with sharks, we’ve got you covered.
Top attractions in Cabo
Cabo Arch (El Arco)
Located at the southernmost tip of Cabo San Lucas, the stunning El Arco rock formation was once a place where pirate ships waited to pounce on unsuspecting treasure vessels. El Arco Cabo San Lucas is a soaring 200 ft rock rising from the water where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. With its distinctive arch and towering grandeur, this three-story site attracts hundreds of tourists who flock to see its magnificent shape which was carved by the area’s strong ocean currents. The Arch draws numerous boats, water taxis, and cruises packed with passengers looking for top photo opportunities and a chance to take part in the many Lands End attractions.
The sandy base of the rocky outcrop is a favorite hub for sea lions, pelicans, and seals plus an array of marine life including sea urchins, gorgonian fans, tropical fish, and colorful coral reefs. It is illegal to climb the Arch, but a boat excursion is a perfect place to get up close to the rock. Expect to see whales and dolphins along the way, with a chance to swim, dive and snorkel when you arrive. A cruise excursion to El Arco also offers the opportunity to spot some of the most stunning sunsets in the world.
Lover’s Beach, or Playa del Amor, is one of the most popular attractions in Cabo. Sheltered behind The Arch, this secluded beach is nestled between two dramatic rock formations. Bathed in waters from both the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California, this hidden cove is only accessible by boat.
The easiest way to get to Lover’s Beach is by water taxi, or you can try kayaking if you fancy a more hands-on experience. On the Gulf side of the beach, the shallow waters offer plenty of opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The water here is so clear, you will be able to see a variety of tropical marine life flourishing just below the surface!
Packed with fun things to do, Playa Medano is the most visited beach in Cabo. Sitting at the center of the city’s social scene, this action-packed beach is bordered by bustling shops, restaurants, and bars.
Due to rough waves and riptides, many of the beaches in Cabo aren’t suitable for swimming or water-based activities. The gentle surf at Medano is much safer, and the beach even has designated swimming areas. If you want to indulge in some watersports, boogie boards, kayaks and jet skis are all available to rent.
A place to see and be seen, Medano Beach is definitely a party hotspot! As the sun sets, the beach transforms into an amazing nightlife destination, with live music, fireworks, and fiestas. If you want to stay close to the action, many of our vacation homes in Cabo are situated just steps away from Medano Beach.
Marina Cabo San Lucas
Situated on the Sea of Cortez, Marina Cabo San Lucas is one of the most popular attractions in Cabo. Famous for its luxury yachts, high-end boutiques, and fine dining restaurants, the marina is packed with fun things to see and do.
As The Sea of Cortez offers some of the most impressive fishing opportunities in the world, the marina’s main draw is sport fishing. There is an abundance of fish in the area, from yellowfin tuna to snapper, shark and swordfish. Regardless of your experience, there are a variety of fishing charters that will take you out on the water. If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, it should come as no surprise that the seafood restaurants here are amongst some of the best in the city!
Chileno Beach (Playa Chileno)
There are loads of fun things to do in Cabo, but if you’re in need of a chilled day out, head to Chileno Beach. More popular with locals than tourists, this quiet stretch of coastline is considerably less chaotic than the rest of the city. Perfect for families, Chileno is also one of the best-equipped beaches in Cabo, boasting bathrooms, showers, shade palapas, and even disabled access.
There is a ban on motorized water sports here but the calm water is great for scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. As there is a reef just offshore, the bay is full of interesting tropical fish. During whale season, this beach is also a great place to spot migrating humpback whales. If you hold your head underwater, there is a slight possibility that you may even hear some whale song!
Iglesia de San Lucas (Church of Saint Luke)
If you love sightseeing, Iglesia de San Lucas is a pivotal landmark in Cabo. Built in the 1700s, this beautiful church is one of the most historic buildings in the city. Reminiscent of old Mexico, the church still boasts many of its original period features.
Located just a short walk from the marina, Iglesia de San Lucas is surrounded by a picturesque town square. This pristine public area is full of flowers, trees, and places to sit. In contrast to the traditional church, the plaza has been modernized with small shops and restaurants. A hotspot for tourists, this is a great place to pick up souvenirs and even meet some of the friendly residents.
The best outdoor things to do in Cabo
To protect and preserve the Gulf of California, there are strict regulations in place to keep the western coast of Mexico clean, fresh, and brimming with sea life. Due to this, the crystal clear waters around Cabo have become a hot spot for scuba divers.
Sitting right where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California, Cabo San Lucas has a particularly fascinating underwater ecosystem. You will find some of the most unique diving sites in the world here, featuring rocky terrain, colorful reefs, and even shipwrecks! Hundreds of tropical fish reside here permanently, whilst large schools of sharks, rays, and whales migrate through the waters each year.
With so much going on beneath the surface, scuba diving is undoubtedly one of the most amazing things you can do in Cabo. Whether you prefer diving with sharks, or swimming alongside sea lions, you will find a fantastic variety of diving excursions on offer here. Even if you are a seasoned swimmer, it is a good idea to head out with a professional guide. Not only will they keep you safe – they will also take you to the best spots!
Even if you’re not scuba certified, you can still explore the depths of the ocean! One of the most memorable things to do in Cabo, helmet diving was originally designed for non-swimmers. Over the last few years, this unique underwater walking tour has become a worldwide trend!
Suitable for anyone over the age of 8, helmet diving involves no specialized training – and no swimming! Without the burden of heavy equipment, this underwater experience is much more comfortable than scuba diving. Upon arrival, you will be fitted with a space-age-style helmet, before descending to a depth of approximately 20 feet. As you don’t have to swim, helmet diving is a fantastic way to observe the amazing marine life – and snap some amazing photographs!
Surfing is one of the most popular things to do in Cabo San Lucas. Home to some world-famous wave breaks, the city has become a major surfing destination. As Cabo is situated between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, surfers are able to experience two different swells in one location. These unique water conditions have been attracting surfers to the area since the 1950s.
Surfing in Cabo is a year-round sport, however, peak surf season runs from June through August. During the summer months, the weather is extremely warm, and infrequent hurricanes can send the waves soaring! If you’d rather avoid the crowds, September through November is the best time to visit.
There are a number of beautiful surf spots in Cabo, all catering to different ability levels. Most beaches are suitable for beginners, but as waves can surge up to 12 feet tall, it’s important to check the conditions before you venture out. If you’re new to surfing, there are plenty of local surf shops that offer lessons and training sessions.
Hike Mount Solmar
Rising dramatically from the ocean, Mount Solmar is situated on the Baja California peninsula. Highly visible from Medano Beach, this rugged granite mountain overlooks Cabo Bay. If you’re up for a challenge, hiking Mount Solmar is definitely worthwhile. The trail can get tricky at times, but once you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views over Cabo.
The main access point to the hiking trail is on private property. The property owner, Enrique, has become the trail’s unofficial sponsor and hosts regular hiking tours. With uneven terrain, and the risk of snakes en-route, a guided hike is the safest way to climb the mountain. What’s more, local legend Enrique will provide plenty of interesting facts and information along the way!
One of the best times to visit Cabo is during whale watching season. The Pacific Ocean is the main migration route for whales traveling from Alaska in the winter. The warm waters surrounding Cabo are perfect for whales to breed, feed, and raise their young.
Unlike anywhere else, the odds of whale sightings in Cabo are huge. Although their months for migration differ slightly, humpback, grey, and blue whales all spend winter in the Pacific area. If you travel from January to March, you will have a 95% chance of catching some whale activity. The later in the season you visit, the more chance you will have of seeing whale carves!
There are a number of special whale watching tours available in Cabo. From sunset cruises to private charter trips, seeing these majestic mammals in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. To protect both you and the whales, there are strict whale watching regulations in place in Cabo, so it is essential to only travel on an authorized vessel.
Los Cabos is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. The area has 18 courses in total, all designed by golfing royalty such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Greg Norman. The majority of golf courses are found in the Tourist Corridor, which is the area between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. As this area borders the Sea of Cortez, every golf course here offers jaw-dropping views of the ocean.
Not only is the surrounding scenery spectacular, but the whole golfing experience in Cabo is also unlike anywhere else. Arrival at most courses usually includes a cocktail; everyone takes golf carts and there is often even music played on the range! Most golf courses also have ‘comfort stations’ in between holes, where you can indulge in delicious appetizers and even more cocktails!
Unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas
Swim with whale sharks
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas, there are very few experiences that match shark swimming. Although this may evoke feelings of fear, you don’t need to worry – whale sharks are completely safe to swim with! Known as the gentle giants of the sea, these sharks mainly feed on plankton and other small nektonic marine life. Despite growing up to 60 feet long, these enormous fish are surprisingly majestic and pose no threat to humans.
Swimming with whale sharks is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences that you can have, but it is very important to ensure that you are enjoying these magnificent fish in a responsible and conscious way. Regulations have been put into place limiting the number of daily expeditions, to protect the sharks from too much human interaction. If you’re unsure about which providers offer eco-conscious whale shark experiences, look out for advertisements emphasizing their eco-credentials. You can also go for tours that include expert advice from an onboard marine biologist because there is a high chance that companies offering this have got education and protection as a priority.
Take a glass-bottom boat tour
If you prefer to stay above water, a glass-bottom boat tour may be more suitable for you! A relaxing boat trip around Cabo is one of the best ways to check out the amazing sights. You will be able to see the world-famous Cabo Arch, the Gulf of California, and the beautiful Lover’s Beach, all from the comfort of a luxury vessel!
Every boat trip around Cabo guarantees unbeatable views of the coastline. With a glass-bottom boat tour, you will be able to enjoy the incredible Pacific seascapes, as well as a universe of underwater life. One of the most family-friendly activities in Cabo, this is a fantastic way to explore the ocean – without getting wet!
Head on a camel safari
Suitable for both kids and adults, every camel safari will be supervised by a local tour guide. Throughout your journey, you will also get the chance to learn more about camel culture. Your expert guide will teach you all about the history, anatomy, and personality of your camel, as well as their training and care. Most tour companies will also wrap up your adventure with a delicious buffet of traditional Mexican food – and tequila of course!
Try an ATV tour
If you’re looking for a more exhilarating way to explore the desert, an ATV tour is definitely the way forward! One of the most thrilling things to do in Cabo San Lucas, this off-road adventure will take you deep into the Baja desert, along scenic canyons, sand creeks, and mountain trails.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-fuelled race or a nice leisurely cruise, these vehicles allow you to explore Cabo at your own pace. There are a number of different ATV excursions on offer; some outfitters will even organize tailored tours to incorporate the challenges you request! Whichever route you take, you will be guaranteed incredible views of the cactus-lined countryside and the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
Visit Pelican Rock
As the Baja California Peninsula extends out into the ocean, it is transformed into dramatic rock formations. With hidden beaches, scenic views, and excellent snorkeling opportunities, these natural islands are well worth exploring! Pelican Rock is one of the most visited formations in the bay. Jutting vertically out of the water, this small island stands between 20-60 feet high.
A glass-bottom boat tour will take you around all of the islands, however, the best way to explore Pelican Rock is to enter the water. With huge schools of tropical fish in the region, this is a popular diving and snorkeling spot. As you swim, look out for the many sea lions and pelicans that reside on the rock, as they bask in the sunshine – and eye up the fish!
Day trips from Cabo San Lucas
Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park
Just 2 hours from Cabo San Lucas, you will discover Cabo Pulmo. A tiny fishing village, Cabo Pulmo is home to the only Pacific coral reef in the Sea of Cortez. Due to the rich biodiversity of the water here, the village was once targeted by overzealous fishermen, who diminished the sealife.
To combat the drastic decline in fish and to protect the coral reef, an underwater national park was created here in 1995. Now fishing is completely prohibited, the water is teeming with over 200 species of fish and marine animals. Attracting visitors from all over the globe, Cabo Pulmo Marine Park is now recognized as one of the world’s best diving spots.
Suitable for all levels of ability, there are more than 10 scuba diving and snorkeling sites in Cabo Pulmo. Whilst beginners should stick to the calm shallows, advanced divers can explore up to 100ft deep. Besides fish, the warm waters around the reef are also home to a variety of other marine animals, including sea lions, sea turtles, and sharks. With 27 square miles to explore, you never know what you will find!
San Jose del Cabo
If you’re looking to take a day trip from Cabo, there are plenty of things to do within a short driving distance of the city. Just 20 minutes away, you will find the historic city of San Jose del Cabo.
Although similar in name, San Jose del Cabo is vastly different from Cabo San Lucas. Packed with unique charm, this picturesque city dates back to the 1700s. Offering great shopping, attractive architecture, and excellent dining options, San Jose del Cabo is the perfect place to spend a day exploring. As you stroll through the narrow streets, you will stumble upon a variety of boutiques, galleries, and family-run restaurants.
San Jose del Cabo has a very laid-back atmosphere, and the beaches here reflect this. With fewer crowds, the city’s coastline is pristine. The best beaches here are relatively remote, so you will need a car to access them.
Wirikuta Cactus Gardens
If you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Cabo San Lucas, take a drive to the Wirikuta Cactus Gardens. Around half an hour from Cabo, this 12-acre garden is home to over a thousand species of plants and cacti. There are over a million plants on display, all of different shapes and sizes.
Just south of the main cacti gardens, you will also discover a Sculpture Garden. This peaceful area is home to a large collection of surrealist statues. Mostly made of granite and stone, these huge sculptures were created by some of Mexico’s most famous living artists.
The Wirikuta Cactus Gardens were designed to not only honor the cactus plant, but also the cultures and traditions of the indigenous people of Mexico. If you’d like to learn more, it is worth booking tickets to the Wirikuta Show. Taking place every Wednesday evening, this theatrical performance is a celebration of the Huichol people who reside in the mountains. Full of color, music, and acrobatic dance, this is a great way to find out more about Mexican traditions and beliefs.
Cascada Sol de Mayo Waterfall
When visiting Cabo, the further you travel from the tourist center, the more treasure you will uncover. The towns, mountains, and canyons that surround the city have existed for centuries, and hiking these remote areas is one of the most popular things to do in Cabo.
For a day trip that will take you off the grid, hike to the Cascada Sol de Mayo waterfall. Tucked away at the base of the Sierra Laguna mountain range, this secluded oasis is a world away from the busy city. Around 50 miles north of Cabo, Cascada Sol De Mayo can be found just beyond the village of Santiago.
As you arrive in Santiago, follow the signs to Sol de Mayo. Park here and you will find a well-marked trail that will take you straight to the breathtaking 50-foot waterfall. You will discover indigenous animals, plants, and cacti along the way, as well as spectacular views of the mountains. As the waterfall cascades into small pools below, you can take a refreshing dip in the cool water before you hike back!
45 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos is one of the prettiest towns on the Pacific Coast. Full of beautiful cobbled streets, romantic restaurants, and artisan boutiques, this traditional town has experienced a renaissance over the last few years. If you’re seeking tranquility away from the busy city, Todos Santos is definitely for you.
Although it has always been a haven for surfers, artists, and bohemians, Todos Santos now attracts a stream of visitors from all over the world. Luckily, despite its growing popularity, this unique town has managed to remain authentic. Most of the streets here were built in the 1800s and still have the same colorful buildings today.
Filled with Mexican culture, Todos Santos is full of things to see and do. Many of the best sights are hidden off the beaten track, so it is worth spending a day exploring. You will discover some of the finest local cuisine here, as well as some amazing independent shops. As many artists moved to Todos Santos in the 1980s, the town also has a burgeoning art scene. There are a number of fine art galleries in the area, all featuring works from local painters and sculptures.
Planning a visit?
There are so many things to do in Cabo, it’s almost impossible to resist a visit! If you’re looking to book a Cabo vacation, Top Villas offers a fantastic range of beautiful Cabo accommodation. We have a wide range of villas in Cabo San Lucas, as well as properties in San Jose del Cabo and the Tourist Corridor. Private and exclusive, all of our homes are situated in gated beachfront communities, perfect for a relaxing retreat.
When you book with Top Villas, arranging a stay couldn’t be easier. Follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. Our website makes it easy to check availability, get a quote, and book instantly online. Alternatively, you can submit an inquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.
You can check out our full range of vacation homes in Cabo San Lucas here.