Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

Get Your Bearings in Cabo San Lucas

By Chris Sands
Cabo San Lucas Expert

See & Do

Things to See

Los Cabos is heaven for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts, with excellent fishing, diving, snorkeling, sailing and surfing. Big-game sport fishing has traditionally been the most popular local activity, although in recent years, the region has added close to a dozen championship level golf courses. Full service spas have also become a major draw and are featured at all the major resorts. For children, submarine rides and dolphin swims headline the activities list.

Hot Tips:

Whale watching season runs from December through March.

Where to Stay

Lodgings in Cabo San Lucas range from budget-friendly inns and bed and breakfasts to large all-inclusive hotels and five star luxury resorts. Most of the all-inclusives are found on Médano Beach, or along the 20 mile Tourist Corridor that connects San Lucas with sister city San José del Cabo. There are only two large hotels on the Marina, at present - Wyndham and Marina Fiesta - and both offer affordable accommodations. Bigger bargains may be found in the downtown area with rates as low as $40-$50 U.S. per night.

Hot Tips:

Most hotels offer discounted off-season rates during the summer and fall.

What to Eat

Cabo's restaurant row is on Calle Hidalgo, between the town square and Marina Boulevard, but there are also plenty of fine eateries on the Marina, and along Médano Beach. Traditional Mexican cuisine is easy to find - generally speaking, the farther you move from the tourist areas, the better it is - and most restaurants feature fresh local seafood. Italian food is also popular locally, and comfort food favorites like pizza, tacos, and burgers are readily available. For fine dining, San José surpasses San Lucas with more top chefs and better wine lists.

Be Sure to Sample:

The fresh local seafood.

Places to Party

Cabo San Lucas has long been known for its rowdy nightlife, and many bars are open until four or five in the morning. Live music venues such as Cabo Wabo are perennially popular, and some of the dance clubs also draw large crowds. The nightclub strip runs along Calle Lázaro Cárdenas, just across from Plaza Bonita, and includes perhaps the town's most popular bar, El Squid Roe. Cabo's main beach, Playa El Médano, has no shortage of cantinas, and Mango Deck is the unofficial center of all the Spring Break action.

Hot Tips:

Most local bars have a weekly ladies' night with free drinks for women.

Where to Shop

You can scarcely walk a block in Cabo San Lucas without finding a jewelry store, as Taxco silver and Mexican fire opals are both sought-after shopping commodities. Resort clothing boutiques are numerous, as are galleries featuring Mexican arts and crafts. San José del Cabo has a flourishing arts district, and Todos Santos, a town located on the Pacific Coast north of Cabo, is also known for its thriving community of artists and galleries. There are several excellent malls here, most notably Puerto Paraíso and Luxury Avenue on the Cabo San Lucas Marina.


The fake Cuban cigars sold on the marina boardwalk.

Hot Tips:

San José's Plaza Artesanos is a great place to find traditional arts and crafts.

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Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is known for...

Five of Cabo San Lucas's most unique features and characteristics.

1. El Arco:

Cabo San Lucas is known for the granite rock formations at Land's End which form a protective barrier for the bay, as well as signifying the point where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean meet. The most famous of these rock formations is El Arco, or “The Arch,” a distinctively shaped gateway between the two bodies of water, and the signature landmark of the area. During the time of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, El Arco was an important navigational aid for Spanish mariners.

2. Fishing:

The popularity of Cabo San Lucas as a resort destination has always been directly tied to its reputation for world-class big game sport fishing. The top tournaments are held during the summer and autumn months - October is traditionally the best month for blue marlin, and is when Bisbee’s hosts their jackpot-laden Black and Blue Tournament - but on a year-round basis visiting fishermen can get their hooks into everything from amberjack and bonito to dorado, sailfish, and yellow and bluefin tuna, as well as the blue, black, and striped varieties of marlin.

3. Beaches:

Beaches, or playas, are popular places in Cabo San Lucas. Not only does the weather stay warm year-round, but the city has a well-earned reputation as a vacation haven for lovers of tropical cocktails and colorful bikinis, from the Spring Break crowds that throng Playa El Médano, to the adventurous sorts that seek out scenic spots like Lover's and Divorce Beaches. Outside the city, Tourist Corridor gems like Chileno and Santa Maria feature golden sands, picturesque vistas, and world-class snorkeling.

4. Golf:

Los Cabos is Mexico's premier golfing destination, with a superb collection of courses that boast stunning seaside views, as well as challenging layouts from legends like Nicklaus, Norman, and Player. Nicklaus put the area on the map in the early 1990s, with world-class gems like Cabo del Sol and Palmilla, and the latest crop of resort and residential developments have had no trouble drawing top-flight design talent. Davis Love III's splendid links-style Diamante Dunes is the third local loop to have been rated as one of the world's 100 best golf courses, and a neighboring course from Tiger Woods is expected to open in 2014.

5. Spas:

Cabo San Lucas has become as celebrated for its world-class spas as it has for its big-game fishing and championship golf courses. There are seemingly as many treatments and massages as there are spas, with therapies focusing on everything from the healing powers of the mineral rich waters of the Sea of Cortez to the phases of the lunar cycle. The spas are a prime attraction, not only for ladies looking for something to do while the men are out chasing billfish or golf balls, but as a romantic getaway activity for visiting couples.