Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

Get Your Bearings in Cabo San Lucas

By Chris Sands
Cabo San Lucas Expert

See & Do
Stay
Eat
Party
Shop

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 large draw and are featured at all major resorts. For children, submarine rides and dolphin swims headline the things-to-do list.

Caution:

Use caution when visiting beaches on the Pacific side, as strong rip currents and a lack of lifeguards can make swimming dangerous.

Hot Tips:

Whale watching season typically runs from mid-December to mid-April.

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 Cabo San Lucas with sister city San José del Cabo. There are only two large hotels on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, at present  Wyndham and Marina Fiesta  and both offer affordable accommodations and scenic views. 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 San Lucas' 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 local restaurants feature fresh local seafood. Italian specialty dishes such as pastas and pizzas are also commonly available in Los Cabos, as are American comfort food favorites like hamburgers and french fries. Fast food franchises open to homesick gringos include McDonald’s and Burger King.

Be Sure to Sample:

The fresh local seafood.

Places to Party

Cabo San Lucas has long been known for its boisterous nightlife, with the liveliest bars remaining open until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. The nightclub strip runs along Calle Lázaro Cárdenas, just across from Plaza Bonita, and includes perhaps the town's most legendary bar, El Squid Roe, as well as late night haunts like Baja Junkie and Knotty Social Club. The city's main beach, Playa El Médano, also offers plenty of congenial watering holes. Mango Deck is the most notable of these beachfront cantinas, and 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 also numerous, as are galleries featuring traditional 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 San Lucas, is 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.

Avoid:

The fake Cuban cigars sold on the marina boardwalk.

Hot Tips:

Plaza Artesanos in San José del Cabo is a great place to shop for traditional arts and crafts.

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.