Playa El Medano, or Medano Beach, is the center of tourist activity in Cabo San Lucas. The area is home to a succession of luxe high-rise resorts, many of the all-inclusive variety, and boasts plenty of palapa-shaded cantinas and excellent al fresco dining options. The beach itself is almost always crowded, particularly during the Spring Break months, and is the go-to location for water-based rentals such as kayaks and wave runners.
See & Do
Although most fishing and sailing charter companies are headquartered on the Marina, Medano Beach is the best place to find water-based activities rentals, ranging from kayaks and wave runners to stand up paddle surfboards. JT Water Sports is perhaps the most established outfit, having been on the beach for close to twenty years. In addition to rentals, they also offer parasailing tours, allowing adventurous types to experience incredible views of Land's End from hundreds of feet in the air. Of course, such heights are child's play for Cabo Sky Tours, which offers unforgettable motorized hang-gliding flyovers of all the local landmarks.
There are a number of terrific restaurants located beachside, and diners can dig their toes in the sand while enjoying everything from seafood and Mexican specialties to American favorites like hamburgers and chicken wings. Medano Beach Club Cabo is one of the more popular dining spots on the beach, with a casually upscale atmosphere and a menu that primarily focuses on fresh local seafood. Edith's Restaurante is located just off Medano Beach, and has long been a fine dining fixture in the neighborhood, with superb offerings from their mesquite grill.
The cantinas on Medano Beach are a big part of the reason Cabo has such a well-deserved reputation for rowdy nightlife, although to be fair they are as wild or wilder during the day. Mango Deck is the most famous of these establishments, and the staff encourages patrons to participate in any number of bawdy activities, a phenomenon that is particularly pronounced during the Spring Break months. Most of the spots along the beach feature buckets of iced beer, which goes well with sun, surf, and salsa-spiced mariscos. A notable exception is Baja Brewing Company, which doesn't do buckets, but does beer better than anyone in the area, with some superb draft offerings and spectacular views from their rooftop location at Cabo Villas.
Medano Beach is home to a long line of luxury high-rise resorts, most with high-end amenities like full-service spas and fine dining restaurants. ME Cabo Resort is one of the hippest of the beachfront hotels. The lobby is a Deco-style masterpiece, with a wraparound marble staircase that leads down to the pool area, the social center of the resort. Nikki Beach Club and Passion Lounge are among the most soigne watering holes in town, and the onsite DJs help maintain the festive atmosphere. Bahia Hotel also has a certain hip quotient, with sophisticated Mexican-accented appointments and the popular Bar Esquina.
Medano Beach has never been regarded as one of Cabo's best shopping neighborhoods (although some of the larger resorts such as Villa Estancia have onsite gift shops and mini-markets), but beachgoers still have plenty of opportunities to exercise their purchasing power with the vendors who patrol the area. Hats, t-shirts, jewelry, and handicrafts are the most popular items proffered, but there are a variety of goods and services available. Food vendors also maintain a presence on the beach, and sun worshipers can cool down with raspados (snow cones) and other icy treats.