Although Cabo San Lucas has a reputation for rowdy nightlife, and is sometimes thought of as a playground for adults, there are also plenty of family friendly activities in the area. For those traveling to Los Cabos, and particularly for those who have a day ashore from one of the many cruise ships who include Cabo on their itineraries, several activities stand out and should be considered mandatory stops for the entire family, even if you are only here for a single day.
Cabo Dolphins has a host of popular dolphin-themed activities for children and adults of all age, including encounters, swims, and the more intensive trainer-for-a-day program. The dolphin swims are not taxing (the dolphin does all the work, pulling you around the pool as you hang on to a fin, either dorsal or pectoral), and are fine for kids ages five and up, provided the child isn't afraid of being pulled around the pool. Each tour includes dolphin kisses, swims, and a short show as the trainer takes his or her dolphin through a variety of flips and other tricks. For toddlers or children who are easily frightened, dolphin encounters are also available. These occur in very shallow water, and allow kids to pet, kiss, and otherwise get to know a large marine mammal.
Dolphin showing off his tricks for a group of children. — Photo courtesy of Cabo Dolphins
Who doesn't love a pirate ship? In Sunderland and Buccaneer Queen, Cabo San Lucas has two of them. The former provides a memorable swashbuckling adventure, with staged sword fights, hidden treasure, and a theatrical atmosphere that will appeal to younger children. Sunderland, on the other hand, isn't a pirate ship replica, but the real thing. Built in 1885 with sturdy English Oak that allowed the ship to easily ram smaller vessels, Sunderland is one of the last of the legendary tall ships, and her salty crew really know how to sail her. The snorkeling and seasonal whale watching cruises are great afternoon adventures for the entire family, and only rarely is anyone forced to walk the plank.
Cabo Submarine offers another boating excursion that will appeal to the younger set, and their 60' semi-submersible yellow submarine gives tours out to Land's End and The Arch, with great views of all the local marine life available through the portholes in their underwater viewing cabin. There is a card provided which allows you to identify up to 70 types of fish, and passengers can also expect to see the occasional dolphin, shark, whale, sea, or manta ray. The one hour tours are relatively short, and are offered throughout the day, making this an easy activity to fit into your schedule.
Underwater views of the local marine life from Cabo Submarine. — Photo courtesy of Vic Vertigo
If you are staying overnight in Cabo San Lucas, several hotels and resorts have activities programs that are designed specifically for children. One & Only Palmilla provides one of the best, and their Kids Only Club is second to none in terms of providing memorable experiences for youngsters, while Mom and Dad have some time to themselves. Baby sitting and nanny services are available for toddlers, and for children ages 4-11 the activities menu includes cultural classes that focus on learning Spanish, making piñatas, Mexican cooking, and other fun and educational pursuits. Kids can also enjoy yoga, or play any number of sports such as beach volleyball, horseshoes, or soccer. Activities are also available for teens.