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Short-Term Sightseeing: 10 Best Cabo Attractions for Cruise Visitors



It's easy to see why Cabo San Lucas is such a popular stop for cruise ships. The convenient location of the city's cruise ship terminal allows visitors easy access to the many water-based activities companies headquartered around the marina boardwalk, as well as quick and affordable water taxi transportation to beautiful local beaches like Playa El Médano and Playa del Amor.

Playa El Médano is approximately a 30 minute walk from the terminal, but water taxis cut the travel time to about 5 minutes, and generally cost only a few dollars per person. Médano Beach is definitely worth a visit. This two mile stretch of sand hosts many of Los Cabos' best resorts, restaurants and cantinas – including popular stops like Mango Deck and The Office – and is the go-to spot for jet ski rentals and parasailing rides.

Cabo San Lucas' other iconic beach, Playa del Amor (more commonly known as Lover's Beach), is also a highly recommended stop for first-time visitors. Water taxi rides to this picturesque playa are easily arranged, but more satisfying excursions are available through High Tide Sea Expeditions, which offers three hour tandem kayak trips to Land's End, with a leisurely stop at Lover's Beach for snorkeling and snacks. Best of all, the tour starts a very short distance from the cruise ship terminal.


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Buccaneer Queen


Ready to set sail aboard a 98' replica pirate ship that looks (from a distance) as if it could have sailed the Spanish Main? Ready to walk the plank, or rope swing into a vacation adventure? Midday excursions aboard this Jolley Roger flying pirate vessel feature up-close looks at Land's End and Lover's Beach, as well as snorkeling forays into the fish-rich waters of Chileno Bay. Kids will love the sword fights and other scurvy entertainment staged by the salty costumed crew. Parents will appreciate the Mexican specialty food and open bar. Sunset sails and seasonal whale watching trips are also available.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Scurvy cruises aboard this pirate-themed ship are among the best family-friendly activities options in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: The top tour option is the afternoon snorkel trip to Chileno Bay.

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Cabo Submarine


This 60' yellow semi-submersible takes up to fifty guests on one-hour tours of Cabo San Lucas Bay, with abundant views of the local marine life from their climate-controlled underwater viewing cabin, and the occasional Beatles song (you guess which one) as mood music. Helpful guides allow you to identify up to 70 types of fish (everything from dolphins and whales to colorful puffer fish), and if it isn't on the chart, crew are readily available to answer questions. On the return trip, the submarine hugs the coast near Land's End, offering up-close looks at The Arch, and other notable rock formations like Pelican Rock and Neptune's Finger.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: This is one of the best activities in Los Cabos for small children.

Chris's expert tip: Cabo Submarine get closer to landmarks like Land's End and The Arch than most boats, and provides some superb photo opportunities.

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Enjoy incredible aerial views of Médano Beach, Pedregal, Land's End, The Arch, and Bahía San Lucas from a motorized ultralight. Pilot Ernesto Magaña has close to 30 years of flying experience, and offers some of Cabo San Lucas' most exhilarating tours. Depending on your fear factor, there are basically two settings: smooth and extreme. Extreme is recommended. Either way, this is a sightseeing dream, with stunning views of all the local landmarks from a thousand feet in the air. Tour durations range from 10 minutes (Land's End Tour) to one hour (King Sky Tour), with the latter including a jaunt to San José del Cabo.

Read more about Cabo Sky Tours →


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Surf lessons from the former national champion of México may be the most popular water-based activities option from High Tide, but the company's most iconic offering is a kayak paddle out to Land's End and the Arch, with a stop at Lover's and Divorce Beaches for sun, sand, snorkeling, snacks and superb photo opportunities. Stand up paddle boards are also availabe on this tour. Less active pursuits include an introduction to San José del Cabo's weekly Art Walk, and off-road jeep explorations of East Cape sites like Cabo Pulmo, a rustic seaside paradise whose offshore marine sanctuary boasts the oldest living coral reef in the Western Hemisphere.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: High Tide's kayak tours launch about two hundred yards from the cruise ship terminal.

Chris's expert tip: Sign up for High Tide's off-road jeep explorations of scenic East Cape destinations like Cabo Pulmo and Santiago.

Read more about High Tide Sea Expeditions →




One of the most popular new water-based activities in Cabo San Lucas, flyboarding has only been around since 2011, when it was invented by a French jet ski champion named Franky Zapata. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a pair of boots are attached to a board, which is linked by a long hose to a wave runner or jet ski. Revving the jet ski sends water pressure through the hose and allows the flyboarder to propel him or herself up to 35 feet out of the water. Steering is controlled by heel-to-toe pressure in the feet, and tricks and turns are possible once one is out of the water and flying above Cabo San Lucas Bay like some sort of superhero.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Flyboarding is one of the most popular new water-based activities in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Photo and video packages are available.

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Few local adventure companies can match Cabo Expedtions' variety of eco-themed activities, which include whale watching and swimming with whale sharks (seasonal), parasailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and day trips to Isla Espíritu Santo off the coast of La Paz. Perhaps the best thing about the company's collection of land and water based activities is that they cover a good portion of Baja California Sur, and thus provide visitors with wide-ranging introductions to the area's incredible bio-diversity. A snorkel/dive hybrid called "snuba" is a great choice for kids, since it requires no certifications, and allows ample time underwater (about 30 minutes) to appreciate the abundance of colorful fish and fauna in offshore waters.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Conveniently located on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo Expeditions offers an excellent selection of water-based activities.

Chris's expert tip: Week-long snorkel and kayak tours explore UNESCO protected islands near Loreto and La Paz.

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Lover's and Divorce Beaches are as close as you can get to Land's End without a boat. However, you will need a boat or other water-based transportation to access them. Lover's Beach is on the Sea of Cortés side, and generally has safe swimming and good snorkeling conditions. It also features spectacular views of the bay, and all the luxury hotels on Médano Beach. Walk through a gap in the rocks and you're on Divorce Beach, looking out at the Pacific Ocean (avoid swimming on the Pacific side due to strong rip currents). Locals like to joke about the fact that Divorce Beach is five times the size of Lover's Beach. There are no vendors or services on either beach, so make sure you bring what you need for the day. Water taxis are readily available from the Marina or Médano Beach, and are happy to provide round-trip transportation.

Read more about Playa del Amor →




The 144' luxury catamaran Caborey is the premier cruise ship in Los Cabos, best known for its perennially popular margarita and dinner cruises. The dinner cruise is one of the great local dining experiences, particularly for those who are in town for a short time and want to get a feel for the local landscape, culture and cuisine. Enjoy romantic sunset views of Cabo San Lucas Bay, Médano and Lovers' Beaches, and the unique rock formations such as El Arco that stretch out towards Land's End. There are two belowdecks areas for dinner, depending upon your ticket preference. There is a buffet on the middle deck, and a sit-down dinner on the lower deck with a choice of entrées. After the sit-down dinner, there is a rousing Las Vegas-style floor show featuring Mexican and Latin American singing and folk dances, headlined by a passionately romantic Argentine style tango.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Caborey's snorkeling tours are a convenient and comfortable option for cruise ship visitors.

Chris's expert tip: Snorkeling tours to Chileno Bay are also available, and include lunch and an open bar.

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Cabo Adventures is one of the area's top tour companies, with friendly professional staff, and an impressive roster of exciting outdoor activities. Dolphin swims and encounters through affiliate Cabo Dolphins are probably the most popular offering, and are available at locations in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Other tours showcase sailing, diving, whale watching, mountain biking and zip lining; and outback camel safaris provide guided introductions to the flora and fauna of the Baja California peninsula. With the exception of dolphin-related offerings in San José del Cabo, all other tours meet at the Dolphin Center on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Water and snacks are included, and each tour is accompanied by a professional photographer.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Cabo Adventures is one of the best activities companies in Los Cabos, and is located very close to the cruise ship terminal.

Chris's expert tip: Whale watching photo safaris are offered from mid-December through mid-April.

Read more about Cabo Adventures →


Playa El Médano is ground zero for the Spring Break madness in March, and remains busy throughout the year. In many ways, it's the center of social life in Cabo San Lucas. The beach is huge, about two miles long, and filled with restaurants, bars, souvenirs vendors, and water-based activities rentals. You can rent wave runners, kayaks, go parasailing, have a water taxi take you out to Land's End or Lover's Beach, or drop you off back at the marina. The water is extremely calm here, and although you won't find any lifeguards in Cabo San Lucas, areas are roped off for swimming.

Read more about Playa El Medano →


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Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is co-founder of CaboVivo, co-writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to 10Best at USA Today, as well as other websites and publications. His specialty is...  More About Chris

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