Between the Capes: The Best Attractions in the Los Cabos Tourist Corridor

The 20-mile coastal corridor that connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo is home to many of the area’s most luxurious seaside resorts, as well as some of its most notable activities options.

Golf and beaches are particularly well-represented in the Tourist Corridor. More than half of the region’s championship-level layouts are located here, including the world-class designs from Jack Nicklaus at Palmilla, El Dorado, and the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol. And Robert Trent Jones II’s Cabo Real course put Los Cabos on the golfing map when whales were spotted breaching near greens during a 1996 PGA Senior Slam event.

Playas Chileno and Santa María are among the most beautiful local beaches, offering golden sands and safe swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Playa Las Viudas, or Widow’s Beach, is popular with photographers due to its evocatively shaped volcanic rock formations. And Playa Monumentos, or Monuments Beach, boasts some of the best surfing in Baja California Sur, although its tricky left-hand point break and rocky hazards are decidedly not for beginners.

But there are also other options. The Baja California peninsula’s biggest theme park, Wild Canyon, is located in the corridor, and offers adventurous pursuits that range from zip-lines and bungee jumping to camel quests and off-road racings. Cuadra San Francisco, meanwhile, is the premier local stop for riders, with a stable of nearly 50 horses available for beach and trail rides, as well as other equine-related activities.


This lengthy 7,220 yard loop offers wide fairways that wind elegantly through both desert and mountain terrain, and are often bordered by bougainvillea, palo blanco trees and towering cardón, the largest species of cactus in the world. Beautiful views of Land's End and El Arco are visible from several vantage points, and highlight this unforgettable set-up from designer Roy Dye. The course is not only long, but demanding, with plenty of bunkering and water hazards. The par-5 7th hole is particularly memorable, a 610 yard double dog-legged demon with a bunker guarded green, and lots of opportunities for splash downs. The driving range is now open at night, for those seeking to fine tune their games before the next day's challenge.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: The Cabo San Lucas Country Club is the only golf course in Los Cabos with Land's End views.

Chris's expert tip: Cabo San Lucas Country Club is situated on the grounds of the Los Cabos Golf Resort, with discounted greens fees and stay and play packages available for resort guests.

Read more about Cabo San Lucas Country Club →

Beautiful Tourist Corridor beach Playa Palmilla is essentially divided into public and private areas, with the latter belonging to One&Only Palmilla, one of area's benchmark luxury resorts. The beach offers great swimming in a protected cove, with invariably calm waters. The swimming conditions are so good, in fact, that Playa Palmilla hosts the swim leg of the annual Ironman Los Cabos triathlon. Snorkeling, fishing and kayaking are also good here, and the beach is perfect for sunning or scenic walks. For access, take the Palmilla exit at Km. 27. Public parking is available, and palapas are on hand for those seeking a bit of shade.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: The protected cove off Playa Palmilla offers perfect conditions for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking.

Chris's expert tip: The protected cove offers very safe swimming conditions, and hosts the swim portion of the annual Ironman Los Cabos.

Read more about Playa Palmilla →

Cabo Real is one of the least heralded of the great golf courses in Los Cabos, although it is the only area layout to host two PGA Senior Slam Events. The set-up is gorgeous, with lush fairways, swaying palm trees, towering cactus, and superb Sea of Cortés views. Despite the beauty of the natural surroundings, it's a tough loop for both high and low handicappers, with Robert Trent Jones II's design playing 7,037 yards from the black tees. The front nine is the sternest test, with some early par fives, and a whole lot of desert. The back nine is a little easier, allowing players to relax and enjoy the spectacular views. There are some interesting sights here, from a bikini-rich pool deck to seasonal glimpses of whales breaching offshore.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: Cabo Real is the only course in Los Cabos to host two PGA Senior Slam events.

Chris's expert tip: Cabo Real finishes tough, with an uphill 564 yard par 5.

Read more about Cabo Real →


Playa Monumentos, or Monuments Beach, is a mecca for Baja bound surfers, thanks to a challenging left-hand point break and scenic views of El Arco and the other granitic rock formations that stretch to Land's End in Cabo San Lucas. This spot is definitely not for beginners, though, with hazards that include sea urchins and rocks near the beach. The incredible sunset views have led to many developments here, most recently The Cape: A Thompson Hotel, a hip new luxury resort featuring retro décor and surfer chic. Guests have access to rentals at the onsite surf shop, and there are some surf-themed suites set aside for visiting wave riders. Despite the crowded setting, however, the beach is open to the public, by law, and there is parking available. Summer is the preferred season for surfing in the Sea of Cortés.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: Monuments Beach is the one of the best surf spots in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Playa Monumentos is at Km 5.3 on the Carretera Transpeninsular, just off the highway that connects the cape cities. If driving from Cabo San Lucas, turn right at the sign for Misiones del Cabo.

Read more about Playa Monumentos →

Jack Nicklaus has designed so many great golf courses in Los Cabos - currently six - he should be eligible for dual citizenship. Palmilla Golf Club is one of his crown jewels, with a gorgeous layout featuring some stunning seaside views. There are 27 holes total, stretching over three nine-hole courses: The Ocean Course, The Mountain Course and The Arroyo Course. The Ocean Course, with its spectacular views of the Sea of Cortés, is the most visually breathtaking of the three. The 17th hole, in particular, is a Pebble Beach worthy par-3. The courses cater to low and high handicappers alike, with five sets of tee boxes.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: Palmilla Golf Club is one of the best courses in the Tourist Corridor.

Chris's expert tip: Greens fees include 18 holes, meaning you can play your choice of two of the three nine-hole layouts.

Read more about Palmilla Golf Club →

Playa Santa María is not quite as popular as Tourist Corridor neighbor Playa Chileno, but this exquisitely lovely horseshoe-shaped beach is definitely worth a visit. The protected bay includes a marine sanctuary, and there is an colorful array of marine life visible here. That's one of the reasons the bay is included on so many Cabo San Lucas dive and snorkel tours. If you're not snorkeling with a tour, you'll probably need to bring your own equipment, as there are few rentals or services at Santa María. That may change with the building of a new 39-acre resort and residential development called Montage Los Cabos, which is scheduled to open in 2017.

Read more about Playa Santa Maria →

The Baja California peninsula's biggest and baddest theme park, Wild Canyon, is home to a wide array of hair-raising and adrenaline-pumping adventures, ranging from zip-lining and bungee jumping to sling swings and off-road racing. Although it's easily the top stop in Los Cabos for thrill-seeking teenagers, Wild Canyon does offer slower paced pursuits like camel rides and, most recently, an exotic petting zoo. The park is located near Playa El Tule in the Tourist Corridor that connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. After your tour, grab burgers and drinks at the tropical-themed Lion's Den restaurant.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: Wild Canyon is the biggest theme park in Baja, and one of the best family-friendly activities options in the Tourist Corridor.

Chris's expert tip: The palapa-topped, tropical-themed Lion's Den is a great place to have a cold beverage and relive your adventures.

Read more about Wild Canyon Adventures →

Playa Chileno is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, and has been consistently "blue flagged" for excellence by the IMNC (a Mexican regulatory agency) for its water quality, safety and services. As one might imagine, Chileno Beach is quite popular, particularly on weekends during the high season. Shade is provided by palapas or rental umbrellas, and some water-based activities rentals are also available. The snorkeling is very good, and many charter companies from Cabo San Lucas offer tours to Chileno Bay, including Caborey, EcoCat, Slippery Lizzard and Sun Rider. There is plenty of parking and most basic services, including handicap access. A new boutique hotel and residential development called VieVage Los Cabos is scheduled to open at Chileno Bay by the end of 2016.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: Playa Chileno is the most popular beach in the Tourist Corridor.

Chris's expert tip: Motorized water-based rentals like wave runners are not permitted in Bahia Chileno, which only enhances the charming atmosphere at this beautiful beach.

Read more about Playa Chileno →

Los Cabos has drawn a host of legendary names to design the ever-increasing number of championship-level loops in the region, but nonpareil golfer Jack Nicklaus was the one who put the area on the map. The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol is considered by many to be his masterwork, and is currently ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the world. Nicklaus himself has called it "the best golf property I've ever seen." Cabo del Sol is first-class in every respect, with dramatic vistas of desert, mountain and sea, and seven holes bordering the Sea of Cortés. The Ocean Course plays long at 7075 yards, with plenty of elevation changes and undulating greens to challenge both high and low handicappers.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol has been rated among the top 100 golf courses in the world.

Chris's expert tip: The 17th is possibly the most spectacular hole on the course, with an elevated cliff-top tee box and incredible views of the Sea of Cortés. This is a good spot for photo opportunities, as well as last minute appeals to the golfing gods.

Read more about Cabo del Sol Ocean Course →

Cuadra San Francisco is one of the Los Cabos area's hidden gems, offering virtually every equine-related activity imaginable: trail rides over local terrain, romantic rides along secluded beaches, carriage rides for weddings or special events...even polo lessons. The late Francisco Barrera trained under Nuno Oliveira, the Portuguese legend considered by many to be the most outstanding horseman of the 20th century, and his son Valente excels at teaching dressage, and the traditional techniques of Mexican vaqueros. The stables are located in the Tourist Corridor, just off the Cabo Real Golf course, and maintain close to fifty horses. Pony-sized horses with special saddles are available for kids, who can take lessons in either riding or archery.

Recommended for Corridor's Best Attractions because: Cuadra San Francisco is the only fully equipped Equestrian Center in Los Cabos.

Local Expert tip: Pony sized horses are available for kids.

Read more about Cuadra San Francisco Equestrian Center →


Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the Cabo San Lucas local expert for the USA Today travel website 10 Best, co-writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to numerous websites and...  More About Chris