The Simple Life: The Attractions of Baja California Sur's Beautiful East Cape

For those that yearn for the simple pleasures of the “Old Baja,” or are seeking an antidote to the touristy hustle of Cabo San Lucas, the East Cape is the answer. Time seemingly stands still on this coastal stretch, which swells like a pregnant belly from the outskirts of San José del Cabo to Los Barriles and the beautiful Bay of Palms.

Fishing has always been the chief attraction for visitors to the region, and the East Cape was the site of some of the peninsula’s early fly-in fishing resorts in the 1950s. The fish rich water of the Sea of Cortés are still a big draw, particularly for annual bill and gamefish tournaments like Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore.

World-class conditions also exist, seasonally at least, for surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing. Shipwrecks and Nine Palms are popular destinations for summer surfaris from Los Cabos; and when strong winter El Norte winds blow down the coast, places like La Ventana and Los Barriles become heaven on earth for windsports enthusiasts. Lord of the Wind, an annual kiteboarding competition in Los Barriles, will become the North American championship of the sport starting in January 2016.

The snorkeling and diving is also spectacular, particularly at Cabo Pulmo. This national marine sanctuary is home to eight fingers of living coral reef, and because of its protected status, now boasts the highest concentration of marine life in the Sea of Cortés.

Exotikite specializes in kiteboarding apparel, rentals and lessons. Their shop is located in the small East Cape town of Los Barriles, where the Lord of the Wind Showdown is held every January. The Lord of the Wind is one of, if not the, world's...  Read More

Two-time major champion Greg "The Great White Shark" Norman meets 18-time major champion and local golf icon Jack "The Golden Bear" Nicklaus in one of the area's most unique layouts. Norman designed the front nine Mission Course, Nicklaus the...  Read More

East Cape community Cabo Pulmo provides easy access to one of the oldest and largest living coral reefs in the Western Hemisphere, in a national marine sanctuary that boasts the highest concentration of marine life in the Sea of Cortés. This is...  Read More

The ambitious Puerto Los Cabos development outside San José del Cabo is of interest to more than just residents and guests at its onsite luxury hotels. The 2000-acre property also boasts a wealth of interesting attractions: most notably art and...  Read More

Bisbee's organizes three annual fishing tournaments in Baja California Sur: the East Cape Offshore in July or August, and the Los Cabos Offshore and Black & Blue in October. The latter dates to 1981, and is considered the world's richest...  Read More

Each winter, strong El Norte winds blow down the Sea of Corts, creating ideal wind and kite surfing conditions – consistent 15 to 30 mile per hour winds - in some coastal areas of Baja California Sur. The height of the windsports season...  Read More

Surfing is a year round attraction in Baja California Sur, with summer traditionally the best time for breaks on the Sea of Corts side, winter for those on the Pacific Ocean side. Los Cabos has several fine sites – most notably Zippers and...  Read More

Located just south of Los Barriles, Buenavista gets its name from its lovely vantages of Bahia Las Palmas, the Bay of Palms. Herb Tansey helped put Buenavista on the map when he opened Rancho Buena Vista - one of the region's first fly-in...  Read More

Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park
Photo courtesy of Pepe Murrieta

Cabo Pulmo is the heart and soul of the East Cape, accessible via El Camino Rural Costero, a graded dirt road that connects coastal communities - from eco-bungalows and remote campsites to off-the-grid villages - between La Ribera and Puerto Los...  Read More

Sometimes called "the jewel of the East Cape," Los Barriles also acts as the coastal region's de facto capital. It has the best restaurants, the best shopping, and the best hotels of any coastal community between San José del Cabo and La Paz....  Read More


Meet Chris Sands

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