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Best Outdoor Activities in Cabo San Lucas

Land's End Adventures: 10 Best Outdoor Activities in Los Cabos


Los Cabos is blessed. Not only is the region home to distinct mountain and desert terrains, but it borders both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. This amazing geographical diversity accounts in large part for the tremendous array of outdoor activities available here. Sportfishing and golf are undoubtedly the most popular pursuits, but Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and the surrounding area also offer world-class conditions for adventures as wide-ranging as surfing, diving, kiteboarding, zip-lining and off-road racing.

Big-game sportfishing originally put the area on the map, and on a year-round basis visiting anglers can get their hooks into everything from blue, black and striped marlin to tuna, dorado, wahoo and more, courtesy of charter fishing companies like Pisces Sportfishing. October fishing tournaments in Cabo San Lucas like Bisbee’s Black and Blue, known as the “World’s Richest Fishing Tournament” (10 million dollars in cash was on the line in 2021), always headline the calendar of regional events.

But golf, too, is hugely important to the local economy. Since Jack Nicklaus was first invited to design courses in Los Cabos in the early 1990s, the most ambitious resort and real estate developments in the area have always been associated with championship-level golf courses from big-name designers. Over the past 30 years, Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Greg Norman –three giants of the sport – have all designed multiple layouts in the region. There are now 18 currently operating golf courses in Los Cabos (with more in the works), including six designed by Nicklaus himself ... an astounding number for a municipality with only 300,000 full-time residents. Quivira Golf Club on the Pacific Coast of Cabo San Lucas is Nicklaus' "must-play" masterpiece, a spectacular course carved into coastal cliffs and winding amid windswept dunes.

The most magical of Los Cabos’ outdoor attractions, however, are those that only arrive seasonally. Each winter, for instance, some 5,000 or more whales migrate from their arctic summer feeding grounds to winter breeding grounds around Baja California Sur – the state in which Los Cabos is located – offering incredible opportunities to see these majestic creatures in the wild. Humpbacks, with their spectacular breaching behaviors, are the most commonly sighted by Los Cabos based whale watching excursions. A few hours north, off the coast of Baja California Sur’s capital city of La Paz, the world’s largest fish, whale sharks, take up their own seasonal residence. Swimming with these gentle giants is another bucket list activity not to be missed by even mildly adventurous travelers.


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There are way more than four seasons in Los Cabos. In addition to the usual (spring, summer, fall, winter), there is also a whale watching season, a windsports season, a sea turtle season, and of course a whale shark season. The latter refers to the period from October through May, when Los Cabos visitors can be driven up to the state capital of La Paz to swim side-by-side with these majestic creatures off the tip of the El Mogote peninsula. As large as 40 feet in length and over 20 tons in weight, whale sharks are awe-inspiring when encountered in their natural habitat, and of course completely safe to swim with thanks to their plankton based diet. Cabo Adventures is one of the largest and most reliable tour operators in Los Cabos, offering round-trip transportation as well as the services of a professional photographer to document the unforgettable experience.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Swimming with whale sharks is one of the true outdoor bucket list adventures available in Baja Sur.

Chris's expert tip: For more information on swimming with whale sharks in Los Cabos, visit Cabo Adventures at cabo-adventures.com.

Read more about Swimming with Whale Sharks →


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 riding lessons, as well as studying dresssage, reining, Western pleasure, and other equine arts.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Cuadra San Francisco is the best and only fully equipped Equestrian Center in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Pony sized horses are available for kids.

Read more about Cuadra San Francisco Equestrian Center →


Racing fans will be familiar with the legendary Baja 1000, the off-road race that winds down the peninsula from Ensenada to La Paz (or loops back to Ensenada), with everything from motorcycles, buggies, and trucks trying to weather the shock-busting desert conditions. Wide Open Baja offers visitors a taste of these challenging conditions, with experiences, tours, and races that last from a few hours to three days. A Taste of Cabo is the introductory experience, a three hour adventure that includes up to 45 miles of off-road driving in an authentic $100,000 Baja Challenge race car. The car features a custom made Chromoly chassis, 4-speed manual transmission, 18 inches of suspension shocks and springs, safety harness, and a fresh air supply to combat the desert dust.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Wide Open Baja offers the area's best off-road racing adventures.

Chris's expert tip: The Lunch Run lasts a full day (nine hours), and includes 120 plus miles of off-road driving from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos, with lunch at El Faro Beach Club.

Read more about Wide Open Baja →


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More unforgettable experiences in Cabo San Lucas

 

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Cabo Adventures is among the top activities companies in Los Cabos, with an impressive array of outdoor excursions that include dolphin swims, scuba dives, whale watching outings, outback camel tours, mountain biking and zip lining through a UNESCO protected biosphere in the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range. For adrenaline junkies, the zip line tour is the one most likely to set the heart racing, with a series of lines criss-crossing rugged terrain in the Boca de Sierra. The longest line, dubbed Superman, stretches for nearly a mile and requires riding face down at speeds up to 60 mph. The views are spectacular, from the elevated launch point to exhilarating stretches where you seem to be flying just above the tree (and cactus) line.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Cabo Adventures boasts the longest and fastest zip-line in Mexico.

Chris's expert tip: This is an amazing introduction to the Sierra de la Laguna, the mountain range that runs up the center of Southern Baja California Sur, from Los Cabos to La Paz.

Read more about Cabo Adventures Outdoor Zip Line Adventure →


Whale watching isn't the only seasonal activity to get excited about in Los Cabos. Each winter, from approximately mid-November through mid-March, strong El Norte winds blow hundreds of miles down the Sea of Cortés, creating optimal wind and kite surfing conditions in many coastal areas of Baja California Sur. During this yearly breezy season, small East Cape communities like Los Barriles become meccas for world-class kitesurfers, kiteboarders and windsurfers, who flock to regional beaches for a chance to grab big air over inshore waves. Exotikite in Los Barriles is the top option for rentals and lessons, and also offers beachfront accommodations.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Los Cabos' East Cape offers world-class seasonal conditions for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

Chris's expert tip: With the La Ventana Classic on hiatus and the Lord of the Wind Showdown permanently done in Los Barriles, there are no windsports competitions scheduled this season.

Read more about Windsports Season →


Quivira is a legendary golfer and designer Jack Nicklaus' sixth Los Cabos layout, and his second masterpiece. "Our team worked with the canvas Mother Nature provided," Nicklaus said, "to create one of the most spectacular courses in the world." Set on the Pacific Coast north of Cabo San Lucas, this 7,085-yard course is breathtaking in every respect, with 18 holes winding magnificently along sheer cliffs, and through desert foothills and windswept dunes. Seven holes hug the coast, and ocean views are available from all 18 fairways (keep your eyes peeled for roadrunners and seasonal glimpses of migrating whales). In addition to stunning scenery, there are four mid-course comfort stations serving up cocktails and tasty treats, while more filling fare is available pre or post-round at the onsite steakhouse. The course is accessible to guests at all four local Pueblo Bonito resorts - Blanco, Rosé, Pacifica and Sunset Beach - as well as the luxury residential developments Quivira, Copala, Montecristo Estates and Novaispania. A second Quivira course from Nicklaus is in development.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Although restricted to guests at Pueblo Bonito's four local resorts, this course is the must-play golf experience in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Make sure to visit the practice area, which is not only flawlessly maintained, but offers its own picturesque ocean views.

Read more about Quivira Golf Club →


Cabo San Lucas has excellent sailing conditions outside its protected bay, and Cabo Sails is one of the top local options for charters, tours or sailing lessons. Available sailboats range from 30' to 44' feet in length, and can accommodate up to 20 guests for snorkel, whale watching and sunset tours, as well as private and overnight charters. The sunset tours are one of the best romantic activities in Los Cabos, with chilled Champagne, fresh sea breezes, and the unforgettable sight of the sun sinking beyond the evocatively shaped granite rock formations at Land's End. Catamarans and trimarans provide smooth rides, and Cabo Sails excels at service-oriented touches, from wrapping towels around deck cushions to providing things like roses or birthday cakes for special occasions. They even offer dog-size life preserves for those traveling with pets.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Sailing around Land's End, particularly at sunset, is one of the signature Los Cabos activities.

Chris's expert tip: All vessels are rigged with lifeline safety netting, a family-friendly feature that makes sailing stress-free for parents with small children.

Read more about Cabo Sails →


Cabo San Lucas was built on big-game sport fishing, and even the most amateur of anglers will want to take their chances with the local population of marlin, sailfish, tuna and dorado. Blue Sky Cabo has become the most popular local charter fishing company, largely because they don't simply cater to hardcore fishermen. On the contrary, their excursions are as much lifestyle experiences as traditional fishing trips. Yes, the fishing is amazing, but Blue Sky Cabo also offers excellent food and drink service aboard their top-of-the-line fleet, which includes a lavishly appointed 60' Bertram. All excursions are exhaustively photographed, and unlike most local activities companies, Blue Sky Cabo sends the best photos to clients without any additional fees. For these reasons, as well as their commitment to inclusivity, Blue Sky Cabo is a popular choice with women and families, and hosts the best bachelorette fishing parties in the region. Snorkel tours and Land's End trips are also offered.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: This is the top charter fishing company in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Long-sleeved t-shirts with Blue Sky Cabo branding are a complimentary extra for all guests.

Read more about Blue Sky Cabo →


Cabo Pulmo National Park
Photo courtesy of Chris Sands

Cabo Pulmo is the heart and soul of the East Cape, accessible via a graded dirt road that connects coastal communities – from eco-bungalows and remote campsites to off-the-grid villages – between La Ribera and Zacatitos. The Cabo Pulmo National Park and its marine sanctuary is the area's biggest draw, an undersea fantasia of living coral reef with a remarkable concentration of marine life that includes sharks, dolphins, sea lions, eels, leaping mobula rays and endangered sea turtles. For visitors who don't have time for a East Cape weekend getaway, but don't want to miss Cabo Pulmo, jeep tours may be arranged through Los Cabos based company High Tide, and day trip diving adventures through Adventures in Baja, Cabo Adventures, and other area dive shops. The park has been protected since 1995, and includes over 27 square miles spanning land and sea. The beach is gorgeous here as well, with beachfront hangouts like Tacos & Beer offering chill vibes and and even chiller refreshments.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: The living coral reef at Cabo Pulmo offers the best snorkeling and diving in Los Cabos.

Chris's expert tip: Cabo Pulmo National Park is home to over 800 varieties of fish, and over 2,000 species of marine invertebrates.

Read more about Cabo Pulmo National Park →


Whale watching season in Los Cabos traditionally stretches from mid-December through mid-April, and sees an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 whales migrate south to breeding grounds at Magdalena Bay and in the Sea of Cortés. Grays and humpbacks are the most commonly sighted, but lucky visitors can occasionally see blue, sperm, fin and pilot whales, as well as the occasional orca. The annual migration is big business locally, and virtually every local tour boat offers seasonal whale watching excursions. High-speed inflatables provide the best chance for up-close-and-personal looks at these leviathans, but it's not absolutely necessary to sign up for a tour to enjoy sightings. as whales are commonly spied from area beaches, as well as coastal resorts, restaurants and golf courses. Tours are the best way to experience whale watching season, however, and the best tour providers also offer hydrophones to listen to the whales' incredible songs.

Recommended for Outdoor Activities because: Whale watching is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Los Cabos, despite its seasonal nature.

Chris's expert tip: Humpbacks often breach spectacularly, and typically provide the best photo opportunities.

Read more about Whale Watching →


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Meet Chris Sands

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

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