Child's Play: The Best Kid-Friendly Acitivities in Cabo San Lucas



Despite its reputation for romantic resorts and rowdy nightlife, Cabo San Lucas is actually a very good family-friendly vacation destination. Many local lodgings offer onsite kids clubs with supervised activities, babysitting options are readily available, and there are a wealth of outdoor activities that will appeal to children of all ages.

Cabo Submarine and Cabo Dolphins are two of the top choices for young children, and both provide memorable experiences in non-threatening environments. Cabo Submarine's yellow semi-submersible showcases the abundance of colorful marine life in the Sea of Cortés from a comfortable underwater viewing cabin, while Cabo Dolphin provides up-close-and-personal dolphin encounters in very shallow water.

Older kids, meanwhile, may prefer surf lessons at High Tide Sea Expeditions, where they can learn wave riding from a former Mexican national champion. Swimming with whale sharks tours and a snorkel/scuba hybrid called Snuba are among the cool offerings from Cabo Expeditions, and the Baja California peninsula's biggest theme park, Wild Canyon, draws raves from visiting teens for its adrenaline-pumping adventures, which range from zip-line courses to off-road racing. 



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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.


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The only water park in the municipality of Los Cabos is located in a small rural community called Caduaño, between San José del Cabo and Santiago. Despite its off-the-beaten-path setting, Wild Wet Fun is a magnet for kids of all ages, and reaches its peak of popularity during the long hot summer months. The park boasts many water slides and floaties, as well as a replica pirate ship and expansive pool areas. Food and drink cannot be brought in, but concession items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas and chicken tenders are available. Wild Wet Fun is open seasonally, and generally only on weekends. It reopens in March 2018. Call ahead for directions or details.


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Los Cabos spas typically offer signature treatments that revolve around a unifying concept. At The Spa at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, the menu is a showcase for treatments inspired by the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. What really sets the spa apart from the competition, however, are its special programs for kids and pets. The Rose Bud Junior menu, for example, offers an array of massages, manis, pedis, and mini facials for children ages 5 to 13. A parent or guardian must be present during these spa visits, so treatments like the Mom or Dad and Me - in which a parent and child receive side-by-side Swedish style massages - are a popular option. Dogs, too, are treated like VIPs at Las Ventanas: canine pampering includes dog butlers, doga (dog yoga) classes and soothing massages.


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Baja Babysitting is a great option for visiting parents. The company offers access to high-quality, bilingual babysitters who are happy to take of the kids (from 3 months to 14 years old) while Mom and Dad enjoy a little time to themselves. The sitters all travel with bathing suits, so they're able to entertain the kids poolside at the hotel or rental villa. Sitters are also available to provide an extra set of hands on beach trips, picnics and other excursions. The sitters are thoroughly vetted, and parents are given contact info for their references. As an added bonus, Baja Babysitting gives parents a local cell phone so they can check on the kids at any time.


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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, diving, snorkel trips to Chileno and Santa María Bays, day trips to Isla Espíritu Santo off the coast of La Paz, and city tours around Cabo San Lucas. Perhaps the best thing about the company's collection of land and water based activities is that they cover a large portion of Baja California Sur, and thus provide visitors with wide-ranging introductions to the area's incredible bio-diversity Cabo Expeditions also offers visits to Wild Canyon's Kingdom, home to exotic and colorful animals like macaws, iguanas, and a crocodile..


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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.


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Ready to set sail aboard a 98' replica pirate ship that looks (from a distance) as if it could have sailed the Spanish Main? Daily excursions feature up-close looks at Land's End and Lover's Beach, as well as snorkeling adventures in the fish-rich waters of Chileno Bay. Kids will love the sword fights and other entertainment staged by the salty costumed crew. Parents will appreciate the Mexican specialty food and open bar. Luau and sunset sails are other popular tour options, as are the after-dark pirate party cruises from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Seasonal whale watching trips are also available.


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Cuadra San Francisco is one of the Los Cabos area's hidden gems. Francisco Barrera and his son Valente are master horsemen, and they offer 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. Francisco trained under Nuno Oliveira, the Portuguese legend considered by many to be the most outstanding horseman of the 20th century, and he excels at teaching dressage, and the traditional techniques of Mexican vaqueros. Their 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.


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This 60' yellow semi-submersible takes up to fifty guests for 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 goes very close to The Arch, and other notable rock formations like Pelican Rock and Neptune's Finger.


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Dolphin swims are among the most popular tickets in town. There are actually several ways to experience these delightful and intelligent creatures: encounters, swims and the more in-depth trainer for a day program. The encounters occur in shallow water, and are recommended for young children, pregnant women and the elderly. Swims aren't very physically demanding, either, as the dolphins do all the work, with visitors hanging onto their pectoral or dorsal fins as they zip around the large pool. The pool is quite cool, by the way, as it has to be maintained at a temperature comfortable for the dolphins. Wetsuits are provided.


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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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