By | 2018-03-01T14:26:28+00:00 February 28th, 2018|

Cabo San Lucas Beaches: The Ultimate Guide to 30 Beaches

This guide covers Cabo San Lucas Beaches, San Jose del Cabo Beaches, the Tourist Corridor, the East Cape.

Every one of these regions of Los Cabos has its own beauty, its own beaches.

Some people think all beaches are the same. Interchangeable. You go to one and it’s as good as the other. Los Cabos and its shores prove them wrong. So wrong!

Few places can boast of beaches that are right next to each other but as different as… well, as cats and dogs! Yeah, some beaches are like cats, calm, dignified, or moody, while some are like dogs, all fun and rolling around in high energy!

You can have a little cove all to yourself, with nothing but the sound of the surf to interrupt your solitude, if you know where to go.

In this guide you’ve got the biggest beaches, the smallest, the most famous, and the hidden surprises.

Depending on the time of year, whales join the waves. Look for “whales” to be listed in the features below so you can park yourself where most of the action happens!

Since some of the Los Cabos beaches are still untouched, you can expect many not to have restrooms and convenience stores. No shade either. It’s BYOU — bring your own umbrella.

Ready? Almost all roads lead to sand and sea!

Cabo San Lucas Beaches

But first, some reminders

By Mexican Federal law, it’s illegal to drive in any of the beaches. That includes the Cabo San Lucas Beaches, Todos Santos, Pescadero, East Cape, San Jose and everywhere in the region.

The sand is soft so ATVs are for getting around and across the arroyos until you’re near enough to hike, not for leisure riding on the beach itself.

All the beaches on the Pacific side, except Cerritos Beach, are NOT swimmable. Keep your toes out of the water. Yep, the currents are that powerful. Tragedy has struck, taking lives of those out for a seemingly harmless stroll in ankle-deep water.

Always look around for, and heed, warning signs. Things to watch out for:

  • Undertows
  • Riptides
  • Dangerous whitecaps and breakers
  • Deep drop-offs close to shore
  • Jellyfish
  • Urchins

If you need to feel the sun in every inch of your skin, go to a clothing-optional resort. Walking around “starkers” as the British would say, is illegal in Mexico.

There used to be some beaches (like Playa de Las Viudas, when it was still called Twin Dolphins Beach of the now-defunct Twin Dolphins Hotel) secluded enough for some topless or nude sunbathing, but development and the adoring public has now made all beaches more populated during high season.

There are no lifeguards on Cabo San Lucas beaches. Coming with kids or a non-swimmer? Keep a watchful eye on them. Not a strong swimmer yourself? Err on the side of caution and don’t overreach yourself. Stay safe.

Bring everything except the hotel door…

If you plan to spend the day or a few hours at the beach, that means hauling things. Unless you’re staying on your hotel’s beach — and you really should explore — bring everything you’d need.

Clothes, towels, fans, sunglasses, something to snack on and give you shade.

Shade: A lot of palapas were swept away by the hurricane Odile and a sunny afternoon will leave you looking like a lobster. Bring your own umbrellas or tent. Some beaches have people renting umbrellas, but you can’t guarantee when or where they’ll be.

A cooler for food and drinks: The best beaches have no stores, and vendors are not allowed, or scarce because of the seclusion.

Electronics: Batteries/power banks, extra SD cards for cameras, phones, speakers. You don’t want to miss recording something beautiful!

Snorkeling equipment: Sometimes, you get lucky with the water. You expect rough surf but arrive there to calm waters, especially if you go early enough! So always tote your snorkel.

Sunblock and first aid: Reapply sunblock as often as you can every time you get wet from swimming or sweat, and bring aloe vera gel, antihistamine, self-adhesive bandages, and other remedies for accidents like scratches from sharp rocks, urchins, jellyfish stings, sunburn, etc.

Toilet paper: Depending on the beach, and how remote you get, you may need some. Even some public porta-potties may not have any.

Plastic baggies for trash: Not just yours, but any you find on the beaches. This is how we take care of nature’s beauty around us, by picking up trash.

And without further ado, here are 30 beaches!

In one list, arranged according to what you’re in the mood for. Click any of the beaches below to be taken to that section, or just read from top to bottom to get to know all the beaches!

Medano Beach

AKA: Medano Bay, El Medano, Party Central

Features: swimmable, surfing, restaurants, public restrooms, palapas, parking, vendors and rentals
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: Car

The place to stay if you wanted the beach but didn’t want to leave the buzz of people having enormous fun. Those on a cruise inevitably find their way here, because it’s just a walk from the marina.

The only thing you can’t do at El Medano is snorkel. Visibility is low. But everything else? You can swim, surf, parasail, launch yourself hundreds of feet into the air on a flyboard… Sunbathe, close your eyes, and when you feel thirsty or peckish, just raise your hand and a server or a vendor would materialize.

Unless you go on the off-season, there are always games and fiestas afoot. Music is pumping right alongside the surf. The view of Land’s End, the white sand, the energy– impossible to replicate anywhere else!

Santa Maria Bay

AKA: Santa Maria Beach, Playa Santa Maria

Features: Swimmable, snorkeling, scuba, umbrellas for rent, washrooms
Location: The Corridor
Accessible by: Car, boat

Always been a top favorite, this curved, pink cove. If you think a mile-long endless stretch of beach is a love, Santa Maria’s horseshoe shape will change your opinion, and might ruin other, regular beaches for you. A camera is a must, both above and underwater.

The water is crystal clear. And the fish! The reef is full of them. They’re spoiled little dogs who have learned by now that “people” often means “treats”– so they’re fearless in all their silver and rainbow beauty. Swim and be swarmed!

This beach gets crowded on the weekends when the tourists are joined by the locals. But if you go with the locals, you might get a beer. Everyone’s happy and nice at Santa Maria. Palapas are free. First come, first served.

Chileno Bay, Cabo San Lucas

Chileno Bay

AKA: Bahia Chileno, Chileno Beach

Features: swimmable, snorkeling, scuba, rentals, public restrooms, tide pools, turtles,
Location: The Corridor
Accessible by: Car, boat

Another favorite, and one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll come across, consistendly “blue-flagged” by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) for its water quality, amenities and safety.

Most boat tours for diving and snorkeling go to Chileno for a good reason. Like Santa Maria, this is a marine sanctuary. The reefs parallel to the beach are home to over 80 species of marine life. It can be crowded with both tourists and locals, so aim for weekdays especially during high season.

The sand is finer here than in Santa Maria, and the water is just as clear. Lots of fish, lots of tide pools to explore. If you’re lucky, you’d spot turtles! Just be careful of the rocks and barnacles.

As of this writing, there’s development and construction going on, but they shouldn’t disrupt a day at the beach.

Lover’s Beach

AKA: Playa del Amor

Features: Swimmable under the right conditions, scuba diving nearby
Location: Cabo San Lucas, near Land’s End
Accessible by: Water taxi, kayak

Lovers Beach got its name from its secluded location. It’s cradled between rock formations, as if the earth had skootched to either side to make room for this little beach. It may look ordinary to some. But lie back in the sand and the view, framed by age-old rock, is something.

It’s in Land’s End, where the famous El Arco is located, and where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. All tours lead to Land’s End, and that means Lovers Beach, too. It can get crowded in peak season.

It IS the kind of beach where lovers a la Romeo and Juliet could meet. They’d have to bring everything they’d need however, because there’s nothing in Lovers’ Beach but fine sand and the frothy surf. Sometimes it can be rough, and sometimes it gently kisses the sand. Just like love. Ahh, we’re getting sentimental. Lovers Beach can do that to you!

There’s Neptune’s Finger, a tall tower of rock pointing skyward. Have fun with that on your photos from the beach! Up close on a kayak, it’s amazing. Speaking of rocks, seals and birds of prey hang out in those rocks, sunning and hunting. Bring binoculars and a spectacular camera.

Water taxis that take round trips from Medano to El Arco would drop you off at Lovers Beach, but not before you’d done scuba diving or enjoyed looking through the glass bottom of the boats. Some report they could see more just looking through the water!

An alternate to water taxis and tours: kayak along the rock formations from Medano to Lovers’ Beach. It takes 40 minutes to go and another 40 minutes to come back, but the scenery makes that time fly.

Divorce Beach

AKA: Playa del Divorcio

Features: Sunset
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: Water taxi to Lover’s Beach

Divorce Beach is much more spacious than its sister, and named that way because of the vicious riptides and waves.

The name is symbolic, but other than that, THIS is more suited to lovers than Lovers’ Beach. The sun sinking into the Pacific with the rock formations on one side is unforgettably romantic — the sun looks huge — and because nothing much can be done here aside from gawk at the view, the beach is also secluded enough for stealing kisses.

Plenty of warnings tell you not to swim or even touch the water here. There are no lifeguards to haul you back to safety if you’re fool enough to put your feet in the current.

But if you’d simply sunbathe or have a brunch alfresco, this is the perfect place. Spread a blanket and don’t forget to bring an umbrella or tent. Walk the sand, soak in the scenery, scream at the sea. You’ll feel stress leaking out of you at Divorce Beach.

Surfing Beaches in Los Cabos

Check out these long-standing surf shops, rentals and schools: Cabo SUP on El Medano, Costa Azul Surf Shop near Cerritos and along the Tourist Corridor, and The Mike Doyle Surf School along Playa Acapulquito.

Monuments Beach

AKA: Playa Monumento

Features: Surfing, sunset, parking, restaurant, hotel
Location: Tourist Corridor
Accessible by: Car

Just past Cabo San Lucas, this is the first surf break you’d see just out of town and on your way to the more well-known Zippers in San Jose del Cabo.

Monuments Beach is named after the statue at the entrance, near Missiones del Cabo. Hard to miss, this southwest end of the Tourist Corridor. The water is swimmable, but it’s mostly best left to the surfers. Monuments is a local favorite because it delivers decent breaks even when the sea seems flat.

Look out for rocks and urchins! Have an amazing brunch when you come in from a morning session at The Cape Hotel.

El Tule

Features: Surfing, ATV
Location: The Corridor
Accessible by: Car
Surf Rating: Seasoned, advanced

Latest Update: The 2017 tropical storm season sent a flood of sand and dirt down the hills through the arroyo and flattened this spot out. It’s no longer good for surfing, or at least until the tide hopefully reshapes the bottom back to its original form.

“Usually pretty good” according to surfers, and a strong break that goes left and right. The crowds often miss or skip El Tule, so you can have this little beach all to yourself. Also a great picnic/camp spot. Not necessary, but a four-wheel drive helps to cross the arroyo.

Old Man’s

AKA: Playa Acapulquito

Features: Surfing, swimming, restaurant, vendors/rentals
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car
Surf Rating: Beginner, seasoned, advanced depending on the date and conditions.

Just next door to Las Rocas, Old Man’s, aka Playa Acapulquito offers surfing lessons for beginners through the Mike Doyle Surf School, and decent waves for advanced surfers.

Anybody aged 9 to 99 are welcome to try riding the waves. The surf school is inside the Cabo Surf Hotel, so dining and other conveniences are handy.

When the sea is calm enough, swimming is good here, too!

Costa Azul, Zippers and Las Rocas

Features: Surfing, vendors/rentals, restaurant
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car
Surf Rating: Seasoned, advanced

Old Man’s, Zippers and La Roca, world-famous surf breaks, within paddling distance of each other, getting faster and faster. You can enjoy the waves year-around, but summer is the best season. Surf competitions abound. And Zippers is also a well-known restaurant for good burgers with tables right on the shore.

These three are too well-known for you to expect a wide open ocean for you and your board. If you manage to jockey into position, the long ride (when the break is good-sized) is great for advanced surfers.

La Roca is so named because the surf forms off a rock outcrop. Also for advanced to expert surfers only. The ride could go over a hundred yards on a good day, with swells that rise three to four feet. On stormy season, a wave could double that to six to ten feet.

BONUS:

Surfers seek Shipwrecks and, beyond it, the more secluded beaches Nine Palms and Punta Perfecta.

Don’t confuse Shipwrecks with Playa Barco Varado. Shipwrecks has fast breaks, 15km (9 miles) up the rough East Cape road. Drive on ATVs. The coastal view will take your breath away.

Nine Palms has ‘right,’ good long waves, while Punta Perfecta, also a right point, goes big and hollow. To find Nine Palms, look for a small grove of palm trees around Santa Elena. For Punta Perfecta, you can hike from Rancho Los Amigos, or drive through Vinorama.

Costa Azul Surf Shop is located just across the highway from here. They’ve got everything from boards, board shorts, wax, watches sunglasses, tools and rentals. Popular boards in Los Cabos are done by surfer and shaper, Olea Surfboards.

Cerritos Beach

Features: Surfing, swimming, vendors, restaurant
Location: Pescadero
Acessible by: Car, ATV
Surf Rating: Beginners, seasoned

The best surf break on the Pacific side, and just as well-known as the Costa Azul surf spots. Usually crowded, but this beautiful beach and the frothing blue ocean would soon distract you from everyone else anyway.

It can be calm enough for a swim, but with northwest and south swells to excite surfers. Great for beginners because of the size waves and an easy paddle out to the point.

No treacherous rocks above surface or underneath. The Costa Azul Surf Shop is here.

Playa San Pedrito

Features: surfing, whales
Location: Todos Santos
Accessible by: Car, ATV
Surf Rating: Seasoned, advanced

Near Cerritos, San Pedrito is a reef-rocky surfing beach with fast left and right breaks, making it best for (and loved by) seasoned surfers. Crowded on weekdays and weekends. On the right time of year, whale watchers join in, because whales spout near the beach!

Playa El Pescadero

Another popular surfing beach just south of San Pedrito. Named after the fishing village. Right reef and beach breaks, beloved because of their consistency. Paddle from the beach and watch out for urchins on the reef! Lots of them there.

Los Barriles

Features: Surfing, parking, fishing, scuba, restaurants, vendors/rentals
Location: East Cape
Accessible by: Car, boat

Los Barriles is famous for the water sports. Windsurfing, kayaking, even flyboarding. Ocean lovers flock there, and it’s no wonder expats live there. Home to water sports competitions, and lots of resorts and restaurants for a retreat from the sun, during or after your day out.

Playa Los Frailes

Features: Swimming, snorkeling, fishing,
Location: East Cape
Accessible by: Car, ATV

Gentle Los Frailes is in the Sea of Cortez, just past the breaks of the surfing beaches along San Jose del Cabo. Here, yachts and boats find safe anchorage. You can row right to the beach, fish, or snorkel and swim.

Shipwreck Beach

AKA: Playa Barco Varado

Features: Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, tide pools
Accessible by: Car, ATV

Not to be confused with the Shipwrecks beach for surfers. This one is great for swimming, snorkeling. Stand on the shallows and cast a line into the surf! It’s teeming with marine life. Dive operators include Barco Varado in their tours.

A Japanese ship went aground here, and the wreck stood in the sand until the early 90s.

Playa Palmilla

Features: Swimmable, snorkeling, portables parking
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car

Playa Palmilla is next to One & Only Palmilla, but it’s divided into private (exclusive to resort clients) and public access.

Plan your day here and bring everything you need. Swimming and snorkeling is great. The water is always calm. There are porta potties but not much else to interrupt the view. And what a view. So many visitors call Playa Palmilla ‘picture-perfect’.

Because of its location, this one wouldn’t have construction or a hotel to break the vista of the sea, sand, and hills covered in villas. It looks quite Italian.

Tequila Cove

AKA: Playa Bledito

Features: Swimmable, vendors/rentals
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car

Launch on a jet ski from Playa Bledito. Or have a picnic breakfast. Or a little party! The swimming is very safe here because of the man-made breakwater. Look for the Melia Cabo Real and the Hilton Los Cabos– Tequila Cove fronts them. Surrounded by resorts, there would be no shortage of eats here. The downside is you’d have to share with a sizeable crowd.

Widow’s Beach

AKA: Playa Las Viudas

Features: Tide pools, portables
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: ATV

There’s development ongoing, but Playa Las Viudas is still accessible. You just need a 4-wheel drive. There are rocks on the beach so it’s an adventure to try to swim there. Explore the tide pools and inlets and coves instead. It’s a quiet, out-of-the-way place for romantic strolls, or hanging out with your family and friends, with the rock formations and the surf as a gorgeous backdrop for your photos.

Playa Las Palmas

AKA: San Pedro Beach

Features: Swimming, surfing
Location: Todos Santos
Accessible by: Car

A crescent beach, much like the Santa Maria. Playa Las Palmas is sheltered by rock outcroppings in the curve, making it safe for swimming. Palm trees provide shade and a feast for the eyes. The drive is just as lovely– you’d go through plantations, rolling hills of crops. The ruins of an old rancho may still be there.

Whale’s Head Beach

AKA: Playa Cabeza de Ballena

Features: Swimmable, fishing
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: Car

One of the little beaches frequented by locals and visitors who want some quiet. Safe for swimming, and can be good snorkeling in the early mornings. Good for fishing too!

Cannery Beaches

Features: Swimming, snorkeling
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: Car

The Cannery Beaches is the collective name for the beaches fronting an old tuna cannery near the Naval Base: Playa Coral Negro, Playa El Balcon, Playa Balconcito, and Playa Escondida.

Just a short walk from the marina! Those from cruises love going here. Many “land” vacationers go to Los Cabos for years and years without going to the Cannery Beaches. But it’s rewarding to those who venture past the base.

It’s usually tranquil, both the clear water and on the sand, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and simply relaxing with a cooler full of drinks and a book. From here you can see El Medano, where all the action happens.

There used to be palapas in Playa Coral Negro, but they didn’t survive the hurricane. Bring your own shade.

Playa Solmar

Features: Fishing, sunset, whales (when in season)
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: Car

Solmar. Sun sea. It’s no wonder the hotels flocked together in this beach. Few things are as powerfully stirring as waves pounding the sand. Add a magnificent Pacific sunset and it’s a view anyone would gladly pay the world for.

Because of the strong current, absolutely no swimming here. But you can walk and lie in the sun, or charter a boat to provide the sport fish some sport (or vice versa). Oh, and in January through March, the whales cavort off this beach. It’s something to watch them while sipping a mango mimosa. Mmmmm!

Access is through the hotels– you might have to stay there for the privilege of romantic, secluded sunset strolls or a quiet picnic.

Playa Migriño

Features: Whales, vendors and rentals
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: ATV

Not for peace and quiet, this beach. No, Playa Migrino appeals to sight and hearing. There’s the crash of the Pacific, the soft shuffle of horses, and the roar of ATVs.

Riding activities for everyone, on horseback and on 4WD. In the right time of year, whale watching adds to the bustle, but this is otherwise a secluded beach. Everyone just happens to come by to ride!

Las Playitas

AKA: Little Beaches

Features: Swimmable, snorkeling
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Accessible by: Boat, kayak

Las Playitas are the little beaches on the way to Lovers’ Beach. They’re small, as the name suggests, and are usually submerged in high tide. But when the tide is low, you can have an entire beach to yourself!

Like Lovers’ Beach, the water is good for swimming and snorkeling, but in Las Playitas, you can get away from people, if that’s what you’re hankering for. Rent a kayak, row, stop at Las Playitas, and let the sand and sea drain you of all cares. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Cabo Pulmo

Features: Snorkeling, surfing, scuba, parking, restaurants
Location: East Cape
Accessible by: Car

Not to be missed. Cabo Pulmo is one of Baja’s foremost natural treasures. You might have heard it mentioned in diving tours. Located 60 miles off Cabo San Lucas, this rocky shore is next door to the only living coral reef system in the Sea of Cortez, that’s why. Colorful tropical fish, over a hundred species, sea lions and manta rays! There’s also windsurfing and kayaking to be had.

We won’t spoil it for you by writing more than that. Go there!

Wear biodegradable sunscreen. You’ll see them marked as fish, coral and reef-friendly.

Playa La Poza and La Cachora

Features: Birds, fishing, whales
Location: Todos Santos
Accessible by: Car

The water isn’t safe for swimming, but the location more than makes up for that! La Poza has a large freshwater lagoon where you can satisfy your thirst for greenery and birdwatching, while La Cachora attracts skimboarders to its sands. Off to the sea, during the season, whales would vie for your attention.

El Estero

AKA: The Estuary

Features: Birds, fishing, kayaking
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car

El Estero is on the north tip of San Jose del Cabo’s hotel row, a favorite of those who want something different. And what’s different here? It’s a landscape and a treescape as much as a seascape. Just like La Poza, the lagoon attracts birds year round. If you like walking and soaking in nature, the Estuary is a must.

Playa Hotelera

Features: Fishing, birds, vendors/rentals, restaurants
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car

At one mile, Playa Hotelera is half the length of El Medano, with the added vista of the Estuary’s rainforest and the buildings of hotel row. Swimming isn’t possible, but the hotels and resorts all offer beachside activities: horseback riding, beach volleyball, and more.

Surf fishing is good here, and of course, the bird watching!

Playa Anonima

AKA: Anonymous Beach

Features: Fishing
Location: San Jose del Cabo
Accessible by: Car, ATV

An unnamed beach amid sand dunes, 4 miles from San Jose del Cabo. You’d find it between Pueblo La Playa and La Laguna Estates through an unmarked turnoff. A little hard to find, but when you do, it’s very gratifying: perfect little spot for surf fishing, sunbathing and picnics!

Swimmable only for strong swimmers. Be careful and swim with caution!

Bring your rod and reel and cast right from the shore!

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