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.