Los Cabos and the greater Baja California Sur can easily keep the attention of just about anyone. From culture buffs to sun worshippers and from party legends to health nuts, Los Cabos is for everyone.
Of course, there are spas and world-class shopping, too, but if you’re looking for the exceptional, here are 5 epic things to do in Los Cabos, no matter what you are into.
Get in the Water!
Surfing, shark diving, snorkelling, whale watching, deep sea fishing, sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, sailing, and more. If you’ve come to Los Cabos to get wet, the list of seafaring activities is endless.
1. Cage-Free Shark Encounters
Come face to face with hammerheads, blue sharks, makos and silky sharks in the open water on this adrenaline-fuelled adventure. Swim, snorkel or scuba dive in the Sea of Cortez, where every March, large numbers of apex predators converge, along with dolphins, whales, sea lions and majestic manta rays.
California surfers have known about Baja’s excellent surf conditions for decades and made Ensenada on the peninsula’s Pacific north a surf mecca years ago. For accomplished riders, San Jose’s Playa Costa Azul, home to the world-famous La Roca and Zippers surf breaks, is the place to be in summers.
Although decent surf can be found just north of Cabo San Lucas, head a little further north to Todos Santos for its eclectic charm and stellar waves, especially in the winter months.
3. Snorkelling the Sea of Cortez
Jacque Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the ‘Aquarium of the World’ for its rich marine biodiversity. It holds North America’s oldest coral reef. Sadly, overfishing caused a steep decline in species numbers in the region until Cabo Pulmo National Park became a protected marine sanctuary more than 20 years ago.
Through stringent conservation efforts, the waters around Santa Maria are again teeming with life, offering some of the best snorkelling in perhaps all of Mexico.
4. Whale Watching
From mid-December to mid-March, up to 25,000 whales migrate from the frigid Arctic to the warm Baja waters to mingle, mate and give birth. An astonishing 11 of the ocean’s 18 whale species can be found here, including the world’s largest, the blue whale.
While the most common are gray and humpback whales, even pods of orcas have been spotted from the many whale-watching boats offering fun-filled tours daily.
Los Cabos has a long-standing reputation as one of the premier party destinations in all of Mexico, and rightfully so. The scene here is legendary, as stories and pictures on club walls can tell, featuring various rock stars and other celebrities indulging in the cape’s hazy good times.
Of course, you don’t have to be famous to partake in the revelry. Here are a couple of great places to start.
5. Cabo Wabo Cantina (Cabo San Lucas)
If you’re lucky, Sammy Hagar himself, ex-Van Halen vocalist and bar owner extraordinaire, gets up to play with ex-bandmates or friends like Tommy Lee and Slash.
But even if he doesn’t, his tequila emporium and live music venue named after the ‘wobble’ most do after a night at the cantina is worth checking out. The Wabo experience is a right of passage and a damn good time, no matter how you slice your lime.
6. Rock & Brews (San Jose del Cabo)
Across the cape in San Jose, KISS bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley opened their very own tropical rock club in 2013. Offering a bevy of craft food and even craftier local and international beers, Rock & Brews features a slew of rock n’ roll memorabilia and live local and international music to get down to.
7. Dance Clubs
To really cut loose, change up the music and check out these thumping clubs and sexy lounges that’ll surely have you missing breakfast, if not lunch the next day, too.
For monster day and sunset parties in Cabo San Lucas, head to Mango Deck or Blue Marlin Ibiza, where Spring Break lasts all year. After sundown, Mandela, Pink Kitty and El Squid Roe all promise epic dance parties featuring both local and international DJs like Steve Aoki.
Although the scene in San Jose del Cabo is slightly tamer, don’t underestimate its party prowess. Kick things off at the Baja Brewing Company or at La Casa del Vino de Baja California, if wine is more your thing.
Once warm, hit the 11:11 Disco Room to get your dance on. Afterparties rock the Sunset Point Lounge, The Rooftop at The Cape and Zipper’s Bar, all in the Los Cabos Corridor.
8. Golf on One of the World’s Best Courses
Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus got the ball rolling in the 1990s by designing the stunning Cabo del Sol, El Dorado and Palmilla courses, and they just kept coming. Soon after, Nicklaus designed three more and other golfing giants followed. Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Fred Couples and Tiger Woods, among others, have all dabbled in crafting their own layouts here, some of which are available for public play.
In 2018, Golf Digest ranked 4 of Los Cabos’ 15 golf courses in the Top 100 in the World. Diamante Dunes, Quivira, Cabo del Sol, and Querencia are all world-class courses that will leave you breathless. While Querencia is private, Cabo del Sol is open to the public, and guests at certain local resorts have access to coveted tee times at Diamante Dunes and Quivira.
Browse Local Art
Up and down the Baja Peninsula, the chance to peruse both art and artifacts is a pleasant surprise to many. The city of San Jose del Cabo, the town of Todos Santos and the caves of the San Francisco mountains are all home to some of the region’s most interesting art and offer yet another dimension to a sun holiday.
9. San Jose del Cabo Art Walk
For the best contemporary art in Los Cabos, head over to San Jose for their free Art Walk through the historic downtown district, every Thursday evening from November to June.
Here, local galleries pour local tequila as you pore over fine original paintings, sculptures and hand-crafted jewelry, all accompanied by street performers, live music, margarita stands and delicious food stalls.
10. Todos Santos Artist-Studio Tour
More low-key but more charming, too, is the town of Todos Santos, less than an hour’s drive from Cabo. Each March, art lovers descend on the artist colony of both local and American artists for intimate Artist-Studio tours.
History and nature live here, too, and in 2006, Todos Santos was designated a ‘Pueblo Magico’ (Magical Village) by local tourism authorities. We agree.
11. Mulege Prehistoric Cave Art
For something entirely different, rent a car for a northbound trek to Mulege, just over 8-hours drive from San Jose del Cabo. Here, in the hills of San Francisco de la Sierra and the Biosphere Reserve of El Vizcaino Desert, 7,000-year-old cave art depicts animal figures and the Cochimi people that drew them in large black and red murals that were designated a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
Grab your permits, guide, and a mule (or do the mountainous trek on foot) and visit these seldom seen caves for some of the best-kept archeological finds in North America.
12. Race a Baja 1000 Dune Buggy in the Desert
From the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the Dakar Rally, epic endurance races once ruled the sporting world. One of these extreme races, the legendary Baja 1000, pits racers in various types of vehicles against other racers, the tough elements of the unforgiving desert, as well as themselves, in a race of a lifetime, stretching from Ensenada in the north to La Paz, just north of Los Cabos.
The Baja 1000 first took place in 1967, and over the years, has drawn some big names to participate. Along with notable NASCAR and Indy 500 drivers like Robbie Gordon, Rick Mears and Danny Sullivan, Hollywood celebrities Paul Newman and Steve McQueen have all grabbed the wheel, and now you can too, in authentic Baja 1000 dune buggies.