The Baja Peninsula of Mexico is an adventurer’s dream – well worthy of making a road trip. At the southern end of Baja, where the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez meet, are the party towns of Los Cabos that reward visitors with cheap margaritas, sandy beaches, and sea-based activities. Cabo San Lucas is so much more than a spring break destination (though it does a fine job of living up to its rambunctious reputation). In a land of cardón cacti, you can dive with schools of mobula rays, catch a wave along the coastline, and party until sunrise without abandon.
Best of all, Cabo San Lucas is a destination that can suit every budget. You can recover at one of the many accommodation options, stay at a budget hostel, or check into one of the many luxury villas and homes for rent in Mexico.
No matter how long you’re staying, these are the top things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
The top 10 things to do in Cabo San Lucas
1. Dive deep and meet the marine life
The waters that surround Los Cabos are a dream for scuba divers who yearn for raw exploration. Along the rocky peninsula of Cabo San Lucas, you can expect to see surgeonfish, nudibranch, spiny lobsters, and sea turtles swimming around the rock reefs. If it’s the massive mammals and pelagic sharks you’re after, you can spot whales, hammerheads, whale sharks, and dolphins out in the blue. Schools of many types of rays frequent the waters of Los Cabos. There are also mesmerizing sandfalls along the arch, at about 25 meters depth — thought to be discovered by Jacques Cousteau. You can also visit La Paz and spend a day swimming with whale sharks.
2. Learn to freedive
Want to explore the waters Cabo San Lucas on a single breath? The town is home to Ocean Tigers, a freediving school led by Benoit, an experienced freediver and skilled teacher. His team can take you on fun dives or arrange a full course.
3. Go tequila/mezcal tasting
Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from blue agave, a plant native to Mexico. Tequila is a mezcal made in very specific regions of Mexico — the only areas where tequila is allowed to be called “tequila.” There are plenty of places around Los Cabos to sample tequilas of all types. Try it infused with chilis, fruits, cacti, and as the punch behind a traditional margarita. The perfect side dish to tequila? A heaping plate of mango topped with chili powder and lime.
Tip: Leave your lover behind on this excursion. When too much tequila is poured, tears often follow.
4. Get your nom on: D.I.Y. Mexican food tour
Just a stroll along Cabo San Lucas’s main stretch will bring you to some delicious restaurants. Gus’s Tacos, El Jarro Cafe, La Taquiza, and Doggy Style are all worth a visit. Stop at the Smoothie Bar for the ultimate hangover cure and for generous portions of seasonal fruits.
5. Dance to Despacito (yes it’s still playing) at one of the many clubs
What good is a trip to Los Cabos without a bit of debauchery? There are nightclubs all along the main street of Cabo San Lucas offer similar variations of loud dance music and jello shots. The vibe tends to be casual and friendly — no pretentiousness needed. Cabo Wabo is the most famous of the few and on a good night you might even get a chance to see one of your favorite rock bands perform.
While the sun is shining, throw on your favorite bathing suit and head to Medano Beach and grab a drink at Mango Deck or Baja Cantina Beach Club for a rowdy time.
The entire Baja Peninsula is a playground for surfers, and the region surrounding Los Cabos is no exception. No matter which direction the swell is coming from, you can likely find a spot that’s working at the tip of Baja. Cerritos on the west side is a quirky beach town with (typically) friendly crowds. Los Cabos has the three spots of Old Man’s, Zippers, and The Rock. The East Cape of the peninsula, near Los Cabos, is where you’ll find Nine Palms, Shipwrecks, and many other spots that are best found the old-fashioned way — with a 4WD and a pair of binoculars.
7. Spot marine mammals on a whale watching tour
Taking a boat tour around Land’s End and the arch is a given. To make the experience more magical, venture out on a whale watching tour. The best time to go whale watching in Los Cabos is from December to April. You can expect to catch glimpses of humpback, sperm, blue, and gray whales. If you’re lucky orcas may also be around.
8. Beach hop along the coastline
Relaxing on the sand with a cold beer in hand is a given in Cabo San Lucas. Party animals will love lounging on Medano Beach while those wanting something more quaint can head to the Los Cabos Corridor, where there are plenty to choose from. Along Land’s End, pay a visit to Lover’s Beach (don’t bother trying to canoodle unless you like an audience) near the arch and the cheekily named Divorce Beach on the opposing side. The best time to visit the Land End’s beaches is during the early morning, when the crowds are less hectic. Always check the conditions before swimming — the currents are surprisingly strong.
9. Shop for folk art and other souvenirs
Come home with a colorful souvenir from Los Cabos. Here, you can search for handmade and embroidered textiles, ceramic pieces, tequila bottles, canvas paintings, painted figurines, y mas. A little lighthearted bartering is expected but don’t be a cheapskate.
10. Unwind in Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a quirky small town just outside of Los Cabos. You’ll find a Hotel California there (and it’s not the original, though they claim to be) as well as small shops, restaurants, and a cathedral. It’s the yin to the Los Cabos yang.
Bonus: 11. Visit the many museums and art galleries
Surprisingly, Cabo San Lucas boasts a strong creative scene. Venues like Galeria Corsica and La Sacristia Art feature local artists and there is a weekly art walk that takes place on a weekly basis (weather dependent).
If you want to delve into the region’s local history, you can head to the Museo de Cabo San Lucas to learn about natural history, the Museo de Las Californias that features pictures of Baja’s past, or drive to La Paz and learn about megafauna at the Whale Museum.
The town also hosts regular dancing lessons and live musical performances.