The country of Mexico has an abundance of beautiful ocean-side cities, towns and charming villages. Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Cancun and Acapulco are just a few fabulous places to enjoy the surf and sun while in the land of cervesas and tamales. All of these destinations offer a multitude of activities for travelers, but none can match Cabo San Lucas when it comes to entertainment, action and adventure. Yes, this popular tourist destination at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula has it all. Here are some of the best activities and tourist attractions in Cabo San Lucas:
8 – Go on a Pub Crawl
If you are looking for nightlife on your Mexican vacation you will be happy to know that Cabo San Lucas does not disappoint. From tiny bars that seat a dozen or less to massive nightclubs pumping tunes to the wee hours of the morning, Cabo has got you covered when it comes to getting your drink on. You can’t walk (or stumble) 20 feet before finding another place to imbibe. The Cabo Wabo Cantina is probably the most famous bar in the area, but there are plenty of other great places to get soused. Here are a few of our faves:
Happy Endings Cantina – This is the perfect spot to get started if you are heading out for a serious evening of drinking. They’ve got the best drink deal in town (that we found anyways), offering up two beers and two double-shots of tequila for a measly five bucks! After a couple of rounds you’ll be well on your way to Buzztown. Amazingly the tequila is quite smooth too!
The Giggling Marlin – If you like to get involved in games, meet new people, get up dancing and have a great time, then The Giggling Marlin is a must-stop for any group of serious pub crawlers. Even the shy ones in the crowd won’t be able to sit out the action. Prepare to be embarrassed but have a great time doing it.
Cabo Blue Bar – Under the stars and in the heart of the action, this open-air bar is a hugely popular spot with the Caboholic crowd. Always packed with noisy revelers of all ages, Cabo Blue has great food and offers live music as well as karaoke nights. Try the Rainbow shots for something a little different.
7 – Chill Out at Medano Beach
Cabo San Lucas isn’t known for its beautiful beaches like other Mexican destinations like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen or Sayulita are, but Medano Beach, while arguably not postcard perfect, is certainly an awesome spot to soak up some rays and take part in the plethora of water sports on offer. If chilling out with a book is your thing there are plenty of tranquil spots to be found away from the raucous crowds. If you want to join the party then places like The Mango Deck will be right up your alley. The music is pumping, the booze is flowing, and jet-skis, kayaks, paddle-boards and more are at your disposal if you feel a little more energetic. Though Cabo has a reputation for rough waters the waves at Medano Beach are pretty gentle when compared to what you’ll find on the other side of Land’s End.
6 – Take a Sunset Cruise
Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic evening, or a single hoping to meet someone on your Mexican vacation a sunset cruise is a must-do while in Cabo. You won’t have to go searching to find a cruise. You’ll be inundated with offers as soon as you set foot on the boardwalk around the marina. Whether you are after a quiet dinner cruise, a full on party-boat booze cruise or something in between those two extremes there is a cruise option that will fit the bill. From small yachts and catamarans to fully rigged out pirate ships there is a theme that will appeal to all tastes, young or old. The food is generally quite good, and if you opt for the booze cruise the drinks keep coming for the duration of the sailing. Providing the weather is nice you’ll get a nice tour around the bay, and in most cases will go by the the famous El Arco where you can view the sea lions lazing on the rocks. Whale sightings are also a possibility as you move around Land’s End to the Pacific Ocean. Though the seas are usually fairly calm those who suffer from sea-sickness might want to either invest in some Gravol or give this particular activity a miss.
5 – Go Snorkeling at Pelican Rock
No, the snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas isn’t on par with what you’ll find in Cozumel, but for those that want to get their flippers on and put their face in the water, Pelican Beach offers a decent opportunity to see a variety of colorful fish, providing you head out on a relatively calm day. You can grab a water taxi from the marina or from Medano Beach. It is just a short ride to Pelican Beach. The boatman will drop you off and arrange to pick you up later at a time of your choosing. You can also rent a kayak and paddle over, though you will have to dodge the never-ending flotilla of fishing boats and water taxis heading in and out of the marina.
If the visibility is poor you can always hike up the shoreline a way. There are some pretty cool rock formations to be found. Or, if you’re not quite that energetic then there is a small stretch of sand where you can lay your towel and enjoy a little afternoon siesta in the sun.
4 – Hike Mount Solmar
Okay, so probably only a small percentage of Cabo visitors are going to have any interest in this particular activity, but those who crave a little bit of exercise and adventure will be rewarded for getting up off the lounge chair and making the climb up Mount Solmar. As you can see from the picture above the view is spectacular and you can enjoy a 360 degree view of Cabo including both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. There are a few different ways to access trails up to Mount Solmar. When we went we walked around to the beach on the south side of the marina. Once you reach the rocks it is a short scramble up to get on the trail.
Though you could scramble and more or less beeline right to the cross marking the top of Mount Solmar, following the winding path offers several spectacular viewpoints along the way. Watch where you are walking as there are plenty of cacti hugging the path. An encounter with a snake is also a possibility, though from what I gather sightings are pretty rare. The terrain isn’t too hardcore, although those with a healthy fear of heights might be a little skittish in certain sections. All in all it is a pretty straightforward trek, and one that most people in relatively good shape could do.
3 – Go Fishing!
While Cabo might not be famous for its beaches or its snorkeling, it certainly trumps any other Mexican destination when it comes to sports fishing. Sport fishing is a huge industry in Cabo San Lucas, and the majority of the boats at anchor in the marina are geared up to take tourists and locals out on the water to try and hook a striped marlin, sailfish or yellowfin tuna. The sea lions that inhabit the area are familiar with the practice as well, and can be frequently spotted catching a ride and begging for scraps.
Though a day out on the water is a lot pricier than the other activities on this list if you love fishing then this one is a must-do while in Cabo.
2 – See El Arco
No trip to Cabo would be complete without a visit to its world famous Arch. At Land’s End, the southern-most tip of the Baja Peninsula, El Arco is part of an amazing stretch of rock formation between Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) and Playa del Divorcio (Divorce Beach). Whether you get there via water taxi, on a fishing charter or on a sunset cruise make sure your Cabo itinerary includes a stop at this iconic landmark.
1 – A-maze-in Cabo Race
One of the most unique activities you’re likely to find anywhere in Mexico the A-maze-in Cabo Race is a fantastic way to get to know your way around town in a hurry, meet a bunch of new people, get some exercise and have a ton of fun doing it. The race starts at The Giggling Marlin (yes, the same Giggling Marlin referenced in my pub crawl guide) and from there you’ll find yourself swiftly lost as you wind your way through town, interacting with the locals, completing a wide array of challenges and generally having a blast.
Win or lose the event is worth every penny, and is something every traveler to Cabo should try out. Even though it is a “race” one doesn’t need to be a track star to do well. The challenges are well thought out so a wide variety of skill sets are used throughout.
Following the race there is a social gathering for drinks and snacks so everyone can rehash, look at pictures and laugh at themselves and each other. It is a fantastically fun time and was definitely the best few hours we spent on our vacation to Cabo San Lucas.