Beaches of Los Cabos

Lands End

Southern Baja has some of the most inviting beach spots anywhere, with long sandy stretches plentiful along the scenic coastline running from Playa Hotelera in San Jose del Cabo to Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas.  What we look for in a great beach differs from person to person, but clean white sand and clarity of water are standard throughout the area. Some local beaches are known for great swimming or snorkeling, while others are perfect secluded relaxing or surfing. So whether you’re looking for solitude, wildlife encounters, a point break or a party, Baja’s sandy shores offer something for everyone.

 Playa del Amor/Lover’s Beach

Accessible by a water taxi or glass-bottom boat from the marina, Lover’s Beach is a small connecting stretch of sand that faces the Cabo marina and open sea, making for quick walk from the Sea of Cortez to the Pacific.  A trip could also include a tour around the dramatic point for a view of Grand Solmar and neighboring resorts. Not for swimming, but a good place to take a picnic and, as the namesake suggests, more than a few weddings have taken place here. Hire a water taxi at the marina and the captain will drop you off, touring the diving areas around El Arco, Neptune’s Fingers and Sand Falls along the way.

 Playa Divorcio /Divorce Beach

This short stretch of white sand known is located on the Pacific side of Land’s End just a short walk from, ironically, Lover’s Beach. While Divorce Beach is inviting for sunbathing, picnicking and beachcombing, swimming here is dangerous due to strong currents and sometimes heavy surf.

Playa Solmar OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wide stretch of white sand beach is the only in-town beach on the Pacific and runs from the rocks at Land’s End to the base of Pedregal to the west. Along this stretch of beach you’ll find Solmar’s various hotel complexes and Hotel Finisterra. The currents and waves here can be very strong and swimming is dangerous.

Medano Beach

Stretching for about two miles along Bahia San Lucas, Medano gets the award for best beach scene in Cabo.  The operative word here is activity, as it’s the place to hook up with a parasailing venture, jet skis, or a bucket of beers, and there are long sandy stretches that are good for swimming.  Very popular day and night, crowds gravitate to the thumping speakers of clubs lining the area, and good food and fishbowl-sized margaritas can be had at hotspots like The Office, Billigan’s Island and Mango Deck.

 Playa Monumento (Monuments Beach)

Situated below Sunset Da Mona Lisa Restaurant this beach is a short drive from Cabo San Lucas. Depending on conditions, you can surf, snorkel the reefs, swim or just relax in the sun. If you bring your board, remember the surf has a left point break that can be tricky, so it’s recommended for seasoned or expert surfers only.

 Playa Barco Varado (Shipwreck Beach)

This beach was named in honor of a Japanese freighter that foundered on the rocks decades ago. The area now provides a spectacular backdrop for the “Ocean” finishing holes at the Jack Nicklaus Cabo del Sol course. Although this is a quiet beach, it’s not ideal for watersports, as the undercurrents here are sometimes strong. Access is through the Cabo del Sol entrance at Km 11.

Santa Maria Beach  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A beautiful isolated cove fronting Bahía Santa María, you can sometimes have this spot all to yourself, walking the crescent-shaped sands and enjoying the sparkling Sea of Cortez.  Bahía Santa María is a protected marine sanctuary, so bring along a snorkel and fins for a subsurface rendezvous with the teeming, multi-colored, friendly marine life you can find around the perimeter of the bay.  Safe and secluded, Santa Maria is an ideal beach on a lot of levels.

Playa Bahia Chileno

Chileno Bay is another location popular for its underwater scenery. More popular than Santa Maria for outings and snorkeling tours, Chileno has a Cabo Acuadeportes dive shop palapa on the west end of the beach that provides rentals for water enthusiasts.  This might be the best all-around beach in the area, and a lot of the action lies beneath its shimmering surface, with tropical fish, sea turtles, moray eels and other sea life in abundance.

Playa El Tule

Playa El Tule is a long, sandy stretch of beach that’s popular with the locals and offers good surf at times, but, with powerful breaks going in both directions, it’s for experienced surfers only. One of the longest stretches of beach in the Los Cabos area, El Tule is perfect for jogging, walking, and even beachcombing, especially for the driftwood that sometimes washes up here or comes down from the arroyo. Access is at Km 16 near the Los Tules bridge.

 Playa Palmilla 

The One and Only Palmilla sits above a tranquil bay, and the beach along the isolated cove is an ideal location for sunbathing and snorkeling.  The northern part of the beach can be busy with the pangas chartered for fishing.  The southern part is separated by a rocky promontory that creates a natural break and calm waters around the cove, with rocks dotting the white sands. There is also access to palapas for shade.

Playa Acapulquito/Old Man’s Beach

Just west of Playa Costa Azul with access just off the highway at Km 28, Playa Acapulquito is a popular surf spot with locals. Swimming is allowed, but be sure watch the waves for boarders.

Playa Costa Azul

This half-mile stretch of beach near Palmilla Bay is home to the world famous surf break called “Zippers.” When conditions are right the waves here can be impressive, pounding the sandy shoreline.   Waves peak outside by the rocks then pick up speed along a cobblestone reef and maintain form all the way down the line. Swimming is possible when things are calm but board sports rule here.

Playa Hotelera

This stretch of sand runs from the estuary west until it reaches Costa Azul. Playa Hotelera beaches are generally not recommended for swimming due to the shore break and relatively deep drop-off, but it is popular for its Plazas Garuffi and Caracol, which offers a selection of shops and restaurants. The beach itself includes palapas, and there’s a children’s park and playground, a soccer stadium and water park fountains just across the street.

La Playita (The Little Beach)

Playita Beach, near the east entrance to San José del Cabo’s new marina at Puerto Los Cabos, offers some of the best amenities of any beach in the area. Features include a safe, roped-off swimming area inside the harbor entrance, as well as a white sand beach which is ideal for watersports and fishing. The well-maintained facility also offers a play area for kids, restrooms, and palapas to protect visitors from the sun. Fishing charters are also available through the La Playa sportfishing fleet.

Playa Los Cerritos (Todos Santos area)

Playa Los Cerritos is a spectacular, sweeping expanse of pristine beach just south of the farming community of Pescadero at about Km 65 on Highway 19. It’s popular with families as the water is relatively safe and shallow, and surfers favor the crescent-shaped point break at the western end of the beach.  Surf gear can be rented from the mobile Costa Azul surf shop located nearby.

Tips on Enjoying the Local Beaches

No vehicles are allowed on beaches in the area. Penalties for driving over turtle nests or otherwise degrading the area can result in heavy fines.

Swimming in the ocean, especially on the Pacific side, can be dangerous, as the heavy surf can be unpredictable. Certain beaches are known for severe undertow or sudden drop-offs near the shore. Pay attention to all warning signs. Also remember there are no lifeguards stationed on local beaches to help swimmers who get into trouble.
Plan to bring a high SPF sunblock, sunglasses, water, snacks and bathroom tissue.  Amenities are usually not provided at beach locales, so bring all the supplies you’ll need for the day, including a beach umbrella, games and beach toys, snorkeling gear etc. Also be sure to pack all your trash out of the area.

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