Where to Swim in Los Cabos - Cabo's Best and Safest Beaches
From Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. Updated Aug. 2014 by the author David de Los Angeles
Cabo is in a unique position – literally. The Sea of Cortés is the side of the Baja peninsula where you can find bays, coves and reefs with swimming-friendly beaches. The Pacific side just over the hills above downtown Cabo is rough and riskier, much of it downright dangerous. And, while the sea has its share of swift deep currents and high surf, there are protected areas, perfect for saltwater days. From south to north along the Sea of Cortés, following are some of the beaches where you can most often swim and frolic with abandon.
Médano Beach on Cabo’s bay is perhaps the best swimming beach in Cabo. A get-down party beach, it features a variety of toes-in-the-sand dining and non-stop fun, drinking and dining at the Mango Deck or Médano Beach Club. Baja Cantina Beach Restaurant offers dining from breakfast through fine dining beneath starry skies. All types of water sports are available along Médano. One can rent wave runners, kayaks and other surface water rides, go on snorkeling tours, parasailing, and more.
Several popular swimming beaches along the Tourist Corridor, such as Santa María and Chileno Bay are undergoing redevelopment at this time, and thus may be somewhat restricted due to ongoing construction. Chileno Bay, at Km 14, is the most accessible. Follow the well-marked signage on the highway to the parking lot. It’s a gorgeous horseshoe of white sand and calm aqua water. Both Chileno Bay and Santa María Bay are stops for snorkeling cruises which leave from Cabo San Lucas.
Palmilla Beach on the east end of the Tourist Corridor is a popular family beach in San José. Here you’ll discover one of the most sublime bays to be found this side of Tahiti. For snorkeling, there’s a reef full of tropical fish, and sandy inshore areas for swimming. Take the One & Only Palmilla turnoff at Km 27.5 Transp. Hwy.
Acapulquito Beach, at Km 28 Transp. Hwy., fronts the Cabo Surf Hotel, and is at times favored by celebrities looking for an intimate beach off the tourist track. Take the turn off to Cabo Surf Hotel (It can come up fast, so be careful.) and park above the hotel gates. One can rent surfboards inside the hotel and surf legend Mike Doyle runs a surf lesson school there. There are 3 excellent surf breaks in front and near the hotel. Hence the name – Cabo Surf Hotel.
Playita Beach in Puerto Los Cabos on the other side of San José del Cabo fresh water estuary has surfing, fishing, and a marina where one can charter a panga all in one place.
Note: Few Los Cabos beaches have services; lifeguards are rare. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming or water sports: Use caution and stay well above the tide line. Pacific Ocean beaches just around the corner from Land’s End are known for rogue waves and undertows and are not recommended for swimming at any time. Read that last line again. Every year more than one tourist goes missing on this beach. Stay well above the surf line when walking the beach in front of the Solmar, Playa Grande, Capella etc.
Don’t forget your sunblock, extra water, underwater camera from the drug store, and a copy of my latest book available on Kindle: The Tequila Train and other short stories.
Have fun! - David de Los Angeles
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