what to do in los cabos

Cabo Pulmo is so full of marine life that it’s sure to take your breath away. (Photo: Getty Images)


5 Amazing Water-Based Adventures in Los Cabos

Los Cabos is an amazing place, with a staggering diversity of divergent terrains, from rugged mountains and stark desert to golden beaches and granite monuments that stretch to Land’s End. But most amazing of all is what lies just beyond Land’s End.

Here, where the Sea of Cortés and the Pacific Ocean meet, is a singularly rich aquatic environment, one teeming with life and overflowing with exciting opportunities to experience one-of-a-kind adventures.

Whale Watching

Cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are a haven for those seeking to escape frigid winter temperatures elsewhere. Tourists, yes, but also thousands of whales, who each year journey from their arctic summer feeding grounds to bask in warm water breeding grounds around Baja California Sur.

Many whale species traverse the local waters–including humpbacks, gray whales, sperm whales, orcas and even blue whales, the largest creature ever to exist on Earth—but humpbacks are by far the most commonly seen, and by far the most exciting to watch. Imagine a 60,000-pound leviathan breaching, lifting its body almost completely out of the water. Imagine the force when it splashes down again.

Whale watching season officially stretches from mid-December through mid-March, and during this time virtually every boat in Los Cabos offers some sort of tour. The best is the one showcased by Cabo Adventures, thanks to their high-speed zodiac boats and inclusion of hydrophones; which means not only can you see these majestic creatures, but hear their haunting songs as well.

what to do in los cabos
Visit from mid-December to mid-March to see the whales. (Photo: Getty Images)

Marlin Fishing

Before the age of tourism, the only commercial enterprise of note in Cabo San Lucas was a cannery, which for a time was the most productive in Latin America.

But you don’t need to plumb the depths of historical chronicles to know the waters off Los Cabos are legendarily abundant. All you have to do is visit from June through November, when big-money fishing tournaments are an almost weekly occurrence. The biggest of them all is Bisbee’s Black & Blue, a marlin fishing tournament that last year paid out over three million dollars ($3,000,000!) to the winning team.

Black, blue and striped marlin remain the catch of choice, but on a year-round basis visiting anglers can get their hooks into a huge variety of weighty (and often delicious) game and billfish.

Scuba Diving in Cabo Pulmo

Where can one find the most extreme density and intensity of marine life in the Sea of Cortés? That’s easy. In a protected marine park just off the coast of Cabo Pulmo, a small community on Los Cabos’ stunningly beautiful and still largely undeveloped East Cape. The centerpiece of this park, and the reason it’s a mecca for destination snorkelers and divers, is a living coral reef, one of the oldest and largest in the Americas.

Have you ever wanted to swim in an undersea fantasia, surrounded by colorful coral and an astounding cast of aquatic characters that at any given time can include sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and giant sea turtles? Then you must go to Cabo Pulmo.

Swimming with Whale Sharks

Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet, with the average adult easily topping 20 tons. They’re giants, but luckily for humans, very gentle ones who enjoy nothing more than a steady diet of plankton.

This combination of massive size plus placid demeanor has made swimming with whale sharks one of the most remarkably safe, and just plain remarkable adventures available for visitors to Baja California Sur.

The whale sharks favorite haunt is near the tip of the El Mogote peninsula, just off the coast of the capital city of La Paz, nearly two hours by car from Los Cabos. The distance isn’t an issue, however, thanks to guided tours from Cabo Adventures, which include round-trip transportation from your resort to La Paz, and the snorkeling eco-adventure of a lifetime.

what to do in los cabos
Their placid demeanor has made swimming with whale sharks one of the safest adventures. (Photo: Getty Images)

Paddle Boarding to Land’s End

Land’s End marks the southernmost point of the over 1200-kilometer-long Baja California peninsula, and does so in breathtakingly spectacular fashion. This half-mile headland features everything from gorgeous beaches to an ancient arch-shaped granite monument, from a large hill that was once a sun temple for indigenous inhabitants to a thriving sea lion colony.

what to do in los cabos
Tandem kayaks are ideal for adventurous couples. (Photo: Getty Images)

The best up-close introductions to this incredibly picturesque promontory are the guided stand up paddle boarding tours offered by High Tide Sea Expeditions. Tandem kayaks are an alternative for couples, who will also enjoy the restful interlude on romantic Lover’s Beach.