Boating in Los Cabos

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The themes of Los Cabos boat tours vary, but all tours follow essentially the same route: through Bahía Cabo San Lucas, past El Arco and the sea-lion colony, around Land's End into the Pacific Ocean, and then eastward through the Sea of Cortez along the Corridor. Costs run about $40–$50 per person; all tours include an open bar and some offer lunch and snorkel tours. Many of these operators offer whale-watching trips as well.

Cabo Adventures. Cabo Adventures has a three-hour sailing trip on genuine America's Cup yachts, during which the crew will teach you some basic sailing maneuvers, or you can simply sit back and enjoy the scenery—the boats pass Lover's Arch. Blvd. Paseo de la Marina, Lote 7a, Marina Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/173–9500 or 866/393–5255. www.cabo-adventures.com and www.cabodolphins.com.

Cabo Expeditions. Winter-season whale-watching (December–April) in the Sea of Cortez with Cabo Expeditions is done from small, customized, inflatable Zodiac boats that allow passengers to get close to gray and humpback whales. Oftentimes during the 2.5 hour trip, the whales even approach the boats with their babies. Fourteen passengers are allowed per tour; ages 5 and up. Cabo Marino, Near Wyndham Hotel, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–2700. www.caboexpeditions.com.mx. $85.

Cabo Rey. Enjoy panoramic views of Los Cabos including the famous Arch, Lover's Beach, Santa Maria Bay, Chileno Bay, the Old Lighthouse from the high-speed perch of a Rolls Royce Jet boat! For one-hour rides prices begin at $29; includes whale-watching during winter months for $39. Blvd Marina, Cabo Marina, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/105–1976; 866/460–4105 in U.S. www.caborey.com.

Encore. The 60-foot sailboat Encore carries 25 passengers. Whale-watching tours are offered in the morning from January to March, and sunset cruises are offered throughout the year. Encore tours are more sedate than those on the party boats, and you inquire through Cabo Yacht Center. Cabo Yacht Center, Cabo Marina, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–3020. www.caboyachtcenter.net.

Jungle Cruise. The Jungle Cruise is both a snorkeling tour boat as well as your typical afternoon booze cruise, complete with loud reggae and other party music. It attracts a twenty- to thirty-something crowd and heads out at 10:30 am to 2:30 pm Tuesday through Sunday, from April through November only. Cabo Marino, Main Dock, Baja California Sur, 23410. 866/348–6286 or 624/143–8150. $45, open bar.

Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope is a luxurious, 100-foot power catamaran with comfortable seating inside and out. The whale-watching tour (10 am to 12:30 pm) and the sunset cruise (5 to 7) are geared toward couples and families. Marina, At Madero, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/148–7318. www.kaleidoscopetravel.ca.

Oceanus. The double-decker party boat Oceanus has snorkel cruises ($45) from 11 am to 3 pm and a sunset cruise with a live band ($45) that leaves at 5 pm (6 pm in summer) from the main dock in Cabo San Lucas. They also have individual subs for rent ($85). You can rent the Oceanus for birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions. Deep discounts can be found when booking online. Blvd. Marina, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–1059 or 624/143–3929. www.oceanusloscabos.com.mx.

Pez Gato. Pez Gato has two 42-foot catamarans, Pez Gato I and Pez Gato II. It has snorkeling cruises, a romantic sunset cruise, the rowdier booze cruise, and in-season whale watching. Rates begin at $39; 10% off for booking online. Camino del Cerro 215, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–3797. www.pezgatocabo.com.

Sunderland Pirate Ship. Cruises on the remarkable Sunderland Pirate Ship, built in 1885, are ideal for families with children. Deckhands dressed in pirate garb let kids help hoist the sail and tie knots while they learn about the rich history of pirates in Cabo San Lucas. There's even a working cannon on board. The whale-watching trip uses hydrophones to listen to the whales' song ($59). The 105-foot ship can hold 150 people and is available to rent for private events. It sails from 10:30 to 1 and includes hot dogs and hamburgers. The two-hour sunset cruise departs at 5 p.m. from Monday through Saturday ($69). Kids under age 12 ride free; discounts online. East end of Marina, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/105–0955; 866/885–6555 From U.S. www.thecabopirateship.com.

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