From taquerías to turtles, you’ll never run out of things to do in Los Cabos.
Few getaway destinations can match Los Cabos when it comes to year-round sunshine and magnificently picturesque scenery. Set between mountains, desert, and two immense bodies of water—the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean—on the southernmost rim of the Baja California peninsula, activity options abound in this sun-kissed paradise. What to do in Los Cabos naturally depends on individual tastes, but there’s throbbing nightlife, adrenaline sports, and mouthwatering fresh-from-the-sea cuisine on the menu to bite into—and much more.
Neighboring cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo have added to their allure in recent years with a bevy of new beachfront luxury resorts and upscale attractions like pampering spas and world-class golf courses with blue sea and golden dune views. We’ve put together a list of the essentials and the 21 fun things to do in Los Cabos that every seasoned traveler should try at least once. Oh, and when it’s time to sleep, we’ve got you covered with Los Cabos’ best hotels.
Top Picks for You
Go Whale Watching and Witness the Biggest Show on Earth
U.S. and Canadian snowbirds aren’t the only ones who flock to sunny Los Cabos to avoid frigid winter temperatures. So to do an estimated five to ten thousand whales that migrate from Arctic feeding grounds to warm weather breeding grounds in coves and inlets around Baja California Sur. Humpbacks and gray whales are the species most commonly seen around Los Cabos, but blue whales, sperm whales, and even orcas are occasionally sighted in local waters. The whale-watching season stretches from mid-December to mid-April. During those months, virtually every adventure company and cruise boat operator in Cabo San Lucas offers daily whale-watching excursions. Some companies also include hydrophones, so in addition to witnessing the “biggest show on earth,” visitors can listen to their hauntingly beautiful songs.
Party Like a Rock Star
Los Cabos is known for its party-hearty nightlife, a scene pioneered by rock star Sammy Hagar, who opened the landmark Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas with his Van Halen bandmates back in 1990. It was a big deal at the time—MTV covered the grand opening at which Van Halen performed—and has capitalized on its ongoing popularity by spinning off U.S. locations in Hollywood and Las Vegas. “The Red Rocker” still performs locally, drawing other big-name musicians for cameo appearances during his annual October “birthday bash” concerts at Cabo Wabo. Live music nights and generous happy hours make this a legendary Cabo party spot any time of the year.
Related: Los Cabos Travel Guide
Catch a Fish That’s Bigger Than You
The largest blue marlin ever caught in Cabo San Lucas was a 1,213-pounder reeled in by a vacationing Michigander in 2011 after a 28-hour battle. Most local catches are not quite so arduous, but the area has been acclaimed as one of the world’s sport fishing capitals for half a century, and indeed the initial popularity of Los Cabos as a tourist destination was based in large part on its reputation for spectacular black and blue marlin fishing. The world’s richest fishing tournament, Bisbee’s Black & Blue—aka “The Super Bowl of Sport Fishing”—takes place in October, but visiting anglers can get their hooks into serious game and billfish on a year-round basis from black, blue, and striped marlin to tuna and sailfish.
Take a Trip to Land’s End
The 750-mile-long Baja California peninsula reaches its southernmost terminus at a half-mile headland at the tip of Cabo San Lucas. In addition to marking “Land’s End,” this promontory also serves as the symbolic demarcation point between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean; visiting it is one of the top things to do in Los Cabos. You can enjoy remarkable views of Land’s End on nightly sunset cruises, but to get up-close-and-personal with iconic landmarks like El Arco—a spectacular arch-shaped granite monument—Pelican Rock, Neptune’s Finger, The Window to the Pacific, and gorgeous Lover’s and Divorce Beaches, take a water taxi (called a panga locally) or sign up for tandem kayak tours.
INSIDER TIPGet all the undersea views while staying dry by hopping aboard a glass-bottom boat from the Cabo San Lucas Marina.
Play One of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses
Legendary champion Jack Nicklaus put Los Cabos on the golfing map in the early 1990s by designing remarkable coastal layouts at Palmilla and El Dorado, as well as an absolute masterpiece for Cabo del Sol. “The Golden Bear” has since returned to design three more gems, and he’s inspired competition from other famous champions—including Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Davis Love III, and Tom Weiskopf—who have crafted their own world-class layouts in Los Cabos. As of 2022, three golf courses in Los Cabos are ranked among the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest (Diamante Dunes Course, Quivira, and Querencia). Querencia is private, and guests at certain area resorts have access to coveted tee times at Diamante and Quivira. These three golf courses in Los Cabos are the only ones in Mexico to grace the list.
Related: Golf Courses in Los Cabos
Enjoy World-Class Food on a Working Farm
One of the most notable recent culinary trends in Los Cabos is the region’s growing number of outstanding farm-to-table restaurants. The Los Cabos municipality is home to a productive and picturesque organic farming community called Miraflores, but it’s a small community just outside of San José del Cabo, Ánimas Bajas, that claims three of the most acclaimed farm-to-fork eateries: Flora’s Field Kitchen, Acre, and Los Tamarindos. All offer impressive, intimate al fresco dining experiences in the midst of working farms, and all have proved extremely popular with visiting foodies.
Experience Baja 1000 Style Off-Road Adventures
The Baja California peninsula burst onto the world sporting stage in the 1960s thanks to an off-road event called the Baja 1000, a ruggedly difficult endurance race through challenging desert and mountain terrains. During its 50-plus year run, this now iconic race has attracted participants ranging from Hollywood movie stars like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman to NASCAR icons such as Jimmie Johnson and Robbie Gordon and Indy 500 winners Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, and Parnelli Jones. But you don’t have to be an A-list actor or professional race car driver to go fast in Baja. For those who’d like to experience the thrill of off-road racing without the 1000-mile commitment, Los Cabos offers several adventurous options, from high-speed dune buggy jaunts along secluded beaches to pulse-pounding excursions in authentic Baja 1000-style desert racers.
INSIDER TIPActivities in Los Cabos and Baja are plentiful for the adrenaline-hungry. In addition to ATVs and dune buggies, you can rappel or go ziplining just minutes from San Jose del Cabo with Canopy Costa Azul.
Discover Delicious Baja Style Fish Tacos
The origins of the fish taco date back to the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica, a history probably written about learnedly on some long-lost Mayan codex. However, the modern version of this popular comfort food is much easier to trace. It started in Baja, California, in the 1950s in communities like Ensenada and San Felipe before eventually crossing the border to become a staple of SoCal beach life. Add tracking down the juiciest Baja-style tacos to your list of must-do things in Los Cabos, as there are places where the fish is caught fresh daily, and the traditional preparations are sacrosanct. Terrific taquerías specializing in Baja style fish tacos include La Lupita in San José del Cabo and Tacos Gardenias in Cabo San Lucas.
INSIDER TIPAt Nido restaurant at Viceroy Los Cabos, you can savor elevated fish tacos with a Japanese twist in a nest-like structure right by an artfully designed pool.
Master the Art of Shopping in San José del Cabo
Cabo San Lucas may have the better nightlife, but serious shoppers know that the best places to find regional arts and crafts, resort wear, and souvenir bargains are in San José del Cabo. The city’s historic, cobblestoned Distrito del Arte is lined with boutique galleries, spotlighting everything from Mata Ortiz pottery to contemporary paintings and sculptures. Plaza Artesanos beckons with stalls featuring Mexican handicrafts like blankets, hammocks, and curios. Plaza del Pescador attracts with Tommy Bahama and other resort-style clothes, and the Mercado Municipal and weekly farmer’s market lure foodies and health-conscious visitors with locally ranched meats, fresh fish, organic produce, and artisanal cheeses. The Shoppes at Palmilla will do the trick when you feel the urge to splurge on limited-edition Clase Azul tequilas, Taxco silver, and bespoke Mexican artworks.
Experience the Magic of Todos Santos
The goal of the Pueblos Mágicos (literally, “Magical Towns”) program, which Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism introduced in 2001, is to promote places of great cultural or historical significance. Since few places in México evoke more magic than Todos Santos—a home to a thriving artists’ colony since the 1980s—it was no surprise when it was the first place on the Baja California peninsula to receive the official designation. A wealthy sugar mill town during its heyday in the 19th century, Todos Santos today showcases an appealing blend of surfer chic from stunning hotels—look into Hotel San Cristobal for poolside ocean views and Rancho Pescadero for its ethnobotanical culinary concept and top-notch wellness offerings—and boutique shops to eclectic eateries and the colorful galleries now housed in its historic brick buildings. Less than an hour’s drive from Cabo San Lucas, it’s a must-visit for day trippers and destination surfers.
Help Save Endangered Sea Turtles
Five of the world’s eight sea turtle species nest on beaches in the Los Cabos area each year, including both the smallest (Olive Ridleys, which average 100 pounds at maturity) and the largest (Leatherbacks, which can weigh as much as a ton). Tiny hatchlings are extremely vulnerable to predators like birds and crabs during their initial journey from beach to sea, so some local resorts and nature conservancies have developed volunteer programs that help to protect these endangered creatures. Several great programs are open to visitors who can experience the joys of helping a baby sea turtle navigate their way to the sea for the very first time. Like whale watching, this is a seasonal activity in Los Cabos, available only during the months between July and November.
INSIDER TIPCertified by both the SEMARNAT and PROFEPA Mexican environment agencies, Hilton Los Cabos is actively engaged with turtle protection, and guests can see Olive Ridley sea turtles hatch right from the resort during the season.
Refine Your Palate with Tequila and Mezcal Tasting
Cabo is an exquisite destination to sample some of Mexico’s finest sipping tequilas and mezcals in elegant settings. Ultra-luxe resort Las Ventanas al Paraíso gives both liquors the respect they deserve at its upscale Tequila and Ceviche Bar, which not only features over 200 brands of tequila and mezcal but an onsite tequila master who will help you determine your specific flavor profile. For cocktail aficionados, award-winning Osvaldo Vazquez of Comal—the signature onsite restaurant at the posh Chileno Bay Resort—is the region’s premier mixologist. His mezcal-based cocktails, in particular, are amazing, with new recipes unveiled regularly. The grandest distillate experience, however, is courtesy of the recently-opened Clase Azul Los Cabos, the brand’s new destination with its six-seater Omakase bar, fine dining restaurant La Terraza, carefully curated mixology masterpieces at El Bar, and the crown jewel is A Taste of Culture, an interactive, sensory showcase of the brand’s icons paired with flavor-enhancing Mexican dishes.
Dive Into an Undersea Fantasia at Cabo Pulmo
Cabo Pulmo, a small community on the East Cape of Los Cabos, is a conservation success story. In the early 1990s, its offshore waters had been depleted and degraded by overfishing. Once it was protected and designated as a national marine sanctuary in 1995, the area quickly recovered and now boasts the highest concentration of marine life in the entire Sea of Cortez. It then became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
The highlight of the offshore sanctuary is its spectacular living coral reef, one of the oldest in North America. The combination of colorful living coral reefs and a thriving habitat shared by dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, and many more species of marine life makes exploring this undersea fantasia one of the best things to do in Los Cabos.
Get Pampered at Top Spas
Back in the day, beaches and big-game sport fishing largely lured visitors. These days, Los Cabos is known for its super collection of luxury amenities. For example, the region dominates annual rankings of the best spas in Latin America, and a sort of “pampering arms race” exists among top local resorts. It’s no coincidence that the decadent 35,000-square-foot SE Spa at Grand Velas, which debuted in 2017, remained the largest in the area for less than a year, topped in 2018 by the 40,000-square-foot Spa Montage at Montage Los Cabos. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, but there’s no longer any room for doubt: from soothing therapies and romantic couples’ treatments to beachfront massage cabanas, Los Cabos’ luxury resorts have mastered the destination spa experience.
Get Barreled Surfing Breaks on the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean
The Capes Region offers great surfing opportunities on a year-round basis. Summer surf-minded visitors will find conditions optimal on the Sea of Cortez side, from acclaimed breaks at Playa Monumentos and Costa Azul’s Zippers to less heralded spots like Nine Palms and Shipwrecks on the Los Cabos municipality’s picturesque East Cape. During the winter months, the scene shifts to rippable breaks off the Pacific Coast with some of the best beaches in Cabos like Los Cerritos, San Pedrito, and La Pastora.
Set Sail and See El Arco and Lover’s Beach
At the top of the list of must-do things in Los Cabos? Testing your sea legs at the confluence of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. Nightly sunset sails are a popular activity, with guests given cocktails and a guided tour of all the Land’s End monuments, as well as a chance to witness the sun set in a fiery blaze over the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula. The sunsets are indeed spectacular, and in addition to the traditional sailing cruises offered by companies like Cabo Adventures, dinner cruises are also available. Caborey offers the area’s premier sunset dinner excursion, with a multi-course meal and after-dinner entertainment aboard a luxurious, 144-foot, triple-decked catamaran. If staying at a luxury property like Las Ventanas al Paraiso, you can turn things up a notch with a sublime private sunset dinner on the resort’s 58-foot yacht.
Sink Your Toes in the Sand at Playa El Médano
The biggest and most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas stretches a full two miles and is not only home to tons of glorious golden sand but boisterous cantinas and a succession of beachfront luxury resorts. Playa El Médano beachgoers can sun, swim, rent wave runners or paddle boards, and eat and drink to their heart’s content. Mango Deck is the beach’s premier party spot, a Spring Break mecca that boasts flowing tequila shots and bawdy contests. You’re in for a not-so-tough day at the office at neighboring restaurant The Office on the Beach, a noteworthy feet-in-the-sand cantina with a much-loved weekly Fiesta Mexicana. This Thursday night staple features fireworks and folkloric singing and dancing.
Admire Original Artwork in San Jose del Cabo’s Historic Gallery District
Every Thursday evening during high tourist season—November through June—San José del Cabo’s historic Distrito del Arte welcomes visitors to stroll its charming, cobblestone-studded streets in a tradition known as Art Walk. It’s the premier cultural event in Los Cabos, with the neighborhood’s many gallery owners staying open late (until 9 p.m.) to chat with visitors, and street artists and mariachis showcasing their talents amid the crowds that throng the downtown area. There’s no bad time to visit the Art District which, in addition to hosting many fine arts galleries, is also home to a wide array of excellent bars and restaurants. The state’s first microbrewery, Baja Brewing Company, is located in the heart of the Art District, as is popular gourmet taquería La Lupita Taco & Mezcal.
Stroll the Boardwalk Promenade Around the Cabo San Lucas Marina
San José del Cabo’s Art District isn’t the only prime Los Cabos strolling spot promoting the leisurely vacation pursuits of sightseeing and shopping. Cabo San Lucas has its own pedestrian mecca, a long boardwalk promenade that parallels the Land’s End city’s marina, snaking from the cruise ship terminal on one end to the juncture with Playa El Médano on the other. Shopping malls like Puerto Paraíso and the upscale Luxury Avenue are set along this marina boardwalk, as are popular local restaurants like Solomon’s Landing and Baja Cantina. The favorite pastime, however, remains sightseeing, checking out the latest luxury yachts tied up at the docks or watching freshly caught fish being weighed on dockside scales.
Tick El Squid Roe Off Your List
Restaurant, bar, and mayhem mecca El Squid Roe in downtown Cabo San Lucas guarantees a night to remember (or forget). Over three floors, this Cabo establishment is kitschy and over-the-top, and it’s been helping locals and visitors alike—even Beyonce has graced its doors—party into the night since the late 1980s. The food isn’t bad either. Bring along your drinking hat, dance in a cage, and pick up a souvenir t-shirt or cup to prove you were there.
Step Into a Luxury Movie Set
Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection has become the set of various Hollywood productions, particularly romantic comedies. It was renamed “Las Playas Resort” in the 2020 Netflix Comedy Desperados starring Nasim Pedrad and Lamorne Morris (who some may recognize as couple Aly and Winston from New Girl). Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan fall in love on the 57-room property as Eddie and Miranda in The Heartbreak Kid (2007). The sprawling resort—complete with its own private beach—is perched on a picturesque bluff, thus providing stellar sea views. While on location, visit the award-winning spa or head to one of Esperanza’s dining venues: La Palapa, Las Estrellas, La Terraza Americana, or Cocina del Mar. Create your own movie magic at the latter, with an outdoor exhibition kitchen and stunning cliffs that you’ll want to document.