44 Best Sights in Los Cabos, Mexico

Bahía Chileno

Fodor's choice
El Chileno Beach, Bahia Chileno, The Corridor, Los Cabos, Mexico
(c) Hapinessey | Dreamstime.com

A calm enclave—with golf courses, residences, and Chileno Bay Resort—is roughly midway between San José and Cabo San Lucas. Consistently ranked one of the cleanest beaches in Mexico, Chileno has been awarded “Blue Flag” certification, meaning 32 criteria for safety, services, water quality, and other standards have been met. The beach skirts a small, crescent-shaped cove with aquamarine waters and an outside reef that are perfect for snorkeling and swimming (there are even restrooms, showers, and handicap access). To the east are tide pools great for exploring with the kids. Getting here is easy, thanks to the well-marked access ramps on both sides of the road. Along the western edge of Bahía Chileno, some 200 yards away, are some good-size boulders that you can scramble up. In winter this part of the Sea of Cortez gets chilly—refreshing for a dip, but most snorkelers don't spend too much time in the water. On weekends get to the bay early if you want to claim shade under a palapa. Amenities: toilets; showers; parking lot. Best for: swimming; snorkeling; sunset.

Bahía Santa María

Fodor's choice
Bahia Santa Maria, The Corridor, Los Cabos, Mexico
(c) Dgirard12 | Dreamstime.com

This wide, sloping, horseshoe-shaped beach is surrounded by cactus-covered rocky cliffs; the placid waters here are a protected fish sanctuary. The bay is part of an underwater reserve and is a great place to snorkel: brightly colored fish swarm through chunks of white coral and golden sea fans. Unfortunately, this little slice of paradise has limited palapas for shade, so arrive early or bring a beach umbrella. In high season, from November to May, there's usually someone renting snorkeling gear or selling sarongs, straw hats, and soft drinks. It's best to bring your own supplies, though, including lots of drinking water, snacks, and sunscreen. Snorkel and booze-cruise boats from Cabo San Lucas visit the bay in midmorning through about 1 pm. Arrive midafternoon if you want to get that total Robinson Crusoe feel. The parking lot is a quarter mile or so off the highway and is sometimes guarded; be sure to tip the guard. The bay is roughly 19 km (12 miles) west of San José and 13 km (8 miles) east of Cabo San Lucas. Heading east, look for the sign saying "playa santa maría." Amenities: toilets; free parking; showers; lifeguards. Best for: snorkeling; swimming; surfing; walking.

L.A. Cetto

Fodor's choice

L.A. Cetto is a giant that produces more than 1.2 million cases of wine each year, making it the closest thing to a California wine country experience south of the border. When tasting or buying, avoid the more affordable wines, and go straight for the premiums. Having earned over 530 international awards, they are well known for their lovely Nebbiolo and Chardonnay, and their nicely balanced Don Luis Concordia. Don't miss the Peninsula Espaldera, a Sangiovese-Aglianico blend with aromas of black fruit and toffee. The largest winery in Mexico, this is also one of the busiest in the area. Tours take place daily 10–5 on the half hour.

Recommended Fodor's Video

La Lomita

Fodor's choice

Owned by Fernando Pérez Castro, this new-generation winery creates rich wines made with 100% local grapes. With six labels under their barrel, their blends are sold to top restaurants and hotels in Mexico City, Riviera Maya, and Cabo. The preferred Sacro—a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot—has hints of pomegranate, cherry, pepper, berries, and maple syrup, while the Tinto de la Hacienda has characteristics of compote and jam. For something unique, try Pagano, their rebel baby Grenache that comes in a square bottle. The circular tasting room overlooks a pit of shiny wine tanks where vines dangle from above. It's the place where cool people sip, especially San Diego day-trippers who Instagram their pours in front of murals by Mexican artist Jorge Tellaeche. Tastings are Thursday to Sunday 12--4.

Plot 13, San Antonio de las Minas, Mexico
646-156–8466
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tastings $20, Closed Mon. and Tues.

Lover's Beach

Fodor's choice
Resort, Playa del Amor, Los Cabos, Mexico
Ramunas Bruzas / Shutterstock

These days, lovers have little chance of finding much romantic solitude here. The azure cove on the Sea of Cortez at the very tip of the Land's End peninsula may well be the area's most frequently photographed patch of sand. It's a must-see on every first-timer's list. Water taxis, glass-bottom boats, kayaks, and Jet Skis all make the short trip out from Playa Médano to this small beach, which is backed by cliffs. Snorkeling around the base of these rocks is fun when the water is calm; you may spot striped sergeant majors and iridescent green-and-blue parrotfish. Seals hang out on the rocks a bit farther out, at the base of "El Arco," Cabo's famed arched landmark. Swimming and snorkeling are best on the Sea of Cortez side of Lover's Beach, where the clear, green, almost luminescent water is unquestionably the nicest in Cabo San Lucas. Walk through a gap in the rocks to access Divorce Beach on the Pacific side, which is too turbulent for swimming but ideal for sunbathing. Vendors are usually present, but it's always best to bring your own snacks and plenty of water. The beach is crowded at times, but most people would agree that it's worth seeing, especially if you're a first-timer. To get here, take a five-minute panga water-taxi ride ($10–$15) or the half-hour glass-bottom-boat tour. Opt for the latter if you wish to have some time to photograph the arch from the Pacific-side view. Both boats leave with relative frequency from the Cabo San Lucas marina or Playa Médano. Amenities: none. Best for: swimming; snorkeling; sunrise; sunset.

Buy Tickets Now

Vena Cava

Fodor's choice

Even if you’re not into wine, a visit to this award-winning winery is well worth a visit. Winemaker Phil Gregory blended his passion for sustainable practices and wine making into the architecture of this funky wine cave made from old fishing boats. Bursting with character, these 1930s vessels once sailed the waters off the coast of Ensenada. Today they serve as the domes that cap the wine cellar, housing Vena Cava’s labels considered among the best blends in Mexico. Vena Cava is one of the few wineries to produce natural wines, free of sulfites and with no added yeast. The Big Blend Tempranillo is elegant, gentle, and fruit-forward, and the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is remarkably smooth. This fine balance of science and art have become an obsession for the talented winemaker who uses French barrels and organic grapes from local valleys. Tastings are offered 11--5 on the hour for $20. Stay awhile and enjoy a meal at the food truck out front, serving an urban take on Baja cuisine.

Adobe Guadalupe

Adobe Guadalupe makes an array of fascinating old-world-style blends named after angels. Don't miss the Kerubiel, which is a blockbuster blend; the Serafiel, Gabriel, and Miguel are also excellent. Gaining wide notice is the Jardín Romántico—80% Chardonnay—and of course the powerful mezcal, appropriately named Lucifer. Tastings are offered daily 10--6 and include four reds for $15 (free to hotel guests). Be sure to visit the wine store and tapas food truck on your way out.

Avenida López Mateos

Avenida López Mateos, commonly known as Calle Primera, is the center of Ensenada's traditional tourist zone and shopping district. Hotels, shops, restaurants, and bars line the avenue for eight blocks, from its beginning at the foot of the Chapultepec Hills to the dry channel of the Arroyo de Ensenada. The avenue also has sidewalk cafés, art galleries, and most of the town's souvenir stores, where you can find pottery, glassware, silver, and other Mexican crafts.

Av. López Mateos, Ensenada, 22800, Mexico

Baron Balché

Despite up-and-coming wineries fighting for the spotlight, this premier producer is still considered the Rolls-Royce of Valle de Guadalupe’s wineries. Logos on the premium line are based on Mayan numbers, with outstanding selections like the Balché UNO, a Grenache with hints of raspberry and caramel. The Balché CERO 100% Nebbiolo is the king of their wines, having aged four years in the barrel. Even their younger wines are exceptional, but expect to pay a hefty price to try them. Tastings for top selections will cost you about $50, but considering you are sampling $250 bottles of wine, it just might be worth it. Be sure to end your wine tour here, otherwise the rest of your tastings might pale in comparison.

Casa de Piedra

The brainchild of Hugo D'Acosta, Casa de Piedra is part of an impressive portfolio that includes Paralelo, Aborigen, and La Borde Vieille, known for its Mexican and French blends. Try Casa de Piedra's flagship wine Contraste or their newer sparkling wines. The space is interesting and modern, designed by the winemaker's architect brother. Visits are by reservation only.

Carretera Tecate–Ensenada, Km 93.5, San Antonio de las Minas, 22766, Mexico
646-155–5267
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun

Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Paz

Centro

The downtown church, Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Paz, is a simple, unassuming stone building with a modest gilded altar but beautiful stained-glass windows. The church was built in 1861 near the site of La Paz's first mission, which no longer exists. The two towers of the present cathedral were added a half century later.

Revolución de 1910, La Paz, 23000, Mexico
612-122–2596
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Daily 9–3

El Cielo

Considered a giant among the region’s vineyards, this winery produces 38,000 cases of wine, has its own concert venue, private villas, and the popular restaurant Latitude 32. Most stop by to sample the fine blends named after constellations in honor of the owner’s love for astronomy. Behind the barrel is winemaker Jesus Rivera, responsible for much of the success of neighboring wineries where he previously consulted. For an elegant Chardonnay, try Capricornius, or for an Italian grape blend of Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, the Perseus aged 24 months in French oak barrels is also wonderful. The Orion is one of their most popular reds. For the jewel of El Cielo, go big with their reserved collection, Estrellas (stars) that have been preserved up to 20 years. Tastings and tours are available daily for $17.

La Bufadora

Punta Banda

La Bufadora. Legend has it that La Bufadora, an impressive tidal blowhole (la bufadora means the buffalo snort) in the coastal cliffs at Punta Banda, was created by a whale or sea serpent trapped in an undersea cave; both these stories, and the less romantic scientific facts, are posted on a roadside plaque.

The road to La Bufadora along Punta Banda—an isolated, mountainous point that juts into the sea—is lined with olive, craft, and tamale stands; the drive gives you a sampling of Baja's wilderness. If you're in need of some cooling off, turn off the highway at the sign for La Jolla Beach Camp. The camp charges a small admission fee for day use of the beachside facilities, but it's a great place to do a few "laps" of lazy freestyle or breaststroke at La Jolla Beach. At La Bufadora, expect a small fee to park, and then a half-mile walk past T-shirt hawkers and souvenir stands to the water hole itself. A public bus runs from the downtown Ensenada station to Maneadero, from which you can catch a minibus labeled Punta Banda that goes to La Bufadora. Carretera 23, 31 km [19 mi] south of Ensenada, Punta Banda, Ensenada, Baja California Norte, 22794.

La Cava de Marcelo

Ojos Negros

For many, a visit to Baja Norte must include an afternoon drive to the cheese caves of Marcelo in Ojos Negros, just 45 minutes outside Ensenada. With Swiss-Italian roots, owner Marcelo Castro Chacon is now the fourth generation to carry on the queso tradition since it first began in 1911. A visit to the farm includes a tour of the milking facilities and a tasting of seven cheeses and their signature Ramonetti red wine. Milder selections seasoned with basil, black pepper, and rosemary are more popular with locals than their sharper cheeses, aged up to two-and-a-half years, loved by out-of-towners. As Mexico’s only cheese cave (and the first in Latin America), this beloved factory produces 450 pounds of cheese per day. Milking takes place at 5 pm daily and the small on-site shop sells the remarkable marmalade and wine that accompany your cheese tasting. Those with time and an appetite can dine under the shade of a peppertree for a lunch menu integrating Marcelo’s cheeses and organic fruits and vegetables from his farm (expect flies in summer). The cactus salad and portobello mushrooms with melted cheese make the ideal starters to the regional trout served with roasted garlic. The fig mousse alone is worth a visit. Be aware that cell service is limited and the road here is winding.

Carretera Ensenada–San Felipe, Km 43, Ensenada, Mexico
646-117–0293
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $10 tour and tasting, Thurs.–Sun. 1 pm–6 pm, Closed Mon.–Wed

Las Bodegas de Santo Tomás

Centro

One of Baja's oldest wine producers gives tours and tastings at its downtown Ensenada winery and bottling plant. Santo Tomás's best wines are the Alisio Chardonnay, the Cabernet, and the Tempranillo; avoid the overpriced Único. The winery also operates the enormous wineshop, a brick building across the avenue. The Santo Tomás Vineyards can be found on the eastern side of Highway 1 about 50 km (31 miles) south of Ensenada in Santo Tomás Valley, fairly near the ruins of the Misión Santo Tomás de Aquino, which was founded by Dominican priests in 1791. They have a third facility, Cava San Antonio de las Minas, at the entrance to Valle de Guadalupe at Km 94.7.

Av. Miramar 666, Ensenada, 22800, Mexico
646-178–3333
Sight Details
Rate Includes: 4 tastings $6, Valley tours and tastings daily 9–5 on the hour

Liceaga

Neighboring Casa de Piedra, this winery produces a variety of Merlot- and Cabernet-heavy blends. Try Liceaga's "L," a complex and elegant wine with hints of cherry, blackberry, cassis, plum and pepper. The tasting room is open most days 11–5, and they have live music Saturdays from July through September.

Carretera Tecate–Ensenada, Km 93, San Antonio de las Minas, 22766, Mexico
646-155–3281
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Four tastings, $9

Malecón

Officially the Malecón Álvaro Obregón, this seaside promenade is La Paz's seawall, tourist zone, and social center all rolled into one. It runs for 5 km (3 miles) along Paseo Álvaro Obregón and has a broad palm-lined walkway, statues of whale sharks, dolphins, sharks, and other local denizens of the deep, as well as several park areas in the directly adjacent sand. Paceños are fond of strolling the malecón at sunset when the heat of the day finally begins to subside. (You will see people swimming here, and the water is cleaner than it used to be, but the beaches outside town are a far surer bet in that regard.)

Paseo Álvaro Obregón, La Paz, 23000, Mexico

Malecón Plaza

A two-story white gazebo is the focus of Malecón Plaza, a small concrete square where musicians sometimes appear on weekend nights. An adjacent street, Calle 16 de Septiembre, leads inland to the city.

Paseo Álvaro Obregón at Calle 16 de Septiembre, La Paz, 23000, Mexico

Marina Golden Zone

Cabo's downtown marina is lined with upscale shops and fine dining, but it's worth coming here just to stroll along the boardwalk and take in glittering marina views. Shopping hot spots include Puerto Paraíso Mall, Marina Fiesta Resort, and Luxury Avenue Boutique Mall. The latter is a collection of shops selling Salvatore Ferragamo, Victoria's Secret, Lacoste, TAG Heuer, and Montblanc, all under one roof. The zone is anchored by the Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa.

Mercado de Mariscos

At the northernmost point of Boulevard Costero, the main street along the waterfront, is an indoor-outdoor fish market where row after row of counters display piles of shrimp, tuna, dorado, and other fish caught off Baja's coasts. Outside, stands sell grilled or smoked fish, seafood cocktails, and fish tacos. You can pick up a few souvenirs, eat well for very little money, and take some great photographs. If your stomach is delicate, try the fish tacos at the cleaner, quieter Plaza de Mariscos in the shadow of the giant beige Plaza de Marina that blocks the view of the traditional fish market from the street.

Mogor Badan

One of the area’s few vineyards to offer organic wines, this 1950s ranch has gained renown for whites such as their remarkably fragrant Chasselas del Mogor. Their newer Pirineo blends a contemporary Mexican Grenache with a French Syrah. Wine tastings are available by reservation only on weekends 11–5 in their underground cave. After wine tasting, dine at the neighboring garden restaurant, operated by the talented chef Drew Deckman.

Carretera Tecate–Ensenada, Km 85.5, San Antonio de las Minas, 22755, Mexico
646-156–8156
Sight Details
Rate Includes: 3 tastings with appetizers, $25, Weekends 11–5

Monte Xanic

Tastings at Monte Xanic take place at the edge of a lovely pond and include three reds and two whites for $15. Most impressive is their consistency, right down to the cheapest table wines. Tastings and tours are available by appointment only. Be sure to check out the impressively styled cellar.

Museo Regional de Antropología y Historia de Baja California Sur

Centro

La Paz's culture and heritage are well represented at the Museo de Antropología, which has re-creations of indigenous Comondu and Las Palmas villages, photos of cave paintings found in Baja, and copies of Cortés's writings on first sighting La Paz. All exhibit descriptions are labeled in both English and Spanish. If you're a true Baja aficionado and want to delve into the region's history, this museum is a must; otherwise, a quick visit is all you need.

Calle Altamirano at Calle 5 de Mayo, La Paz, 23000, Mexico
612-122–0162
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $3, Daily 9–6

Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Todos Santos was the second-farthest south of Baja California's 30 mission churches, a system the Spanish instituted to convert (and subdue) the peninsula's indigenous peoples. Jesuit priests established an outpost here in 1723 as a visita (circuit branch) of the mission in La Paz, a day's journey away on horseback. The original church north of town was sacked and pillaged twice during its existence, before being relocated in 1825 to this site in the center of town. Additions in the past two centuries have resulted in a hodgepodge of architectural styles, but the overall effect is still pleasing, and the structure serves to this day as the community's bustling parish church.

Calle Márquez de León, Todos Santos, 23300, Mexico
612-145–0043
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Daily 7 am–8 pm

Paralelo

Paralelo was built by the Hugo d'Acosta clan as "parallel" to Casa de Piedra. The winery makes two red blends—the excellent and balanced Arenal and the heavier, minerally Colina—as well as a Sauvignon Blanc Emblema. A reservation is necessary.

Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
646-156–5268
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tastings $5, Closed Sun.

Playa Balandra

A rocky point shelters a clear, warm bay at Playa Balandra, 21 km (13 miles) north of La Paz. Several small coves and pristine beaches appear and disappear with the tides, but there's always a calm area where you can wade and swim. Snorkeling is fair around Balandra's south end where there's a coral reef. You may spot clams, starfish, and anemones. Kayaking and snorkeling tours usually set out from around here. If not on a tour, bring your own gear, as rentals aren't normally available. Camping is permitted but there are no hookups. The smallish beach gets crowded on weekends, but on a weekday morning you might have the place to yourself. Sand flies can be a nuisance here between July and October. Amenities: camping; food concession; parking lot; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; swimming; walking.

La Paz, 23004, Mexico

Playa Buenos Aires

This wide, lengthy, and accessible stretch of beach is one of the longest along the Cabo Corridor, but is rapidly developing with new resorts. Reef breaks for surfers can be good, but the beach is also known for its riptides, making it unswimmable. It's a great beach for long, quiet runs or walks, and it's not uncommon to find locals with horses to rent for a beachside ride. Whales can easily be spotted from the beach from January through March. The small, man-made "Tequila Cove" between Hilton and Paradisus has calm waters, excellent for swimming. Here you'll find a tiny shack renting bodyboards and other water-sports equipment. Amenities: toilets; water sports; free parking. Best for: surfers; walking.

Playa Caimancito

Situated just beyond La Concha Beach Club Resort, 5 km (3 miles) north of La Paz, Caimancito is home to a scenic stretch of sand and some sun-shading palapas. Locals swim laps here, as the water is almost always calm and salty enough for easy buoyancy. There aren't any public facilities here, but if you wander over to the hotel for lunch or a drink, you can use its restrooms and rent water toys. Amenities: parking lot. Best for: sunsets; swimming; walking.

La Paz, 23004, Mexico

Playa Costa Azul

Cabo's best surfing beach runs 3 km (2 miles) south from San José's hotel zone along Highway 1. The Zipper and La Roca breaks are world famous. Playa Costa Azul connects to neighboring Playa Acapulquito in front of the Cabo Surf Hotel. Surfers gather at both beaches year-round, but most come in summer, when hurricanes and tropical storms create the year's largest waves, and when the ocean is at its warmest. This condo-lined beach is popular with joggers and walkers, but swimming isn't advised. When getting in and out of the water in front of Cabo Surf Hotel (where surf lessons take place), watch out for the sea urchins that cling to the shallow rocks. Beginner surfers should ask locals to point out the mound of hidden rocks near the break closest to the cliffs; this means it's much safer to take "rights" than "lefts" at this break. Although not overly common, jellyfish can also be a problem here. The turnoff to this beach is sudden and only available to drivers coming from Cabo San Lucas (not from San José del Cabo). It's on the beach side of the highway, at Zipper's restaurant, which is on the sand by the surf breaks. If coming from San José del Cabo, you have to exit at Costa Azul Surf Shop and drive under the highway to the parking area. Food and drinks are available at Zipper's restaurant or at 7 Seas restaurant. Surfboards can be rented at Costa Azul Surf Shop or at Cabo Surf Hotel. Amenities: toilets; food and drink; free parking. Best for: surfing; walking; sunset.

Playa El Médano

Playa El Médano

Foamy plumes of water shoot from wave runners and dozens of water taxis buzz through the calm waters off Médano, a 3-km (2-mile) span of grainy tan sand that's always crowded. Bars and restaurants line the sand, waiters deliver ice buckets filled with beer to sunbathers in lounge chairs, and vendors offer everything from silver jewelry to hats, T-shirts, and henna tattoos. You can even get a pedicure. Swimming areas are roped off to prevent accidents, and the water is usually calm enough for small children. Be aware there are quick shoreline drop-offs, so life preservers are a good idea for the little paddlers in your group. Hotels line Médano, which is just north of downtown off Paseo del Pescador. Construction is constant on nearby streets, and parking is virtually impossible. The most popular spot on the beach is around the Mango Deck and The Office, where more than half a dozen bar-restaurants have set up beach chairs and tables. This is a hot spot for people-watching. For something a bit more tranquil, grab a bite at Casa Dorada Resort's oceanfront restaurant Maydan, which is open to the public. Be prepared to deal with the many crafts vendors cruising the beach. They're generally not pushy, so a simple head shake and "No, gracias" will do. Amenities: food concession. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; swimming.

Paseo del Pescador, Cabo San Lucas, 23410, Mexico