There are so many things to do in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. In fact, there’s so much to do it can feel overwhelming.
Whether you’re coming to Cabo San Lucas for a relaxing beach vacation in a luxury resort, you are here for the fishing, the golfing, or the parties, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in Cabo.
While I live in neighboring San Jose del Cabo, I’ve spent a good bit of time exploring Cabo San Lucas as well and figuring out what to do in Cabo San Lucas to share with you on this blog and over on my YouTube channel, too.
Visiting Cabo San Lucas in 2021? Check out this article to keep up to date with restrictions and safety in Cabo San Lucas.
Where is Cabo San Lucas?
Cabo San Lucas is located in the state of Baja California Sur in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
Cabo is at the very tip of the peninsula. In fact, you can actually find the sign for Kilometer Zero of highway one, which will take you all the way up to Tijuana.
How to Get to Cabo San Lucas
There are a few ways to get to Cabo depending on where you’re coming from.
There is an international airport located in nearby San Jose del Cabo which is about 30 minutes by car or taxi from Cabo San Lucas. You can read all about the airport on their website here.
When you land at the airport, you have a few options for getting to your hotel or Airbnb. If you’re staying at a resort, they will likely already have organized your pickup.
If you are staying at a smaller hotel, you can take a taxi, which is the more expensive option, but it will take you directly to your hotel.
While Uber is available here, it is not available from the airport.
There is, however, a bus that stops at all of the terminals which will take you all the way from the Airport to Cabo San Lucas downtown area. Once you are in the downtown area, you can take an Uber to your hotel.
The bus is called Ruta del Desierto and costs a few dollars (but you’ll need to pay in Pesos) and takes about 30 minutes to get to downtown Cabo San Lucas.
This is also the bus you’ll want to take if you want to travel between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. It’s incredibly affordable and runs every 10 minutes or so from 8am until 9pm.
Getting Around Cabo
Once you are in Cabo San Lucas, you can easily get Ubers around town.
If you are staying centrally around the Marina or downtown area, you’ll have no problem at all simply walking everywhere.
Many resorts that are located slightly out of the downtown area have free buses that shuttle guests to different parts of town and run to a pretty regular timetable. They can walk you through the stops and locations when you check-in.
Of course, you can also rent a car from the airport. Renting a car in Mexico can have its pitfalls, so I always recommend booking with a local company, not a big chain company that tends not to honor reservations and tack on additional fees when you get to the office.
The two local rental car companies in Cabo that I like are Cactus (my personal preference) and Fiesta. Both can be booked through their website, but you can also call and speak to someone in English or Spanish about any offers they may be running.
Almost every hotel in town has parking available.
Where to Stay in Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is home to some of the most elite and expensive resorts in Mexico. I’ve listed one or two of these beautiful spots below, but I personally love a small boutique hotel run by people who really love Cabo and want to share that passion with their guests.
Los Milagros Hotel
Nowhere in Cabo shares the passion more than Ricardo and his team at Los Milagros Hotel. From the moment we checked in, I felt like we were on vacation.
The courtyard of the hotel is an oasis right in downtown Cabo San Lucas. You are steps away from the best restaurants and bars, five minutes from the Marina, and yet behind the front door, you are in paradise. Surrounded by trees, flowers, and comfortable places to sit, and a pool to cool down in.
The rooms are simply decorated, but clean and full of natural light. They have normal rooms with double beds and suites with kitchenettes that are good enough to cook any meal of the day in.
Rooms start at $85 USD. Book a stay at Los Milagros Hotel here.
Casa Bella Boutique Hotel
Casa Bella is another fantastic boutique hotel in Cabo San Lucas. Located right in the center of town, this is a family-run hotel with gorgeous rooms and a stunning courtyard to relax in.
The rooms are decorated to reflect the Hacienda-style of this hotel. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, in a good way. From the Spanish tiles to the relaxing area around the pool, every detail has been considered after here.
Rooms start at $160 per night. Book a stay at Casa Bella here.
Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa
A great resort that won’t completely break the bank. Casa Dorada has several pools and hot tubs. Big rooms and suites available. It is right on the main beach in Cabo, so you’re close to all of the famous beach club spots like The Office and within walking distance to the Marina.
The pools look out over the ocean, so you can take a dip to cool off and sit back and relax with a book all while looking out at the rough seas below. The onsite bars and restaurants serve up plenty of different cuisines to keep you interested throughout your stay, including great Mexican food.
Rooms start at $200 per night. Book a stay here.
Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa
This is one of the best-located hotels in Cabo San Lucas in my opinion.
If you want to find a place that’s away from it all, with insane views and luxury service, Grand Solmar is the best.
The resort has a full spa with massages, facials, and other health and beauty treatments. There is a tennis court and fitness center. There are three infinity pools on the premises as well as several hot tubs scattered around the property.
Best of all, in my humble opinion, is the view. Not many other hotels have this spectacular view and are so close to the arch. The beach here is incredible and depending on the time of year, you can see whales right from shore.
The resort consistently ranks in the top 100 resorts in the world and the price tag matches.
All-inclusive rates start at $1,500 USD per night. Check it out and book a stay here.
The Best Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas
There are so many incredible things to do in Cabo San Lucas. Many people simply come, stay at the resorts and enjoy the local beaches (which is cool too).
However, if you love a bit of outdoor adventure, you could easily spend a week with Cabo as your base and have tons of adventures both day and night.
1. Street Food Tour
Taking a street food tour, or any food tour in general, is always high on my priority list when I travel.
I was worried that with how touristy Cabo San Lucas was, it would be hard to find really great street food. I couldn’t be more wrong!
Taking a tour with Juan More Tacos was one of my absolute favorite things to do in Cabo San Lucas. The tour guide, Issi, is originally from Acapulco, but he and his family moved to Cabo for better job opportunities and he has since started this absolutely amazing food tour in downtown Cabo.
You meet right in the downtown area and head to tons of local spots where you’ll have local snacks, tamales, esquites (popular street food in Mexico), and plenty of incredible tacos. If you want to eat like the locals for a day, you have got to do this tour.
While the focus of the tour is food, they take you around to a few different spots and help you uncover some of the history of this young town.
2. Boat Trip to Land’s End
A boat trip around the arch is without a doubt one of the most popular things to do in Cabo San Lucas. And for good reason.
It’s one of the most beautiful places in the area.
However, that means there are a lot of companies touting for your business. You’ll find tour companies on every corner of the downtown area as well as people standing around the marina trying to sell you a tour.
The standard price for these tours (as of March 2021) is $25 USD. If you pay in Pesos it’s about 500 Pesos per person. That’s not terribly expensive, but if you’re in a large group it can add up.
I have found that if you walk to the beach instead you can get a slightly better price. The boats from outside of the Office or near the entrance to the beach (google location here), they charge $15 USD or about 300 Pesos.
This tour includes taking you out to Land’s End, around the arch and then they drop you off at Playa del Amor, a beach that is only accessible by boat. You can walk around to Playa del Divorcio, head along the coast a little bit, or simply sit at the beach and relax. They come back to pick you up an hour or two later, depending on what you ask.
If you want to pre-book this boat tour, I recommend doing so through a trusted site like Get Your Guide.
This tour includes not only a boat trip around the arches, but also stops to go snorkeling and kayaking in the area as well. A nice option for those that want to be a bit more active out on the water. Book that tour here.
3. Whale Watching
Depending on the time of year you visit, there are different whales migrating past Los Cabos.
From mid-December to mid-April you can spot humpback whales with their babies and young grey whales exploring these waters. Humpback whales are so playful and usually put on quite a show when they’re near the surface.
You can see our whale-watching experience in this video, it was SO amazing to see them breaching and splashing with each other.
Again you can find any of the tour companies around town offering these trips. They go up pretty quickly in price, but you can expect to pay at least an additional $25 per person if you are adding it onto your trip to the arches.
We went to see the whales on the same boat that we went to see the arch with. We paid an additional 500 Pesos per person ($25 USD) to see the whales. It was SO worth it to see so many incredible humpbacks and even a few grey whales, too.
This tour with Get Your Guide is a two-hour boat trip that includes seeing whales and they even give you the photos that they take both of you and of the whales during your trip. They have a hydrophone which they put in the water so that you can actually hear the whales talking to each other. The best part is that there is a marine biologist on-board, so you can ask lots of different questions about the whales and what they’re up to down there.
This tour has the highest reviews and is reasonably priced for what you get at less than $75 per person. Book that whale watching tour here.
3. Cooking Class
If you enjoy cooking and you enjoy eating and you enjoy really good margaritas, then you should take a cooking class with Cookin’ Cabo.
You start the tour like any good cooking class, by heading to local shops to buy the ingredients you’re going to need. For our cooking class, we were making mole sauce.
They make the whole experience so enjoyable. First, we met the chefs in the downtown area, where they picked us up in a comfortable air-conditioned van.
My favorite stop was at the local tortillería, the place where tortillas are made from scratch. We learned about the whole process, tasted the corn, and even tried a completely new-to-me drink, Chilate (made of cacao and I highly recommend trying it!).
We headed to the home of the chef where we got to cook with his mom and his sister. Then we learned how to make a proper margarita. Each person had different tasks in the kitchen and actually got our hands dirty doing the cooking, rather than just watching like you do in some “cooking classes.”
They keep the groups small so you can get to know a few other people while all still having fun in the kitchen and of coure, at the end, we get to eat the delicious food we’ve made. They sent us a book of recipes afterward so that we could try some new dishes, too.
Overall, it’s one of my favorite things to do in Cabo San Lucas. The other couple that was on our tour said they come and do the cooking class every year when they’re back in Cabo and each time they learn a new recipe and cook a totally different dish.
4. Beach Hopping
There are so many great swimming beaches in Cabo San Lucas. You’d be missing out if you stayed in the downtown area and only checked out the main beach, Playa el Medano. While it’s a perfectly nice beach, there are even better ones if you’re willing to work just a tiny bit for it.
My personal favorite beach is Playa Chileno. You can get here simply by grabbing an Uber. You can also have your hotel arrange for pick up and drop off with a taxi or you can negotiate that yourself with the taxis that are at almost every corner in the downtown area. It’s about 10-15 minutes by car to Chileno.
Another beach that’s even closer than Chileno, and also well worth visiting is Playa Santa Maria. Again, you can take an Uber or a local taxi. There are resorts all nearby, so getting a taxi or Uber back isn’t a problem at all.
Playa Santa Maria is less than 10 minutes away from downtown Cabo.
If you don’t mind navigating public transportation, there is a very affordable way to get to and from the beaches and that’s by taking the Ruta del Desierto bus. It’s a purple bus that runs between Cabo and the airport and stops pretty much wherever you want it to, especially outside of the beach entrances.
5. Hiking in Santiago
About an hour north of Cabo San Lucas is the small mountain town of Santiago.
Santiago is the jumping-off point for tons of different hiking. If you are comfortable navigating the trails on your own, you can easily get here by rental car and then park in one of the parking lots near the trailheads.
For a list of trails with relatively detailed maps, I’ve found AllTrails to be the best option. I downloaded the app onto my phone and was easily able to follow it.
If you want to explore deeper into the mountains or you simply prefer hiking with a guide, Baja Sierra Adventures is the best I’ve found.
Edgardo was quick to reply to my emails and answer some of my questions about the different trails (and if I could reach them in my little Volkswagen rental car) and he is a knowledgeable and fun guide.
He’ll organize everything from a few hours of hiking to multi-day trips up into the mountains and around the Laguna. The best way to contact him is via email. You can find all the details on their website here.
6. Explore San Jose del Cabo
I’m always so surprised to hear people say that they have been to Cabo San Lucas several times and yet they’ve never been down the road to San Jose del Cabo.
San Jose del Cabo is actually where the airport is that you fly into, so you’re driving straight past it to get to Cabo San Lucas.
If you are set on spending your whole trip in Cabo San Lucas, I recommend at least doing a day trip to San Jose del Cabo. The downtown area has a stunning Art district, a beautiful plaza with the first mission church, and so many incredible restaurants.
Take a walking tour with Cabo City Tours to learn more about the history of the area. It’s absolutely fascinating and Kristian is an engaging and passionate guide.
In a city where less than 10% of the residents are actually locals born in Baja Sur, it’s also a wonderful project which is bringing education and community to the local kids here. You can read more about their project here on their website.
A few places you don’t want to miss while you’re in San Jose del Cabo are La Lupita for tacos and mezcal, Tamarindos Coffee Roasters for a great coffee (they also have a farm to table restaurant worth visiting). For seafood tacos look nowhere else besides Tacos Rossy, however, Claros Jr is closer to town and also quite good.
7. Live Music at Cabo Wabo
There are lots of great nightlife spots around Cabo San Lucas, but if you enjoy live music, you can’t miss at least one night at Cabo Wabo.
Cabo Wabo was actually one of the first live music spots to open up back in 1990, when Los Cabos had fewer than 3,000 residents (as of the 2020 census, it now has almost 300,000).
It’s owned by Van Halen member, Sammy Hagar, and it is the place to come any night of the week for live music. They have an extensive drinks menu with everything from beers to wines to cocktails and plenty of shots on offer if that’s your cup of tea.
But not everyone comes in for a party. They serve food in the restaurant side of the bar and you can simply come for a beer or two and enjoy the music.
8. Snorkeling Trip to Cabo Pulmo
Cabo Pulmo is an absolute haven for snorkeling and it’s only about an hour and a half from Cabo.
The road that takes you out that way isn’t the best, so unless you’ve rented a 4×4, it’s best to take a tour that will pick you up in Cabo San Lucas and take you out and back to Cabo Pulmo.
Of course, there are plenty of snorkeling tours that you can do right in downtown Cabo if you don’t want to make the trip. You can find those all over town when you are exploring Cabo San Lucas. Any tour company in town can book a short snorkeling trip for you.
However, any local will tell you that the absolute best snorkeling in all of Baja California Sur is to be had in Cabo Pulmo. It is one of the most biodiverse waters in the world with so many different species to see all in one place.
This is a great Cabo Pulmo tour with Get Your Guide. They’ll pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Cabo San Lucas. You’ll snorkel in several different locations around Cabo Pulmo. It also includes lunch and drinks and a bilingual guide. It costs $250 USD per person. You can book that tour here.
9. Todos Santos Day Trip
Todos Santos is a sleepy little beach town about an hour north of Cabo. If you love boutique hotels, great seafood, beachside bars, and walking along the beach for miles and miles, a trip to Todos Santos should be part of your list of things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
You can take the local Aguila bus from Cabo to Todos Santos. But I highly recommend renting a car and going there for the day. It’s quite spread out up there, so you’ll find it a lot easier to explore if you have your own wheels.
That being said, you can rent a bike or an ATV for the day which is also a pretty fun way to get around.
Check out my complete guide to Todos Santos here. It lists the best things to do, places to eat, and beaches to explore. As well as hotels to stay at when you’ve enjoyed a few too many IPAs at Todos Santos Brewing!
I’ve also made several YouTube videos about Todos Santos. You can find that playlist and watch them all here.
10. Sport Fishing
The incredible fishing is one of the most sought after things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
Each year, Cabo San Lucas hosts one of the biggest fishing competitions in the world. In 2020, the competition, which is called Bisbee’s, offered the largest prize money of any fishing competition in the world.
There were over 20 million dollars in prizes. The winner of the competition received more than $4 million US dollars.
You don’t have to be out for the big bucks though. There are tons of different boat charters that you can find to head out looking for marlin, tuna, and wahoo (a type of mackerel).
You can pre-book a fishing tour here or check out reviews for a few different charter tour companies on Trip Advisor.
11. Hire a Yacht for the Day
Before Los Cabos became home to all of these resorts that you see lining the coast, it was a little unknown beach town and haven for the rich and famous Hollywood crowd. They would fly their private jets down to Cabo where the three resorts that were here had their own air strips.
Since then, it has attracted a high-spending crowd with some resorts costing more than $1,500 per night.
However, you don’t have to be rich to hire a yacht for the day. For as little as $200 per person, you can get out on a luxury yacht and drink champagne while exploring the Baja coastline.
This is a really affordable option but is a sailboat rather than a yacht. It is less than $150 per person and goes out on the water for several hours. It includes a light breakfast and a full lunch. There’s also snorkeling equipment and SUP boards to use while you’re out on the water. Book that tour here.
This is a pretty reasonable option for a yacht because the fee is for up to four people.
Most fishing charter companies also have a few larger boats that you can hire for the day along with a boat captain.
12. Visit Kilometer Zero
Cabo San Lucas is the start of highway one. This is the road that takes you all the way up to Tijuana.
The main square in Cabo San Lucas, Plaza Amelia Wilkes, is home to a little sign that designates that very plaza as Kilometer Zero. It isn’t the furthest point south on the peninsula. But it is where the road originally began when it was first paved a few decades ago.
The plaza itself is also a nice spot to sit in the sunshine. Head to Mi Casa, a local Mexican restaurant right off the plaza for a nice lunch. There’s a small history museum in the plaza as well that’s worth checking out.