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What to do in Cabo San Lucas?

Where else in the world but Cabo San Lucas can you land a 600-pound marlin, play one of the world’s best golf courses, drive dune buggies along a secluded beach, or visit one of dozens of first-class spas, all within the space of a few miles? Cabo San Lucas is naturally blessed in many ways, with a sheltered bay, beautiful beaches, abundant marine life that teems in the mineral-rich waters of the Sea of Cortez, and the incredible biodiversity of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range that forms the spine of Baja Sur and looms just north of the city. Once known primarily as a destination for big-game fishermen and Spring Breakers, Cabo San Lucas has now become one the premier ecotourism and adventure travel locations in all of North America, and the town plays host to a parade of cruise ship passengers during the high-season months from November to May.

Scenic views as a fishing boat heads out in search of marlin. Image: Solmar.

Scenic views as a fishing boat heads out in search of marlin. Image: Solmar.

The area is also benefited by a warm tropical climate, and the rare combination of mountain, desert, and coastal terrains. These uncommon contour changes have given rise to some unique landscaping possibilities and contributed to Cabo’s emergence as a premier international golfing destination. Jack Nicklaus put Los Cabos on the links map in the early 1990s with his spectacular El Dorado and Cabo del Sol courses, and the region is also home to top-ranked courses from major champions like Greg Norman, Gary Player, and Davis Love III.

Big-game fishing has also played an important role in Cabo’s rise as a resort destination, and the sport draws anglers year-round with the promise of blue, black, and striped marlin, tuna, dorado, and other denizens of the deep. Bisbee’s hosts the renowned Black and Blue Tournament in October, where professionals and amateurs alike compete for the largest jackpot in the sport. During the winter and spring months, many visitors trade in their fishing poles for a pair of binoculars and up-close-and-personal views of migrating gray and humpback whales, and most local sailing companies feature seasonal whale-watching tours.

A humpback breaches spectacularly in the Sea of Cortez. Image: Solmar.

A humpback breaches spectacularly in the Sea of Cortez. Image: Solmar.

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts have many locations to choose from in Los Cabos, including superb spots such as the Sand Falls and Pelican Rock in Cabo San Lucas Bay.

In addition to the offerings from dive shops, most local sailing companies also feature snorkel tours, ranging in scope from short single-bay excursions to more ambitious two- and three-bay forays that include visits to pristine sites in Santa María and Chileno Bays. Kiteboarding, surfing, and windsurfing are all popular pastimes here as well, although aficionados of these sports often prefer breezier sites in San José del Cabo, or on the East Cape.

Medano Beach is the center of beach culture in Cabo San Lucas, and this sandy two-mile stretch hosts a handful of water-based rental companies offering daily and hourly options on wave runners, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, parasailing tours, and more. Adventurous sorts might also want to head inland for high-altitude ziplining, or to go off-road racing in souped-up dune buggies and other all-terrain vehicles.

Puerto Paraiso is one of Cabo’s most popular shopping centers. Image: Solmar.

Puerto Paraiso is one of Cabo’s most popular shopping centers. Image: Solmar.

For those who wish to spend their vacation involved in less strenuous pursuits, many top area resorts feature posh and pampering spas, with most offering a full menu of massage and beauty services. Shopping at the high-end boutique malls Puerto Paraiso and Luxury Avenue is also a popular pursuit, as is exploring the wealth of small shops offering traditional Mexican handicrafts, which include Taxco silver jewelry and Talavera-style pottery.

In short, Cabo San Lucas‘ geography and climate make it a perfect destination for just about any warm weather pursuit. And since the prime areas for activities — Medano Beach, the Marina, and Pedregal — are all within walking distance of each other, it is relatively easy to locate businesses that cater to your interests. Savvy travelers will find, however, that the best way to maximize their time here is to plan ahead, and the best deals are often found online.


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