Water Sports in Los Cabos
Swimming at Los Cabos
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If you love the water, chances are you’ll love Los Cabos. Why? With two oceans to choose from, miles of sandy beaches, waves, and thousands of fish, it’s impossible to come here and NOT enjoy the water. Here is our list of must-try water sports while in Los Cabos. Some you might already enjoy, while others might just convert you into a bona fide beach bum.
1. Surfing in Cabo (and other wave sports)
Surfers have been trekking down to Los Cabos for decades, and with good reason. In the summer months, the Sea of Cortez explodes with epic surf rolling in from the south. Winter brings the pounding Pacific swells (and cooler temperatures). Beginners will be just fine catching smaller waves at places like Acapulquito in San Jose, or Cerritos near Todos Santos. More advanced surfers in search of the perfect wave have many to choose from: the Costa Azul breaks in San Jose, El Tule in the Corridor on the way to San Lucas, the entire East Cape and it’s miles of empty breaks, including the famous Nine Palms. The Endless Summer continues even in the winter, when Cerritos, La Pastora and the breaks around Pescadero all light up with heaving surf. Most breaks in Los Cabos are reef breaks with semi-sandy bottoms, although Cerritos is a fast beach break. Wave styles range from rolling longboard-style waves to pitching barrels. For the most part, locals are friendly and will share the break (with the exception of Zippers, a notoriously localized spot—proceed with caution!). With all the sunny days here, be sure to pack a good sunscreen, and a rash guard (or pick one up at one of the local outfitters). Surf shops and schools abound that rent boards and give lessons, so everyone is sure to be stoked. Boogie boarding and bodysurfing are not as popular as surfing, but are both possible around Los Cabos. The stand-up paddleboarding craze has caught on in Cabo as well, with an annual competition held at Palmilla in San Jose.
2. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
So you want to see some fish? There are droves of colorful tropical fish swimming right off the coast in Los Cabos. Snorkeling and scuba diving are both popular in Los Cabos. Obviously, scuba diving requires a bit more preparation than grabbing a mask and snorkel, but local outfitters organize regular trips all around the peninsula. Snorkeling is easily accessible, and the wonders you will discover! There’s great snorkeling at Chileno Bay in the Corridor, as well as nearby Santa Maria beach (Chileno also has bathrooms and showers). When the surf is small, you can see all kinds of sea creatures in the waters off Costa Azul in San Jose. The area around El Arco (the famous arch) in San Lucas offers stunning diving when the visibility is good, but exercise caution with the strong currents (it’s a good idea to check with the locals first). But probably the ultimate scuba and snorkel experience is Cabo Pulmo, the marine park about 60 miles outside of San Lucas up the East Cape. This is the Cabo equivalent of the Great Barrier Reef, spanning nearly five miles of reef housing thousands of sea creatures. Dive on in and see what you find!
3. Windsurfing and Kiteboarding
Surfing’s cooler cousins, windsurfing and kiteboarding, are fixtures in Los Cabos. Never heard of kiteboarding? Basically, it’s similar to windsurfing in that it harnesses the energy of the wind to propel the surfer and his or her board (strapped to their feet) through the water, but with a kite instead of a sail. The best windsurfing and kiteboarding is found on the eastern end of the peninsula, near La Paz. The combination of gentle seas and strong winds around that area makes it windsurfing heaven. La Ventana, right outside of La Paz, is famously known as one of the best kiteboarding and windsurfing spot in the world: it’s got to be seen to be believed! Los Barriles, a quiet community on the Sea of Cortez, is another popular destination for those who want to ride the wind.
4. Jet Skis, Wakeboarding and more!
Maybe you’re the type with a need for speed. Jetting through the water, the wind whipping through your hair and sea spray in your face…does that sound about right? We’ve got you covered. The Sea of Cortez, with it’s gentler seas, is an ideal place for wakeboarding and jet skiing and kayaking. There are numerous outfitters in San Lucas that rent these to you for reasonable rates: simply walk down to Medano Beach and you’ll find them (most have standard rates, but don’t be afraid to bargain, especially if you’re in a larger group). Around San Jose, Palmilla Beach is a great launching point for jet skis and kayaks. Check with outfitters in the area to find a deal.
For kayaking, the best spot is probably around La Paz. The crystal clear waters are especially tranquil here, making it an ideal location for kayakers. Rent one in La Paz and explore the beaches up the coast, including Balandra and Tecolote.
This is, perhaps, the original water sport, and one that can’t be missed while in Los Cabos. Some beaches in Los Cabos have strong currents or shallow reefs that make them unfavorable for swimming; there are some lovely swimming beaches great for perfecting your backstroke. In San Jose, swimming is not allowed on the stretch of beach in front of the hotels. Instead, take the short drive to Palmilla Beach, where calm waters (even in high surf conditions) and sandy bottom make it an idea place for a swim. Chileno Bay and Santa Maria in the Corridor are also fantastic swimming beaches with the added bonus of colorful sea life (pack your mask and snorkel just in case!). Medano Beach in San Lucas is another great choice, with clearly marked areas for swimmers. Taking a water taxi to the gorgeous Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor in Spanish) is an experience, and one that shouldn’t be missed. How many times do you get to swim in two oceans, just a short walk from each other? Exercise caution while out there, though, especially on the Pacific shore: those waves can be strong!
There you have it: a few must-try activities in Los Cabos. If you’re especially interested in a particular water sport, chances are you can try it here. With the variety of ocean conditions and beaches, most anything is possible. Have fun, be safe, and we’ll see you out in the water!
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