So you’re jetting off for a beach vacation in Cabo, Mexico.
From hiking to a waterfall to riding a camel (really!), there are oodles of unique things to do in Cabo.
And if you like the sea (that’s us!), you can enjoy lots of fun Cabo San Lucas water activities too.
Maybe you want to learn to surf? Or go on a dinner cruise around Land’s End? Or snorkel with whale sharks?
And you’ll love walking, swimming and chillin’ on the beaches – we do!
This desert-meets-the-sea resort destination in Baja California Sur is ideal for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
So, let’s take a look at the best water sports in Los Cabos!
10 Best Cabo San Lucas water activities
When planning your trip to Cabo, you’ll want to experience some (if not all) of the following water activities.
Oh, and if you’re confused about Cabo San Lucas vs. Los Cabos vs. Cabo, we’re using “Cabo” here to refer to the whole Los Cabos region.
Cabo San Lucas is the main town in Los Cabos. It has a large marina. Pretty well all of region’s water-based tours leave from the Cabo San Lucas Marina.
Okay, let’s dive in!
1) Cabo water taxi to Land’s End
In Cabo, you can’t help but notice the magnificent natural rock formations jutting out into the sea.
That’s Land’s End, at the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
One of the best ways to see this signature landmark is by taking a water taxi in Cabo.
These small wooden boats (some with glass-bottom hulls) shuttle back and forth between the marina, Medano Beach and Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor) at Land’s End.
Can you walk under the Arch?
We took the photo (shown above) of the famous Arch at Land’s End a few years ago. At the time, shifting sands created a beach and you could walk through the rock Arch.
There’s no beach there today.
But you never know, with changing sea and weather conditions, a beach could form there again in future!
What you see at Land’s End
As you pass Lover’s Beach on your boat ride, you get gob-smacking views of the Arch (El Arco). We think the famous 200-foot rock arch looks like a donkey drinking from the ocean.
Steller sea lions bask in the sun on a cluster of large nearby rocks and play in the surge.
You can smell their strong ammonia stench and hear them barking too.
And you’re sure to see pelicans hovering about the lime-splattered Pelican Rock.
Have your camera ready!
How much are water taxis in Cabo?
On average, it costs $12 USD one-way for a water taxi ride to Land’s End.
So budget on about $25 roundtrip.
Cabo water taxi tours
Typically, the boats take you on a 30- to 45-minute, mini-sightseeing cruise around Land’s End to Divorce Beach, then drop you off at Lover’s Beach.
You agree on a pre-arranged time for the boat to pick you up from the beach and take you back to the marina (or Medano Beach).
For something different, here’s a great clear glass-bottom boat tour that departs from the marina – where the whole boat is transparent.
Most glass-bottom boats are “normal” boats with a see-through glass panel at the bottom.
On this tour, however, you can see through the water all around you – at tropical fish swarming directly under your feet, as well as those swimming around passengers a few seats away.
Getting out of the water taxi
There are no docks at Lover’s Beach or Medano Beach, so it can be tricky getting out of (or back into) the boat.
To get off the boat, you have to jump out as the boat rides in on the crest of a wave, then wade ashore (hopefully only in shin-high not waist-high) water.
Some boats have a ladder that makes it much easier to get in and out.
A local is usually on hand to help you in exchange for a small tip. But you still will likely get a little wet!
2) Snorkeling in Los Cabos
Snorkeling is one of the best water activities in Cabo San Lucas. Yes, there’s lots of fun to be had gazing at what’s under the water!
Land’s End is nice and close if you’re staying near the town of Cabo San Lucas.
Santa Maria Beach and Chileno Beach are two more of the best places to snorkel in Cabo.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can drive or take the bus to Santa Maria and Chileno – and get there before the snorkel boats arrive. Snorkeling bliss!
Cabo Pulmo National Park also has great snorkeling (but not in the winter months, when it’s a bit rough there).
We’ve gone on many fun snorkeling tours in Cabo.
Snorkeling tours by boat typically combine snorkeling at two or more sites.
Here are some different options:
Snorkeling cruise with an open bar
Dive straight into the Sea of Cortez on this fun snorkeling cruise!
Run by reliable local company PezGato Amazing Adventures, the four-hour cruise includes all the snorkeling equipment you’ll need to find Nemo and Cabo’s other tropical fish.
When you’re hungry, climb back on board for a feast of sandwiches, fruit, guacamole and chips – all washed down with a cold cerveza or margarita!
Cabo Pulmo snorkeling expedition
The national marine park of Cabo Pulmo is well worth the excursion. (The drive is longer than two hours.)
Home to a 20,000-year-old reef, it’s located in the Sea of Cortez, which is known as “the world’s aquarium.” So you can bet that there are oodles of fish and turtles to gawp at here.
This snorkeling tour in Cabo Pulmo (offered by Cabo Adventures) takes you to some of the best spots to catch all sorts of marine life.
If you want a real diversity of sea creatures, it’s the one to pick!
(Note that the best time to visit Cabo Pulmo is in the spring and summer months, plus October and November, when it’s less windy.)
Luxury sailing and snorkeling trip
For an intimate and deluxe sailing and snorkeling experience, we love Cabo Sailing. Towels, a light lunch and an unlimited bar are included.
We’ve gone on one of their sunset cruises, and Cabo Sailing does a great job.
Or you can climb on board Tu Enamorado, a beautiful and luxurious sailing yacht, and embark on a five-hour excursion of the waters around Cabo San Lucas.
Their luxury sailing cruise takes you sight-seeing around Land’s End and then journeys to Chileno Bay, where you can snorkel to your heart’s content. It includes a traditional Baja lunch.
Private luxury yacht cruise and snorkeling
For a special occasion or if you have a group of family or friends, you might like a private yacht experience. We’ve written all about private boat charters in Cabo San Lucas, so hop on over to that post for details.
In the meantime, if you want a deluxe experience that’s just right for a small group of four people, check out this private luxury yacht cruise.
Cruise around Santa Maria and Chileno Bays on a 42-foot power yacht, using new snorkeling gear to dive underneath the water when it takes your fancy.
There are also stand-up paddleboards to use if you want to explore above the water.
There’s also Book Now Adventures.
On our most recent visit to Cabo, our family group enjoyed a private five-hour luxury snorkeling and whale watching trip on their Liberty motor yacht.
SUP boards and quality snorkeling gear came with the boat. And we enjoyed a hot water shower when getting out of the water, before tucking into a hot lunch of freshly made chicken fajitas.
We can highly recommend their private cruising and snorkeling tours too!
3) Whale watching in Los Cabos
Whale watching is hugely popular in winter.
The whale watching season in Cabo is between December and April.
That’s when gray and humpback whales migrate to the warm waters off Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo to mate and give birth to their offspring.
You can see them up close on a Cabo whale watching tour.
For adrenalin thrills, go on a high-speed Zodiac.
Or if you want something more stable and comfortable, a great option is whale watching from a larger vessel, like this tour on the two-deck SunRider 100 catamaran.
It includes a Mexican-style brunch buffet and fresh drinks from an open bar.
Cabo Adventures also offers whale watching tours on a luxury catamaran.
4) Cabo sunset cruises
There’s no better way to take in Cabo’s stunning sunsets than out on the water on a sunset cruise.
You might have seen Land’s End by day, but it’s a whole other experience when the sun starts to drop below the horizon.
The golden light shimmers on the water and a fiery glow outlines the stark rocky cliffs.
Then when the night turns dusky black, the twinkling lights of Cabo are so romantic, you can’t help but hug the person beside you.
Most sunset cruises in Cabo San Lucas are between two and three hours long and offer drinks and appies. Some are full dinner cruises.
They leave from the marina and head out into the Cabo San Lucas Bay.
You get to see and hear the sea lion colony at Land’s End – they’re noisy when they bark! And you’ll have a chance to snap great sunset pics of the Arch too!
You’ll want to read our guide on the best sunset cruises in Cabo San Lucas.
We cover the top 12 sunset cruises, from family-friendly cruises on a pirate ship and fun party boats to a sunset jazz cruise with wine and light bites.
5) Scuba diving in Cabo
You can dive at Land’s End.
But for knock-your-socks-off diving, head to the national marine park of Cabo Pulmo – where the wild things really are (like sharks).
Be sure to see our guide on scuba diving in Los Cabos for the best dive sites, what you’ll see and other details.
6) Surfing in Cabo San Lucas
Get amped on big barrels and pumping wave action!
Surfing is a popular water sport in Los Cabos. The southern part of the Baja California Peninsula boasts some rocking surfing beaches.
Surf spots in Cabo San Lucas
On the Sea of Cortez side, the waves are largest in spring and summer (March to October). Check out Playa Acapulquito and Playa Costa Azul.
For winter waves, head to Los Cerritos and other Pacific-side beaches near Todos Santos.
Tours and surf lessons in Cabo San Lucas
Check out the following surfing outfits and surf shops in Cabo for lessons and tours:
Costa Azul Surf Shop
Costa Azul Surf Shop – They have excellent rental equipment and instructors. They also take small groups on surfing excursions.
Mike Doyle’s Surf School
Located in the Cabo Surf Hotel, Mike Doyle’s Surf School is another good place to learn to surf in Cabo.
All instructors are certified by the National Surf Schools & Instructors Association (NSSIA).
LuxSurf Cabo San Lucas
Also try Matt Lindsay at LuxSurf Cabo San Lucas.
He lives in Cabo and offers half-day and full-day guided surfing tours and sessions. He can also work with you on two-day Cabo surfing trips.
More information on surfing Los Cabos
See “Surfing Cabo, Baja, Mexico” on WaveTribe.
7) Kayaking in Cabo San Lucas
To get really up close and personal with the ocean, how about kayaking?
This is one of the best Cabo water activities if you want to peacefully explore the gorgeous coastline while getting a bit of a workout.
Kayaking to Land’s End
A great choice is to go with Cabo Outfitters.
They’re a small owner-operated tour company run by Casey Catlin and his wife.
Originally from Oregon, Casey has been living in Cabo for 22+ years now. He’s a veritable fount of information about the area, and he and his guides provide excellent kayaking tours in Cabo.
Their Land’s End kayaking tour includes a stop at Lover’s Beach and snorkeling by Neptune’s Finger.
It’s the ideal excursion if you can’t decide which activity you want to do – as you get to do both kayaking and snorkeling.
For something unique, you could try a glass bottom kayaking tour to Land’s End with High Tide Los Cabos.
That’s right! Their kayaking tours use glass bottom kayaks.
You can check out both the underwater world as you paddle around Land’s End and the rocky formations shooting up out of the water.
Kayaking Santa Maria Bay and Chileno Bay
Cabo Outfitters also offer a half-day, two-bay kayaking tour that combines Santa Maria Bay and Chileno Bay.
Kayaking is one of our favorite Los Cabos water activities – and this two-bay tour is one of our favorite water-based tours in Cabo.
It’s a fantastic way to see the dramatic coastline of the Sea of Cortez and you can snorkel at both bays too.
Alternatively, try this top-rated half-day, two-bay excursion by High Tide Los Cabos, where you paddle glass bottom kayaks instead of regular ones.
They offer pick-up from hotels and the cruise ship terminal.
Kayaking in Cabo Pulmo
You’re in luck when it comes to visiting Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park – because Cabo Outfitters also offers a Cabo Pulmo kayaking tour. (It’s weather-dependent in the winter months.)
While getting to Cabo Pulmo involves the longish drive from Los Cabos that we mentioned before, transfers are included in the price of the tour. And the untouched paradise of the marine park is well worth the journey.
With snorkeling included, you’ll also visit a local restaurant after your tour. And you’ll definitely be hungry! (We remember wolfing down our shrimp tacos).
8) Hit the beach!
We know, we get it! The beach is where you want to spend a lot of your time when visiting Cabo.
And there are many beautiful beaches in Cabo!
Just remember you can’t swim at some. In fact, rogue waves and rip currents make some beaches downright dangerous.
So be sensible choosing where to swim.
9) Swimming with whale sharks
There are few places in the world where you can swim with endangered whale sharks in their natural environment – La Paz is one of them.
La Paz (which means “peace” in Spanish) is an authentic Mexican town on the east coast of the Baja California Peninsula, with a totally different vibe from Cabo San Lucas. The drive from Cabo San Lucas takes a little over two hours.
Basically, you go out by boat into the Bay of La Paz.
When whale sharks are spotted, you slip into the water wearing snorkeling gear, and watch as the huge gentle fish swim by you.
Swimming with whale sharks in La Paz is an amazing unforgettable experience – and highly recommended if you visit Los Cabos between October and February. It’s simply one of the top water activities in Los Cabos!
We’ve gone with both Cabo Expeditions and Baja Charters.
They’re both excellent, just different, and the day trip includes transfers from Cabo San Lucas.
With Cabo Expeditions, you gear up in your wetsuits on shore and get into a boat that takes you out for the whale shark swimming. You finish with lunch in a restaurant back in La Paz.
Baja Charters uses a luxury 60-foot catamaran as a support boat (for lunch and lounging), and you hop into a small panga from the catamaran when it’s your turn to actually get in the water with the whale sharks.
Another great option is a full-day whale shark excursion with Cabo Adventures, where swimming with the gentle giants is done from a luxury boat.
After your whale shark adventure, enjoy a stroll through La Paz, followed by fish tacos for lunch, before the transfer back to Cabo.
10) Jet ski Cabo San Lucas
If you want to feel the wind racing through your hair as you zoom across the water, try jet skiing in Cabo.
The best place is Medano Beach, where you’ll find no end of vendors who rent out jet skis for 30 minutes or an hour or so.
For a fun-filled adventure combo (with instruction and help if you have any difficulties), check out this three-hour guided jet ski tour.
It starts with zipping out from the marina to Land’s End on a Zodiac-style boat to see the Arch of Los Cabos and the sea lions.
Then you transfer to Punta Ballena, where you hop on your jet ski and cruise along the Cabo coastline, soaking up the incredible views from a different angle.
Best time for watersports in Cabo San Lucas?
The weather is typically very reliable from October to May (sunny and warm/hot), making fall, winter and spring the most popular times to visit Cabo.
That works out very nicely for North Americans and Europeans – you can escape to somewhere warm when it’s cold where you live!
The coldest month of the year is January in Cabo San Lucas.
So this isn’t the most ideal time for snorkeling and scuba diving. October and November are the preferred months for snorkeling and diving in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez.
But the winter months (including January) are perfect for other Cabo water activities like whale watching, sailing, sunset cruises and kayaking. This is also the time when whale sharks can be seen in La Paz.
For surfing, June to August is Cabo’s busiest and best surf season.
Last words on Cabo water sports and activities
Thanks to its gorgeous golden sand beaches (and unique location by both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez), Cabo San Lucas water activities are some of the top things to do in this part of Mexico.
Whether you want to see the underwater world by snorkeling, crave an adrenaline-fueled jet ski tour or fancy a sunset cruise with an ice-cold margarita in hand, there’s something on this list of Los Cabos water sports for everyone!
Photos: 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 20, 23, 25, 28, 33 © Janice and George Mucalov, Cabo Visitor