Cabo San Lucas is full of an amazing variety of activities to enjoy and things to do.
We know. We’ve been making an annual monthly trip to Cabo for more than 20 years now!
Set at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Cabo is a favorite Mexican hot spot for travelers (North Americans, in particular) who want to unwind, relax on the beach and (infamously) have a good time.
But if you’re planning a trip to Cabo and would like a few unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas – apart from beaching – carry on reading!
There are actually plenty of interesting and unusual Los Cabos activities (including awesome kid-friendly experiences) that will make your time here unforgettable.
Some are truly surprising!
19 Unique things to do in Cabo
One point before we dive in… If you’re confused about all the various “Cabos,” see our article on the difference between Los Cabos and Cabo.
For a quick answer, Los Cabos is the whole area (often just called “Cabo”), with two main towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
Okay, let’s get off-the-beaten-path in Cabo!
1) Ride a camel
You may not think camel rides are a thing in Mexico (camels aren’t native, after all), but they are.
And you can do it right here in Cabo San Lucas.
Usually deserts spring to mind when you think “camel”, but here you’ll be trekking across the sands of some secluded Cabo San Lucas shoreline instead.
It’s pretty cool!
A couple of different companies offer this sort of camel riding experience.
One particular tour is a camel ride and UTV adventure combo.
You first hop on a camel for a one-hour camel ride along Pacific Ocean beaches near Cabo San Lucas, taking in serene landscapes and fields of wildflowers.
Then as a bonus, you get to enjoy an adrenaline-pumping ATV ride through the desert.
Another super popular camel safari adventure begins at a camel ranch overlooking the Pacific Coast. (Yes, such a ranch exists!)
Then you’re taken for a camel ride along a tranquil beach. In winter you might even be lucky enough to spot a whale or two offshore!
The tour finishes up with a trip to a local ranch where you learn to make tortillas, taste different tequilas and tuck into a local Mexican lunch.
With morning and afternoon tours offered, this 3-hour adventure is a good one for cruise ship passengers looking to do a unique activity from the Cabo San Lucas port.
2) Swim with whale sharks in Cabo
Calm waters and tropical fish are one thing when snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas, but swimming with whale sharks is a whole other experience.
There are only a handful of spots in the world where you can swim with these beauties – and it just so happens that Cabo San Lucas is one of them.
The world’s largest species of fish, whale sharks can grow up to a whopping 65 feet long.
They’re also endangered, so snorkeling alongside these giants is simply fantastic.
We’ve done it twice and it was mind-blowing both times. Don’t just take our word for it though – read up about them on WWF.
Whale shark season is October to February. (So if you’re vacationing in Cabo in January, for example, you’re in luck.)
It’s a full day’s excursion from Cabo San Lucas – you actually snorkel with the whale sharks in La Paz, just over a two-hour drive from Cabo.
But the day trip is so worth it! It’s hands-down one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
For La Paz departures on a small group boat tour limited to six snorkelers – meaning more time in the water with the whale sharks – La Paz VIP Tours gets top marks.
3) Drive a UTV in the desert
If you’re still looking for more adventurous things to do in Cabo after riding a camel and swimming with whale sharks, why not don a crash helmet and head for the hills on a UTV adventure?
Obviously, you won’t be heading out by yourself. That would be madness.
Instead, get yourself an expert guide to show you the ropes on a beach and desert UTV tour.
On this adventure with Real Baja Tours, you’ll be driving on rugged desert trails to the mountains, then back to Migrino Beach.
Riding an ATV or UTV is a thrill-infused outing, but the bottom line here is safety. We’re always a little hesitant about ATVs and UTVs.
So rein in your inner Mario Andretti, avoid risky maneuvers and listen to your guide’s advice. You’d hate to have an accident.
4) Go flyboarding on Medano Beach
This is more like something out of a sci-fi flick than a water sport.
Flyboarding is basically a jet pack using water. And the pack is attached to your feet.
The pressure of the water catapults you into the air and allows you to hover up to 72 feet above the waves.
Flyboarding is one of those cool things to do in Cabo San Lucas that you can brag about to your friends (if you’re into that). Because you can bet they haven’t tried it yet!
It was only invented in 2012, but people are already big aficionados of this crazy water sport.
The best (and really, only) way to do this in Cabo San Lucas is by getting flyboard lessons off Medano Beach – where expert instructors walk you through how to master the flyboard itself. Well, if not master, at least get to grips with it.
5) Cruise in an all-glass boat to Land’s End
There are a wealth of beautiful natural attractions in Cabo San Lucas – one of the most iconic is El Arco.
Literally “the Arch,” this is one of several rock formations set at the southern tip of the peninsula in an area referred to as Land’s End. It’s where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez).
Near the dramatic arch is where you’ll find two beaches.
Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor), with its calm warm waters on the Sea of Cortez side, is one of the best swimmable beaches in Cabo San Lucas. On the other side, Divorce Beach (Playa del Divorcio) has much rougher surf (and is not safe for swimming).
While you could take any old water taxi leaving from the Cabo San Lucas Marina or Medano Beach, there are better, more memorable ways to make the crossing.
One of these is by going on a completely see-through glass bottom boat tour. You can spot abundant marine life swimming all around you as you cruise along the coastline.
Feeling more adventurous? You might want to jump in a kayak instead – on a glass bottom kayak tour, obviously!
Don’t worry: You’ll be on a small group tour, so your guide can help if you need some paddling pointers.
(There are also private luxury yacht tours that take you to Land’s End and elsewhere if you’re traveling with a group of friends or family, or want a special boat trip.)
6) Hike along a canyon to a waterfall
Bet you didn’t think Cabo was a great place for great hiking? Think again!
Lace up your runners (or hiking boots) – and get ready to experience a completely different side of Cabo on a 5-mile hike in the Sierra de Laguna mountain range, about a 90-minute drive from Cabo San Lucas.
We’ve done this twice now on a guided hiking tour with Cabo Outfitters.
The trail follows a winding sandy riverbank in the Canyon of the Fox, which is strewn with giant granite boulders and shaded by soaring Mexican fan palms.
Tiny turquoise frogs jump out from rock pools, white winged doves flutter above scraggy pine trees and brilliant Monarch butterflies flit from bush to bush.
The best part is reaching the Sol de Mayo Waterfall, which tumbles 45 feet down into a large crystal-clear pool. A dip is just the ticket for cooling off!
If you feel adventurous, you can jump into the deep water below. Or simply wade in from lower down.
After splashing about, it’s time to pack up and head for a local taqueria in Santiago town, where a frosty beer and fresh home-made shrimp and fish tacos await.
If you love hiking and getting off the beaten path, this adventure is one of the most unique and fun things to do in Los Cabos.
The most recent time we went, we also oohed and aahed over all the cute donkeys and goats at the new little farm at the entrance to what’s now called the Rancho Ecologica Sol de Mayo.
And rather than swimming in the big waterfall pool, our Cabo Outfitters guide picked a more private swimming spot further up the canyon.
Another option: High Tide Los Cabos also offers a top-rated guided hiking day trip to Fox Canyon. Like Cabo Outfitters, their tours include hotel pick-up and drop-off, along with lunch.
You can choose a private Fox Canyon hiking trip with them if that would suit you better.
7) Stay in a treehouse
Have you ever stayed in a treehouse? No? Here’s your chance!
Acre is a unique resort in Los Cabos that’s part farm, part animal sanctuary, part farm-to-table restaurant and part resort – spreading out over 25 acres near San Jose del Cabo.
Along with villas, Acre has 12 wooden treehouses on solid stilts, surrounded by soaring palm trees. Climb up massive wooden stairs with metal railings, and you reach your private perch.
The walls are mesh screen, covered on the outside with branches, allowing dappled sunlight to filter through.
Inside, there’s a king-size bed, a small bathroom and a closet with bathrobes. Out on your covered deck, an outdoor shower invites you to lather up while listening to birdsong. (And, of course, you get WiFi!)
With palm fronds swaying in the breeze around you, it feels like you’re staying in a lush desert oasis.
Acre is #3 on Cosmopolitan magazine’s list of the 46 sexiest hotels in the world.
It’s fabulous, and if you don’t stay here, at least eat here one of your days in Cabo.
8) Sail on a pirate ship
Okay, so the beach is fun, and sleeping in a treehouse is definitely fun, too. But finding unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas with kids can be tricky.
But there’s one way to win over your (especially younger) kids – sailing on a pirate ship!
Two pirate ships ply the waters around Cabo.
One is the Cabo Legend, a 100-foot, twin-masted wooden sailing ship. This one definitely looks the part.
Then there’s its twin vessel – the legendary, 96-foot-long Buccaneer Queen.
You can jump aboard either of these pirate ships and exclaim “Shiver me timbers!” as you take to the high seas.
Combine your pirate ship adventure with whale watching and the whole family will be glued to the rails, keeping an eye out for humpback whales breaching and slapping the water with their tails.
9) Snorkel with sea lions at Espiritu Santo
Espiritu Santo Island is part of the UNESCO-recognized nature reserve near La Paz, and it’s home to some incredible sea life – including a sea lion colony!
The sea lions are cool to see basking on the shoreline, but they also enjoy swimming in the warm waters off Espiritu Santo Island and surrounding islets.
You can join in the fun on a snorkeling tour to this wildlife-packed island aboard a deluxe catamaran with Cabo Adventures.
Alongside an expert guide, you’ll head into the water and snorkel with the sea lions.
They’re very curious and playful, especially the pups.
We were surprised they liked to swim right up to us! They’d almost touch their noses against our snorkel masks, before doing a quick U-turn and swimming away.
But it’s not only sea lions you see. You may also spot manta rays, sea turtles and dolphins. Amazing, right?
For nature and wildlife lovers in particular, this day trip is one of the most unique activities in Cabo.
The tour, which includes roundtrip transportation from Cabo San Lucas, is offered from July to November.
Note: During summer (June through August), swimming with the sea lions may be restricted to protect Espiritu Santo’s sea lion colony (the moms give birth then). The water is still warm in October and November though, and this is a great time to go.
10) Try sandboarding at Mogote Dunes
Flyboarding is one offbeat way to get your kicks in Cabo. (See #4 above.) But how about sandboarding?
This desert sport (like snowboarding, but with sand) makes the most of the steep coastal sand dunes around La Paz for exhilarating results.
Wondering “What on earth is sandboarding?”
Well, basically, you strap yourself (feet, bottom or belly) onto a sandboard and cruise down the slopes at high speed. Talk about unique Cabo experiences, huh!
All you have to do is join a sandboarding tour with an expert guide who’ll whisk you off to El Mogote, around 20 minutes outside La Paz. The otherworldly landscape there makes for a unique spot to get started with this adventure sport.
As you’re near the coast, you can wash off all that sand (it really gets everywhere!) with a much-deserved dip in the sea afterwards too.
11) Taste tacos on a Cabo taco tour
Going to Mexico without trying the local tacos is a travesty. Tacos are the “meat-and-potatoes” of Mexican cuisine!
In Cabo, you can find many taco varieties – tacos de carne asada, tacos de carnitas, tacos al pastor… the list quite literally goes on and on.
With Cabo being by the sea, shrimp and fish tacos are especially popular.
Now, it may not be one of the most unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
But joining a taco tasting tour will introduce you to the best places in Cabo for great tacos and give you a deeper insight into what’s good to eat here. (Plus, this walking tour is loads of fun and you’ll meet like-minded taco lovers too.)
It’s actually a bit of a travel hack: Take the tour early on in your trip and you’ll know where you’ll want to return to!
12) Take a rescue dog for a walk
You might be on vacation in a dreamy destination, but you still may be missing your pooch back home. (We’ve all been there.)
So why not make friends with a local pup – and help make a difference to dogs in Cabo too?
The Los Cabos Humane Society runs a local dog refuge that would love you to volunteer to take a rescue dog out for a walk. Non-touristy things to do in Cabo don’t get much cuter (or fuzzier) than this.
Not a dog lover? Don’t worry.
If you’re a cat person, there are also opening times when you can go visit the cats to play and cuddle them.
13) Go ziplining
If you like your trips filled with exhilarating activities, then a Cabo must-do is ziplining.
There are three places in Cabo to do this.
Canopy Costa Azul
One is with Canopy Costa Azul in the Costa Azul area, near San Jose del Cabo.
The operators have been in the ziplining biz here for over a decade. (See their eco-adventure ziplining tours.)
Theirs is a family-friendly spot with a series of zip lines that cut through a desert canyon setting. There’s a little bit of hiking involved between the ziplining stations, but that adds to the adventurous feel.
You could opt to rappel down a cliff (if you like). But you will have to wobble across a suspension bridge as part of the experience!
For added adventure, a second option is to spend the day at the Wild Canyon Adventure Park.
With a day pass, you get unlimited access to zipline rides – and you can ride UTVs and try bungee jumping as well.
It’s a bit of everything and a neat addition to your list of unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas for anyone who likes lots of outdoor highs.
And then there’s Cabo Adventures. They offer ziplining on the longest zipline in Cabo – all 1,640+ feet of it.
The added amazingness of this zipline is that it takes you across the wild landscape of the UNESCO-protected Boca de la Sierra biosphere.
Their tour combines ziplining with a 20-minute UTV ride.
14) Join the Art Walk
Now, what if you’re looking for unique things to do in Cabo San Lucas for couples? How about soaking up the creativity of the area?
This means art – and there’s plenty of that in the downtown area of San Jose del Cabo.
San Jose del Cabo has a growing Gallery District, featuring a number of galleries that display an array of sculptures, paintings, prints, photography and jewelry.
To promote the district – and encourage people to wander through the art galleries – there’s the San Jose del Cabo Art Walk. It’s free and takes place every Thursday evening between November and June.
Live music is played on the streets, galleries serve up free glasses of wine or sangria and the whole atmosphere is festive.
Joining the Art Walk is something you must do in Cabo! We always go each year – and then dine out at a fine restaurant in San Jose del Cabo afterwards.
15) Release baby sea turtles
Cabo San Lucas is home to five of seven species of endangered sea turtles – hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, Olive Ridley and green turtles.
A number of local grassroots organizations help to protect these turtles, which are particularly vulnerable during their nesting and hatching season.
Want to help out?
You can join a heartwarming tour by Cabo Outfitters to release your very own adopted baby turtle into the sea. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Cabo because (a) it’s super cute and (b) it’s good for the planet.
We’ve gone with Cabo Outfitters on other tours, like their hiking one (see #6) and their top-rated kayaking tour. And we really like their experienced guides and how they arrange their tours.
You can also check out the turtle release conservation program operated by Rancho Carisuva at Playa Migrino, on the Pacific side near Los Cabos.
The prime turtle season is between July and September, but Olive Ridley turtles still come to lay their eggs right up to January. The baby turtles hatch about 45 days later.
16) Dive down to see underwater sand falls
Unusual things to do in Cabo San Lucas don’t get much more unusual than witnessing a sand fall. And not just any sand fall – we’re talking about an underwater sand fall.
A sand fall occurs when sand accumulates around rocks and begins to fall, pretty much like a waterfall.
But sand falls can happen underwater, too. When strong underwater currents move sand from a higher shelf to a lower depth, they can naturally create a sand fall.
There’s no better place to see one than in Cabo.
In the early 1960s, famous undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau first discovered an underwater sand fall that plunges down a 3,000-foot wall into the abyss near Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas Bay.
To watch the cascade, we recommend going with a reputable scuba diving outfit. (Read our post on scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas, where we cover the best dive operators.)
One caveat is that you’ll need to be qualified to scuba dive down to 100 feet, as the sand fall starts at a 90-foot depth. Otherwise, get your training in and do this your next time in Cabo.
17) Try tequila with chocolate
Tequila is synonymous with Mexico. What’s maybe less known is that chocolate too originated in Mexico.
And what better way to excite your taste buds than experience both at the same time? Well, almost at the same time, anyway.
Tasting a selection of tequila and some of the best Mexican chocolate around is a great way to spend your time, we’d say.
It’s part of a 6-hour Los Cabos tour.
This tour actually involves a whole load of coolness – a trip on a glass bottom boat, a visit to a glass-blowing factory and a walk through the historic center of San Jose del Cabo (along with your tequila and chocolate tasting) – all accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.
18) Go horseback riding on the beach
Possibly the easiest way to get in touch with your inner romantic is saddling up and galloping along a beach on a horse.
Actually, you may not be galloping – especially if you’ve never ridden before – but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an amazing experience in Cabo San Lucas.
You don’t have to be an expert at all.
This horseback riding tour is for everybody, from advanced to beginner. Guides are there to make sure you’re safe (and doing things right) the whole time.
This outdoor adventure takes you and your trusty steed along the golden shores of Migrino Beach, with its coastal cliffs and sand dunes. The two-hour ride ends with a taste of blue agave tequila before you go off on your merry way.
19) Cross the hanging Los Cabos Canyon Bridge
At 1,082 feet long, the Los Cabos Canyon Bridge is one of the longest wooden pedestrian bridges in the world.
For thrill seekers, it’s one of the most awesome things to see in Cabo!
Because, guess what? You’re not going to channel Indiana Jones and traverse it on foot. You’re going to whiz along at high speed across this bridge in an ATV instead!
But wait, there’s more than just one way to get across this super long structure. You could also embark on a trip over the bridge in a glass bottom gondola.
At its lowest point, this drooping bridge stands 164 feet above the ground, so crossing it isn’t exactly for the faint-hearted, no matter which way you choose.
Maximize your time and opt for the Wild Canyon Park Pass. That way you can cross this wild suspension bridge and have access to a bunch of other hair-raising activities, too.
Final thoughts on unique Cabo San Lucas activities
From snorkeling with sea lions and whale sharks to flyboarding, ziplining, sandboarding and ATV-ing your way across desert beaches, there are many cool and one-of-a-kind experiences you can enjoy in Los Cabos.
No longer will you be wondering what to do in Cabo with all these unique Cabo activities to choose from.
Instead, you’ll be out there exploring this beautiful part of Mexico in ways you didn’t think were even possible!
Photos: 9 to 11, 14 to 17 © Janice and George Mucalov, Cabo Visitor