Update: April, 2013
Hotelscombined.com/Cabo is the best website for finding hotels in the area.
Top 10 Family Vacation Activities in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The author: Ercilia Medeiros’s web site is CaboVillas.com.
Los Cabos, Mexico has long been known as hot getaway for honeymooners, sport fishermen and spring breakers. The truth of the matter is that this sunny destination at the tip of the Baja Peninsula also makes a fantastic getaway for families.
Visitors quickly fall in love with the dramatic natural beauty of white-sand beaches, mysterious desert hills, the mighty Pacific Ocean and the incredible turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez. Just a short flight from most US gateways and home to two distinct cities, Los Cabos offers beautiful resorts, world-class activities and plenty of charm. Cabo San Lucas (often known simply as “Cabo”) is the bustling heart of the action, with magnificent views of the iconic arch at Land’s End, restaurants, shops and beautifully swimmable Médano Beach. San José del Cabo is the colonial sister city, with quaint boutiques and a historic plaza. Between the two cities lies the sun-swept 20-mile stretch of beaches known as the Tourist Corridor.
From one end of Los Cabos to the other, families will find plenty of fun both on land and sea. Here are some of our top picks for a fantastic family getaway with the kids:
Want to get up close and personal with a friendly, intelligent Pacific bottlenose dolphin? Here’s your chance. Educational programs at Cabo Dolphins, located at the Cabo San Lucas Marina, allow visitors to learn about and interact with these gentle creatures. Diverse programs allow for varying levels of interaction.
2. Turtle Release
Every year, several species of endangered sea turtles nest in the warm sands of Los Cabos. Conservation efforts focus on ushering the fragile, tiny hatchlings safely into the sea. Baja Outback Adventures offers a certified naturalist-led program in which participants can “adopt” a hatchling and help them make their way into the Sea of Cortez.
3. A day at the Beach
The warm beaches of Los Cabos offer the perfect setting for a sun-drenched day of beachcombing and sand castles. Because of the strong confluence of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, strong undertows make many beaches unsafe for swimming. However, the gentle waters of Médano Beach in Cabo San Lucas are a family favorite and this stretch is fantastic for people-watching. For an added bit of fun, head out on a snorkeling tour to experience the vibrant underwater sea life of what Jacques Cousteau called “the World’s Aquarium.” And, of course, no trip to Cabo San Lucas is complete without a water taxi ride out to scenic Lover’s Beach, located near the famous arch. While the beach offers no services, it’s a great spot to spend a few hours playing in the sunshine. On the Tourist Corridor, Santa Maria Bay and Chileno Bay are must-sees for their beautifully protected waters.
4. Whale Watching
California gray whales make a remarkable annual migration from Alaska each year to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez to give birth. Whale watching in Los Cabos during the winter months with an experienced guide is a truly unforgettable experience that will move visitors of any age. Whale mothers have been known to bring their young right up to vessels to get a close look at the gawking, awe-struck humans aboard.
5. Work off some steam at the playground
While you won’t find much in the way of children’s play areas in Cabo San Lucas, in the San José del Cabo area there’s a pleasant park (Parque Ballena) with kids’ equipment located between the Mega shopping center and Plaza Garuffi, toward the west end of the hotel zone.
Stop in to see glass-blowing artisans at work in this busy Cabo San Lucas workshop. In operation for over two decades, the glass-blowing factory employs over 30 highly-skilled artists who produce hundreds of pieces every day. Kids will find the process fascinating and there’s an on-site gift shop with unique hand-blown items to browse. While many tour operators offer this as a guided activity, you’re free to show up on your own in your rental or a taxi.
7. Pirate Ship
The Buccaneer Queen is a magnificent tall ship that has appeared numerous times in film and TV. A variety of tours include sunset sails, whale watching and snorkeling. You’ll admire the postcard-pretty views and kids will love the onboard pirate fight.
Explore pristine beaches and beautiful desert scenery as you ride with Cuadra San Francisco, the professional horseback riding operator in Los Cabos. Towering desert cacti and sparkling ocean vistas will make this a ride to remember.
9. Zip Lines
The zip-line tours offered by Cabo Adventures will have you and the kids soaring over desert arroyos as you admire the dramatic Baja scenery of a UNESCO-protected sierra canyon. Highly trained guides help ensure a fun-filled experience.
10. Ocean Riders
A repeat favorite with our team, the high-speed boats of Ocean Riders tour the waters of Cabo for an unbeatably fun ride. Head out on an adventure or whale-watching tour and get ready to laugh as you bounce along on the waves.
About the Author: Ercilia Medeiros vacations as often as she can in Cabo San Lucas. Her site can be found at CaboVillas.com.
[Photos by: Tokyo Tanenhaus]