72 Hours in Los Cabos: an Outdoor Adventurer's Guide

A kayak outing on the Sea of Cortez gives a fresh perspective on the Baja California shoreline
A kayak outing on the Sea of Cortez gives a fresh perspective on the Baja California shoreline | Courtesy of Los Cabos

Hike to secret swimming spots, dive with hammerhead sharks and explore the desert on camelback with this adrenaline-packed itinerary to wild and rugged Los Cabos, Mexico.

The Baja California shores attract surf-seekers from around the world, but the region has far more to offer than just the perfect break. To make the most of your time here, hire a car and base yourself in Los Cabos – the region is surrounded by national marine parks and a mountainous desert packed with some of the best outdoor adventures that Mexico has to offer.

Day 1

Morning

Dive in Cabo Pulmo National Park

The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, is home to Cabo Pulmo – a national marine park and one of the most wildlife-rich diving spots in the world. Depending on the season, you’ll be swimming alongside hammerhead sharks, turtles, manta rays and huge schools of tropical fish, but encounters with shy garden eels and seahorses are common year-round. From December to March, watch the waters closely on your way out to the dive site – winter is a prime time for spotting humpback whales and sea lions.

Cabo Pulmo National Park is a marine paradise for diving and snorkeling | Courtesy of Los Cabos

Afternoon

Hike to a waterfall in Sierra de la Laguna

Spend the first part of the afternoon plunging into the waters of an oasis in the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, roughly an hour’s drive from Los Cabos. A 20-minute hike through the cactus-dotted desert will bring you to a natural pool in Cañon de la Zorra – the best swimming spot in the area. It’s fed by a 15m (49ft) high waterfall and the clear pool is surrounded by towering palms and granite walls. Make sure you save some time to stop for food in the sleepy town of Santiago on your way back.

Just beyond the village of Santiago, you’ll find Cascada Sol de Mayo in the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range | © Shawn Laidlaw Media/Shutterstock

Day 2

Morning

Trek on camelback

Camel rides in Los Cabos are more than just a brief plod along the beach. Guides will lead you into the outback and along the coast, offering views of the Pacific or the Sea of Cortez, depending on which tour you take. It’s worth shopping around before booking – they are usually combined with other activities such as tequila tasting or touring an ecofarm.

A camel ride is a memorable way to take in the Los Cabos landscapes | Courtesy of Los Cabos

Afternoon

Ride ATVs at Migriño

The desert-meets-sea landscape at Migriño Beach is best explored by ATV. This undeveloped stretch of coast feels remote, and you can off-road through cactus-dotted dunes, creeks and canyons. It’s flanked by rocky hills, which offer impressive views if you’ve got the nerve to speed to the top of them. You’ll be kitted out with safety gear, goggles and a bandana before heading off, but make sure you wear clothes that can withstand dirt – ATVs kick up a serious amount of dust. There are plenty of tour operators in Los Cabos and most offer hotel pick-up.

Sierra de La Laguna
Mountain biking the trails with Natur Adventure, Sierra de la Laguna, Parque Punta San Cristobal, Baja, Mexico. (MR)
Commandeer an ATV to explore the cactus-dotted landscape around Migriño Beach | Courtesy of Los CabosCool off in the pretty natural pool in Cañon de la Zorra | Courtesy of Los CabosThe Sierra de la Laguna offers plenty of rugged trails to explore | © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

Have a beach day at Médano

If you feel like taking a break from high-adrenaline activities, swap ziplining for the golden sand of Médano Beach. The calm waters here offer the safest swimming in Los Cabos, plus there’s plenty to do if you’re not much of a sunbather. Skim the waves on banana boats, kayaks and jet skis, or test your fear of heights and go parasailing.

The waters at Médano Beach are among the most swimmable in Los Cabos | Courtesy of Los Cabos

Day 3

Morning

Zipline over the desert

Nothing is done by halves in Los Cabos, so going ziplining means making your way around a multi-line course to look down on protected biospheres. There are a few circuits from which to choose; each offers something slightly different with options spanning upside down ziplines, rappelling down cliff faces, traversing canyons and crossing suspension bridges. You’ll reach speeds of up to 59mph (95kph), but if that’s not enough of a thrill, at some places you can even free-fall through a valley on a canyon swing.

Get a bird’s-eye view of the desert on a ziplining expedition | Courtesy of Los Cabos

Afternoon

Take a road trip to Todos Santos

Drive the road less traveled and spend the afternoon in Todos Santos, one of Mexico’s pueblos mágicos, an hour’s drive north of Cabo San Lucas along the coast. Its cobbled streets are lined with pastel-colored buildings housing galleries, boutiques and tiny taquerias. Take a few hours to explore, before watching the sun go down from one of the many untouched beaches and hidden coves that surround the town.

Todos Santos has many small art galleries and artisanal boutiques waiting to be discovered | Courtesy of Los Cabos

Book now, get inspired and plan your next trip to Los Cabos at visitloscabos.travel

If you’re visiting Los Cabos, check out local health and safety protocols and check websites of individual attractions and businesses for possible restrictions to services and opening times.

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