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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.