The Top Beaches of Southern Baja
Imagine floating in a turquoise bay with coral colored sand, snorkeling along side colorful fish or walking for hundreds of yards in waist-high water. Every beach in Southern Baja offers something unique. Here is a list of the must sea beaches to help you decide which is the one for you, or just visit them all!
PLAYA DEL AMOR
AN UNFORGETTABLE UNIQUE LOCATION
Known to visitors as Lover's Beach, this beautiful staple of Cabo San Lucas is only reachable by boat, kayak or any other water vessel. The easiest way to get there is to take a water taxi from the Cabo San Lucas Marina or from Medano Beach. The trip to Lover's Beach usually includes a cruise by the famous arch rock formation and then you’re dropped-off at the beach. Your same panga captain will pick you up once you're done exploring. This is a perfect place to sit back and observe the dramatic Land's End rock formations, including the pointy Neptune's Finger, which is an excellent dive spot. You can walk to the other side of the rocks and you’ll find yourself looking at the Pacific Ocean; this beach is called Divorce Beach and it’s very dangerous for swimming, so swim on Lover’s Beach side only. It is exhilarating to know that you are on the very tip of the Baja California peninsula, where on your right side you have the Sea of Cortez and on the left is the Pacific Ocean, both meeting right before your own eyes.
LOCATION: Land’s End beside the famous Cabo San Lucas arch.
TIPS: You won’t find any services. If you walk along the Marina or Medano Beach it is almost a guarantee that you’ll be offered a water taxi trip to the arch and Lover’s Beach. Bring snorkel gear!
PLAYA EL MÉDANO
ULTIMATE FUN IN THE SUN
If you're looking for the action, this is where it is. Medano Beach is a 2-mile stretch of hotels, restaurants and beach clubs, right on the sand. Whether you're with your family, on a romantic getaway or on a bachelorette trip, there is a place for every taste. Medano is a swimmable and family-friendly beach with endless options for souvenir shopping. Numerous activities and water sports are available, such as jet skis, parasailing, flyboarding, stand-up paddling, and more. If you want to take a water taxi to Lover’s Beach and the famous Cabo arch, make a day out of it: head to Medano, have some breakfast or lunch and head out on an adventure to Lover's Beach. The stunning view of Land’s End and the vast entertainment options make this beach a must-see. Médano means “sand dune.”
LOCATION: In the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas. The beach is accessible by foot through the east side of the marina or via Avenida del Pescador.
TIPS: Be prepared to be approached by a lot of souvenir vendors. If you’re not there for the shopping, just respond with “No gracias.” Visit Lover’s Beach while you’re there.
PLAYA EL CHILENO
SNORKELING AT ITS BEST
Chileno Beach is a very popular location for locals to spend their weekends–and weekdays too...ah, the Cabo life. This is one of many great Cabo beaches for swimming due to its calm waters, and its beautiful reefs offer excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. Walk to the left end of the beach and you'll find tide pools and some less crowded areas, as well as the impressive Chileno Bay Beach Club which is
only accessible to members. Newly built public restrooms and showers are available, as well as a handicap ramp that takes you right to the beach.
LOCATION: Follow the signs for PLAYA EL CHILENO near Km. 14 of HWY 1.
TIPS: Snorkeling visibility is often better in the early mornings and you’ll avoid the mid-day snorkel tours. Bring snorkeling gear and shade!
PLAYA SANTA MARIA
AN IDYLLIC COVE AND
Santa Maria Beach is a stunning horseshoe cove with unique coarse coral colored sand and abundant marine life. Boat excursions and private charters often stop here to enjoy the snorkeling and scuba diving that this National Marine Preserve offers, so if you're panning on snorkeling we recommend that you arrive early to beat the tour boats. At the right end of the beach you will find the private Maravilla Beach Club, which is only accessible to members. This is one of those Cabo beaches where there are no gear rentals or refreshments for sale, however, the beach does have brand new restrooms, showers and changing rooms. Palapas are available for some much needed shade, so arrive early in order to get one before they are all taken.
LOCATION: Follow the signs which read PLAYA SANTA MARIA and exit at Km. 13 of HWY 1. Follow the dirt road until you reach the parking area.
TIPS: Swim from the shore towards the rocks on the right or left side of the beach for a great snorkeling experience. Bring snorkeling gear!
SAN JOSÉ DEL CABO'S GEM. ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SAN JOSE DEL CABO BEACHES
Palmilla Beach is known for its family friendly calm waters and mile-long stretch of beach. Located within the resort community of Palmilla, you will find yourself surrounded by oceanfront luxury homes and the exclusive One&Only Hotel. Pangas and fishing cruisers are available for charter, but you won't find water sport rentals such as kayaks or jet skis. From the main parking area you can go left or right; the beach area on the left is roped off with buoys for safe swimming, and the area on the left is a bit more uncrowded and has tide pools and rocks that you can explore. Both sides are equally stunning and you can see beautiful and colorful fish literally right off the shore.
LOCATION: Take the PALMILLA ramp exit at km. 27 and turn into the residential community (towards the ocean). You will wind down the beautiful palm tree lined street until you arrive to the beach entrance located on the left side, in front of the Del Mar community gate. If you reach the One&Only Hotel you have gone too far.
TIPS: Palmilla Beach is popular among Cabo beaches and local families on the weekends, so arrive early if you want a palapa. Restrooms and showers are available. Bring snorkeling gear!
PLAYA LOS CERRITOS
Switch it up by exploring the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja California Peninsula. Cerritos Beach offers a different landscape than the Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo beaches. The climate is usually a few degrees cooler, the sand is finer and darker in color, and the ocean might remind you more of a Southern California beach. It's a popular surf spot and swimming here is safe due to the shallow water near the shore, although it is very important to watch for currents that often form. You can rent a boogie board or surf board and even take a surf lesson as there are a few surf schools on the beach. The charming Hacienda Cerritos Hotel perched on the northern point makes for a very enchanting Mexican landscape. The scenic 45 minute drive along the pristine Pacific coast is well worth the trip.
LOCATION: Head north on HWY 19 from Cabo San Lucas towards Todos Santos and exit at km. 66. Watch the markers and look for the signs.
TIPS: Come prepared with food, drinks and beach gear. The ocean currents are strong and the waves can be quite powerful, so swim with caution. Visit the charming town of Todos Santos before or after your Cerritos beach day.
THE DEFINITION OF A BAJA PARADISE
Balandra Beach is a stunning bay in La Paz (the State's Capital) that will take your breath away. The white powder-like sand and shallow water create dreamy turquoise and aqua colors that delight the eye as far as you can see. It is a kayaker's paradise; not only can you cruise to the reefs across the bay for an unforgettable snorkeling experience, but you can also explore the mangroves on the left side of the bay. The water is very shallow in most of the bay, so you can also simply walk around and explore by foot. If you follow the shore towards the north-east (left) you will find the famous “mushroom rock.” You won’t regret visiting Playa Balandra!
LOCATION: About two hours from Cabo San Lucas. We recommend entering it into your phone or car's GPS and it should guide you straight there.
TIPS: There are no bathroom facilities, but there are palapas for shade . There usually is a truck there where you can buy water and snacks, but it is recommended to bring your own in case they are closed. Try to shuffle your feet in the sand while in the water because many stingrays call this bay their home (lucky guys!) and the shuffling will send them away.