Medano beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Cristo Vlahos
Playa El Medano is the core of tourist activity in Cabo San Lucas. The beach is lined with high-rise resorts and masses of cantinas and alfresco dining options. Medano, on Bahia San Lucas, stretches for about 2 miles (3 kms) from the harbour/marina to the small village of Villa del Palmar. It’s coated with soft sand and washed by clear, calm seas but in season is crowded, hyperactive and packed with persistent vendors so if you’re looking for peace and quiet better head elsewhere by water or wheels. If you want action however, be it partying or marine activities, then Medano is the best place to start.
• Lover’s Beach (facing the Sea of Cortez) is a famous strip of soft sand dominated by massive rock formations. It’s accessible only by boat (no rental wave runners permitted here! ) and there are no facilities here so bring everything you need and get the boatman pick you up later. The snorkeling off the beach is pretty good so bring the kit. In high season Lover’s Beach can get crowded so consider arriving early.
The Pacific side – known as Divorce Beach – is less crowded and more romantic, so it’s worth crossing over for a visit. This stretch has dramatic sand dunes and rock formations but also dangerous currents so swimming should be avoided.
• Many people think Chileno Bay is best for snorkeling without a boat. Chileno has rather coarse sand but is usually peaceful, with clear waters and a reef that supports a lot of marine life forms – you might even hear whale song while snorkeling.
Get there early as tours and cruise ship refugees fill the sand quickly. Chileno is next to Santa Maria beach which is also offers good, calm snorkeling and close to Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar, but has no food stalls or vendors. Head for Santa Maria bay at km 12 via highway 1 from Cabo.
• Playa Cemeterio 4 km east, Playa Santa Maria 12 km from Cabo San Lucas for swimming with easy access.
• Playa Costa Azul and Playa Canta Mar are great for surfing.
• Playa Solmar, 1 km west of Cabo San Lucas for whale- watching January – April.
The Activity Pool of the RIU Palace resort in Cabo San Lucas. Photo by Clemens Vasters.
Nudity is not permitted on Los Cabos beaches. If you want to strip off then head down south to Zipolite beach, a very long way by land from here, tho’ pretty quick by plane.
Los Cabos beaches don’t do a lot of rental parasols, chairs, or nice little kiosks selling snacks. They lean towards quite formal eating so if you’re on a budget bring your own cooler box, umbrella and folding chairs.