Few places on earth make
it easier to get natural. If your idea of heaven is outdoor sports and activities, this diverse and exciting
playground will leave you literally breathless. At the tip of the Baja California peninsula,
Cabo San Lucas is home to El Arco (the arch), a modern marina, and Playa El Medano-the bustling HQ of fun.
The scenic Tourist Corridor is eighteen miles of jewel-toned bays, sun-swept shores, and fantastic snorkel and dive sites.
Gateway to ranch country and the Sierra de La Laguna, colonial San Jose del Cabo provides miles of backcountry roads, trails
and secret springs to explore. Further northeast along the Sea of Cortés, the East Cape calls with solitary sands and
the only living coral reef on Mexico’s Northwestern Pacific coast at Cabo Pulmo. It may take several trips to
discover all of the things to do in Cabo San Lucas and the Los Cabos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Midway through the Tourist
Corridor, Bahía Santa María and Bahía Chileno are standouts
and rank as two of the most beautiful and popular locations for diving and snorkeling on Mexico’s west coast. There
are no services at Santa Maria’s heavenly beach-best to take a snorkel cruise out of the San Lucas marina or book a
dive excursion to nearby sites. Close by, Bahía Chileno is an easily accessed wide bay with an excellent beach, very
good morning snorkeling, and dive sites offshore on the reef. An added bonus here is a dive shop with gear and non-motorized
water sports rentals. Don’t miss the Blowhole, a 40 to 100-foot dive down the backside of a rock wall covered
with gorgonians (sea fans). Guitarfish, small nurse sharks, eels, and rays (and if you’re lucky, sea turtles)
are the stars on this dive, 10 minutes from Santa María or Chileno.
If you think Los Cabos scenery
is stunning, wait until you see it from the bottom up. In Cabo San Lucas, underwater beauty is close by
and experiencing it is easy to arrange. A protected marine sanctuary, Cabo San Lucas Bay shelters schools of tropical
fish, sea lions, and exotic marine life. Spear fishing, collecting, or fishing is illegal but exploring has no limits.
Try a two-hour guided snorkeling tour; or rent gear at dive shops around the marina and take a water-taxi to Lover’s
Beach, near El Arco, to swim, snorkel, dive, and watch the sea lions. Snorkel tours also leave from Playa El Médano
across the bay; or book through your hotel's activities desk. The bay side of the arch area is a prime location for SCUBA
diving with visibility from 30 to 60 feet in winter and spring to over 80 to 90 feet from July to November. For the
less experienced, try Pelican Rock, Neptune's Finger, and the Sea Lion Colony. Advanced divers shouldn’t miss
the stunning and challenging Abyss (Middle Wall); or the Sandfalls, a 90-foot dive documented by the late Jacques Yves Cousteau,
which begins at Pelican Rock then drops to an incredible 1,200 feet.
~ Whale Watching, Los Cabos ~
From January through March,
it’s easy to spot a gray or humpback whale around Los Cabos without even trying. Making the longest migration
of any mammal, grays travel 6,000 miles from the Bering Sea to calve in the buoyant shallow lagoons of San Ignacio, Scammon’s,
Ojo de Liebre, and Magdalena Bay, all north of Los Cabos. Some travel further south to the Sea of Cortés. Ranging
from 40 to 50 feet long and weighing up to 73,000 pounds, grays are classified as Cetacea, marine mammals that include whales,
porpoises and dolphins and belong to Mysticeti, one of the three families of great baleen whales. Shore loving grays
are the only whale to bottom feed. With long snouts and double blowholes on top of their heads, grays have a hump with
dorsal ridges running to their flukes (tail) in place of a dorsal fin. While the gray whale is not the only species
you will see (humpback, blue, sperm, Bryde’s, sei, fin, and the occasional orca travel these waters),
along with the playful humpback it is the most commonly sighted around Los Cabos. On a whale watching excursion, you’ll see spouting, breaching (leaping almost completely out
of the water and falling back with a large splash), and sounding (showing their flukes),
all spectacular sights. To watch mothers and calves up close, trips to Magdalena Bay, the closest lagoon, are best made
with daytrip fly-in tours.