San Jose del Cabo The main resorts in San Jose del Cabo (Intercontinental El President, Royal Solaris Los Cabos, Crowne Plaza Cabo, Fiesta Inn, the Grand Baja and Las Mananitas) line Playa Hotelera on Paseo Malecón San José, all of which offer miles of unspoiled beaches, spectacular ocean views yet sadly, the ocean is not really swimmable due to dangerous undertow and major waves. Although the long, level stretch of coarse brown sand is beautiful, the current is dangerously rough, and the drop-offs are steep and close to shore. Swimming here is extremely dangerous, and signs warn against it all along the way. Feel free to walk along the beach to the Estero San José, or play volleyball on the sand. But for swimming, head to Playa Palmilla in the Corridor.
For surfers, we recommend Costa Azul Beach which is home to the famous Zippers surf break offering excellent surfing especially during the summer months. Dotted with beautiful beach front condominiums including Mykonos Beach Resort, Las Olas, El Zalate and Mira Vista, this area is very popular with experienced swimmers and surfers.
The Corridor's coastline edges the Sea of Cortez, with long secluded stretches of sand, tranquil bays, golf fairways, and hotel beaches. Few areas are safe for swimming. Some hotels have man-made rocky breakwaters that create semisafe swimming areas when the sea is calm. As a rule, the turnoffs for the beaches aren't well marked. Facilities are extremely limited; lifeguards and public restrooms are nonexistent. The four-lane Highway 1 has well-marked turnoffs for hotels, but it's not well lit at night. Drivers tend to speed down hills, tempting vigilant traffic officers.
Bahía Chileno. Formerly home to the famous Cabo Hotel aka known as "Chileno" this area is now being developed as a private enclave -- with golf courses and residences, approximately midway between San José and San Lucas. The beach skirts a small, crescent-shape cove with aquamarine waters that are perfect for snorkeling and swimming. At this writing, the dirt access road is blocked. Time will tell how the developers handle public access -- required by law -- to the bay. Discussions are underway, hotly disputed by local residents, to move the transpeninsular highway to expand the development area.
Bahía Santa María. Not for the faint of heart, this spectacular bay is a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to Bahía Santa María, a turquoise bay backed by cliffs and lined by a wide, sloping beach. Shade is nonexistent unless you sit in the shadows at the base of the cliffs. The bay, part of an underwater reserve, is a great place to snorkel: brightly colored fish swarm through chunks of white coral and golden sea fans. During high season there's often someone renting snorkeling gear for $10 a day or beach vendors offering sarongs, straw hats, and soft drinks for sale. However, we recommend packing your own supplies including lots of drinking water/soft drinks, snacks, and sunscreen. Snorkel and booze-cruise boats from San Lucas visit the bay in midmorning. Come in midafternoon for a Robinson Crusoe feel. A parking lot just off the highway is usually guarded; be sure to tip the guard. The bay is roughly 19 km (11 mi) west of San José and 13 km (8 mi) east of San Lucas. Turn off the highway's east side just north of the Twin Dolphin hotel, at the sign that reads accesso a zona federal (access to federal zone).
Playa Costa Azul. Cabo's best surfing beach runs 3 km (2 mi) south from San José's hotel zone along Highway 1. Its Zippers and La Roca breaks (the point where the wave crests and breaks) are world famous. Surfers gather here year round, but most come in summer, when waves are largest. Several condo complexes line the beach, which is popular with joggers and walkers. Swimming isn't advised unless the waves are small and you're a good swimmer. The turnoff to this beach is sudden; it's on the highway's east side, at Zippers restaurant, which is on the sand by the surf breaks.
Playa Palmilla. Check out the villas on the road to Playa Palmilla, the best swimming beach near San José. The entrance is from the side road through the ritzy Palmilla development; turn off before you reach the guard house at the star-studded One & Only Hotel Palmilla. There are signs, but they're not exactly large. The beach is protected by a rocky point, and the water is almost always calm. A few palapas on the sand provide shade; there are trash cans but no restrooms. Panga fishermen have long used this beach as a base, and they're still here, despite the swanky neighbors to the south. Guards patrol the beach fronting the hotel, discouraging nonguests from entering.
Cabo San Lucas
Playa del Amor. The most frequently photographed beach in Los Cabos, Lover's Beach is located beneath the famous El Arco, this famous azure cove on the Sea of CortezThe azure cove on the Sea of Cortez at the very tip of the peninsula is a popular spot for picnics and short excursions. Water taxis from El Medano Beach are still relatively inexpensive but be sure to arrange your return trip. Water taxis, glass-bottom boats, kayaks, and Jet Skis all make the short trip from Playa Médano to this small beach backed by white streaked cliffs. Snorkeling around the base of these rocks is fun when the water's calm; you may spot striped sergeant majors and iridescent green and blue parrotfish. Walk along the sand to the Pacific side to see pounding white surf; just don't dive into these rough waters.
Playa Médano. Cabo's most popular and populated beach is home to many of the major resorts in Cabo San Lucas. Foamy plumes of water shoot from Jet Skis and Wave Runners buzzing through the water off Médano, a 3-km (2-mi) span of grainy tan sand that's always crowded. When cruise ships are in town it's mobbed. Bars and restaurants line the sand including the world famous Nikki Beach Club, the Sand Bar, Billygan's Island and the Office are just a few of the more popular restaurants/beach clubs. Waiters will deliver ice buckets filled with beers to sunbathers in lounge chairs, and a multitude of vendors offer everything from fake silver jewelry to henna tattoos. You can even have your hair braided into cornrows a la Bo Derek or get a beachfront pedicure.
Playa Solmar. Huge waves crash onto the sand on the Pacific side of San Lucas. This wide, beautiful beach stretches from land's end north to the cliffs of Pedregal, where multi-million dollar homes are perched on steep cliffs. Swimming is impossible here because of the dangerous surf and swift undertow; stick to sunbathing and strolling. Popular resorts include the Solmar Beach Resort, Terrasol Beach condos www.terrasolcabo.com , the new Playa Grande and Finnesterra. From December through March you can witness the migration of gray whales spouting just offshore, and dolphins leap above the waves year-round. The beach is at the end of Avenida Solmar off Boulevard Marina. Access is difficult for all but those staying at the aforementioned resorts/condominiums.
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Cabo San Lucas offers a diverse selection of hotels, resorts, condos, villas, all-inclusive resorts as well as bed and breakfast inns and privately-owned beachfront condos. Cabohotels.com offers the best prices at the best places in Los Cabos. Our staff have personally stayed at or visited the vast majority of hotels & resorts in Cabo San Lucas, the corridor and San Jose del Cabo. We are familiar with the room layouts, locations, best beaches, guest room amenities and can match you with the Cabo hotel that best suits your requirements. Please also call us for groups, incentives, weddings and special events. Cabo is the only destination we offer and we strive to maintain our ranking as Cabo Experts.
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All Inclusive Resorts Include: El Presidente, Royal Solaris, Crowne Plaza, Grand Baja Resort, Dreams Los Cabos, Melia Cabo Real, the spectacular new RIU Palace Cabo and Costa Real.
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Misiones del Cabo, Terrasol Beach Condos, Grand Baja Resort & Spa, Las Mananitas, Mira Vista, Villa del Palmar & Villa La Estancia. (800) 524-5104