laya Chileno, southwest of the stately Hotel Cabo San Lucas, is one of the few beaches anywhere in Los Cabos with services. Like Playa Santa Maria, it can be crowded on weekends, especially Sundays. Great for families, snorkelers and divers, look for the dive flag at the edge of the highway at Km. 14, which marks the parking entrance. Easily accessible from Hwy #1, a Cabo Acuadeportes dive shop “palapa” (a palm leaf covered hut) is located on the beach’s southwestern end near the water. Chileno is a wide, fairly flat beach, perfect for strolling or running, with safe swimming and very good morning snorkeling. Playa Chileno’s facilities include shade palms, restrooms, equipment rentals, and the dive shop sells cold soft drinks and bottled water.
Santa Maria Bay
Santa Maria Bay is not too far along the highway east of Km. 12 is the very popular and often photographed Bahia Santa Maria, a small bay next to the renowned Twin Dolphin Hotel. The turn off is not well marked – look for the beach access sign and follow the dirt road to the parking area. If you have a lot of gear, the walk is tedious but well worth it. Horseshoe-shaped Playa Santa Maria is crowded on Sundays, but mid-week is better for more exclusive snorkeling and sunning. There are no facilities and little shade so bring supplies if you’re staying the day. Watersports are heavenly if it is not too windy; and Santa Maria Bay is a protected marine sanctuary, so you’re likely to see many species of fish. Another way to see Santa Maria is by boat. Various tour companies offer snorkel and diving tours and charters from Cabo San Lucas. The dive shop at nearby Playa Chileno can also take you diving at Santa Maria. An excellent beach for families but use caution with children if the wind comes up. The unique pea-sized grains of sand are known for their lovely pink hue and grace some some of the older hand-set stone floors in the area.
Medano Beach is the place to see and be seen in Cabo. Soak up the view of Land’s End while eating, drinking and people-watching at restaurants right on the sand. Swimming is safe here and water sports abound. You can access this beach through all hotels or restaurants from Hotel Hacienda to Club Cascadas. Parking is limited on Paseo del Pascador so consider taking a taxi.
Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor)
Lover’s Beach is located right behind El Arco, Cabo’s famous arch. Lover’s is the only beach on the peninsula to straddle both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. Here you can swim and snorkel in tranquil Cabo San Lucas Bay, then stroll to the Pacific side and watch the perilous, pounding surf at Divorce Beach. No services but easy access by water taxi or glass bottom boat from the Cabo Marina or Medano Beach. Rent a kayak or Jet Ski at Medano Beach and head on over!
Solmar Beach is one of the best sunbathing beaches in Los Cabos. Located on the Pacific, it’s perfect for strolling and watching sunsets, but its huge surf and rip tides make it unsafe for swimming and water sports. Solmar, Terrasol, Playa Grande and Finisterra Hotels face this beach along Avenida Solmar by Blvd. Marina, and access is available through any of them.
Widows Beach offers off-the-beaten-path seclusion, along with unique tidal pools and good swimming when the water is calm. There are no services, but access is available at Km. 12.5. Take the dirt road to the right of the entrance to the Twin Dolphin Hotel and drive or walk in.
Tequila Cove is located in front of the Hilton and Melia Cabo Real hotels and offers swimming and water sports within a man-made breakwater. Watercraft rentals are available, while other services are only available at the hotels. Access at Km. 19.5 at Cabo Real complex or walk in from the south via the arroyo at Casa Del Mar.