Baja California Sur is one of Mexico’s most naturally beautiful states, and Cabo San Lucas is its shining jewel. Located right at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula that runs down the Pacific Coast all the way from California, it is a stunning mixture of towering, rugged mountains, arid, cactus-filled deserts, and glittering blue sea and ocean.
While Cabo San Lucas is often thought of purely as a beach and party destination (and it excels at both!), it is also a wonderful spot to discover some truly beautiful wildlife, nature, and landscapes.
So if you are cruising to Cabo San Lucas this year, here are a few of the most beautiful natural wonders that you are bound to fall in love with!
This remarkable rock formation is the defining natural feature of Cabo San Lucas, a unique natural feature carved out of the basement rock of Baja California through intrusive igneous processes over 100 million years ago. These days it is the icon of the area, a delightful spot to watch the sunset, and a playground and bathing spot for the local sea lion population! El Arco forms the absolute southernmost point of the Baja peninsula, as well as being the dividing line between the wild Pacific Ocean and the tranquil Sea of Cortez.
Around 100 km from Cabo San Lucas sits Cabo Pulmo, a stunning marine park on the east coast of the Baja peninsula, beneath the glittering waters of the Sea of Cortez. The bay off the coast of Cabo Pulmo is home to the oldest of only three coral reefs on the west coast of North America, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous scuba diver Jacques Cousteau described the Sea of Cortez as ‘the world’s aquarium’, and Cabo Pulmo is probably the best place to explore its remarkable underwater world, whether just snorkeling from a boat or scuba diving. You’ll see dolphins, whales, sea lions, vivid tropical fish, and the remarkable schools of jacks which can block out the light from the surface!
Just outside La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, lies Balandra Beach, a unique beach formation almost completely enclosed by the points of the headland, which forms a shallow, crystal-clear bay. It is a beautiful spot, incredibly photogenic, and wonderful for families, as the warm, shallow waters are completely safe for little ones. In order to preserve Balandra’s beauty, only 150 people are allowed on to the beach at any one time, so if you plan to visit make sure you arrive early!
Sol de Mayo Waterfall
High in the Sierra de la Laguna mountains about an hour and a half from Cabo San Lucas lies the tiny town of Santiago, and hidden at the end of mountainous, jungly trails outside the town is the beautiful Sol de Mayo Waterfall. This stunning, hidden spot is a wonderful reward for an afternoon’s hiking in the mountains, offering a truly off-the-beaten-path experience for adventurers bold enough to arrive.
Playa del Amor and Playa del Divorcio
Back in Cabo San Lucas, El Arco splits the peninsula into two beaches, both incredibly beautiful. Playa del Amor (the Beach of Love) is on the calmer, Sea of Cortez side, and is immensely popular with tourists for sunbathing and swimming. Playa del Divorcio (the Beach of Divorce) is on the wilder Pacific side, offering a more adventurous experience. Divorcio is harder to reach, but worth the effort as the sunset views here are truly stunning.