When the pro surfers come down to Cabo, they surf Zippers. Situated minutes from downtown San José del Cabo, this legendary break is great if you’re an experienced surfer and even better if you’re more interested in watching the action with a cold one in hand, from the safety of the aptly named beachside taco-and-burger spot, Zipper’s Bar and Grill. Another solid break, La Roca, is within paddle distance. Rent gear or set up a lesson at Costa Azul surf shop. Enter from the parking lot off Highway 1.
Surf in Cabo
Surfincabo, San José del Cabo
These guys will set up everything from professional coaching sessions, to beginner lessons, to guided stand-up paddle board tours, to gear rentals if you’re going at it alone, but their real claim to fame are the week-long Scorpion Bay surf camps. Designed to accommodate groups of advanced surfers, these trips include lodgings, some meals, and super knowledgeable guides.
Old Man’s Break
Cabo Surf Hotel
Along with Zippers and The Rock, this mellow break—particularly well suited for longboarders and beginners—sits on the beautiful Costa Azul. Conveniently, the paddle-out point is on the beach in front of Cabo Surf Hotel where you can rent gear and sign up for lessons at the Mike Doyle Surf School.
Next to Misiones del Cabo Resort
The name "Monuments" is a reference to El Arco and the surrounding cliffs—both clearly visible from the break. It’s a very rocky spot with a lively urchin population to keep an eye on even at high tide, so it’s best suited for the experienced surfer (if you didn’t lug your own boards get a rental at any of the shops in Cabo San Lucas). Getting here is easy: just type in hotel Misiones del Cabo into the GPS and tell the guard at the gate you’re looking to surf. You'll want to park above the break, next to Misiones del Cabo Resort.
Mario Surf School
23301 Cerritos Beach, Todos Santos
The instructors at this Todos Santos-based surf school have a low-key yet effective approach to teaching. They set up shop daily at Los Cerritos beach where the waves are tame and the conditions perfect for first-timers who want to learn the basics along with supervised practice for those with a little more experience. Day-long guided surf excursions to off-the-radar beaches and stand-up paddleboarding tours are also available.
La Pastora Break
While there's a sign marking the entrance to Pastora, the series of breaks on the outskirts of Todos Santos, compared to more prominent Los Cerritos and Las Palmas on the Pacific side, is not the easiest to find so ask a local for driving directions. Once you do get here, enjoy a nearly empty beach, meaning never fighting for your turn in the lineup (there are no lifeguards on duty, so buddy up!). For board and wetsuit rentals reach out to Mario Surf School.
Wild Canyon Park
El Tule Bridge, Cabo San Lucas
Wild Canyon Park is admittedly touristy, but when it comes to the kind of action-filled adventures that tire kids out on vacation, it really can’t be beat. The land itself is beautiful, including beaches, mountains, and the famous canyon, and there’s plenty to keep you busy. Favorite activities include bungee jumping and ATV tours for daredevils, plus an animal sanctuary and a camel ride for the cautious members of the group.
Cuadra San Francisco
Cuadra San Francisco, Los Cabos
Most horseback riding experiences in Cabo take you along the beach, which, while beautiful, makes for incredibly short rides. Cuadra San Francisco (which offers English-style riding) takes visitors along the beaches and also into the desert for a longer, more visually interesting ride. It’s also a full-fledged professional training center, so there are plenty of beautiful horses and skilled riders to watch.
Estero San José
Estero San Jose, San José del Cabo
Estero San José is located in the wetlands where the San José River and the ocean meet, creating a brackish environment that attracts hundreds of species of birds and fish. The protected area offers plenty of hiking trails for observing the wildlife, but you can also do it on horseback or rent a kayak, which gives a different perspective of the herons, egrets, pelicans, and cormorants that make the quiet preserve home. Ask your concierge to arrange.
On the way up the coast toward La Paz is El Triunfo, a tiny, formerly abandoned 19th-century ex-gold and silver mining town that’s absolutely worth a quick stop. It sort of feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, and well, it is, but that’s part of its ghostly charm, which explains why so many people are buying up the abandoned miner’s homes. Head into town and have breakfast at the very cute Café El Triunfo, which is known for its unreal European-style breads and awesome cinnamon buns (plus great thin-crust pizzas later in the day). After that, head out for a walk in the former mining complex to see all the abandoned buildings—Gustave Eiffel’s tower included—and the local desert vegetation. Serious mountain bikers can also take the bike trail, which leads deeper into the dessert. End the day at El Minero, a craft brewery that serves up incredible sausage sandwiches and award-winning paella that’s made over an open mesquite fire. The space itself is a great example of just how beautifully these abandoned buildings can be modernized.
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