Known for its white-sand beaches, stunning arching rock formations and high-spirited nightlife – Cabo San Lucas really is a dream destination for travelers. While the resort city itself offers endless activities – from horseback riding and whale watching to diving and jet skiing – visitors would be remiss if they didn’t venture out to the incredible surroundings. In fact, Cabo is the perfect base to explore the treasures of Baja California Sur on an excursion or two. With so many beautiful experiences just a few hours away, be sure to consider these day trip ideas for your Cabo vacation.
Best Day Trips from Cabo
1. Todos Santos
Less than an hour’s drive from Cabo lies Todos Santos. This bohemian town is a haven for artists, surfers and those seeking a tranquil escape. Stroll through the streets lined with magnificent architecture and fascinating art galleries, where each corner reveals a kaleidoscope of colors and an explosion of creativity. Sip on locally brewed coffee and indulge in Mexican cuisine bursting with flavor and spice, or savor international dishes crafted with a local twist. Don’t forget to visit Hotel California (no relation to the Eagles song) and catch a magical sunset at Playa La Cachora.
If you would like to visit this charming destination on a day trip from Cabo, and think it would be nice to get the expertise of a local guide and have the logistics sorted, then we recommend the Private Todos Santos City Tour with Cabo Day Trips. The tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, stops on the way including the Tropic of Cancer and Rancho Gaspareno, and unique experiences in Todos Santos such as visiting the Jesuit Mission, partaking in an art walk, learning about the life of Manuel Marquez Leon, seeing a pearl demonstration and heading to Hotel California to take photos.
2. La Paz
La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is definitely worth visiting on a day trip from Cabo. Located just a few hours away, La Paz offers a unique experience that complements its neighboring city. One of the main attractions of La Paz is its shimmering coastline along the Sea of Cortez, referred to as the “Aquarium of the World”. The clear turquoise waters and abundant marine life make it a paradise for snorkeling, diving and swimming with whale sharks. Playa Balandra is a must-visit in this regard – considered one of the most spectacular beaches in the world.
Beyond its natural beauty, La Paz also boasts a lovely historic downtown area. Wander down the Malecon, a promenade overlooking the sea, lined with sculptures and cafes. Discover the historic district and spot gems like the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de La Paz. To take your day trip to the next level, why not book the Private La Paz City Tour with Cabo Day Trips? Not only will you get the opportunity to visit Playa Balandra, but you will also be checking out the famous balancing rock formation at the Mushroom Rock and stopping for a delicious lunch at a locally-loved restaurant.
3. Espiritu Santo
Espiritu Santo, a breathtaking island located in the Sea of Cortez, is a hidden gem that should be on every traveler’s Cabo bucket-list. With its calm crystal-clear waters and remarkable biodiversity – Espiritu Santo offers a nature experience like no other. This epic island is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as the “Galapagos of Mexico” due to its diverse marine ecosystem. Snorkeling or diving in its waters allows you to encounter a rich array of marine life including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, dolphins and even gentle whale sharks.
Additionally, Espiritu Santo is home to secret bays/coves and dramatic rock formations. The island’s tranquility makes it an ideal place for relaxation and picnicking. By hiking the trails, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the sea. As you venture inland, you might get a glimpse of the endemic fauna – such as the Espiritu Santo antelope squirrel. For those who wish to fully immerse in this wonder, the Private Espiritu Santo Tour with Cabo Day Trips is a great option. The tour is packed with surprises – from snorkeling with sea lions to a traditional Mexican lunch on the beach.
4. Cabo Pulmo National Park
Cabo Pulmo National Park is located just two hour’s from Cabo, a small price to pay to have an adventure-filled day. The primary appeal of Cabo Pulmo is its underwater ecosystem. The park’s coral reefs are some of the oldest and most extensive in the Eastern Pacific, offering superb snorkeling and diving possibilities. The vibrant world beneath the surface lets you encounter colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, rays and even the occasional hammerhead shark. The clarity of the water and the sheer abundance of marine life makes it a must-visit for both novice and experienced divers.
Beyond its underwater wonders, Cabo Pulmo also boasts splendid beaches and dramatic desert landscapes. Hike on the coastline or venture into the rugged hills surrounding the park to discover panoramic views, and unique flora and fauna. Cabo Pulmo is not just heaven for nature-lovers but also a success story in conservation. The community-driven efforts to restore the ecosystem have led to a recovery of the coral reefs and a resurgence of marine life. By visiting the park, you support these conservation initiatives and contribute to the preservation of this precious destination.
5. Miraflores, Santiago, Buena Vista and Los Barriles
Miraflores is a sleepy little village that used to be the largest saddlery in Baja California Sur. But with the rise of tourism and slowing demand for saddles, the saddlers in town shrank in size. However, you can still visit Miraflores saddlers – in addition to swinging by the rustic furniture makers and old leather workshops. At the leather shops, you will find everything from purses and belts to horse saddles. The best way to experience Miraflores is part of a wider tour that includes villages near Cabo and the East Cape area, giving you the chance to see several places in one go.
For example, the Hidden Secrets of the Baja Tour with Cabo Day Trips takes you to no less than four different villages in a day: Miraflores, Santiago, Buena Vista and Los Barriles. Some of the tour’s highlights are: visiting the House of Culture in Miraflores where you will learn about the traditional clothing that people used here, stopping by the zoo in Santiago, soaking in hot springs and climbing Cerro de la Bandera at Buena Vista, and sitting down for a meal at a nice restaurant in Los Barriles. All of this and more can be experienced in roughly six hours from Cabo – can you believe it?
6. Playa Los Cerritos
Just 45 minutes from Cabo, travelers can find the idyllic surf beach of Playa Los Cerritos. It makes for the perfect day trip from Cabo – whether you are a surfer, sunbather or someone seeking a peaceful getaway. Known for its consistent waves, Playa Los Cerritos is a popular spot for both beginner and experienced surfers. You can rent boards and get lessons at one of the local surf schools located nearby or simply relax and go swimming in the sea. In the winter, there is also the possibility of seeing whales breaching in the background – a once in a lifetime experience for wildlife-enthusiasts.
Playa Los Cerritos is also dotted with a handful of palapas and beach clubs where you can chill out, sip on a refreshing drink and try delicious local cuisine. Not to forget too that the surrounding natural beauty of the beach adds to its appeal. The beach is framed by rugged cliffs and rolling hills, creating a picturesque backdrop for a day of R&R. In between your surfing escapades, you can sit back with a cold beer in hand and soak up the gorgeous coastal views. Playa Los Cerritos can be incorporated into a day trip to Todos Santos as well, because it’s only situated 10 minutes away.
7. San Jose del Cabo
If you are staying in Cabo, or any other nearby resort, then it makes total sense to visit San Jose del Cabo for the day. This town is less touristy than Cabo and offers a more authentic Mexican experience. Much of the Spanish colonial architecture here has been well preserved – most evidently visible at Plaza Mijares where you can admire Mission San Jose del Cabo, and experience the energetic atmosphere of markets and festivals. Aside from its heritage buildings, the town also has a thriving art scene – home to numerous galleries showcasing local and international works.
Every Thursday evening, from November to June, the Art Walk takes place which sees galleries open their doors to visitors. Be sure to time your day trip from Cabo for this event so you can marvel at sculptures and paintings, shop for jewelry and crafts, and sip on wine. Of course, the fun doesn’t stop at just art – there are some awesome activities to enjoy out in nature such as boat tours, snorkeling trips and ATV rides. Head to the tours page of Cabo Day Trips to browse through an extensive list of options. This fantastic company can help you have a special time in San Jose del Cabo!