The Best Blue Flag Beaches of Los Cabos
A vacation to the tropical wonderland of Los Cabos can never be complete without soaking in the sun and inhaling the fresh breeze. However, there’s another very good reason to be on a beach in Cabo. Most of them are certified as a ‘blue flag beach’, which makes them one of the safest and ecologically pristine destinations. Here’s all you need to know about the blue flag beaches of Los Cabos.
What is a blue flag beach
The blue flag program is one of its kind environmental education and safety program launched by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Present in 77 countries, FEE runs pivotal programs to improve the sustainability of ecologically sensitive sites. The blue flag program was launched by FEE to recognize beaches, marinas, and tour operators all over the world, for contributing to the goal of creating a more sustainable, and fulfilling experience.
Approximately 4500 beaches across 47 countries are rated as ‘blue flag’ beach by FEE. The label is one of the most recognized ecological symbols in the world and considered as a hallmark of sustainable, clean, and safe beaches.
Why it’s worth visiting a blue flag beach
In order to receive recognition from FEE, the beach or marina has to pass stringent environmental, educational, and accessibility conditions. Also, these conditions have to be met year after year in order to retain the blue flag status. Due to the scrutiny and challenging requirements to meet the sustainability goals, every certified blue flag beach can be expected to reflect some of the following attributes.
- Promotes a healthy lifestyle
- Conducts safety education and informs steps to mitigate disasters
- Plans activities for social well-being
- Ensures better water quality and sanitation levels
- Contributes to new jobs and local economies
- Protects the marine life
- Safe for women and promotes gender equality
Ready to explore all the blue flag beaches in Los Cabos? Here’s what you need to know about each one of them.
The old man’s beach – Playa Acapulquito
In startling contrast to its name, this sandy beach is perhaps more of a delight for the thrill-seekers with its vibrant surfing culture. Known as a surfer’s paradise, Acapulquito is great for surfers at all levels. It’s just minutes away from beach resorts like Club 96, and One & Only Palmilla makes this beach a dream destination for a relaxing getaway.
Activities and the best time to visit Acapulquito
The blue flag season for the old man’s beach lasts all year round, making it a safe choice for your family. Other great things to do at Acapulquito include snorkeling and swimming.
Nearest city or town
San Jose Del Cabo
Palmilla, the most famous beach in Los Cabos
Perhaps the most famous beach in Los Cabos, Palmilla has everything you can imagine a beach vacation to be. From luxurious resorts to deep water adventures, this blue flag beach is ideal for a variety of leisure activities. After attaining the blue flag label in 2017, Palmilla has only grown in stature as a versatile and friendly day trip location.
Activities and the best time to visit Palmilla
Palmilla is especially famous for whale watching, as per the blue flag listing. While November to April is great for whale watching, a host of other activities during the rest of the year make Palmilla a must-visit beach on your Mexican vacation.
Nearest city or town
San Jose Del Cabo
Snorkeling spectacle of Santa Maria & El Chileno
Known primarily for pristine waters rich in marine diversity, Santa Maria is also very picturesque with its beautiful horseshoe shape. It’s also easily accessible with a short walk from a large parking lot that makes it one of the most convenient beaches in Cabo San Lucas. As one of the blue flag beaches, Santa Maria has a very friendly vibe, with a visitor’s kiosk, outdoor showers, and bathrooms. These facilities also make it perfect for a long day on the beach. Just a little more than a mile away, Chileno is a great alternative for snorkeling, especially if you are staying longer than a few days, and want to visit both.
Activities and the best time to visit Santa Maria & El Chileno
As one of the smaller beaches in Cabo San Lucas, Santa Maria tends to get crowded on weekends, and during the holiday season. An early morning trip is best for quiet undersea exploration.
Nearest city or town
Cabo San Lucas
Las Viudas, the hidden gem of Cabo
Your private beach dream can come true at Las Viudas. One of the lesser-known beaches of Cabo, Las Viudas is a quiet and serene day trip location. Although plenty of resorts and great places to stay can be found right next to Las Viudas, there aren’t many vendors right on the beach. So if you plan to spend the entire day here, bringing your own drinks and food is highly recommended.
Activities around Las Viudas
Whether you want to try water activities like kayaking, and snorkeling or simply want to stay true to your fitness regime with a refreshing run on the beach, this blue flag beach can be the best choice.
Nearest city or town
Cabo San Lucas
Medano, the panoramic best of Cabo
Often called the lover’s beach, Medano is the hallmark of everything that makes a Los Cabos vacation unique. The first thing that you notice about Medano is that it’s gigantic, stretching for miles, with a panoramic view of the bay on the side. In fact, the Blue flag organization considers smaller parts of Medano as separate beaches, all of which have their own blue flag certification. With the many hotels and resorts lining up against the beach from Riu Palace to Casa Dorada, Medano is one of the busiest beaches in Los Cabos. It’s also one of the most tourist-friendly ones and has been able to consistently retain its blue flag label, most recently in 2018.
Activities around Medano
Due to its easily accessible location, Medano offers some of the best things to do in Los Cabos. Excursions, glass-bottom boat tours, submarine experiences, and even luxury sailboat tours, are just some of the top things to do here. There are more than 300 places to eat near Medano, some of them right next to the beach, with an incredible view of the ocean. Partying at Medano, and bar hopping in Cabo is one of the most sought after experiences that you can have.
Nearest city or town
Cabo San Lucas
Playa El Corsario, the beach where the locals go
Cabo San Lucas and most of Los Cabos can sometimes resemble an overwhelming cultural melt pot, which is always bustling with action. If you find yourself wishing for a break, and a peek into how the locals live, head to El Corsario, or the Cannery beach. This blue flag beach is just a short walk away from the Cabo San Lucas cruise port pier and is a local favorite. The rocky ledge on the far end of Corsario offers the much-needed shade on a hot day and some unique photography opportunities.
Activities around El Corsario
Being so close to Cabo San Lucas pier has its own advantages, namely plenty of dining and shopping options. On the other hand, El Corsario beach can be a remarkably peaceful, and relaxed experience, with inviting crystal clear waters. No wonder that it’s one of the most swimmable beaches of Los Cabos. If you would rather explore immerse yourself in the local art than take a dip in the ocean, the wall adjacent to the entry area of the beach has a delightful marine-themed graffiti that is definitely worth more than a passing glance.
Nearest city or town
Cabo San Lucas
Other Blue Flag destinations near Los Cabos
FEE also rates marinas and aquatic tour operators, and there is no shortage of them in the entire Baja region. If you’re up for a short ride, you can try visiting lesser-known attractions such as the La Ribera beach on the east coast. This blue flag beach close to the town of La Ribera is famous for its fishing opportunities and is easily accessible en route to Cabo Pulmo, a UNESCO world heritage site. You can take the Camino Cabo Este to reach La Ribera in just under an hour.
Away from the hustle-bustle of Cabo, the capital city of La Paz also boasts of two blue flag destinations. The charming Cortez Marina is the only blue flag labeled a marina in Baja and warrants a closer view. A quick ride away from the Marina, El Coromuel is the only blue flag beach of La Paz, and unique for its tranquil view of the sunset, and the water park right next to the beach.
Best places to stay to explore blue flag beaches
The beach can be your constant companion on your vacation to Los Cabos. While you can aim to visit all the blue flag locations, some of the best places to stay in Cabo are right next to at least one of them. Stepping onto a world-class, blue flag beach right from your hotel room is a luxury of another kind, and one of the must-have travel experiences. Start planning your vacation right away by booking the best stay options in Los Cabos.
Why Visit Los Cabos Instead of Cozumel this Summer
For luxury vacations overlooking crystal clear waters and stunning skies in Mexico, there are often two standout locations: Los Cabos and Cozumel. The decision can be tough, considering both locations are truly breathtaking, but we think Los Cabos is the better way to go. Of course, this depends on what you’re looking for. For adventure, hiking, ruins, and snorkeling, Cozumel might be your spot. But if you’re looking to indulge in luxury, relax and take in gorgeous sights with top-tier food and drink, we suggest Los Cabos trip.
Beat the Crowds
For one, Los Cabos feels much bigger, with more nooks and crannies to explore. While both locations attract a number of tourists, Cozumel is a stop for many large cruise ships, which flood the streets regularly with crowds that never seem to end, turning an afternoon stroll into a busy center, making it difficult to take in the gorgeous surroundings.
The cruise ship activity in Cozumel has also had a profound effect on the area’s waters. Once a prime snorkeling location, the area’s aquatic life has seen a decline, with once regular visitors saying it is no longer what it used to be. Los Cabos still has an abundance of marine life from turtles to dolphins and whales. Divers are in paradise on Socorro island, which is rich with giant manta rays, whales and a number of sharks.
Shelter from the Storm
Being situated on the west coast, Los Cabos is more sheltered from storms, specifically hurricanes. The east coast, however, is much more prone to these disasters, especially between June and October, popular vacation times for both destinations. If you’re looking to stay safe from the weather, we recommend staying on the Pacific Coast.
As far as beaches are concerned, Los Cabos beaches offer more exclusivity. Each beach in the area provides its own unique view and experience, often surrounded by breathtaking rock formations and sunset views. With world-renowned beaches like Lover’s Beach and Medano Beach, home to the famous Arch, you know you can expect only the best experience and views. Beaches in Los Cabos often have fewer vendors and loud sounds, whereas Cozumel beaches are lined with bars and cafes, which is can be fun if it’s your thing.
The range of activities is much greater in Los Cabos, which has the advantage of a variety of landscapes. Mountains, parks, and canyons are abundant which allows for adventure for everyone’s tastes. From ATV trails, horseback rides, hiking as well as beaches, Los Cabos has it all, including the largest marlin fishing tournament in the world and seasonal whale watching.
Dine in Style
Dining and nightlife is also significantly different on each end of the country. While both offer authenticity, Los Cabos has its own upscale flare to Mexican foods and drink like immersive farms with restaurants, classes, and spas, including Flora Farms Kitchen and Las Tamarindos. Most restaurants open early and close late, whereas the restaurants in Cozumel tend to only open around 2 pm and close at midnight. Los Cabos is largely recognized for luxurious accommodations, including opulent private villas just steps away from the azure blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. Looking to indulge? Look no further than Elegant Mexico for the perfect villa to take your Los Cabos vacation to the next level.
Nature, the Outdoors & Adventure Itinerary for Los Cabos
Basking under the hot Mexican sun with cool waves gently crashing in the background might be the first thing that springs to mind when you start imagining your next vacation in Los Cabos, but your trip should’t be limited to the beach. In fact, for those that are partial to a little adventure in the great outdoors, Los Cabos is the ultimate playground for some of the top land and sea adventure excursions for all of the family to enjoy, providing an adrenaline fueled week in paradise to remember for years to come. Time to get active, and get outdoors. Take a look at what your personalized adventure itinerary could look like! Where are you staying? Casa Luna Escondida, Espiritu Del Mar, Los Cabos. 8 bed, 8 bath. Who is in your group? Two families – 4 adults, 7 kids.
Day 1: Arrival
A member of the Elegant Mexico concierge team will be on hand to meet you at Los Cabos airport and transfer you and your party to the stunning Casa Luna Escondida. Located in the private gated community of Espiritu Del Mar, it offers breathtaking ocean views and unparalleled outdoor living. Encompassing 12,000 sq. ft of interior living space over 4 levels, Casa Luna Escondida has eight bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms, dressing areas, and a private terrace. Our pre-arrival team will ensure the fridge is already stocked with all of your favorite treats and that the bedroom arrangements are exactly how you would like them. We take all of the steps we can to ensure your vacation rental is your home away from home before you’ve even arrived. Celebrate your first night in paradise with an unforgettable dinner. The Elegant Mexico team has a number of excellent restaurant recommendations depending on your preferences. We also take care of reservations and transport. Take a look at some of our favourites here!
Day 2: Outback Camel Ride Safari
Getting things off to a gentle start, your first full vacation day will be spent exploring the Baja desert on top of a four legged friend. Before you hop on, you’ll be introduced to your camel and learn a little bit about these magnificent creatures from your expert tour guide, who will also ensure your trip is as educational, fun, and safe as possible! Perfect for all age groups, voyaging through the Baja California by camel offers stunning views of the Cabo San Lucas landscape at a leisurely speed that makes for a very relaxing ride. You’ll even get to feel a cool sea breeze as you travel along the waterfront of the Pacific Ocean, and stop for a quick photo with the kissing camel! And for the adults in the group, this tour also comes with a tequila tasting experience at the end to round off this truly unique eco-tour here in the heart of Cabo.
Day 3: Snorkel Adventure
Time to make a splash! Snorkeling is one of the best, most accessible ways to discover Cabo’s life under the sea. With impressive marine life and unique underwater landscapes to explore, you’ll be wondering why you spent so much time on land! Guided by your marine expert, you’ll head out to sea in search of the best spots to explore the mysteries of the ocean, learning about Cabo’s underwater landscapes and the diverse range of aquatic animals that call it home. You’ll also have the chance to try power-snorkeling, where you’ll use an individual handheld power unit that makes for a speedier way to get around underwater. You’ll also have the opportunity to paddle-boarding or kayak out on the water. This tour gives you great flexibility in terms of how you want to explore. With kids as young as five able to participate, it’s a top pick for families!
Day 4: Mountain Bike Adventure
Back on dry land, day 4 will be spent exploring the Baja Peninsula on two wheels, as you enjoy a fantastic sightseeing excursion suitable for all guests. Whether you’re an avid mountain biker or a complete beginner, this tour is tailored to your group and your pace. Your seasoned tour guides will take you right to all the top spots in the area as you weave your way along winding trails and rolling hills in the Mexican outback. When it’s time for a water break, you’ll get a chance to learn all about the flora and fauna in the area and get a close up look at the stunning tropical landscape. If you’re lucky, you might spot a native brown pelican soaring above you or diving into the ocean looking for lunch. After a day of pedling, why not kick back and relax with a refreshing drink in some of Cabo’s most celebrated nightlife spots. Be sure to ask our team for the top child-friendly picks if you’re heading out with younger ones!
Day 5: Leisure
After several days of action in the great outdoors, take a day to bask under the Mexican sun from the luxury of your private villa. A day of leisure at home is the perfect occasion to take advantage of those luxury amenities that come with Casa Luna Escondida. While the kids make a splash in the infinity pool and two plunge pools, the adults can enjoy lounging on the sun beds with a cocktail in hand made by your own personal butler. When it’s time to spend some quality time together, guests can dine alfresco as the sun goes down and be treated to the culinary skills of the villa’s private chef for a unique gastro experience in your own home. As part of the Espiritu Del Mar private gated community, you’ll also have access to a private beach club and fitness facilities unique to Del Mar guests within walking distance from the property, as well as the bars, restaurants, and spa at the neighboring One&Only Palmilla, if you decide to venture out a little further on your day of leisure.
Day 6: Whale Shark Encounter
If you’ve ever dreamt of experiencing one of the most exhilarating thrills in the world – shark diving – you can do it right here in Cabo. Take an adrenaline plunge like no other on day 6 as you experience swimming with sharks! While this excursion is definitely not for everyone, those with nerves of steel who want to get up close to these magnificent underwater animals in their natural habitat are in for a treat. Whale sharks are known as the gentle giants of the sea they are slow moving and pose almost no risk to divers, making this particular once-in-a-lifetime shark encounter a little less fearful, thankfully. For those that would prefer to swim alongside some of the most playful and friendly aquatic animals in the world, why not try the dolphin swim experience instead? Just let out concierge team know how adventurous you’re feeling!
Day 7: Zip Lining
If it’s fast paced action adventure you’re in search of in Cabo, look no further than the Cabo zip line tour. Experience the stunning landscape of the Baja Peninsula from above while you fly high on zip lines that have been specifically designed to give you the best views of the natural terrain below. More than just zip lining, this unique tour has several additions for those who are in search of the ultimate thrill; from abseiling down sheer rock faces, to traversing the commando bridge, to testing out the new Pendulum swing over the canyon, you’ll be leaving this tour on a high with some great stories to share. The Cabo zip line tour is also home to the Superman – the longest and fastest line in Mexico! (100kph and 4,000 feet long!) Adrenaline junkies, this is a fantastic way to round off your outdoor adventure vacation!
Day 8: Departure
When your thrilling time in paradise has come to an end, it’s time to pack up and head for the airport. Our concierge team will take care of all the transportation arrangements, to ensure you leave the villa feeling relaxed, energized, and ready to bring your vacation memories back home with you!
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