The 5 Best Snorkeling Tours in Cabo San Lucas [2021 Reviews]

Cabo San Lucas is one of the most beautiful, affordable, and explore-able places in the world. However, if you’re just heading there to stay on land and enjoy drinks, you’d be missing out on some of the best things this area has to offer!

What we highly recommend you to do, is check out the actual water – particularly under the surface. We’ve had the big task of trying out countless tours to bring you the best 5 snorkeling tours in Cabo San Lucas! We know you’re excited, so let’s get started!

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Snorkeling Tours in Cabo For 2021

  1. The Arch and Lover’s Beach Kayaking + Snorkeling
  2. 4-Hour Snorkeling Cruise with Open Bar
  3. Kayaking and Snorkeling in 2 Pristine Bays
  4. Cabo Pulmo Marine Park Snorkeling and Kayaking
  5. 3-Hour Stand Up Paddle and Snorkel at Los Cabos

We have reviewed the top rated Snorkeling Tours, providing overviews and highlighting the details of each. We also make recommendations on staying in Cabo San Lucas in our guide section.

Best Snorkeling Tours in Cabo San Lucas

 The Arch and Lover's Beach Kayaking + Snorkeling4-Hour Snorkeling Cruise with Open BarKayaking and Snorkeling in Two Pristine Bays
editors choice
Departure Point:In front of your accomodationIn front of hotelIn front of hotel
Departure Time:MorningBefore noon15 minutes before designated time
Duration:3.5 hours4 hours4 hours
Includes:Round trip transportation, experienced guide, sit-on-top double kayak and gear, mask, snorkel, and fins, beverages and snacks, dry bag to share for small valuablesHotel pickup and drop-off, all snorkeling equipment (fins, masks, snorkels, and life vests), baguettes, fruit, guacamole, chips and salsa, open bar with domestic drinksRound-trip transportation, experienced guides, sit-on-top double kayaks, seats, paddles, and lifejackets, mask, snorkel, and fins, beverages and snacks, dry bag to share for small valuables

Best Snorkeling Tours in Cabo San Lucas Reviews

#1. The Arch and Lover’s Beach Kayaking + Snorkeling

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Departure: In front of your accomodation
  • Departure Time: Morning
  • Includes: Round trip transportation, experienced guide, sit-on-top double kayak and gear, mask, snorkel, and fins, beverages and snacks, dry bag to share for small valuables

If you want the perfect way to spend an afternoon, then check out The Arch and Lover’s Beach Kayaking + Snorkeling Tour. This tour is an equally relaxing yet exciting tour that will offer incredible vistas above and underwater, a glimpse at rare sea life, and even some exercise! It’s perfect for taking on with a partner, or in slightly larger groups, as well.

When the day starts, your guide will pick you up in front of your accommodation so worrying about going to the right meeting spot isn’t a thing. The hassle-free transfer to the starting beach right smack-dab in the center of Cabo makes it that much more pleasant. During this time, your guide will offer a briefing on kayaking techniques and how best to stay safe before you even touch the kayak.

Once you’re in the water, you’ll take off from the bay of Cabo San Lucas by Land’s End. This is a stunning peninsula where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific. Consisting of rocky outcrops and deep blue waters, it’s best explored by kayak, where you can paddle right under its world-famous arch. You may even get to see many of the sea lions who live in this area!

Once you end up at Lover’s Beach, you’ll get to check out the beautiful granite rock formations which seem to erupt from the ocean. This area tends to feature rougher waves and breaks, so it’s important to be more careful. Once you’ve had a chance to thoroughly explore, it’s time to put on that snorkeling gear!

Wading off of Lover’s Beach, your destination is Neptune’s Finger. While it is a kind of funny name, it’s probably the best name for this large finger-shaped rock formation that rises about 8 meters above the water, however, it also is quite interesting underneath the surface, as well! You can choose to snorkel around Pelican Rock as well, where you’ll encounter schools of brightly-colored native fish and rare marine life.

To end the trip, you’ll kayak back to where you started and will head back to your accommodation. You’re definitely going to be tired, but will surely want to relive this experience again in the future!

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#2. 4-Hour Snorkeling Cruise with Open Bar


Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: In front of hotel
  • Departure Time: Before noon
  • Includes: Hotel pickup and drop-off, all snorkeling equipment (fins, masks, snorkels, and life vests), baguettes, fruit, guacamole, chips and salsa, open bar with domestic drinks

Isn’t it interesting how everything just seems more fun with an open bar? I mean, that’s definitely what makes weddings so much fun! Well, if you were planning on going snorkeling in Cabo and want to shake things up a bit, you need to sign up for the Cabo San Lucas 4-Hour Snorkeling Cruise with Open Bar!

This cruise will take you out to the warm Sea of Cortes, which is particularly inviting due to the pleasant climate and calm waters. Your tour company will pick you up already if your hotel is one of those listed as a pickup location option when you checkout/purchase your tickets. However, if your accommodations aren’t listed, you can simply contact the local partner once you’ve purchased them to arrange one a pickup spot that works for you.

Once you arrive at the beach, you’ll start things off by boarding a sailboat. This sailboat is wonderful for smaller groups, and is sure to be a special treat, no matter who you go with. Sail past Lover’s Beach, the infamous “El Arco”, as well as the adorable (from a distance) sea lion colony. This is one of the most iconic spots along the western side of Mexico, and looks even more incredible in person!

When you get to Santa Maria Bay, it’s time to break out the snorkeling gear. This area is ideal for snorkeling, thanks to the sheltered, natural cove that sits between two big granite rocks. This keeps waters calm and protected, keeping wind and strong waves at bay.

The turquoise waters are ultra-inviting, containing countless tropical fish and more. The guides will make sure you know the basics of snorkeling and safety precautions. Between the exercise and sunshine, you’re bound to need a break or two! Step up to the deck, where you’ll be able to lounge in the shade and sip on a cold margarita or beer! To keep your energy up, there’s also a nice selection of fresh local fruit, deli sandwiches, and chips!

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#3. Kayaking and Snorkeling in Two Pristine Bays


Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: In front of hotel
  • Departure Time: 15 minutes before designated time
  • Includes: Round-trip transportation, experienced guides, sit-on-top double kayaks, seats, paddles, and lifejackets, mask, snorkel, and fins, beverages and snacks, dry bag to share for small valuables

Onto the next tour, we’re heading back to the Sea of Cortez; this time for the Kayaking and Snorkeling in Two Pristine Bays. Instead of sailing, you’re going to break out the paddles and kayak around the massive granite cliffs and beaches until you’re ready to take a break and jump in for snorkeling.

Once you’re picked up at the agreed-upon meetup location, you’ll take a brief transfer from San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas to get to Las Viudas. This is a beach right along the tourist corridor, so it can get a bit crowded but is easy to see why it’s so popular with natural beauty and convenient access.

Before you head out on the water, your guide will offer helpful instructions and tips on how to properly kayak. Next, you’ll get all your gear ready and take off along the stunning coastline. Your guide will lead the way, so you aren’t just going to be wandering around. Follow them along to Santa Maria Bay, which is the perfect spot for beginners who are a bit nervous about getting in the water.

You may even spot a ray or whales, which is an experience in itself! Once you arrive to the beach, you’ll get out and put your snorkeling gear on and wade into the clear and calm waters. Just be careful not to get too close to the reef-like bottom! You’ll get quite a bit of time here to explore at your own pace and get comfortable with snorkeling, too.

Once you’re ready for some rest, you’ll paddle just a bit further around with incredible geyser-like waves and picturesque cliffsides and caves. You won’t get too close to hear, though, making a stop at the safer sandy beaches of Chileno Bay. Here, you’ll get to rest up on the soft, pillow arena and with an included welcome blanket and an umbrella.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#4. Cabo Pulmo Marine Park Snorkeling and Kayaking


Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Pickup at accomodations
  • Departure Time: 15 minutes before
  • Includes: Round-trip transportation from Los Cabos, experienced guide, park and beach user fees, sit-on-top double kayak, seats, paddles, and lifejackets, mask, snorkel, and fins, beverages and snacks, lunch at a local restaurant, shared dry bag

Things are about to get real exciting with the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park Snorkeling and Kayaking! If you’re on the hunt for an all day long tour instead of just something to occupy you during the morning or afternoon, this is the tour for you. Lasting 9 hours, there is definitely a lot packed in, but by the time you’re back in your accommodations you’re going to be ready for some rest!

Essentially meaning “cape lung”, Cabo Pulmo is a very fertile, rich stretch of land located along the sea in Baja. The protected national park is world-famous for its fantastic vistas, all kinds of interesting wildlife, and basically perfect ocean climate. It is also home to one of only 3 living coral reefs in North America, if you can believe it.

Founded in the 18th century, it sustained many years of abuse due to settlers overfishing along with pollution from the town’s inhabitants. However, since becoming a protected national park in 1995, there’s been an increase in biomass of almost a whopping 500%. These days, you’ll be able to see schools of tropical fish, grouper, jacks, rays, eels, and perhaps even whales or sharks!

Once you arrive in Cabo Pulmo, you’re sure to be enamored with the mountainous desert landscape and the way it sharply contrasts against the sparkling turquoise sea. When you get down to Los Arbolitos beach, they’ll fill you in on the park’s restrictions and it’s here where you’ll receive a brief kayak lesson.

Once you feel confident, you’ll paddle around all the way to La Sirenita beach. On the way, you’ll pass by many different rock structures and a sea lion colony. Upon arrival to the beach, it’s time to jump into the water and start your snorkeling adventure.

The tour includes about 4 hours of snorkeling amongst the sea life, including the colorful coral reefs. You’ll make about 2-3 stops at various snorkeling locations so you don’t get bored and are able to see the most of Cabo. Once you’re done for the day, you’ll head back to the actual town of Cabo Pulmo for a mouthwatering locally-made lunch.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#5. 3-Hour Stand Up Paddle and Snorkel at Los Cabos


Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Departure: In the Santa Maria Bay parking lot or the Oxxo at the exit of the Plaza Gali parking lot, just in front of Sandos Finisterra Hotel. If you’re a cruise ship passenger, walk from the dock to the ship terminal, cross, and you will arrive at the Plaza Gali parking lot. Hotel pickup is available in San José del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, and the corridor. For other locations a meeting point is provided.
  • Departure Time: Varies
  • Includes:  Round-trip transportation and taxes, stand up Paddle board and oar, snorkel gear, bilingual guide (Spanish, English), wetsuit (if needed), refreshments and snacks, life jacket

Contrary to the last tour, if your standard 4-hour snorkeling tour seems too long or cumbersome for you, we have a great alternative. The 3-Hour Stand Up Paddle and Snorkel at Los Cabos is brief yet comes loaded with a big experience. Counting time that you’re not being transported to or from your meeting point, the time in the water is really only about 2.5 hours.

If you’ve never done stand up paddling boarding before, then you’re about to learn quickly! Before you head out onto the water, your guide will give you a thorough lesson to make sure you stay confident and safe on your SUP. It is definitely an artform and takes practice, but that’s part of the fun!

You’ll get to paddle around Los Cabos – even going by the famous Arco! You’ll most likely encounter some sea life, that won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.

After you’ve glided around enough, it’s time to take a break and get into the water! Grab your snorkeling gear and cruise around Pelican Rock, which is a famously tall rock that pelicans, seagulls, and even seals are known to stop and rest. Around this area, you’ll see angelfish, eels, parrotfish, lobster, puffers, and much more!

As the tour does include refreshments (snacks and beverages), you’ll be feeling top-notch throughout the entire time. This is a selection that is great fun for the entire family!

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide

There are many good reasons why TripAdvisor rated Cabo San Lucas one of the best tourist destinations in Mexico for 2019. Where else can you combine mountain views with a vibrant nightlife and then jump on a boat to watch whales in their natural environment?

cabo best whale watching tours reviews

But what you choose to do in this versatile city, locally known as Cabo, is entirely up to you. In the region surrounding Cabo, you can do anything from scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean to ziplining over the beautiful landscape of a national park.

Have you ever dreamed of watching whales in their natural environment? Whales are the most magnificent mammals on Earth, and from December to April, you can see them swimming off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.

Winter is the best time to whale watch in Cabo. Every year, approximately 10,000 humpback whales migrate through the Baja California Sur region.

A Cabo San Lucas whale watching tour is the best opportunity you will ever have to get up-close and personal with the largest mammals on the planet.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join one of the Cabo San Lucas tours and come face-to-face with Mother Nature’s most fascinating creatures.

It is in your best interest to carefully research the local conditions and attractions to ensure you get the most out of your stay in Cabo. This guide can help you start that journey of discovery.

Airports & Entry

Despite being a small city with a population of only 81,000 people, Cabo San Lucas boasts two international airports and is a frequent port of call for pleasure cruises.

If you’re flying into Cabo, you will most likely land at Los Cabos International Airport, which serves the wider metropolitan area of Cabo San Lucas and San José Del Cabo, which is known as Los Cabos.

This busy airport has three terminals and four concourses. Most international flights arrive at Terminal 2, but it is possible your flight could land at Terminal 1.

Inside the airport, you will find a good selection of shops and places to eat as well as ATMs and foreign exchange desks in the arrival areas.

However, note that most shops and the foreign exchange desks only operate from 9 am to 8 pm and the food outlets from 4 am to 7 pm. For free Wi-Fi, connect to the “GAP FREE” network, and charging outlets for your cellphone are located throughout the airport.

For a fee, you can experience the luxury of one of the first-class lounges. Several car rental agencies operate out of the airport.

It is possible but extremely unlikely your flight would arrive at Cabos San Lucas International Airport, which is a much smaller facility than Los Cabos International Airport and does not provide any amenities for tourists.

The downtown marina is a popular stop for all cruises along Mexico’s Riviera. If you arrive on a cruise ship, you should check to ensure your stay in Cabo will be long enough to allow you to enjoy tours like the ones above.

Planning Tips

You deserve to have a really great time in Lanzarote, so here are 6 tips to help you make the most of your visit.

 

Tip #1: If You Want To Whale Watch, Go In Winter

Humpback whales and gray whales congregate in the Sea of Cortez from mid-December to mid-April each year and are often visible from the shore.

They arrive in this region after completing a 6,000-mile migration from Alaska so the pregnant cows can birth their calves in the warm waters near Cabo.

Humpback whales are especially curious about people, so they will frequently approach and circle boats that come close to their pods.

 

Tip #2: Take Your Time To Enjoy All The Attractions Of Los Cabos

Maybe you only want to watch the whales or laze on the beach, but there is a lot more to Cabo than sun and surf. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb a mountain, clamber around some ruins, or zipline across a desert.

And if it’s Nature you love, there are sea lions around El Arco and turtles below the old lighthouse. Check out the brief list of attractions below.

 

Tip #3: Book Tour Tickets In Advance, Especially During Winter

Because Cabo is a popular destination, you will find the tours and attractions busy, especially from October to May when the climate is ideal.

To ensure you don’t miss out, book in advance. This applies not only to the tours described above but any attractions. It would be a shame if you missed your opportunity to come face-to-face with a humpback whale because the tours were fully booked.

Because many tours offer a 24-hour-in-advance free cancellation, you take no financial risk booking before you fly. Ask about free cancellation before booking.

 

Tip #4: Book Your Ride From The Airport In Advance

The taxis at Los Cabos International Airport are expensive, especially if you’re headed to Cabo San Lucas, which is 30 miles away. However, some hotels operate a shuttle service.

If you haven’t yet arranged your hotel, look out for this feature. Alternatively, pre-booking a vehicle with an independent company, like All Ways Cabo Transportation or Cabo Shuttle Services, would be more affordable than jumping in a cab.

 

Tip #5: Buy Local Craft Souvenirs

If you want to buy your friends and relatives something unique, check out La Coyota. It’s a shopping village specializing in local arts and crafts, like local art, hand-crafted glass, Mexican ceramics, and hand-embroidered clothing.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Because Cabo San Lucas is a seaport, it’s only to be expected that many of the local foods are seafood based.

The fish tacos from the Baja California Peninsula are world-famous, and smoked marlin is especially popular in Los Cabos. Other popular foods include squid, crab, stingray, abalone, lobster, and shrimp, to name but a few.

An unusual marine dish is the Chocolate Clam (Almejas Chocolatas). The freshly harvested shellfish is covered in a locally-sourced herb called romerito and cooked on a stone bed.

You eat the herb as an aperitif while the clam is cooking. Another strangely named dish is Comida de Pobres (Food for the Poor), which is seafood soup, rice, and beans, eaten alongside corn flour tortillas.

Chicken tamales fajados, made with chicken, olives, raisins, and olive oil, and tamales de Guemes, also prepared with chicken or pork, are popular.

It is traditional to serve Damiana Liquor (brewed from the Damiana plant using sugar cane) or Clamato (a clam and tomato drink) with food.

Damiana Liquor is reputed to be an aphrodisiac and was originally used by the Guaycura Native Americans in their ritual ceremonies.

There are many popular restaurants around Cabo serving traditional foods, but one that stands out is The Office On The Beach, which you can find on Medano Beach.

This busy establishment offers traditional foods, like Mexican steaks, Baja-style shrimp, and burritos, especially for tourists, and is literally on the beach.

This famous restaurant was established in the 1970s before tourism began to flourish. As well as local food, it offers live entertainment in the evenings and a beautiful view.

However, because this restaurant specifically caters to tourists, you will find it expensive compared to other, less well-known food outlets.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Given that TripAdvisor rated Cabo San Lucas the 3rd best tourist destination in Mexico for 2019, it’s not surprising to discover Cabo boasts a vibrant nightlife.

It also offers a wide variety of exciting activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, boat charter, horse-riding, popular beaches, and, of course, whale-watching cruises.

There is even a bi-weekly, English-language newspaper called Gringo Gazette, which provides information about what’s going on for tourists.

If you love the clubbing scene, you’ve hit gold in Cabo. In this tiny city, you will find more nightclubs than you can visit in one holiday, including El Squid Roe, Hard Rock Café,

The Jungle Bar, Tiki Bar, Giggling Marlin, Pink Kitty, and the famous Cabo Wabo Cantina founded by Sammy Hagar, a former member of Van Halen. Note that the legal drinking age is 18! There’s a good reason Cabo San Lucas is dubbed Cabo San Loco.

However, if you prefer a quiet life, there are many late-night cafés and low-key bars for a relaxed ambiance and fun night.

Getting Around

Because most attractions are clustered around the downtown area, it’s easiest to get around on foot and take taxis to visit places further afield. However, taxis in Cabo are expensive.

If you plan to visit places outside of downtown, car-hire or local buses would be more economical. For something a little more adventurous, take a scenic water taxi from the marina to one of the beaches. The small local buses are super cheap,

Accommodations

Most tourists visiting Cabo stay in one of the hotels along the Los Cabos Corridor, which is a stretch of the southern coastline of the Baja California Peninsula between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.

The standard and cost of the hotels vary from the affordable Hyatt Place Los Cabos up to the plush Grand Velas Los Cabos, with its infinity pools, whirlpool tubs, and 8 restaurants.

Outside of the Los Cabos Corridor, a good number of hotels are scattered to the west of Cabo in Paraiso Escondido.

Many of the hotels with a reputation for being quiet and relaxing are found around there, like the adult-only Pueblo Bonita Pacifica Resort and Spa and the child-friendly Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort and Spa.

In the center of Cabo are several small and affordable, quiet hotels, like The Bungalows Hotel, which has only 16 rooms but is within walking distance of the marina and downtown.

Weather

If you love the sun, you’ll love Cabo, which averages over 350 days of sunshine every year. Realistically, all you need to worry about is using enough sunscreen.

The geographical position of Cabo on the end of the peninsular also means that during summer you’ll find the Sea of Cortez coastline and San José Del Cabo approximately 50F warmer than the Pacific coastline and Cabo San Lucas.

The average temperature ranges from 640F in January to 850F in August. And if you plan on taking a dip in the Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Cortez, you’ll be delighted to hear the average water temperature ranges from a warm 710F in February up to an impressive 850F in September.

Cabo lacks the unpleasant tropical humidity of some other Mexican resorts because it enjoys an arid tropical desert climate.

However, it is north of other tourist hotspots so expect cool evenings and pack accordingly, especially during the winter months. Check the weather forecast before planning your trip because Cabo sometimes experiences hurricanes.

Hurricanes result in long periods of heavy rain, though the usual summer thunderstorms don’t come close enough to Cabo to bring rain.

The peak tourist season in Cabo is from October to May because the weather is neither too hot nor too cold and rain is rare.

Attractions

The whales swimming in the Pacific Ocean are not the only attraction around Cabo San Lucas. Beyond the beautiful beaches and popular nightclubs, you will also find a range of natural and man-made attractions to tempt you away from the poolside.

The most famous landmark in Cabo is El Arco, a three-stories-tall sea arch formed by natural seawater erosion of the cliffs. El Arco de Cabo San Lucas stands on the end of a promontory know as Land’s End to the east of the marina.

This natural rock formation is so well known that its image is utilized in advertising by local businesses. Because it is scenic and frequented by sea lions, it has become a popular sightseeing spot.

The two popular beaches nearby are dubbed Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach.

You can snap breathtaking, panoramic photographs of Los Cabos from the summit of Mount Solmar. Hiking to the top takes 30 minutes.

If you time yourself to arrive at sunset, you can take amazing photographs over the Pacific Ocean that your Instagram followers will love. The climb is steep but relatively easy. However, wear sensible shoes rather than sandals, because it can be dusty and rocky, and apply sunscreen and carry plenty of water.

Three miles from Cabo stands the abandoned lighthouse of El Faro de Cabo Falso (Lighthouse of the False Cape). This fascinating ruin may only be visited by foot, horseback, or in a 4×4 vehicle.

This guardian of the port of Cabo San Lucas was built in 1890 and protected ships from 1895 to 1961. The ruin stands on a base 500 feet above the sea, providing a spectacular view of the ocean and a shipwreck. Turtles lay eggs on the beach below.

But if an adrenaline rush is more your scene, look out for the many zipline adventures around the Los Cabos area, including the Superman Zipline, reputed to be Mexico’s fastest, highest, and longest zipline ride.

The Superman zips you 1,800 feet over the top of UNESCO monitored Boca de Sierra National Park.

Tours are available to many of the local attractions. Watch out for “Tours en Los Cabos” signs around the city.

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