Home Beaches 5 Swimmable Beaches in Cabo San Lucas [+ which to avoid]

5 Swimmable Beaches in Cabo San Lucas [+ which to avoid]

by Lisa Stentvedt
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Welcome to Cabo San Lucas – or Cabo as it is often known as! If you are looking for the best swimmable beaches in Cabo, this is the guide for you.

As you take in the golden sand, blue waters, and the beach vibes, it’s hard not to resist the temptation to dive right in. However, not all Cabo beaches are safe to swim in.

Cabo has a range of beaches, each with its unique charm and activities. From deserted coves to bustling daytime beaches, I’ve compiled a list of the best swim-friendly beaches in Cabo San Lucas.

Whether you want to relax at one of the many Cabo beach clubs or visit some of the more remote beaches, you’ll find it here. Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and let’s jump in!

Quick Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide

Where to stay: Hotels and resorts in Cabo are located along a “Tourist Corridor”, similar to Cancun’s hotel zone. The Grand Fiesta Americana is a beautiful All-Inclusive resort (read my review of their Cancun location here). The Cabo Tortuga Boutique Hotel is a 3* hotel with a high traveller rating on Booking.com. If you are visiting Cabo San Lucas on a budget, the Sofia Hostel Cabo is a great option.

Where to eat: The highest rated restaurant in the area is Metate Cabo. According to Eater, the best cafe is Taller 17. Keep in mind that all of the Cabo beach clubs on this list also serve food, and thus are popular places to eat.

Top activities and tours in Cabo San Lucas:

Packing for Cabo San Lucas: Cabo is a warm destination, so pack light, comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Toms and flip-flops are ideal. Don’t forget a swimsuit, and of course reef-safe sunscreen (very important). Here’s my complete Cabo packing list.

Getting there from the airport: The airport in Cabo (SJD) is just a 40 minute drive from most hotels in town. You can book a roundtrip shuttle for just $43, or consider a more luxurious, private transfer for your group.

Aren’t all beaches in Cabo swimmable?

Alright, let’s start with some of the more serious stuff here.

You might be wondering, “Why can’t I just swim in any beach I stumble upon in Cabo?” Well, here’s the deal. Some beaches in Cabo are notorious for their strong undertows, steep drop-offs and even rip currents.

This means that one second, you’re sipping your Piña Colada in waist-deep water, and the next, you’re auditioning for a role in the Cast Away sequel.

Thus, it’s always a good idea to stick to the swim-friendly beaches I’m covering in this post. Safety first.

Luckily, the beaches that are not safe to swim at are clearly marked with red flags and signs.

The Cabo Beach Golden Rule

The Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet in Cabo San Lucas, and this is what creates some of the currents and rip tides in the ocean there.

The golden rule for swimming on the beaches of Cabo is simple; stick to the Sea of Cortez side.

This side of Cabo is known for its calmer, swimmer-friendly waters and well, less chance of getting in trouble.

So, unless you have Aquaman-like swimming skills or a peculiar passion for living on the edge, take my advice and stay in the serene Sea of Cortez.

The 5 Best Swimmable Beaches in Cabo San Lucas

Now, let’s get to the star of the show – the list of swimmable beaches in Cabo (that are as safe as they are stunning).

From tranquil turquoise waters to bustling beachside bars, these gems provide the ideal settings for everything from a leisurely swim to a perfect beach day.

Some of the beaches in Cabo are even Blue Flag beaches.

As with most of my listicles, the list below is in no particular order. All the beaches are great, just different.

#1 Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach)

Considered one of the most famous beaches in Cabo San Lucas, Lover’s Beach is a must-visit attraction for all beach lovers. In spite of its popularity, it has a secluded and remote feel – since it can only be reached by boat!

The beach is a short water taxi ride away from the Cabo Marina and sits in a secluded cove, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.

You can spend hours at the beach, swimming in the turquoise waters, soaking up the sun, and enjoying views of the iconic El Arco rock formation.

As there are no amenities on Lover’s Beach, make sure to pack water and snacks for your visit.

Getting to Lover’s Beach

Head to the Cabo San Lucas Marina to hail a water taxi across. Prices are negotiable, so you have to be prepared for a little haggling (or just accept the price you are given).

Expect to pay between $10-30 per person, depending on how many people you are. For just one person you are likely to pay at least $20 for the taxi across.

Please note that certain times a day it is not possible to access the beach due to the tide. Always listen to the locals, and if a boat taxi says they’re not able to take you at a certain time, assume they are right.

#2 Chileno Bay Beach

Located on the Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, Chileno Bay Beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Side note: The “tourist corridor” is similar to Cancun’s hotel zone, for those that are familiar with it.

The beach boasts clear waters, sandy shores, and a coral reef system that attracts an array of marine life, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling and swimming.

Chileno Beach has convenient amenities such as bathrooms, showers, and palapas to rent if you want to chill in the shade.

There is also a lifeguard on duty here in the daytime. Always listen to the lifeguard’s prompts, and follow the flags to the areas where it is safer to swim. Know that different parts of the beach can have different coloured flags.

Side note (important): There is an undercurrent from time to time at Chileno beach, that affects the possibility to swim there. Always watch the flags for the section of the beach you are at. Whilst one area may be green or yellow, just a few hundred feet over the flag could be red.

Further down I have gone into more details about the flag system.

#3 El Medano Beach

If you’re looking for a more lively beach scene, Medano Beach has got you covered. The beach is the “main beach” in town, situated right in the heart of Cabo San Lucas.

It is lined with beach clubs, restaurants, and bars, where you can sip on a margarita or enjoy some fresh seafood. Medano beach is also perfect for swimming, with its calm waters and a gentle slope in most places.

Note: I say “most places”, as there are some areas of the beach that are not as good for swimming as others. As always, take note of the flags.

If you don’t want to stay in the water, you can always rent a beach chair and soak up some sun or try your hand at one of the many water sports on offer. Jet skis, kayak rentals, banana boat rides are all available for rent along the beach.

If you’re looking for something low-key but still fun, Medano Beach also has a number of beach games you can play with your friends or family. From volleyball to paddleball, there’s something for everyone!

Medano Beach is the perfect beach to have some fun in the sun and make some unforgettable memories!

Read next: The best beach clubs in Cabo

An aerial shot of Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, with the sun setting in the top right photo of the image.

#4 Santa Maria Beach

Santa Maria Beach is a great spot if you’re looking for an idyllic setting. It is a smaller and slightly more secluded beach located on the Tourist Corridor, near Chileno Bay (above).

The beach is popular for its crystal-clear waters and colorful marine life, making it perfect for diving and snorkelling.

You can snorkel in the rocky areas, swim in the calm waters, or lounge on the sandy shores. The beach also has restrooms, showers, and a small snack bar.

Below are a few tours that take you to the beautiful Santa Maria beach.

#5 Palmilla Beach

Palmilla Beach is also located on the Tourist Corridor, and is known for its calm and shallow waters. This makes the beach perfect for families with children visiting Cabo.

The beach also has amenities such as restrooms, showers, and palapas for shade. You can take a dip in the ocean, play some beach volleyball, or simply relax on the beach.

There is also a variety of water sports and activities available on Palmilla Beach, including jet skiing, kayaking, and even a glass bottom boat tour!

If you are looking for something to do after the sun sets, there’s a nice beachfront restaurant located at the end of the beach.

Non-swimmable beaches in Cabo San Lucas

As you now know, there are some great swimmable beaches in Cabo. However, there is one where you can’t swim – and some that close from time to time.

I’ve included these just so you don’t make the mistake of going swimming on either of them. As mentioned, rip currents, big waves and steep ocean floor drops can be very dangerous. Always respect red and white flags.

Top tip: the red flag means you are not allowed to swim on the beach at all. The white flag means to swim with caution due to potentially dangerous aquatic life. This could mean anything from jellyfish to sharks – so I would personally not swim when a white flag is out.

Divorce Beach

Now, don’t let the name of Divorce Beach scare you off, folks. Truth is, it’s just as beautiful as its blissfully wedded counterpart, Lover’s Beach.

Divorce Beach is nestled right next to it on the Pacific side, which, in contrast to the tranquil Sea of Cortez, is a wild, untamed beast.

Gorgeous to look at, sure, but don’t even think about taking a dip. The currents here are turbulent and dangerous.

So, come for the breathtaking views, the epic rock formations, and the Instagram-worthy sunsets, but leave your swimsuit at the hotel.

Temporarily closed/non-swimmable beaches

From time to time, the local government of Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo close the beaches. This can be due to incoming storms, extreme weather, or strong undercurrents certain times a year.

The flag system is actively used, and so it is extremely important that you always take note of the flag on the section of the beach you are at.

The flags mean the following:

  • White flag: There is dangerous aquatic life nearby/present in the water.
  • Green flag: The beach is open and you can safely swim.
  • Yellow flag: The beach is open, swim with caution.
  • Red flag: The beach is open, but swimming is prohibited.
  • Black flag: The beach is closed. No swimming, and no hanging out on the beach.

Note that a flag can change from one area of the beach to another. Always pay attention, as the flag colours can change at short notice.

As long as you listen to the lifeguards on duty and adhere to the flags, you’ll be safe swimming in Cabo.

Resorts with swimmable beaches in Cabo

If you are seeking an all-inclusive getaway, there are several resorts in the area with swimmable beaches.

  • The Grand Velas Los Cabos offers luxurious oceanfront suites and amenities, as well as two pools and access to its private beach.
  • The Riu Palace Baja California sits on a secluded beach where guests can enjoy swimming or lounging by the pool. It is also an adult-exclusive hotel.
  • Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa is another great option for all-inclusive stays in Cabo San Lucas, offering direct access to a pristine beach and world-class spa services.

All of the above offer stunning views of the Sea of Cortez and provide an unforgettable vacation experience.

Other excellent choices include Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf and Spa Resort and Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa. With so many amazing resorts to choose from in this stunning destination, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next beach vacation!

Swimmable beaches in Cabo FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about the beaches of Cabo San Lucas. I have done my best to answer them! If one is left out, please leave a comment and I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

Are there any swimmable beaches in Cabo?

Yes. Medano beach is the most well-known swimmable beach in Cabo, but Lover’s Beach is also popular.

What beaches are not swimmable in Cabo San Lucas?

Divorce beach is not swimmable.

What side of Cabo can you swim in?

The Sea of Cortez side is the best side of Cabo to swim in.

Why are beaches in Cabo not swimmable?

Due to undercurrents, riptides, strong waves and dangerous aquatic life such as jellyfish.

Is it dangerous to swim in Cabo?

No, it is not dangerous to swim in the right places.

Which resorts have swimmable beaches in Cabo San Lucas?

Most of the resorts along Medano Beach have swimmable beaches.

Navigating the Swimmable and Non-Swimmable Waves of Cabo

To sum up, Cabo San Lucas has some of the best beaches in Mexico, and as a traveler, you don’t want to miss out on swimming in any of them.

Whether you’re looking for buzzing beach parties or peaceful coves, Cabo has it all. So pack your beach bag, slather on some sunscreen, and visit the best swim-friendly beaches in Cabo San Lucas.

Remember, always pay attention to the ocean’s warning signs, do not swim alone, and have fun in the sun!

Read next: What to pack and wear in Cabo San Lucas

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