Best Swimmable Beaches in Cabo

Cabo Best Swimming Beaches - Lovers Beach
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Los Cabos is lined with stunning beaches. But many of the local beaches are not suitable for swimming. Looking for swimming beaches in Cabo? Read on!

Is the ocean water warm in Cabo? Swimming in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo is possible year-round but the water is definitely warmer in the summer months. Ocean water temperatures in Los Cabos range from about 70ºF in winter to 85ºF in late summer (that’s around 20-27ºC).

What time of year is best to swim in Cabo? The coldest water temperatures are during peak tourist season from January to June (70ºF), while the warmest water months are usually August, September and October (80ºF+). However ocean swimming conditions will also depend on the air temperatures, wave size and winds. Swimming in Los Cabos is possible year-round if you want to swim in the pool! Many resorts have heated pools with nice warm water (and maybe a swim up bar too!).

Here is a map with the best swimming beaches in Cabo:

7 Best Swimming Beaches in the Cabo Area

Swimmable beach in Cabo San Lucas - Playa El Medano
Photo by Josh Withers

Playa El Medano

El Medano is a beautiful Cabo San Lucas swimmable beach that is easily accessible from many resorts and the downtown area. You’ll find vendors selling all kinds of things, beach umbrellas for rent, and restaurants on the sand. Playa Medano is one of the best beaches in Los Cabos for swimming but still be mindful of the waves and currents.

Medano Beach can get crowded with tourists, and some prefer a quieter experience. However Medano is one of the most popular Cabo beaches for swimming due to its easy accessibility and fun activities. It’s also a nice long beach with soft sand perfect for taking a sunset walk.

Playa El Medano is probably the most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas. There are many places to stay nearby including Hotel Riu, Casa Dorada Resort, and Villa del Arco Beach Resort. Breathless Resort and Hacienda Beach Club are down at the far end of the beach near the marina. This is a great area to stay in Cabo San Lucas without a car.

Playa Chileno

Chileno beach has lovely white sand on a quiet bay. It is a popular beach with snorkelers who swim out from the beach or arrive by boat. You can rent chairs and umbrellas from the beach vendors, and there are bathroom facilities as well. There usually aren’t vendors selling food or drinks so pack your own. Chileno is one of the most popular Los Cabos swimming beaches. This beach can get very busy in the afternoon so come early to avoid crowds. Playa Chileno is easy to reach if you have your own car, there is free public parking. Otherwise you can take Uber or a taxi.

Chileno Bay Resort is next to the beach and offers luxury lodging next to one of the top beaches to swim in Cabo San Lucas.

Playa Santa Maria

A rocky and sandy beach on a hidden bay, Santa Maria is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon and do some Cabo ocean swimming. It is much quieter than El Medano as it is further from downtown and most of the resorts. The snorkeling is great here! There aren’t vendors so you’ll want to pack your own drinks, snacks, shade and snorkel gear. There are public restrooms available.

If you have your own car you can easily get there from your accommodations, or you can reach Santa Maria beach by taxi. Be sure to get their phone number for easy return pick up. Of course Uber and other ride-sharing apps are also possible.

Love Playa Santa Maria and want to stay nearby? The Montage is right there but it’s a more pricey option. However it might be the best Cabo hotel with swimmable beach.

Best swimmable beaches in Cabo Playa El Medano
Image by Karen

Playa Empacadora

Also known as Cannery Beach and Playa Coral Negro, Playa Empacadora is a small sandy beach next to the marina. Cannery Beach is one of the best beaches in Cabo San Lucas for swimming. It is popular with locals and easily accessible. The water is calmer here so it is a great place to bring smaller kids. The snorkeling is not bad, and there are some vendors with chairs and umbrellas. If you want to take a boat ride out to the El Arco or Lover’s Beach, do a snorkeling tour, or go fishing, the marina is next door.

Playa Palmilla

A gorgeous beach with soft white sand, Playa Palmilla is the perfect place to spend the day. Get there early to secure one of the palapas and get a good parking spot. Palmilla is one of the best swimming beaches close to San Jose del Cabo. It is possible to walk to the beach from the resorts of San Jose del Cabo at low tide if you don’t mind a long walk. Otherwise the beach is reachable by car, taxi or bus. There is a Ruta del Desierto bus stop at the main road, from there it is a few minutes walk to Palmilla Beach.

One of the best Cabo hotels with swimmable beach is the fabulous fancy One&Only Palmilla. The Cabo Surf Hotel is not too far away or you can also rent a house in the area.

Best beaches in Cabo San Lucas for swimming - lovers beach
Photo by Ernesto Norman

Playa de los Amantes

The easiest way to access Playa de los Amantes, also known as Lover’s Beach, is by water taxi. This gorgeous spot for swimming in the sea is one of the most popular places to visit in Los Cabos. You can also access the beach on foot via the Solimar Resort but be prepared for hiking and rock scrambling. A water taxi from the marina should cost around $200MXN per person round trip. You can also visit the beach with a tour and some will even pick you up directly at your resort or hotel. Bring drinks and snacks with you, there are few vendors on this remote beach and no facilities at all.

You can walk over to Divorce Beach on the Pacific side. This beach is not safe for swimming. The waves are rough and sometimes you’ll find huge rogue waves that splash high on the rocks. It’s spectacular but be careful.

Los Cabos ocean swimming - Cabo Pulmo National Park
Photo by Alejandro Hernández-Morales

Cabo Pulmo

If you have your own vehicle, an adventure to Cabo Pulmo is a great way to spend a day or two…or three! Cabo Pulmo National Park is a marine reserve and UNESCO Heritage Site. There are several gorgeous beaches within this area, some are rocky and others have softer sand. Please be sure to pack out all your trash to protect this unique environment.

The reef at Cabo Pulmo is the northernmost coral reef in the eastern Pacific, and one of only three living reefs in North America (the others are the Florida barrier reef and Mesoamerican reef near Cancun). The snorkeling and diving are incredible, many say it is the best in Baja. Stop in the small village to find snorkel tours and scuba boat operators.

Cabo Pulmo National Park is about 100km (62 miles) north of Cabo San Lucas. Most of the two hour drive is on a well-maintained highway but once you exit the main road access is by dirt roads. Drive carefully and only travel during daylight hours. Watch for potholes and “topes” or speed bumps.

Many people like to camp near the beaches in this area so you might see quite a few RVs and vans. If you don’t have your own camper and want to stay near Cabo Pulmo here are a few local lodgings we recommend:

  • Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort
  • Bunglaows Cabo Pulmo
  • Villa del Faro
  • Eco Retreat
  • Hotel Bahia los Frailes
Los Cabos swimming beaches

Frequently Asked Questions About Cabo Beaches

  • Are there swimmable beaches in Cabo San Lucas? Yes there are. Some of the best swimming beaches within Cabo San Lucas are Playa El Medano and Playa Empacadora.
  • Is it safe to swim at Cabo beach? Most of the beaches in Los Cabos are not suitable for swimming. An exception to this is the beach at El Medano which is close to many resorts and hotels in Cabo San Lucas. Take note of the warning flags at many beaches. Green denotes safe swimming, yellow means use caution and red and black signify dangerous conditions. A purple flag means that stinging jellyfish are in the water. Check the informational signs too if they are present.
  • What beaches are not swimmable in Cabo? The beaches that are in front of the San Jose del Cabo resorts like Playa Hotelera and Playa Ocampo have very strong currents and heavy waves and are not safe for swimming. Other Cabo beaches that are not swimmable include the southwest end of Costa Azul which is however, popular for surfing. Playa del Divorcio is famous for fabulous rock formations but the sea is extremely rough here. Swim at nearby Lover’s Beach instead.
  • Why are most beaches in Cabo not swimmable? The rip currents – sometimes called rip tides – are very strong at the Cabo beaches. These currents can quickly pull swimmers away from the shore. The waves can also be rough and pound the sand with a lot of force, another reason that many Cabo beaches are not swimmable. Some days are calmer than others, so check the warning flags and know your own abilities.

Would you like to do some whale watching in Cabo? Check out our guide here! Have a fantastic time in Los Cabos!