While it’s true that the Sea of Cortez isn’t filled with the same tropical coral reefs that you’ll find in Hawaii or the Caribbean, there are still plenty of colorful fish and unique marine animals under the sea in Los Cabos — making a snorkeling excursion in Cabo San Lucas one of the best activities to enjoy during your vacation! In fact, the Sea of Cortez was once nicknamed the “World’s Aquarium” because of the abundance of marine life that can be found beneath the water’s surface.
Before planning a Cabo snorkeling adventure, read the following information to learn everything you need to know about snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas — including the best Cabo snorkeling tours!
Marine Life in Cabo San Lucas
The natural rock formations where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez provide the perfect home for an abundance of sea life, including tropical fish species like parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, pufferfish, eels, sea urchins, and starfish — just to name a few.
However, while snorkeling or scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas, you’ll also have the chance to see larger wildlife, including dolphins, giant manta rays, sea lions, and sea turtles. During the whale-watching season from December to April, it’s even possible to see humpback whales and other whale species!
Best Snorkeling Spots in Cabo San Lucas
1. Land’s End & Pelican Rock
Land’s End is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in Cabo San Lucas for more experienced swimmers, and it’s just a short boat ride from the Cabo San Lucas Marina. One of the best places for snorkeling at Land’s End is Pelican Rock — not only will you find incredible sea life under the water’s surface, but there is also a good chance you’ll spot a sea lion colony hanging out on Pelican Rock while you’re here!
2. Lover’s Beach (Playa de Amore)
Though Lover’s Beach is not far from Land’s End, the pristine water here is generally calm, making it a top snorkeling destination for beginners. Although you can only reach Lovers Beach via boat or water taxi, it’s one of the best places for snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas and also offers the best view of El Arco — the region’s most famous natural landmark.
3. Santa Maria Beach (Playa Santa Maria)
Santa Maria Bay is located in the Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. It’s undoubtedly one of the best beaches for snorkeling in Cabo — in fact, you’ll stop at this public beach on almost every snorkeling tour boat circuit in Los Cabos.
Santa Maria Cove at Playa Santa Maria is a particularly great snorkeling spot. You’ll see plenty of craggy rock formations and submerged rocks here that provide the perfect hiding spot for hundreds of tropical fish. Plus, the water here is calm enough for swimming, making it a great spot for snorkeling since you’ll be shielded from dangerous ocean swells.
4. Chileno Beach (Playa Chileno)
Chileno Beach is another popular stop on snorkeling tours in Los Cabos and is located between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Chileno Bay offers crystal-clear waters, incredible coral formations, and tons of unique marine animals, including rays, fish, eels, and more. If you’re looking for the most “authentic” coral reef experience with the closest proximity to Cabo San Lucas — head to Chileno Bay!
5. Cabo Pulmo National Park
Although Cabo Pulmo National Park is technically a two-hour drive from Los Cabos, it’s definitely the premier snorkeling and diving destination on the Baja California Peninsula and is worth a visit during your vacation. In this protected national park, you’ll have the chance to swim with rare wildlife, including sea lions, eels, snappers, sea turtles, rays, and hundreds of tropical fish.
The waters can get choppy during windy conditions, so be careful while snorkeling at this popular snorkel spot. The best months for snorkeling at Cabo Pulmo National Park are generally October, November, and December when the waters are calmest after the hurricane season.
Best Cabo Snorkeling Tours
Trying to choose a snorkeling tour in Cabo San Lucas — but torn on which snorkeling experience is best? No problem. We recommend choosing from the following top-rated tour providers for the best snorkeling tours in Cabo.
Cabo Adventures offers nearly a dozen snorkeling tours — giving you plenty of options to choose from!
You can spot the playful sea lions on a snorkeling tour to Land’s End and Lover’s Beach (with an extra stop in Chileno Bay), go on a full-day snorkeling expedition to Cabo Pulmo National Park, or even swim with the magnificent whale sharks in La Paz. You’ll find a fabulous snorkeling tour from Cabo Adventures regardless of your budget or interests.
Cabo Sailing offers small group and private snorkeling tours on yachts, sailboats, and luxury yachts. Most cruises last about three hours and include stops at either Pelican Rock, Santa Maria Bay, or Chileno Bay. Each snorkeling tour also includes a light lunch and an unlimited premium bar for a fun and relaxing day on the boat.
Cabo Outfitters offers several snorkeling tours at popular spots in Cabo San Lucas, including Lover’s Beach, Cabo Pulmo, and Land’s End. Most snorkeling tours include kayaking, and some even include a local lunch, so you’ll get great value for your money on a snorkeling tour with Cabo Outfitters.
FAQs: Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas
Should I bring my own snorkeling gear to Cabo?
You don’t need to bring your own snorkel gear to Cabo since most snorkeling tours and all-inclusive resorts will provide or rent you snorkeling equipment. However, if you want to be able to snorkel anywhere at any time, you might prefer to have your own snorkeling gear on-hand so you don’t have to book a snorkeling tour or wait on equipment rentals.
When is the best time of year for snorkeling in Cabo?
The water temperature in Cabo San Lucas begins to drop in December and starts warming up in April, making May through November the best months for snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas. If it’s too chilly to get in the water to snorkel, consider other fun, family-friendly activities in Cabo San Lucas, like whale watching or kayaking.
Enjoy Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas on a Memorable Vacation with Cabo Rentals by Jane
If you’d like to see marine life up close and personal, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and manta rays — snorkeling is one of the best ways to spend a day (or two!) during your vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
If you’re still looking for somewhere to stay in Cabo, we would love to host you in one of our gorgeous penthouses, panoramic oceanfront villas, or beachfront properties at the Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa. We’re located next to many of the best snorkeling spots in Cabo, including Lover’s Beach and Land’s End, and just a short boat ride away from other popular snorkeling locations in Cabo.