One of the great things about Los Cabos and Baja Sur is that you can find uncrowded beaches where you can enjoy sunbathing and even surfing and snorkeling in many of them. Starting in the Todos Santos area, one great option is to head out to La Pastora beach. Going to this beach is a great experience because you have to go through the magical town of Todos Santos. Refer to the Baja Sur map at the beginning of this issue for more clear and detailed directions.
Driving through “Todos”, as many locals call this town, is really nice because the streets and buildings are quite beautiful. It is very historic, sporty, cultural and artistic, besides being abundant in organic farming. Also, on your way through, you may stop for a delicious breakfast at any of the numerous cafeterias and restaurants that offer the freshest ingredients in their traditional recipes and new culinary creations as well. Ask anyone in town the way to La Pastora beach as it is very well known. On your way out of town, you will drive next to some of the mango groves before entering the community of Las Tunas. Drive north on that road for about four or five miles until reaching La Pastora beach. This is a great surf point too. It breaks left and right. There are many palm trees and beautiful river rocks on this on this beach and if you stay until sunset, you will be even more amazed by this spot.
Before talking about other cool beaches, I would like to recommend a few basic things to take on these beach outings. Firstly, all the spots I will tell you about do not require a 4 x 4 vehicle to access them, any rental vehicle will do fine. So maybe pack a cooler with a picnic, unless you plan to make all your meals at local establishments or beach clubs along your day trip. If not, just a cooler with some snacks like diced fruit, dried fruits, nuts, potato chips, cold beverages and water is all you need. A very basic picnic idea is to buy some corn tostadas, some avocados, tomatoes and fresh ranch cheese at any local market and just with a knife and spoon prepare yourself a great lunch. Have some napkins and a trash bag too. Take all the usual things like a hat, camera, umbrella, beach chairs, towels, and beach toys like a kite, frisbee, football or soccer balls, etc. To make it a super relaxing outing, take some of those inflatable beach lounges that are very popular these days. To hydrate your skin and protect from the sun, pure coconut oil is a wonderful choice. No need to mention surfboards and the whole surf kit if that is the plan. Finally, have a working phone for sure and some reading material perhaps.
Continuing just south of Todos Santos are a couple of great solitary beaches. The first one is called Las Palmas and you can find it on km 57 off Highway 19 on the map. This is a palm tree oasis and is famous for a few wild horses that live there. Maybe you’ll see them in the sand or in the dirt trails through the palm trees. This is a very uncrowded beach and the water conditions are usually strong, like powerful rip currents and waves. So be very cautious when getting your feet wet. It breaks sometimes but is recommended only for experienced surfers.
Two kilometers south on km 59 on the map, you will find one of my favorite beaches that I have told you about before, and it is San Pedrito beach. This beach is fantastic for surfing, breaking both right and left. There is a river rock bottom with a little estuary close by. It has a very nice vibe and a few local residents of the beautiful homes are there always enjoying the sand and sea.
Of course, Cerritos beach must be mentioned here even though it is one of the most popular beaches around. But one of the good things about Cerritos is that even if it has people, you can feel spaced out and set up far from other camps. Furthermore, if you go there for sunrise and early morning beach time you will find it quite uncrowded, especially during the work week. Cerritos is on km 65 just south of San Pedrito beach and nearby Pescadero town. This is an amazing beach for the family and for surfing. It has a right point break, and many beach break peaks that go left and right.
Then, all the way south to the tip of the Baja Peninsula, in the Los Cabos area, there are a few options to get some beach time with little crowds. A classic choice is to take a sunrise water taxi out to Lover’s beach from the Cabo San Lucas marina or Medano beach. An astonishing beach as you can snorkel in the Sea of Cortez side, and also walk on the sand through the rock formations to the Pacific Ocean side called Divorce beach. By mid-morning this beach will receive many visitors as it is one of the most popular beaches of Baja.
Another uncrowded beach, especially on workweek days, right in the middle of Los Cabos is El Tule beach on km 15.5 off Highway 1. It is a very wide-open beach which is the end of a dry river bed or “arroyo”. I recommend setting your beach camp at either end of the beach. On the north end, you will find some nice rock formations that will provide shade part of the day. This is a surf break with a river rock bottom and breaks mostly right but also left. As always, if you are not a surfer or avid waterman always be cautious, at all the beaches mentioned in this article, of water conditions and don’t get in the ocean unless you feel comfortable and the conditions are within your limits. But nevertheless, even if you are just walking near the shoreline or just dipping your toes in the water, be observant and aware of riptides and strong waves, as they are sometimes sudden and quick and may surprise you. Respect is the key word and fun is inevitable when this is your approach.
A few miles north on km 19.5 at the site of the Hilton hotel, you can have access to one of my favorite beaches. The hotel will let you have access through the side road and you can park nearby. I love this beach because it is quite extensive, and even though the hotel buildings are there, the amount of people on the beach is not large and are scattered throughout. But I love it especially because it has a little bay occurring from the boulder swell protection barrier. It is a great spot for swimming and floating effortlessly in the ebb and flow.
Now, on to an all-time classic for everyone – Palmilla beach. Located on km 27 of Highway 1, this is a very popular beach. The great thing is that you can set up your camp far down the beach and feel some privacy. Workweek days are the best days there and for sure on weekends it will be crowded. Palmilla beach is nice for snorkeling, SUP, swimming and family fun. Maybe you are there when the fishermen come back and buy a delicious fish from them for your dinner later that day.
Right in San Jose del Cabo, just north of Palmilla, you can access a beach right in the hotel zone that is usually uncrowded. It is a great option if you are staying in San Jose and want to spend some time in a beach nearby with a lot of space to play and hang out. The access is the side road next to the Mayan Palace hotel in the Paseo Malecon Blvd. and there is parking available. No surf breaks and no swimming here this time of year. In the winter, it can be very calm and perfect for swimming.
Last but not least, there is a spot with a nice wide beach very close to the big store called La Comer in San Jose. The access is right across from the Honda dealership on the main highway. You enter through a dirt road that is on the side of a nice beach club which you will easily see. I have fond memories of this beach because my son was born twelve years ago in a little beach house right there!
So there you have a few options to do a fun beach outing a little bit out of the norm. There are many more cool beaches to explore and in future issues I’ll tell you about those. There are some great spots in the East Cape and more north into the Sea of Cortez towards Los Frailes and Cabo Pulmo and then on to La Ribera and Los Barriles and up to La Paz and more!