BeachNuts Beach Guide for:
San Jose del Cabo
The beaches of San Jose del Cabo are beautiful and stretch for more than five miles along a gentle curve on the southernmost Baja coast of the Sea of Cortez. Cast between breathtaking mountains and an endless expanse of a sapphire sea these beaches are some of the most gorgeous in the world.
The Estuary / Estero de San José
Located at the end of the tourist area of San José del Cabo, this is where the freshwater Rio San José flows into the sea. A building on the edge of the estuary serves as a nature center with exhibits explaining the culture of Baja's indigenous people.
San Jose's famed sanctuary starts at the east end of the Playa Hotelera (Hotel Beach) in San Jose del Cabo. The estuary is a natural preserve closed to boats. More than 200 species of birds can be seen here and the freshwater lagoon has over 350 species of wildlife and lush vegetation. Fed by underwater aquifers, the river and lagoon are one of the few oases in the nearly desolate, desert of lower Baja peninsula.
Aside from walking there are a number of fun ways to venture through this area and enjoy the awesome beauty. To do this, rent a horse, a mountain bike, kayak or an ATV adjacent to the Presidente Interncontinental Los Cabos Resort, which borders the estuary. Kayaking in the lagoon is an option depending on the water level.
The town of San Jose del Cabo - fun to visit before or after the beach.
The quaint, charming town of San Jose del Cabo retains the feel of a traditional Mexican village. There are many great places to shop and wonderful, though sometimes, expensive restaurants to eat it. For less expensive, and great local food, try one of the traditional Mexican restaurant found in the heart of San Jose.
While Cabo San Lucas is the more famous of the 2 Los Cabos towns, San Jose has a far less hectic pace and makes for good strolling without the many vendors that accost one while in downtown Cabo.
Pueblo la Playa ak La Playita
The nearest beach safe for swimming is Pueblo la Playa. La Playita is located about 3km from San Jose. To get there, from Boulevard Mijares, turn east at the small Pueblo Playa sign and follow the dusty dirt road through the cane fields and palms.
You will find yourself in a small village with a beautiful beach where a number of pangas that belong to local fishermen are pulled ashore. Pangas can be rented from the beach to take you fishing out toward the Gorda Banks, possibly the most productive fishery in the Sea of Cortez.
The La Playita resort's restaurant offers the only formal sustenance on the beach. There are no shade palapas.
La Playita is the gateway to the incredible pristine beaches of the East Cape and the infamous, yet to be improved, coastal road that connects the secluded residential developments along this remote stretch of Baja.
Playa Hotelera / Presidente Beach / Hotel Beach
Unlike the main "tourist" beach in Cabo San Lucas, Hotel Beach is still relatively free of commercial activity and beach peddlers, although horses are available for rental and the resorts provide most of the usual toys and diversions.
Known locally as "Hotel Beach", this long, clean expanse of cream-colored sand forms the beachfront for several major resorts, including the Presidente Intercontinental, the Aquamarine, the Best Western Posada Real, the Fiesta Inn, and Howard Johnson's, on the municipal golf course across the boulevard from the beach.
Playa Hotelera is stunningly beautiful beach though swimming here is dangerous. The current is strong and the surf is a fairly consistent body thumping, land shaking, shore break and a deep inshore drop-off. Most of the hotels, along this stretch of beach, offer gorgeous swimming pools and beach side activities.
For shopping and eating, to the the west end of Playa Hotelera are a handful of good shops and restaurants. On the beach below the Plaza are public palapas for shade. Across from the Plaza is a children's park with lots of play equipment, a small carpeted soccer stadium, water park fountains to play in and fine plantings of native Flora.
Playa Costa Azul (Blue Coast Beach)
Southwest of San Jose and next to Playa Hotelera is the gorgeous stretch of sand known as Costa Azul and Bahía Palmilla. Part of this half mile stretch before Palmilla Bay is a well known, local surf break called Costa Azul.
The powerful waves and shore break here, do not always make for friendly swimming conditions, but they do create a dramatic beach landscape that’s a site worth seeing.
For surfers this is the place in Cabo to visit. Playa Acapulquito, also known as "Old Man's Beach", located slightly west of Costa Azul , is a terrific little surfing spot, especially for beginners and getting back on your board.
Old Man's is located just around the bluffs past Costa Azul. Its a fairly easy walk from Costa Azul at lower tides. There are mostly rights here, some lefts and a relaxed environment. If the surf here doesn't suite your tastes, don't worry...people-watching makes up for it. Old Man's sits right in front of the wonderful Cabo Surf Hotel, where you can eat and drink, while watching surfers. If he's not painting or exploring the mainland, you might catch Mickey Doyle in the water or on the beach. Doyle's studio is across the street from Old Man's and many of his painting are on the walls of the Cabo Surf Hotel.
Near Old Mans, another surf spot is "Zippers". When it is working, this is a great break for a lot of good reasons. There is lots of parking, a consistent shape for easy paddle-out, 2 different break locations (mostly rights with some lefts at the lower break) and on average days it's usually not too crowded. Even when there is barely a swell, there is usually something happening for long boards. Watch for shallow reefs at low tides.
The restaurant up from the beach, Zippers, is a convenient place to get food or drinks. You don't need to be a surfer to stop by Zippers. The owner Tony is a wonderful man, the food is good and fairly priced and his casual restaurant sits almost right on the beach.
The Palmilla headland defines the southwestern curve of San José Bay. This is one of the prettiest and safest swimming beaches in the area. At Punta Palmilla, a protected cove makes Playa Palmilla an optimal beach for easy-going water sports. Snorkeling and swimming are favorite activities here, particularly for families, and the location’s dramatic rock formations attract shutterbugs. This beach has beautiful rock formations.
The beach is located near near the Palmilla Resort, one of Los Cabos' most elegant place to stay or to eat lunch or dinner. Currently the luxury Palmilla Resort is being redone by the owner's of Altantis and Sun City, and is scheduled to re-open in December of 2003.
When visiting the Beaches of San Jose del Cabo & the rest of Los Cabos remember:
1. There are no lifeguards here, not even at most hotel pools. So, try not to swim alone as no big lifeguard hunk wearing red Speedos is going to come to your rescue.
2. One won’t find a convenience store on every corner here, so bring lots of sun block, sunglasses, water, snacks, bathroom tissue, film as well as a beach umbrella, snorkeling gear, sand toys, etc.
3. Certain beaches have seas with severe undertows, dangerous breakers, rip tides, or deep drop-offs close to shore. Pay attention to any warning signs.
4. Remember that it’s illegal to drive on beaches in México. Environmental protectionism is growing in countries all over the world and one needs to be as sensitive here in México as in the USA. In either country, a fuel spill from one’s boat or 4x4 on most beaches can result in stiff fines.
5. Always remember that the beaches can be very dangerous even for the best of swimmers and never turn your back on the ocean. Be sure to check weather conditions, as safety changes with the weather. Typically there are no lifeguards at the beaches. If you like to swim, the pools at the hotels are the best bet for safety
Sardina Cantina, set back from Costa Azul, is a great little sports bar, with excellent food. Located near Coral Baja. Sardina Cantina has one of the best breakfasts in town.
Core Caminos Cafe & Bakery - located off of Costa Azul, near the La Jolla Condos, has the best espresso and lattes in Cabo. Their pastries are baked fresh daily. Internet access is available.