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If you love swimming, you’ll want to make sure you plan your vacation around access to swimmable waters. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind about going swimming in Cabo.

For travelers who live in landlocked areas, far away from the coastal shores and the rapturous beauty of the ocean, it can be difficult to imagine why beaches are not swimmable. After all, if the shore is sandy, shouldn’t the water be fine to jump in and enjoy? Perhaps not during thunderstorms or hurricanes, but otherwise, the water should be safe, right?

Unfortunately, that is not the case and more than saying any tree is safe to climb. There are specific criteria that determine whether a beach is considered “swimmable” or not suited for swimming or surfing.

Here is a list of some of the rules considered in that decision, produced by STORMFAX.

  1. Lightening
  2. Rip Currents – These are strong currents that pull you out and down into deep waters.
  3. High Surf – often accompanies rip currents, these are waves that are up above the standard water level, which create deeper pockets of water.
  4. Water quality – unhealthy amounts of bacteria or water toxins present along the shore
  5. Jellyfish – These swim in schools and can sting and poison swimmers
  6. Sharks – Even small sharks can attack and cause severe injuries to swimmers
  7. Harmful Algae Bloom – Like bacteria and toxins, these algae can cause health problems when swimming in these waters
  8. Tsunamis – these are massive waves caused by geological shifts in the earth’s crust

Many of these criteria are temporary circumstances. The most common long-term reasons for un-swimmable beaches have to do with lateral currents (currents that run parallel to the shoreline) which can quickly become riptides.

In Cabo San Lucas, with the warm currents and vast array of sea life represented there, tourists might expect plenty of swimmable beaches. Sadly, that is not the case.

There are few swimmable beaches in Cabo. Where are they? If you cannot swim at the beach, what and where are the best swimming alternatives for vacationers that wish to practice their aquatic expertise?

Beaches

While many of the beaches have surf that is too rough and strong undertow currents, there are a few beaches that are swimmable in Cabo San Lucas.

  1. Santa Maria Beach – this beach is just outside Cabo, in the corridor, and is a Blue Flag Certified Beach.
  2. Chileno Beach
    This beach has direct access to The Auberge, a large resort in Cabo and has full facilities that are open to the public.
  3. Palmilla Beach
    Another resort Beach, this has public access and is connected to The One&Only Palmilla Resort.
  4. Medano Beach
    This is the longest of the swimmable beaches of Los Cabos and has several resorts located along the coastline.
  5. Playa Bledito, Hilton Cove, and Tequila Cove
    This is one beach with several names. It is generally swimmable and is connected to Hilton Los Cabos, Melia Cabo Real, Las Ventanas al Paraiso, and Casa del Mar.
  6. Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor)
    This beach is only accessible by boat or kayak. It sits where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. There are no resorts at this beach.
  7. La Playita and El Gannon Beach Club at Puerto Los Cabos
    These are two small, swimmable beaches that are accessible for a small fee.

Resort Pools

If the resort was not listed above, it probably does not have access to a swimmable beach. This includes the larger, more prestigious resorts in Cabo such as The Resort at Pedregal, The Cape, and Esperanza.

However, these all have excellent swimming facilities themselves, often including indoor and outdoor pools for children and adults. If you can be satisfied with pool water instead of seawater, resort pools are an excellent alternative to finding the swimmable beaches.

Boats

One of the best ways to swim in the ocean is to book a cruise on one of the sailboat tours that go out three times a day into the Sea of Cortez. These ships, both large and small, offer opportunities to swim off their decks with the ocean life. Some of the most exotic beaches, like Lover’s Beach, are only accessible by boat.

These sailing tours can take you out to the reef where you will be able to swim near the coral reef between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. This particular spot has some of the widest varieties of sea life found in the world and is considered a national treasure of Mexico. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Additionally, the sailing tours offered in Cabo offer snorkeling equipment and training for both snorkeling and scuba diving. It provides the best swimming experience you can find in Cabo. Not to mention, your belongings will be stored safely away on the ship, away from anyone who might steal your towel or sandals.

The ships also provide an open bar and snacks, or a light lunch for anyone booking passage with them so you will not need to worry about ants getting into your picnic basket.

While beach swimming in Cabo is limited to a handful of places, the ocean swimming opportunities can be incredible with a sailing tour of the Sea of Cortez.