Video Source: CaboViVO
This 6:37am sunrise will get your day started - CaboViVO style... Good morning from Cabo San Lucas! We got up early to watch the birds fly, ships come and go and admire the sun as it shines bright along the sands of Medano Beach! Enjoy your stay in Cabo
Médano is Spanish for sand dune, and thus is an appropriate name for what is by far the largest and most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas. Picture a wide, very long swath of soft, golden sand bounded on one side by a succession of luxury hotels, boutique shops, barefoot fine dining establishments and boisterous cantinas, and on the other by a peaceful bay alive with watercraft of all imaginable sizes and shapes; framed by the half-mile headland that forms the terminus of the Baja California peninsula.
Now add large crowds of bikini and boardshorts clad beachgoers, mariachi bands, roving vendors, waiters loaded with buckets of beer or trays of margaritas, and water sports rental booths hawking kayaks, stand up paddle boards and wave runners by the hour. Look out towards the bay at the enormous cruise ships and luxury yachts at anchor. Now look skyward at tumbling flyboarders, soaring parasailers, and higher still airborne tour guides in helicopters or motorized hang gliders.
That’s a close approximation of the average day on Playa El Medano, but broad brush strokes can never truly capture the majestic backdrop and unique sun-kissed aura of relaxed hustle and bustle that make this beach so very special.
The beach itself is an attraction for those interested in sunning and swimming, but Médano is also ground zero for water sports rentals, as well as a good spot to arrange panga trips out to Land’s End and Lover’s Beach. Booths advertise kayak and wave runner rentals by the hour, and beachgoers can also sign up for stand up paddle boarding, flyboarding, parasailing, and a raft of other aquatic adventures. Swimming areas are roped off near the beach.
Los Cabos’ signature blend of casual beachfront atmosphere and world-class cuisine is epitomized by the barefoot fine dining scene centered around Médano Beach. SUR Beach House by Bar Esquina and ALETA Seafood Bar and Grill are the newest additions to this celebrated scene, while Hacienda Cocina y Cantina remains the benchmark beachfront dining spot by which all others are judged. Edith’s, a half block from the beach, is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, thanks to its colorful atmosphere and delicious mesquite grilled fare. The Office on the Beach, meanwhile, offers the best weekly event: a Thursday night Fiesta Mexicana featuring mariachis, folkloric dancing, fireworks, piñatas, and more.
Playa El Médano is the Spring Break capital of Cabo San Lucas, and Mango Deck is its unofficial headquarters. Each march, college students from the U.S., Canada and Mexico pack this place for sex position, banana eating and other bawdy contests, plus tequila shots sourced from a mustachioed, bandolier wearing bandit named Big Johnson (the bandoliers are filled with shot glasses, the holsters hold the tequila bottles). That’s the high point (or low point, depending upon your perspective) of crowd-filled craziness, but the truth is that Mango Deck and other lively beachfront cantinas like The Office, The Sand Bar and Tabasco are packed to the railings on a year-round basis. Most of the beach bars offer deals on cubetas (iced buckets of beer), and all serve cocktails and comfort food as well. Umbrella-shaded tables in the sand are a standard amenity. Lounge chairs are generally free to patrons, but in some cases require rental.
Luxury resorts line the shores of Médano Beach in dizzying succession: Breathless, Hacienda, Cabo Villas, Casa Dorada, ME Cabo, Pueblo Bonito Blanco and Rosé, Cascadas de Baja, Villa del Arco, Villa la Estancia and Villa del Palmar. These seaside pleasure palaces all showcase onsite drinking and dining, as well as pampering spas and other amenities. Casa Dorada’s Saltwater Spa is the premier example of the latter, specializing in treatments and therapies that utilize the healing properties of the mineral rich waters of the Sea of Cortés. ME Cabo, by contrast, is best known for its onsite nightclub (something of a misnomer in that the the poolside club is a popular hangout during daylight hours as well), Blue Marlin Ibiza. Baja Brewing Company’s rooftop location at Cabo Villas Beach Resort is also worth a visit, given its superb craft brewed suds and spectacular Land’s End views.
The official entrance to Médano Beach is preceded by a block-long array of boutiques and shops along Avenida del Pescador. This passage showcases everything one could conceivably need for a day at the beach: towels, swimwear, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. For more trendy accessories, walk two blocks west to Luxury Avenue.
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Michael L. Mattos, Jill Enticknap and Chris Sands