Beaches and Los Cabos are practically synonymous, so much so that first-time visitors may not know where to begin when it comes to sunny days spent on glorious stretches of golden sand.
What are the best beaches in Los Cabos? What is it that makes a great beach, anyway? Is it the views? The color and consistency of the sand? The availability of bars or restaurants? The conditions for activities like surfing, snorkeling and swimming?
All are interesting questions that go to the heart of any visit to Los Cabos, given that the region boasts over 100 miles of coastline, with more picturesque playas that the average tourist could see in a year.
As it happens, there is one objective measurement for beaches, in Los Cabos and elsewhere. That’s the Blue Flag program pioneered in the 1980s by the European based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which judges beaches based on very defined standards of cleanliness, services and sustainability.
Blue Flags are not about beauty. They’re about sustainability and services, from signs, clean bathrooms, showers, handicap access, and recycling bins to parking, and other practical concerns that can significantly enhance one’s experience at the beach.
But since every beach in Los Cabos is visually breathtaking, offering stunning Sea of Cortés or Pacific Ocean views, the availability of these basic services is a big deal when it comes to choosing where you want to spend your day in paradise … particularly if you’re traveling with children or people with disabilities.
The good news is that there are a lot of blue flags flying in cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, as well as along the 20-mile tourist corridor which connects them. As a matter of fact, Los Cabos has more blue flag beaches – 25 – than any other destination in México.
For some context, the blue flag program is globally recognized, with beaches or marinas maintaining the stringent blue flag standards (it’s not a lifetime award) in nearly 60 different countries around the world. México is currently in 10th place worldwide in terms of countries with the most blue flag beaches – and first in the Americas – claiming 64, along with two blue flag marinas, and 31 blue flag tour boats. Baja California Sur, the state where Los Cabos is located, leads the way with 25 (all in Los Cabos). The only other state that is close is Quintana Roo, the state where Cancún and the Riviera Maya is located, with 22.
Los Cabos’ blue flag supremacy is a rather new phenomenon. As recently as 2016, the municipality had only three beaches that had earned FEE’s blue flag stamp of approval: Playas Chileno, Santa Maria and Palmilla. The stunning growth of the program since then is a credit to the community at large, which has recognized how important beaches are to the tourism industry and has made a commitment to keep the local sands both beautiful and sustainable.
Many of the newer blue flag beaches in Los Cabos are in fact subsections of Playa El Médano, the two-mile stretch of gorgeous sand that is the center of social life in Cabo San Lucas. But blue flag beaches can be found in virtually every corner of Los Cabos, from popular city based locales to lesser known gems like El Surgidero and La Ribera, two East Cape playas conveniently close to where a new Four Seasons resort has recently opened.
The two most recent beach additions for 2022-2023 are each associated with area resorts. Grand Velas Los Cabos, a luxury all-inclusive set on Playa El Tule in the tourist corridor, had its beach blue flag certified for the upcoming year. So too did Paradisus Los Cabos, the Melia brand luxury resort that like Grand Velas, is situated in the 20-mile tourist corridor between the cape cities.
For reference purposes, here’s the complete list of 25 blue flag beaches in Los Cabos as of the 2022-2023 season:
Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos
Grand Velas Los Cabos
Médano Casa Dorada
Médano Club Cascadas de Baja
Médano ME Cabo
Médano Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos
Médano Pueblo Bonito Rose
Médano Riu Palace
Médano Riu Santa Fe
Médano Villa del Palmar
Médano Villa El Arco
Médano Villa La Estancia
Médano Riu Palace Baja California
Paradisus Los Cabos
No need to rank them further. Visiting any of these sun-kissed meccas ensures you’re going to have a great day at the beach. And don’t worry about the fact that summer is almost over. Every day is a beach day in Los Cabos.
Saludos from Co-Founders…
Chris Sands – Writer and Michael Mattos