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Los Cabos for Families

Back to Nature
Los Cabos for Families
Los Cabos has plenty of beaches where children can run free, opportunities to swim with dolphins and spot whales, and some exceptional kids' clubs—it's easy to see why the region makes for an ideal family vacation.
By Julie Schwietert Collazo, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Alfredo Martínez
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    Back to Nature
    Back to Nature
    Look past all the resorts and development in Los Cabos and you’ll find its unique environment holds lots of charms for budding naturalists. A trip out to Isla Espíritu Santo can mean sightings of dolphins, frigate birds, ring-tailed cats, and, if you’re lucky, the only known black jackrabbit population in the world. For an even more immersive experience (sorry!), book a guided snorkeling trip to swim with the incredibly playful pups at the Los Islotes sea lion colony. Older kids may enjoy the hike to see the waterfall at Cañón de la Zorra and take a peek at what this area looked like before tourists discovered it. Keep an eye out for endemic species such as the desert iguana.
    Photo by Alfredo Martínez
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    Swim with Dolphins and Whale Sharks
    Swim with Dolphins and Whale Sharks
    Among the hundreds of animal species that call the Sea of Cortés home are one-third of the world's dolphin and whale species, and swimming with dolphins is a top memory-making experience for many families who visit Los Cabos. If the kids are over eight, they can join a guided snorkel with docile whale sharks through SunRider Tours. (Imagine the playground cred they’ll get when they return home!) Local outfitter Cabo Adventures offers several different meet-a-dolphin experiences, ranging from its Dolphin Swim, a 40-minute in-water interaction, to Trainer for a Day, a five-hour experience that involves more in-depth learning about dolphin behavior and, of course, plenty of one-on-one time. Some activities have age restrictions, so if your kids are under 12, be sure to ask prior to booking.
    Photo by Alfredo Martínez
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    Whale-Watching in Los Cabos
    Whale-Watching in Los Cabos
    Every year, eight species of whale—including humpbacks, grays, and blues—pass Los Cabos on their annual migratory journey. Like people, the whales find Los Cabos to be a particularly hospitable winter refuge. Warm waters, a shallow bay, and an abundant food supply keep them happy from December to March, during which time local boat captains are busy running excursions for visitors to view the giants of the sea. If you're lucky, you may even spot whales calving, or giving birth to their young. One of the top places to see whales is San Ignacio, the only undeveloped, pristine lagoon in Los Cabos. Wild Cabo Tours, which operates double-decker catamarans that become floating parties at night, runs whale- and dolphin-watching trips by day.
    Photo by Jan-dirk/age fotostock
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    Fun in Town
    Fun in Town
    If the kids have had too much sun for the day, head into town and find some fun. Stop by the Glass Factory before 2 p.m. daily to watch artisans sculpt glass by blowing, pulling, and shaping it with tools. Head to Indira Gems and strike a pose with the conquistador mannequins guarding the front door. Plaza Central is a fine and fun place to spend an afternoon or evening with your family. It's a magnet for local families looking for an affordable way to relax and spend time together, especially on Sunday afternoons, when vendors and, occasionally, musicians rove through the square. Arrive earlier in the day to browse some of the art galleries surrounding the plaza and peek into the San José Church.
    Photo by Alfredo Martinez
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    Eating Out with the Kids
    Eating Out with the Kids
    Adventurous travelers will try any foods, but everyone likes tacos. Tacos Gardenias serves up some of the best and has a wide-ranging menu that can please even picky eaters. Mexican breakfasts, too, with plentiful fresh fruit and lots of familiar ingredients (eggs! cheese! beans!), can start the day right. Follow the locals to Restaurant Campestre for desayuno.
    Photo by Alfredo Martínez
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    View the Ocean from the Lighthouse
    View the Ocean from the Lighthouse
    See if you can talk your way into visiting the observation deck at the top of the 90-foot lighthouse at the Marina Cabo San Lucas. The lighthouse seems somewhat out of place in this touristy part of town, where buildings are, for the most part, of modern construction, but the ocean views are both memorable and photo-worthy. If you're visiting between December and March, bring your binoculars to see if you can spot any humpback whales breaching.
    Jeremy Woodhouse/age fotostock
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    Sailing Los Cabos
    Sailing Los Cabos
    Plenty of families have explored Los Cabos by sailboat, provisioning their vessels, mapping their routes, and teaching each family member the essential skills for living on, maintaining, and navigating a boat. But if that all sounds just a bit too advanced, the next best option is to charter a sailboat for a half day or full day, complete with a captain and crew who will man the sails for you. Cabo Sails is one local outfitter that will work with you and your family to customize your experience. You can help choose your route, as well as the time of day (or evening—sunset is spectacular) you want to sail. Snacks and drinks are often included.
    Photo by Kim Karpeles/age fotostock
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