Pristine sunbathing beaches are the primary reason why so many high-end resorts have decided to build along the Corridor. To find the most easily accessible beaches, look for blue and white signs that say Acceso a Playa with an image of a snorkel and mask or a swimmer. (Some signs have just the picture and not the words.)
Ocean swimmers should be aware that strong undertows and rocks make many of these beaches unsafe for wading and bodysurfing. Playas Chileno and Santa María are two exceptions. You may also be able to get in at Playa Palmilla.
Bahías Chileno and Santa María
If you want to swim and snorkel during your stay in Los Cabos, chances are someone will direct you to one of these two accessible beaches on the Corridor. Construction is in progress around both of these bays, so access may change as yet more golf courses and resorts go up.
Many land and sea tours bring groups of tourists to these bays because they are protected from the surf and have rocky points that attract a variety of marine life. Both have ample parking in dirt lots, though you may have to pay a few dollars to the security guard monitoring the lot. Shade and commercial services are lacking at both locations, though vendors seem to come and go each season. There are public restrooms at Chileno (Km. 14) and snorkeling rentals at Santa María (Km. 12).
Both these beaches can get crowded with shoulder-to-shoulder snorkelers when the tour boats come in mid-morning to mid-afternoon. It’s best to get an early start if you’d like to have the bay to yourself. Playa Chileno has an exit ramp from a new stretch of the highway, which has moved inland to give way to a new development.
The beautifully landscaped access road may trick you into thinking that Playa Palmilla (Km. 26) is private. At the moment, it’s not. It does serve as the main beach for several upscale resorts, but there is a good-sized public parking lot, several palapas for shade, and plenty of sand to go around. The beach is pleasant for swimming or snorkeling. Palmilla is also the only place along the Corridor where you can watch the fishing pangas launch the old-fashioned way—without a paved boat launch or dock.
Playa El Bledito (Tequila Cove)
In front of the Hilton and Meliá resorts in Cabo Real, a breakwater protects swimmers from the pounding surf. You can rent personal watercraft on the beach, and the Hilton offers day passes for use of its pool and facilities. Look for an access road at Km. 19.5 or enter through either of the resorts.
Playa Las Viudas (Widows Beach)
At Km. 12.5, between the now-demolished Twin Dolphin and up-and-running Fiesta Americana resorts, a shallow bay with rocky points offers good snorkeling and swimming, when conditions are calm. The sand can get deep, but most vehicles seem able to traverse the access road intact.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition