About 10 kilometers from where the pavement ends, the Coastal Road  climbs over a rise and presents a panoramic view of Bahía Pulmo—a shallow bay rimmed with a mix of coarse white sand and cobblestones—and the eight fingers of coral reef that are its main attraction.
The road descends to parallel the beach along the bay and then passes through the center of a tiny fishing village-turned-vacation-and-retirement-community.
Modern-day Cabo Pulmo is a close-knit community made up mostly of older expats and several branches of a local Mexican family that has fished the area for generations. The oldest vacation homes were built right on the beach, but in recent years, construction has expanded west across the road and into the hills.
Most visitors these days come to explore the reef, from above and below, and to relax on the white-sand beaches that line the bay . The surface of the beach varies with the seasons: in winter, there are usually more stones and pebbles, particularly at the north end of the bay; in summer, the sand comes back and the rocks roll back into the sea.
The government has stepped up its conservation efforts in recent years, posting large signs, patrolling the park by boat, and collecting a US$4 park use fee from those who snorkel or dive in the bay. At last check, beachgoers did not have to pay the fee—only those who go into the water to view the coral.
There are several scuba diving operations in town, panga fishing charters, kayak rentals, and a long list of excursions up and down the coast and into the desert.
Given its small size, proximity to the beach, and comfortable accommodations, Cabo Pulmo is an excellent place for families with young kids (though the nearest medical clinic is in La Ribera , a 15-minute drive, and the closest hospital is in San José del Cabo ).
From San José del Cabo , follow Highway 1 north 50.6 kilometers to an overpass at Las Cuevas and bear right (east) onto the single- lane road to La Ribera. From La Paz , pass Buena Vista heading south and take the exit for La Ribera. As you approach La Ribera  (9.6 km), turn right before the soccer field. Follow the Coastal Road 26 kilometers south to Cabo Pulmo. The drive should take about 40 minutes from the time you leave Highway 1.
If you are flying into San José and plan to drive the same day to Cabo Pulmo, aim to arrive no later than noon. By the time you get through passport control, retrieve your luggage, rent a car, and buy your groceries, several hours will have passed, and it is not advisable to drive the highway or Coastal Road after dark. If you arrive in the afternoon, consider staying overnight in San José before departing for Cabo Pulmo the next day.
The closest gas to Cabo Pulmo is at La Ribera to the north. Be sure to fill up before heading south along the Coastal Road.
Aguila bus service from San José will get you as far as Las Cuevas for about US$5 one-way, but from there you’ll have to hitch a ride or arrange in advance for someone to pick you up. Another option for traveling sans auto is to contact one of the companies that transport divers from the Los Cabos area to Cabo Pulmo for the day. For example, Impala Transportation (tel. 624/141-0726 or cell tel. 624/173-1476) has a van that holds 14 passengers. With notice, Cabo Pulmo Resort can arrange round-trip transportation from Los Cabos airport for a fee; a stop at a grocery store near the airport on the way up can be included.