4 Reasons Cabo San Lucas Is the Ultimate Kayaking Destination

A kayaker’s dream come true is a day of kayaking Cabo San Lucas. And if you’ve never kayaked before, you’ll be so glad you started this fun hobby in such a breathtakingly beautiful place.

So what makes Cabo San Lucas the ultimate kayaking destination?

1. World-famous scenery, perfect for capturing photos  

You can’t say you’ve been to Cabo until you snap a photo of The Arch at Land’s End—El Arco to the locals. It’s the essential Cabo experience.

kayak cabo san lucas

This craggy granite arch ends the point of the 760-mile Baja Peninsula and looms over the point where two oceans cross paths. Here, the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California. The mountainous Baja Peninsula divides the two bodies of water, holding the Sea of Cortez to the east as a great inland sea.

Photographers from around the globe flock to Cabo to capture its rugged beauty, and what’s the only way to get a truly stellar shot of The Arch? By boat.

From the seat of your kayak, you’ll have a unique vantage point of El Arco and be able to snap photos to post on Facebook and Instagram or put in picture frames at home. Either way, your friends won’t believe it when you tell them you saw one of the most beautiful sights in Mexico from a kayak!

You’ll also get to truly experience the two mighty currents that mix here:

  1. The California Current comes south down the coast, with cool, rich waters that collide with…
  2. The warm, tropical Northern Equatorial Counter Current coming north up the Mexican coast (Delgado, Kevin. Los Cabos and California Sur: A Great Destination 2nd p. 72)

Currents, wave action, wind, and weather erode the rock, and as you paddle and float, you’ll witness the results of ages of erosion that ate away the headland, collapsed a cave, and left The Arch (Minch, John, Edwin, and Jason. ROADSIDE GEOLOGY AND BIOLOGY OF BAJA CALIFORNIA p. 134).

2. A prime snorkeling spot, where two oceans meet

The great mixing of two seas at The Arch creates a rich brew of nutritious plankton that draws a record number of exotic species of marine sea life, and the headland of Land’s End protects the water on the Sea of Cortez side from wind and waves. Tide action is low in this area, and water temperatures range from the high 60°s F in the winter months to 85° F in the late summer (Speck, Susan. Diving Baja California. 1995 Aqua Quest publications. p. 99). That means conditions are ideal for snorkeling.

One of the most convenient ways to snorkel—and a way that makes you feel even more connected to the environment you’re in—is from a kayak.

Don’t feel like actually getting in the water? The floor of your kayak is transparent, so you can feel like you’re submerged among the sea creatures without getting wet—although the warm, clear water might just tempt you in.

What will you see? Over 800 varieties of fish live in the Sea of Cortez, and up to 3,000 species of marine animals of all kinds (Speck. p. 20), including:

  • Angelfish
  • Butterflyfish
  • Puffers
  • Damselfish
  • Moorish idols
  • Parrotfishes
  • Grouper

That’s why this area is known as a “biodiversity hot spot.” Many of these species you’ll only see here.

kayak cabo san lucas

3. Ideal weather, combining sunshine and sea breezes

It’s the sunshine that draws most visitors to Cabo San Lucas. With the cooler Pacific Ocean just around the corner, most days there’s a breeze on the water, so you won’t roast in your kayak.

That also means you could get a little sunburnt without knowing it. To make the most of your trip without feeling too crispy when you return to land, wear:

  • Sunscreen
  • A brimmed hat
  • A light shirt and pants when you’re not in the water

Temperatures range from a high of 77° F in January to 92° F in August.

4. A wealth of dramatic history

The point of the long, barren Baja Peninsula is a world away from Europe, but in the 17th century, the rivalry between two global sea powers—Spain and England—played out right here.

Spain gained control of the Pacific Ocean—half the globe—when it conquered the Philippines. From Manila, their galleons carried gold, silk, pearls, and spices to Mazatlán on the west coast of Mexico. Then they transported the goods over land to the east coast and shipped them across the Atlantic to the King of Spain.

But for 250 years, English pirates financed by the Crown robbed the Spanish ships. Most famously, in 1587 Thomas Cavendish captured the Santa Ana, sent the crew ashore, confiscated the booty, and burned the ship to ashes.

Cavendish divided the loot between his two English ships, which set sail for England. But one of them disappeared in the night! It was never seen again, nor was any wreckage or its treasure ever found.

Floating in your kayak over the depths, you’ll be in the spot where pirates sailed long ago. Imagining yourself as one of them makes kayaking this beautiful area even more of an adventure!

In just one day, you can get everything you could want from a kayak trip: Paddle to the Arch at Land’s End; snorkel in the “richest sea in the world;” and take in the drama where two oceans, nature, and history collide.

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