East Cape Area Beaches
East Cape, Baja California Sur, México
Heading northeast out of San José del Cabo is an unpaved road leading to the area called The East Cape. This is one of the most scenic drives in Los Cabos, but better yet, the road passes dozens of beaches, most of which are deserted. In San José del Cabo, turn east at the intersection of Boulevard Mijares and Benito Juárez, across from the fire and police station. The turnoff is marked with various tourist signage and a sign pointing to “Pueblo La Playa” (commonly known as La Playita). In places this coast is wild and barren, but along the way are hidden secrets. Here, you will feel as though you are truly in old Baja, with solitary beaches in an endless array. Privacy on a number of them off the beaten track allows limitless discretion in dress…if you know what we mean. The wind is known to blow, and you must be careful to avoid deep sand sections while driving.
La Playita (The Little Beach)
Near San José del Cabo, La Playita is the home of La Playa Sportfishing, the local cooperative Panga Fishing Fleet. Although this area is not recommended for swimming, it’s an excellent place to watch fishermen with their catch. Many of the men you see are fourth and fifth generation fishermen and are as comfortable with a handline as they are with your state of the art rod and reel. Follow the “Pueblo La Playa” turnoff two miles to the small settlement. The road intersects at a three way fork; take the right hand turn just before the market. The beach is in clear view from the road.
Playa Anónima (Anonymous Beach)
About 4 miles from San José del Cabo, this could well be your first stop, as sand dunes provide shelter from the wind. This is a wonderful, unnamed beach between Pueblo La Playa and La Laguna Estates and a nice place to camp or picnic. Steep dunes descend to a drop-off at the shoreline. The surf is rough here so only the strongest swimmers should give it a try. Take an unmarked turn-off towards the beach, it’s a little hard to find.
Playa La Laguna
Three miles from La Playita is the small beachfront estate community of La Laguna. Heading east, across the arroyo and up the hill, is a turnoff to a beach that is usually deserted and is swimmable, with small geological fissures in the rock tidal pools not unlike mini hot tubs. Wander east down the beach to the rock out croppings, find your spot and enjoy.
Playa at 13.6 mile mark
Wide stretch of beach with easy access from the East Cape road from San José del Cabo to La Ribera, located at about 13.6 miles from San José del Cabo.
Playa Higuera (Fig Tree Beach)
An inescapable feature here is a gnarled, old, twisted and contorted fig tree which is completely out of place. The savage looking beach is lashed with waves and is partially hidden among rock formations. This is a beach for the adventurous only as the surf is rough. Continue along the dirt coastal road to about 19.6 miles from San José, the beach is just beyond the Fig Tree. From the opposite direction; about 35 miles south of La Ribera, just past Rancho San Luis.
Playa Los Frailes (The Monks Beach)
About 40 miles from San José you’ll come to Los Frailes. This is a very popular beach, with limited facilities. Lovely, gentle, Bahía Los Frailes attracts both campers and yachtsmen. The cove is one of the finest anchorages on the coast, you can swim or row to the beach. Swimming is excellent, snorkeling and fishing are very good.
About 5 miles north of Los Frailes is Cabo Pulmo, another of the more popular beaches on the East Cape of Los Cabos, it even has a restaurant and plenty of space in a cove for RV’s, vans and campers. Cabo Pulmo is the only living coral reef on the Pacific coast. Divers and snorkelers will love the finger coral reefs extending offshore with water from 15 to 80 feet deep. Windsurfers enjoy the winds that often blow from the side, parallel to the beach. Cabo Pulmo is about 20 miles south of La Ribera on the East Cape road. You’ll have to keep your swim suit on here.
Playa El Rincón
El Rincón is around 11 miles from Cabo Pulmo, the Tropic of Cancer crosses the beautiful beach here, it remains relatively isolated as very few come here. The beach begins at a beach house called El Rincón, running south for several miles. Facilities include a hotel, the area is excellent for windsurfing and swimming is good. Most of the time skinny-dipping is just fine.
Punta Colorada and Punta Arena
Rocky beaches around Punta Colorada, the site of a fine old fishing village, become smooth sand as you travel south towards Punta Arena. Roads wander in various directions, but avoid the one leading to the Punta Arena lighthouse as this is a military base so you can’t get near the beach. Swimming and camping are good here, the best is just south of the hotel.
Just a few miles north of Punta Arena, about 50 miles from San José del Cabo, you will come to the village of La Ribera where a paved road leads over to Highway 1. Most are probably ready to head back to San José del Cabo by this time. Highway 1 south will take you through Santiago and Miraflores back past the airport then on to San José del Cabo.