When I first booked this trip last fall, I was hesitant about bringing our kids with us to Mexico. However, I’m so glad that I did. We spent quality time together as a family and created memories that will last a lifetime. Plus, it was the perfect escape from the negative 30-degree weather we were experiencing in Fairbanks, Alaska. If you’re planning on traveling to Cabo with kids (or even without), you’re in the right place. Read on for tips on where to stay, what to do, and more!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa, and I cannot recommend this resort any more highly. This is especially true if you are traveling to Cabo with kids. From breathtaking oceanfront rooms and views of Land’s End, waking up here every morning was a dream. Above all, the Hacienda Encantada offers world-class service. Several staff members became friends in our short week and they even went above and beyond to help our daughter when she suffered an allergic reaction to a bug bite during our stay.
There is so much to see and do at the resort alone, it makes it hard to want to leave and explore other areas of Los Cabos. We opted for the all-inclusive package and it was well worth it for us. This option allows you to dine freely at any of the eight restaurants on-site as well as seven restaurants near the resort’s sister location on the marina. Even our three-year-old, the pickiest eater you’ve ever met, found food she liked at each restaurant we visited. The all-inclusive package also included a few free activities offered through the resort as well. Friday morning horseback riding on the beach, anyone?
Tip: Under the all-inclusive package, all meals are included but lobster tails and steaks may have an extra charge.
For those of you traveling to Cabo with kids, the Hacienda Encantada has you covered. There are several pools on-site complete with games and toys, including a children’s pool, a splash pad, and playgrounds. There is even a babysitting service for those times you may want a few hours child-free. In addition, the resort is situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean and Land’s End, and we were able to watch whales and dolphins play in the water every morning. There is also a great, non-swimmable but private, beach where we took our littles to collect seashells.
Tip: Whale-watching season in Cabo San Lucas typically runs from November – April. We booked our trip for the first week of March, just before the Spring Breakers arrived and the perfect time to enjoy 80-degree weather.
What to Do
There are so many different activities offered in the Los Cabos area that the hardest part for me was trying to schedule it all in! If you are traveling to Cabo with kids that are older, there are obviously many more options available. I recommend checking out Cabo Adventures for a huge list of activities geared for older kids and adults.
However, if you are also traveling with littles, rest assured that there is plenty to for them to experience. My kids are 8-months-old and three-years-old and we did not run out of things to do. Here’s a list of some of our favorite activities when traveling to Cabo with kids!
The Buccaneer Queen Pirate Adventure
My three-year-old is all about the pirates (seriously, her third birthday party was Jake and the Neverland Pirate themed), so I knew I could not miss out on a chance to take her on a real pirate ship. The Buccaneer Queen is one of two pirate ships in the Cabo San Lucas marina and this is the more family-friendly of the two.
In booking a pirate adventure, there are a few options to choose from, including a breakfast snorkeling trip or a sunset dinner cruise. Since my littles are too young for snorkeling, we chose the latter. Even though this cruise was for my daughter, I was surprised to have a great time. The crew does an excellent job of catering to both kids and adults and the sunset views around Land’s End and the famous El Arco are to die for. Dinner and drinks are included but keep in mind it is difficult to eat on a swaying ship. The food was nothing to write home about, but it wasn’t the reason we booked. At the end of the two-hour cruise, the crew puts on a great show and dance.
Tip: While this cruise is family friendly, there is an open bar and drinks are given out freely. This may be a problem for some families and if it is for you, there are other sunset cruises available to consider.
You can check out more information on the Buccaneer Queen here.
Cabo Sky Tours
Flying with Ernesto on his powered hang glider was one of the absolute highlights of my trip. While not for young children, he has several options for how long your flight lasts. My husband and I both took turns doing the 10-12 minute flight while the other stayed with the kids, which made it perfect for our situation.
I have to admit, I’m a little scared of heights and terrified of the open ocean. However, I could not get past the hundreds of positive reviews on TripAdvsior promoting Cabo Sky Tours as the best part of their vacation. Ernesto kept reassuring me, “You will love it!” Once we were up in the air, all of my fears disappeared. If you are traveling to Cabo with or without kids, this is an experience you cannot miss out on! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Tip: The beach is directly across the street. If you plan accordingly, one parent and the kids can hang out at the beach while the other enjoys a longer flight.
You can book your flight with Ernesto in the ultralight here.
Another activity for my dolphin loving daughter. Touristy? Yes. Worth it? Also, yes. Playing with the dolphins was one of my bucket list items as well and I was not disappointed. In Los Cabos, there are two dolphin centers run under the same company, one in Cabo San Lucas and another in San Jose del Cabo. We opted for the dolphin encounter in Cabo San Lucas because of its location, right on the beautiful harbor marina.
At Cabo Dolphins, there are different experiences offered and some depend on your child’s age. Because my daughter was three at the time, we were limited to the dolphin encounter but children as young as four can swim and ride. Our activity included information on the dolphins and preserving our beautiful ocean life, learning commands for our dolphin, Frida, and lots of pets, dancing, and kisses. Bonus: Cabo Dolphins is committed to educating and protecting our wildlife while promoting access to these activities to special needs, lower income, and at-risk youth in their local communities.
Tip: You cannot wear sunscreen or lotion in the pool as it can cause harm to the dolphins so leave it off before you go!
You can check out all of the activities Cabo Dolphins has to offer here.
Glass Bottom Boat Tour
When traveling to Cabo San Lucas with kids, prepare to be bombarded by salespeople promoting tours, cruises, services, and jewelry. We knew we wanted to take a private boat out around Land’s End and the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, but were overwhelmed by our options. That is until we met Justin Neal, a local boat owner who splits his time between giving tours in Cabo and working the commercial fishing boats in our current home state of Alaska.
We ran into Justin quite accidentally and after talking for a few minutes, promptly booked a private tour in his glass bottom boat. Call it fate but it was an unforgettable experience and one of the best happenstance decisions we made on our trip. While we weren’t able to see any whales on our tour due to weather conditions that day, we were treated to tropical fish, seals, pelicans, and up-close views of the famous El Arco.
For those traveling to Cabo with kids and littles, Justin is equipped with child and infant life jackets, and there is plenty of room on his boat for baby bags, strollers, and any other kid gear you may be lugging with you. The four of us and all of our stuff were super comfortable and even stopped for snacks for the kids before heading out on the water.
Tip: Bring your camera and a sense of adventure. Ask to jump off Pelican Rock at Pelican Beach if you dare!
There are many options for glass bottom boat tours, but be sure to check out our American friend, Justin Neal. You can book a tour by checking out his Facebook page, Good Time Tours, or by calling 001 907 8210380. If calling from the U.S., dial 01152 624 110 2271 to reach Gabriel, his assistant.
San Jose del Cabo
Located about 25 minutes from the hustle and bustle and tourist traps of Cabo San Lucas is San Jose del Cabo. This historic and charming town offers a quiet and more authentic Mexican vibe. This was one of my favorite parts of our trip. I loved it so much I made sure we visited twice!
In addition to the cute shops and cafes, restaurants, and delicious street foods, San Jose del Cabo is full of history and culture. For those traveling to Cabo with kids, there is plenty of room for strollers and family-friendly, educational experiences. The community often gathers in la plaza enjoy singing, dancing, puppet shows, and more talent put on by the locals.
By far my favorite part of San Jose del Cabo, however, is the art district. There are so many beautiful and various art galleries to explore and I’m saddened that I couldn’t see them all. Be sure to stop by my favorite local artist, Ivan Guaderrama’s gallery. Not only are his pieces amazing, but everything is interactive as well! From art that plays music when you touch the words to canvases that turn to life when placed in front of Ivan’s app, you do not want to miss this gallery!
Check out Ivan’s interactive art magic in the video below.
Tip: Kids are welcome and will love interacting with his art as well! Stroller friendly and any pieces purchased are available to ship back to the U.S.
You can check out some of his work and store hours here.
There is so much more to do and see when traveling to Cabo with kids, and I cannot wait for new experiences on our next trip there. Have you been to Cabo San Lucas? Have I missed anything that should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below!