Planning a trip to Baja California Sur and wondering what to do when it comes to ecotourism in Los Cabos? Los Cabos is an amazing sustainable destination, and you’ll discover all about it in this guide.
Los Cabos is a gorgeous area in the southern tip of Baja California Sur, and it comprises Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, two beautiful resort cities.
The area boasts pristine beaches, a laid-back nightlife, and it offers plenty of activities for nature lovers, as well as those who care deeply about booking sustainable activities and being responsible tourists (like you and me!).
When Los Cabos Tourism invited me to explore the sustainable side of Los Cabos, I had to say yes! Los Cabos is, in fact, one of the leading ecotourism destinations in Mexico, and its sustainability efforts, combined with the glorious natural attractions it possesses, make it an unrivaled spot for a vacation.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico over the last few years, but somehow I had never made it to Baja California Sur or Los Cabos – what a mistake!
Check out this full guide about sustainability & ecotourism in Los Cabos so you can make the best of your time there.
⚠️ Please never book activities that involve captive animals, such as riding camels or swimming with dolphins. Horseback riding is usually ok, but do your research and make sure the tour you book with is a responsible one that takes care of the animals.
ECOTOURISM ACTIVITIES IN LOS CABOS
When it comes to sustainable travel in Los Cabos, there’s no shortage of activities to be enjoyed. Below you’ll find some of the very best ones, offered by responsible providers.
Adopt and Release a Baby Turtle
Adopting and releasing baby turtles is possibly one of the most enjoyable (and satisfying!) things to do in San Jose del Cabo. We were lucky enough to be in Los Cabos in the right season for this activity, and it was one of the highlights of our trip.
The turtle hatching season in Los Cabos goes from late July till November, so keep this in mind if this is an activity you want to include in your itinerary.
When you book a turtle release tour with CalypsoTrip, you’ll be taking part in a wildlife conservation program, helping preserve the species and learning about it in the process.
An expert will enlighten you on their behavior and lifespan, their natural habitat and the importance of protecting them, as some species of sea turtles are currently endangered species.
The most exciting part is arguably when the baby turtles are released from their nests and make their way to the ocean, ready to start their life in the water.
You can also book this same activity through Viator, which offers a full refund if you need to cancel the tour for any reason, and you do so up to 24 hours in advance.
➤ The Turtle Release Eco-Experience includes a guided commentary about the turtles’ biology and their environment as you release them, and hotel pick-up and drop-off. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
A Farm-to-Table Cooking Class
Mexico is world-renowned for its cuisine, and learning the secrets behind the country’s tastiest traditional dishes is the ultimate way to enjoy them. When in Los Cabos, though, the experience is enhanced by its focus on sustainability and in providing a farm-to-table culinary journey.
Tamarindos is an organic farm barely 15 minutes from San Jose del Cabo, where you’ll get to harvest your own herbs and vegetables before immersing yourself in a hands-on cooking lesson.
You’ll learn to prepare a 4-course traditional meal following the instructions of a local chef while learning all about Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines (plus getting new recipes to take home with you!)
Groups are limited to 6 people, so the experience is very personalized, and you can even decide what dishes you’d like to learn and prepare, relishing in them once they’re ready.
It’s one of the most rewarding activities to enjoy in the area, and it perfectly aligns with the concept of sustainable travel in Cabo. We loved our cooking class and meeting other travelers!
➤ The Farm-to-Table Experience includes the cooking class and lunch (drinks are paid separately). ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Blue Flag Beaches of Los Cabos
Los Cabos is where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, and it’s an area mainly recognized for its stunning beaches. Rightly so, as they are indeed spectacular, and 25 of them even boast a blue flag certification.
The blue flag certification is an internationally recognized award that guarantees beaches have met (and continue to do so) strict criteria on sustainability, safety, environmental impact, and accessibility.
It assures travelers that the beach is clean and safe, and also that it has a good emergency plan, a good number of lifeguards, its management is respectful to the ecosystem and wildlife, and basically, that it’s an eco-friendly facility.
There are over 20 stunning beaches which boast the blue flag recognition, including Acapulquito, Las Viudas, Palmilla, Lover’s Beach, and La Gaviota.
▶ One of my favorites, though, is Chileno Beach, located in Cabo San Lucas. It features a long stretch of white sand and turquoise waters, which are perfectly swimmable, and has a very laid-back vibe.
Snorkeling is one of the main activities at Playa Chileno, as is spending the day sunbathing by the shore or going for a swim. There are toilets and showers on-site, but you won’t find beach clubs or restaurants, which helps maintain the relaxed atmosphere of the beach.
This is where we went snorkeling and oh my gosh! I definitely was not expecting to see so much fish!
▶ Santa Maria Beach is another unmissable beach situated 7 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, in the gorgeous Santa Maria Bay. Calm waters are fringed by powdery white sand and massive rock formations to the sides, creating a dramatic backdrop that has become one of its main attractions.
This blue flag beach is sort of secluded, and an astounding spot for snorkeling (among the very best in Los Cabos, actually), as it’s home to schools of colorful reef fish and insanely clear waters. There are several boats ready to take you on a snorkeling trip during the day.
Umbrellas and beach chairs can usually be rented at the entrance, although the service is offered by a vendor and not a beach facility per se. It’d be wise to take your own if you plan to spend the whole day at the beach.
One of the best ways to enjoy these protected and oh-so-gorgeous locations is by getting in the water. In my opinion, kayaking and snorkeling in both beaches is a must, and you can do so with a comprehensive tour that includes the activities and equipment like we did with High Tide Los Cabos.
You can paddle from one beach to the other on a glass-bottom kayak and then snorkel in beautiful tidal pools among fish, urchins, and maybe even turtles and starfish.
You can book your tour directly on their website or on Viator.
➤ The Snorkeling Tour to Chileno and Santa Maria includes swimming stops at coral formations, as well as round-trip transportation and free time at the beach. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ This Kayak and Snorkel Tour is a private experience. You’ll explore both bays on a glass-bottom kayak, and snorkel in prime locations with your own group. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Go on a Sustainable City Tour
To discover the gorgeous area through a local’s eyes, truly understand it, and learn about its hidden gems and very best spots, there’s not better way to do it than by joining a city tour.
It’s one of the ultimate activities in Los Cabos, and you’ll help support the community while immersing yourself in the history and stories of San Jose del Cabo.
The city tour by Cabo City Tours that we suggest aims to keep the local identity alive through education, offering free field trips to public schools and NGOs, and introducing the values of the community and its traditions to new residents.
This project is funded by visitors like you who book this incredibly interesting and sustainable tour when in Los Cabos.
The city tour is based in the art of storytelling, and as you make your way around San Jose del Cabo, your knowledgeable guide will tell you the stories of the region’s tribes, battles, and pirates.
We are not particularly into history, but this was not the usual boring, historical tour – our guide was fun, and we loved learning so much about the area! You’ll also learn about the legends that have lived on for centuries, as well as statistics and interesting facts about the city.
Plus, you get to walk all around San Jose del Cabo, which is a very cute, super colorful town!
➤ This Cultural Walking Tour takes place in the evening, and lasts close to 2 hours. It operates on a small-group basis and enables you to explore the city center in depth. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Animalon by the Sea Dinner Cruise
Animalon by the Sea is a 3-hour sunset dinner cruise designed by an acclaimed Mexican chef, Javier Plascencia.
The journey takes place on a beautiful 49’’ boat that will sail across the sea of Cortez as you indulge in a delicious 5-course meal, fully made with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
The activity places great emphasis in offering an ocean-to-table experience, which makes it unique and very sustainable.
If you go for the full experience, the menu is carefully paired with the perfect wine for each dish.
During the cruise, you might get to see dolphins, sea lions, and even whales swimming alongside the boat on the seas of Baja California Sur.
As the day comes to an end, you’ll be able to witness the peninsula and the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas bathed in the golden sunset light. The boat lights up after dusk, conveying an enchanting atmosphere.
I loved the whole experience! It was probably my favorite activity in Los Cabos. The food was very good, and I was so surprised to see such beautiful creations come from the tiny boat kitchen.
But what makes this cruise so special is that you get the fine dining experience of a restaurant combined with some incredible sunset views that you can only get on a boat.
Day Trip To Cabo Pulmo
Cabo Pulmo National Park is situated 60 miles north of Los Cabos, which makes it an unmissable day trip destination. This is the ideal trip for those interested in ecotourism in Cabo!
The park stretches for about 5 miles on the coastline, backdropped by glorious mountains and surrounded by desert.
It features the only hard coral reef in North America, home to over 800 sea creatures and estimated to be over 20 thousand years old! The turquoise waters of its beaches are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and you can also enjoy fantastic scuba diving in Cabo Pulmo.
The total of the park’s protected area is banned from fishing, and since its establishment, the marine animals that had been driven away from the coral reefs have gradually come back.
In fact, Cabo Pulmo’s coral reef was on the verge of dying due to overfishing and pollution, and several conservation programs managed to rescue it and bring it back to life.
Sea turtles, rays, sharks, fish, invertebrates, and humpback whales are among the creatures that call Cabo Pulmo National Park their home. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s also recognized by the Ramsar Convention.
While swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are by far the best and most popular activities in Los Cabos’ marine park, there’s plenty more for you to do while you’re there.
Paddleboarding, sea kayak, sailing, hiking, and indulging in the local cuisine are some of the things you can enjoy on your day trip to the national park.
➤ One of the best ways to visit Cabo Pulmo is on a jeep tour like the one we went on with High Tide Los Cabos. The 4×4 vehicle will allow you to get there via the most scenic road, with stunning views of Sea of Cortez along the way. You’ll also be able to explore the off-road, mountainous trails without worrying about the driving.
A visit to Playa Arbolitos is included, where you’ll enjoy snacks before getting in the water for some snorkeling along the reef and among plenty of sea life.
This Private Jeep Tour is a 7-hour trip and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, as well as lunch, use of equipment, refreshments, and entrance fees. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Whale Watching in Los Cabos
December through April is the migration period for gray and humpback whales. Thousands of these spectacular creatures make their way south from the Arctic to the warmer waters of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, where they’re going to mate and give birth.
It’s therefore a great time to enjoy (responsible!) whale watching, getting a close-up look of the giant mammals and watching them interact.
Unfortunately, I was in Cabo at a different time and was not able to witness it this time like I did last year in Puerto Vallarta but oh well – one more reason to come back!
During the whale season, chances of seeing the animals are high (it’s not always 100%, but very very close), and you may even get a glimpse of them from the beach. To really get close to them, learn about their behaviour, and snap stunning pictures, though, you’ll need to take a tour.
There are many tours in the area that offer whale watching experiences – remember to choose a responsible operator that matches your sustainable travel in Los Cabos.
Most tours are accompanied by an expert guide or biologist who’ll be able to answer all of your questions, and explain the whales’ migration patterns, eating habits and life cycle as you admire them in their natural habitat.
➤ The Zodiac Whale Watching Adventure is led by a marine biologist and operated by a sustainable company. You’ll enjoy a free second tour if you don’t see the whales! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
FARM-TO-TABLE RESTAURANTS IN LOS CABOS
Eating is a very (extremely) important part of any vacation…even more if said vacation is in Mexico!
Ecotourism in Los Cabos is taken very seriously, as you probably realized by now. That means that you’ll be able to find farm-to-table, sustainable restaurants where you can indulge in Mexican delicacies, being offered great quality without having a negative impact on the environment.
Below you’ll find two fantastic restaurants that guarantee impeccable service and food and a deep commitment to sustainability.
Flora’s Field Kitchen at Flora Farms
Flora’s Field Kitchen is located in Flora Farms, a sustainable estate that works the land by hand and where over 100 different herbs and vegetables are grown.
All items on the menu are handmade using the freshest ingredients, all of which come directly from the farm. This is where their field-to-table concept originates, creating a circle that starts with nourishing the soil and plating the seeds, and culminates in the wholesome dishes you’ll get to enjoy.
In fact, the restaurant aims to only serve what they grow and produce, which means their menu is seasonal. You’ll find vegetarian dishes as well as meat options, which come from animals raised humanly and with a healthy diet in the ranch.
There’s also a bar with views of the field that serves all the classic cocktails as well as fruit and vegetable-based ones, wine, and tap beer from Flora’s Brewery.
If you’re in the mood for pizzas, Mama’s Pizzeria, a section within Flora’s Field Kitchen, has its own wood-fired oven where 15 different types of pizza are baked. And it was good pizza! Trust me – I’m Italian after all 😉
We tried multiple dishes from the menu and liked each and every one of them. Everything tasted fresh, which makes sense considering the ingredients come from their own farm.
For drinks, I had both the Perro Perdido with sparkling wine and a Lavender Martini, and they were both so good.
House-made ice creams and sorbets for dessert can be bought at the ice cream cart on-site.
This restaurant is extremely popular, so you’d better book in advance if you want to eat here!
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 AM to 10.30 AM, 11 AM to 2 PM, and 5.30 PM to 9 PM. Sunday opens from 10 AM to 2 PM.
Don Sanchez is a restaurant located in San Jose del Cabo that specializes in contemporary Mexican cuisine.
All of the fruits and vegetables used in their kitchen are organic and locally produced; seafood is regionally sourced and animals are also raised in Los Cabos. This way they ensure prime quality as well as a responsible treatment to the environment.
The restaurant is known for its excellent service and flavorful cuisine, and it offers a great wine menu to pair with your dishes, as well as the popular spirits of the region, including tequila and mezcal. They even have their own wine private label!
READ ALSO: Tequila Tasting in Cabo San Lucas
After starting with two unusually looking mezcal cocktails, we left the chef take over and prepare a tasting menu for us and it was a great choice. We loved every dish! In fact, this was one of the very best meals we had this year.
Their philosophy, which states that the creation of the best meals starts with the best ingredients, has led them to carefully choose where their produce comes from and implement the fabulous farm-to-table concept.
The menu includes raw seafood and tasty tacos, as well as meat-based main dishes and healthy salads and appetizers. There are quite a few options for vegetarians. In fact, we aren’t vegetarians, but we loved the plant-based dishes we were offered.
Opening Hours: Daily from 5 PM to 10 PM
WHERE TO STAY: AN ECO HOTEL IN LOS CABOS
We stayed at Hotel El Ganzo, considered one of the most sustainable accommodations in all of Mexico. In fact, it’s the first hotel in the country to be certified as a B Corporation, meaning that they meet the highest standards when it comes to environmental and social responsibility.
This eco-friendly hotel features luxurious one and two-bedroom rooms, some of which face the ocean, and a penthouse & honeymoon suite.
Our room was very spacious and featured a seating area, a very comfy bed, and a fully-stocked complimentary minibar.
The highlight was probably the expansive terrace with a private jacuzzi overlooking the marina – nothing better than enjoying the view in the jacuzzi while sipping a glass of wine!
The bathroom was fully-equipped, including a shower and soaking bath, organic toiletries, and robes.
There are also several dining options at El Ganzo, from an on-site restaurant to a rooftop bar to a taco food truck.
At El Ganzo you’ll find a private beach club reachable by a 1-minute boat ride, two swimming pools, and a fitness center. Pets are welcome as well!
Its main rooftop pool is an infinity pool with incredible views over the San Jose del Cabo marina, and a transparent jacuzzi in the middle of it. This must be the most instagrammable pool in all of Los Cabos!
Besides luxurious rooms and suites, El Ganzo boasts a wellness & spa center where you can get anything from facials to massages, hydrotherapy, beauty treatments or yoga classes.
El Ganzo’s commitment to sustainability, though, is likely its main attraction if you’re reading this article. The hotel has in place an Environmental Management System that helps it monitor and reduce its waste.
The rooftop pool is heated with solar power, food waste is composted, single-use plastics have been eliminated, and guests’ carbon footprint impact is reversed by the purchase of carbon bonds.
El Ganzo also has a strong engagement with the community. It supports local businesses, provides a space for creativity and socialization at its Community Center, hires locally, and educates its staff during work hours.
The hotel also seeks partnerships with sustainable companies, like Water Matters, and encourages its guests to take part in the programs and support the eco-friendly projects it carries out.
CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE
➤ Looking for something different? Other sustainable hotels in Los Cabos include Viceroy Los Cabos, Villa del Faro, Grand Velas, and The White Lodge.
9 TOP Cabo ATV Tours To Book in 2023
Tuesday 24th of January 2023
[…] READ ALSO: A Full Guide to Ecotourism in Los Cabos […]
Visit Cabo Pulmo National Park: A Full Guide  - Every Steph
Tuesday 27th of December 2022
[…] The national marine park is a true Mexican gem. While it’s located relatively close to San Jose del Cabo, it’s still a very unspoiled, naturally gorgeous location that’s very worth the visit, especially if you’re interested in ecotourism in Los Cabos. […]
14 Best Things To Do in San Jose del Cabo  - Every Steph
Monday 5th of December 2022
[…] Los Cabos Tourism invited me to learn more about sustainable tourism in Los Cabos, I had never heard of San Jose del Cabo, where my hotel was located. I had only heard of Cabo San […]