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5 Ways to Be a Thrill-Seeker in Los Cabos

Have an adventure beyond the beach on your next trip to this warm-weather favourite

Close up shot of a whale shark underwater

You might think of Los Cabos as a place to bask in the sun, work on your golf game or dance the night away at cantinas like Cabo Wabo. But if you look beyond the resorts and nightlife, you’ll find that this area at the tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula also has plenty of ways to get your heart racing that don’t involve tequila. Here are five ways to get in on the action.

1. Watch the sun rise over Land’s End

For a thrill on the mild side, get up early and trek across Playa Solmar to watch the sun rise over the granite rocks that jut out on the western side of Cabo San Lucas. They mark the end of the landmass that stretches from Alaska to Baja and, up close, have an unreal smoothness that seems to glow gold at first light. As the sun climbs higher, you’ll also spot an armada of fishing boats leaving the harbour to do battle with marlin, yellowfin tuna and sailfish, and—if you’re lucky—one of the humpback whales that visit the area from November to April.

Shot of the resort's pools in Cabo San Lucas 

Bonus: you can spend the day at one of the luxury resorts along the shore and return to the beach to watch the sunset over the Pacific, too.

IF YOU GO: Heavy surf and a strong undertow make Playa Solmar unsafe for swimming. Keep your sunrise stroll to the dry sand.

THRILL RATING: 1/5. Pretty tame.

2. Zip line across a canyon

Take a ride to Wild Canyon Adventures, set in the hills between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, for a course of up to eight zip lines. It starts easy, with a short test line that will help you learn to brake, and gradually ascends to higher and longer lines of more than 800 metres that will test your mettle. As you pick up speed, and enjoy views of the sea in the distance and a hidden oasis below, you’ll feel like one of the hawks soaring above the canyon.

Man wearing a helmet zip lining across a canyon 

IF YOU GO: For safety, you can’t bring your own camera while you ride. If you really want photo evidence, ask the guides to get GoPro footage, which you can purchase after your adventure on a flash drive.

THRILL RATING: 2/5. Takes a little moxie.

3. Swim with a whale shark

Come face to face with one of these gentle giants on a guided excursion to the Bay of La Paz, about two hours northeast of Los Cabos on the Sea of Cortés. Though they can grow up to 18 metres long and have telltale fins that poke above the water à la Jaws, they’re filter feeders, using their large mouths to scoop up plankton. You’ll be given a snorkel, mask and flippers, and, after a short boat ride into the middle of the bay, you’ll get to slip into the warm water and try to glide alongside these impressively sized fish.

A whale shark swimming amongst fish underwater 

IF YOU GO: Unlike some encounters where a “swim with dolphins” turns out to mean standing in a pool, you’ll be swimming with whale sharks in the wild. Try to follow the sharks in the direction they want to swim, avoid touching them and watch out for their tails as they flick back and forth.

THRILL RATING: 3/5. Wet and wild.

4. Drive a four-wheeler through the desert to the sea

Pretend you’re in the Baja 1000 off-road race as you steer around cacti, skirt rock walls and splash through a stream in one of Cabo Adventures’ 100-horsepower, four-seat four-wheelers. The sandy trail off the highway just north of Cabo San Lucas offers washboard bumps and a soft surface ideal for fishtailing—once you get used to the idea that it’s OK to slip and slide in these rugged vehicles. After navigating up a canyon, you’ll take a break by a small waterfall, then head back out to a broad yet secluded beach on the Pacific.

Two people driving four-wheelers across the sand 

IF YOU GO: You’ll need to show a valid licence to drive. Wear old clothes; the vehicles are open, and the fine, reddish dust gets everywhere.

THRILL RATING: 4/5. Bring your derring-do.

5. Free-fall into the scenery on a tandem swing

If the zip lines weren’t quite scary enough, take a ride on a giant tandem swing at Wild Canyon Adventures. First, you’ll take a tiny cable car out to a glass-bottom gondola suspended 91 metres over the canyon, where the guides will secure your harness to the swing and winch you out to the drop point. On the count of tres, dos, uno! they push the button, and you’re in for a few seconds of stomach-lurching free fall until the lines go taut at the bottom of the swing’s path. Once you’ve stopped screaming, relish the tranquil sounds of the wind rushing past and the creek trickling through the canyon.

Wild Canyon Adventures presents a tandem swing in Cabo's nature 

IF YOU GO: Brave enough to go solo? You can also bungee jump from the same gondola. Think this might be one thrill too many? Stop at the restaurant before boarding the cable car, where the bartender will offer a tequilita if you’re looking queasy.

THRILL RATING: 5/5. Adrenaline through the roof!

Looking for more outside-the-box travel inspiration?

Discover 7 Adults-Only Resorts That Will Make Your Grown-Up Life Better or check out 5 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Passionate Buenos Aires.

Image credits: Barry Choi, Grand Solmar Resort, Cabo Adventures and Wild Canyon Adventures