If you’re planning a trip to Los Cabos, you’re probably looking forward to sunny, fun-filled days swimming in the sea. But here’s something you need to know: not all beaches in Cabo are swimmable. While some coasts are fantastic for a splash, other beaches in this region are rife with real dangers that could even be life-threatening. Here are the top reasons why some Cabo beaches are unswimmable, and what you can do as a visitor.
Cabo Rip Tides
Arguably the number one reason to avoid swimming in some Cabo beaches is the presence of rip currents. These are commonly called ‘rip tides’, but they’re not actually tides – they’re powerful, fast-moving water currents that move from the shore out to the ocean. Sometimes, they can be so strong and unexpected that even expert swimmers get swept out to sea.
Rip currents are present in numerous beaches around the world, not just Los Cabos. But because Cabo is such a popular tourist destination and you want to be there to have fun, you should be aware – and steer clear – of this risk.
Steep Drops And Waves
It’s not uncommon for Cabo shores to slope down quite steeply. One minute, you’re wading in ankle-deep water, then a few yards out and you might have to paddle. This is a risk for bathers who are unprepared for the quick change in water depth. If you’re visiting with children, it’s wise to not let them swim at these sudden slopes.
In addition, the sharp drop-off allows waves to grow huge and crash fiercely. A beach with strong, unpredictable waves would not be friendly to leisurely swimmers.
Jellyfish And Other Marine Animals
The Baja California region is blessed with amazing marine life. Some parts of Los Cabos are wonderful for snorkeling – the underwater flora and fauna are a remarkable sight. However, for some casual bathers, this might mean encountering some unexpected jellies, sea urchins, and coral even in shallow water.
It’s a good idea to wear protective swim gear such as Lycra suits to minimize the risk of getting stung. But if you prefer to soak up as much sun in a cute swimsuit, you might want to ensure that the water is clear of stingers and spikes before going in.
Not All Beaches Have Lifeguards
Unfortunately, lifeguards only work at select beaches in Cabo. This is partly because many beaches are not meant for swimming in the first place, so officials only put up warning signs there, which should be enough to keep casual swimmers away.
There may be some sites where the coast looks calm and inviting, but unless you see an actual lifeguard manning the area, you won’t know for sure that a professional is watching out for your safety.
How To Plan For Safe Swimming In Los Cabos
- Check for swimmable beaches before you go. Make sure that the beach you’re going to is expressly marked swimmable. You can also ask your hotel or travel agency in advance to know if any of the abovementioned risks are present in that area.
Cabo beaches that are known to be swimmable include Medano Beach, Palmilla Beach, and Chileno Beach.
- Look for colored flags. Cabo has a beach color-coding system that lets you know the level of safety onsite. Black flags indicate the most dangerous conditions. Red means danger is also present. Yellow advises you to use caution while swimming, and green means the water is safe. Blue flags are special – they indicate not only swimming safety but also high standards of cleanliness, sustainability, and service.
- Observe before going in the water. Sometimes, even the most swimmable beaches can have surprises for visitors. Before you wade into the water, observe whether people are actually swimming in it or are staying on dry land. Also, note any lifeguard or beach personnel patrolling the vicinity. Don’t be afraid to ask them if anything looks concerning.
- Prep for basic first aid. No one wants to think about accidents while on vacation, but having first-aid knowledge can help you feel safer. Pack some safety essentials such as sanitizer, anti-allergy medication, moisturizer, and band-aids. It’s also valuable to learn the lifesaving skill of CPR.
- Beachfront Villas. It is always recommended to never go swimming alone. If your friends and family are non-swimmers, they can still keep an eye on you from the beach itself or the comfort of your beachfront villa. Make sure to let someone know when you are going for a swim. Stick to popular beaches with people over remote areas with nobody around.
- Trust only accredited travel agencies. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of a trustworthy agency. You want to be certain that your travel agent isn’t cutting corners when arranging your trip. When shopping for an agent, look for accreditation as well as real customer reviews.
Swimming in Los Cabos is most enjoyable when you’re assured of your safety and that of your loved ones. Advance safety preparation is key so you don’t have to worry by the time you’re finally in this paradise peninsula. From all of us here at Come to Cabo, have a safe and fun Los Cabos stay!