The East Cape region features 120km of wild coastline, littered with stunningly beautiful beaches, especially around Cabo Pulmo. There is only a handful of towns and villages, with far less development than Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, though thanks to a major influx of North American “snowbirds”, US dollars are also widely accepted here, and English is often spoken.
The best of the East Cape is protected within Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, with pristine beaches and a rare hard coral reef just offshore. The area is anchored by the off-the-grid village of CABO PULMO, which has a population of around 250, basic facilities (only solar power), no paragliders and no jet skis. The beach here is rocky with strong riptides, but just fifteen minutes’ drive south on a bumpy gravel road is Playa Los Arbolites (entry M$30), a gorgeous privately owned beach with palapas, toilets and showers, and decent snorkelling. About five minutes further south by car is Playa Los Frailes (free, no facilities), a picturesque cove with sensational snorkelling – it can be like swimming in a fish tank, with rays and turtles also gliding around. There’s also a sea lion colony about 1km further along the shore, accessed by boat, kayak or by a combination of wading and swimming (strong swimmers only). Rent snorkelling gear back in Cabo Pulmo.
The largest and most accessible resort town on the East Cape is LOS BARRILES, a sportfishing and windsurfing centre some 66km north of Los Cabos airport on Hwy-1 (beyond the turning to Cabo Pulmo). Though it gets busy in the winter, it retains a fairly laid-back scene, with low-key development along the shore.