Los Cabos: you’re thinking sun, white beaches, a nice dip in the ocean, and some serious relaxtion by the pool, right? Well, Los Cabos is definitely all of that. But beyond the glitzy hotels and beach cabanas, there’s a lot more to this sunny community.
Nestled at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos is home to a wildly diverse ecosystem, and some of the most spectacular natural beauty in all of Mexico. Jacques Cousteau famously called the Sea of Cortez the world’s aquarium, and some of Cabo’s most interesting residents can be found under the sea. Isolated, wild, beautiful, diverse: it’s no surprise that more and more residents and visitors in Cabo are choosing to go green and protect this delicate ecosystem.
Baja Sur is famous for its sun-splashed beaches, but a stunning ecosystem waits just below the water’s surface. Find out more at the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park on Baja’s East Cape. As one of three living coral reefs in North America, Cabo Pulmo is an important part of the marine ecosystem in Baja Sur. It’s also a great place to see all manner of marine life in their natural habitat. The accommodations and dive centers found in Cabo Pulmo park all must comply with federal regulations to protect the reef. Visitors can dive, snorkel, and learn more about Baja’s marine life while minimizing their carbon footprint on this pristine marine sanctuary.
If this whets your appetite for marine life, a few local outfitters offer conservation trips that allow ecologically-minded visitors a chance to get up close and personal with Baja’s vibrant wildlife. From diving with giant squids, whale watching, or protecting sea turtles, each of these conservation expeditions are oriented around education and preservation of this delicate ecosystem and are customizable for each group.
Speaking of sea turtles, you don’t have to travel outside of Los Cabos to learn a lot about these endangered creatures. Each year, turtles make their nests on the same beaches enjoyed by thousands of locals and tourists alike. A number of hotels in Los Cabos have special preservation programs (some specially funded by the Mexican government) to protect the fragile turtle eggs and make sure that once hatched, these babies make it safely to sea. Guests of these hotels are often welcomed to help lead the newly-hatched turtles to shore and fend off would-be predators. Another way that tourism can work with nature, not against it.
Beyond the beach, ecotourism flourishes in the desert and mountains around Los Cabos. Ecotours here explore the wildly diverse desert landscapes, taking visitors on hikes up to the peaks of the Sierra La Laguna (the mountain range right outside of Los Cabos). Experience waterfalls, canyons, exotic flora and breathtaking views while channeling your inner Indiana Jones. Local guides teach visitors about the natural wonders of Los Cabos with a conscious effort to preserve and protect.
After all that adventuring, you’re probably going to get hungry. Both San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas have organic markets where you can peruse a wide selection of locally-grown produce, crafts, jewelry, soaps and tasty treats. A stroll around the Saturday organic market in San Jose is a great way to find out more about local farmers, sample products found only in Baja Sur, and connect with a community of eco-friendly Mexicans and foreigners. While closed in the low season, both organic markets are bustling between October and May, and you’re sure to find people dancing to live music and plenty of atmosphere.
As tourism grows in Los Cabos, recycling has gained a stronger foothold in Baja Sur. Locally-based nonprofits work with local businesses and schools to make recycling more accessible to the Los Cabos community. In addition to weekly collections, educational radio campaigns, and workshops for children, nonprofit groups hold social events that combine great food, good music and fun all to promote awareness for their cause. Check out the local listings when you’re in Los Cabos to find more environmentally-conscious events that provide fun for a great cause.
People love Los Cabos for a number of reasons, but most devotees are hooked on the unique beauty of this place. Discover for yourself what lies beyond the pina coladas and swimming pools, and dive right into the diverse ecosystem that awaits. Going green doesn’t mean sacrificing fun, but instead learning how to preserve this extraordinary destination for generations to come.