CABO'S SANTA MARIA BAY
Take a tip from someone who has seen every single mile of beach in Baja, there isn't a prettier bay to be found on the Peninsula than Santa Maria Bay, located a few miles outside of Cabo San Lucas. Well, there might be one or two, but they are impossible to get to unless you are crazy enough to take a 19 foot skiff 2,200 miles around the Baja Peninsula coastline (see CARLOS FIESTA'S BAJA CIRCUMNAVIGATION).
How can it be that one of the most beautiful bays on the peninsula is located just a few minutes drive from one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico? Let's just call it dumb luck. Your luck, if you happen to be going to Cabo.
Santa Maria Bay is the perfect place to bring a beach chair, a towel, book, mask and a snorkel.
Santa Maria Bay is a natural scalloped-shaped cove with a sandy beach and rock promitories on either side of the bay crawling down to the ocean. The water is usually calm and very clear, and there is a population of local fish that add to any snorkeling experience.
One of the great things about Santa Maria Bay is that it is almost easy to get to. The fact that it 'almost' easy to get to is a good thing. That keeps out the crowds who want to park their car and just walk a few steps to the beach. It's more than just a few steps from the parking lot to the beach...(but not too much more).
The parking lot for Santa Maria Bay is right next to the Twin Dolphin Hotel on the main highway between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. The parking lot cannot be accessed when traveling southbound on Baja Highway One, but it is marked with a small sign on the northbound side of the highway. The road off of the highway to the beach parking lot is dirt, and after a zig and a zag you will find yourself a the parking lot that holds about 40 cars (an amigo in a chair will watch your car for a small tip).
The sandy trail from the parking lot to the beach is about 50 yards, winding through brush and cactus. When you get to the telephone pole you are 2/3 the way there. The beach is wide and there is almost always plenty of room for whoever happens to show up on any given day. The sandy areas near the water and adjacent to the rocks on either side of the bay are the most popular places to drop a towel. Bring your own shade.
The ocean bottom in the center of the bay is sandy all the way out. The shoreline on either side near the cliffs is rocky, which is where most of the fish hang out. The water depths runs from just a few feet near the shoreline to about 80 feet at the entrance to the bay.
Because it is fairly well protected and calm, Santa Maria Bay is a great place for people to go swimming who are usually afraid to go in the water. The bottom can be seen at all times, the water is usually warm, and there are no scary looking fish wandering in the shallows...only friendly fish.
Favorite things do do at Santa Maria Bay include sun bathing, picnicing, swimming, snorkeling, Scuba diving, kayaking and just plain hanging out. Despite all of these options Santa Maria Bay maintains a very quiet and relaxing place almost all of the time.
Because the bay is so protected from ocean swells boats like to drop the hook in the middle of the bay and visit for a while. The people on these boats usually don't spend much time on shore. They usually just jump off the boat and snorkel over to the rocks to watch the fish watch them.
As with any beach in Mexico the first 20 meters (60 feet) up from the tide line is public property and open to anybody (including vendors). So if you want an extra level of solitude staying back from the water line will provide you with that privacy.
A word to the wise. The sand at Santa Maria Bay is not a fine sandy sand. It is a granite sand that has come about by thousands of years of the local granite cliffs being worn away by the wind and waves. Wearing tennis shoes or sandles to the beach is a great idea, and wearing water socks in the water will make your adventure to Santa Maria Bay that much more enjoyable.
Those big beautiful houses behind the beach can be rented. Just contact a Cabo Realtor! or Cabo Villas.com.
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