Running in Los Cabos, Mexico

Located on the southern tip of Mexico‘s Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos comprises two cities: Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose. Connecting these two cities is a 20-mile stretch of the national highway (Hwy 1) which is known locally as Los Corredores. This tourist corridor is home to many fine resorts and beaches. Check out Playa Santa Maria near the start of your trip to familiarize yourself with the swimming, snorkeling, or sea kayaking that Los Cabos has to offer. The ocean temperature in Los Cabos ranges from 22°C (71°F) in February to 29°C (84°F) in September. The government has done a nice job of providing infrastructure to accommodate visitors to this beach, with a paved parking lot, change rooms, showers, washrooms, and wheelchair accessibility.

Playa Santa Maria

A couple of other cities to check out for a day trip in southern Baja California are La Paz, home to a beautiful winter carnival in February and breeding grounds for whale sharks. Also, Todos Santos, selected as one of 120 pueblo magicos (magic town) in Mexico and home to a vibrant artist colony.

Plaza in Todos Santos

Running Routes

Run Course for Ironman 70.3 in Cabo San Jose

To familiarize yourself with Cabo San Jose, using the run course of the Los Cabos Half-Iron (taking place in November) is recommended. As the map above shows, after the bike leg, runners start out by heading east on Malecon San Jose which has many oceanfront resorts on it. Then, you turn left (north) on Boulevard Antonio Mijares, and as you can see you go slightly past then return before turning left (east) on East Cape Road which takes you over a bridge and estuary that has lots of fish and birdlife activity. (You will want to have a more extended viewing of this estuary at a later time.) Then you turn left (north) on Camino Cabo Este. This out-and-back route is 10.5k in length and is completed twice by triathletes to get the half-marathon distance in this Half-Iron.

Route for Marina Boardwalk in Cabo San Lucas

To familiarize yourself with Cabo San Lucas, a run along the marina boardwalk is recommended. As the map shows, this route takes you from the lighthouse at the End of the Pier to Playa Publica Cabo San Lucas, and back for a 5k route in total. In addition to a variety of boats, the marina boardwalk has many restaurants, boutiques and hotels on this route.

East of the marina boardwalk is Medano Beach which stretches along the coastline for over 2 miles. The length of coastline and number of different beaches is one of the features that makes Los Cabos so attractive and Medano is a good example. But for runners tempted to do some beach running, like the picture at the very top of this post illustrates, one reservation I have is the steep camber of beach sand which makes running less than ideal. In addition to Medano, this goes for any beach in Los Cabos. An alternative may be to adopt a fartlek strategy whereby, you start out by walking a given beach and, when you come across fairly flat sections, run and/or sprint these sections.

I don’t recommend running on Los Corredores (Hwy 1). But, outside the city centre, where the traffic lights begin to thin out, you may be able to find a frontage road and sidewalk that runs parallel to the highway for running.

If you’re staying near one of the many golf courses in Los Cabos, you may be able to run its perimeter. I ran on a service road circling a course near me. Just be vigilant of errant golf balls and if the Course Marshall approaches you, be respectful and friendly;).

Average Temperature and Rainfall for Los Cabos

The above graphs show that from November to May, daytime high temperatures range from 25 to 30°C (77 to 86°F) and cool off at night to 10 to 15°C (50 to 59°F). At this time of the year there is very little precipitation (300 days of sunshine in Los Cabos yearly). The climate is described as ‘Tropical Desert’ meaning that even though you’re on the coastline with warm temperatures, the air is not overly humid and oppressive in Los Cabos. Given these conditions, runners will want to pack a singlet, hat and shorts to use most runs. Just to be on the cautious side, a sleeved shirt would be a good idea, too.

Getting There
Los Cabos is relatively easy to reach by air travel. And accommodations are easy to arrange online. It has an international airport serviced by major airlines. Alternatively, it is possible to drive your car there. The Baja California peninsula is approximately 1,000 miles (1600k) in length from the southern United States border. It’s important to note that driving on the highway after dark is strictly discouraged due to multiple reasons: livestock on road, narrow road with no lighting, etc.

There are many rental car companies in Los Cabos. If you’re planning to go off-road, a four-wheel drive vehicle will come in handy, just check you’re insured for backcountry exploration. For city streets, any car will do.

There is public bus service which will take you to-and-from Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose along Los Corredores for an economical price. And there are ‘colectivo’ buses which can transport you within each city for an economical price. The main bus terminal in Los Cabos is a 10-minute drive west of Cabo San Lucas. From the terminal, you can catch a bus to Todos Santos or La Paz.

There are taxis that often park near the big resorts, when drivers can take new fares. The ridesharing app most commonly used is Uber.

Thanks for reading!
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In addition, readers may be interested in these posts if travelling and running:

Trying to fit some running into your vacation schedule? For more on this topic, check out an earlier post: Maintaining Running Fitness on Vacation .

Or maybe you're planning to get in a block of training during a long-stay in a place like Los Cabos? For more on this topic, check out an earlier post: Reflections on a Winter Running Camp .

For more on fartlek running strategy, check out: Fartlek is for All Runners 

This post is part of a series on destinations for running and hiking. For more, check out:
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Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel. I usually post once or twice a month.