Rugged arches both define Cabo San Lucas’ coastline and create some of the area’s best scuba diving. One of those dive spots is known as Sand Falls, located by the arch that stands at the head of the harbor. Discovered by legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, this natural phenomenon is a cascade of—as the name suggests—sand.
The friction between the tectonic plates of North America and the Pacific, combined with the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, can form sand cascades. Similar natural wonders typically occur under dry or desert conditions such as canyons, but in the case of Cabo, it’s underwater. At Sand Falls, divers can watch this continual run-off of sand into the sea, which starts at 90 feet (27 meters) and descends to 120 feet (36 meters). Diving tours typically explore Sand Falls and other sites around Land’s End.
Things to Know Before You Go
Sand Falls is a unique must-see for experienced divers.
The waters around Sand Falls are home to octopus, angelfish, seahorses, and more.
Sand Falls is often a jumping-off point for snorkeling and diving trips in the Cabo San Lucas marina, and is close to other dive spots including three shipwrecks.
How to Get There
You can arrange a trip out to Sand Falls through a number of different dive operators around the Cabo San Lucas marina. Two- and 3-dive tours are also available, and typically include sightseeing boat rides around the waters of the Land’s End area to see Lover’s Beach, the sea lion colony, the famous arch (El Arco), and more.
When to Get There
The best time to dive around Cabo San Lucas is October and November, when the Sea of Cortez is at its warmest—but this is also when there’s a high risk of typhoons, so you may want to invest in trip insurance if you’re planning a trip in the fall. December through March is also excellent for diving, and you may be lucky to spot humpback and grey whales, along with sea lions and schools of rays.
The Sea Lion Colony
Considered an easier dive than Sand Falls, the Sea Lion Colony site descends up to 70 feet (21 meters) and is a good option for novice divers in the Land’s End area. Plus, as the name suggests, you’ll spot plenty of sea lions sunbathing on the rocks in their natural habitat.
- Medano Beach (Playa Médano)
- Cabo San Lucas
- Land's End
- Chileno Beach (Playa Chileno)
- Lover's Beach (Playa del Amor)
- Arch of Cabo San Lucas (El Arco)
- Santa Maria Beach (Playa Santa María)
- Cuadra San Francisco
- Palmilla Golf Club
- Palmilla Beach (Playa Palmilla)
- San Jose del Cabo
- San Jose del Cabo Church (Parroquia San José)
- San Jose Estuary (Estero San José)
- Sierra de la Laguna
- Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park