13 Best Things to Do in Los Barriles, Mexico

Looking for the best things to do in Los Barriles, Mexico? 

Los Barriles, or ‘The Barrels,’ is the perfect blend of adventure and chill vibes that’s just hard to beat. Whether you’re into the rush of kiteboarding, the thrill of sport fishing, or just want to soak in the laid-back atmosphere, this East Cape beach town is a little slice of Baja paradise.

Take a walk down Calle 20 Noviembre in the heart of the town – it’s buzzing with souvenir shops, cozy cafes, and authentic taquerias that serve up some seriously tasty fish tacos.

And if you’re in the mood for a bit of adventure, the desert and sea surrounding the town is just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re getting lifted by the wind on a kiteboard to riding through a dusty arroyo on an ATV, Los Barriles is all about outdoor adventure.

As the sun sets over the Sierra de la Laguna mountains behind the town, Los Barriles transforms into an expat social hub, where sipping margaritas during happy hour and savoring the freshest catch of the day become cherished rituals.

I’ve explored this hidden gem myself and it’s one of my favorite beach towns on the Baja California peninsula. 

From stunning beachfront resorts to the top things to do, this ultimate Los Barriles travel guide is packed with insider tips and everything you need to discover the laid-back charm of this Baja paradise. 

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Looking for a hotel? Below are my top 3 picks from the best hotels in Los Barriles.

Barrel fountain and entrance sign to the town of Los Barriles in Baja.
Welcome to Los Barriles, Mexico!

Where is Los Barriles?

Los Barriles is a beach town situated along the shores of Bahia las Palmas on the southeastern coast of Baja California Sur (or BCS) in Mexico. It’s nestled between the Sea of Cortez and the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, offering spectacular views of the sea and desert landscapes.

It’s the largest town in the East Cape region of the Baja Peninsula, but it’s not nearly as busy as Cabo San Lucas. Los Barriles is approximately 48 miles north of the busy resort city of San Jose del Cabo and about 65 miles southeast of the state capital, La Paz, making it an accessible getaway from big city life.

Although it’s extremely popular with retirees and snowbirds, Los Barriles is still somewhat off the tourist radar. It’s ideal for those seeking beachside tranquility with a dose of outdoor adventure. 

With Highway 1 running through town, making a stop here during a Baja California road trip is a must for those looking for a unique taste of Baja’s laid-back vibes and stunning natural beauty.

How to Get to Los Barriles, Baja Sur

The closest airport to Los Barriles is Los Cabos International Airport (SJD), about a 1-hour drive south in San Jose del Cabo. You can also fly into the smaller, mostly domestic La Paz International Airport (LAP), which is roughly 70 miles away.

From either airport, renting a car is a popular choice, providing the freedom to explore at your own pace and soak in the scenic beauty of Baja California Sur. 

The 1-hour drive from the Los Cabos Airport to Los Barriles offers breathtaking views of Baja California Sur’s diverse landscapes and the route is well-marked.

If you prefer a more hands-off approach, hire this private transport service for a pre-booked, hassle-free ride directly to Los Barriles from the Los Cabos airport.

Alternatively, hiring a taxi is an easy, albeit sometimes pricier, option to get you from the airport to your destination without the need to navigate.

Kiteboarders gliding across the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Kiteboarders gliding across the Sea of Cortez in Los Barriles, Baja.

Top Things to Do in Los Barriles, Mexico

There are a surprising amount of things to do in Los Barriles! The variety of activities available in Los Barriles caters to every taste, blending adventure with the natural beauty of Baja California Sur. 

One of my favorite ways to spend a day in Los Barriles is to go on a morning snorkel or swim. Once the afternoon winds pick up, take an afternoon stroll along Playa Los Barriles to watch all of the kiteboarders in action. At sunset, head to the local beachfront watering hole to sip on a margarita with your feet in the sand.

Whether you’re gliding over the waves, exploring the desert on an ATV, or snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez, there’s no shortage of ways to make your stay unforgettable. 

1. Rent an ATV

For those who crave a dose of adrenaline mixed with stunning landscapes, renting an ATV in Los Barriles is a must. 

With vast arroyos (dry river beds), miles of trails, and a track along the shore, this town is ATV central! Even more so than San Felipe in northern Baja California, known for its off-road races

From Razor side-by-sides to quads, Los Barriles is swarming with ATVs and UTVs of all shapes and sizes. They are the town’s transportation method of choice. You’ll see locals and expats riding their ATVs along the roads for simple grocery runs and sunset happy hours. 

Renting an ATV in Los Barriles is a fun way to explore the diverse terrains of Baja California Sur, combining the thrill of off-roading with the area’s natural beauty. Just be sure to respect the Zona Tranquila (slow zone) signs along the beach, put in place to keep the nesting sea turtles safe.

QuadGirl and QuadMan Baja are both popular outfitters offering ATV rentals in Los Barriles. You can rent an ATV and do a self-guided tour following one of the routes below or book one of their guided group tours.

Man walking next to a quad on a sandy beach.
Michael walking next to the coastal ATV road AKA the beach.

Top Los Barriles ATV Routes

  1. Punta Pescadero: For epic vistas of the Sea of Cortez, take the road along the beach north to Punta Pescadero. Don’t forget your snorkel gear because Punta Pescadero Beach is one of the best places to snorkel in Los Barriles! Enjoy a scenic lunch at the clifftop Punta Pescadero Paradise Hotel for some of the best views in town.
  2. Arroyo Buenos Aires: Take the first arroyo from town inland to explore several seasonal waterfalls, including La Cienaga, Los Compis, and Los Barriles Waterfall. Splash around in the refreshing freshwater pools and pack a lunch for a relaxing picnic by the falls. 
  3. Arroyo San Bartolo: Take the second arroyo to reach the authentic Mexican village of San Bartolo. It’s a tiny, yet interesting community known for its traditional candy, natural spring pools, and artisanal ice cream shop.

Don’t forget to bring a bandana to use as a dust mask on the sandy trails!

2. Hire a Sport Fishing Charter

In Los Barriles, the Sea of Cortez opens up a world of sport fishing adventures. This town is a haven for anglers, boasting one of Mexico’s richest fishing grounds. 

Here, you can fly fish for roosterfish and jacks just off the shore or embark on a charter adventure into the Sea of Cortez for a chance at deep-sea giants like Dorado, snapper, or the coveted Yellowfin tuna. 

As the sun rises, setting off from Los Barriles on a sport fishing charter offers not just the promise of an impressive haul but also the beauty of Baja’s dawn. Keep an eye out for dolphins or even whales during the winter months. 

The fishing excursions cater to everyone from seasoned pros to those casting their first line. If you’re looking for more information, head to Hotel Palmas de Cortez, a beachfront resort known for its world-class fishing charters with experienced captains and a range of vessels.

Beyond the thrill of the chase, there’s the reward of dining on your fresh catch, a perfect end to a day on the water. Take your catch to one of the many restaurants in Los Barriles and they’ll prepare it for you.

If you’re not into fishing, you can still enjoy a day out on the water by going whale watching during the winter months when these gentle giants migrate to Baja.

3. Try Kiteboarding in the El Norte Winds

From November to March, Los Barriles transforms into a kiteboarder’s dream, thanks to the ‘El Norte’ swells and consistent winds. 

Whether you’re a pro bringing your gear or a newbie eager to learn, the large, uncrowded beaches here are ideal. 

New to the sport? No worries, there are plenty of schools right on the beach ready to show you the ropes. 

Schools like ExotiKite and Kiteboarding Baja School are stationed right on the beach, offering everything from kiteboarding gear rentals to comprehensive lessons that cover everything from the basics to advanced maneuvers.

And for spectators or those taking a break, La Playa Restaurant offers a fantastic vantage point. Here, you can enjoy delicious tacos and cold drinks while watching kiteboarders glide across the waves. 

A kiteboarder riding an ATV along the beach in Los Barriles, Mexico.
An ATV giving a kiteboarder a ride towards Playa Norte.

4. Experience Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez

The Sea of Cortez (officially named the Gulf of California), famously dubbed “the world’s aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau, is a snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise. Its gentle waves and crystal-clear waters provide ideal conditions for underwater exploration. 

The amazing visibility here can make every snorkel session feel like a private audience with the ocean’s colorful inhabitants. Remember to pack your snorkel, mask, and fins!

Cabo Pulmo National Park, a jewel within the Sea of Cortez, is a short journey from Los Barriles and a must-visit for diving and snorkeling excursions

This marine sanctuary boasts one of the most important coral reefs in the northern Pacific, offering an unparalleled underwater adventure. You’re likely to encounter schools of manta rays, swirling vortexes of jacks, and even reef sharks.

If you’d rather stay in town, there are several Los Barriles beaches for snorkeling. Snorkeling in Los Barriles offers plenty of sightings of sergeant fish, pufferfish, trumpet fish, and other local marine species.

Top Spots for Snorkeling in Los Barriles

  • Punta Pescadero: This spot is known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life. 
  • El Cardonal: Offering a more secluded environment, El Cardonal is perfect for those seeking a peaceful snorkeling experience away from the crowds.
  • Playa Norte: Quickly accessible from town with marine life close to shore. We enjoyed snorkeling here in the mornings before the wind picked up.
  • Playa La Gaviota: Known for its public palapas, this beach is a favorite among local families looking for a shaded retreat for snorkelers to relax between swims.
Horseback riding along the sand in Los Barriles Beach.
Horseback riding along the sand next to an arroyo.

5. Go Horseback Riding Along the Beach

Picture this: you, on a horse, riding along the beach at sunset. Sounds pretty perfect, right? The gentle lapping of the waves and the ocean breeze make horseback riding along the beaches of Los Barriles an unforgettable experience.

Horseback riding in Los Barriles offers a range of experiences that cater to all levels of riders, from beginners to experienced equestrians.

Places like Baja’s Awesome Beach Rides provide hourly excursions along the picturesque beaches and into the arroyos, where sandy paths lead into the scenic backcountry.

But there’s nothing quite like the peaceful vibe of trotting down the beach. It’s a great way to unwind and take in the scenic landscapes.

6. Explore the Mountain Biking Trails

If you prefer two wheels, biking around Los Barriles is a blast. The terrain here varies from easy rides along the beach to rugged mountain paths, so there’s something for every level of biker. 

Local bike shops in town, like East Cape Bicicletas, rent full-suspension bikes suited for the mountain trails, beach cruisers for riding around town, fat tires for the coastal road, and e-bikes.

A row of bikes for rent at a local bike shop in Los Barriles.
Bikes for rent at the local bike shop.

The town’s location along the foothills of the Sierra De La Laguna mountains by the Sea of Cortez offers a stunning backdrop and unique terrain for mountain biking.

Trailheads are conveniently located just a short ride from the village center, with “Lefty’s Road” south of town being a popular starting point. 

For Los Barriles mountain biking trail details, visit Trailforks where you can find a comprehensive list of trails in the area.

Mountain Biking Trails in Los Barriles

  • Greenhorn: Showcases the ingenuity of local trail builders with its techy step-ups and tight paths.
  • Scotty’s to Shady Rocks to Vista to Lejos: Offers a scenic climb with changing canopies and massive granite boulders, providing a ride that feels miles away from the seashore.
  • Gummy Connector Route: Combines Scotty’s, Vista, Lejos, Corrales, and Mars/Rastro Vaca loops for an extensive exploration of the area’s diverse landscapes.

If you’re not into mountain biking, there are tons of hiking trails to explore around Los Barriles. Get AllTrails+ for easy access to the hiking paths offline since you probably won’t have cell service once you stray from the center of town.

7. Enjoy the Los Barriles Beaches 

With miles of shoreline along Bahia Las Palmas, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches, or playas, in Los Barriles to explore.

Whether you’re looking to unwind by the gentle waves, ride a kayak or SUP along the shore, get lost in a good book on the sand, explore the underwater world by snorkeling, or simply bask in the sun’s warmth, these shores have it all.

Best Beaches in Los Barriles

  • Playa Los Barriles: Ideal for water sports, the town’s main beach features golden sand and clear waters perfect for a refreshing swim. It’s my favorite spot to walk along the shore and take in all of the action.
  • Playa Buena Ventura: Offers a serene setting for beachcombing and strolls along its sandy shore.
  • Playa Punta Pescadero: A snorkeler’s delight, this beach features clearer waters and a pebbly seabed rich in marine life.
  • Playa Palo Blanquito: A quiet haven for those seeking solitude, with fine sand for relaxing and soaking up the natural beauty.
  • Playa Norte: Family-friendly with soft sand and gentle waves, making it an ideal spot for building sandcastles and paddling in the shallows.
  • Playa La Gaviota: Equipped with public palapas for shaded relaxation, this beach invites you to lounge, read, or simply enjoy the scenic views.
  • Playa El Cardonal: Known for its peaceful ambiance and beachfront restaurants, this secluded beach is the perfect day trip from town to grab lunch by the sea.
ATV tracks along the sand in Playa Los Barriles.
Playa Los Barriles, the main beach in town.

8. Play Pickleball in Baja

Pickleball fans rejoice! Los Barriles is home to Tres Palapas Baja Pickleball Resort, renowned as one of Mexico’s premier destinations. 

This world-class pickleball complex boasts ten championship-quality courts, a cafe, and accommodations. 

It’s perfect for beginners, seasoned players, or anyone looking to observe a few games. Players can enjoy the sport, partake in happy hour gatherings, and even participate in tournaments or casual round-robin sessions, making it a social hub for both locals and visitors.

Open from 8 am to 6 pm, with special “Be Happy Pickleball” sessions from 3 pm to 6 pm, the resort invites everyone to join the fun and learn the sport.

Whether you’re there to play causally or compete at higher levels, Tres Palapas mixes top-notch pickleball with the best of Baja’s laid-back atmosphere.

9. Relax and Rejuvenate at the Spa

Looking to unwind after a long day of adventures? A little pampering at a local spa might be in order. 

Indulge in some self-care, at one of the spas in Los Barriles. Spas like Spa Vida provide a rejuvenating escape with a range of treatments designed to soothe and refresh. 

From tension-relieving massages that ease the muscles after a day of activities to revitalizing facials that restore your skin’s natural glow.

Hotel Palmas De Cortez and Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise are two of the best beachfront resorts in Los Barriles with spas. These hotel spas offer guests the convenience of luxurious spa services right at their doorstep.

Whether you’re a guest at one of these resorts or simply dropping in for a day of indulgence, visiting a spa in Los Barriles is the perfect setting to relax and recharge for your next adventure.

10. Visit the Community Market on Saturdays

The Los Barriles farmer’s market, comes alive every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. Here, locals and visitors alike come together to browse a variety of goods ranging from fresh produce to handmade crafts. 

It’s an ideal place to experience the local culture, grab a bite to eat, and find unique souvenirs or gifts. 

Whether you’re looking for organic foods, artisanal products, or just a pleasant way to spend your Saturday morning, the Los Barriles community market on weekends is a must-visit.

A colorful sign for a Mexican taqueria in Los Barriles, Mexico.
Try authentic Mexican tacos or chilaquiles at Taqueria El Viejo.

11. Taste Authentic Mexican Cuisine

All that adventuring is bound to work up an appetite, and the restaurants in Los Barriles won’t disappoint. 

From seafood so fresh it practically jumps onto your plate, to local spots serving up some seriously tasty tacos, there’s a variety of places to enjoy an authentic Mexican meal while sipping on a margarita (or two!). 

  • Taqueria El Viejo: a casual spot and a must-visit for fish taco fans, offering a toppings bar that will take your taco game to the next level
  • Taqueria La Gaviota: another top spot for the tacos in Los Barriles
  • Restaurant Triny’s Campestre: is a popular dinner restaurant featuring local seafood dishes and a variety of Mexican classics like chile relleno
  • Loncheria Mar y Tierra: For a cheap, yet delicious authentic meal, try this typical loncheria (lunch eatery) and their fresh flour tortillas

12. Find Your Souvenirs: Shopping in Los Barriles

Save some space in your luggage and don’t miss out on the shopping in Los Barriles!

From beautiful handcrafted jewelry and traditional Mexican clothing to Talavera ceramics and handblown glassware, the artisan boutiques and shops here offer excellent opportunities for souvenir shopping. 

Keep an eye out for the beautiful woven hammocks – they’re perfect for bringing a piece of Baja’s chill vibe back home. 

Popular Shops in Los Barriles

  • Curios Milan: Offers a selection of handcrafted jewelry, Talavera ceramics, Mexican textiles, and unique glassware at competitive prices.
  • Everything Turtles & More: Specializes in handcrafted items supporting local turtle conservation efforts, including themed souvenirs and artisanal crafts.
  • Maricruz Martinez Aniles: Known for exquisite palm frond artistry, creating everything by hand for a truly authentic touch.
  • Only Los Barriles Souvenirs: Features products made by local artisans, from clothing to unique crafts, celebrating the spirit of Los Barriles.
  • Plum Loco: A destination for tropical-themed apparel and accessories, alongside a collection of unique gifts and clothing.
  • Charlie’s Chocolates: Handmade chocolates by the sea. Try their artisanal jalapeño sea salt chocolates!
Woven hammocks hanging at a souvenir shop in Mexico.
Beautiful woven hammocks for sale on the main street in Los Barriles.

13. Take a Day Trip from Los Barriles

One of the best things to do in Los Barriles is to take a day trip to one of the many surrounding attractions in Baja Sur. 

Discover Cabo Pulmo’s coral reefs, whale sharks in La Paz, or the Sierra de la Laguna’s hot springs. 

So pack a day bag and set off on an adventure to one of the destinations below!

El Triunfo

Nestled in the Sierra de la Laguna mountains about a 50-minute drive from Los Barriles, El Triunfo is an old silver mining town with a rich history. 

Visitors can explore its past at the Museo de Plata, take in the views at the lookout point, and roam the grounds of the old mine, including the town’s iconic La Ramona smokestack. 

Local cafes and bars like Cafe El Triunfo and Bar El Minero are popular spots to enjoy lunch during a visit.

La Ventana and El Sargento

Just a little over an hour’s drive away from Los Barriles, La Ventana and El Sargento are side-by-side beach towns with laid-back charm and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Known for its excellent kiteboarding conditions, it’s a great spot to either try out the sport or watch the experts in action. 

The town also offers a variety of excellent restaurants, natural hot springs, and stunning beaches, making it an ideal destination for a leisurely day trip.

Cabo Pulmo National Park

About an hour’s drive away, Cabo Pulmo National Park is a must-visit for snorkelers and divers. This marine reserve is known for its coral reef, offering some of the best snorkeling and diving experiences around. 

Imagine swimming alongside tornado-like schools of jacks with sea turtles gliding by in crystal-clear waters – it’s an underwater adventure you won’t forget.

Todos Santos

Need a change of scenery? Head over to Todos Santos about an hour and a half away.

It’s a Pueblo Magico and an artistic hot spot known for its lively art scene, boutique shops, and the iconic Hotel California. 

Stroll through its cobblestone streets, pop into galleries, book an art and culture walking tour, and maybe find that perfect piece of art to take home.

Sierra de la Laguna

If you’re craving some nature, the Sierra de la Laguna mountains offer a playground of hiking trails, stunning waterfalls, and relaxing hot springs. 

Whether you’re looking for a challenging trek or a peaceful spot to unwind in nature’s embrace, the area near the town of Santiago has something for every outdoor lover. It’s a breath of fresh air and a nice contrast to beach life in Los Barriles. 

Don’t miss the impressive Cañon de la Zorra waterfall at Sol de Mayo Rancho Ecologico. This towering waterfall provides a refreshing retreat with its crystal-clear pools and picturesque cascades, perfect for cooling off after a long hike.

La Paz and the Whale Sharks

For an unforgettable experience, take a day trip to La Paz and dive into the waters with the gentle giants of the sea – whale sharks. 

Known for its clear waters, beautiful beaches, and plentiful marine life, La Paz offers the incredible opportunity to swim alongside these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. 

This whale shark tour with a biologist is one of the most highly reviewed excursions in La Paz.

Just over an hour and a half drive from Los Barriles, La Paz is the gateway to this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

While you’re there, check out one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches: Playa Balandra.

A colorful, sea-themed mural that says "Los Barriles".
A colorful, sea-themed mural along the road into Los Barriles.

Where to Stay in Los Barriles

From luxury resorts to cozy casitas to beachfront campgrounds, Los Barriles offers a variety of accommodations for every type of traveler. 

Snowbirds from the US and Canada flock to Los Barriles for the winter season. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance.

Los Barriles Hotels

Los Barriles boasts a variety of hotels, ranging from upscale beachfront resorts to charming, budget-friendly options in the heart of town.  Visitors can easily find accommodations that offer stunning ocean views, excellent amenities, and easy access to the beach or town center.

Below are my top three picks for hotels in Los Barriles on Booking.com.

Punta Pescadero Paradise Hotel & Villas: A luxury resort overlooking the sea, ideal for romantic getaways with a secluded clifftop location and stunning ocean vistas.

Hotel Palmas de Cortez: A centrally-located hotel on the beach, perfect for those wanting to stay within easy walking distance from Los Barriles’ town center, restaurants, and shops.

Buena Vista Oceanfront & Hot Springs Resort: A tranquil beachfront resort, known for its unique hot springs offering a tranquil retreat for relaxation.

For more hotel recommendations, check out my list of the best Las Barriles hotels.

Vacation Rentals in Los Barriles

For those seeking a more home-like experience during their beach getaway, vacation rentals are the best choice. 

You can find beachfront houses, comfortable condos, and charming casitas available for rent in Los Barriles. These rentals offer the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen and multiple bedrooms, perfect for extended stays during the winter months or family getaways.

Below are some of the most highly-reviewed vacation rentals in Los Barriles on VRBO.

  • Beachfront House in Buena Vista: Perfect for those seeking a quiet or romantic getaway, this beachfront property offers everything from sport fishing charters to ATV riding right at your doorstep. With a large bedroom featuring two queen-size beds and an additional separate bedroom and bath available, it’s ideal for friends or families. Enjoy being just ten steps away from the water on one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Villa De Cortez Condo: Located in the heart of Los Barriles, this luxurious 2nd-floor beachfront condo provides direct access to the Villa de Cortez complex and the beach. It boasts a king-size bed, a full kitchen, marble finishes, and modern amenities, including a smart TV and free Wi-Fi. Its prime location means shops, restaurants, and entertainment are just a short walk away, with no rental car needed.
  • Beachfront Villa in La Capilla: This gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom ocean villa sits on the scenic shores of the Sea of Cortez, offering activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding right from your front door. Relax on the patio or rooftop, enjoying tropical drinks and whale watching, in this slice of paradise that promises a mix of relaxation and adventure.
A colorful house with modern Mexican architecture.
One of the many colorful homes in the Los Barriles, BCS.

Los Barriles Campgrounds and RV Parks

With its stunning natural beauty and endless activities, this beach town is a hotspot for campers and snowbirds staying the winter in their RV.

Headed on a Baja camping trip? Check out this guide to camping and RVing in Baja California for everything you need to know before you go.

Below are the top three campgrounds in Los Barriles where you can pitch your tent or park your RV.

East Cape RV Resort

Nestled in the heart of Los Barriles, East Cape RV Resort offers a blend of comfort and nature. 

This well-maintained campground provides full hook-up sites, Wi-Fi, and security, making it a home away from home. 

With its close proximity to the town center, guests have easy walking access to local shops and restaurants. The resort features a swimming pool, laundry facilities, and a communal BBQ area, perfect for socializing with fellow travelers.

Playa Norte RV Park

For those seeking a beachfront experience, Playa Norte RV Park is the ideal choice. 

Located on North Beach and just steps from the serene waters of the Sea of Cortez, this campground allows you to wake up to the sound of waves each morning. 

Amenities here include full hook-ups, shower facilities, and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. 

It’s a great spot for water sports enthusiasts, with easy access to kiteboarding, fishing, and snorkeling.

Baja Sunrise RV Park

Baja Sunrise RV Park offers a peaceful retreat in Buena Vista. This campground provides essential amenities such as water, electricity hook-ups, and Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable stay. 

Its location on the outskirts of Los Barriles is less busy, yet it’s just a short drive to the center of town.

The entrance to a Mexican restaurant flanked by two giant skeletons dressed in formal attire.
A restaurant in Los Barriles, Mexico.

Where to Eat: Los Barriles Restaurants

When it comes to dining in Los Barriles, you’ll find a delightful array of culinary options to satisfy your palate. 

From fresh seafood caught right off the coast to traditional Mexican dishes and international cuisine, the town offers a diverse range of dining experiences. Dining out on the town and listening to live music at the local restaurants and bars are some of the most popular things to do in Los Barriles at night.

Below are some of the top restaurants in Los Barriles:

  • Lazy Daze Beach Bar: This is my favorite spot for drinks on the beach and it’s a must-visit for sunset happy hour. Grab a chair, stick your feet in the sand, and sip on one of their famous margaritas. 
  • Taqueria El Viejo: For an authentic taste of Mexico, Taqueria El Viejo is a must-visit. This local gem is known for serving up some of the best tacos in Los Barriles, with a simple yet delicious approach. Choose your meat, pick between corn or flour tortillas, and then head to the impressive toppings bar to customize your taco to perfection.
  • La Casita: If you’re in the mood for something different, La Casita offers a fantastic menu featuring sushi, pasta, and seafood. The outdoor patio setting adds to the charm, and while it’s on the pricier side, the quality and presentation of the meals make it worthwhile. 
  • Smokey’s Grill and Cantina: Situated on the main road, Smokey’s is a sports bar known for its bacon-wrapped shrimp and chicken wings. This open-air spot popular with expats is great for people-watching, sipping on $2 beers, and enjoying a variety of appetizers.

FAQs About Visiting Los Barriles

Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions about visiting Los Barriles, Baja California Sur in Mexico.

What is Los Barriles known for?

Los Barriles is known for its sportfishing and kiteboarding (second only to La Ventana’s kiteboarding scene), stunning views of the Baja coastline, and countless opportunities for outdoor adventure and relaxation by the sea.

Can you swim in Los Barriles Mexico?

Yes, you can swim in Los Barriles. Los Barriles is located along the tranquil shores of the Gulf of California, or as it is commonly known, the Sea of Cortez. 

The beaches here are generally safe for swimming, with clear, calm waters, especially in sheltered areas. 

There are multiple beaches (or playas) for swimming, including Playa Los Barriles, Playa Buena Vista, and Playa Norte.

A quad parking lot on the beach in Los Barriles.
Quad parking lot at Lazy Daze Beach Bar on Los Barriles Beach.

Why is Los Barriles called the barrels?

The name “Los Barriles” translates to “The Barrels” in English, which is thought to refer to the area’s historical use as a hiding place for pirate treasure, including barrels of rum and other goods. 

The name has stuck over the centuries, adding a touch of mystery and history to the town.

Where can I snorkel in Los Barriles?

Los Barriles offers several spots for snorkeling, particularly around Punta Pescadero. For some of the best snorkeling in Baja, head to nearby Cabo Pulmo National Park. 

Cabo Pulmo’s marine park is known for its vibrant coral reef and abundant ocean life, making it an excellent location for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

Is Los Barriles always windy?

Los Barriles is known for its consistent El Norte winds, particularly from November to March, making it an ideal spot for wind-related sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing. 

The wind conditions can vary, but it usually picks up in the afternoons. If you want to kayak or paddle board, it’s best to head out in the mornings before the wind hits.

For less wind, visit Los Barriles during the calmer periods typically occurring outside of the winter months.

Is Los Barriles, Mexico safe?

Los Barriles in Baja California Sur is known for being a safe destination for tourists looking for some laid-back time by the sea. 

In fact, Baja California Sur is often cited as one of the safest states in Mexico, making it a great pick for a worry-free vacation. 

Just be smart about your belongings and where you wander, especially if you’re exploring off the beaten path. 

Also, don’t forget to grab some travel insurance before your trip – better safe than sorry, right? SafetyWing and World Nomads are two of the top options for travel insurance in Mexico.

Do I need a rental car in Los Barriles?

While Los Barriles is a small town that can be easily navigated on foot, having a rental car is highly recommended for exploring the surrounding areas and natural attractions at your own pace. 

A car provides flexibility for dining out, shopping for groceries, or embarking on adventures to nearby areas, like La Paz or El Triunfo, making it a convenient option for visitors aiming to maximize their experience in Baja California Sur.

When searching for car rentals in Mexico, we recommend using Discover Cars to compare prices and get the best rates.

Best Time to Visit Los Barriles

The ideal time to visit Los Barriles is from November to April, during the Baja peninsula’s dry season.

This period offers pleasant temperatures, clear skies, and minimal rainfall, perfect for outdoor activities like fishing, kiteboarding, and beach exploration. 

These months also coincide with the peak season for sportfishing, a major draw for the area, and the winds are favorable for kiteboarding and windsurfing, especially from November to March.

The average temperature in Los Barriles during August and July (the warmest months) is about 80°F, while the average temperature in January and February (the coldest months) is around 68°F.

A palm-roof palapa and a quad on the beach.
A beachfront palapa and ATV in Playa Norte, Los Barriles, Mexico.

What to Pack for Los Barriles

  • Sunscreen: The Baja sun can be intense, so high-SPF, reef-safe sunscreen is a must to protect your skin and the environment.
  • Water Shoes: Useful for navigating the pebbly beaches and exploring the rocky shoreline.
  • Swimwear: Pack multiple swimsuits for days spent in the Sea of Cortez or lounging by the pool.
  • Lightweight UPF Clothing: Breathable, quick-dry fabrics with UPF are perfect for the warm climate and outdoor activities.
  • Wide-brim Hat and Sunglasses: Essential for sun protection during your outdoor adventures.
  • ATV Riding Gear: If you’re planning to rent an ATV, consider bringing a dust mask or bandana to keep the sand out of your mouth.
  • Travel Water Bottle with Filter: Stay hydrated while exploring, and help reduce plastic waste by filtering your own water from the tap.
  • Waterproof Action Camera: Capture the stunning underwater world during your ocean adventures.
  • Binoculars: Great for birdwatching or getting a closer look at whales during your sea excursions.
  • Snorkel and Mask: Don’t miss the underwater beauty; bring your own gear for the best fit and comfort.

Top Experiences in Baja California Sur

More Baja Travel Guides and Tips

Headed to Mexico’s Baja California peninsula? I’ve been traveling around Baja since I was a child and I love helping others explore this magical peninsula. Take a look at my detailed Baja guides and tips below.

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