Visitors in Cabo can use a jet pack like they are in a James Bond movie. // © 2013 Cabo Jet Pack
The tip of the Baja peninsula is a playground of sorts. Visitors arrive and flock to the golf courses and nightclubs, or set off on sport-fishing excursions or overland on a desert Hummer or ATV tour. What visitors might not know is they can also explore Los Cabos top and bottom — in the sky or below the surface of the sea. Tour operators offer experiences such as jet pack adventures, ultra-light aircraft flights and semi-submersible submarine excursions.
Jet Pack Over Cabo
Fans of James Bond will remember the film “Thunderball,” where Sean Connery eluded villains using a jet pack. Those looking for a new thrill can make like Bond and book an adventure with Cabo Jet Pack.
“We get a lot of extreme athletes and former military,” said Michael Hull, co-owner of family-run, Cabo Jet Pack. “They come in, learn to take off, fly, turn, flip and land in just a few minutes.”
The jet pack experience utilizes R200 Jetlev technology that provides a combination of security and stability. The connecting hose supplies power for the flight and also limits altitude.
“Communication is via one-way transmission through speakers in the helmet,” said Hull. “We begin flying you via remote control five or eight feet above the water and then up to heights of 30 feet.”
Participants must be 18 or older, able to swim and be in good physical condition.
For an experience that approximates the feeling of soaring over Los Cabos like a sea bird, visitors can book an ultralight plane with Cabo Sky Tours. An ultralight plane can be described as a powered hang-glider. The company offers a range of tours including a 10-minute Land’s End Sky Tour, which takes passengers over the Los Cabos marina, beaches and Los Cabos’ signature sight, El Arco. The 25-minute Sand Dunes Sky Tour has both a smooth and extreme option: The extreme tour provides an adrenalin rush flying just over three feet above the dunes.
In addition to the pilot, the plane can carry one adult passenger and a child, or two children. The minimum age is 5 years old.
“The process is very safe, since we can land without a problem, even without power,” said pilot Ernesto Magana. “In my 32 years at the controls, I’ve piloted 8,200 flights and have never had an accident.”
The ultralight flights are offered Monday through Saturday, although strong winds can cancel flights for the day. Magana noted that while it’s best to make reservations in advance, Cabo Sky Tours can also accommodate walk-ins.
Under the Sea
Cabo Submarine is a 60-foot semi-submersible submarine that departs on tours from the Cabo San Lucas Marina. The craft has 34 seats and a capacity for 49 passengers. It also has three viewing locations, including an air-conditioned underwater viewing cabin. The submarine is propelled eight feet below the surface but does not fully submerge.
“During the 55-minute tour, because the way the window is tilted, you can’t see the surface of the water,” noted Michael Hull, co-owner of Cabo Submarine. “I’ll ask passengers how far below the surface they think we are and they’ll answer, ‘I don’t know, 150 feet?’”
During the tour, passengers view the rock formations of Land’s End and a sea lion colony as the submarine travels out to El Arco and then past Lovers Beach. Passengers will also see scores of sea creatures.
“We’ve seen all kinds of fish during our tours, including schools of rays, grouper and even a whale shark,” said Hull. “We have a captain and two tour guides onboard who can identify fish and answer questions.”
Tour options also include a 55-minute night tour that utilizes an underwater lighting system with 24 high-powered 250-watt halogen bulbs to light up the surroundings sea, illuminating nocturnal sea life. Private chartered tours are also available.