Cabo has always been a consistently reliable, warm-weather getaway. In the last few decades, the area has enjoyed much rebuilding and upgrading. What’s emerging is a strong community with its eye on preserving the region’s history and traditions while also making room for new businesses, modern resorts, and, as always, great Mexican food.
However, Los Cabos is mostly a tale of two polarizing cities in one. You can easily divide your stay between Cabo San Lucas, which is full of nightlife, sailing tours, natural beauty, and water-based adventure, and San José del Cabo, with its picturesque Mexican-town atmosphere, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. If one thing is certain, you’ll never run out of ideas over what to do in Los Cabos.
But beneath its cosmopolitan facade, Los Cabos has a delicious story to tell. Here are some fun facts about Los Cabos you probably didn’t know.
1. First Humans
The first archaeological evidence of human settlement near Los Cabos dates back over 10,000 years ago. One of the first Europeans to set sight on this southern Baja California area was a shipwreck survivor, who told tales on his return home about an island inhabited by ‘Amazons’ filled with pearls and gold.
2. Here be Pirates
Although Los Cabos was a bustling Spanish treasure ship port and pirate stopover for 50 years, its first permanent fortress wasn’t established until 1587. This was the year Sir Thomas Cavendish captured the Great St. Anne Spanish treasure ship. The fort, which helped to keep foreign pirates away, and the discovery of pearls in the Sea of Cortez, led to even more permanent settlements along the Baja Peninsula.
3. Small Beginnings
Los Cabos did not grow substantially until 1917, when an American company established a floating tuna platform and a fish plant in the village. The first sport fishing tourists to visit Los Cabos had to travel by long-range yacht, tiny planes or over 932 miles (1,500 km) of bumpy dirt roads to reach their destination. By the 1930s, the population had reached roughly 400.
4. First Hotel
More and more Hollywood celebrities discovered Los Cabos after WWII, and the 1950 opening of the posh Las Cruces hotel further increased the village’s popularity as a retreat for the rich and famous. However, access to Cabo became much easier for tourists with more modest budgets after the 1974 construction of Baja California’s main peninsular motorway.
5. American Home Away from Home
Today, many of the tourists who visit Mexico’s second-fastest growing tourism resort have made the area their permanent home. Most of these newcomers are Mexicans arriving from other parts of the country, along with Americans seeking a warm and peaceful place to retire. American expats form at least 70 percent of the present population.
6. You Can Never Leave
The landmark Hotel California, located near Todos Santos, beckons with its history and elegance, and it must be visited when staying nearby. A walk through the marketplace on the ground level also provides a glamorous and tropical view of the desert.
7. The Arch
El Arco refers to the arch-shaped rock formation that makes up a part of the larger Land’s End rock formation, also known as El Finisterra. The Arch famously juts out into the ocean as the extreme southern tip of Baja California, and marks the spot where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
8. Pop Up Beaches
There is a phenomenon that occurs every few years in which a beach becomes visible around El Arco as the tide recedes. Sometimes it is even possible to walk under the arch when this occurs. The event is very hard to predict, although there are various theories postulating when exactly it will happen next.
Of all the best Los Cabos excursions on offer, the prime spot for scuba diving can be found near these well-known arches, as it boasts beautiful reef views and plenty of fish. More experienced divers can see the deeper “sandfalls”, a natural phenomenon where sand is seen pouring over rock faces into the underwater canyon below.
10. Sportfishing Rules
San José del Cabo is often referred to as the Striped Marlin Capital of the World, and it is rumored that striped marlin have been caught in Cabo more than anywhere else! Cabo is also home to the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament – the world’s richest fishing tournament, which is held every October and boasts a $3 million prize.