The Baja California peninsula is divided into the states of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur. Los Cabos, located on the southern tip of the peninsula, is the nickname for the two neighboring "capes" of San Jose del Cabo and the cruise-ship destination, Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo San Lucas has many deluxe resorts, but it is the scenery that you'll never forget -- the surrounding desert terrain and the rugged coastline marked by many unusual rock formations.
HistoryFor centuries, the peninsula was an isolated area inhabited by the Cochimi people. In the 16th century, lured by rumors of Aztec gold, the Spanish explorer Hern n Cortes sent ships to explore the area. The first ships landed at what is now La Paz, where many crew members were slain by the natives. Though the survivors found no gold, they did discover a bounty in pearls.
But aside from the pearl trade, Baja held no wealth for the Spaniards. In the 17th century, the Jesuits arrived to Christianize the Cochimi. They founded the first mission at Loreto in 1697. After the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico in 1767, Franciscan missionaries took over; six years later, the Dominicans followed. However, by the 1850s, disease had depopulated the peninsula.
Once a town that catered to fishing fleets, Cabo San Lucas today has become the center of tourism for the area with trendy restaurants and a nightlife that never stops.
Sightseeing & BeachesCabo San Lucas' crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches and excellent fishing have all worked to transform this Baja town from a quiet cannery village into an internationally known resort. The bay, which is excellent for swimming, provides anchorage for fishing boats and private yachts. The commanding marina, with nearly 300 slips, is the hub of waterfront activity.
For a unique treat, try a boat ride out to the arched rocks of Los Arcos, where the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean meet. The formations are magnificent, and the sea lions on the surrounding rocks provide visitors with an entertaining spectacle. Check with your Cruise Director for more information.
Playa Medano and Playa Chileno are two of the most popular beaches for swimming in the area. Near Los Arcos is picturesque Playa del Amor, or "Beach of Love." The isolated cove, situated at the very end of the peninsula, is surrounded by the Sea of Cortes on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
SportsDeep-sea fishing is one of Cabo San Lucas' main attractions. In fact, the area where the Sea of Cortes empties into the Pacific is referred to as Marlin Alley. Large numbers of marlin and sailfish are caught in local waters annually; wahoo, mako shark and smaller game fish are also plentiful. The city hosts several major fishing tournaments each year.
Snorkeling can be an unforgettable experience in these wonderfully warm and translucent waters. The underwater life here is varied and colorful, and even beginners can enjoy it.
ShoppingThe shops of Cabo San Lucas feature resort wear, jewelry, leather goods, Mexican handicrafts and more. Art lovers will enjoy browsing through the city's several art galleries.
Opposite the marina is Cabo San Lucas' newest shopping and entertainment center. The picturesque open-air market at the marina offers an array of fine crafts. Among the unique souvenirs available are palofierro sculptures, skillfully carved by the Seri Indians of Sonora from the tropical hardwood of the same name.
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