Arch of Cabo San Lucas
This magnificent natural rock formation at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula marks the start of Land’s End, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
At the tip of the Baja Peninsula stands a craggy rock formation, in the shape of an arch, that towers over the ocean. El Arco is like the gateway to the ocean and has a majestic appearance, reminiscent of another world. The arch has been carved over time, as rough winds and the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez erode the rocks away. This part of the Baja Peninsula, also known as Land’s End, is one of the most popular attractions in Cabo San Lucas.
Pirates roamed this area in the 1500s, hiding behind the rocky walls, waiting to steal gold from the incoming Spanish ships.
See if you can spot sea lions on the rocks. If you come here on a glass-bottom boat cruise, you can also admire the tropical fish that are so abundant in this area.
Make it a day trip and visit Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach), which is a secluded stretch of sand. Snorkel or scuba dive out in the water, or laze on the beach. Stroll along the shore and watch El Arco change color as the sun sets.
Between December and March, watch whales as they migrate from the cold Arctic to the warmth of the Baja Peninsula. The shallow, warm water makes the bay the perfect spot for whales to give birth and raise their young.
To get to the arch, book a water taxi from the Cabo San Lucas Marina. If you feel fit, rent a kayak from Cabo and paddle to Land’s End instead. Facilities at El Arco are limited, which adds to the quiet, natural feel of the place. Be aware that the currents on the Pacific Ocean side of Land’s End are often too strong for swimming.
Lightweight boats, some with glass bottoms, leave Medano beach in Cabo San Lucas, to visit the beaches of Amor and Divorcio (Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach), located between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, next to the natural landmark El Finisterra (Land’s End).
The soft, golden sand and moderate waves at the two beaches make them a good place to swim and snorkel.
Cruise boats pass a bit further out, and adventurous spirits with their parachutes appear to graze the cliffs that shelter the shore.
Nature itself has carved this rock formation that has come to be known as Land’s End because it is here, on the tip of Baja, that the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.
El Arco – the “Arch” – is a sight worth seeing, especially in October when the sea level falls and visitors can walk under the arch all the way to the beach.
Lightweight “pangas” leave Medano beach every morning for the 30-minute trip out to Land’s End. The trip will take you past good spots for diving and the famous colony of sea lions, while the guide fills you in on the history and legends associated with each of the rock formations that you pass on the way.
Including Neptune’s Finger and The Vigil – the highest part of the formation – which played an important role during the era when the Manila galleon route passed this coast.
It was from this lookout that sentinels for the English pirate ships alerted their fellows when they observed sails in the distance; this gave the pirate crews time to prepare their attack.
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