ABOUT LOS CABOS - AN OVERVIEW FOR TRAVELERS HEADING TO CABO SAN LUCASLos Cabos is the southermost municipality of the State of Baja California Sur (BCS) – the southern section of the Baja penninsula that begins at the 28th parallel and the municipality of Mulegé south to the town of Cabo San Lucas. It is the newest State in Mexico having been officially formed in 1974. It's largest city, La Paz, is also its capital. Approximately 650,000 people live in BCS. The region is characterized by deserts, mountains and coastal flatlands with a semi-arid climate where cardon cactus and other succulents are the most prevalent plant species. Several mountain ranges rise from the landscape with sufficient elevation and rainfall to support pine and oak forests and animals like mountain lions, bighorn sheep and pronghorn. BCS is home to the Biosphere of El Vizcaíno, which at more than 6 million acres is the largest natural reserve in Latin America. The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere and the Cabo Pulmo Marine Sanctuary are the two major ecological reserves within Los Cabos, both very popular amongst locals and tourists for their natural beauty. Bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the Gulf of California and the Sea of Cortez, Los Cabos is one of the world's most popular vacation destinations.
TOURISM IN LOS CABOS - MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND NUMBER OF VISITORSLos Cabos is best known for its fishing, in fact commercial fishing was the backbone of the economy and still plays a major economic role but was supplanted by tourism since the late 1970's and early 1980's. Today, sport fishing and golf are the two major attractions. Over 1.6 million tourists visited Los Cabos in 2011 with those numbers expected to increase in 2012 and beyond. Although some areas of Mexico have been home to drug related violence, Los Cabos and the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo remain a safe tourist destination with crime rates much lower than many major metropolitan areas in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The same holds true for the East Cape north of San Jose del Cabo, an area that's retained much of its old Mexican charm. However, the area is developing quickly with the construction of major projects like Cabo Riviera, a master planned community with a large marina, private residential areas, hotels and golf courses.
WEATHER IN CABO SAN LUCAS, SAN JOSE DEL CABO AND THE EAST CAPE OF BAJA, MEXICOLos Cabos has an arid climate with an average annual rainfall of less than 9 inches in Cabo San Lucas, slightly higher in San Jose del Cabo. By virtue of its location at the very tip of the Baja penninsula, Cabo tends to be 3-7 degrees cooler than San Jose, which in turn is 5-8 degrees cooler than the East Cape or La Paz. There is also a marked difference in temperatures on the Pacific versus Gulf of California side of Cabo. Prevailing winds usually keep the Pacific side of the Cape feeling as much as 10-15 degrees cooler than wind protected areas on the eastern side. Sea temperatures can reach into the high 80's and low 90's during the summer months but cool to the high 60's and low 70's in the winter. Much of that cooling depends on El Nino/El Nina activity which regulates sea temps from Latin America up the coast as far north as Washington.
The tropical climate in Los Cabos makes it a pleasure to visit throughout the year with the only real concerns for travel related disruptions coming during the hurricane season which can run from late June into November. While hurricanes can come about during that period, historically speaking August and September are the peak months. The last hurricane to hit Los Cabos that did significant damage was Hurricane John in September of 2006 and Hurricane Marty in September of 2003.
|CLIMATE IN LOS CABOS, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR, MEXICO (Source: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional)|
|AVERAGE HIGH (F)||77||79||80||83||86||89||92||93||91||90||84||80|
|AVERAGE LOW (F)||54||54||56||58||62||66||73||76||74||70||63||58|
JUST WHERE IS BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR AND LOS CABOS?To get an idea of where Baja California Sur and Los Cabos is in relation to the rest of the world, take a look at the satellite photo of the earth to the right. The map below shows the Baja penninsula in relation to the rest of Mexico.
HISTORY OF BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR & LOS CABOS
While human history in the Baja reaches back at least 10,000 years, our short history starts in the 1500's – the final days of the Aztec and the arrival of the Spanish led by Hernán Cortés. La Paz was where Cortés would first set foot on the Baja penninsula taking formal possesion for the King of Spain in 1535. Several attempts were made to colonize the region, but the harsh conditions of the desert environs and strong resistance from the indigenous groups living there led to failure.
Sebastián Vizcaíno, under the flag of King Felipe II of Spain, made way to Baja nearly 70 years later arriving in what is now Los Cabos. A fort was built in La Paz but the natives once again rebelled forcing Vizcaíno and his troops to flee. While no attack was involved, another post north of Loreto in San Bruno fell to the wayside from little in the way of local resources and no means of resupplying the outpost.
Baja began to irreversibly change in the 17th century with the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in 1697. It was Father Juan María de Salvatierra who established the first permanent mission in Baja California Sur in October of that year… Our Lady of Loreto de Concho. That led to a total of 16 missions being established over the next 70 years. Father Nicholas Tamaral founded the original Mission San Jose del Cabo in 1730. The mission was moved from it's original location due to constant assault by mosquitos from the Rio San Jose, but that was not to be the last of the mission's travails. The relocated Mission San Jose and nearby Mission Santiago would later be burned down by Pericu Indians revolting against the rules meted out by Father Tamaral. Tamaral would die in that uprising.
By the late 1760's, most of the native Indians had perished – either from disease brought by the Europeans or in battles with the Spanish. While the mission was not rebuilt until much later, San Jose del Cabo remained a Spanish military base until the mid 19th century when Mexican nationals were given control.
During the Mexican-American war, U.S. troops occupied San Jose del Cabo for a short period of time. Mexican forces led by Jose Antonio Mijares defeated the Americans, and today, the Plaza Mijares stands as tribute to the Naval hero. Mining was for a time the predominant economic engine but as the mines became unproductive, the population diminished. Farming took over and the town slowly began growing. The Mission San Jose del Cabo was finally rebuilt in 1940.
An American tuna company built a floating tuna processing plant in Cabo in 1917 that boosted growth in the area. WWII saw Japanese ships off the coast of Cabo, a time when many of the local fisherman left. Cabo San Lucas began to mature into a major tourist destination in the 1950's. That's when Don Luis Bulnes first arrived to help establish and operate a tuna packing plant – at the time, the largest in all of Latin America. By the late 50's word spread about the incredible fishing and famous folks like John Wayne and Zane Grey soon came to fish it for themselves. Bulnes, seeing opportunity, purchased land from local farmers and along with his then partner, Luis Coppola Sr., built the Finesterra Hotel in 1970. Come 1979, Bulnes also built the Solmar Hotel and developed one of the first and largest sport fishing and diving fleets in the area. It was sportfishing that drove the growth that created the Cabo of today and Bulnes was a key player in that growth. Don Luis passed away in 2012 but his impact on the history of Cabo lives on.
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