The distinctive landmark of Cabo San Lucas is the rugged taffy-colored El Arco (The Arch) rock formation that erupts from the sea at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Also known as Land's End, El Arco is a popular tourist attraction and the central focus of countless vacation photos. A visit to Land's End is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Cabo San Lucas.
Viewed from a distance from nearly every vantage point in Cabo San Lucas, the image of El Arco is synonymous with Cabo San Lucas. By the way, it’s called Land’s End because, as the crow flies, if you followed a line south from here, you would not touch land again until you reached the South Pole.
Getting there is easy. Just hail a boat taxi (some with glass bottoms) from the Cabo San Lucas Marina. You can view the iconic golden arches from your boat or ask the captain to drop you off and arrange a pick-up time. En route you’ll pass lazy sea lions basking on the rocks.
Playa del Amour (Lover’s Beach) at the base of the rock formations is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, some sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming and a picnic. Note, however that the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez converge at Land's End and swimming is not advised on the Pacific side’s Playa Divorcio (Divorce Beach) due to rough currents.
While the Baja Peninsula today is a major migration route for whales, Cabo San Lucas was once an important trade route for Spanish galleons in the 1500s. Pirates would hide behind the protection of El Arco in the calm bay of the Sea of Cortez as they waited for Spanish fleets loaded with gold, spices and other treasures to pass. At the appropriate time they would launch their attack from the towering rock formation of El Arco.