You haven’t 'done' Cabo until you've visited El Arco!
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If you went into any fancy New York Ad agency and said: “I want an iconic image that whenever anyone sees it – it just says Cabo San Lucas” it would be a challenge for them to come up with anything that compares with El Arco. And best of all, El Arco is free!
Mother nature, in what most people would say is one of her finest hours, has sculpted this 200ft high granite rock tower with a breath-taking (if not romantic) arch at its base and dropped it in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
You know that you have reached the end of the 800 mile road in the Baja when you see this dramatic and imposing structure ahead of you: Finisterra – Land’s End.
Almost every tourist who visits Cabo San Lucas will take a trip out to El Arco – in fact if you arrive by cruise ship you can’t really miss it as you will be parked up in Medano Bay in full view!The local pangas (small boats, many with glass bottoms) do a roaring trade all day ferrying people out to see El Arco up close and personal for a few dollars a time. For the more adventurous it is possible to pack a cooler of beer and food, some towels and some sunscreen and be dropped off at Lover’s Beach for a few hours (don’t worry – the boatmen always come back for you…they want their tips!) and enjoy the sea. Lover’s Beach lies between Medano Bay, which is technically in the Sea of Cortez, and the booming rollers of the Pacific, crashing ashore just 100 yards away on the bizarrely named Divorce Beach!
Whales break the surface as they cruise the surf line
Due to the strength of the current on the Pacific side it is recommended that visitors swim only on Lover’s Beach, however it can be fun to watch the local kids skim boarding along the shore at Divorce Beach and it is often possible to see whales cruising right along the surf line in season. As well as whales you will see sea lions (there is a colony right by El Arco) and if the time and tide is right there will be numerous manta rays jumping clean out of the water. There is also a large and vocal colony of frigate birds on the rock itself. A truly spectacular, almost primeval, sight at dawn and dusk as they circle lazily in the thermals.
The rock formations around Lover’s Beach are simply stunning: glacial smooth and grey in some lights, rose pink in others and even a rich honey gold color. The local guides will give you the common names of those that can be made into pictograms such as Old Man and Sleeping Woman.
It is forbidden to climb El Arco but the boat captains will, if the conditions are safe, take you right up to the arch itself. At very low tide you can walk right through it, but that does not happen very often.
In the past, pirates would hide behind El Arco in the safety of Medano Bay and wait for unwary merchant ships to pass then pursue them for plunder. There are still a few pirate ships in the area but they are mostly crammed with partying tourists these days!
For those visiting Los Cabos, El Arco is a 'must see'.