Snorkeling offers opportunities for visitors to explore the millions of species of smaller fish and crustaceans that inhabit the Sea of Cortez.

Family Vacations in Mexico: Los Cabos

The southernmost tip of Mexico's 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula is called finisterra, which translates into "The End of the Earth." The striking finality of the rocky desert isthmus, set against a vast, open backdrop of saltwater and sun, is punctuated by El Arco, "The Arch." Towering 200 feet above the azure waters, the magnificent granite arch is the most spectacular rock formation on the west coast of Mexico. This picturesque landmark is commonly used on postcards to represent Los Cabos.

El Arco is an enduring image to those going out to sea, as well as those coming in. Visitors can boat past it, swim and snorkel under it, or even walk under it at low tide. Climbing the rock, however, is against the law. Surrounding the striking arch are the equally striking sands of La Playa del Amor, or "Lover's Beach," which is accessed primarily by water taxis. (Some tour boats even sail right through El Arco.)

The Sea of Cortez lies along the east side of the beach, which features an idyllic cove that is popular for snorkeling and swimming. The sea is also home to a diverse ecosystem of aquatic plants, birds, and even sea lions. The Pacific side of the peninsula beach, nicknamed "Divorce Beach" by locals, is considerably rougher, pummeled by the perpetual surf of the ocean. The nearby resort town of Los Cabos has become a tourist hotspot and is now the seventh most popular tourist destination in Mexico.

In the 1940s, entrepreneurs built upscale hotels for the rich and famous. Because there was no highway at that time, celebrities and wealthy tourists came by yacht or private plane, making for one of the most exclusive resort towns in the world. Its sport fishing--and tales of enormous tuna, marlin, and dorado--became legendary, as did the tequila-fueled nightlife.

In 1973, the Transpeninsula Highway linking Tijuana and Los Cabos was completed, paving the way for further development along the Baja Peninsula, especially at its tropical tip. Luxurious hotels and condos, retirement homes, and golf courses are now common just outside the city limits. November through February is prime tourist season in Los Cabos, so plan accordingly.

On the next page, visit Guadalajara. Gaze at the architecture, designed during the Spanish colonial period, and take in the sites of this authentic Mexican city.

Los Cabos Information

Address: Mexico Tourism Board, 1880 Century Park East, Suite 511, Los Angeles, CA

Telephone: 310/282-9112

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.