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A Brief History of Cabo
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF CABO SAN LUCAS
The History of Cabo San Lucas Starts At The Beginning….
What was once a sleepy fishing village has transcended into a bustling global tourist destination. Many don’t know that at one time it was an epicenter of sea battles, Spanish galleon and an attempt to re-colonize Mexico.
Today, Cabo San Lucas is known for its gorgeous beaches, active lifestyle, booming nightlife, a plethora of watersports, luxury vacations, and world-renowned dining experiences. However, this tropical vacation paradise wasn’t always what it is now; it has a complicated past that is remembered by ancient cave drawings, old missions, and complex stories. If you plan to vacation in Cabo San Lucas, taking the time to understand the history of Cabo San Lucas and the elements over time that made it what it is today.
THE TRIBES OF THE REGION
The bright blue waters and impressive rock formations were home to three different tribes: the Pericues, the Guaycuras, and the Cochimies. These hunter-gatherer tribes were known for moving around the area, often following wherever the best fishing was. By studying the relics they left behind, we know these tribes were constantly on the move. Today, visitors are likely to see signs labeled “pinturas rupestres” which highlight prehistoric rock or cave paintings. These paintings can still be seen in numerous areas in and around Cabo San Lucas and the Baja Peninsula.
The Attempts to Conquer Cabo
Being a region of beauty and magnificence, Cabo San Lucas quickly attracted many interested parties, especially during the times of Spanish Conquistadors. After finding success in conquering Mexico and Central America, the conquistadors set their sights on Baja California. There was much competition between conquistadors to successfully conquer this area, and, after a couple of failed voyages, Hernan Cortes decided to lead one himself.
In May of 1535, Cortes arrived on the peninsula and attempted to colonize the area. However, due to the failure to cultivate crops, food was not plentiful enough to support the colonists and many of them died. Eventually, Cortes gave up on his colonization mission and returned to Spain, ordering everyone else to follow behind. This would be the last serious attempt at colonization until more than 150 years later.
THE PIRATES OF CABO SAN LUCAS
During the 1500s, when the Spanish Conquistadors were traveling through the Pacific Ocean, loaded with spices, gold, and other valuables, pirate ships would use El Arco (The Arch) in Cabo San Lucas as a hiding spot to ambush the Spanish fleets. El Arco provided the perfect hiding spot as well as a vantage point to attack the fleets, making the attempts to steal the valuables from the ships passing through that much more successful.
In 1587, Sir Francis Drake, the first English Pirate to challenge Spanish fleets traveling through the Pacific to the Philippines and back, had a major success that inspired pirates from other countries to follow suit. The caves and coves in Cabo San Lucas were the perfect hiding places for pirates, making it difficult for the Spaniards to fare well on their journeys home. Many claim there are still shipwrecks in and around El Arco, along with their golden bullion that sank to the ocean floor.
A number of Spanish Jesuit Missionaries brought religious influence to the area and tried to insulate the coast from the impact of pirates. A handful of missions were built by the missionaries, and some of them can be visited today: Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé (1705), Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó (1697), Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz (1733) and Misión Estero de las Palmas de San José del Cabo Añuití (1730). While these missionaries intended to bring peace, and of course, religion, to the area, the attempts to do so were not always successful.
MODERNIZATION AND A CHANGING WORLD
Aside from the occasional ship of pirates, god-fearing missionaries, and few colonization attempts, Cabo San Lucas was mostly left alone throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Not much was developed during this time, and the area continued to prosper as a sleepy fishing village. In the mid-1900s, a wealthy group of fishermen from the United States discovered the fantastic sportfishing in the area and continued to return for their hobby. Due to a lack of amenities and no viable air travel for the common person, Cabo San Lucas was visited mainly by those wealthy enough to charter private jets (mostly sea-planes) or yachts.
It didn’t take long for word to get out about how amazing Cabo was, and efforts began to make it more accessible. Cabo quickly went from an untouched fishing village to a popular vacation destination for the elite and was eventually developed and turned into the vibrant place it is today.
The history of Cabo slowly developed as Hollywood’s elite began to visit more often. Fishing and Beach enthusiasts, such as John Wayne and Charlie Chaplin began to frequent the area. Their presence brought attention from others and soon thereafter, other wealthy enthusiasts appeared; from politicians to scientists - Jack Cousteau fell in love with Cabo Pulmo and named it, "The Worlds Aquarium." Abelardo Rodriguez, son of a former Mexican President, fell in love with Cabo. Married to a starlet, Lucille Bramer, they traveled to Cabo often and finally established Hotel Hacienda in the late 1960s.
After Hotel Hacienda became a smashing success, the Baja attracted tourists and resort developers with vigor. Large investments and big names quickly came to help establish the area. Developers such as Ernesto Coppel, Paco Bulnez and Eduardo Sanchez Navarro, to name a few. After the original pioneers, other successful real estate developers appeared, such as Ron Hatfield, Ken Jowdy and Michael Meldman. Today, Cabo San Lucas is a bustling city bursting with activites, opportunity and a rich history of Cabo San Lucas greatest achievements.
THE BEGINNING OF CABO PLATINUM VILLAS
By following a vision of sharing the beauty of Cabo San Lucas with luxury travelers that desire a 5-star experience, Cabo Platinum Villas was brought to life. Similar to the pioneers of the region, the team's visionary founder, Danette Reid, carefully hand-picked each property. Her goal was to know every owner and the intracacies of each villa so guests could be at ease with their new accommodation. She took it one step further and built valuable relationships with the industry’s best service providers, further ensuring guests had a fantastic experience from beginning to end. Nobody's perfect and the baja has a fair amount of elements that create adventure, but the Platinum Experience was a mission that has never wavered. It lays roots to the creed that each member of the Platinum Family embodies.
Cabo Platinum customers rest easy knowing they always receive top-of-the-line service and luxury accommodations each time they visit paradise.
THE VISION IMITATES THE CULTURE
At Cabo Platinum, we believe that your vacation should be carefully curated to what makes you the happiest. Our interior design team spends countless hours and help from local artisans, turning each property into a work of art. These special environments welcome you with beautiful designs and comfortable amenities. Our concierge team is dedicated to creating experiences for you and your family that you’ll remember forever. Whether you want the thrill of a sportfishing excursion, a day relaxing in luxury, or a memorable yacht trip across the waters of Cabo San Lucas... relax, we’ll take care of everything.
CREATE YOUR OWN HISTORY
From native tribes with cave paintings to conquistadors and pirates, Cabo is full of magic and adventure. The region provides a rich history that continues to attract a myriad of attention. It's a unique location that has evolved and will continue to change. Commit to the moment and become part of the history of Cabo San Lucas.
Schedule your dream vacation with our team of experts; the planning experience is a breeze as we’ll take care of everything.
OUR TEAM WILL HELP MAKE YOUR SEARCH EASIER
While transcending through history, Cabo has grown into a myriad of areas and luxury communities. Allow our Cabo Specialists to help determine which Vacation Villas are best for you and your family. Let’s make history.