Head to the place where the land ends, at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula, and you’ll come face-to-face with Cabo’s crowning jewel: El Arco. The distinct and larger-than-life Arch of Cabo San Lucas towers three stories high, creating an unignorable landmark that can be seen for miles. Here, the ocean meets the sea and visitors create unforgettable memories against one of Cabo’s most beautiful backdrops. This is your guide to the best of El Arco, from its most iconic spots to the best ways to experience it all firsthand.
Table of Contents
- The History of El Arco (The Arch of Cabo San Lucas)
- How to Get to El Arco
- 5 Best Ways to Enjoy the Arch of Cabo San Lucas + 1 Incredible Experience
- 5 Things to See at the Arch of Cabo San Lucas
- Fly with Next Vacay and Experience El Arco Firsthand
The History of El Arco (The Arch of Cabo San Lucas)
When people picture Cabo, the first thing that comes to mind is likely El Arco. The impressive rock formation is almost synonymous with the city of Cabo San Lucas itself, so much so it’s likely hard for many to imagine a time when that wasn’t the case. In a way, that makes sense. The present-day fame of El Arco has been years in the making—115 million, to be exact.
The formation of basement rock on El Arco has been traced back to processes during the Cretaceous period, meaning some parts of the Arch formed when dinosaurs still roamed North America. Of course, El Arco itself isn’t nearly that old. Roughly 12 to 15 million years ago, the shifting of tectonic plates formed the peninsula that marks Land’s End. That makes it over twice as old as the Sea of Cortez. Over the course of millennia, wind and water whittled it away to create the famous El Arco landmark now known and loved the world over.
How to Get to El Arco
Visitors who want to be astounded by El Arco’s size and beauty will have to do so via boat. The Arch of Cabo San Lucas is only accessible via the water. And while you can admire its distant visage from the shores of El Médano, you’ll want to head to the marina and the plethora of tours and boats it offers to get a close-up look at this massive structure.
Or, for budget travelers, you can head to El Arco right from the beach. Local boat transfers offer tours directly from El Medano Beach for a cheaper and more direct trip to the iconic landmark.
5 Best Ways to Enjoy the Arch of Cabo San Lucas + 1 Incredible Experience
Snorkel, kayak, or just cruise the seas and snap a photo. However you want to experience El Arco, tours from Cabo San Lucas to the Arch put it all within reach.
1. Sunset Cruise
Sunset promises some of the most spectacular and magical views in Cabo San Lucas. So, it should come as no surprise that a sunset cruise of El Arco is one of the most enchanting ways to experience this landmark. Enjoy music and drinks aboard a catamaran boat as you tour the bay before heading to El Arco. Guests can snap photos in front of the Arch before heading to the Pacific Ocean to watch the sunset. The majesty of the Arch combined with the painter’s palette of the sky makes this a trip of unparalleled beauty and one you won’t soon forget.
2. Crystal-Clear Boat Tour
Glass bottom boats in Cabo San Lucas are a dime a dozen, but if you want a truly unique boat to take to the Arch, the crystal-clear boat tour delivers. Entirely transparent, the crystal-clear boat tour offers an unobstructed view of the waters below and everything around you. The effect is an incredible and breathtaking 360-degree view. Join a group tour or book a private excursion for this unique experience of El Arco.
3. Snorkel Tour
The waters around Cabo San Lucas are known for their varieties of tropical fish, corals, and other marine life, like sea turtles, sea lions, and even, on occasion, majestic whales. Visitors can snorkel or power snorkel under the waves to discover an incredible world under the sea’s surface. After spending that time swimming among darting fish and alongside gentle turtles, come back up to take in the impressive figure that El Arco cuts against the sky. It’s an image that never gets old.
4. Kayak Tour
Make visiting the Arch of Cabo San Lucas an adventure by paddling there on a kayak. Experience the Sea of Cortez in all its glory and get an even closer look at some of the most iconic sights around Land’s End, like Lovers Beach, Pelican Rock, the sea lion colony, and, of course, El Arco itself. The sheer size of the Arch will really hit you looking up from sea level.
Some tours pair kayaking with snorkeling, so you can double the fun and maximize your time around the Arch. Or go at your own pace—pack a picnic and paddle out to enjoy a scenic day on the shore of Lovers Beach.
5. Luxury Sail
Cabo and luxury go hand in hand. So, if you want to take your experience of El Arco to the next level, it only makes sense to charter a private yacht. Quick group tours are perfect for those trying to fit a lot in their itinerary, but if you’d rather spend the day soaking up the sun and views, a yacht charter is the obvious choice.
Whole or half day bookings allow you to sail around the Arch of Cabo San Lucas at your leisure. Lay out on the deck and soak up some sun, wine and dine on gourmet food and tropical drinks, and even dive beneath the waves if you feel the urge. Most charters include gear for activities like snorkeling so you can explore El Arco both above and below the waves.
6. Walk Beneath El Arco
It’s not often, but every few years, something amazing happens at the base of El Arco. Sand appears. This magical phenomenon occurs when the tide recedes enough to reveal the sand just waiting beneath El Arco. Visitors can stroll under the curving Arch and experience an entirely new way of viewing it—one few people get to.
While it’s nearly impossible to know when it will next occur, you can cross your fingers and your toes that the next time it does will be on your trip to Los Cabos!
5 Things to See at the Arch of Cabo San Lucas
It’s not just the Arch of Cabo San Lucas that’s impressive. The entirety of Land’s End is marked by beauty and distinct features that make this place special. So, while you visit the Arch, check out these other stunning features that dot both the landscape and waters of Land’s End.
Just behind El Arco, the iconic Lovers Beach cradles the Sea of Cortez. Like something out of a fairytale, the beach sits nestled between giant rock formations with gentle waves kissing the shore. All in all, it’s easy to see how this romantic stretch of sand earned itself such an enchanting name.
Boats from the marina will take curious visitors to shore, where you can walk along the sand, dwarfed by the towering rocks of Land’s End, or go for a swim. Lover’s Beach is one of the few swimmable beaches in Cabo. It’s also easily among its best beaches, thanks to its gorgeous features, calm waters, and serene atmosphere. One of the most alluring aspects of Lovers Beach is the lack of vendors and amenities. For families picnicking in the sand or lovers strolling the shore, Lovers Beach is a quiet and picture-picture place to take in the beauty of Cabo.
It should be no surprise that Cabo’s colorful history includes its fair share of pirate encounters dating back centuries. And while pirates may no longer sail the seas, their caves and hidey-holes remain intact. One such rumored hiding spot, Pirate’s Cave, is located on the Pacific Ocean side of Land’s End. Large rocks frame this passageway, said to hold long-buried pirate treasures from the thriving age of the classic pirate.
While it’s hard to say if Pirate’s Cave actually holds any buried treasures, following the narrow passageway will lead to a prize of a different kind, opening onto the beautiful Divorce Beach.
Lying opposite Lovers Beach, the name isn’t the only thing that separates this shore from its neighbor. Facing the Pacific Ocean side of Land’s End, Playa del Divorcio is known for the rough waves credited with giving the beach its infamous name.
While you can’t swim on Divorce Beach, taking in the sights is where the real fun lies. Crashing waves dash against the shore, and towering rock formations frame the beach. Ironically enough, despite the rather unromantic name, Divorce Beach is a pretty romantic spot to cuddle with your partner or stroll hand-in-hand along the golden sand.
The Marine Life
If the rocks and beaches don’t hold your attention, perhaps what’s lounging on the rocks and darting beneath the waves will do the trick. Called “the World’s Aquarium” by French explorer Jacques Cousteau, the waters around El Arco team with life.
Thanks to an abundance of rich nutrients in the water, visitors will find everything from colorful fish to charming sea turtles swimming about. During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to spot humpback whales off Land’s End, while year-round, visitors to El Arco can spy sea lions basking on the rocks.
The Ocean and the Sea
It’s not every day you get to visit a place where the ocean meets the sea, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at the iconic Land’s End. The rock formation sits right between the calm and tranquil Sea of Cortez and the frothing and tumultuous Pacific Ocean. Where the land ends is where the two meet.
From Land’s End, visitors can take in both shores near-simultaneously. All that separates the two is a few minutes walk from the shore of Lovers Beach to the opposite coastline of Divorce Beach. You can stand in the middle and get a great view of both or relax on the shores of either beach for a beautiful—but markedly distinct—experience of the Sea of Cortez or the Pacific Ocean.
Fly with Next Vacay and Experience El Arco Firsthand
Just as El Arco is a staple of the landscape, it’s also a staple for anyone coming to Cabo San Lucas to enjoy. From diving below the waves to walking along the sand, El Arco stuns and amazes with its beautiful sights and breathtaking experiences.
Whether admiring the landmark during a glorious sunset or walking beneath it during the rare occasions when the tide recedes, there are numerous ways to indulge in the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. There are a lot fewer ways to get there.
Lucky for you, Next Vacay takes the hassle out of it—and the expense, too. With a dedicated team of deal hunters at the ready, you can score the perfect deal to Los Cabos, or anywhere else for that matter, and use your savings to indulge in your destination. Say goodbye to expensive flights and hello to private yachts, 5-star resorts, and the best vacations of your life … with Next Vacay.