Land’s End Baja California, sometimes called the Friars, has many meanings and feelings for different people. To geographers it would be that last southern point of rock on the Baja California Peninsula. If they wanted to see the exact spot, they’d have to pass the arch at Cabo San Lucas, go a few hundred feet farther beyond a monolithic granitic mass more than two hundred feet high to reach a small rock that rises about 6 feet out of the water. This rock often has a California sea lion perched upon it. Under the sea lion is land’s end.
“The tip of the Cape at San Lucas, with the huge gray Friars standing up on the end, has behind the rocks a little beach which is a small boy’s dream of pirates. It seems the perfect place to hide and from which to dart out in a pinnacle on the shipping of the world; a place to which to bring the gold bars and jewels and beautiful ladies, all of which are invariably carried by the shipping of the world. And this little beach must have so appealed to earlier men, for the names of the pirates are still in the rock, and the pirate ships did dart out of here and did come back.”
The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck
The ships that were plundered were the Manila galleons returning from the Philippines in the late 1600s and early 1700s by rascals like Sir Frances Drake and Thomas Cavendish. Some say there are still pirates that steal meager treasures on the streets of Cabo San Lucas.
The sailing ships of yesterday and yachts of today have waited excitedly to round Land’s End especially after a difficult voyage from the north. Their anticipation would be rewarded the moment they turned into the lee and reached protected water. Those in past times would find fresh food and water. A safe harbor, plentiful supplies and good times still greet the modern sailors of today, as well as travelers on a cruise in Mexico.
A sport fisherman anticipating a day of world-class fishing would pass Land’s End Mexico with the cliffs tinged gold in the early morning light. The arch would be a symbol of a place in his or her dreams of catching sailfish, striped and black marlin, wahoo, dorado, cabrillo and yellowfin tuna.
Scuba divers seeking sandfalls and colorful fish know that they occur within the view of this cape. There is a deep v-shaped submarine canyon that drops down from the bay at Cabo San Lucas, perhaps carved by a river when sea level was 300 feet lower during glacial times. Some of the walls are so steep that sand pours down over them. It happens in slow motion, so fish can swim through the falling grains. This spectacle is enough to bring scuba divers here. Snorkelers can also plunge into a world of beautiful tropical fish in the shade of the Friars. Parrotfish, blue-and-gold snappers, Cortez and king angelfish, butterfly fish and Moorish idols are easy to find.
The scenic arch at Land’s End Mexico is what those aboard gigantic Baja Mexico cruise ships anchored off “Cabo” gaze upon. It’s the picture on the postcard that everyone wants, the image most photographers need; it defines Cabo San Lucas and perhaps the entire Cape Region more than any other single scene.