El Arco Rock Formations
Outdoors And Activities Article
Los Cabos Magazine - Issue #18 - Fall 2008 - Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico

We’ve seen it in pictures, on posters, postcards, t-shirts, and as our tourist hot spot grows in popularity, on just about every television station around the world, too. El Arco, or the Arch in English, is right up there on the list of most-recognized landmarks around, made more significant by the fact that it is natural rather than man-made. In general, although mistakenly, we refer to the entire 200 foot high outcropping of beige rock formation as the Arch, when common sense, and a closer look, tells us that there are several distinct shapes of stone, most of which are not really connected. Only one has the famed formation that offers views all the way through from the Sea of Cortéz to the Pacific Ocean. This is the only place in the world where you can see such bodies of water at the same time. From the obvious to the humorous, and some much more known than others, many of these formations at Land’s End, or “Fininsterra” in Spanish, have names that give each life and personality all its own.

Aside from the main attraction of El Arco, sought after by those with cameras of all types, the other two popular sites on the sea in Los Cabos are the Sea Lion Colony and Pelican Rock. Crowded with honking sea lions and unfazed pelicans, respectively, these rocks allow tourists a fairly up-close encounter with some sea creatures and their habits. Just offshore are two islets called Los Frailes (“The Friars”), also frequented by hordes of basking sea lions.

The slender rock protruding out of the water closest to Lover’s Beach, that sandy strip of land between the two largest rock formations, looks astonishingly like an upside down Baja Peninsula. However, that’s not its most common name. Local boaters and tour guide companies call it either Neptune’s Finger, Bishop (as in a chess game), or Lightning in the Sea. Each name, not to mention the fact that there are three, seems to indicate the sheer sassiness of this figure’s sharp lines.

Once used as a vantage point from which to spot approaching ship sails, Cerro Del Vigía, or The Lookout, is the mass of rock offering the most distant view of the horizon. Around Finisterra, on the Pacific side of the Arch, is La Bufadora, or The Blowhole, probably so named for the way the waves crash against it. Less creativity was used in naming the smallest formation next to El Arco, as it is known merely as La Ultima Piedra, or The Last Rock. The larger piece of stone next to La Ultima is known as Cerro Blanco, or White Hill. Perhaps the most entertaining of all formation names is that given to the one located to the southwest of the Arch: the Scooby Doo Rock. Yes, upon close inspection, one can make out the ears and snout of the oh-so-famous cartoon pooch.

Turtles - Presidente Intercontinental
Arch Formation - Los cabos
Whale - Sea of Cortes

Hire a water taxi, a wave runner, a kayak, or take one of Cabo´s many boat tours and discover these distinct and amazing pieces of Land’s End for yourself.

(Note: There’s no dock at Lover’s Beach, so to get to shore you must jump off the water taxi boat into shallow water, and get back into the boat from the water for your return trip. There are no services on the beach; bring what you need for the day. Regardless of these inconveniences, it is definitely worth the trip! Snorkeling around the rocks is fabulous, and swimming on the Sea of Cortés side is wonderful.)

By Kirstin Frieze

Los Cabos Magazine - Cabo San Lucas

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Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico - Last Revision - 03 October, 2008 - fap