Cabo san Lucas, located in the sea of Cortez, was ironically not discovered by Herman Cortez himself, but by his navigator Francisco de Ulloa in 1537. Soon after its discovery, the island was flooded with pirates as well as British and Dutch trading ships trying to intercept treasure being brought back to Spain. To put an end to all the pirating, King Phillip II of Spain established fort Cabo San Lucas. This settlement allowed for further exploration of the peninsula as well as a number of small villages along the coast.
Unfortunately, as the settlers mapped out their new land they realized the isolation of their small island and how difficult it was to reach from the outside world. Because of this, Fort Cabo San Lucas maintained a population of around 400 for many years and by 1930 there was still no change. The island was only accessible by small plane, yacht or 1,000 miles of dirt roads and hills that could only be traveled on foot.
By the 1940’s this isolation was starting to be seen as exclusivity, only those who could afford a private plane or long range yacht were able to reach the island. Cabo San Lucas was becoming accessible to only the rich and famous who loved the tranquil privacy and selective company in which they kept.
Movie stars such as Bing Crosby, Phil Harris and “The Duke” were frequent visitors of the island and in 1948 came together to build Hotel Las Cruces. This brought even more attention to the shores of Cabo and eventually there were high-end hotels popping up all along the coast. Although movie stars and millionaires a like were putting their money into private hotels, many people could still reach the island without spending a fortune.
Finally, in 1974 a peninsular highway was built that connected Cabo San Lucas to Middle America. Not long after the highway, came the expansion of Los Cabos International Airport in 1986. Both of these major improvements meant more accessibility to the island and more opportunity for tourists! From the 1990’s to present day, Cabo San Lucas has continued to blossom with its abundance of plush beaches, rolling golf courses, and lavish resorts.
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