The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortes, is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. The gulf’s surface area is about 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi).
The Gulf is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet, and is home to more than 5,000 species of micro-invertebrates. Home to over a million people, Baja California is one of the longest peninsulas in the world, second only to the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Parts of the Gulf of California are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temperature of the water in the Gulf of California generally experiences lows of 61 °F (16 °C) in winter and highs of 75 °F (24 °C ) in summer. But temperatures can vary greatly in the gulf, and the water is almost always warmer by the coast than the open ocean.
The Sea of Cortes, is home to a unique and rich ecosystem. In addition to a wide range of endemic creatures, it hosts many migratory species, such as the humpback whale, California gray whale, killer whale, manta ray, Humboldt squid and leatherback sea turtle, and the world’s largest animal, the blue whale.
The Gulf of California sustains a large number of marine mammals, many of which are rare and endangered. Its more than 900 islands are important nesting sites for thousands of seabirds, and its waters are primary breeding, feeding, and nursing grounds for myriad migratory and resident fish species. For decades, the gulf has been a primary source of two of Mexico’s leading marine resources, sardines and anchovies.
The arch of Cabo San Lucas, is a distinctive rock formation at the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas, which is itself the extreme southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. The arch is locally known as El Arco in the town of Cabo San Lucas. It is here that the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California. This spot is a popular gathering area for sea lions. This location is a great tourist attraction. It is three stories tall and was formed from massive erosion.
Located at the southern end of Cabo San Lucas and sandwiched between Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) and Playa del Divorcio, these rock formations were created from the rough winds and seas of the southern Baja Peninsula. Sea lions frequent the area (especially along the Los Frailes rock formation), and Land’s End remains excellent for couples looking for a romantic spot to see the sunset.
Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach)
Located right near the famous Land’s End rock formations, Playa del Amor, or Lover’s Beach, is one of Cabo’s most famous stretches of shoreline. It sits south of Cabo’s downtown area, but remains easily accessible by water taxi from the marina. Beachgoers say this stretch of sand is relaxing, providing a nice view of the blue water and a great spot for sunbathing.