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Los Cabos Geography

View of Marina Cabo San Lucas
Image credit: Gary | Fotolia

At the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean meet the subtropical desert landscape of the Los Cabos region in Baja California Sur.

Los Cabos, or The Capes in Spanish, is located about 900 miles southeast of San Diego, California. The Tropic of Cancer crosses the peninsula 50 miles north of Land’s End.

A region of mountains and coastal plains, the mostly desert area is dry and rocky with over 320 days of sunshine each year and less than 10 inches of rain.

Mountains punctuate the landscape and are formed mainly of volcanic rock. Sierra de la Laguna and Sierra de San Lazaro range from 1,300 ft. to nearly 3,300 ft. in elevation. Their western faces slope more gently toward the Pacifc Ocean, but show more rugged eastern faces to the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez.

The main river in the area is the San José River, which flows north to south primarily during the summer rainy season. The river creates an estuary at its southern end, which is the third largest in Mexico and home to native and migratory birds, including 250 species of tropical birds.

Los Cabos beaches are known worldwide and make up about 25 percent of the region’s topography. Some of the more popular beaches include Los Frailes, Buena Vista, Agua Caliente, Puerto Chileno and Punta Colorada. The most popular is Lover’s Beach near Cabo San Lucas, which has great views of iconic El Arco, the natural stone arch that is the symbol of Los Cabos.

The main population of Los Cabos stretches about 20 miles from Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. The area between the two cities is known as the Resort Corridor, a stretch of beach dotted primarily with hotels and condominiums. Los Cabos also includes smaller communities that line the beaches between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California: Colonia del Sol, Las Veredas, Colonia Los Congrejos, San José Viego and La Ribera.

Los Cabos is in the Mountain Standard Time zone and observes daylight saving time beginning the first Sunday in April and ending the last Sunday in October.