Brief History of Los Cabos | Tribune Travel
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Brief History of Los Cabos

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The southernmost area of the Baja Peninsula was originally inhabited by the Pericú people, of whom very little is known nowadays as they became culturally and linguistically extinct a few decades after their first contact with the European colonizers. The Pericú name for their land was Yenecamú.

The first European to reach the peninsula was Fortún Jiménez in 1534 on a journey ordered by Hernan Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico. Jiménez landed on the area of the present-day La Paz with the idea that he had discovered an island.

It was Francisco de Ulloa who, five years later, explored the western coasts of the New Spain and determined that the island of California was not such but rather a peninsula. The port of La Paz was used as a replenishment point for the Manila route.

In 1730 the Mission of San Jose del Cabo was founded by the Jesuits. The missionaries brought diseases that led to the decimation of the native population. In 1847 the American army invaded Mexico and a battle took place at San Jose del Cabo.

In 1919 a tuna and seafood packaging company settled at Cabo San Lucas and remained in operation up to the 1960’s. San Jose del Cabo was named as the Head of the Municipality of Los Cabos in 1928.

In the mid-20th century, a group of American celebrities and entrepreneurs discovered the virtues of Los Cabos and took on building hotels and resorts for their wealthy friends and clients. Los Cabos’ fame and prestige as a world-class destination has only grown ever since.

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