The Manila Galleons and their voyages to Land's End

Mireille Pasos

Cabo San Lucas

It truly looks like the world ends right after crossing the magnificent solid-rock arch that colossally rises above the sea at the southernmost tip of Cabo San Lucas. It is a magical place where the sight of nothing else besides the blue line of the horizon for as far as the eye can see, deceives the mind and the heart. It gives an optical illusion, making you believe that if you go any further than that line, you will fall off the edge of the Earth.

Land's End ArchIronic as it may be, what we know now as the Land's End Arch, was once a synonym of relief for the ships that used to travel between Asia and America. History says that in 1521, when Magellan's expedition discovered the Philippines almost at the same time that Hernan Cortez discovered Tenochtitlan, Spain finally found, after years of constant searching, a route that would take its people to the treasures of Asia.

Fifty years later, those events gave birth to inter-oceanic commerce in which New Spain had an important role as a bridge between Europe and Asia. During that time, there were great ships that traveled from the port of Manila in the Philippines to the coast of Acapulco with merchandise from Asia. This merchandise was later transported to the port of Veracruz from where it was shipped to the Old World in Spanish galleons. The ships that undertook the titanic effort of traveling between Asia and America were known as Manila Galleons.

Manila GalleonFor those on the expedition traveling on the Manila Galleons, there was a place of utmost importance known as the "secure water", since it had a natural fresh-water spring. It was a sure supply of the vital fluid for the ships that took on this transpacific navigation, located in the very spot where the Sea of Cortez meets the waters of the Pacific Ocean and in the same place where the Land's End Arch is to be found.

Whale watchingFarther off from Land's End Arch, there are still hundreds of adventures for the visitors to experience during their trip to Cabo San Lucas. Leaving behind all the stories and legends of the Manila Galleons, the pirates and Asian treasures, the modern adventures that the tourist nowadays faces range from the innumerable water activities offered in tours, to the exciting Gray Whale watching tours, a spectacle presented as one of the main attractions in this part of the world.

Cabo San Lucas invites you to surrender to the beauty of a destination where you will be able to free your imagination to take a journey to yesteryear and feel a part of colonial adventures. Experience for yourself the adventures offered and get in touch with nature.