Cabo San Lucas was once known as a pirate party town.  For over 200 years it was the perfect hiding spot for pirates as they waited for ships to target coming down the Pacific Coast.  Once Hernan Cortez had the area mapped in 1537 and the map got back to Spain, the English pirates were on a mission.  They wanted that Spanish gold.

By July 1586 Spain and England were in a war which would culminate with the Spanish Armada and its threatened invasion of England in 1588. Thomas Cavendish, an English explorer and a privateer known as “The Navigator,” was determined to follow Sir Francis Drake by raiding the Spanish ports and ships in the Pacific and circumnavigating the globe. – Wikipedia 

Battle between English Pirates vs Spanish Crown, out in the waters surrounding Cabo San Lucas…

The year was 1587, Tom Cavendish and his motley pirate crew were patrolling the waters around the Baja Peninsula waiting for the Spanish ship some said was unsinkable, the war between the English and Spanish alive in their spirits.

Then down the coast, here comes the Santa Ana filled with gold and manned with over 200 Spaniards.  As a lookout spotted the ship and alerted Cavendish, his men lit up like a wild brush fire and chased the Spanish ship with no mercy.


The Santa Ana was too slow and had no way to protect itself.  The canons were removed go carry the cargo.  However, Cavendish’s ship did have canons and he shot a hole right into the side of the Spanish ship after hours of hand to hand combat and small arms fighting.

As water gushed into the side of the Spanish ship, it started to sink, their hopes of winning the battle sinking too.

Finally, the Spanish ship hoisted her colors and surrendered to Cavendish and his crew.

Losing to English Pirates greatly angered the Spanish Monarchy.  And soon the region found itself a target by the “The Spanish Inquisition,” a joint power between the Catholic Church and the Spanish Crown of the 1600’s.  Another major piece of history to note at this time occurred in 1665 when the great plague broke out in London and all over Europe.


For 300 years after the pirate era, the native peoples of Cabo San Lucas and Mexico struggled under foreign systems of control and dominance.  But in 1911 the people finally revolted against suppression and tyranny.  It also started the period for modern transformation and commercialization which paved the way for a very prosperous hospitality industry in Cabo and other parts of Mexico.


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