The warmth of the waters at Cabo San Lucas, the beauty of its beaches, the abundance of sport fish, and nearby surfing motivated a great number of both foreign and Mexican vacationers to spend their vacations in large-scale tourist developments there, starting from 1974 when the Mexican government created the infrastructure to turn Cabo San Lucas into a major center for tourism in Mexico. Upon completion of the Transpeninsular highway, tourist developments in Los Cabos often proceeded relatively unchecked. However, the rapid loss of vast stretches of desert and marine habitat has made the development of Cabo San Lucas controversial.
Until fairly recently, Mexico’s unique and fragile environmental treasures were on their own and subjected to the predation of developers acting in concert with government agencies interested only in low-end tourist bonanzas. There is however, a growing collection of activists and attorneys now involved in preserving many of Baja’s desert habitats, marine mammals and pristine stretches of coastline. A number of agencies including, The Gulf of California Conservation Fund and The Center for Environmental Law in La Paz are challenging the despoliation of wetlands and other ecosystems from Cabo to Ensenada. In the face of a growing international public demand for corporate driven ecological stewardship, higher-end resorts in the Los Cabos area are increasingly sensitive to their environmental impact and are taking initial steps to institute sustainable practices like reducing water usage and non-recyclable trash output.