BAJA’S UNIQUE SEA FORMATIONS
Gulf waves have created fascinating sea formations throughout Baja’s coastal regions that draw visitors year after year. One of the most famed is the Cabo San Lucas Arch, a unique rock arch that lies on the extremity of Cabo San Lucas. The rugged rock arch is also called El Arco and also tends to be referred to as Land’s End. The moniker Land’s End is not merely a pithy allusion to it being the tip of Cabo San Lucas; rather, El Arco gained its name because, as the crow flies, you could follow a southern course to the South Pole without meeting land. This location marks the point where the Pacific Ocean turns into the Gulf of California, or the Sea of Cortez. Hop on a panga and look at the sun shadowing the toffee-colored rocks while sea lions bask below.
Behind El Arco lies the visually stunning and remote Playa del Amor, or Lover’s Beach. This is a hidden cove accessible only by water whose azure tropical waters and white sand beach give a somnolent sanctuary to colonies of corals, fish, and sea lions. Lover’s Beach faces of the Sea of Cortez and although the bay has been somewhat eroded by hurricanes, its beauty has made it Baja’s most famous beach. From the secluded beach of Playa del Amor you can look up at the towering rock foundations or look at the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean against the sands of its sister beach—fondly referred to as Divorce Beach by locals.
Around 164 feet off of Playa del Amor divers can also find an immense underwater canyon. This canyon is, in part, known for its colorful coral and for attracting fish not commonly found so close to shore. However, the canyon’s real draw is the “sandfalls.” In the canyon, sand cascades from the tributaries over the canyon’s rim and form sand rivers that run through the canyon’s rock formations. At around 40 meters, the large rock formations become steep granite walls that have a vertical drop of over 9,000 feet. It’s an amazing geological phenomenon that was first witnessed in 1960 by Scripps Institute of Oceanography and has since received further exploration and documentation.
Of course, not all of Baja’s impressive geological landforms are in Cabo San Lucas. La Paz is home to the famous “mushroom rock,” which rises above the ocean on its fragile perch in Balandra Beach. Carved daily by patient waves, this rock formation has a high resemblance to the fungus with its thin stalk that supports a blooming granitic head of rock.
If you have an opportunity to travel to Baja California Norte, you can visit the incredible geological phenomenon of La Bufadora, or the blowhole. This is a natural marine geyser that lies off the shores of Ensenada on the Punta Banda peninsula. La Bufadora is technically a cave where the waves are forced into the partially submerged cave. Inside the cave, the water and air merge which causes an increase in pressure. Ultimately, the pressure increases until the water explodes vertically, shooting out of the cave. The geyser can reach heights of up to 80 feet, making it one of the world’s biggest marine geysers. La Bufadora is often thought of as a legend taking nature’s form. Legend has it that a baby whale visiting Baja’s waters was separated from its pod and got stuck in the peninsula’s rocks. Once stuck, the baby whale attempted to blow jets of water as a call for help, but eventually the whale merged with the rocks and remained.