The village of El Pescadero borders the Sierra de La Laguna to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is a desert oasis. In the growing area of Pescadero, the palm plantations are surrounded by roads and farms and coexist with a low number of private residences. We can see plantings of cherries, tomatoes and basil. Most of these products are grown for export and end up in markets and gourmet food stores in the United States. Fortunately, some of the products are on sale outside of the village.
Geography and Population
El Pescadero is located at mile 40 on the road from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz. The center of this community is about 1,000 feet from the road, heading toward the Sierra de la Laguna. The current population hovers around 1,800 inhabitants. In addition, there is a growing number of international residents, mainly from the United States, Canada and a lesser amount from Europe.
The foreign influence in the amount of construction on the beach gets more remarkable everyday. As a result, the property values in the area are on the rise. Fishermen and farmers also work in construction.
Given its location so close to Todos Santos, the two towns share many characteristics. Both are key points surrounded by arroyos that originate in the Sierra de La Laguna and run to the Pacific Ocean. When full, the currents can be so strong that huge boulders are carried to the beaches. These lands are highly valued as a place to grow sugarcane, tomatoes and mangoes, as well as livestock.
Commercial agriculture thrives due to the water supply. The cool air from the Pacific Ocean carries up the face of the Sierra de La Laguna and meets the warmer air from the Sea of Cortez. This results in frequent rainstorms in the mountains during summer and fall. Consequently, the storms release large amounts of rainfall that fills rivers and underground aquifers throughout the Todos Santos and El Pescadero basin.
Ships that began their journey from the Philippine Islands sailed for the coast of San Francisco to load gold discovered in the surrounding areas. The ships anchored off the coast of the Baja peninsula to load up on fresh water, agricultural products and livestock. A port was established precisely between El Pescadero and Todos Santos. Today, only a foundation of large stones exists where wooden docks for loading and unloading were built in the bay formed by the cliffs of Playa San Pedrito. The port was built on the coast near El Pescadero in an area that was known as Rancho Pescadero.
Growth began as soon as Hernán Cortés discovered Baja California in the late sixteenth century. As with all colonies in the New World, the Jesuit missionaries converted the native inhabitants and built missions in Alta California, strategically located to reach the southern tip of the peninsula. The mission established in Todos Santos was founded in 1724 and was a focal point for the region, including El Pescadero. The Guaycura and Pericue tribes were the original inhabitants of the area.
Spanish colonizers were quick to join with tribal members. As a result, virtually all pure native bloodlines disappeared. The descendants are the present inhabitants of this area. A total of 12 families with about 100 people established the Rancheria El Pescadero. Family names included Salgado, Arce, Albañez, Meza and more.
The climate in El Pescadero is one of the best in the state. The Pacific Ocean moderates temperatures throughout the year. In the summer, ocean breezes keep the heat at bearable levels. In the winter, generally from March to May, the days are warm and the temperatures are lower at night.
There are surfing beaches along the entire length of the peninsula on the Pacific Coast side. Two of the best sites are in El Pescadero on the beaches known as Cerritos and San Pedrito. Cerritos is ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers. San Pedrito is considered a beach for advanced surfers because of the rocky bottom and strong currents.