Costa Palmas Cabo Pulmo


A Brief History Of Cabo Pulmo National Park

Just 17 miles South East of Costa Palmas lies the small village of Cabo Pulmo, an unassuming settlement that sits at the center of one of the most remarkable national parks in the world.

Despite being the oldest of only 3 coral reefs on the west coast of North America, the reef at Cabo Pulmo isn’t large. The whole area is only 3 miles wide and 9 miles long but the coral, which grows on rocky outcrops that run perpendicular to the coastline supports an incredible amount of marine life.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, early settlers discovered huge quantities of Mother of Pearl nestled in the reef close to the shore. Also known as Nacre, this amazing composite material is a popular commodity, widely used in architecture, fashion, musical instruments and more. Extracting the Mother of Pearl from the reef provided a reliable income source for the settlers, an income that was eventually replaced with commercial fishing.

If we fast forward to the early 1980s, professors and students from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur began to visit the community and work with the local families to study the area. Together, they realized that years of commercial fishing and pearl diving had taken its toll. Marine life was shrinking at an alarming rate.