At the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula a narrow breach in the sheer rock walls shelter two delightful beaches, Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach. Lying back-to-back on this narrow isthmus, Lover’s Beach faces the Sea of Cortez and Divorce Beach faces the Pacific Ocean. The only way to visit these two gems is by boat, but fortunately this is no problem, since dozens of glass-bottom boat captains at Darsena Marina are only too happy to whisk you across the harbor for a fee of $5-6 per person.
While it is simple to arrange for passage, it is more difficult to actually set foot on these beaches. The waves here are often high and strong, and there is no dock. Captains bring their launches as close to shore as possible at Lover’s Beach, but passengers must ultimately jump out into the water, so it is advisable to wear swimwear and not bring a lot of gear. When the waves are not rough, it is possible to swim and even snorkel a bit at Lover’s Beach, as long as you do not round the point. Currents on the Pacific side are so strong that it is not advisable to get into the water at all; the rough seas here are perhaps the reason it was named Divorce Beach.
Once on the beach, the scenery is astounding: soft creamy pink sand with aquamarine water, all surrounded by towering rock spires painted black, ochre, and brown. Shake out your beach towel and enjoy a cerveza (beer) from one of the vendors who haul drinks to the beaches in coolers every morning. Or search the rock nooks and crannies for pirate graffiti. In the 1940′s, John Steinbeck wrote about Lover’s Beach, which was then called Playa Doña Chepa:
“The tip of the Cape at San Lucas, with the huge gray Friars standing up on the end, has behind the rocks a little beach which is a small boy’s dream of pirates . . . and this little beach must so have appealed to earlier men, for the names of pirates are still in the rock, and the pirate ships did dart out of here and did come back.“
After a few hours (or at whatever time you have pre-arranged) your captain will return to pick you up. Unless the seas are extremely calm on the day you visit, getting back into the boat can be a challenge, necessitating wading out into the water and timing your jump with the trough of a wave. But despite the challenges, a visit to Lover’s and Divorce Beaches is definitely worth the trouble.