Archaeological excavations have shown evidence of continual human habitation in the area for at least 10,000 years. When the first Europeans arrived, they encountered the Pericú people, who survived on a subsistence diet based on hunting and gathering seeds, roots, shellfish, and other marine resources. They called the location Yenecamú.
According to the narrative of Hatsutaro, a Japanese castaway, in the book Kaigai Ibun (written by Maekawa, Junzo and Bunzo Sakai and narrated by Hatsutaro), when he arrived at Cabo San Lucas in May 1842, there were only two houses and about 20 inhabitants. However, American authors such as Henry Edwards and John Ross Browne claim that Cabo San Lucas's founder was an Englishman named Thomas "Old Tom" Ritchie. John Ross Browne says Ritchie arrived there about 1828, while Edwards says that he died in October 1874.
A fishing village began growing in the area. In 1917, an American company built a floating platform to catch tuna, and ten years later founded Compañía de Productos Marinos S.A. The plant operated for several years.