The popularity of Cabo Pulmo began when many people came out of the cold to find a fun winter haven. Those people were primarily from the ski towns like Sun Valley and Steamboat and Aspen.
Wind surfing was thriving as a new sport and everyone that was interested was looking for a cheap tropical spot where the wind blew. Another factor that help kickstart the tourism in Mexico was the falling price of oil and the plunging peso against the dollar. This made for a SUPER cheap vacation for many that had more time on their hands than money. You could buy a beer AND a taco for 1 dollar. Barrymore saw the frenzy about to form and found a way to start a housing development in Cabo Pulmo. He began to spread the rumor that there is an awesome windsurfing secret spot that is cheap and easy to get to with all that cumbersome windsurfing gear. Cabo Pulmo was the new Hawaii. Soon there were 100’s of people that drove to Cabo Pulmo to line the beaches with all their pickups, motorhomes and campers while the windsurfing industry pumped out the latest and greatest of new gear. When the wind blew the windsurfers were all over the place! Occasionally the best windsurfers rode 15 foot + waves on the reef with a super small 3.5 square meter sail ! Then they all gathered to share their stories on the beach with a bonfire and a bunch ‘o beer and cocktails. On the calm days, many got out their small tin boats and went fishing just outside of the reef. Since then all the windsurfers and kite boarders went to other areas that have more consistent wind such as ‘La Ventana’ east of La Paz.
But during the 80’s and 90’s the local fisherman came in droves with huge ice trucks and nets and new boats and motors from the Mexican government that eventually would decimate the whole area…now known as the National Marine Park. Even the purseiners and long-liners and the huge tenders were in this rich fishing area that took only a few short years to wipe out all or most of the food chain. As Barrymore sold many lots in phase 1 of his development, the fishing diminished without immediate notice and many of the new homeowners were busy catching big dorado and Tuna on the outer line-up just 1 mile off the beach in an aluminum skiff. Soon Barrymore developed Phase 2 and then Phase 3 hosting about 140 lots owners in all.