Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, was told about a great Island filled with gold and pearls of wonderful size and color. Determined to find the source of such impressive riches and to claim the fabled island of pearls for the Spanish crown Cortés sent various expeditions. On one of these Cortés himself set forth and landed on May 3rd, 1535 on what was thought to be an island. In commemoration of his landing he placed three crosses on the land he baptized as Santa Cruz. Stone replicas of these crosses still remain in the site where Rancho Las Cruces now stands. Part of the land known as Santa Cruz by the early Explorers would later be named Las Cruces. Although he found no gold, Cortés did find pearls of astonishing beauty.
Down the centuries the shores of Las Cruces and the islands of Cerralvo and Espirito Santo were renowned for their fabulous pearls but a decline in the pearl oyster started as early as 1900 and by 1929 the pearl industry of Baja belonged to the past. Standing where Cortés once stood more than 400 years earlier, Abelardo L. Rodriguez Montijo watched the rising sun cast its array of magnificent color on the tranquil sea. He saw the remains of thatched huts, water wells and aqueducts that once irrigated beautiful tropical orchards and native palms. He realized then, that although depleted of pearls, Las Cruces could still provide treasure. He believed that the enchantment of ten thousand acres with more than seven miles of private sea coast would be gratifying to those who must face maddening crowds and churn through congested traffic. In 1948 he and his beautiful bride, Lucille Bremer decided to turn Las Cruces into a small luxury resort.
This was the birth of tourism in the state of Baja California Sur. The success of Las Cruces prompted Abelardo (Rod) to build other world class resorts in Baja. Hotel Palmilla which opened in 1957 is still thought of as the shining star of Los Cabos (now the One and Only Palmilla) as well as Hotel Hacienda in Cabo San Lucas.
Las Cruces, however, was the place Abelardo and his family always called home. Here he built his home as well as others for his dear friends and partners Robert Fisher, Desi Arnaz, Bing Crosby, Charles Jones and Roger Bacon. Casa Fisher is now called Hacienda Santa Cruz. Las Cruces offers discriminating guests the same natural beauty, tranquility and charm that attracts distinguished guests. His resorts gained notoriety and were visited by many celebrities including princes, presidents, dignitaries and stars and simply by people whose wish it was to experience the adventure of a land that until then had been inaccessible to most.