Cross the border from San Diego into Mexico and you’ll find yourself on the Baja California Peninsula, a magnificent landscape with so much to offer all who visit. With 3000 km of coast and 65 islands, the Sea of Cortés on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, Baja California is home to golden beaches, azure seas, mountain ranges, waterfalls, desert, and fascinating flora and fauna.
Each year, around 2 million visitors choose Baja California for its natural wonders and range of activities such as fishing, golf, hiking excursions, water sports, and whale watching (and the 350 days of sunshine may have something to do with it too!).
But we know that so much choice can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed when visiting a new place, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful places in Baja California that you should be sure not to miss! And while you’re here, why not check out our range of expertly organised adventures in the Los Cabos region, located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.
The Sea of Cortés (also commonly known as the Gulf of California) is the marginal area of the Pacific Ocean that runs along the eastern side of the Baja California Peninsula, separating it from mainland Mexico.
Called ‘the world’s aquarium’ by Jacques Cousteau, the Sea of Cortés is one of the most ecologically diverse areas of sea on Earth and has enjoyed protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.
No trip to Baja California would be complete without enjoying time on the peninsula’s east coast, or spending time out on the Sea of Cortés itself.
From December to March is whale watching season and there are several excellent locations along the Sea of Cortés coast to spot whales from the shore. Or alternatively, take a guided boat trip with www.magbayexpeditions.com out into the sea of Cortés where the whales arrive to give birth to their young.
Bahía Concepción, and the El Mogote sandspit are just two areas renowned for spotting the majestic creatures.
Elsewhere, the Sea of Cortés provides perfect waters for scuba diving and snorkeling, kayaking, or relaxing on a boat trip.
Los Cabos is a municipality located on the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula encompassing the two towns of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Perhaps we’re biased as we’re based in the region, but these two towns and their surrounding areas provide guests with a range of beautiful locations and activities.
From Cabo San Lucas, travelers can easily reach the iconic Arch of Cabo San Lucas (or El Arco). This magnificent rock formation is perfect for Instagrammable pictures.
Across the region you will find plenty of gorgeous beaches and perfect locations for surfing, diving, paddle boarding, or simply relaxing in the sun with a cocktail.
Foodies will not want to miss the local seafood, sure to be some of the best you’ve ever tasted! We recommend the fish tacos, a local speciality.
Between the towns, sports enthusiasts can also take in a round of golf on dream courses. Our own Private Los Cabos Excursions may interest you if you’re joining us in this beautiful part of the peninsula.
Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco
The Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco are a series of prehistoric pictographs located within the Sierra de San Francisco mountain range. Granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1993, the extraordinary paintings were created by the Cochimi people native to the Baja California Peninsula.
The oldest examples are over 7,000 years old, while the most recent pieces were probably created in the 1700s. The purpose of the images is shrouded in mystery, though it has been suggested that they were used in ritualistic hunting magic.
Legend has it that the images were created by a race of giants due to the enormous size of certain images. Animals depicted in the art include whales, turtles, and puma.
Due to the paintings’ remote locations and that they are spread out across 250 sites, they can be hard to reach, but various tour options are available in the Mulegé Municipality.
San Ignacio, Mulegé Municipality
History lovers will not want to miss a visit to San Ignacio. The town of San Ignacio is located within a palm oasis, an area of stunning natural beauty and a location of historical significance in Baja California.
In 1728, Jesuits founded a mission near the Cochimí settlement of Kadakaamán and later Dominican missionaries built an impressive church in the French style there in 1786. Today the church sits in the centre of town, an evocative reminder of bygone ages.
The lush vegetation of the oasis and its surrounding desert mean the flora and fauna of this area is wonderfully diverse. The nearby San Ignacio lagoon is another fine location for spotting gray whales when in season.
Our final choice of beautiful location for this list is located in the northern Ensenada Municipality. The Guadalupe Valley (or Valle de Guadalupe) is a famous wine producing region, home to over 100 wineries. Though the wine culture here is still relatively fresh-faced (in winemaking terms!) at around 100 years old, this region is going from strength to strength.
The Guadalupe Valley is picturesque, offers guests a variety of chic hotels, has a first class foodie scene, and, of course, hosts exceptional wine tours given by many of the local wineries.
Wine connoisseurs will love sampling the wine from this region that is increasingly making waves on the global wine scene. For those not fond of wine, the area is also the birthplace of Baja Med, a tantalizing fusion of traditional Mexican and Mediterranean cooking styles.
No blog can cover the variety of unforgettable experiences offered by the Baja California Peninsula, but we hope our choices have inspired you to begin planning your trip to the beautiful Baja California! If you have any questions about this article, or any of our tours, please contact us.