+52 (624) 142-0424 info@hightideloscabos.com
+52 (624) 142-0424 info@hightideloscabos.com

Where to Stop on a Baja California Road Trip

 

If you’re looking for a desert landscape with hidden vineyards, remote cactus forests, and idyllic sandy beaches, then hop in the car — Baja California is waiting for you! This rugged Mexican peninsula is prime territory to explore on a road trip.

Located south of the US border, this state stretches 760 miles from top to tip. Many areas are sparsely populated but the further down Ruta 1 you venture, the more vibrant towns you’ll encounter. Not to mention the varied species of marine life living in crystal clear coastal waters!

Nestled in the bustling towns that make up Los Cabos, our local team can show you the hidden secrets of this popular destination. From spectacular scuba diving to desert hikes, our fun excursions and tours in Los Cabos are a great way to celebrate the end of your road trip.

So, let’s pick up a map and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime Baja California road trip!

Tijuana

While the reputation of this border town precedes it, Tijuana has established itself as one of Mexico’s must-visit culture hotspots. From its burgeoning craft bar scene to the IMAX and aquarium at the Tijuana Cultural Center, T.J. — as it’s known by residents — is the most crossed border in the world for a reason.

In addition to the artisan stores on Avenida Revolucion, visitors can visit downtown markets to experience a slice of local life. Stock up on local goods then take a stroll along the promenade of Malecón de Playas and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Tijuana beach

Ensenada

Take a two-hour drive down the coast to Ensenada, where you’ll notice the change from the border’s busy atmosphere to a more relaxed pace.

Visitors can check out the dramatic La Bufadora, a blowhole or marine geyser, just 17 miles south of Ensenada. Or, if you’re looking to stretch your legs before the next chunk of driving, visit El Salto Canyon and the waterfall — a real hidden gem.

Ensenada is near the Valle de Guadalupe — an area known throughout Mexico for its delicious wines. The valley is home to over 100 vineyards, so it’s worth a visit if you’re looking for some good grapes. Grab a glass in Mexico’s answer to Napa Valley for a fraction of the cost.

After Ensenada, the wild and remote side of the state reveals itself. We recommend taking Ruta 1 south for spectacular views. Plan fuel stops strategically, as there are stretches of highway with nothing but cacti for company.

Ensenada white clouds

Guerrero Negro

Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur will reward your long drive with its beautiful landscape. The peninsula’s mid-point is famous for salt mines, epic dunes, and friendly gray whales that frequent its lagoons.

We recommend checking out the dramatic Dunes of Solitude. The hills are remade by the wind each day, meaning one visit is never the same as another. Go on a walk or access the dunes by boat for unparalleled panoramas.

Guerrero Negro is also a whale-watching hotspot. From December to April, the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon is a temporary home for gray whales to give birth and rear their calves. These gentle giants are naturally curious and have even been known to let visitors touch them!

Dog on beach in Guerrero Negro

Santa Rosalía

Drive three hours to the east coast of Baja Sur California and you will find the small port town of Santa Rosalía. The former French influence echoes throughout this mining town in its architecture and the Mining History Museum, which shows the town’s historic role as a copper mining hub of Mexico.

Santa Rosalía is a quiet place to take a breather from the road. Visit the Santa Barbara Church, designed by Gustav Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) and grab some delicious bread from El Boleo Bakery that blends French and Mexican culture.

Santa Rosalía destination view

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Mulegé

Mulegé is just one hour south of Santa Rosalía and is a friendly, walkable spot with plenty of history. If you’re interested in anthropology, we recommend hiring a guide and visiting the San Borjitas cave paintings just outside the town, which date back an estimated 7,500 years.

The Jesuits who discovered these breathtaking petroglyphs, or rock carvings, also founded the Mision Santa Rosalia de Mulegé. Check out the Mision for an insight into life from 1705 and epic views of the surrounding hills.

Mulege destination view

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Loreto

Loreto is another brilliant place to explore on your journey south. Located on the Gulf of California, this city is packed with colonial-era architecture and is another site for cave paintings and whale watching.

While it may sound similar to Mulegé, this town offers its own unique attractions, including plenty of water sports. So if you like diving, boat trips, or fishing then Loreto is the place for you. There are also lots of former Jesuit buildings, so you can take in the historic city center and its charming stone structures.

Mision de San Javier - Loreto

La Paz

As you’re inching closer to the end of the peninsula, you’ll reach the capital of Baja Sur California, La Paz. A great place for foodies, the capital offers local farmers’ markets and delectable fresh fish dishes.

The Sea of Cortez was nicknamed “The World’s Aquarium” by French explorer Jacques Cousteau. You’ll see why when you explore La Paz’s postcard-worthy beaches. Whichever one you end up exploring, the views are unbeatable, as is the wide array of marine life. Watch out for seals!

Man on beach in La Paz

Todos Santos

Travel just 90-minutes from La Paz and you’ll reach Todos Santos. This Pacific-facing town is nestled in the foothills of the awe-inspiring Sierra de la Laguna mountain range. Outside of Los Cabos, this is one of our favourite destinations for surfing.

Here, you can catch the waves as the surf breaks on the golden beaches. If you’re looking for within nature, visitors can also swim with whale sharks or help the local conservation teams to release baby turtles into the ocean.

And, after all that water-based fun, you can traverse the cobblestone streets and pick up memories from the local, colorful artisan craft markets.

Threads Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, México

Santiago

This is one of the most restful villages on our list. Santiago’s abundant paradise is often overlooked by tourists. The landscape is dotted with oases, flowing waterfalls, and natural hot springs. While the beaches in Baja Sur usually draw crowds, Santiago is a reminder not to skip the interior of this verdant state.

Visitors can also stop by the Tropic of Cancer Monument — the highlight of he Plaza Turística y Artesanal Trópico de Cáncer. Just off Ruta 1, this spot marks the latitude line that wraps around the globe. Stay for the sunset views that are once-in-a-lifetime.

Santiago destination view

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Los Cabos

Our final and favourite destination, if we do say so ourselves, is Los Cabos. Made up of two, equally awesome towns, San Lucas and San Jose, Los Cabos is one of the most popular destinations in Baja Sur.

Try San Jose del Cabo for a dose of Mexican charm and pastel-colored buildings before heading southwest to the upbeat Cabo San Lucas and its beach-based distinctive rock formation, The Arch.

At High Tide Los Cabos, we enjoy getting up close and personal with all the wonders the landscape has to offer. Try out some Los Cabos Surfing Lessons at Costa Azul with our resident National Surfing Champion or make some underwater friends on our Guided Cabo Snorkel Tour.

Los Cabos Surfers in water

We hope our list has you marking the map in preparation for your Baja California road trip! Wherever you decide to stop on your journey, this state has more natural beauty than we could ever describe — from hills and waterfalls to wineries and whales.

If you’re thinking of hitting the highway and your final destination is Los Cabos, get in touch with our team. Whether you choose one of our Private Cabo San Lucas Tours for surfing and snorkelling or a Baja off-road jeep experience, we’ll show you the best Baja California has to offer at High Tide Los Cabos.

So, let’s explore Baja together, today!

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