Baja California Sur in Mexico: 6 good reasons to travel here written by Aske Mørkeberg Sørensen.
Almost too good to be true
If I told you you could drive through arid Texas-like desert and mountain landscapes, jump from one lavish and beautiful sandy beach to another, swim with sea lions, whales and whale sharks, and not least hike in magnificent Mexican gorges - you would so believe me?
The southern part of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico have it all. And much more.
Baja California Sur - the state that has it all
Baja California Sur is not the classic Mexico as you may know it. With its diverse and magnificent landscapes and charming coastal towns, Baja California Sur is the perfect Mexican region to travel to if you - like many - want it all.
As the name suggests, this western Mexican state is located in the southern part of the California Peninsula, which in Spanish is called Baja California.
Here I have gathered 6 good reasons why Baja California Sur is perhaps Mexico's most underrated region - and why it should be your next travel destination.
The perfect road trip in Mexico happens in Baja California Sur
The best thing about the whole Baja Peninsula is that it is perfect for road trips. The roads are mostly well taken care of compared to other roads around Mexico and it is easy to drive from one spectacular experience to the next.
When you hear Highway 1, you most likely think of it in the state California i USA. But the famous highway actually winds all the way from California down to Baja California Sur - and this is exactly the route you can follow.
If you start in Los Cabos, which is the southern part of the region, you will initially experience impressive panoramas of Pacific Ocean and then move through some idyllic towns, each with its own charm. More on that later.
North of La Paz, the long stretches begin, and now you need the camera ready. For this is where you will be greeted by Baja California Sur's completely unique landscapes and raw nature; everything from dry cactus-clad deserts, almighty mountain ranges and raw rocky shores to idyllic sandy beaches and lush palm oases. The list is long.
If you decide to travel around Baja California, is one roadtrip the best form of travel as it
gives you good opportunities to experience the absolute most beautiful places in the region while you are 'on the road'.
Mexico's most beautiful beaches
Although dry desert landscapes do not usually go hand in hand with enchanting beaches, nature surprises again and again in Baja California Sur.
Baja California Sur is home to one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Balandra Beach,
located about 30 minutes north of the popular city of La Paz. In the beautiful and almost
surreal bay you will find quiet turquoise blue water that gently falls along the coastline.
The water never really gets deeper than half a meter no matter how far you go out, making it perfect for relaxing water sports such as kayaking, SUP or snorkeling. You may also be lucky enough to encounter devil rays - called 'manta rays' - and other beautiful fish in the crystal clear water.
In addition, the beach also offers various hikes, which allows you to get some completely epic views from above. Balandra is truly what one would call an unspoilt beach - and it's definitely a must visit when traveling around Baja California Sur.
Are you for the big white sandy beaches, untamed surf waves or something completely third, then you can
also easy to find this. In the southern part of the peninsula around Los Cabos you will find a wide range
popular sandy beaches such as Lovers Beach, Santa Maria Beach and countless pristine beaches in
the protected Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park.
Are you more into surfing, then you can find a wide range fantastic surfing beaches along the east coast towards the Pacific Ocean. Here, beaches such as El Pedrito, La Pastora and Los Cerritos are the most popular.
Amazing experiences at sea in Baja California Sur
When you want a break from lying on the beach, Baja California Sur also offers a rich and colorful underwater life. The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, is particularly known for its concentration of whale sharks and sea lions, which give you ample opportunity to find
Snorkel gear forward and swim with these amazing creatures.
I was even out swimming with whale sharks on my trip. It is something that initially gives a huge adrenaline kick, but which soon after is replaced by a fascination with how calm and beautiful these giants really are.
If you time your trip correctly, you can also have another whale experience in your luggage. In the period from November to April, you can daily experience both gray whales and humpback whales off the coasts of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and Loreto.
I was there myself in the middle of the whale season, and it was easy to spot these majestic giants along the coast - and so it was from the beach that I was so lucky to see them. Of course, it is also possible to get really close to the beautiful whales if you hop on one of the many boat trips that you will find in almost all the coastal towns.
Hiking in the wild gorges and magnificent mountains
If you are into everything that rhymes with hiking and trekking, then Baja California Sur offers many opportunities to get out and get your blood pumping. Everywhere in the region you can find paths and hiking trails for all levels - and they are definitely worth a try while you are there.
Especially in the area around the port city of Loreto you will find some absolutely amazing gorges just waiting to be hiked in. I even tried my hand at the gorges Tabor Canyon and Mesquite Canyon.
Both are popular hikes that test your physique and stubbornness with deep water holes and meter-high rock walls to climb. Both hikes were a huge pleasure and you are quickly reminded of how small you really are when you walk between the magnificent mountains.
In addition to the more challenging hikes, as mentioned, there are also countless beautiful hiking trails, which can be done on a cozy family trip, and which is always packed with amazing viewpoints along the route. Therefore, it is yet another reason why Baja California Sur deserves a visit.
Lush palm oasis in the middle of the desert
Believe it or not, but after some time in the arid desert, it's not uncommon for you to experience lush palm oases on your way. In the town of Mulegé, located in the northern part of the region, you will probably find the largest and most beautiful palm oasis.
It is a very special kind of silence that is created in the idyllic oasis, where the sight of kilometer-long stretches of palm forests clinging through the dry mountain landscape becomes difficult to describe in words. A great contrast to the other beautiful landscapes that Baja California Sur otherwise offers, and therefore this particular sight becomes extra magnificent.
In addition to the oasis itself, Mulége also contains a lot of history, as the lush oasis in an otherwise arid region has been a central habitat for natives for thousands of years. If you are into history and culture, then this is where you should lace up your hiking boots and head out into the nearby mountains. Here you will for example be able to see ancient paintings dating back to 100 years before Christ. The palm oasis in Mulegé is therefore a unique gem in the hidden that you just have to experience.
Baja California Sur's charming cities
As mentioned earlier, Baja California Sur abounds in idyllic cities. All the cities each have their expression and charm and they all deserve a visit. The list is long and I could write a novel about all of them, but if I had to highlight one city that impressed me, I would recommend that you drop by Todos Santos.
Todos Santos is a small idyllic coastal town, best known for its incredibly beautiful surfing beaches and many art galleries. However, the city offers much more than just that.
The city's beautiful streets exude charm with its local expression. And if you read a bit up on the city, you will find, among other things, that it is in this city where you can find the famous Hotel California, to which The Eagles' famous issue of the same name refers. A music track that in
moreover, immensely suitable for your long road trip.
In addition, the city also has an incredible number of delicious' from farm to fork 'restaurants, where you can get the most fantastic regional dishes from the restaurants' own backyards. One gastronomic experience, which can be highly recommended.
As mentioned, Todos Santos is not the only exciting city in Baja California Sur, so make sure not to laze too much on the beaches, because the cities certainly deserve your attention too.
Have a good trip and enjoy Baja California and also the rest of Mexico.
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