Baja California Sur

The state of Baja California Sur, Mexico (along with its northern neighbor Baja California) forms part one of the world’s longest peninsulas, which extends 775 miles (1,247 km) south from the U.S. border into the deep blue of the Pacific. Literally “Lower California South,” Baja California Sur is as much U.S. as Mexico, which is probably why it’s so popular with U.S. visitors who enjoy the beauty, safety, and modern conveniences of the area.

Baja California Sur is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez (aka the Gulf of California) on the east. With all that coastline, it’s no wonder that Baja Sur has some of the best beaches and is one of the hottest spots for water sport activities and fishing excursions in all of Mexico.

The trans-peninsular highway is the state’s lifeline to the rest of Mexico and one of the great things about Baja in fact is the drive south through the desert highway offering one an opportunity do see and do it all.

Baja California Sur is most famous as home to the world-class tourist resorts of Los Cabos - Cabo San Lucas (the place to party) and San José del Cabo (the place to chill) are located at the state’s southern most tip and offer some spectacular scenery typified by the famous Arco and Cabo San Lucas’ marina where people come to dine, drink, party and set off for some world-class sailing and fishing… and a bit more dining, drinking and partying.

Baja California Sur’s famous twin towns are growing so fast that what was once the 30 kilometer desert no man’s land separating the two towns, Los Cabos Corridor, is developing into a tourist destination in its own right with restaurants, shopping, and tons of tons of chic real estate.

To say that the area is Americanized would be an understatement, with its sizeable gringo population and U.S.-style development; it’s practically part of the U.S. – sort of a clean, crime-free Florida in the desert.
Yet, Baja California Sur’s developed tourist resorts are not the only things that make it one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations.

La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is a lively cosmopolitan colonial city with many fun and interesting things to do, an off the beaten track delight that has one of Mexico’s oldest traditional seaside promenades. La Paz is also where you can get a ferry to Mazatlán that takes both you and you car to the mainland.

For ecotourists, the island of Espiritu Santo, an uninhabited natural reserve, is two hours from the La Paz.

The increasingly popular Todos Santos, famous for its artistic, bohemian culture, lays a hop, skip, and a jump to the north of Los Cabos.
The town of Pescadero is located between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas - about 83 kilometers south of La Paz and about a 45-minute drive north from Cabo San Lucas. The area is mostly farmland and arroyos abutting the Pacific coastline, but developers with their eyes on tourism are hoping to change that.

From its coast, the Sierra Laguna Mountains give a magnificent display contrasting with the “huerta.” Set between the northern point of San Pedrito, a famous north swell surfing beach and to the south by the point of Los Cerritos that also has a famous surfing beach for the northern and south western swells, this area might have a future as a great launching point for surfers.

Buena Vista, Baja California Sur is a great spot to get away from it all, set around and as yet unspoiled coast, it’s a great place for fishing and kicking back – sort of what made Baja so popular in the first place.

Santa Rosalia, Mulege, and Loreto are all great cities to visit for their beautiful beaches and water sports, and a worthwhile side trip from Loreto is to the17th -18th century mission of San Javier in the Sierra la Giganta, the mountain range that parallels the gulf coast to the west. Along the way you can check out Cuevas Pintas and the cave paintings of abstract figures thought to be the visions experienced by a shaman.

The Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in northern Baja California Sur is a natural spectacular wonder that anyone visiting the area will not want to miss!

Coming out of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve about 74 km south of San Ignacio, Highway 1, touches the Sea of Cortez for the first time in the ancient mining town of Santa Rosalía.

The town is like one you’d find in the Old West with its dusty streets and wooden houses with porches and balconies overlooking the town. It’s quaint and charming in an old-fashioned way, and while there are some good fishing spots here, it is a great stopping point for anyone traveling the highway between San Ignacio and Mulege. Of particular fame for this town is the El Boleo Bakery, which was built in 1901, and is still serving Mexican sweetbreads and rolls; visitors should be sure to stop there before moving on.

About 20 minutes from Mulege is Bahía Concepción a secluded area known for its stunning beaches crystal clear waters like Santiscpac, Posada Concepcion, and La Escondida. These beaches are known for their great accessibility to campers and RVers. Many retired Americans live here, taking in this paradise that is largely undeveloped virgin territory. Note that no plumbing is available on these beaches, and not much is offered in the way of tourist services, but that is largely part of the bay’s charm. Some locals rent kayaks and fishing boats, and stop by in the mornings selling water, ice, tortillas and fresh seafood.

And these are just a few of the attractions and things to see and do in Baja California Sur.

With its miles and miles of coastline, spectacular beaches, highly-developed tourist resorts with all the conveniences yet with just enough colonial tradition to give it some real old world charm, Baja California Sur is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations – it’s a safe trip abroad, a first-rate adventure, yet all without really feeling like you’re too far away from home.

Spanish version of this page: Baja California Sur