50 Things To Do in Baja California
Here are fifty things to do on the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Let us know in the comments which ones we missed out…
1. Go Whale Watching — the peninsula’s marquee attraction, what makes whale watching unique here is that the whales come up alongside your boat, often within touching distance.
2. Marvel at the world’s tallest cactus in the “Valley of the Giants” — the cardón can grow to more than 17m in height.
3. Taste some of the increasingly impressive array of wines available from the Guadalupe Valley near Ensenada.
4. Visit one of the peninsula’s many cave painting sites — there are 250+ in the Sierra de San Francisco alone, which is why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Take a daytrip to the uninhabited Isla Espíritu Santo in La Paz Bay and snorkel with wild baby sea lions at nearby Los Islotes.
6. Swim with whale sharks at El Mogote near La Paz or much further north in Bahía de Los Angeles.
7. Go sea kayaking on the Cortez coast, especially between Loreto and La Paz.
8. Eat fresh fish tacos in the region where they were invented — Tijuana, Ensenada and San Felipe all claim to have invented the local delicacy.
9. Scuba dive in the Sea of Cortez, nicknamed “the world’s acquarium” by Jacques Cousteau, with the national marine park at Cabo Pulmo amongst the highlights.
10. Take a boat trip to El Arco (The Arch) at Cabo San Lucas, where the Cortez meets the Pacific.
11. Surf — from Salsipuedes in the north to Todos Santos in the south, the peninsula’s pacific coast offers world class surfing opportunities.
12. Hang out in Loreto, the oldest colonial settlement on the peninsula which was the original capital of the Californias.
13. Cruise around Loreto Bay — a protected national park since the 1990s, making visits to its islands a boon for nature lovers.
14. Eat chocolate clams fresh from the Sea of Cortez — just add salt and lime!
15. Sample Tecate — Mexico’s northernmost “Pueblo Magico” (magical town), Tecate is a quieter place to cross the border than Tijuana or Mexicali, and is home to the famous beer named after the town.
16. Relax in Todos Santos, a more Bohemian alternative to Cabo San Lucas, and a short drive up the Pacific coast.
17. Drive through Bahía Concepción, a 50km stretch of turquoise waters and golden sands en route between Loreto and Mulegé on the Cortez coast.
18. Go sightseeing on the La Paz Malecón — the seafront is several kilometres long and lined with sculptures.
19. Explore a series of beautiful beaches to the north of La Paz, most notably Tecolote and Balandra with its mushroom-shaped rock formation which is an emblem of the city.
20. Go fishing — with approximately 3,000km of coast, the peninsula is one of the world’s best fishing locations.
21. Tee off on golf courses designed by such golfing legends as Tiger Woods, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
22. Off-Road — on four wheels or two, off-roading is one of the peninsula’s most popular sports, no more so during the running of the Baja 1000 each November.
23. Go sailing in the Sea of Cortez, whether island-hopping, fishing or just admiring the scenery.
24. Get close to nature in Bahía Magdalena — it is protected from the Pacific Ocean by a 50km series of sand bars, making it a perfect habitat for calving whales, as well as bird and other aquatic species.
25. Admire Mulegé’s mission, from the back of which you can admire the palm trees which line the river and the mountains of the Sierra Guadalupe.
26. Stroll around Santa Rosalía, a former mining town of French origin, and visit the prefabricated metal church said to be designed by Gustave Eiffel.
27. Make a detour to the oasis town of San Ignacio, with its well-kept mission and small cave painting museum.
28. Look around Guerrero Negro — not only is it one of the peninsula’s prime whale watching sites, the lagoon there is surrounded by the largest salt pans in the world.
29. Discover the Desierto de Vizcaíno — a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest wildlife refuge in Latin America, including the aforementioned lagoon and a bird sanctuary of international importance.
30. Keep your eyes peeled in the Vizcaíno Biosphere for the endangered Peninsular Pronghorn (berrendo), the fastest land animal in the Americas.
31. Go beachcombing — Malarrimo Beach faces north on the Pacific coast on the Vizcaíno peninsula, making it an isolated paradise for beachcombers.
32. Stop off in Cataviña, a tiny town in the Valle de los Cirios, a 2.5 million hectare protected area named after the endemic cactus known in English as the boojum.
33. Go island-hopping in Bahía de Los Angeles, and see how many species of whale you can spot.
34. Climb the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, a national park containing the highest point on the peninsula (El Picacho del Diablo at 3,096m) and Mexico’s National Astronomical Observatory.
35. Rechare in San Felipe, a pleasant fishing village on the north east Cortez coast just a couple of hours or so south of the US border.
36. Pass through Puertecitos, an hour south of San Felipe, where hot springs create natural thermal pools at high tide.
37. Become enchanted by Las Encantadas (The Enchanted Islands), an archipelago home to sea lions, many species of birds and a paradise for fishing.
38. Go beyond Las Encantadas to find beautiful San Luis Gonzaga Bay, now connected to San Felipe by a new highway.
39. Make Ensenada a port of call — it is a peaceful resort on the north west coast popular with cruise ships.
40. Get wet through at La Bufadora, a spectacular marine geyser near Ensenada where water shoots up to 30 metres (100 feet) into the air.
41. Rest in Rosarito, a beach resort just 15km south of the US border.
42. Pop in to Popotla, south of Rosarito, and try some freshly-landed fish or Spider crab, known locally as “marciano”.
43. Make your way to Puerto Nuevo, further down the Pacific coast, for its renowned pan-fried lobster.
44. Ignore the seedy reputation and go to Tijuana to try out its emerging culinary and craft beer scenes.
45. Go and watch a Xolos match at Estadio Caliente in Tijuana — only formed in 2007, Tijuana’s futbol team were national champions in 2012.
46. Zoom in on a zonkey — the traditional painted donkeys on Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana remain for photo opportunities.
47. Wind your way through La Rumorosa, the spectacular mountain road which connects Mexicali to Tijuana and Tecate.
48. Visit Tacos Lalo at the top of La Rumorosa in the town of the same name for a unique opportunity to try steamed tacos (“al vapor”).
49. Go on a trek south of La Rumorosa to Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857, with hot springs and the elusive bighorn sheep amongst the attractions.
50. Watch baseball in Mexicali — Los Caballeros Águilas represent the state capital of Baja California in the Mexican Pacific League.
This article was originally published at http://bajabybus.com/blog/item/30-fifty-things-to-do-baja-california
Ian Paul Wright, Baja By Bus