Surrounded by the waters of the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortés, bathed by the Pacific Ocean, the state of Baja California Sur in Mexico is for those who love wild areas, rugged expanses and landscapes that stretch towards the horizon interrupted only by cactuses. But it is also the trip for those who love wildlife, especially if submarine, those who love diving and the crystal clear sea.
The final part of the Baja California Peninsula, an extension of the certainly best-known California in the United States, Baja California Sur is a treasure chest to be discovered.
Baja California Sur is the destination for those who love active life even on holiday. It offers the opportunity to practice kayaking, diving, windsurfing, fishing, cycling, camping and hiking, not to mention the chance to explore natural landscapes of unforgettable beauty as modern adventurers, between desert dunes and spectacular lagoons.
Very interesting is the sighting of gray whales, which in the winter of the northern hemisphere migrate here in the natural reserve of Magdalena Bay, in the lagoon of San Ignacio, in Ojo de Liebre and in the estuaries of Soledad.
From the human point of view, in addition to the colonial style buildings of its towns and the missions built by the Jesuits, one can visit the cave engravings in the caves.
The climate of Baja California Sur is very dry, with an average annual temperature of 20 ° C. The capital is La Paz, animated by a colorful carnival in February. Other centers of interest are Los Cabos, Todos Santos, Loreto.
The climate of the state varies from area to area, but is tendentially dry, with an average of 20 degrees, although in summer, from July to September, there are also peaks of 45.
In the northern part the climate is Mediterranean, while in the south it is tropical. The best time to travel is from May to October, although temperatures can be scorching in the summer.
Where to go in Baja California Sur? What to see? Attractions are many, but what is most interesting is the beautiful coastline, bathed by the waters of the Sea of Cortes, populated with marine species, so that the oceanologist Jacques Cousteau defined this area "aquarium of the world". The beaches are heavenly, of fine golden sand, bathed in waters that change color, from light blue to emerald green.
Moving inward, the landscape becomes more desert, with cactuses and caves that hold ancient rock engravings.
The main city is La Paz, famous for ecotourism and animated by lively and colorful events. The city is large and very inhabited, but is kept on a human scale. Surrounded by the desert, it is full of laurels, dates, coconut palms, but also evocative buildings, enveloped in a sleepy and almost provincial atmosphere. The Paseo Álvaro Obregón is its main avenue, from which all the secondary streets radiate. Then there is a beautiful promenade and a central square with a rose quartz belvedere, a cathedral and a stretch of beaches called El Mogote. In short, La Paz is the place for those looking for a bit of peace without giving up the services, for those who prefer small characteristic hotels to all-inclusive resort chains.
The other main tourist center is Cabo San Lucas, also known as Cabo, on the extreme southern part of the peninsula. Cabo is well equipped with services, luxury hotels, excellent restaurants, well-equipped beaches.
Also in the southern tip of the peninsula there is also the Los Cabos region, where on one side the quiet town of San José del Cabo meets, on the other side the lively and noisy Cabo San Lucas. The two locations, so opposite, are connected to each other by 33 kilometers of coastline called "the Corridor", dotted with sparkling four- and five-star resorts and golf courses, for which this area is particularly renowned.
The Corridor is also famous for the opportunity to practice many water sports, from diving to snorkeling, from kayaking to windsurfing.
The golden coast of Baja California is washed by the Sea of Cortés, the world's aquarium for Jacques Cousteau, which boasts abundant and varied marine life, both in terms of flora and fauna. From fishing to diving, to whale watching, this coast is full of high-adrenaline opportunities, especially for those who love ecotourism.
La Paz is a city that despite being the capital of the state remains on a human scale. It is then enough to move a little from its center to be overwhelmed by some unique natural beauty. For example, about three quarters of an hour's drive away, there are wild and pristine beaches.
For example, Playa Corumel is very popular with locals, but there is also El Tesoro (so called because a pirate casket was found here during the construction of a road!) And finally the magnificent Balandra Beach, a cove lapped by waters of different shades and surrounded by mangroves. Other beaches not to be missed are Tecolete, facing the island of Espiritu Santo (which can be reached by boat) and El Hongo.
For those who are looking for equipped beaches and tourist services, just move a little south of La Paz and reach Cabo del Este, a town renowned for services related to water sports, including sport fishing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Fishing here is an exceptional experience, especially because there is the possibility of capturing the marlin (perhaps to be released immediately after capturing it, a much appreciated practice called "catch and release"). Those who wants to surf instead can head to Punta Arenas.
By renting a boat you can get to the magnificent island of Espiritu Santo, part of the municipality of La Paz. The island is protected as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, it is uninhabited and highly appreciated by ecotourism lovers.
One of the reasons that push travelers to go to Baja California Sur is the chance to see the whales. In fact, in the area of Los Cabos there are many species of whales that make whale watching a very exciting experience, to practice on a special boat, or, with a little luck even from the beach.
The whales arrive at the beginning of autumn, when the waters of the Arctic become icy and these big mammals come to enjoy the milder temperatures of the Mexican coast. The whales are most likely from December to March, when they travel about 19 thousand kilometers to reach the Sea of Cortés, having to stay there for the whole winter before leaving for the great north, giving birth to their offsprings.
Eight species of different whales can be seen, including the northern whale, the minor whale, the humpback whale, the bryde whale, the gray whale and the blue whale. Whale watching can be practiced by relying on small local operators, who organize trips on board inflatables. However, you can arm yourself with good binoculars and scan the cetaceans from the beach. The best spots for sighting are the lagoon of San Ignacia and the Magdalena bay.
If you are going to visit the Baja California Sur, you will most probably have heard of El Arco, also called "The end of the earth", the symbol of Los Cabos. It is a rock formation in the shape of an arch that emerges from the waters in front of the tip of the peninsula. It is also one of the most photographed spots in the Baja California Sur.
It is called "end of the earth" because an imaginary line to the south would not meet any other land before Antarctica. To see it, just hop on board a little boat from the port of Cabo San Lucas, maybe one with a transparent bottom to admire the sea and its inhabitants, and see this beautiful natural attraction up close.
Do not forget to bring with you a good camera or a smartphone that shoots good photos: here in fact you can also see the sea lions on the rocks (this is also a point of passage of the whales in the migration period!). Then disembark at the Playa del Amor, just under the arch, where you can make romantic walks or simply relax in the sun, admiring in front of you the point where the Sea of Cortès and the waters of the Pacific meet.
Ironically, near the Playa del Amor (Love Beach) is the Playa del Divorcio (Divorce Beach), so called because the waters that meet here first become violent and impetuous, quite discouraging for a swim.