A Guide to Adventure in Baja California
Baja California Sur is the southernmost state in the Mexican peninsula that stretches out beneath San Diego, adjacent to Mexico’s mainland.
We know it might look pretty small on the map, but this slender piece of land is full to the brim with ocean vistas, impeccable beaches, wildlife, and activities that will get your heart racing!
Tempted by the blue skies and rich, golden sands? Unsure about where to stay or what to build into your itinerary? We recommend staying right at the southern tip of the peninsula, in Los Cabos, and to discover our top picks of things to do on your vacation to Baja California Sur, just keep on reading...
Take a ranch tour and camel safari in Los Cabos
If you’re looking for an immersive experience that plunges you right into the deep end of local life, then this is an afternoon for you!
After departing your vacation rental in Los Cabos, you’ll be whisked away into the picturesque landscape of Rancho San Cristobal, where you’ll begin with a guided nature walk, learning all about the regional flora and fauna as you go.
Then, you’ll clamber aboard a camel for an unforgettable ride down the beach, with plenty of time for photographs.
After returning to the ranch you’ll sit down for an authentic Mexican meal and taste the country’s favorite drink: tequila!
The afternoon will come to an end with a fun tortilla-making class before you head home for the evening.
Stroll along the promenade and swim with sea lions in La Paz
La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur, so it’s well worth a visit! Start with a stop at the La Paz Cathedral, admiring the neoclassical architecture, the peaceful interior and the stunning Velasco Garden that surrounds it.
Next, take a stroll through the heart of La Paz – the Malecon promenade, twisting and turning down the exquisite seafront. This is a great place for people-watching, spotting local art and statues, or just soaking up the sun and the ocean breeze.
After working up an appetite, stop for lunch at the rooftop deck of the Harker Board Restaurant and dig into the tastiest pizza in town!
After your food has gone down, it’s time for the highlight of your day! You’ll be hopping aboard a boat to sail across the Sea of Cortez to Los Islotes, where you’ll spend a memorable afternoon swimming and snorkeling with baby sea lions!
Have an adventure at Wild Canyon
If you’re a family of adrenaline-junkies, then a day out at Wild Canyon is sure to get your heart racing! Located less than half an hour outside of Cabo San Lucas, Wild Canyon is an adventurer’s playground!
Your day will be jam-packed with exciting tours, from an ATV tour down on the beach and across Cabo’s famous Canyon Bridge, to sky-high zipline adventures, horseback rides, and braving the bungee jump! You can also get up close and personal with the wide range of wildlife in the Wild Canyon Animal Kingdom Sanctuary, including exotic birds and iguanas!
Cool off from the day of fun with delicious quesadillas and smoothies in the Lion’s Den Restaurant.
Watch whales at the San Ignacio Lagoon
Get ready for what might possibly be the best day in your life so far.
Located in Baja California Sur’s Mulegé Municipality, the San Ignacio Lagoon is one of just a handful of the remaining winter sanctuaries for Eastern Pacific Grey Whales. These friendly giants migrate down to the San Ignacio Lagoon every year in search of warmer waters, and to birth and raise their calves.
Yep, you read that right – a trip to San Ignacio means you’ll spend a day (or several days) out on the lagoon in a small boat captained by an expert guide, watching grey whales and their babies frolicking in the water.
It’s likely they’ll even get close enough to touch, or kiss on the nose! If you’re planning a trip to Baja California Sur between December and April, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!
Spend a day at the beach
There are so many incredible beaches in Baja California Sur, it would be tempting to spend your entire vacation lounging around on them! It’s certainly difficult to pick just one beach spot, so we’re offering up a few of our firm favorites for those vacation days where you just want to relax.
First up is Playa Palmilla in San Jose del Cabo. This gorgeous beach is super family-friendly. It’s tucked away in a cove, which makes the waters extremely calm for swimming in, if you’re looking for some shade there are palapas for you to chill out under, and there are restrooms and cafés for your every convenience.
If being at one with nature is more your thing, make your way over to Lover’s Beach (pictured above), a more secluded beach with a rocky backdrop, soft sand and gentle waters. Or, if you prefer, you can find rougher waters just a five-minute walk along the coast at the aptly-named Divorce Beach. There are no restrooms or shops available at either of these natural beaches, but the scenery more than makes up for it – just be sure to pack a picnic and plenty of water!
If you’re spending time just up the coast in La Paz, then you can’t miss Balandra Beach, a wide, open expanse of sand and sea carved into a dramatic landscape. This is a really stunning beach to spend the day at – make the most of the views by hiring a paddle board to drift across the crystal-clear water.
Hike in the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains
If there’s one destination in Baja California Sur that often goes unappreciated, it’s the Sierra de la Laguna mountains.
With most tourist crowds sticking stubbornly to the coastlines, this breathtaking biosphere reserve lies a little further inland, and is an absolute haven for all the happy hikers out there! After all, you’ll likely have the place almost entirely to yourselves!
There are plenty of guided or self-guided routes you can take through the reserve, ideal for both the novice and veteran hiker, and the legwork pays off in the form of spectacular landscapes; from giant onyx boulders to towering, rushing waterfalls. You can thank us later...
Indulge your taste buds
Mexico is a country overflowing with flavor, and Baja California Sur is no exception! There are some truly exceptional eateries in the Los Cabos area, with plenty of variety to suit every occasion.
For some authentic local grub, hit up the rustic and delicious Tacos Guss for some mouth-watering Mexican street food such as burritos and tacos that won’t break the bank. Perfect for a casual lunch or late-night snack.
In search of something a little fancier? El Peregrino is a fantastic spot for succulent steak sandwiches and melt-in-the-mouth shrimp risotto. Stick around in the evening for cocktails and a turn on the dancefloor.
If you’re looking for dinner with a view, then head to Sunset Monalisa (pictured above). The backdrop is so spectacular, it’s no wonder this place is often used as a wedding venue. Perched on a glamorous deck right on the coast, you can enjoy an impeccable Mediterranean meal here as you watch the sun sink down over the ocean. We recommend opting for the three-course tasting menu (or the five-course menu if you really want to indulge). The roasted lamb filet is to die for.
See the Arch of Cabo San Lucas
The arch of Cabo San Lucas is one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks in the whole of Baja California Sur, so seeing it on your vacation here is a must.
The best way to see the arch, or El Arco is on a glass-bottomed boat tour. Sail down the amazing bay of Cabo San Lucas, taking in sights such as Pelican Rock, Pirate’s Cove and the Pacific Window, and of course the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas.
The views aren’t just above the waves though – the glass floor of the boat is a great and unique way to see the world that lies beneath the water as you enjoy your journey.
Play an unforgettable round of golf
When it comes to show-stopping golf courses, Mexico is a goldmine.
In Los Cabos alone, there are a collection of stupendously beautiful golf courses, from Tom Weiskopf’s challenging desert course, and Jack Nicklaus’ renowned Ocean Course to the rugged Cabo Real, designed by Robert Trent Jones.
There are even more world-class golfing options on offer at Diamante, which boasts the dramatic rolling greens of the Dunes course, or a personal highlight, the Quivira golf club, a truly sensational course with sweeping ocean views, snaking along the clifftop on Los Cabos’ Pacific coast.
You’ll want to pop a camera in your golf bag for this one, we promise. To find out more about Mexico’s most incredible golf courses, click here.