Baja California lies on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, just to the south of the U.S. state of California. Its name simply means lower California. This land of deserts, bays, and vast beauty is one of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots for good reason. Called simply Baja by many vacationers, this place has a deep history and a deep connection to nature. Home to Tijuana, the beach town of Cabo San Lucas and other interesting locales, Baja California has everything you need to enjoy a full vacation under the Pacific sun.
Baja California & Baja Peninsula
In Mexico, Baja California could mean different things. The entire peninsula is called Baja California, stretching 775 miles from Mexicali to Cabo San Lucas, ranging from 25 miles in width to 200 miles at its widest point. When you add in the islands, the Baja California Peninsula has nearly 2,000 miles of coastline. The peninsula is home to two states: Baja California and Baja California Sur. The northernmost state, called simply Baja California, is bordered by Arizona to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez (or the Gulf of California) to the east. Past the 28th parallel lies Baja California Sur, the other state that occupies the peninsula.
While the largest cities in Mexico are found inland, some of the most interesting cities lie on the Baja Peninsula. Tijuana, the legendary border town, is the biggest city on the peninsula as well as an industrial and cultural powerhouse. Just across the border from San Diego, Tijuana is a popular day trip to a place known for its parties and shopping. Ensenada, the starting place for the Baja 1000 off-road race, lies on the coast, to the south of San Diego and Tijuana. Known as the Cinderella of the Pacific, the town was one of the first in the region founded by the Spanish and remains one of Mexico’s primary wine producers and a popular cruise ship destination. La Paz also has a long history; it was visited by Hernan Cortez and was one of the earliest settlements on the peninsula. Located on the eastern coast of Baja California Sur, the city is gateway to ecotourism. A fourth important city in Baja California, Cabo San Lucas sits as the very tip of the peninsula, a hot spot for resorts and cruises.
Baja Whale Watching
When it comes to things to do in Baja California, the list is only longer than your imagination. The Baja Peninsula is one of the best places in the world to watch for whales. More than 20 different species of whales pass through during their annual migration. The views are best on the Sea of Cortez, although some whales can be spotted on the Pacific side. Beaches on both sides of the peninsula are excellent for scuba diving, and outfitters close to the water can equip you with everything needed to enjoy the amazing world beneath the surface. The waters of the Pacific and Sea of Cortez also are great for deep-sea fishing and sea kayaking as well as surfing.
Baja Hotels & Lodging
Baja Hotels & Lodging
When deciding where to stay, you’ll have to consider what best fits your needs. For some travelers, the room rate isn’t as important as what’s included. Several resorts offer all-inclusive packages where all the food, fun, overnight accommodations are included in the room rate. Other resorts offer a full slate of activities to their guests at no extra charge, which can be especially delightful for those beach vacations. If you’re one of those travelers with more sense of adventure than money in the bank, staying in cheap hotels are an option to consider. When you spend less on your hotel room, you still have a place to anchor for the night, but more money left in your pocket to explore Baja California.