Mexico’s Baja Peninsula holds a special place for overlanders. Home to the legendary Baja 1000 rally and a classic winter retreat for surfers, divers, and fishermen, the area has attracted travelers for decades. While the casual tourist may be familiar with the region’s resorts, nightlife, and fine dining, those willing to take the time to explore places off the beaten path will discover some of Mexico’s finest hidden gems. Here you may find towering cactus forests, quiet bays home to gentle whale sharks, prehistoric rock art, and hidden mountain hot springs. By taking the slow approach to travel, one may meet friendly locals eager to share stories over roadside tamales, experience the culture of traditional festivals, and enjoy the incredible natural history of this area. EarthCruiser Adventure’s San Diego to Cabo trip offers an in-depth journey deep into the heart of Baja and is now available for booking.
Our trip begins just north of the border at a peaceful National Forest campground just outside of San Diego. Here we will meet our new traveling companions and prepare for our journey south. We will cross into Mexico as a group, Adventure staff on hand to ensure every bit of the border process runs smoothly.
As we make our way south down the peninsula over the following days, we will camp amongst remote hot springs hidden in the inland mountains and on the beaches of the shimmering Sea of Cortez. We will explore mountain, coastal, and desert environments, tackling some rough and dusty roads that will allow us to hone our skills at deep sand recovery and backcountry navigation. Of course, we’ll have plenty of leisurely afternoons, too, where the biggest challenge will be deciding which hot sauce best compliments our tacos and cold beverages.
We will stop to explore the prehistoric rock art of the Sierra de San Francisco, a UNESCO World Heritage site that sees few visitors. A local naturalist will show us the incredible volcanic landscape of the central region, and we will visit several remote Spanish Missions, cut off from much of the modern world.
We have timed this trip to arrive at the city of La Paz during the Day of the Dead. During this holiday, the esplanade comes alive with music and celebration in prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died. Families gather to pay their respects at beautiful alters adorned with flowers, candles, and offerings. The La Paz festival features live music, dance, and a traditional Catrinas contest, and we have arranged for local transport to deliver us safely through the heart of this celebration.
In La Paz, we will also have the option to snorkel with the largest fish in the sea, the majestic and gentle whale shark. We have carefully selected a local tour operator who takes great care in conserving this iconic species, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience to get up close with the species while ensuring their protection for generations to come.
Further south, we will camp in the region of Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. The creation of this park in the ’90s saved the area from overfishing and has provided local residents and fishermen with new sources of income in the tourist industry. Jacques Cousteau famously called this place the “world’s aquarium.” Here we will have the option of snorkeling or scuba diving in the Marine Park, where we may find enormous ‘tornados’ of jackfish, gentle nurse sharks, and graceful sea turtles. Those wishing for dryer activities can opt for guided nature hikes in the hills or visit a hidden oasis and waterfall deep in a remote canyon.
Finally, we end our journey just outside the bustling city of San Jose del Cabo. We will spend our final evening together toasting to our great adventures over an exclusive farm-to-table meal. We retire for the evening in luxurious accommodation – a collection of stunning treehouses tucked into the lush hillside. Although this will mark the end of our journey together, those wishing to explore Mexico further will have the option to explore independently both within the peninsula and onto mainland Mexico. Adventure program staff are available to assist in onward travel plans, including accommodation bookings, itinerary planning, and transportation of vehicles via ferry to the mainland.