Baja California Sur Travel Guide
Updated September 22, 2023
With its dramatic landscapes, welcoming locals, vibrant culinary scene, and exceptional wildlife encounters, Baja California Sur is deservedly one of our most popular active travel destinations. In this guide, we’ll explain the best ways of getting to our two main departure cities - La Paz and Loreto - including the most convenient flight and ground transportation options.
For the winter season of 2023-24 we are excited that several U.S. Airlines have added new flights from the U.S. to Baja, California, with new routes and new non-stops included. This is making it easier than ever to reach both Loreto and La Paz! In addition, many new non-stop fights have been added to San Jose Del Cabo (SJD).
Travel to La Paz, Baja California Sur
Direct Flights to La Paz
Direct flights are offered to the Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP) from the U.S. and from other cities in Mexico. The airport is just 20 minutes from the downtown area with convenient taxi service outside the terminals. Flight options include:
- American Airlines has flights direct to La Paz from Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix.
- Flights from destinations across Mexico, including Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara. Check AeroMexico, TAR Aerolineas and Volaris Airlines. As of July 2023, Volaris flys directly to Loreto from Guadalajara twice a week.
- Fly to San Diego, transfer by taxi 30 minutes to the CBX (Cross Border Bridge) and walk across to the Tijuana Airport. From there you can fly on Volaris to La Paz. More on CBX below.
Fly to Cabo and Shuttle to La Paz
Because international flights options to Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) are plentiful, this can be a convenient entry point for travelers heading to La Paz. Most major US Airlines fly to Cabo including Alaska, Southwest, American, United and Delta. Westjet and Air Canada fly from Canada. Several European airlines serve SJD.
Shuttle from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) to La Paz:
Express shuttle services are provided by Eco Baja Tours, departing from outside the terminal of Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) and arriving at the bus station on the Malecon in La Paz. Most shuttles feature air-conditioning, reclining seats and complimentary on-board WiFi, ensuring you have a comfortable journey. Travel times take about three and a half hours (depending on the shuttle’s route), with departure and arrival information available on their website where bookings can be made, with both English and Spanish language options provided. Tickets cost around 985 pesos for a round trip shuttle reservation, which currently equates to around $60 US. For instructions on booking on the Eco Baja Tours website, see more below.
Our tour hotel, the Seven Crown - Centro, is six blocks away from the Malecon shuttle/bus station. If you are walking, plan on a 10-minute moderately uphill walk. If you have multiple bags, heavy or rolling luggage or you arrive after dark, we suggest taking a short taxi ride to the hotel (approximately $50-60 pesos). Taxis are nearly always immediately available right outside the bus station. Also, some Eco Baja Tours shuttle drivers may be willing to drop you off directly at the hotel, so ask the driver (and be prepared to tip for this service).
Private taxis from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD):
Those who prefer a private transfer or are traveling in a larger group can opt for a private taxi from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) to La Paz. There are various transportation companies in the Los Cabos area that can be booked ahead of time, with costs generally around $200 US plus.
Travel to Loreto, Baja California Sur
Loreto International Airport (LTO) is a 10-minute drive from the center of Loreto. Taxis wait outside the terminal.
Flight options include:
- Alaska Airlines has been flying to Loreto from Los Angeles LAX for many years. They have flights four to five days a week, depending on the season.
- Westjet has a weekly Saturday non-stop flight from Calgary and many of our trip departures are designed to connect well with this schedule.
- American Airlines 4x weekly (low season) and 6x weekly (high season) nonstop service to Loreto from Phoenix and 1-stop from Dallas/Fort Worth.
- Volaris fly from Tijuana on certain days of the week. For these flights, fly to San Diego, transfer by taxi 30 minutes to the CBX (Cross Border Bridge) and walk across to the Tijuana Airport. More on the CBX below.
- Volaris also offers direct flights 2x a week from Gudalajara to Loreto.
- Because flight options to Loreto are somewhat limited, we recommend making your flight reservations as soon as your Sea Kayak Adventures tour booking is confirmed.
Buses from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD):
Buses also travel from the city of San Jose del Cabo to Loreto. Tickets cost around $65 US from San Jose del Cabo to Loreto, with the journey taking around 9 hours. You can take a taxi from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) to the nearby bus station in the town of Santa Anita or to San Jose del Cabo and purchase tickets there or buy them online ahead of time. We recommend Aguila Auto Transportation, although travelers should understand that most ticketing agents and drivers will only speak Spanish.
The Cross Border Bridge (CBX)
The Cross Border Bridge (CBX) facility is in San Diego's Otay Mesa area about 30 minutes by taxi from the San Diego Airport. When you arrive at the Cross Border Express terminal, you show your boarding pass and CBX bridge ticket, and then walk across the U.S.-Mexico border via skybridge in less than 10 minutes to the Tijuana Airport. From there Volaris Airlines offers flights to Loreto and La Paz. We recommend you buy the bridge ticket and pay the Mexico transit tax ahead of time on the CBX website to save time and hassle.
This is an option that may appeal to those traveling from the western parts of the United States or Canada. Be aware that if you choose this option,you are buying two different air tickets. This means that if your flight is delayed to San Diego and you miss the connection in Tijuana, it is not the responsibility of the airline to rebook you and you may have to pay change fees, or buy a new ticket for the Mexico flights. We recommend the best option is to purchase a through ticket to your final destination in Baja.
Travel between La Paz and Loreto, Baja California Sur
You can travel between La Paz and Loreto by bus, with the journey taking around 5 hours and costing approximately $45 US. There are various bus companies available but we recommend Aguila Auto Transportation, with ticket bookings available online. Travelers should be aware that the majority of ticketing agents and drivers will only speak Spanish.
General transportation & travel tips for Baja California Sur
- Many of the local taxi and bus drivers will only speak Spanish, so provide the name of your destination or hotel in writing if you’re concerned about things getting lost in translation.
- It's helpful to have local currency available to pay for transportation and tip drivers. All of the airports have currency exchange counters where you can easily change USD for Mexican pesos, as well as ATMs where you can withdraw pesos directly.
- If the taxi doesn’t have a meter, make sure you agree on a price with the driver before departure to avoid any unexpected surprises on arrival.
- For additional and helpful tips on safety while traveling in Baja, please see our recent Blog - Is Travel to Baja, California Safe?
Weather in Baja
For many people, the best time to go is the time that fits their vacation, or when they want to escape the chill of winter in the north. Here's some other information to help you decide what would be the best time to go in order to meet your expectations and desires.
Baja weather is much more mild than many places in North America, but it is still in North America, as it is north of the equator, and does have all four seasons. The summer months of June through August are blistering hot and rather humid in Baja Sur. It's a time that sport-fishers and a few other tourists come, but it's not peak season due to the heat. All the summer heat has the benefit of heating up the sea and that is appealing to people that love warm water. As the weather cools down in September and we begin our kayaking and tour season in October, the water holds that heat and the Gulf of California is wonderfully warm. If your dream is hot weather and warm water, then October through mid November is a great time to visit Baja. By early December the seas have cooled somewhat and daytime temperatures are lower. It's not cold by any means, but it's not hot either. Days are generally in the 70's (20’s C) and nights in the 60's (15 C). Clear blue skies and sunshine can make it feel warmer of course, but these are the true temperatures. We go snorkeling, but as water temperatures are in the 60's (15 C), most people wear the wetsuits that we provide.
- Loreto average temperatures
- Loreto Gulf of California average water temperatures
- La Paz average temperatures
- La Paz Gulf of California average temperatures
Winds are also a factor in Baja. The Gulf of California is less windy in October, November, and mid-March through the summer, than it is in December through February. That's why some of our trips, like Isla San Jose, are only offered during the less windy timeframes because of logistics and the orientation of the islands. Be aware that your trip may be altered by wind conditions at any time, but it's more likely to be an issue in the December through February timeframe.
Whales! Both the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) and the Pacific are important habitats for whales who come here by the thousands. Seeing gray whales at our Magdalena Bay whale watching camp on the Pacific coast, is a highlight for many. The mothers arrive starting in late December to give birth and nurture their calves before swimming north to Arctic waters, starting in late March and April. On the Gulf of California side of the Baja peninsula there are blue, minke, fin and orcas and we often see these while we are kayaking from mid-January to mid-March. Seeing whales is a big draw for many and one reason our peak season is generally mid-January through late March. If you don't care so much about whales, and warmer weather is of paramount importance, then it's best to come outside of the whale season. You will still see plenty of marine life, and some animals, like manta rays, are more active in the late spring.
Compared to much of North America, Baja weather is idyllic. Even the coldest day in Baja is mighty nice! With the proper clothing and expectations, it's always the "best" time to be in Baja! But consider your wishes and the experience you want to have when deciding when to go. Always feel welcome to contact our staff if you have questions.
Travel from Los Cabos Airport (SJD) to LaPaz
Tips on booking with Eco Baja Tours online to get from the Los Cabos Airport (SJD) to La Paz:
- Select the Los Cabos Airport (SJD) option for your departure destination
- Select the La Paz Malecon option for your arrival destination
- Select shuttle reservation dates
- This will take you to a price quote and shuttle schedule selection page. The cost is generally around 985 pesos for a round trip shuttle reservation- around $55 USD
- Choose from the selection of shuttle times. Once shuttles are selected, hit the "next" button at the bottom of the schedule page
- Fill in necessary Name and Contact Information. Select payment option (either Pay Pal or Visa/MC Card). Select Acepto los términos y condiciones button at bottom of page to accept terms and conditions. Hit the "next" button to proceed.
- This will take you to the payment page- enter payment information and select the "Pay" button. Once your payment is entered, they will provide you with a confirmation number. Print this information for your records and take it with you to Baja to give to the shuttle driver upon arrival.
Camping or Hotel Based Options
Most of our tours are camping tours that include a variety of activities. For those that prefer to stay in hotels, please note our Baja Bubble JourneysTM, that depart from Cabo, La Paz and Loreto and combine active exploration during the day with hotels or small inns at night.