With breathtakingly beautiful desert landscapes and sparkling waters teeming with marine life, Baja California Sur is one of our most popular destinations. For 25 years, our handcrafted kayaking and whale watching itineraries have been bringing adventurous travelers’ dreams to life, thanks to our incredible local partners and commitment to sustainable, regenerative travel. If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, we thought we’d share with you 14 reasons why this northwesterly Mexican state is so special and why you should visit.
1. Whale Watching and Whale Encounters
It’s no secret that Baja California Sur offers some incredible marine life encounters, both above and below the water’s surface. You don’t even have to get wet to see its famous Mobula rays in full flight, propelling themselves up to nine feet in the air, or watch as pods of dolphins play alongside the bow of your boat. But perhaps Baja’s most iconic seasonal residents are its whales, with blue, minke, grey and whale sharks (not whales, but cool none the less!) all frequenting its waters. The grey whales steal the show in Baja, offering incredible viewing experiences and close encounters along the pacific lagoons. Learn more by reading our Top Whale Watching Spots in Baja, California blog.
2. Dramatic Rock Formations
Over thousands of years, the coast of Baja California Sur has been carved by the continual crash of waves, creating fascinating rock formations. You can witness the distinctive Cabo San Lucas Arch at the extreme south of the peninsula or explore “Mushroom Rock” that protrudes from the waters off La Paz. Plenty of other little-known rock formations can be found around every corner, awaiting your discovery.
3. Spanish Mission History
From the late 17th century, the Spaniards established religious outposts across Baja California Sur to spread the Christian doctrine among the indigenous population. Today, the legacy of the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the Dominicans can be seen in the numerous missions that dot the region, serving as an enduring legacy of its colonial past. Highlights include admiring the ornate architecture of the Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, touring the historic San Javier Mission outside of Loreto and exploring the early settlements of La Paz.
4. Beach Camping
Camping on remote beaches is one of the most memorable experiences in Baja California Sur, allowing you to connect with nature and experience its incredible wildlife in peace. Settle in around the campfire with your fellow travelers to recount the day’s adventures, then fall asleep to the gentle ebb and flow of the waves right outside your tent. It’s an experience that words just don’t do justice to - you have to experience this Baja trip for yourself!
5. World-Class Fishing
The Sea of Cortez is regularly referred to as “The World’s Greatest Fish Trap” and for good reason. It’s one of the most biologically rich seas on Earth, with more than 900 different fish species and over 2,000 marine invertebrates flourishing in its waters. Understandably, this also makes it an incredibly bountiful fishing destination, with yellowfin tuna, marlin, and sailfish just some of the species that anglers regularly pluck for dinner.
6. Canyon Hiking
Aside from its majestic coastline, Baja California Sur is renowned for its beguiling desert landscapes and rugged canyons that can be explored on hikes of all levels and durations. Venture into this stunning wilderness ignited by the vibrant red blooms of ocotillo, with desert-adapted species that have long thrived in the volcanic terrain. Amidst the red-tinged sands, palm groves appear like mirages on the horizon, offering incredible photographic opportunities.
7. World Class Kayaking
Baja California Sur’s rugged coastline is made for kayaking, with breathtakingly beautiful backdrops and abundant wildlife encounters. Gently paddling through the crystal clear, turquoise waters is an ideal way to explore the region, accompanied by inquisitive sea turtles and characterful blue-footed boobies. Far from the noise and hustle of the city, our kayaking adventures are an opportunity to revel in Mother Nature’s creation in all its glory.
8. Snorkeling Adventures
It was Jacques Cousteau who dubbed the Sea of Cortez “The Aquarium of the World” and one look below its surface you’ll understand why. Snorkeling in Baja California Sur is really like being in an aquarium, with myriad tropical fish and big pelagics surrounding you at every turn. Come face-to-face with docile sea turtles and swim alongside playful sea lion pups as they learn to maneuver their flippers. Add to that the opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks and it just doesn’t get any better.
9. Gastronomic Experiences
With a marine life filled sea on your doorstep, expect to be treated to incredible culinary experiences during your Baja California Sur tour. Think freshly prepared ceviche using fish caught that very morning and traditional Hispanic dishes you can’t find at home. If you want to get hands-on, you can also learn to make delicious tortillas, then feast on your creations.
10. Plentiful Birding
Around 400 species of birds have been recorded in Baja California Sur, some of which are endemic to the region (such as the small Baird's junco, pictured above) and others that visit on their annual migration. One of the best destinations for birding is the San José del Cabo estuary whose fresh waters are frequented by a variety of species, while mangrove-fringed Magdalena Bay and San Ignacio Lagoon also offer superb sightings.
11. Exceptional Stargazing
Far from the light pollution of the big cities, Baja California Sur offers exceptional stargazing, particularly if you’re camping out on a remote beach. There’s something humbling about looking up at the universe around you while being completely immersed in nature. It’s the perfect way to end an adventurous day of paddling, snorkeling, hiking or wildlife watching in one of the world’s most beautiful corners.
12. Island Hopping
Baja California Sur’s coastline is littered with uninhabited islands, each of which has its own character. Whether you paddle between them by kayak or explore by boat, island hopping is an idyllic way to spend your well-earned vacation. Discover hidden coves and sea caves far from the crowds of Cabo while meeting some of the feathered and marine species that call the islands “home”.
13. Unforgettable Sunsets
There’s no better way to end an adventure-fueled day than by watching the sun sink below the horizon with a cocktail in hand. And the great news is, you don’t have to be at an all-inclusive resort to make it happen. Sink your feet into the sand at your remote beach campsite, with nothing but the natural beauty of Baja California Sur surrounding you as you raise your glass to another unforgettable day in paradise.
14. Swimming with Whale Sharks
The turquoise waters around LaPaz present travelers' with the rare opportunity to swim with the largest fish species in existence, the whale shark. General found in open waters of tropical oceans, whale sharks are notoriously difficult to observe, but not in Baja. Hop aboard a Panga for a 10 minute ride from the Bay of LaPaz and jump in for the swim of your life!