Plan your trip
1In Valle de Guadalupe, taste fine wines and tuck into an abundance of seafood and local produce (p48).
2 Head to San Quintín and the foothills of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir
to discover the way of the cowboys (p50).
3 Spot sea lions, whale sharks and manta rays at Bahía de los Ángeles, an isolated bay bordered by mountains (p52).
4 Learn about the history of Baja California through the Jesuit mission churches of San Ignacio and Loreto (p54.)
5 Known for its white-sand beaches, clear warm waters and excellent snorkelling, La Paz makes for a relaxing end to your trip (p56).
HOW TO GET THERE
Aeroméxico has services to both Tijuana and La Paz via Mexico City (from £535; aeromexico.com). You can also fly to either destination with KLM, although it’s more expensive and involves another stop in Amsterdam. British travellers don’t need a visa to visit Mexico, but you will need to fill in a landing form. You’ll then be given a tourist card which you must keep until you leave the country. There is no charge for the tourist card but it costs £13 to replace.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Public transport is very limited within Baja California and the best way to access remote areas is to rent a car (from £105 for a week; europcar.com). There are Pemex petrol stations in most towns, but long stretches of road without them so it’s wise to refuel whenever possible. When driving in Baja you’ll encounter various military checkpoints, where you may be asked to display your passport and tourist card.
HOW LONG TO SPEND
This itinerary could be completed in as little as two weeks, however, a longer trip would allow more time to break up the lengthy stretches of driving required to travel from the top of the peninsula right down to the tip. More time would be needed if you decide to spend a couple of days staying on Espíritu Santo island as well as in La Paz.
WHAT TO BUDGET
Petrol costs are low throughout Baja California (from around 70p per litre), particularly once you’re south of Ensenada. Dining out can be done very cheaply, with roadside tacos and burritos available for around £1 each. Accommodation is the most expensive and variable factor, ranging from £20 per night for budget accommodation up to over £400 per night for first-rate hotels and picturesque glamping locations.
WHEN TO GO
Winter is an excellent time to visit Baja California as it means avoiding the summer heat and provides opportunities to see grey whales, who return to the Sea of Cortez each year to give birth. The whales begin arriving in November, and can usually be spotted until March. The average daily temperature hovers around 30°C from June to November, but can drop to 21°C in February before reaching highs of 37°C in May.
WHO CAN HELP
There are numerous wine tour companies that can assist with trips around the Valle de Guadalupe, including Baja Vino Tours, Baja Wine Tours and Baja Winery Tours. Baja Diving Adventures can provide scuba equipment for both guided and private tours (from £700 for two tanks; bajadivingadventures.com). Journey Latin America has a range of self-guided tours around the peninsula, with an emphasis on active holidays and whale-watching (11 days from £1,899 per person; journeylatinamerica.co.uk).
HOW TO PLAN
Pick up our Mexico guide(£18.99) for detailed information on travelling around the whole country. Alternatively, individual chapters, including the one relating to Baja California, can be downloaded at lonelyplanet.com (£2.99). Find more information and listings for the region at discoverbajacalifornia.com.