Plan your trip

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Baja California -

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.

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