Baja California Sur: A Natural Paradise Away from the Crowds | Fauna Travel

Baja California Sur: A Natural Paradise Away from the Crowds

Snorkeling with whale sharks / Mike Vo / Unsplash

14 Days

Despite Cabo’s reputation for mega beach resorts, Baja California del Sur is one of the top destinations for outdoor adventure in the Americas. Start this trip with incredible hiking or mountain biking across desert landscapes in La Paz and Todos Santos before turning towards the water. The Gulf of California and Magdalena Bay have unparalleled whale watching, and by the end of this trip, you will hopefully have swam with sea lions and a whale shark and scratched a grey whale on the nose. We’ve bookended the trip with fine dining and an intimate luxury beach resort, so you won’t be roughing it the whole time.

By the end of this trip, you will hopefully have swam with sea lions and a whale shark and scratched a grey whale on the nose.

This is a packed two-week itinerary, but it can easily be edited into a tight five to seven-day getaway. December to March is our favorite time to visit. The tropical rains of summer haven’t arrived, and the air temperatures range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s, with water temperatures around 70.

Day 1: Arrive in Los Cabos

Hotel: Acre

Arrive on your international flight to San Jose del Cabo Airport, which is a short, direct flight from many major cities across the United States. Check in to a luxury treehouse at Acre Resort near the airport for your first night. The resort is ideal for a welcome dinner and drinks because its restaurant has some of the best farm-to-table food in Baja. Alternatively, if you prefer to escape the Baja scene, a driver will take you directly to the Hotel San Cristobal in Todos Santos.

Acre Resort Treehouses / Courtesy of Acre Resort
Acre Resort Treehouses / Courtesy of Acre Resort

Day 2-3: Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve

Hotel: Camp Cecil de la Sierra

After some relaxation on day one, you’ll go camping in the UNSECO Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, which sits in the mountains above Todos. This is a totally different ecosystem with cooler temperatures, lush greenery, and plentiful hummingbirds. Your driver will meet you in the morning to take you to Camp Cecil de la Sierra, a family-owned ranch inside the reserve. Activities at camp include nature walks, ranch tours, and cooking tortillas or tamales with the family. Relax inside your glamping tent after a nice meal.

Camp Cecil de la Sierra
Camp Cecil de la Sierra Views

Day two at Camp Cecil begins with a long hike in the morning. In the afternoon, you can explore the on-site farm and end the day by the campfire. Learn more about the experience here:

Day 4-5: La Paz

Hotel: Ranch Cacachilas

Rancho Cacachiles Mountain Biking / Courtesy of Rancho Cacachiles
Rancho Cacachiles Mountain Biking / Courtesy of Rancho Cacachiles

After breakfast, your guide will take you north to Rancho Cacachiles, an outdoor adventure resort near La Paz and the Gulf of California. Take a big day hike before settling into your tent after dinner. A ranch house with bunk beds or glamping tents is available, and the food is some of the best in Baja. The next morning, take another long hike or tackle one of their many mountain biking trails. Gear will be provided.

Day 6-8: Isla Espiritu Santo National Park

Hotel: Camp Cecil de la Isla

Transfer by car to La Paz and take a boat to Isla Espiritu Santo National Park in the Gulf of California. You’re headed to at Camp Cecil de la Isla, one of the only places to stay on the island. Here, you will spend a few days swimming with sea lions, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, and birding. One advantage of staying on the island is that you can enjoy it in the morning and sunset when other boats with day visitors have left the park.

It’s a glamping setup, but you will enjoy turndown service and chef-prepared meals. Daily sunset happy hour, all meals, and outdoor supplies will be provided.

Day 9: Whale Shark Dive in La Paz

Hotel: Hotel Catedral

Whale Shark / Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash
Whale Shark / Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

Return to La Paz in the early morning, where you will be taken to a dive boat that sets out to look for whale sharks. They live in the Gulf year-round, so there is a good chance of finding one. Upon locating the sharks, you will jump in and snorkel with the largest fish in the world. After diving, return to La Paz and overnight at Hotel Catedral (or equivalent). Lunch and dinner will be on your own, but there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance.

Day 10: Magdalena Bay (January – March)

Hotel: Villa Santa Cruz

Petting a grey whale in San Ignacio Lagoon / Ryan Harvey / Flickr
Petting a grey whale in San Ignacio Lagoon / Ryan Harvey / Flickr

If you visit from January through early March, we suggest an excursion to Magdalena Bay on the Pacific Coast. Wake up early to take a car to the bay, where you will enjoy lunch and 3 hours of whale watching. This bay attracts large numbers of grey whales who raise their calves in the safety of the San Ignacio Lagoon. One of their favorite activities is having humans scratch their noses, and they will approach the boat to interact with you.

After whale watching, return to Todos Santos in the evening and check into Villa Santa Cruz, a luxury beachfront hotel.

Villa Santa Cruz Tented Ocean Suite / Courtesy fo Villa Santa Cruz
Villa Santa Cruz Tented Ocean Suite / Courtesy of Villa Santa Cruz

Day 11-13: Todos Santos

Hotel: Villa Santa Cruz

After all of the adventure, the last few days of the trip are reserved for relaxation and exploration of Todos Santos.

We like the casual Pacific Bluff Cliff Walk along the coast. This hike is around 3.5 hours, and a picnic lunch will be prepared for you to enjoy on Playa de las Palmas, one of the most scenic swimming beaches in the area. Currents can be strong around Todos Santos, so you cannot swim on every beach.

Pacific Bluffs Hike / Brad Abrams / Courtesy of Todos Santos Eco Adventures
Pacific Bluffs Hike / Brad Abrams / Courtesy of Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Spend your afternoon back in the hotel before dinner out in Todos Santos. Restaurant suggestions will be provided. The next day we suggest exploring Todos Santos town, enjoying galleries and buying souvenirs, but you can always relax by the pool if you don’t feel like going out.

Day 14 – Thursday, March 28: Departure

Your driver will pick you up in the morning for your departing flight.

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