Baja California Sur

Regions and States

Baja California Sur crestThe state of Baja California Sur is part of the North Pacific Region of Mexico, along with the states of Baja California, Sinaloa, and Sonora.

Baja California Sur has a very arid climate and offers only limited opportunities for agriculture. Its economy is based on mining, fishing and tourism. The major attraction for tourists is the long and beautiful coastline with its variety of beaches and water activities (fishing, boating, wind surfing, kayaking).

The state capital of Baja California Sur is the city of La Paz. Other important locations in Baja California Sur include Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos, Loreto, San José del Cabo, Cabo Pulmo, Mulegé and Santa Rosalía.


Here are select articles and recipes related to Baja California Sur:


A Spanish Galleon aground on the Baja California Peninsula, illustration by Gordon Miller. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist; all rights reserved.

Solving the mystery of a lost Spanish galleon on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula

When European ships were wrecked at sea, a Christian burial was usually afforded those whose bodies washed up on the shoreline. That was not the case here. Somewhere on a desolate stretch of a Baja California beach lie the bones and cargo of a once majestic Spanish galleon. It was around 1576 when she vanished […]

Seabirds at Mulegé — Photo by Trevor Burton

Oases on the Sea of Cortez

The rugged Baja California peninsula and the Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California, have been bewitching hardy visitors for decades. Some of the early fans were John Steinbeck and Earl Stanley Gardner, who took time out from Perry Mason to produce a magnificent photo book on the Sea of Cortez and its villages. Until […]


Ferries in Mexico: the Pacific coast 2009 update

For many travelers, driving down the Baja Peninsula, taking a passenger/vehicle ferry across to Mexico’s mainland and then exploring the interior is a pleasant way of experiencing a wide variety of topography. This Page provides basic ferry information to assist travel in either direction. Reservations are recommended any time of year. Many prefer to make […]

Fishing boat in the Sea of Cortez

Overfishing in the Sea of Cortez: Are sustainable fish farms the solution?

It is occurring at an alarming rate — native populations of fish, mammals and other Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California) inhabitants are declining, some to the point of near-extinction. Most people familiar with the issue agree on the reasons: commercial overfishing; bycatch victims of all species in commercial and local fishermen’s nets; environmental […]

The malecón, the soul of the city of La Paz

La Paz, Baja California Sur

For a city named Peace, it has a rather grim history. A Spanish expedition sailed into the bay in 1533; the leader and several of his soldiers were killed by the indigenous residents soon after, by some accounts because they raped the native women. Hernan Cortes arrived two years later looking for pearls (he found […]


Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California by Bruce Berger

Cogan’s Reviews The title of this travel book sounds a bit odd to us now. But the question of whether Baja California was an island was in doubt for a very long time. In fact, as late as 1737, a map was drawn by a German Jesuit that showed the peninsula as an island. Now, […]


Miraculous Air: A Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico by C. M. Mayo

Cogan’s Reviews Most of us think of the Baja Peninsula as a vast, sprawling, empty, underpopulated space on the Pacific Coast with hundreds of miles of desolate beaches. To a great extent, that’s what it is. For many, it’s a place to avoid, except perhaps for the resorts on the extreme southern tip – Cabo […]


The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

Cogan’s Reviews So far I haven’t managed to make it to the Baja. Hopefully that will be corrected in the next year or two as my wife and I work our way through the list of places we hope to visit in Mexico. However, while reading Steinbeck’s book, I found myself looking up various guidebooks […]

Solitude and beauty distinguish the beach at Mayto, Cabo Corrientes, near Puerto Vallarta © David Kimball, 2014

Puerto Vallarta versus Cabo Beaches

Posted by Tim Bowen on July 12, 1999 I am going on my honeymoon in 30 days, and I was told by someone who just returned that the beaches at Puerto Vallarta were not very nice to visit. I was told that the beaches were very pebbly and that there was dog crap and garbage […]

Tip of the Baja California Peninsula, where the Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific © Dr. Ilya Treyger

Come on down to Cabo San Lucas

The wedding was an exciting reason to do Cabo San Lucas. Glamorous “Glee” star Naya Rivera and actor Ryan Dorsey were to take their vows. An area acquaintance, part-time bookie and fishing guide, said come on down, that my fame as a writer and his international influence could get us an invitation to the party […]


Traveler’s Guide to Camping Mexico’s Baja by Mike and Terry Church

Available from Amazon Books: Paperback A while ago, I reviewed for MexConnect another useful book by Mike & Terri Church: Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping, 3rd Edition. LINK That book — in 512 packed pages — covers all of Mexico, and even Belize. Eighty pages are devoted to the Baja. A few months before that, I reviewed another book […]


Driving Baja: A Guide for First Timers

Driving Baja: A Guide for First Timers By Rachel McMillen Trafford Publishing, 2009 Available from Trafford Books: Paperback Driving Baja: A Guide for First Timers tries to answer questions that first-time Snowbirds who are thinking about driving (perhaps with RVs) down the Baja are likely to ask: “…could we really do it? Is it safe to […]


I Love Baja!

I Love Baja! Pursuing the Dream of Living in Mexico By Mikel Miller Publisher: (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico) Original eBook ©2011, updated eBook ©2015 Kindle Edition, $1.44 US Pages: Estimated 197 The title of Mikel Miller’s new book, I Love Baja!, was inspired by locals who again and again told him, “I love Baja!”. These same […]

Oasis of Stone: Visions of Baja California Sur

Oasis of Stone: Visions of Baja California Sur

  Although the Baja coast has attracted thousands of visitors, among them some fine photographers, few have really journeyed to the interior This exquisite coffee table book is a collaboration between two friends, both of whom are award-winning artists: photographer Miguel Angel de la Cueva and essayist (and poet and musician) Bruce Berger. Several books […]

Cabo Pulmo on Baja California Sur's Sea of Cortés has several competing dive shops, with similar priced offerings and confusingly similar names.

Cabo Pulmo: from beaches and baskets to mines, music and marine park (part two)

To Part 1 Cabo Pulmo We arrive in Cabo Pulmo as the sun is setting, relieved to finally find the end of the initially paved, then dirt access road, which has been bounded by barbed wire ever since we caught our last clear views of the coast near La Ribera. At intervals behind the barbed […]

Windsurfers at La Ventana, an hour's drive southeast of La Paz, Baja California Sur on the Gulf of Cortés.

Part one – La Paz and El Triunfo: from beaches and baskets to mines, music and marine park

To Part 2 La Paz La Paz was almost unrecognizable. I’d enjoyed the small town atmosphere when I first visited it in 1980 but it now has the big city pretensions that I find far less appealing. Despite my reservations, the family enjoyed several days in La Paz in December 2007, wandering about the downtown […]

Playa El Chileno

Cabo to Cabo

On my last visit to Cabo San Lucas in 1997, the city had installed its second traffic light four months ago. It stands on the northwestern outskirts of town, where Mexico Hwy. 19 begins its winding journey to Todos Santos, 45 miles away. So far no one had bothered to turn it on, but I […]


All saints adrift in Todos Santos

Todos Santos is a place people disappear to. Something about the layout — the way the single two-lane highway through town can take in casual visitors at one end and dispense with them at the other end without revealing too much — keeps the profile relatively low, especially considering Cabo San Lucas is only an […]


Introducing Rick Gage: Murder in La Paz and Death Mask of the Jaguar by Murdoch Hughes

Cogan’s Reviews With these two thrillers we find ourselves in the world of hard-boiled private eyes – a la Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler – but with a difference. Both stories are squarely set in Mexico. Murdoch Hughes has created a private eye, Rick Gage, who has given up his former career as a detective […]

The Inn at Loreto Bay, photo by Marisa Burton

Loreto Bay: The greenest place in Baja, and quite possibly in all of Mexico!

Loreto Bay, a 3-billion-dollar, 6,000-home development in Baja California Sur, may be the most eco- and socially-aware resort project anywhere in the country. At first sight, this is rather strange, given that Loreto Bay, eight kilometers (five miles) south of the town of Loreto, was originally conceived by the Mexican Tourism Development Agency, Fonatur, which […]

Loreto Mission Photo: Marisa Burton

Loreto and San Javier: from sun, sand and snorkeling to museums, missions and mountains

Three towns in Baja California Sur offer a relaxing alternative to the frenetic pace of life in the pricier and more touristy Los Cabos area: Loreto, Mulegé and Santa Rosalía are very different to one another, and all well worth visiting. This is a trip that combines some sun, sand and snorkeling with some museums, […]


Viva La Baja! Relocation and Real Estate Guide to the Baja California Peninsula by Molly McHugh

Molly McHugh’s recently published Viva La Baja! Relocation and Real Estate Guide to the Baja California Peninsula provides concise, easy to use information for anyone interested in north or south Baja. It is obvious that McHugh’s objective is to provide an excellent product that will be useful for people of all ages and from all walks […]

The malecón, the soul of the city of La Paz

La Paz, Baja California Sur: A practical guide

Our trip started with the idea that we had not been to Mexico for a while, so it was time to get our Mexico fix.  Our plan was a one week get away to a Mexican beach, using our frequent flier miles.  The airline reservation desk was somewhat confused when we told them that we […]

Todos Santos

Life goes on in Todos Santos despite the changes

Down narrow, winding, desert Highway 19, an hour past the last golf course in Cabo San Lucas, lies quiet Todos Santos, a Mexican hamlet with just over 3,400 residents, on the Pacific side of southern Baja California. Here, it’s not what you see but what you don’t see. Life goes on behind pastel walls. As […]

A wild burro gazes curiously at visitors to Mision San Javier near Loreto in Baja California Sur. © John McCaffery, 2001

Baja California Sur side trip: Mision San Javier

The biggest attraction on my most recent Baja to-do list was a visit to Mission San Francisco Javier De Vigge-Biundo, or simply, San Javier. Located via a 2.5 hr drive from Loreto, BCS, this mission is well worth the trip. Founded in 1699, this mission is the best-preserved in Baja. I was surprised to find […]

Multi-tiered Infinity pools

Living well at the Hacienda Beach Club & Residences

There is no buzzing lobby. No long formidable hotel desk. No jostling line of people waiting to check in and out. Instead, there is the Hacienda’s Concierge desk, set in the open-air reception terrace, amidst stunning Old Mexico architecture and looking out on the almost unbelievably beautiful azure waters of the Sea of Cortez. And, […]


Cooking on the Sea of Cortez: Culinary adventures in Baja California

Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, also known by the less lyrical name Gulf of California, supports more marine life than any other body of water on earth. It is no surprise, therefore, that divers, fishermen, and seafood lovers from all over the world find the Mar de Cortez an alluring and gracious host. Like an enormous […]

These Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings on Todos Santos beach is ready to go to the water and find a new home in their natural habitat. © Mariah Baumgartle, 2012

Rescuing and releasing sea turtle hatchlings in Todos Santos, Mexico

The sun is setting off the coast of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur and, even though we are in the tropics, we are bundled up in heavy, hooded sweatshirts and jeans to protect us from the damp, chilly evening air. Rough waves from the Pacific Ocean crash against the beach on this side of the […]

The Mexican, American, and Canadian (the MAC in Liga MAC) flags are on display in the organizations office © Mariah Baumgartle, 2012

Liga MAC: Mexicans, Americans and Canadians join forces in San Jose del Cabo

The aroma of chicken over a mesquite grill fills the air on one of San Jose del Cabo’s backstreets. Noisy dogs chase each other playfully down dusty, dirt roads nearby. Cheerful mariachi music flows from dimly lit cantinas. There are no five-star restaurants here, no trendy nightclubs, no exotic resorts; not on this side of […]

Driving into Loreto, you get another view from a mountain ridge of the beautiful Sea of Cortes, referred to often as the world © Ed Kociela, 2011

Driving the Baja Highway

The Baja 1,000 is considered one of the most dangerous, but exciting, races in the world. It winds through mountains and desert in the most remote parts of Baja California with drivers dodging Mother Nature’s homespun hazards like rugged dry washes and rapid changes in altitude. They also deal with free-roaming livestock, rattlesnakes and one […]

Conception Bay on the Gulf of Cortés is a wonderful base for kayaking, and kayaks can be rented at several locations, including the well-protected bay of Playa Santispac and at Playa Escondida.

North of Loreto: Mulege and Santa Rosalía, sun, beaches, hotels and history

Mulegé North of Loreto, the highway leaves the coast until about half way to Mulegé, at which point the Bahía de Concepción (Conception Bay) suddenly comes into view. This next stretch of coastline is among the most attractive in all Baja. As the highway winds along the coast, a succession of protected bays, small coves, […]


Did you know? Mexico was once the world’s major source of pearls

This month’s Did You Know column highlights the pearl, the beautiful birthstone associated with the month of June. The history of pearl collecting in Mexico goes back a very long way. When Spanish explorers sailed into the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California) in the early 1530s they encountered Pericú Indians wearing necklaces strung with red […]

Baja California Peninsula

Interactive Map of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

Interactive Map of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico This interactive map of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula includes the states of Baja California, the northern section of the peninsula, and Baja California Sur. The state capital of Baja California is Mexicali. Other important locations in Baja California include Tijuana, Ensenada, Buenavista, San Felipe and Rosarito Beach. The […]

Map of Baja California Sur

Interactive Map of Baja California Sur, Mexico

Interactive Map of Baja California Sur, Mexico This interactive map shows the popular tourist state of Baja California Sur. The state capital of Baja California Sur is La Paz. Other important locations in Baja California Sur include Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos, Loreto, Loreto Bay, San José del Cabo, Cabo Pulmo, El Triunfo, Mulegé and […]

Sometimes, Mexican artist Ivan Guaderrama will incorporate elements such as this lighted inlay into a painting. © Mariah Baumgartle, 2011

Art walk in San Jose del Cabo: Artists and galleries are attractions in Baja California Sur

Photo Gallery There’s a quiet elegance that engulfs San Jose del Cabo, which sits on the Sea of Cortes in Baja California Sur. Oh, it has plenty of hustle, as does any Mexican turista destination, with vendors offering “amigo prices” to passersby, trying to lure them into their shops with claims that today, the bracelets, […]


TAGS – States, Regions, Cities

Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México (State of), México City, D.F., Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas,

Paul Carrigan's car

The Baja Highway from top to bottom

Despite advice to the contrary from 99% of the people we asked, we took the Baja Highway south early in 2006. I pulled into Mr. Kelly’s trailer park in Oceanside on February 2 and said, “Mr. Kelly, I’ve got an idea.” Kelly, my first college roommate, said, “I love it when you have an idea!” […]


Mañana at the lighthouse: Bahia la Ventana in Baja California Sur

Mañana is a Mexican word that I struggle to understand. I continue to learn more about this word every time that I travel in Mexico. One of my earliest lessons was learned at the lighthouse that protects the eastern point of Bahía la Ventana in Baja California Sur. The beacon guards boats from danger in the […]


Trailer tales from La Bufadora, Baja California

Anyone you talk to in Baja with a roof over their head has a story or two to go with the roof. Jack Smith of Los Angeles Times, joyfully chronicled his home building adventures in his book, God and Mr. Gomez, Ben Hunter did the same in his book, The Baja Feeling. These gentlemen started […]


Helping the Needy (original fiction)

The passenger side headlight of the big green van shattered just as the gout of blood hit the windshield. The two animals, together, weighed about a 130 pounds but Sam felt only a slight bump. He slammed on the breaks, swerved slightly to the right and came to rest in a cloud of dust on […]


The Calling (original fiction)

T-Boned. Gringos would use the word T-Boned to describe the accident. The police report, in Spanish, would simply say golpe en el lado, hit on the side. When the big diesel water truck slammed on the brakes it was already too late. The heavy-duty grill drove the driver’s side door of the little tan Mexican car into […]


Beautifully Arranged (original fiction)

When I moved to La Ribera, a small pueblo just north of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, Martín was already a fixture on my little dirt street. At first, I felt uneasy when I saw this strange Mexican near my gate; but over time I feared him less, then began to expect him, walking […]


From Baja to the Mexican mainland by ferry

A Woman’s Perspective on Living in Mexico Last night I met Karen Greenbury in person. I first met her on the Internet after she quit her secretarial job in Alberta, Canada and was preparing to take a one-year sabbatical in Mexico. Karen is forty-four, single and travels with her cat and dog. She pulled her […]


Back to Baja: Some favorite dishes get a makeover

Mexican Kitchen There are few places more relaxing than Baja California, and no time better to go there than winter. This Mexican peninsula that straddles the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez seems to have been created for relieving stress and renewing the spirit. The “winter blues” are banished here, where the only blues […]


Baja communities play a key role in conservation

“Ah Maria! Ah Maria!” Juan calls excitedly from the bow of his 18-foot fishing panga, the Caribbean Queen. We’re just outside of Baja California’s Magdalena Bay, and I wonder if Juan is exclaiming jubilant Hail Mary’s, when the reason for his excitement comes into view – a domed turtle shell floating on the ocean surface in the […]

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