travel blog » Mexico: Los Cabos and Baja California

Mexico: Los Cabos and Baja California

The Mexican southern tip of California is neither really Mexico nor really USA - and therefore, no matter from which direction you come, an interesting change. Here you can find my travel tips for two weeks around Los Cabos and the south of Baja California.

La Paz

Once we arrived in La Paz, it was clear, that November is the best time to visit Baja California. The name of the city (peace) is absolutely deserved. Few, small hotels and restaurants spread over the side streets in front of the beach promenade, few people on the beach (okay, the city beach is not really beautiful though) and a fresh breeze. Just before the Christmas holidays everything is quiet and peaceful here. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in one of the small restaurants along the promenade at sunset and looking at the sea.

Around La Paz

Two things were on the bucket list for me here in La Paz: to visit the much more beautiful beaches and lagoons a little outside the city and to make a boat trip to the Isla Espiritu Santo in order to dive with sea lions in the wild.

The Balandra Beach was recommended as the most beautiful beach from several sides. In retrospect, this was definitely the best choice.


Very few people stray into the lagoon in November, so you have the beach mostly to yourself. The water is wonderfully turquoise and crystal clear, but also very warm and shallow, like a huge bathtub. So if you like to throw yourself into the waves and refresh yourself in the sea (like me) it's not quite as exciting here. But you can at least do some sports and climb the high rocks around Balandra Bay to get a great view from above. Or you can walk to the famous mushroom, a rock formation in the adjacent bay, which is even more remote.

How do I get to Balandra beach from La Paz?

There are regular buses from the station at the boardwalk in La Paz and in equal intervals also back again. The last bus back to La Paz leaves at seven in the evening. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, which, if you share it with two people, is not even much more expensive. The buses stop at many hotels on the way and therefore take more than one hour - twice as long as by car.

Isla Espiritu Santo

If you would like to visit Isla Espiritu Santo, you unfortunately cannot avoid a booked boat tour. Unless you have brought your own boat. But even then you will need a permit to visit the sea lion island, as it is a protected area. Otherwise, just ask on the beach promenade which is the cheapest provider for an organized tour. Actually all tours have the same program. First of all you will go by speedboat to one of the many beautiful bays of the island where you can snorkel or explore the island. The underwater world is breathtaking: colourful fish, corals - just let yourself drift through. As the boats usually do not take more than eight people, the water is not overcrowded with other divers.


Next stop is a big rock where a sea lion colony is bathing in the sun. The animals are incredibly playful and come straight to you in the water as soon as you jump off the boat. A perfect alternative to all the dolphinariums that have overrun Baja California, where you swim through a pool with caged, disturbed dolphins.


Swimming with the sea lions was no problem even with my eight-month baby belly, because the animals do not really touch you. What worried me more in retrospect was the trip with the speedboat, which was really rough, especially at higher waves. But since I could sit in the back of the boat, it was probably not worse than a taxi ride on an unpaved road.


Los Cabos

The southernmost part of southern Baja California is called Los Cabos and includes the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. What is the Ballermann for the Germans, is Cabo San Lucas for the Americans, only with a more beautiful background. But the three-hour bus ride from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas shows very nice corners of the island where we could have stopped very well if we had rented our own car. Anyway, every bus stops in the hippie town of Todos Santos, which offers a welcome change to the very touristical rest of Baja California. Framed in lonely beaches, palm trees and desert it is a small oasis between the hotel complexes of the cabos. Because I was pregnant and therefore neither able to drink alcohol nor party all night long, I could have saved Cabo San Lucas. Anyway: the restaurants at the harbour were a nice backdrop for dinner.


Conclusion Baja California

Be sure to rent a car for your trip through Baja California. Many landscapes and beaches are difficult to reach and you don't want to be dependent on public transportation all the time. If you're looking for more peace and quiet, go to Baja California Norte, where you'll find beautiful vineyards and wineries.

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