Photo credit: Alejandro Cabrera
The Baja California Peninsula is the ultimate snowbird (or any time of year) destination. Hot daytime temperatures cool in the evenings, white sand beaches are splashed by turquoise waters, and many of the peninsula's wonders often go undiscovered.
Baja is one of the few remaining places in the world where travelers can camp on a postcard-worthy beach or bathe under a waterfall without another soul in sight. Historic cities line world-famous surf spots, and whales splash off the coastline for those escaping the cold in their native countries. There are more must-visit places in Baja than can be counted on one hand, but the following are five you simply don't want to miss.
Whale watchers, foodies, surfers, art enthusiasts and beach lovers will all find that Todos Santos immediately feels like home. This small town is one of the most vibrant in the Mexican state of Baja Sur, with art festivals, famed restaurants, historic buildings and plenty of affordable places to rent for short or extended stays. Whale watching, beachcombing, surfing, fishing and horseback riding are just a few of the many outdoor activities you can enjoy seconds from Todos Santos' happening and historic downtown area.
Photo credit: Comefilm
You don't have to travel to the Caribbean for beaches that will blow your mind, and you'll find even less crowded ones in Baja. The famous Bahia Concepcion starts south of the expat town of Mulege and spans roughly 20 miles. It's one of the most scenic places in Baja for camping, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or taking in the beauty of sugar-sand beaches backed by the varying blues of the Sea of Cortez.
Santiago is a small Baja Sur pueblo, offering an ideal stopping place for those exploring the peninsula by vehicle. The town is just minutes from Aguas Calientes (hot springs), the Canon de la Zorra (Fox Canyon) and the picturesque Rancho Ecologico Sol de Mayo, which features a moderately difficult trail to a freshwater pool fed by a 30-foot-tall waterfall. Santiago is also only about a 1 hour drive from anywhere in the Los Cabos area, offering an adventurous and refreshing retreat from popular tourist hotspots.
Photo credit: Kirt Edblom
Loreto is one of Baja's oldest settlements, and the small town along the Sea of Cortez offers a much more authentic feel than some of Baja's more popular tourist destinations. This mountain town, sitting among the stunning Sierra de la Giganta, offers access to uninhabited islands, picturesque beaches, cliffs, and bays that seem as though they were created specifically for lounging, swimming and snorkeling.
Loreto is a pristine Mexican town with colorful traditions and rich heritage. Spend days dining in authentic restaurants, enjoying local music, shopping and experiencing the many traditions of this centuries-old area.
San Jose del Cabo
Cabo San Lucas is known around the world as a top party destination, but its sleepy sister San Jose del Cabo often goes unnoticed. This artsy town with cobblestone streets, a traditional town square and some of the top dining destinations in Baja is the perfect place for travelers who prefer earlier nights and a more quaint town. However, there's no shortage of places to shop, dine and drink, so be sure to bring your wallet.
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on FacebookSuggest a correction