A Mexican road trip is a special experience, and there is no better place to hit the road than Baja California. The iconic Ruta Uno takes you on an adventure through this unique part of Mexico, cut off from the mainland and with a charm all of its own. Sparsely populated with extraordinary contrasts of land, sea and sky, Baja offers something for everyone with rugged mountains, bleak deserts, lush vineyards and ‘the world’s aquarium’ of the Sea of Cortez just off the coast.
With so much to do in, around, and from Ensenada, this is the best place to start your Mexican adventure. Take a stroll on the gorgeous waterfront malecon, satisfy your urges for fresh seafood at one of the town’s many excellent fish restaurants, and head off on a wine tasting tour of the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s answer to Napa Valley.
San Ignacio is one of the best spots on the Baja peninsula for whale watching. Humpbacks and gray whales migrate south for the winter, and the months from October to February see the seas almost come alive with these magnificent marine mammals. A three-hour whale watching boat trip is one of the best nature experiences you will ever have the chance to take.
Loreto feels like it has been trapped in time, an old colonial town steeped in history which remains picturesque and authentic, from the cobbled streets and street vendors to the gorgeous 17th century Jesuit mission. This is actually the oldest human settlement on the Baja peninsula, with Indigenous communities calling it home for thousands of years. You can explore Loreto’s prehistoric past through cave paintings in the La Pinguica caverns just outside the town.
La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur, the southern half of the peninsula. This is a charming city with plenty to do, but the real draw here are the vast whale sharks that gather in the bay. Floating lazily above these gentle giants on a snorkeling trip, or taking things to the next level with a scuba diving adventure, is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry!
Jacques Cousteau described Baja California’s Sea of Cortez as ‘the world’s aquarium’, and nowhere is this better showcased than Cabo Pulmo. You’ll need to take a detour off the main route (the road is pretty rough and ready) but the marine life you’ll discover at this remote, amazing spot makes the adventure well worth it. Snorkel or scuba dive and you’ll immerse yourself in a world of electric colors, tropical fish, sea lions, manta rays and coral, with dolphins, whales and sea turtles thrown in for good measure!
Back on the road, you should ignore the glitz and glamor of Los Cabos and aim to end your trip at Todos Santos. This bohemian, hippy paradise offers a beautiful combination of sleepy Mexican authenticity and boutique luxury. The town is full of excellent restaurants, chic art galleries, great places to stay and picturesque deserted beaches, and makes the perfect place to relax after a seriously exciting road trip.