Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Photo Impressions of Baja California Sur

Spending several months this winter in La Ventana, Baja California Sur, at the Tango Azul Resort,  I was eager to explore this Southern Part of the peninsula on day trips.  La Ventana is one of the ten best places in the world for kite-surfers and other water sports.  La Ventana is a laidback beachside community where the water is warm, the wind is smooth, and the sunrise takes your breath away.

However, on days with less (or too much) wind there are lots of interesting one and two, or three-hour destinations to find hot springs, eco-parks, heritage towns with fine dining spots and museums, and some of the most beautiful beaches to swim and snorkel.  Not to mention the kayak or fishing boat trips, ATV, or cycle tours that are offered in many places.

Malecon in La Paz, Baja California Sur

La Paz, the Capital of Baja California Sur

Not even one hour away, La Paz, a city with an attractive Malecon, large harbor, and an attractive Old City part, museums, and numerous fine seafood restaurants invite visitors.  I was not only attracted by these places, public art, or by the many stores, but rather by the best 'Dentista' I ever experienced.  And all this for a third of what I would have paid in Canada.

Mission Church in La Paz, Baja

Driving to La Paz's beaches in the north, especially to Tecolotes, shows the most stunning emerald shallow waters of the Playa Pulguero and other fine sand beaches one can imagine.

Pulpuero Beach north of La Paz

El Triunfo

The first gold and silver mines in El Triunfo had been established in the late 1700s.  Once the largest city in Baja California Sur, it was home to more than 10,000 miners.  El Triunfo was the first town in the region to install electricity and telephones.  Pianos and other instruments were brought to El Triunfo from around the world and a piano museum still exists.  In recent years, to attract tourism, many of the original buildings have been restored and converted into restaurants, cafes, museums, and boutiques.  

Restored heritage building in El Triunfo

The wonderful Caffé El Triunfo in the town's middle has recently been joined by the refreshingly chic Bar El Minero with its large outdoor restaurant.  The new Museo Ruta de Plata is a beautiful new museum and cultural museum that tells the history of the mine and the region through interactive exhibits that will bring to life the rich history of the area.  

El Triunfo Museum

During the prosperous years of El Triunfo, the town was a cultural center for music and dance.  Visit the old Museo de la Música too.   All of the attention the town gets is leaving some people wondering—is El Triunfo the next Baja “it” spot?

Cactus Sanctuary

Hot Springs
Picture this: clear, warm, hidden pools nestled in between tall white rocks, green palm trees, and a sprinkling of cacti within the lush green grass. Such a place exists in a small pocket of Baja Sur, near Santiago, not far from highway #1. Try to visit in the early mornings when there are no visitors yet. Not far from the Santa Rita hot springs are other springs that can be reached via longer hikes and without having to pay an entry fee. These hot springs are mainly on private land, so don't leave any traces.

Pack lunch and snacks. There are picnic tables nearby where you can enjoy your food.
Also, bring loads of drinking water! It gets pretty hot if you stay all day.
Don’t forget to bring pesos for the entry fee. No cards or US Dollars are accepted.

Natural Hot Springs in the Santiago Area

Palomar in Santiago: What a gem!  Fine food, great atmosphere, friendly service  I found the Palomar restaurant by chance when returning from the Santa Rita hot springs. Never would have expected such a great place in this remote area.

Dig Your Own Hot Springs

Another, more adventurous spot for hot springs is the beach ten minutes north of La Ventana. There you dig your own 'pool' where you can soak in the warm water. Best an hour or two before and after high tide. If the water is too hot, just add some cool beach water and relax in the (free of charge) natural 'hot tub'. The best times are during the week when there are very few visitors.

Self-Made Hot Spring Pool

Los Cabos
The tourism hotspot's location at the tip of the Baja gives the area easy access to both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.  The most iconic scenery in Los Cabos is The Arch of Cabo San Lucas rock formations at Land’s End, also known as El Arco.  No trip to Los Cabos is complete without visiting this magical spot where the two seas collide. 

Cruises from 45 minutes to four hours, from rustic to luxury, can be booked online in advance to make sure you see the stunning rocks.  
You can hire a tour boat at the marina to take you there, or ask your hotel concierge to book a trip for you.  While you visit El Arco, you can also visit Pelican Rock, Lover´s Beach, and Divorce Beach, on the same tour.

The best time is the early morning or sunset cruises.  My tip: make it a two-day trip and book a hotel where you can park, and take a bus or taxi to the harbor as the inner city is not suited to driving and streets are pretty narrow and often only in one direction. 

Harbor in Cabo San Lucas

Todos Santos
An hour away from Cabo is this handsome, artsy heritage town - one of the prettiest in the whole Baja California Sur.  Small enough to walk everywhere, especially as every second or third building is a coffee shop or outdoor restaurant.  

Hotel California in Todos Santos

Shade is guaranteed by numerous large trees, huge blooming bougainvillea shrubs, and a city park.  Popular with artists, it’s known for its many galleries.  Surfers enjoy the high Pacific swells and beach hikers watching whales in winter and young.

Bougainvillea Tree 

Todos Santos is only ninety minutes away from Los Cabos, but it feels like you’ve been transported back to a slower, simpler time.  Large tourist hotels are unknown here, they are small and full of character.  While visitors and residents are still enjoying its under-the-radar vibe, Todos Santos is edging toward the limelight.  One wonders how long Todos Santos will remain one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets.

Mission Church in Todos Santos


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