After long weeks of preparation, summer 2022 offered me the long-awaited opportunity to discover Baja California Sur, a region of Mexico that had been fascinating me for a while. My goal was clear: to explore the hidden treasures, gems and must-sees of this land of the desert and sea, to enhance our travel offering.

As a diving lover, Baja California Sur has always intrigued me.
I’d heard about its exceptional marine biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes, where seas and deserts meet.

The starting point of my journey was La Paz, the capital of this unique region, where I met up with my friend and guide, Oscar. He opened the book of the region’s history for me. Baja California Sur’s geography has long isolated it, making it almost an island, far from continental trade. The “patas saladas”, the region’s inhabitants, were mainly fishermen until the arrival of entrepreneurs in the 19th century, who came to exploit the precious metal mines and launch the marine pearl industry in the Bay of La Paz.

La Paz welcomed me with its charming, bustling historic center, where a majestic cathedral stands in the central square. The sunsets over the bay seen from the embankment, while enjoying delicious seafood, were an unforgettable experience.

The next day, I set sail for the island of Espiritu Santo, a treasure located 1h30 from La Paz. It’s a blessed place, with beaches that are the pride of Mexico. Arid deserts meet sandy beaches and the crystal-clear waters of the Sea of Cortez. In the north of the island, the “Lobera” is a meeting point for sea lions. During the breeding season, from June to August, most of the region’s sea lions gather here. Out of season, travellers can snorkel with these curious creatures.

On the way back, an incredible surprise: a humpback whale and huge schools of Mobula rays put on an unforgettable show, leaping out of the water to crash onto the surface.

The following day, we headed for Balandra beach, famous for its magnificent colors in the bay. Further north, I discovered Playa Escondida after a few dozen minutes’ walk to the top of the hill offering a breathtaking view of the bay, an effort rewarded by a little rest on a superb unspoilt beach.

The desert then called me northwards, with its long straight roads and giant cardon cactus, sometimes reaching more than 5 metres above the ground.

I arrived at La Purisima, an isolated village in the heart of the desert. It was a fascinating discovery, far from the tourist crowds, and certainly the biggest surprise of my trip.
Read more about my discovery of La Purisima.

The road continued on to Loreto. This village is the starting point for many places of interest, such as hiking in the canyons to enjoy the natural pools, visiting the pretty San Javier mission or discovering Isla Coronado. A nature reserve where I was lucky enough to come across an impressive school of dolphins numbering over 500 individuals.

The dive at Isla Coronado had a surprise in store for me: a curious sea lion joined us underwater, while we discovered nudibranchs in astonishing colors and shapes on huge rock faces.

I then continued on to San Ignacio, a village surrounded by oases, where I spent some memorable moments, including a hike offering spectacular views of the “Volcano de las 3 virgenes”. San Ignacio is also the starting point for exploring the Sierra San Francisco and its thousand-year-old cave paintings, as well as for watching grey whales in the nearby lagoons.

My next stop is a full day’s drive away, Todos Santos, south of La Paz. Over the past few years, the town has become a meeting point for many international artists and surfers. It’s a perfect mix, creating a very peaceful atmosphere on the Pacific coast, between surf shops and art galleries.

I then arrived in Cabo San Lucas, a lively seaside resort that I quickly crossed to reach a small village off the beaten track: Cabo Pulmo.

Cabo Pulmo is a paradise for divers. It was designated the “Aquarium of the World” by Jean-Jacques Cousteau. Since the area was recognized as a Protected Natural Area in 1995, marine biomass has increased by 400%. Sea lions, sharks, turtles, mobula rays and many other fascinating creatures have taken up residence here.

The 100 inhabitants of Cabo Pulmo are all committed to responsible tourism that preserves this natural treasure.

After this extraordinary adventure, I returned to La Paz, my mind filled with unforgettable memories and a burning desire to share this incredible region with the rest of the world. My trip to Baja California Sur was a true exploration of the treasures of nature, a journey into the heart of history and culture, and an experience that enriched my love for Mexico.


Adrien, Terra Maya travel designer