Baja California Sur

The Transpeninsular Highway crosses the state border at the 28th Parallel - marked with a soaring, stylized eagle monument - and enters Baja California Sur. Decidedly more compelling than its northern sibling, Baja Sur offers great opportunities for adventure tourism, gregarious hospitality and stark, otherworldly landscapes. Here, ancient cave paintings lie hidden in the parched landscapes. Old Jesuit missions crumble silently in the fierce desert sun. And each year scores of whales arrive in the coastal lagoons around Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio, drawing so close you can actually touch them.

Elsewhere, at places like Loreto and Mulegé, the ocean waters teem with kaleidoscopic tropical fish, whale sharks and marlin, drawing crowds of divers and sport fishers. City-lovers should head to La Paz, near the southernmost tip of the peninsular, the most alluring - if relatively low-key - urban destination in Baja. But if you're seeking the conveniences of a well-serviced resort, try the party town of Cabo San Lucas, or its arty sister, San José del Cabo. Alternatively, bohemian Todos Santos is a world away from all such commercialism, home to artists, organic farmers and a growing community of moneyed expats. In and around all these major sights, there are an array of possible detours and excursions, from eerie deserts to tranquil bays, desolate national parks to communities dwindling on the edge of the universe. However, you will need your own high-clearance vehicle, preferably 4WD, carrying adequate equipment water and fuel.

WClocks go forward one hour to Mountain time when entering Baja California Sur, but note that Northern Baja observes Pacific Daylight Saving Time from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October; time in both states and California is thus identical during the summer.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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