11/2005 - Mexico, Baja California Sur

12-day trip to Mexico – Baja California Sur – visiting La Paz, Pichilingue Beach, Balandra Beach, Tecolote Beach, Espiritu Santo Island , Los Islotes Islands , Partida Island , Ballena Island , Loreto, San Xavier Mission , Sierra La Giganta , Painted Cave , Coronado Island , Punta Chivato , Santa Rosalia, Vizcaino Desert , Mission San  Ignazio Kadakaaman , Guerrero Negro, Mulege Mission , Conception Bay , San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Luca .

We arrived in La Paz, capital of Baja California Sur, coming from Chihuahua.

We drove along the road that runs along the bay. We met the beaches of Pichilingue and Balandra, beautiful but with few facilities. On the edge of the Cape there is the beautiful and very extensive Tecolote beach .

We stopped at La Concha Restaurant where we had lunch with excellent fish dishes and we booked the boat to go to visit the Espiritu Santo Island the next day.

This island is very large. We took nearly an hour to sail along its coast, even with our fast speedboat. We reached the northernmost point where, at Los Islotes Islands, we made a beautiful swim in the sea together with sea lions and many colorful fish .

We went back along the coast and visited the most characteristic places of the northern part (called Isla Partida ) such as “Ensenadura Grande”, then “Cardonal” and the “Caleta El Candelero” where there was a tented camp .

We could admire some special effects of the rocks ( the mask) before arriving at Isla Ballena where we made a second bath in the sea .

Our impact with the Baja California could not have been more exciting.

We left La Paz and went northwards along the Baja California Sur. The roads were good and traffic was almost absent.

We arrived in Loreto before noon, after covering  about 400 kilometers.

We spent the whole afternoon to visit the Misión de San Javier located in the heart of the Sierra La Giganta. We travelled more than 60 kms of dirty road, there and back .

On the way back, we stopped to visit a pre-Columbian  painted cave, shown in the first picture, while in the second photo  I represent the copy of the “Cueva Pintada” (painted cave), a beautiful cave located in San Francisco de la Sierra, as well as the “Cueva del Ratón” (rat cave)and the “Cueva de Las Flechas” (arrows cave) .

In Loreto, we stayed at the Hotel Camino Reál, recently built by an American society.

Loreto is the “capital historica de las Californias ” (historic capital city of both South and North California) .

It has the oldest Mission of the Peninsula – Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó – and hosts the National Marine Park of the Bay of Loreto.

In front of Loreto there is “Isla Coronado” which is part of the Marine Park .

We rented a boat that brought us to the island. Along the way we met several dolphins . We saw numerous fish while bathing.

We arrived at Punta Chivato, an isolated promontory on a beautiful bay with several small islands .

In the peaceful Punta Chivato, we enjoyed the beautiful landscapes as well as unforgettable swims thanks to a fisherman who, with his boat, took us to see the most beautiful depths.

We chose an excellent hotel, situated in a magnificent position, run by Italians and tastefully decorated.

The hotel boasts about its cuisine and… quite properly!

We proceeded along the Baja California Sur. We crossed wide expanses of ” cardones ” on which , often , we saw vultures roosted there with their wings outstretched .

The town of Santa Rosalia, with its wooden houses, dating from 1880 to 1950, has been a centre of copper mining exploited by the French company of Boleo. The French brought there from Paris a prefabricated church designed by Alessandre Gustave Eiffel.

The historical Hotel Frances is still working as well as a bakery that continues to produce the French baguettes .

We crossed the “Desierto de Vizcaino” in which stands the Volcano Las Tres Virgines .

We entered the “El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve” , created to protect the main reproduction areas of the gray whale : the San Ignacio lagoon and the  “Laguna Ojo de Liebre” (eye of the jackrabbit lagoon).

The arid landscape is interrupted by a green oasis with wide plantations of date palms and citrus fuits.

In the heart of that oasis, Jesuits , back in 1728, built the Mision San Ignacio Kadakaaman . We stayed at the hotel La Pinta , in colonial style, characterized by its chapel .

We reached Guerrero Negro, on the border with Baja California Norte, a town known because in the waters of its lagoon gray whales are used to winter, but also known for being the most extensive salt mine in the world.

Many coastal areas are named after the “aguilas marinas”. In fact, there are many Sea eagles that nest always on top of the electric light poles. It is interesting to have them photographed with preys in their claws.

We took the road southwards.

We stopped to visit the Mission of Mulegé , located in the heart of an oasis, away from the town.

We made frequent stops in the coastal zones that offer the best views.

In particular, the area of Baja Conception  with El Requeson , Playa El Coyote, Playa Burro, Posada Conception and Playa Santispac .

We also met many small churches, all painted in bright colours, which attracted our attention.

We stopped again in Loreto and we stayed in a hotel of the same hotel chain of the hotel of Punta Chivato . It was very beautiful, richly furnished, with a suspended pool that gives light to the atrium.

The restaurant had a polished style.

We arrived in San Jose del Cabo , a charming town on the shores of the Pacific Ocean , with numerous and colourful shops .

Unfortunately, the landscape along the beautiful coastline on the Pacific Ocean, is ruined by the presence of big hotel complexes. We chose a hotel perfectly placed in the surrounding landscape.

The nearby town of Cabo San Luca is much more touristic.

It has a large marina which hosts boats for those people fond of deep sea fishing who come  from all over the world.

On each boat, there are fixed places for a large number of fishing rods.

To conclude the visit of Baja California Sur, we made a catamaran trip that allowed us to admire the Arch of Love and make a last swim in the sea in the midst of colourful fish.