Welcome to Baja California Sur, a land where the desert meets the sea, offering a kaleidoscope of adventures set against some of Mexico’s most stunning landscapes. This southern part of the Baja Peninsula is a treasure trove of experiences, catering to all kinds of travelers – from those seeking serene beachside relaxation to adrenaline junkies craving rugged outdoor adventures.
There are so many amazing things to do in Baja California that it can be challenging to capture the region’s natural beauty and cultural vibrancy in one visit.
From the underwater wonders of the Sea of Cortez to the historic charm of its towns, and from thrilling off-road explorations in the desert to star-studded nights under clear skies, the Baja California Peninsula promises unforgettable experiences.
Whether you’re snorkeling with playful sea lions, marveling at majestic whales, catching a wave on a surfboard, or enjoying the local culinary delights, each activity is an invitation to immerse yourself in the magic of Baja Mexico.
While the list of incredible things to do in Baja California is limitless, here are some of our favorites – whether you are on a grand Baja California road trip, a quick day trip from San Diego, or simply cruising down the Pacific coast.
1. Scuba Diving in Cabo Pulmo National Park
Cabo Pulmo National Park, a marine sanctuary located on the east coast of Baja California Sur, offers one of the most extraordinary scuba diving experiences in the world. Renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life, this underwater paradise is a must-visit for scuba divers
The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the oldest of only three coral reefs on the west coast of North America. Divers are treated to an underwater spectacle of colorful coral gardens, teeming with schools of tropical fish, rays, sea turtles, and tons of diverse sharks. The clear waters and diverse marine ecosystems make it an ideal spot for both beginner and advanced divers.
Dive shops in the area offer guided tours, providing all the necessary equipment and expertise to ensure a safe and memorable experience. The best time to dive here is from June to November, when the water is warmest and visibility is at its peak.
Whether you’re hovering over the thriving coral formations or swimming alongside a school of fish, diving in Cabo Pulmo is an unforgettable adventure.
2. Off-Roading ATV Adventures in Todos Santos
Todos Santos, near Cabo San Lucas, is home to many different adventures and one of the best ways to explore the region’s incredible landscape is with an off-road vehicle. Enjoy an unmatched off-roading experience, taking adventure to a new level in the stunning landscapes of the Baja California Peninsula.
A company like Baja Pirates can provide an opportunity to explore thousands of miles of trails that boast epic views of the Pacific Ocean, majestic desert terrains, and breathtaking mountain vistas.
Their off-road tours are perfect for both families seeking adventure and thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush. The certified guides have extensive knowledge of the region, ensuring a safe and exhilarating experience through the backcountry of Baja. Riders can traverse varied terrains, from rugged desert paths to scenic mountain trails, experiencing the natural beauty and diversity of the area.
3. Kitesurfing in La Ventana
La Ventana, a small fishing village turned kitesurfing haven, is another jewel in Baja California Sur’s crown. Located along the Sea of Cortez, it’s recognized worldwide for its consistent winds, making it an ideal destination for kitesurfing enthusiasts.
From late October to April, the north winds provide perfect conditions for kitesurfing. The bay’s clear blue waters and steady winds attract beginners and seasoned kitesurfers alike.
Numerous kitesurfing schools line the beach just a short walk from the launch area, offering lessons and equipment rentals for all levels. Instructors are well-trained to guide you through the basics or help improve your techniques if you’re more experienced.
Beyond kitesurfing, La Ventana offers a laid-back atmosphere, with beachside restaurants and bars where you can relax after a day on the water. The village hosts annual kitesurfing competitions and festivals, which see a gathering of the kitesurfing community from around the globe, adding to the vibrant energy of this destination.
4. Exploring the Historic Town of Todos Santos
Todos Santos, a charming town with a rich history, is a delightful contrast to the adrenaline-fueled activities in other parts of Baja California Sur. Nestled between the Sierra de la Laguna mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this small town is a treasure trove of history, art, and culture.
A stroll through the town’s cobblestone streets reveals colorful colonial buildings, quaint shops, and art galleries showcasing local and international artists. The iconic “Hotel California,” often associated with the famous Eagles song, is a popular stop for visitors, though its connection to the song is a topic of debate.
Todos Santos is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, hosting music festivals, art walks, and culinary events throughout the year. The town’s surrounding landscape offers beautiful beaches and hiking trails, providing a perfect blend of cultural exploration and outdoor adventure.
Whether you’re sipping a locally brewed coffee in a café or exploring the historic Mission of Santa Rosa de Todos Santos, this town invites you to experience its unique charm at a leisurely pace.
5. Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
Magdalena Bay, on the western coast of Baja California Sur, is a premier destination for whale watching, particularly known for the annual migration of gray whales.
From December to March, these majestic creatures travel to the warm and sheltered waters of the bay to breed and nurse their young, offering an incredible opportunity for visitors to witness these giants up close.
Whale watching tours in Magdalena Bay provide a respectful and awe-inspiring way to observe these whales in their natural habitat. The calm waters of the bay allow for smooth boat rides, making it suitable for all ages.
Experienced whale watching guides offer insights into the lives and habits of the gray whales, enhancing the experience. As you glide through the water, you might also spot dolphins, sea turtles, and various bird species, making it a rich wildlife adventure.
The intimate and respectful encounters with the whales, often coming close to the boats, make this experience not just a viewing but a connection with these magnificent creatures of the sea.
6. Snorkeling with Sea Lions at Espiritu Santo Island
Espiritu Santo Island, a protected natural area and part of the Archipelago de Espiritu Santo National Park, is famous for its colony of playful sea lions. Snorkeling with these friendly creatures is a unique and exhilarating experience, making it a highlight of any trip to Baja California Sur.
Accessible by boat from La Paz, the island’s crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life create an ideal snorkeling environment. The sea lion colony, located at Los Islotes at the northern end of the island, is home to a large number of these animals, who are known for their curious and playful nature in the water.
Snorkeling tours are guided and provide all necessary equipment. In addition to swimming with the sea lions, you can explore the vibrant underwater world of colorful fish, starfish, and perhaps even spot a passing manta ray. The island itself is a beautiful destination, with stunning beaches and hiking trails, offering a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty.
7. Surfing at Los Cerritos Beach, Todos Santos
Los Cerritos Beach, located near the coastal town of Todos Santos, is a surfer’s paradise, known for its consistent waves and beautiful stretch of sand. This beach is ideal for surfers of all levels, from beginners to experienced wave riders.
The beach’s unique geography creates a mix of gentle breaks perfect for beginners and more challenging waves for seasoned surfers. Surf schools and rentals are available right on the beach, offering lessons and equipment. The surf instructors are knowledgeable and friendly, ensuring a fun and safe surfing experience.
Apart from surfing, Los Cerritos Beach is a wonderful spot for relaxing on the sand, enjoying the warm sun, and watching the surfers and stunning sunsets. The laid-back atmosphere, combined with the rhythmic sound of waves, makes it a must-visit for anyone looking to catch some waves or just soak in the coastal vibe of Baja California Sur.
8. Deep Sea Fishing off the Coast of Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of Baja California Sur, is a world-renowned destination for deep-sea fishing. The nutrient-rich waters here are home to an abundance of marine life, making it a prime spot for anglers looking to catch marlin, sailfish, tuna, and dorado.
Deep-sea fishing charters are a staple in Cabo San Lucas, offering experiences suitable for both novices and experienced fishermen.
These charters provide all the necessary equipment and are led by experienced captains and crews who know the best fishing spots and techniques. Whether you’re looking to participate in a competitive fishing tournament or simply enjoy a day out on the water, the thrill of reeling in a big catch is an unforgettable experience.
The excitement of the chase, the beauty of the open ocean, and the potential for a record-breaking catch make deep-sea fishing off the coast of Cabo San Lucas a must-do activity for any fishing enthusiast.
9. Kayaking in the Bahía de Loreto National Park
The Bahía de Loreto National Park, a marine protected area in the Sea of Cortez, offers some of the most beautiful kayaking experiences in Mexico. The park features stunning coastlines, crystal-clear waters, and a rich array of marine life.
Kayaking in the calm waters of the park allows you to explore at your own pace, with opportunities to see dolphins, sea turtles, and countless species of fish. The highlight for many is paddling alongside the park’s five main islands, each boasting unique landscapes and secluded beaches.
The tranquility of kayaking in this pristine environment is unmatched. Whether you choose a guided boat tour or rent a kayak to explore on your own, the experience of gliding over the clear waters with the backdrop of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range is both peaceful and exhilarating.
10. Hiking the Trails of Sierra de la Laguna
The Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, a biosphere reserve located near Todos Santos, offers some of the most scenic and diverse hiking in Baja California Sur. The range is known for its unique flora and fauna, and the trails wind through various landscapes, from desert to lush forests.
The trails cater to all levels of hikers, from short, easy walks to challenging multi-day treks. One of the most popular hikes is the climb to the top of the Sierra de la Laguna, where you are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding desert and the Pacific Ocean.
Hiking in the Sierra de la Laguna is not just a physical activity; it’s an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty of Baja California Sur. The tranquility of the mountains, combined with the chance to see wildlife like deer, foxes, and various bird species, makes this a must-do for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
11. Cultural Tour of San José del Cabo’s Art District
San José del Cabo, known for its vibrant art scene, offers a rich cultural experience in its Art District. A cultural tour of this area is a journey through cobblestone streets lined with galleries showcasing an array of contemporary and traditional art by local and international artists.
The Art District is home to a variety of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, and folk art. Many galleries also host workshops and live demonstrations, allowing visitors to engage with artists and understand their creative processes. The district comes alive particularly during the Art Walk, a weekly event where galleries open their doors in the evening, often accompanied by live music and wine tastings.
Exploring San José del Cabo’s Art District is not just about viewing art; it’s an immersive experience that offers a deeper understanding of the region’s culture, history, and artistic expressions.
12. Sunset Sailing around The Arch of Cabo San Lucas
One of the most iconic and breathtaking experiences in Cabo San Lucas is a sunset sailing trip around the famous Arch, a stunning natural rock formation at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. This excursion provides a unique perspective of the Arch and the surrounding beaches, with the added romance and tranquility of a sunset backdrop.
These sailing tours often include amenities like snacks, drinks, and even a chance to swim or snorkel in the calm waters near Lover’s Beach. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky lights up in vibrant hues, creating a picturesque setting that’s perfect for photography or simply soaking in the natural beauty.
Whether it’s a luxurious yacht or a more intimate sailboat, a sunset sail around the Arch is a must-do for a memorable and romantic evening in Cabo San Lucas.
13. ATV Desert Adventure in the Baja Dunes
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, an ATV adventure through the Baja dunes offers an exciting way to explore the desert landscape of Baja California Sur. This exhilarating experience takes you through sandy dunes, rugged trails, and sometimes even along beautiful coastal paths.
Guided ATV tours cater to all skill levels, providing instructions and safety briefings to ensure a fun and secure ride. These tours allow you to navigate the unique terrain of the Baja desert, offering a mix of high-speed thrills and opportunities to admire the stark beauty of the desert.
An ATV desert adventure is not just about speed and excitement; it’s also an opportunity to see parts of Baja’s landscape that are otherwise inaccessible, making it a favorite for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
14. Sampling Local Cuisine in La Paz’s Waterfront Restaurants
La Paz, the capital city of Baja California Sur, offers a culinary adventure with its array of waterfront restaurants serving local cuisine. Sampling the local dishes here is not just about eating; it’s an experience that reflects the region’s cultural and culinary heritage.
A few restaurants along the waterfront are famous for their fresh seafood, including dishes like fish tacos, ceviche, and grilled octopus, all caught locally. Many places also offer traditional Mexican cuisine, providing a taste of authentic flavors and recipes passed down through generations. Dining in these restaurants often comes with stunning views of the Sea of Cortez, adding a scenic backdrop to your meal.
Exploring La Paz’s culinary scene gives you a deeper appreciation of the region’s flavors and the skill of its local chefs, making it a must-do for food enthusiasts.
15. Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Playa Balandra
Balandra beach, known for its crystal-clear waters and serene beauty, is a perfect spot for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This activity offers a unique way to explore the calm waters and pristine environment of one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.
SUP at Playa Balandra is suitable for all skill levels, including beginners. The calm and shallow waters make it easy to learn and navigate. Paddleboarding here allows you to glide over the water’s surface, offering a peaceful way to explore the coves and mangroves of Balandra. It’s also a great opportunity for wildlife viewing, with chances to see marine life like fish and rays up close.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing way to enjoy the water or a bit of gentle exercise amidst stunning natural surroundings, SUP at Playa Balandra is an activity that beautifully combines both.
16. Star Gazing in the Baja Desert
The Baja Desert offers one of the most spectacular settings for stargazing, free from the light pollution of major cities. The clear desert skies provide a perfect canvas for viewing constellations, planets, and meteor showers, making it an astronomer’s paradise.
Several tour operators offer guided stargazing experiences, where experts share their knowledge about the night sky and help identify various celestial bodies through telescopes. These tours often include a nighttime desert trek, enhancing the sense of adventure.
Lying under the vast expanse of the starlit sky in the tranquility of the Baja Desert is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience, offering a unique perspective on the universe and our place within it. This activity is perfect for families, couples, or anyone looking to experience the natural wonders of the night sky.
17. Attending the Cabo San Lucas Film Festival
The Cabo San Lucas Film Festival is an annual event that celebrates the art of filmmaking, attracting cinema enthusiasts from around the world. This festival showcases a diverse range of films, including international features, documentaries, and shorts, often with a focus on Latin American cinema.
The festival not only screens an array of compelling films but also hosts workshops, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors. These events provide a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the filmmaking process and the themes explored in the films. The festival’s setting in Cabo San Lucas, with its stunning beaches and vibrant atmosphere, adds to the allure of the event.
Attending the Cabo San Lucas Film Festival is a must for movie buffs and anyone interested in the cultural and artistic scene of Baja California Sur.
18. Golfing at Championship Courses in Los Cabos
Los Cabos is renowned for its world-class golf courses, attracting golfers of all skill levels from across the globe. The region boasts several championship courses designed by some of the most famous names in golf, set against the backdrop of the stunning Sea of Cortez and desert landscapes.
These courses are known for their challenging layouts, impeccable maintenance, and beautiful scenery. Playing a round of golf in Los Cabos is not just a sporting activity; it’s an experience that combines the pleasure of the game with the natural beauty of the surroundings. Many of these courses also offer high-end amenities, including clubhouses and training facilities, to enhance your golfing experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, teeing off on one of Los Cabos’ premier golf courses is an unforgettable experience that combines sport, relaxation, and scenic beauty.
19. Visiting the San Javier Mission in Loreto
The San Javier Mission, located in the mountains near Loreto, is a historic and cultural landmark of Baja California Sur. Founded in the early 18th century, this mission is one of the best-preserved Jesuit missions in the region and offers a glimpse into the area’s colonial past.
A visit to the San Javier Mission involves a scenic drive through the mountains, with stunning views of the rugged landscape. The mission itself, with its impressive stone architecture and tranquil setting, is a peaceful retreat from the more tourist-centric areas of Baja California Sur. Inside, you can see ornate religious artifacts and learn about the mission’s history and its role in the region’s development.
Exploring the San Javier Mission is a journey back in time and a chance to appreciate the rich history and cultural heritage of Loreto and Baja California Sur.
20. Horseback Riding on the Beaches of Los Cabos
Horseback riding on the pristine beaches of Los Cabos offers a serene and picturesque way to explore the region’s natural beauty. This activity combines the thrill of horseback riding with the tranquil ambiance of the sea, creating an unforgettable experience.
Guided tours are available for riders of all skill levels, including beginners. You’ll ride along the shoreline, feeling the gentle sea breeze and listening to the soothing sound of the waves. These tours often venture into the surrounding desert landscapes, offering a glimpse of the diverse ecosystems in the area.
Whether you’re an experienced equestrian or a first-time rider, horseback riding on the beaches of Los Cabos is a peaceful and unique way to connect with nature and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery.
21. Exploring the Underwater Sand Falls in Cabo San Lucas
The underwater sand falls in Cabo San Lucas are a unique and mesmerizing natural phenomenon, discovered by famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. Located near the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, these sand falls are created by underwater currents that push sand over the edges of submerged rock formations, creating a waterfall-like effect.
Diving or snorkeling to witness the sand falls offers a one-of-a-kind underwater adventure. Experienced dive operators in the area offer guided excursions to this fascinating site. As you descend, you’ll witness the sand cascading down the rock faces, a sight that is both surreal and beautiful.
This diving experience is recommended for intermediate to advanced divers due to the depth and currents in the area. Exploring the underwater sand falls is a must-do for adventure seekers and underwater enthusiasts looking for a unique addition to their diving experiences.
22. Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe
Valle de Guadalupe, often referred to as the Napa Valley of Mexico, is a hidden gem for wine enthusiasts and a delightful escape into the world of viniculture. Located in Baja California Sur, this lush valley is home to a burgeoning wine scene, boasting an impressive array of boutique wineries and vineyards.
A wine tasting tour in Valle de Guadalupe is a journey through the diverse and rich flavors of Mexican wines. The region is known for its unique blends and varietals, including Tempranillo, Grenache, and Nebbiolo, reflecting the area’s distinct terroir. Many wineries offer guided tastings, where experts walk you through the nuances of each wine, often paired with gourmet local cuisine that complements the tasting experience.
The scenic landscapes of Valle de Guadalupe, with its rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, add to the charm of the wine tasting adventure. The valley also hosts various wine festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating the region’s wine-making heritage and community.
Exploring the wineries of Valle de Guadalupe is not only about savoring excellent wines; it’s about immersing yourself in the culture, history, and flavors of Baja California Sur’s renowned wine country.
23. Snorkeling at Playa Palmilla
Playa Palmilla, a serene and picturesque beach in Baja California Sur, offers one of the most delightful snorkeling experiences in the region. Located near San Jose del Cabo, this beach is known for its clear, calm waters and abundant marine life.
Nestled in a protected bay outside of San Jose del Cabo, Playa Palmilla’s waters are typically calm, making it an ideal spot for beginners to get their feet wet in the world of snorkeling. The underwater world here is vibrant and teeming with life. As you float on the surface, you can expect to see a colorful array of tropical fish, rays, and sometimes even gentle sea turtles.
The beach itself is a slice of paradise, with soft sand and picturesque views, perfect for relaxing after your snorkeling adventure. For those who don’t have their own gear, snorkeling equipment can easily be rented from nearby shops in San Jose del Cabo.
Playa Palmilla’s combination of natural beauty, both above and below the water, makes it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the underwater wonders of Baja California Sur.
24. Snorkeling with Whale Sharks in La Paz
Snorkeling with whale sharks in Baja California Sur offers an awe-inspiring and unforgettable experience. These gentle giants, the largest fish in the sea, frequent the warm waters and rocky coastline of the region, providing a unique opportunity to witness them up close in their natural habitat.
La Paz is known as a common whale shark destination, where these magnificent creatures come to feed on plankton. The clear waters of the Sea of Cortez provide excellent visibility, allowing snorkelers to observe the whale sharks in all their majesty. Despite their size, whale sharks are known for being docile and harmless to humans, making this experience suitable for all levels of snorkelers.
Guided tours are led by experienced guides who ensure a safe and respectful encounter with the whale sharks. They provide insights into the behavior and conservation of these majestic animals, enhancing the educational aspect of the adventure. Swimming alongside these gentle giants is not just an exhilarating experience but also a chance to connect with the marine environment in a profound and memorable way.
25. Sport Fishing in Cabo San Lucas
Sport fishing in Cabo San Lucas is a world-class experience, drawing anglers from all over the globe to the rich waters of the Baja Peninsula. Known as the “Marlin Capital of the World,” Cabo San Lucas offers some of the best deep-sea fishing opportunities, where enthusiasts can pursue a wide range of game fish.
The waters off the coast of Cabo are teeming with marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado (mahi-mahi), and wahoo, among other species. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the thrill of hooking a big fish in these waters is an unparalleled experience. Various fishing charters and boat tours are available, providing state-of-the-art fishing boats equipped with the latest gear and led by experienced crews who know the best fishing spots and techniques.
Most charters offer half-day or full-day trips, allowing you to customize your fishing adventure. The excitement of the chase, the stunning ocean backdrop, and the chance to reel in a trophy catch make sport fishing in Cabo San Lucas an unforgettable adventure for any fishing enthusiast.
26. Soaking in Puertocitos Hot Springs
Puertocitos Hot Springs, located along the serene coastline of Baja California Sur, offers a unique and relaxing experience amidst the natural beauty of the region. These natural hot springs, situated right on the edge of the Sea of Cortez, provide a perfect blend of therapeutic warmth and stunning ocean views.
The hot springs are a series of naturally formed tidal pools, with temperatures that vary depending on the tide. As the tide goes out, the pools are warmed by geothermal heat, creating a soothing and natural hot tub experience. Soaking in these mineral-rich waters is not only relaxing but also believed to have healing properties, offering relief from muscle aches and stress.
Visiting the hot springs offers a chance to unwind with the whole family in a tranquil and picturesque setting. The remote location adds to the charm, giving a sense of escape and connection with nature. Whether you’re soaking under the bright sun or enjoying a warm dip under the stars, the hot springs provide a unique and memorable way to experience the natural wonders of Baja California Sur.
The Incredible and Diverse Adventures in Baja California
Baja California Sur is a land of unparalleled beauty and diverse adventures, offering something special for every type of traveler. From the thrill of snorkeling with whale sharks and sport fishing in Cabo San Lucas to the relaxation of soaking in Puertocitos Hot Springs, this Mexican paradise caters to all tastes and preferences.
Each activity we’ve explored is a testament to the region’s rich natural landscapes and vibrant culture, promising unforgettable experiences that beckon you to return.
We hope this journey through the best things to do in Baja California Sur has inspired your next adventure. But the beauty of travel is that there’s always more to discover.
So, we’d love to hear from you! Share your own experiences and suggestions for hidden gems in Baja California Sur.
What are your favorite spots and activities in this stunning part of the world?
Your insights could be the key to uncovering even more of the wonders that Baja California Sur has to offer.