Are you planning a trip to Baja California Sur ? I travelled across Baja California Sur by bus for two weeks. Based on my experience, I kept the best to create a tailor-made itinerary so you don’t have to ! This is a bus-friendly itinerary but I will offer some alternative destinations, doable by tour or car. So here is my 10 days itinerary in Baja California Sur! I will give you some tips to get off the beaten track in Baja California Sur.
- 2 days in San Jose del Cabo
- 4 days in La Paz
- 4 days in Loreto
- Alternative destinations
- What I thought of Baja California Sur
2 days in San Jose del Cabo, the southern city in Baja California
We stayed few days in San Jose del Cabo because we arrived and departed from San Jose airport. Also we heard it was place for surfing. We chose this place over Cabo San Lucas because this one is super touristic and we prefer to avoid that.
The beaches of San Jose del Cabo
Unfortunately, I didn’t had a good feeling with the beaches of San Jose del Cabo. They are lined with hotels and private complexes, which completely spoils the place, and makes the beaches difficult to access. It’s a pity because some beaches are beautiful.
We still took the opportunity to try the surf spot on one of these beaches. Honestly, that was a huge disappointment. If you want to find good spots, you need to go out of town, which implies to have a car (no bus). Moreover, some surf shops are just tourist traps. So, if you want to rent a board, you have to be careful.
The city centre of San Jose del Cabo
The city centre is cute and it’s nice wandering in it. The streets are colourful and you can find nice coffees and restaurants. But it’s too bad that it has lost its authenticity where the dollars is the most used currency.
Hiking in San Jose del Cabo
Mostly, there are possibilities to get off the beaten track. If you like hiking, there are some beautiful viewpoints to reach. For instance, the Cerro de las Chivas offers a beautiful view of the mountains and the sea. It’s an easy hike to do (around one hour round trip). Plus, you only need to walk about 20 minutes from the city centre to join the start of the hike. I advise you to go there to watch the sunset.
Another nice walk is to join the estuary bird lookout. It is a tropical estuary that you can easily reach from the city centre, and the path leads to the beach.
To sum up, I would say it was convenient to stay because we arrived at the airport of San Jose. So, it depends on what you are looking for, but I would advise not to stay longer than 2 days.
If you have a car, there are amazing places in the surroundings to visit. For instance, Cabo Pulmo is the most important natural marine areas of the region. If you don’t have a car, there are also day tours organized, leaving from San Jose del Cabo, but it’s quite expensive.
4 days in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur
Our next step of the 10 days itinerary was La Paz, a bit further north in Baja California Sur. To get there, we took a direct bus from San Jose with the company Aguila. The trip was enjoyable as you are crossing the desert and vast expanses of cactus. We stayed 4 days in total in La Paz. Once arrived, I can feel a complete other atmosphere compared to San Jose.
Discover the city centre
For our first day in La Paz, we decided to wander in the city centre. We walked along the Malecon (seafront), visit the two mercados, went to the main square where the Museum of Art is. The Malecon is also a nice spot where to watch the sunset.
Where to eat :
📍 Tacofish : Great tacos with seafood, I recommend the coconut fried shrimps, a delight! – Gral Manuel Márquez de León, La Paz
📍 Claros Fish Jr. : A great place to try local specialities – Luis Donaldo Colosio 898, La Paz
The Bahia Puerto Balandra
On the next day, we planned to explore the Bahia Puerto Balandra. The beach of Balandra was closed during the time we were there. Maybe for the best. Thanks to some locals we met along the way, we made our way to a little-known, but equally beautiful beach. As a bonus, we were the only ones there. It’s a bit of a walk from El Tecolote beach to get there, but it’s well worth it.
Playa El Coromuel
There are several nice beaches close to La Paz. The closest is the beach El Coromuel. It is easily accessible and within walking distance of the city. It’s a nice walk back to La Paz along the coast. Particularly the hour before the sunset to enjoy the golden hour by the sea.
Excursion to the Isla Espiritu Santo
On our last day in La Paz, we went on a boat excursion to an island, the Isla Espiritu Santo. This island is truly impressive and offers a beautiful landscape. The expedition to the Isla Espiritu Santo was definitely the best experience I had in La Paz.
We took a boat to the very end of the island. During the trip, we were amazed by the cliffs we were passing along. Then, I could experienced the most beautiful snorkeling site I have ever been to, and swam with sea lions. As the last step of the excursion, we stopped on a beach, where the color of the water is crystal clear. A fantastic environment to enjoy a last swim in this creek.
4 days in Loreto, a great place for outdoor activities
The trip to join Loreto from La Paz was even more beautiful. The bus drove us between the mountains and cactuses so we could enjoy the incredible landscape.
Once arrived, we could see that Loreto is a beautiful fishing town. Located at the foot of the mountains, in front of the sea, Loreto was originally the capital of the state. It has now the title of Pueblo Magico of Mexico. We stayed 4 days which was enough to enjoy the town and to do an excursion to a volcanic island.
Loreto, one of the most beautiful town of Baja California Sur
Loreto is a beautiful small town by the sea. It was definitely my favorite place of the 10 days itinerary in Baja California. It is peaceful and charming, and his promenade offers a great view on the surroundings islands. What I loved about Loreto is that I feel like this town really kept its authencity.
I loved to start the day watching the sunrise from the promenade. It was so calm. Only the fishermen were already working on their boat.
Where to eat & have a drink :
📍 Buena Vida : best place to try the local specialties – Jorge Luis Borges, Zaragoza, Loreto
📍 El Andador Café : Nice place to have a coffee and breakfast with a beautiful view from the terrace – Andador Juan María de Salvatierra, Centro, Loreto
Exploring the Isla Coronado
We went for a boat ride to the Isla Corona. The island is an extinct volcano which makes it really special. We also had the opportunity to swim with sea lions and to see some beautiful fishes. We stopped at an amazing beach were the water was so clear. It was great to observe the marine life. Also, there were much less persons doing this tour (compared to Isla Espiritu Santo) when we were there, so we could enjoy the island almost to ourselves.
The surroundings of Loreto
There are some beautiful spots in the surroundings. Unfortunately, it’s only accessible by car (no public transport in the area). You can still ask for a taxi, but the locals will advise you to rent a car for the day because it way cheaper.
We heard a lot about San Javier, which is a town in the mountains. It’s about one hour driving from Loreto. The place is renown for his mission church. There is also a nice hike to do.
The Canyon Tabor is also a nice place to go if you like hiking. It is located at 20 minutes by car south of Loreto.
- If you like adventure / outdoor activities :
If we had more time, we would definitely went to Mulegé, which is is a small town in the northern part of the state of Baja California Sur.
- If you like surfing :
Todos Santos (accessible by bus). We just didn’t choose this destination because it is quite touristic. The Playa Cerritos is quite know to be a good surfing spot for beginners. This beach is near Todos Santos. It is also easy to make a day trip from La Paz (1h30 by car).
What I thought of Baja California Sur during my 10 days itinerary
I am going to be honest, I have mixed feelings regarding Baja California del Sur. I had a good time in Baja California, the landscapes are beautiful, the wildlife impressive, which allow some stunning excursions. Indeed the landscapes are very different from what I had seen in Mexico until then, very arid, expanses of cactus, and impressive canyons. Moreover the food specialties, based on seafood, are delicious.
Nevertheless, the region is a victim of mass tourism, mainly American, which has driven up prices in the region. In some places, the dollar is even the most common currency. All this gave me the impression that the place is spoilt and denatured, redesigned for tourists. This also leads to certain aberrations, such as huge golf courses on the coast…
Fortunately, it is not the case everywhere. And even in this kind of places, it is still possible to find some beautiful spots without any tourists (who, thanks god, doesn’t bother to venture out there). Those are the hidden gems I like to find during my trips.
That was my 10 days itinerary in Baja California Sur ! I hope this guide will be usefull for you to get off the beaten track! To follow my adventure in Mexico, join me on Instagram!
Found out others travel guides in different regions of Mexico here !