Baja California at a Glance
Located on the Baja peninsula, the state of Baja California lies between the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean and borders the U.S. state of California to the North. This stunning, 1200km strip is a traveller’s paradise, featuring pristine beaches, towering mountains, profound rocky canyons and the desert oasis’.
History and Culture
Humans have inhabited the Baja peninsula for thousands of years. There were three distinct indigenous groups: Cochimi, Guaycura and Pericu. Descendants of these hunter-gatherer tribes can still be found on the peninsula.
During the period of Spanish colonisation, the peninsula was explored by Hernan Cortes in 1532 and Captain Francisco de Ulloa in 1539. It wasn’t until the 17th century, in 1683, that Spain sent ships to colonise the region.
After the Mexican-American War between 1846 and 1848, the state of Baja California was part of U.S. territory but was eventually returned due to it’s proximity to the state of Sonora just across the Gulf of California.
Where To Go and What To Do in Baja California
The Baja peninsula is immense which can become overwhelming when planning your trip! Here are our top recommendations of places you should stop by on your travels, as well as activities that each offers!
This is the capital of the Baja California
state which is the northern side of the peninsula. It’s a sprawling industrial city but it also has a unique culture and history behind it. It boasts a huge immigrant population from China which has led to an intriguing yet delicious Mexican-Chinese food scene. Learn more about the city’s culture at the Casa de Cultura
and La Chinesca
– an underground Chinatown! This network of basements and tunnels also played a huge part in bootlegging during prohibition in the 1920s, and is a wonderful insight into the regions unique heritage.
This large city lies right on the U.S.-Mexico border
and is just a stones throw from San Diego. It’s earned its name as the most crossed border in the world, which has made it a vibrant melting pot of cultures. In recent years the city has revived itself as a centre for urban art and a new up-and-coming bar scene as well as craft beer ventures puts it on the map for any travellers in the region!
This small town and National Park
(of the same name) lies at the very southeastern side of Baja California on the coast of the Gulf of California. It’s widely considered to be one of the best spots for diving and snorkelling. Here, you can discover the only Pacific coral reef in the Sea of Cortez!
Cabo San Lucas
Commonly referred to as Land’s End, this jagged coastline is the southernmost tip
of the Baja peninsula. It is most well-known for its beaches and nightlife, as well as numerous water-sports on offer! Take advantage of the waters for snorkelling
and diving, or go parasailing
for panoramic views of this beautiful region!
It’s also a great place to spot some of Mexico’s fantastic wildlife; the area is a hotspot for humpback whales and there are whale-watching tours
leaving from the town. You can also get up close to whale sharks on a snorkelling tour
This coastal town is the capital of Baja California Sur and has an intriguing history which includes American occupation and even being declared an independent republic in 1854! It’s a perfect place to enjoy beaches and water-sports, as well as the small town cosmopolitan vibe.
When is the best time to visit Baja California
Baja California is a year-round destination with temperatures varying between lows of 26C/79F in January and 33C/91F in July.
We recommend visiting in January to March when temperatures are comfortable; it is also the prime time for whale sightings!
July to September sees the most rain and hurricanes are also likely in the region during these months, so avoid planning your trip around then.
The Keteka difference
Keteka grants access to authentic activities run by local tour operators and guides. You can book and secure your place in advance, and we will take care of everything else. We’ll let you know where to go or where you will be picked up and at what time.
How to get to Baja California
From San Diego, the Line 9455 bus operated by Greyhound
takes you to the San Ysidro transit centre
on the border. Once across the border, take onward transport into the city.
Alternatively, make your way to San Luis Rio Colorado
and take a bus from there for $5-8 USD. The journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
From the U.S.A. there are no direct flights to Tijuana, but it is within easy driving distance from San Diego. Catch a national flight here and transfer easily across the border by the public bus Line 9455 (see above).
For Mexicali, catch a national flight to Yuma where you can take overland transport to Mexicali (see above).
From Mexico, flights operate from Mexico City to either Tijuana (4 hours 45 minutes) or Mexicali (5 hours). Routes are operated by Interjet
, and Volaris
. The cost is in the region of $60-$180 USD for a round-trip, depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book.