Who doesn’t love a road trip (parents of small children may abstain from answering)? For long time American residents of Los Cabos, the mother of all road trips involves traversing over 1000 miles of Baja to cross the border and pick up books, clothes, furniture, and other luxuries. Then it is another 1000 miles back across the desert. For visitors, nothing so grandiose is suggested, although day trips around Baja California Sur and away from the tourist centers of Los Cabos are definitely recommended for those seeking a more authentic experience of Mexico. Car rentals in Los Cabos are quite affordable, although vehicles that can handle rough terrain are more expensive, if necessary for some trips.
A great day trip up the West Cape of Baja Sur begins with a morning stop in Migrino for a little dune buggy racing across the beach as the Pacific waves roll in, courtesy of Baja Buggys. Next, it is off to Cerritos, where you can relax on the beach, rent boogie or surf boards by the hour, or enjoy excellent food and drink at Cerritos Beach Club & Surf. After lunch, drive to a pueblo magico, the artists’ colony of Todos Santos. Wander around and view this historic Mexican town from the boom times of silver mining and sugar cane, hang out at the historic Hotel California, explore the old hotels and the world class paintings hung at the local galleries by artists such as Ezra Katz. Don’t forget to go to the free Todos Santos Cultural Center, where you can view an original Frieda Kahlo and wall paintings from the Mexican mural period of the 1930s, as well as artifacts from local heroes of the revolution, and a recreation of a traditional Mexican village. If you want to stay overnight, get a room at the Hotel California. The next morning, contact Todos Santos Eco Adventures for one of their tours to La Candelaria, a traditional mountain village with produces exquisite pottery. On the drive back to San Lucas, stop at Art and Beer, the psychedelic roadside cantina just south of Pescadero, for chocolate clams and blueberry margaritas.
If you want to explore the East Cape, make sure you have the all-terrain vehicle. Begin with a morning visit to the zoo and saddlery in Santiago before driving endlessly down dirt roads (when you are sure you are lost for the third time, you will be close) until you reach the healing hot springs of Agua Caliente. After a dip, drive back to Santiago for a late lunch at Palomar, an excellent restaurant and hotel. Make sure you check out their enormous stuffed marlin. After lunch, stop to look at the scenic village of Miraflores, known for the longevity of their residents, before the drive up to La Paz, the capital city of Baja Sur. Check out the beautiful bronze sculptures along the Malecon, and if you’re feeling adventurous, have a panga driver take you out for a little swimming with whale sharks. If you’d rather hit the golf course at twilight, head down to Costa Baja, the first five star resort in La Paz, and play their terrific Gary Player designed course. After staying the night at Costa Baja, drive down the east coast to Cabo Pulmo, a small village known for the living coral reef offshore, the oldest and largest in the Western Hemisphere. The array of fish you can see here is enormous. The Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort has a dive shop for equipment rentals, and they also offer solar powered bungalows if you’d like to stay overnight. Eventually make your way back to San Jose del Cabo for dinner at The Hill Top, a French restaurant with stunning wraparound views. Celebrate the end of your journey in style.