Baja California Sur by the Numbers: Counting Down Some of the Signature Figures Associated with the Peninsula’s Southernmost State
7,500 – Estimated age in years of the first primitive rock and cave paintings in Baja California Sur
The Great Mural Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in parts of Baja California and Baja California Sur that features rock and cave paintings of human and animal figures – including fish, snakes, turtles, rabbits and deer. The primarily red and black pictographs are attributed to the Cochimis, a hunting and gathering tribe who were the original inhabitants of the central portion of the Baja California peninsula. Although dates of these primitive rock and cave paintings are often disputed, recent carbon dating suggests they may extend back as far as 7,500 years.
7,090 – Height in feet of El Picacho in the Sierra de La Laguna
Mountains descend into desert, and the desert falls into the sea…to the East in the Sea of Cortez, and to the West in the Pacific Ocean. All of this majesty is visible…and more…from El Picacho, the highest peak (7,090) in the Sierra de la Laguna, the mountain range that runs like a spine up the center of Baja California Sur.
1943 – Year Teatro-Cine General Manuel Marquez de Leon opened in Todos Santos
This vintage theater across from the plaza principal in Todos Santos – the peninsula’s southernmost Pueblo Magico – is named for a military hero who helped thwart an attempted U.S. annexation of Baja during the Mexican-American War, and opened when WWII was still raging in Europe. Not only is the theater now an immaculately restored local landmark, it’s the primary cinematic venue used during the town’s annual film festival.
1535 – Year La Paz was sighted by Hernan Cortes
May 3, 2015 marked the 480th anniversary of the birth of Baja Sur’s capital city, an event celebrated annually during the Fiestas de Fundacion in La Paz with an reenactment of the coming of Hernan Cortes and the Spaniards in 1535. The multi day foundation festival also serves as a showcase for local art, culture and cuisine, with activities and concerts centered around the malecon and Plaza Constitucion (also known as Jardin Velasco), the central plaza located across from the old church.
1213 – Weight in pounds of the largest blue marlin caught off Cabo San Lucas
In 2011, angler Richard Biehl of Traverse City, Michigan, and the crew of the 31’ fishing boat Go Deep spent 28 hours fighting – and landing – an enormous blue marlin estimated at 1,213 pounds (the fish was so large it was impossible to fit on the scale, and was weighed with a formula that measured length and girth). Although no official records are kept, it is thought by many to be the largest blue marlin ever caught off Cabo San Lucas, besting an 1,111 pounder reeled in during the 1980s.
18 – 24 – Tyical Winter wind speeds in knots at Los Barriles and La Ventana
Each year, from November to March, powerful El Norte winds blow down the Sea of Cortez, creating world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions off East Cape towns like Los Barriles and La Ventana. Resorts like Captain Kirk’s in La Ventana cater to seasonal big-air riders, but to catch a glimpse of windsports royalty, visit Los Barriles in January, when the charming coastal community hosts the ultimate kiteboarding competition: the Lord of the Wind Showdown.
8 – Fingers of hard coral reef at Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park
Windsports aren’t the only attraction on the rugged and beautiful East Cape. The national marine sanctuary and UNESCO world heritage site at Cabo Pulmo not only boasts the highest concentration of fish in the Sea of Cortez, but one of the oldest and largest living reefs in North America, with eight fingers of hard coral. Translation: spectacular snorkeling and diving. Spend your nights at an eco-bungalow on the beach, and your days in an undersea fantasia.
2 – Length in miles of Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas
You don’t have to be a Spring Breaker to appreciate Playa El Medano. The two mile stretch of golden sand is the center of the social scene in Cabo San Lucas, and is ringed by many of the city’s best restaurants and resorts. Baja Cantina Beach Club and The Office on the Beach each showcase weekly Fiestas Mexicanas with fireworks and folkloric dancing, while Mango Deck is patrolled by a Pancho Villa look-alike named Big Johnson, who carries tequila bottles in holsters, and shot glasses in crisscrossed bandoliers. Safe swimming is available in the placid bay, and high-flying activities options like flyboarding and parasailing are also offered.
1 – Highway that runs the length of the peninsula
Completed in 1973, the Carretara Transpeninsular, or Highway 1, runs the length of the Baja California peninsula, covering over 1000 miles from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Looking for road trip adventures in Baja Sur? Stay on Highway 1. You’ll wind your way through many of the state’s most popular destinations – from Guerrero Negro, Mulege and Loreto to La Paz and San Jose del Cabo – before finally finishing at kilometer marker 1, near Land’s End and the southernmost point of the peninsula.
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