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Reading Baja: 5 Classic Books about the Baja California Peninsula

Books about the Baja California peninsula (and ones that utilize it as a setting) have been appearing regularly for hundreds of years, from landmarks like Francisco Clavijero’s Historia de la Antigua o Baja California to 20th century standards such as The Pearl and Sea of Cortez.

Literary offerings from Steinbeck and others of similar prestige have always been easy to find, but for too long acquiring the important regional works of lesser known authors was a daunting task, requiring wit, wisdom and the patience to scan the shelves of innumerable bookstores.

Luckily, the internet shopping age has brought many of the classics of Baja California literature back to light, and made them readily accessible to a new generation of readers. Here are five favorites – some famous, some relatively obscure – all available through Amazon and other online booksellers.

books about the Baja California peninsulaHistoria de Baja California by Pablo L. Martinez

“The origin of the word California, or rather when and how it was applied as a name to the peninsula, appears to be obscure, speaking from a purely historical point of view. It is not known, of course, whether Fortún Jiménez, the discoverer, or some other person among those who went with him, gave it a name. On the other hand, we have seen that when Cortez went there he called it Santa Cruz and nothing else.”

There is a reason Pablo L. Martinez is honored at the Jardín de los Cabeños Ilustres in San José del Cabo (he was born in nearby Santa Anita), and at the Rotonda de los Sudcalifornianos Ilustres in La Paz. His Historia de Baja California is the most complete and exhaustively researched book every written about “old Baja,” from the language and customs of indigenous tribes to the building of Spanish missions and the political movements of the first half of the 20th century. First published in 1956 (the English edition followed in 1960), this is an essential resource for anyone interested in the history and development of the Baja California peninsula. Unlike other Baja histories, which often rely on legends and lore, Martinez’s magnum opus is based on archival records, first-person accounts, and the documented finds of other noted historians. His companion volume, Guía Familiar de Baja California, 1700 – 1900, is the bible of Baja genealogists, tracing as it does the histories of the peninsula’s pioneer families.

books about the Baja California peninsula

The Journey of the Flame by Antonio de Fierro Blanco

“‘Shut up, Bonehead!’ whispered his mate. ‘They’ll think you locoed by the sun, and souse a bucket of water over your thick skull. It’s Don Juan Obrigon – Juan Colorado. Or perhaps you’ve heard him called Red John.’

“‘Or The Flame,’ suggested an aged Indian politely. ‘When I handled a bowstring, he once destroyed the warriors of a wild tribe by fire, which sprang from the earth at his command. They perished in flame while he rode on, not even looking back to see whether any survived to chase him.’”

Looking for “The Great Baja Novel?” Written under the rather florid pen name Antonio de Fierro Blanco, this picaresque tale is actually the work of wealthy American businessman Walter Nordhoff, who fell in love with Baja California while managing an enormous ranch his father owned on the peninsula. Although he is perhaps best known as a father himself – of Charles Nordhoff, who co-authored The Bounty Trilogy (including Mutiny on the Bounty) with James Norman Hall – Walter was a brilliant writer in his own right, as evidenced by The Journey of the Flame. The hero of the novel is an extraordinarily vital red-headed centenarian named Don Juan Obrigon, who recounts an adventure from his boyhood, when he accompanied the Spanish viceroy to California on an epic journey by burro from San José del Cabo to San Francisco. This incredible journey, which takes place in the year 1810, includes stops at many of the peninsula’s most notable towns, with each layover an occasion for Nordhoff to showcase his vast knowledge of the language and local customs of 19th century Baja Califonia residents. First published in 1933, this book is justly considered a masterpiece of California literature, and it has inspired generations of readers to set off on their own Baja adventures.

books about the Baja California peninsula

Explorations in Lower California by J. Ross Browne and Spencer Murray

“At Cape St. Lucas we were told that San Jose was the great place for mules; at San Jose, it was Triunfo that offered the peculiar advantages; at Triunfo, La Paz was the chief market; at La Paz we were recommended to defer our purchases till our arrival at Todos Santos; and here we found but few mules, and none in good condition.”

Ross Browne’s peripatetic career included a stint as a confidential agent (read: spy) for the U.S. Treasury Department, and it has been speculated that the purpose of his 1866 trip to Baja California wasn’t merely to evaluate an option on land grant for the Lower California Company of New York, but to evaluate the suitability of the peninsula for annexation by the United States. México would have had something to say about that, of course, but considering that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – in which the U.S. was ceded all or parts of present day California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado for cash considerations – was signed only 18 years earlier, it wasn’t exactly a far-fetched idea. Browne’s account of his travels in Lower California includes occasionally poetic, and often dryly humorous descriptions of life and the political climate in places like Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, Todos Santos and La Paz. But his blunt opinions make it clear what he really thinks of the region’s long-term outlook. The best edition of this historical account includes commentary from Spencer Murray a century later, in 1966. Murray was an early promoter of Baja California, and his books Cruising the Sea of Cortez and Power-Boating the West Coast of Mexico helped popularize the peninsula as a tourist destination.

books about the Baja California peninsula

Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research by John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts

“The real picture of how it had been there and how we had been there was in our minds, bright with sun and wet with sea water and blue or burned, and the whole crusted over with exploring thought. Here was no service to science, no naming of animals, but rather – we simply liked it. We liked it very much. The brown Indians and the gardens of the sea, and the beer and the work, they were all one thing and we were that one thing too.”

The Log from the Sea of Cortez is probably the best known book ever written about Baja California, although it actually only an abridged version of an earlier work – Sea of Cortez. The Log keeps Steinbeck’s narrative observations, but jettisons most of the notes on specimen collecting and marine biology that were the prime motivators of the six-week expedition undertaken by Steinbeck and his friend Ed Ricketts – the inspiration for the character Doc in Cannery Row – aboard the Western Flyer in 1940. Literature lovers will want to read the original, while casual readers can content themselves with Steinbeck’s musings on boats, beer and Baja as it was just before the U.S. and Mexican entry into World War II. Equal parts travelogue, scientific journal and philosophical treatise, Sea of Cortez offers keen insights into the sea itself – “ferocious with life” in Steinbeck’s memorable phrase – as well as light-hearted ruminations on such things as the faithlessness of the Hansen Sea-Cow outboard motor, the beauty and maddening elusiveness of Sally Lightfoot crabs, and the sad state of Cabo San Lucas following a devastating storm (the latter sure to evoke a sense of retroactive déjà vu in those who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Odile in 2014).

books about the Baja California peninsula

The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez: Baja California’s Golden Age 1947 – 1977, The Life and Writings of Ray Cannon by Gene S. Kira

“Many of the early entrepreneurs of the modern age were airplane pilots of the World War II era who established fly-in fishing resorts on the shores of the Sea of Cortez. The very first pioneers of this group included Abelardo L. ‘Rod’ Rodriguez of Rancho Las Cruces, Ed Tabor of the Flying Sportsmen Lodge, Herb Tansey of Rancho Buena Vista, and Luis Cóppola Bonillas of the Hotel Los Arcos in La Paz. Whether by coincidence or by historical imperative, all four of these former pilots opened their businesses within a few months of each other between 1950 and 1952.”

Despite its surfeit of subtitles – the book might more concisely be called A Celebration of Ray Cannon – this lovingly crafted biography will have special appeal for those who traveled to Baja before the days of paved roads and luxury resorts. Few did more to promote and popularize Baja California in the 1950s and 60s than Cannon, a former Hollywood actor and director whose second act as a columnist for the Western Outdoor News and best-selling author of The Sea of Cortez helped usher in the peninsula’s golden age of tourism. Cannon was a lifelong fisherman – his other notable book was How to Fish the Pacific Coast – and his tales of extraordinary catches south of the border were hugely influential in the success of some of the early fly-in fishing resorts. Kira, himself an accomplished writer on Baja subjects, stitches together a colorful narrative, interspersed with passages from some of Cannon’s old columns, and accompanied by a treasure trove of old photographs that were donated by Cannon’s wife Carla Laemmle. Although Cannon’s own The Sea of Cortez is more properly considered a classic Baja California book, Kira’s historical perspective on Cannon and the peninsula’s development as a whole make this volume a better introduction to one of the region’s most fascinating eras.

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: September Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: September Events in Baja

September is the height of the slow season for most of the Baja California peninsula, but visitors will still find plenty of regional events worth attending, including popular annual festivals that showcase food, comedy, culture and music.

The autumn edition of the Rosarito to Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride is perhaps the season’s signature event, although the Mariachi and Folklorico Festival at the Rosarito Beach Hotel is also highly anticipated. And of course celebrations of Mexican Independence Day will take place September 16 in towns and cities throughout the peninsula.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

 

September Events in Baja

Tijuana:  Love, Eco & Friends – Festival Vegano 

When:  Sep. 6

The 5th edition of this festival celebrating the vegan lifestyle returns with more healthy, delicious and cruelty-free food and drinks, as well as art, music and design from eco-oriented exhibitors.

Cost:  Free admission

 

 

 

Baja California PeninsulaMexican Independence DaySeptember Events in Baja

When:  Sep. 16

Visitors interested in viewing traditional Independence Day observances will find a similar schedule of events in towns and cities around the peninsula, from Tijuana to Los Cabos: a grito reenactment by public officials at 11 p.m. on September 15th,  highlighted  by Hidalgo’s famous rallying cry—which ends with ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!—followed by community celebrations featuring food, drinks, live music and festive firework celebrations.

Cost:  Admission free

 

September Events in Baja

RosaritoCheese, Wine & Craft Beer Festival

When:  Sep. 19

The best Baja California cheeses, wines and craft brews are on display at this free event, with tasty samplers from over 40 participating producers. Arts, crafts and music are also featured.

Cost:  Free admission

 

 

 

 

 

September Events in Baja

Ensenada36th Anniversary Rosarito to Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride

When:  Sep. 26

Dubbed “The Original Party on Wheels,” the 50 mile fun ride started in 1979, when a group of friends pedaled from Rosarito to Ensenada on a lark. Now a biannual event, the scenic rides are among the highlights of the regional social calendar, and conclude with a Finish Line Fiesta featuring food, drinks, souvenirs, live music and massages for participants.

Cost:  $42

 

 

 

September Events in BajaRosarito6th Annual International Mariachi and Folklorico Festival

When:  Sep. 30 Oct. 3

This popular traditional music and dance festival returns to the Rosarito Beach Hotel, with workshops for students, social mixers, an international competition, and feature performances from some of the world’s best mariachi bands, including the Mariachi Divas and Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan.

Cost:  $10 – 100

 

 

 

September Events in Baja

 

Cabo San Lucas:  Cabo Comedy Festival

When:  Sep. 30 Oct. 4

“Where the Land Ends and the Laughs Begins” is the slogan of the Cabo Comedy Festival, a five-day event that will feature some of the most talented comedians in the entertainment industry. Shows will be performed in English and Spanish, and will take place at several venues around Cabo San Lucas, including nightclubs Hard Rock Café, Desperadoes, and Baja Junkie.

Cost:  Ticket prices have yet to be announced.

 

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: August Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: August Events in Baja

Don’t let the dog days get you down. The month of August brings some of the peninsula’s biggest events, most notably the Fiestas de la Vendimia, or harvest festival, in Baja California’s wine country. This annual viticultural celebration features wine tastings, dinners and concerts centered around Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe. Rosarito Beach hosts another signature August bash, The Baja Blues Fest, an outdoor showcase highlighted by live performances from some of the biggest names on the contemporary blues scene.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

August Events in Baja

East CapeBisbee’s East Cape Offshore 

Date:  Aug. 4 – 8

Bisbee’s kicks off its 2015 season with the East Cape Offshore, the first of its three annual fishing tournaments held in Baja California Sur. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three qualifying teams in the billfish (black or blue marlin), tuna and dorado categories.

Admission:  $1500 per team

 

August Events in Baja

EnsenadaFiestas de la Vendimia  

Date:  Aug. 7 – 23

Las Fiestas de la Vendimia are a series of events celebrating the grape harvest in Baja California’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe. Festivities include banquets, concerts and tastings in Ensenada, Tijuana and along the Ruta del Vino.

Admission:  $40 average per event

 

 

August Events in Baja

RosaritoBaja Blues Fest 

Date:  Aug. 21 – 23

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers headline the list of performers at the 4th annual Baja Blues Fest at the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel. Weekend highlights include an all-day, outdoor blues bash showcasing live music from Castro, Deanna Bogart Band, Backwater Blues Band and Bayou Brothers with Michele Lundeen, as well as local artists and food vendors.

Admission:  $10 – 35

 

 

August Events in Baja

RosaritoSabor de Baja 

Date:  Aug. 26 

This elegant “all white attire” event at the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel features a culinary competition among top Baja chefs, as well as generous samplings of some of the peninsula’s finest craft beers and wines.

Admission:  $65

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Baja Campers Corner: Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours Announces New Wagon Masters for Upcoming Season

Surrey, BC – Commencing immediately, Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours are pleased to announce the addition of new Wagon-Masters, Larry and Janet Lammon, for the 2015-2016 season.  Larry & Janet are avid fisherman and campers and have been visiting Baja since the 1960s with their families.  They have been members of Vagabundos del Mar Mexican Travel Club for over two decades, and have been leading RV Caravans for the club for the past three years.

Dan Goy, CEO said “We are thrilled to add Larry & Janet as Wagon-Masters.  Their passion for Baja, familiarity with this rugged terrain and keen desire to introduce other RVers to this magnificent peninsula makes them a perfect fit for Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours.”

Lisa Goy, VP added “Timing is everything and Larry & Janet have joined Baja Amigos as our tours continue to fill up earlier each season.  It’s hard to believe that three of our seven tours from November through early April this year are already filled.”

Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours

Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours have added two new wagon masters for the upcoming season.

“We first met Dan & Lisa a few years ago in Cabo San Lucas while we were both leading an RV Caravan tour group.  We were impressed by their personal approach, on-tour excursions and limiting the caravans to small groups is a great concept.  We are eager to introduce RVers to Baja, Mexico and look forward to our roles as Wagon-Masters for Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours,” stated Janet Lammon.

Larry Lammon said, “I retired at 60 in 2013 and relish our opportunity to spend more time in Baja.  I am confident our experience will serve us well as Baja Amigos Wagon-Masters for years to come and are confident those seeing Baja for the first time will be as amazed with the stunning beauty and wonderful people as we were.  Words really can’t express it; this must be experienced first-hand.”

Larry and Janet were both born and raised in California. They’ve  been married for more than 25 years, raising their family in Los Angeles.  Larry spent many years as a Beverly Hills policeman before embarking on a teaching career with the Los County Office of Education.  Janet spent almost 25 years with the United States Postal Service working as a Letter Carrier and Supervisor.  They now enjoy traveling and fishing with their German Shepard, Sampson.

Fact: Over 1 million Canadians and 30 million Americans currently own RVs, and the Baby Boomer generation is the fastest growing demographic in both countries.  Hundreds of thousands of Canadians and Americans snowbird to the southwestern U.S. within 250 miles of the Mexican border, from San Diego, California to Corpus Christi, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico shoreline each winter.

Vision Statement: Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours strive to exceed expectations from Day 1.  Baja Amigos flourish on past guest referrals and building strong relationships with industry stakeholders in Canada, the United States and Mexico.  Baja Amigos tours are recognized for service excellence, and for delivering a camping experience that is second to none.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: July Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: July Events in Baja

Summer is the slow season on the Baja California peninsula, and the time of year when the event focus traditionally shifts from cultural festivities to water-based activities like fishing, surfing, and diving (with visibility increasing as water temperatures rise). Many of the premier summer events are in fact fishing tournaments, and Los Barriles is home to July’s top sporting competition: the 11th annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out.

A few cultural festivals are on tap this month, however, including the 4th annual Resort at Pedregal Food and Wine Festival. The Cabo San Lucas based ultra-luxury resort is bringing in some big name U.S. chefs, including former French Laundry Chef de Cuisine Tim Hollingsworth, now of Barrel and Ashes in Los Angeles, and Brian Malarkey of Searsucker and Herringbone.

July Events in Baja

No official dates have been set as yet for the 9th annual Pitahayas Festival in Miraflores – the schedule is dependent on when the cactus fruit is at its ripest – but July visitors to Baja California Sur should keep an eye out for this traditional three-day celebration, which showcases eating, drinking, dancing, and the crowning of the queen of the festival. The star of the show is the antioxidant rich fruit that many consider the secret to the notable longevity of residents of this small town, which is located near Santiago, about an hour’s drive north of San Jose del Cabo.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

Rosarito6th Annual Flying Samaritans 4th of July Beach BBQ at the Rosarito Beach Hotel

When:  July 4

Cost:  $8 – 15

The Rosarito branch of the Flying Samaritans – a volunteer organization that operates free medical clinics in Baja California – will celebrate U.S. Independence Day with a party at the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel. Highlights are expected to include barbecue, drinks, a raffle, live music from American Nova, and of course the obligatory fireworks.

July Events in Baja

EnsenadaHarvest Festival Bottle Launch

When:  July 11

Cost:  Free admission

Dive in and catch a bottle to win wine, souvenirs, prizes, and tickets to the Fiestas de la Vendimia, a series of annual events celebrating the grape harvest in Baja California’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe. Admission is free, but only adults 18 and older are eligible, with a maximum of two bottles per person.

July Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas 4th Annual The Resort at Pedregal Food and Wine Festival

When:  July 15 – 19

Cost:  $1,290 per night

For the fourth consecutive year, Cabo San Lucas’ most exclusive resort is hosting a four-day celebration of food and wine, with an art of pairing cocktail reception, tequila seminar, wine tastings, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, and six-course meal prepared by an award-winning cast of international chefs.

July Events in Baja

East Cape11th Annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out

When:  July 18

Cost:  $500 per team

The rules are simple for the 11th annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out in Los Barriles: catch the heaviest dorado on July 18, 2015, and your team walks away with brand new, fully loaded 4×4 pickup truck. A number of side jackpots are also paid out, with last year’s jackpots reaching over $80,000 in cash.

July Events in Baja

EnsenadaInaugural Ruta del Vino Bike Ride and Wine Festival

When:  July 18

Cost:  $55 – 60

The first ever Ruta del Vino Bike Ride and Wine Festival kicks off with a scenic 40 mile road race and fun ride through Baja’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe, then rewards riders with a finish line fiesta featuring local food, wine, beer, and live music.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Wow Factor! 5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

Wow Factor! 5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

Although the most famous restaurant vantages in Baja California Sur are those that provide majestic views of the granite rock formations at Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, winning combinations of fine food and gorgeous views can be found throughout the peninsula’s southernmost state.

Here are five of our favorites:

5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

Sunset da Mona Lisa

Sunset da Mona Lisa, Tourist Corridor, Los Cabos

This is the gold standard. Often ranked as one of the most romantic restaurants in the world, Sunset da Mona Lisa offers Italian specialties and fresh local seafood dishes (from their own fishing boats, no less), a newly minted Taittinger Terrace Champagne and oyster bar, and of course sublime views of the Sea of Cortez, Cabo San Lucas Bay, and Land’s End. Proposals are so common here that wedding coordinators are on standby, ever ready to help plan and stage the ultimate destination wedding. Any meal at Mona Lisa is memorable, but for the maximum experience, synchronize your dinner reservation with the sunset.

5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

Los Olivos

 Los Olivos, Hotel La Mision, Loreto

The first capital of the Californias, Loreto, retains a rich tapestry of tradition, as well as a gorgeous location framed by the Sierra La Giganta mountains and the Sea of Cortez. To start your day right in Loreto, ask to be seated on the terrace of Los Olivos at Hotel La Mision, and enjoy breakfast as the sun rises over Coronado Island. Dinner isn’t so bad either, with the seaside vistas backed up by fresh local seafood and delicious Mexican specialty dishes. Perennial highlights include the ceviche trio, the taco salad, and a superb seafood risotto made from local clams and bay scallops.

5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

El Farallon

El Farallon, The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas

This one-of-a-kind restaurant resides at the ultra-luxurious The Resort at Pedregal, and is perched cliffside above crashing Pacific Ocean waves in the most exclusive neighborhood in Cabo San Lucas. El Farallon is famed for pairing breathtaking views with romantic atmosphere – including a Champagne terrace – but also serves up generous helpings of market style seafood. Choose your custom catch of sea bass, red snapper, striped bass, shrimp, tuna, dorado, clams or lobster, and the chef will cook it up for you with all the fixings. El Farallon is also one of the sites showcased during the resort’s annual Food and Wine Festival, the 4th annual edition of which is scheduled for July 15 – 19, 2015.

5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

Palapa Azul

Palapa Azul, Playa El Tecolote, La Paz

The beaches of La Paz – the capital city of Baja Sur since it became a state in 1974 – are incredibly beautiful, and also serve as sites for some of the area’s best barefoot dining. Playa El Tecolote is triply blessed, since it’s home to soft sand, the eclectic offerings of Palapa Azul, and incredible views centered around uninhabited offshore island Espiritu Santo. The restaurant is easy to spot, since it’s the only one around housed in a hollowed out boat. Grab a table beachside, order up a bucket of ice cold beer, and sample local specialties like chocolate clams and marlin en escabeche while enjoying the spectacular surroundings.

5 Spectacular Restaurant Views in Baja California Sur

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Haciena Cocina y Cantina, Hacienda Beach Club & Residences, Cabo San Lucas 

Hacienda Beach Club & Residences (formerly Hotel Hacienda) occupies the most valuable piece of real estate in Cabo San Lucas. Set at the foot of Medano Beach – the two mile stretch of golden sand that serves as the city’s seaside social center – the hotel was originally opened by pioneering developer Rod Rodriguez in the early 1960s, but has since been completely rebuilt, fusing old-world elegance with contemporary appointments and amenities. The enduring appeal of onsite restaurant Hacienda Cocina y Cantina owes as much to the amazing views of Land’s End and Bahia San Lucas as it does to the menu of Mexican cuisine created by celebrity chef Andrea Blanco, and the signature eatery is perpetually in demand as a site for weddings, receptions and renewal of vows ceremonies.

 

Have a nomination for best restaurant view in Baja California? Let us know at Baja.com.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: June Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: June Events in Baja

Junes brings a bevy of summertime sporting competitions in Baja, from pro surfing and fishing and golf fundraisers in Los Cabos to rugged off-road racing and a bicycle race through the scenic wine country of Valle de Guadalupe.

The latter event, a 73 mile bike trek from Tecate to Ensenada, originated as a fun ride in the 1970s, but returns after a better than two decade hiatus as a challenging competition with four distinct hill climbs. Fun riders can still compete at their own pace, however, and all participants are welcome at the pre-race food and wine festival in Tecate, as well as at the finish line fiesta in Ensenada.

June Events in Baja

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

Ensenada:  47th Bud Light SCORE Baja 500 

When:  June 4 – 7

Cost:  $1,915 – 2860

The 2015 edition Bud Light SCORE Baja 500 layout clocks in at just under 496 miles, with racers allowed 20 hours to complete a rugged off-road loop course that starts and finishes in Ensenada.

June Events in Baja

San Jose del CaboLos Cabos Open of Surf

When:  June 9 – 14

Cost:  Free admission for spectators

This year’s WSL (World Surf League) sponsored competition will be a pro tour event for women, and junior men and women at Zippers point break off Playa Costa Azul in San Jose del Cabo, one of the premier surf spots in Baja CaliforniaSur.

June Events in Baja

TecateInaugural Tecate to Ensenada International Bicycle Race

When:  June 21

Cost:  $70 – 75

This 73 mile ride through Baja California’s wine country – with four major hill climbs, including a race-within-a-race to determine the king and queen of the hill – is bookended by a pre-race food and wine festival in Tecate, and a finish line fiesta in Ensenada.

San Jose del Cabo19th Annual Stars & Stripes Tournament 

When:  June 25 – 28

June Events in Baja

Cost:  $3,000 – 125,000

Attendees at this annual fundraiser for youth charities in Los Cabos will fish for dorado, wahoo, tuna and billfish, play championship-level golf at Chileno Bay and the Jack Nicklaus designed Club Campestre, and enjoy nightly musical performances from Sammy Hagar and others.

Ensenada13th Festival del Caballo, Arte y Vino 

When:  June 28

Cost:  $20 for adults; free admission for children 12 and under

June Events in Baja

Mexican art, food, folk dancing, fine wine, and horses are the main attractions at the Festival del Caballo, Arte y Vino, held yearly in the Valle de Guadalupe outside Ensenada.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Baja California Sur by the Numbers: Counting Down Some of the Signature Figures Associated with the Peninsula’s Southernmost State

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Primitive rock and cave paintings in Baja California Sur may have originated as many as 7,500 years ago. Photo courtesy of Ashley Curtin.

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.

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Anniversary festivities in Baja Sur’s capital city of La Paz include a reenactment of the coming of the Spaniards in 1535. Photo courtesy of Fiestas de Fundacion de La Paz.

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.

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Playa El Medano is the largest and most popular beach in Los Cabos. Photo courtesy of Medano Beach Cabo.

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.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Destination Viewing: New TV Travel Series Showcases Baja California Sur

We’re ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille.

Eight months after Hurricane Odile made landfall in Los Cabos and rampaged up the center of Baja California Sur, the peninsula’s southernmost state has not only recovered, but is ready for a star turn in a highly anticipated new entertainment venture.

DBS1

Destination Baja Sur will showcase the beauty of the peninsula’s southernmost state, and be the most widely distributed travel and adventure show on television when it premieres in January 2016.

Destination Baja Sur – a Bill Boyce hosted television series showcasing the region’s many charms – begins shooting on May 28, and will premiere in January 2016.

The documentary/reality driven Destination Baja Sur will be the most widely distributed travel and adventure show on television, airing multiple times per week on several channels across the U.S. and Canada.

In total, the 13 season one episodes are expected to be shown 336 times during the calendar year, each reaching up to 128 million homes on NBC Sports, World Fishing Network, and the Pursuit Channel.

The half-hour show will also be seen internationally on Wild TV Africa, and Apple TV offers world-wide exposure: all the tech behemoth’s devices can access the series via iTunes, including MacBooks, iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Marine biologist, expert angler, and long-time Baja resident Bill Boyce has signed on to serve as host and executive producer for Destination Baja Sur. The award-winning face of several previous outdoor adventure series, Boyce will share his knowledge and passion during all 13 season one episodes, introducing viewers to the people and places of Baja California Sur – from small fishing villages to upscale resort areas…from historical monuments in Loreto and La Paz to 5-star accommodations and boisterous nightlife in Los Cabos.

The show’s presence on several high-profile platforms promises a staggering amount of publicity for the state, not only in terms of original content, but also exposure to an enormous international pool of viewers who know little about the region.

If the series simply achieves its stated goal – to inspire viewers to travel throughout Baja California Sur – it will markedly increase already rising tourism numbers (Mexico has the biggest spike in travelers worldwide last year), and act as a de facto marketing vehicle for Baja Sur based businesses: most notably, those that have signed up to sponsor the show.

Few know the promotional benefits of such exposure as well as Chef Brian Solomon, who saw business at his restaurant on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, Solomon’s Landing, increase 35% after it was featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives several years ago. Solomon is now an associate producer on Destination Baja Sur.

“This is real, it’s happening, and it’s a tremendous opportunity,” Solomon said when addressing Los Cabos media members at a recent press conference about the show.

Sponsorship is available on multiple levels, from integrated placement and pop-up branding to commercials at the beginning and end of each episode. But time is running out, as production and shooting begin on May 28. For more information, call (661) 202-0080, email boyceimage@msn.com, or visit www.destinationbajasur.com. In Cabo San Lucas, email Enrique Rivera at marketing@ solomonslandingrestaurant.com.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: May Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: May Events in Baja

Rosarito takes center stage in May, providing a scenic setting for several of the peninsula most notable events. The coastal community boasts the starting line of that biannual Baja institution, the Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride, hosts upwards of 10,000 people during its annual Art Fest, and welcome old and new friends for the 90th anniversary Gala Dance of landmark lodging Rosarito Beach Hotel.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

May Events in Baja

La PazFestival de Fundación

When:  Apr. 29 – May 4

Cost:  Free admission

La celebrates its 480th birthday on May 3rd, honoring the day in 1535 that Hernan Cortes first sighted what would eventually become the largest city in Baja California Sur. This year’s multi-day Festival de Fundacion (Foundation Festival) again serves as a showcase for local art, culture and cuisine, with activities and concerts – including a traditional reenactment of the first landing of the Spaniards – centered around the malecón and Plaza Constitución.

May Events in Baja

RosaritoRosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride

When:  May 2

Cost:  $42-48

Dubbed “The Original Party on Wheels,” the 50 mile fun ride dates back to 1979, when a group of friends pedaled from Rosarito to Ensenada. Now a biannual event, the scenic rides are among the highlights of the regional social calendar, and conclude with a Finish Line Fiesta featuring food, drinks, souvenirs, live music, and massages for participants.

May Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas6th Annual Cabo Marine Show

When: May 14 – 16

Cost: Free admission

Mexico’s premier maritime exposition returns to Los Cabos for the 6th consecutive year, with some of the biggest names in the boat and water-based recreation industries showcasing the latest nautical playthings along the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Other highlights include art exhibits, fine jewelry, and live entertainment.

May Events in Baja

RosaritoRosarito Beach Hotel 90th Anniversary Gala Dance

When: May 16

Cost: $57

Rosarito Beach Hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary with a deluxe dinner buffet, and a gala dance featuring live music from regional bands. Since its opening in 1925, the landmark lodging has hosted many of the world’s biggest celebrities – a sign above the lobby famously states “through this door pass the most beautiful women in the world” – including Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, and Ali Khan.

May Events in Baja

Rosarito6th Annual Rosarito Art Fest

When: May 23 – 24

Cost: Free admission

The biggest art fair in Baja California returns May 23-24, with a two block area around Blvd. Benito Juarez restricted to pedestrian traffic as regional painters, sculptors and photographers exhibit their work to an expected crowd of over 10,000 visitors.

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.