2016 begins with a bang in Baja California Sur, with some of the state’s signature cultural and outdoor competitions scheduled to take place this month: most notably, the Todos Santos Music Festival and The Lord of the Wind Showdown. The former was founded by former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, and brings some of the finest bands on the contemporary music scene to perform in Baja’s first pueblo magico. The latter is a kiteboarding competition – now the North American championship – held annually in the gorgeous East Cape of community of Los Barriles. Each winter when strong El Norte winds blow down the Sea of Cortez, Los Barriles becomes heaven on earth for windsports enthusiasts.
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.
When: Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
The Cultural Circuit takes place every Saturday on the Cabo San Lucas marina boardwalk, with exhibits and activities scheduled throughout the day. Although in large part a showcase for the paintings and sculptures of local artists, the circuit also offers wine and tequila tastings, cultural workshops, live music and folkloric dancing, and of course fine food at some of the city’s signature dining spots.
Cost: Free admission
When: Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28R
Every Thursday evening between the months of November and June, fine arts galleries in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Distrito del Arte invite guests to sip wine, stroll the downtown neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, and view paintings, sculptures and other pieces from some of Baja’s finest artists.
Cost: Free admission
When: Jan. 13 – 17
The charming East Cape town of Los Barriles is home to one of the world’s most famous windsports competitions – The Lord of the Wind Showdown – which this year becomes the North American Kitefoil Championship. Kiteboarders compete in categories like slalom and big air, with the overall winner walking away with thousands of dollars in prize money. There are also plenty of affiliated fiestas, like the traditional tamales cook-off.
Cost: Free for spectators; entry fees range from $25 – 150
When: Jan. 14 – 16, 20 – 23
This yearly collaboration between former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Hotel California, and the Palapa Society of Todos Santos features a series of concerts in the coastalpueblo magico over the course of two weekends. Performers at the 5th annual event will include Buck (performing with Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney as Filthy Friends), Death Cab for Cutie, Autumn Defense (with Wilco members Pat Sansone and John Stirratt), The Jayhawks, Old 97’s, and Drive-By Truckers.
Cost: Free – $50
When: Jan. 24 – 30
The 3rd edition of the peninsula’s premier writers workshop features five days of intensive sessions at historic Casa Dracula, with daily workshops led by Jeanne McCulloch, Gordon Chaplin, Rex Weiner and Jonathan Penner, and seminar speakers such as Christopher Merrill (The Forgotten Language – Writing and Nature), and Bruce Berger (Collecting the World – An Environmental Writer’s Life).
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