Valentine’s Day and Carnaval (AKA Carnival, AKA Mardi Gras) are big events almost everywhere, not least of all on the Baja California peninsula.
Sunset da Mona Lisa, a restaurant annually ranked among the most romantic restaurants in the world, celebrates Valentine’s Day this year with Champagne, a multi-course feast, live music and breathtaking sunset views of Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas.
Two peninsular cities – Ensenada and La Paz – are particularly famed for their Carnaval celebrations. Both will carry on the tradition again this year, with a series of public festivities that reach their crescendo on “Fat Tuesday,” the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.
There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite February events in Baja.
Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.
When: Feb. 5 – 11
The 4th edition of this literary themed workshop will include five days of intensive sessions, and for the first time will be held in collaboration with the local Writing Ranch. Daily sessions will be led by Jeanne McCulloch, Gordon Chaplin and Rex Weiner, with seminars featuring speakers such as Jonathan Penner (“On Language”) and Nick Triolo (“Psychoscapes of Love and Revolution”). Literary agents Meg Thompson and Mark Gottlieb will head discussions at the Publishing Roundtable.
When: Feb. 11 – 12
The peninsula’s southernmost pueblo magico draws hundreds of people each year curious to see its many working art studios. Participating artists include painters, sculptors, photographers, muralists, plein air painters, encaustic artists, jewelers, printmakers, collage artists, potters and wood turners. All proceeds benefit the children’s art programs at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C.
When: Feb. 14
When it comes to romance, no Los Cabos restaurant comes close to Sunset da Mona Lisa. Perched seemingly atop the Sea of Cortez, with spectacular views of the granite monuments at Land’s End, Mona Lisa offers the ultimate al fresco dining experience. The addition of the Taittinger Champagne Terrace in recent years has only added to the romantic allure of a place that already witnessed wedding proposals on an almost daily basis.
When: Feb. 23 – 28
Forget Rio. The world’s best Carnaval celebration takes place in Baja California Sur’s capital city, La Paz. This year’s theme is El Juego de la Vida (The Game of Life), with six days of pre-Lenten festivities – parades, costumes, live music, dancing in the streets, the crowning of a king and queen – culminating on Fat Tuesday (in French, Mardi Gras), February 28, 2017. Performers include Teo Gonzalez, Angeles Azules, Ha*Ash, Napoleon, El Tri, and Banda Carnaval.
Cost: Free admission
When: Feb. 26
The Los Barriles Dog Show returns after a one year hiatus to the Hotel Palmas de Cortez in the beautiful East Cape town of Los Barriles. Canines are eligible to compete in up to nine categories, including best costume, best trick, best looking for pure and mixed breeds (above and below 40 pounds), cutest pair and dog that looks most like its owner. The family-friendly day in the sun will also feature an agility event, food and drinks, arts and crafts vendors, and special appearances from the Disc Dogs of Mexico, and the Schutzhund Association of La Paz.
Cost: 50 pesos per human aged 10 and over; 40 pesos per dog.
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