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Eco Tourism in Baja California

Viju Shankar

Because of the inherent natural beauty and abundance that the peninsula of Baja California in Mexico is blessed with, it comes as no surprise that eco-tourism is a topic that is given due importance by both local citizens and international environment preservation groups.

Tourism is a principal source of income in many towns and cities in Baja California such as Tijuana, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and Ensenada. The towering mountain ranges, clear-watered beaches and glistening desert dunes of Baja provide plenty of recreational activities and attract millions of tourists and vacationers all year round. Thus, eco-tourism not only helps promote the tourism economy of Baja, but it also helps promote the protection and preservation of the existing natural wonders to be found in the Baja California peninsula.

I have been an environmental activist for more than half of my life, and I have to say that Baja California is one of my favorite places in the planet. This is because I very much admire the balance of tourism and commercialism with environmental preservation and protection that exists in Baja California. Unlike in many places all over the world where tourism meant the destruction of natural riches and local culture, Baja California seems to be able to preserve its country’s natural wonders and its local culture regardless of the large and constant influx of foreigners.

Of course, a peninsula such as Baja California is bound to have plenty of beaches that will appeal to many tourists and vacationers. Baja beaches in La Paz, Loreto, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada and Espiritu Santo are known all over the globe because of their fine white sand beaches, shady laurel and palm trees, and the crystal clear waters that are inhabited by many marine flora and fauna. The peninsula of Baja California is located between two very large and very abundant bodies of water, the Pacific ocean on the western shores and the Sea of Cortez along the eastern shores of the peninsula. These two bodies of water provide plenty of water sports and and recreational activities such as scuba diving, surfing, swimming, sports fishing, kayaking, whale watching, parasailing, snorkeling and many more.

Another thing that is great about Baja California is its Mediterranean climate ensuring visitors an average of 300 sunny days every year. The islands, beaches, mangroves and bays of Baja are a significant focus of local eco-tourism because of their beauty, abundance and vastness.

Another focus for eco-tourism in Baja are the many deserts and sand dunes scattered all over the peninsula. The deserts of Baja California are very interesting and surprising. Something that seems so dead and desolate at first glance is actually thriving with unique life forms. Here at Baja deserts, you can find more than 4,000 different plant species including the colorful and oddly shaped elephant trees and cacti of all shapes, sizes and colors. There are also plenty of animals and insects in Baja deserts, from eagles and hawks reigning over head to coyotes and pumas on land and desert snakes and rodents living underground. Desert eco-tourism in Baja involves recreational activities such as biking, dirt racing, camping, trekking and sight-seeing.

All throughout the length of the Baja peninsula is a series of coastal mountain ranges, and these mountains are also promoted in Baja’s eco-tourism. Many of these mountain ranges are home to thousands of plant and animal life so that the government decided to make them protected areas and wildlife reserves. Tourists are encouraged to see and learn about these Baja natural wonders so that they can help protect and preserve these natural treasures. Come to Baja California to experience one of the many eco-tours held daily by many eco-tour operators and witness for yourself the beauty and natural riches Baja has to offer.

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