“Once the dust of Mexico settles on your heart you can never go home again” -Neill James
Baja has been our home for over 2 years. Baja is comprised of two States, Baja (Norte) and Baja Sur. We love Baja (Norte) where we live, but love to travel to Baja Sur for the warmer climate and the breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez. We have traveled down south before, but we never felt like we got to soak it all in, plus we are always up for a new adventure. Anyone that has driven in Baja knows that you don’t get anywhere fast. Highway 1 goes from San Diego to Cabo (approximately 1,000 miles). The roads are riddled with potholes, the lanes are narrow and when a semi-truck passes, you grip the steering wheel really tight and say a little prayer that you won’t get sideswiped (seriously). The number one rule of driving in Baja is “Don’t Drive At Night”. No, it is not because there are banditos hiding behind cacti, it is because of potholes, other drivers not having their lights on and also cows, donkeys and goats often congregate on the warm highway (seriously). But despite these conditions we keep going back as you are rewarded for your efforts.
Our first day we drove about 7 hours to Santa Rosalía. This is a great stopping point for the night and we have found an amazing hotel that overlooks the Sea of Cortez and the Santa Rosalía Marina. Every room that we have stayed in has an amazing ocean view. In 2017, we stayed in this area for 2 months, so it was fun to visit with old friends.
No visit to Santa Rosalía would be complete without stopping at one of our favorite taco stands.
When we arrived it was pretty windy.
Santa Rosalía is a port city that boasts French influence, particularly in its architecture (lots of red roofs). A French company, El Boleo founded the town in 1884 and mined copper until they closed the mine in 1954 you can see historic broken down mining equipment, machinery and old locomotives that are displayed as you drive through town.
After a few days of exploring and catching up on sleep we made a leisurely drive to Loreto, which was an easy 2-hour drive from Santa Rosalia. We rented a cute bungalow style home for 2 weeks right in the town square and were excited for the warmer weather and to trade jeans and hoodies for tank tops and shorts. We stayed in the old historic part of Loreto, which is walking distance to most restaurants, the malecon (boardwalk), marina, and the downtown square that has tons of shops and the beautiful Mision Nuestra Señora de Loreto. We arrived on Dia de Los Muertos and were able to see the different altars that people had erected for their loved ones.
Marina Puerto Escondido is about a half hour south of Loreto. We took a fun outing to look at mega yachts and sailboats.
After a fun few weeks in Loreto we were excited to go to Cabo. We had never stayed in Cabo before together and most people warned us that we would not like Cabo because it was too crowded and touristy. We decided to give it a try and decide for ourselves. We strategically stayed away from the touristy shops/beaches/restaurants/souvenir shops. I have to admit that my first trip to Cabo was 100% amazing. Beaches, boats, tacos, thunder storms, sunsets, and lots of laughter. Oh, and we got to go swimming in November.
Our next stop was the small town of Todos Santos. Todos Santos is about an hour north of Cabo on the Pacific side of Baja. We have stayed here before and really loved this quaint little historic town with a church, old movies theater, streets lined with Mexican Fiesta Flags, museums and tons of souvenir shops.
On our way back home, we stopped in San Bruno (close to Santa Rosalia) for a few weeks to relax, visit with friends and to explore. The house we stayed in overlooked the Sea of Cortez and I spent hours just staring out the window at the ocean, the waves and birds that would fly by. The Sea of Cortez is mesmerizing to me and for sure has cast its spell.
I have always been fascinated by old cemeteries and churches and have loved exploring them in Mexico. We took a road less traveled up into the hills exploring and found a cool cemetery in San José de Magdalena.
While we were exploring, the landscape consisted solely of desert, rocks and cacti. All of a sudden we came upon water and were surprised to have found where an underground river came up to the surface. Certain parts of the river were just a trickle and other parts were flowing. It was amazing to see water in the middle of a desert.
How did I get so lucky to travel with my BFF?
Stay tuned for Baja Sur Part 2 where we return and visit East Cape and Dave’s brother and sister-in-law come to visit.