Things to do in Baja California Sur.

19 BEST Things to Do in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Pin this post for later!

I hope you’re ready to explore the best things to do in Baja California Sur! This underrated part of Mexico is seriously cool and has something for everyone. My love for Mexico grows every time I visit, and I have really wanted to visit this state!

Baja Sur has amazing beaches, cool hikes, incredible marine parks, and some pretty unique spots that you won’t find anywhere else. The remote and rawness of Baja California Sur will blow you away and is unmatched!

Aerial over the expanse of the Bay of Conception in Baja Sur.
Baja California Sur is another planet

This isn’t your average place. And if you think the resort city of Cabo is all that’s here, you would be very wrong. Let me show you around, my friend!

Baja California vs. Baja California Sur

Pump the breaks! Let’s go over a mini geography lesson before we begin here…

When we talk about Baja California, it’s easy to mix things up. So, let’s clear the air: there are actually two ‘Bajas’ in Mexico.

First, there’s Baja California, the northern part (you know, the area close to San Diego with Ensenada and Tijuana).

Then, there’s Baja California Sur, where our adventure is set. These two are distinct states, each with its own unique vibe and set of attractions.

Aerial view over Playa los Arquitos in Baja Sur.
Baja California Sur is full of wonders

Here, we’re talking about Baja California Sur – where I spent over a week exploring! It’s the southern part of the peninsula, and trust me, it’s a world of its own.

Here, the pace slows down, the natural beauty ramps up, and the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, creating some of the most stunning coastlines you’ll ever see. Baja California Sur is where you’ll find famous spots like Cabo San Lucas and La Paz, but also hidden gems like Loreto and magical Mulege.

Female tourist watching a sunset over palm trees from Mulege Overlook.
Mulege Overlook can grace you with unreal views

This region isn’t just big; it’s huge and diverse! No, seriously, it’s 12 hours of driving (or 1000km/600 miles) if you want to drive the entire state from north to south!

Check out the itinerary I did here.

So, let’s finally get into it, shall we?

Things to Do in Baja California Sur, Mexico


1. Visit Mulege Oasis at Sunset

The Mulege Oasis is a really cool spot, especially at sunset. There’s this great view where you can see a river lined with palms and a stunning mountain backdrop, truly making this area a little oasis.

The river flows all the way to the mountains in the distance, and at sunset, the sky is painted with hues of pink, purple, and orange! To make this scene even more incredible, at sunset, the vultures and other birds fill the sky and flock overhead!

Nina watching a burning sunset over palm trees from Mulege Overlook in Baja Sur.
One of the most burning sunsets I’ve ever seen

There’s also the old abandoned mission church that stands behind the viewpoint here to check out.

TIP: The road is a bit rough getting up here, but take it slow!

2. Hike Around Volcan de Tres Virgenes

Volcan de Tres Virgenes is an amazing place for those who want to get away (like really far away) and love to hike! It’s named after its three impressive volcanoes: El Viejo, El Azufre, and La Virgen. These are active volcanoes but are not deemed at risk of erupting, so no worries.

To really take in the area, there’s a 5-mile hike that’s pretty easy and offers some cool perspectives of the volcanos, takes you to some ancient lava flow, and brings you up close and personal with some of the ancient and giant cacti here!

Man walking down a trail at sunset in Volcan de Tres Virgenes in Baja California Sur.
Giant cacti giving desert vibes

If you want to stay out here, which I recommend you do, you have two options: You can stay in the rustic cabins, which is what I did, or you can take a guided multi-day hike and try camping on the volcano!

Staying in the cabins here was one of my favorite things to do in Baja California Sur! We had an incredible starry night despite it being a full moon out and had the warm glow of a bonfire to keep us warm while we looked up (yes, it gets pretty damn cold here!)

How to do it:

Route yourself to Eco Tour Las Tres Vírgenes, and here you’ll find the cabins as well as friendly locals to ask about tour options or just pop in to enjoy the trail for a few hours.

Aerial view over the Tres Virgenes Eco Resort cabins at sunset.
The cabins that we stayed in

TIPS:

  • You won’t have service out here!
  • There’s nothing else out here, pack everything you’d need.
  • It can get pretty darn cold here, bring a jacket!

3. Head to The Bay of Conception

Bay of Conception is a must-visit spot in Baja California Sur, known for its clear blue waters and beautiful beaches. It’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy some water activities.

Aerial view over Playa el Burro surrounded by the mountains of Baja Sur.
Aerial view over Playa el Burro

While the bay is big and there are plenty of places to chill, I loved Playa el Burro. There’s a cool cafe called Nomadico that serves amazing coffee made from beans roasted nearby, and their coconut danish was so yum!

Cafe besides the Bay of Conception in Baja Sur.
The cafe here had some awesome coffee!

The bay is famous for its calm, turquoise waters and is a popular spot for both kayaking and snorkeling. You’ll find lovely sandy beaches here, perfect for a day of lounging or swimming.

One of the highlights of the Bay of Conception is the fresh seafood. I watched as the local fishermen caught clams, scallops, and snapper right from the bay and then prepared them for our lunch. It was possibly the best seafood feast I’ve ever had. It was so incredibly fresh!

Man preparing clams for seafood.
Preparing us some fresh seafood

How to do it:

Enjoy the scenic ride along the shoreline of the bay and stop wherever you’d like! Playa el Burro was great, but there are tons of other beaches and little shacks along the way. If you don’t want to leave, there are campsites along the bay too!

You can also check with El Burro Baja Tours for more info too.

TIP: You won’t have any service out here, so download maps and have a bit of a plan for the day.

4. Get Lost in Loreto

It’s a small town, so you can’t literally get lost, but I certainly got “lost” here for a few days and loved it! Loreto is a Pueblo Mágico, and just strolling its streets and taking in the sights was one of my favorite things to do in Baja California Sur.

Stone archway leading to the Malecon in Loreto, Baja Sur.
Stone arch leading to Loreto’s Malecon

The main street in Loreto is where the action is. It’s lined with all sorts of fun bars, delicious restaurants, and cute shops. The main town is pretty small, but it packs a lot of character.

One of the best parts about Loreto is its beautiful location right on the water, offering stunning views of the Sea of Cortez. The beaches here are a bit windy but peaceful nonetheless, and the Malecon is a great place to take a walk, feel the sea breeze, and maybe catch a beautiful sunrise.

Golden hour over Mission of our Lady church in Loreto, Baja Sur.
Mission of our Lady church

Stop by the Mission Loreto, a stunning old church that’s been around since the 1600s, and definitely don’t miss out on the estuary for a stunning mountain backdrop for the birds that flock here!

RELATED: Lost in Loreto: 16 BEST Things to Do in Loreto, Mexico

5. Don’t Skip Out on Santa Rosalía

Stroll through Santa Rosalía, and you’ll notice this town doesn’t look like the others. Santa Rosalía is a delightful Pueblo Mágico known for its unique French-inspired architecture, a legacy of its mining past.

The town’s standout feature is the Inglesia Santa Bárbara, an all-metal church with an intriguing history (it was meant for a church in the Congo!).

The white exterior of Inglesia Santa Barbara in Santa Rosalia lit up at night.
Inglesia Santa Bárbara

Stay at the Hotel Francés, a cozy spot that’s an example of the town’s French influence, complete with a tea room. Visit the Casa de la Cultura de Santa Rosalía for a dose of history and don’t miss the Bakery “El Boleo”, famous since 1901 for its delicious baked goods!

6. Chill on Playa Los Arquitos

Playa Los Arquitos is a hidden gem to visit in Baja California Sur. This secluded beach is known for its clear waters and picturesque scenery, and it was featured in a movie, though I forget which one… oops!

Aerial view of Playa los Arquitos nestled in the mountains and cliffs of Baja California Sur.
Playa los Arquitos is super secluded!

The journey to Playa Los Arquitos itself is part of the adventure. You’ll take a boat ride from San Bruno that rips through the Sea of Cortez. You’ll hopefully see flying rays hopping out of the water like we did, and there’s a chance to see dolphins and even whales during the right season.

Once you arrive, you’re greeted by the tranquil waters that are protected by the rock coves that surround it. The shoreline is dotted with natural rock formations and arches, creating a stunning backdrop for your beach day! The beach is more on the pebbly side, so bringing along some sandals is a good idea.

Nina posing with her arms up besides an arched rock formation at Playa los Arquitos.
One of the arches along the coastline

It was a perfect place to swim and have the beach to yourself! It’s a popular little spot since the movie came out, and a few people haven’t learned to clean up their trash, but I’m hoping it starts to get taken care of better soon because it’s SO pretty here!

7. Catamaran Around Isla Danzante

Sailing around Isla Danzante on a catamaran is an unforgettable experience. Isla Danzante, a jewel in the Sea of Cortez, is a massive island in the Parque Nacional Bahía Loreto (Loreto Bay National Marine Park).

Nina swimming besides a catamaran boat in the bay of Playa Luna de Miel in Baja Sur.
Enjoying a swim in the pristine waters of Baja California Sur

You’ll start out at Marina Puerto Escondido, where you’ll board your very own catamaran! As you sail towards the island, you’re surrounded by incredible views of volcanic mountain islands and the rugged mainland coast. The sea here is famous for its marine life, so keep an eye out for colorful fish and maybe even dolphins.

The highlight of the trip is a stop at Honeymoon Beach, a secluded sandy shore with crystal-clear waters. It’s a small but beautiful beach, perfect for swimming or just relaxing on the sand. The surrounding waters are great for snorkeling, giving you a glimpse of the underwater world.

Catamaran moored off the coast of Playa Lune de Miel in blue ocean waters of Baja Sur.
Our catamaran moored nearby to Playa Luna de Miel (Honeymoon Beach)

Even though you might encounter a few harmless jellyfish (as I did!), this was one of my favorite things to do in Baja California Sur!

How to do it:

Check here for the sunset catamaran, for the daytime snorkeling catamaran and here too for more info.

TIP: Don’t only bring a swimsuit! It can be a bit chilly if there’s a breeze so bring a bit to cover up.

8. Bask and Splash on Playa Isla Coronado

If you are looking for a day relaxing in a white sand bay with calm turquoise waters, then Playa Isla Coronado is your spot!

Unlike anything I’ve seen in Baja Sur, visiting the Loreto Bay National Marine Park is an immersive experience in a pristine island paradise. You can look forward to having a chance to see jumping rays, dolphins, whales and visit an active sea lion colony.

Sea lion basking on a rock on Isla Coronado in Baja California Sur.
One of the local sea lions!

How to do it:

Book a tour like the one I did that offers day trips to Isla Coronado from La Paz or Loreto. These tours often include transportation, guided tours, and activities like snorkeling.

Tips:

  • This is a big day in the sun so don’t forget the sunscreen.
  • Once you are on the island, there are a few nice interpretive trails to explore that will educate you on the area’s local flora.
  • Be on the lookout for Blue Footed Boobies!

Recommended by Garrett from MotoMoves

👉 Check Here to Go to Coronado Island

9. Go Surfing at Cerritos Beach

Cerritos Beach is one of the best surf breaks in Baja Sur! Whether you’re a newbie just trying to get up on the board or an experienced shredder, getting in the water at Cerritos is one of the best things to do in Baja California Sur.

Cerritos still feels sleepy in comparison to busier areas of the state, like Los Cabos, with dusty roads leading to the beach, gorgeous desert scenery, and a slow, laidback beach vibe.

Located in the small agricultural town of El Pescadero on the Pacific Coast, it is just 15 minutes away from the popular Pueblo Magico, Todos Santos.

A surfer carrying a board along Cerritos Beach at sunset.
A surfer along Cerritos Beach

Cerritos Beach is also one of the only safe swimming beaches in the Todos Santos area. While there are waves, they are calmer and there is usually a small section of the beach that’s safe for a splash around.

How to do it:

Once you’re at the beach, you can rent a board on the spot from rental companies lined up on the sand.

If you’re looking for some lessons to improve your skills, it’s best to organize these a few days in advance. Mario Surf School and CRT Surf School are both highly rated.

There are surfing-focused day tours from Cabo if you’d prefer not to drive yourself.

TIPS:

  • Don’t miss fish tacos from Barracuda Cantina! This funky taco shop was featured on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles and dishes up some delicious Baja-style fish and seafood tacos.
  • Stay for sunset in Cerritos if you can, it’s spectacular!

Recommended by Sally from Sally Sees

10. Soak in the Santa Rita Hot Springs

Tucked away in the Sierra Laguna Mountains between Los Cabos and La Paz, you’ll find the Santa Rita Hot Springs. Often overlooked, these natural hot springs are soothing even on a hot day in Baja California Sur, and they’re located right next to a beautiful stream where you can cool off between soaks. 

The hot springs are open every day except Wednesday and are located on a private ranch about an hour from San Jose del Cabo.

Empty Santa Rita Hot Springs besides palm trees in Baja California Sur.
If you’re lucky it’ll be empty!

How to do it:

To get to the ranch, you’ll need to drive down a dusty dirt road for about twenty minutes. You can easily make the drive in any car as long as you’re okay with some bumps, but be cautious about driving this route if there has been heavy rainfall.

Upon arrival at Rancho Santa Rita, you’ll have to pay a small fee to the rancher (in cash) and then hike about 10 minutes to the hot springs. Be sure to bring small change for the entry fee, a towel, and ideally, flip flops or other shoes you can get wet. 

Recommended by Annie from Your Friend the Nomad

11. Swim Beneath the Fox Canyon Waterfall

A fifteen-minute hike through a traditional ‘rancho’ leads you to the breathtaking Fox Canyon Waterfall—the perfect place for a refreshing swim. Located inside the Cañon de la Zorra (Fox Canyon) Ranch, this 40-foot waterfall is a hidden gem around an hour outside of Los Cabos. 

People playing at Fox Canyon Waterfall surrounded by trees.
Fox Canyon Waterfall in the middle of nowhere!

How to do it:

You’ll need your own vehicle to visit the waterfall since the ranch is about twenty minutes down a dirt road near the small town of Santiago. It is possible to drive to the ranch without a 4WD vehicle, but expect bumps and lots of dust. 

TIPS:

  • Bring small bills to pay a $200 peso entry fee upon arrival
  • Bring water, snacks, a towel, flip-flops, or water shoes.
  • After spending a few hours at Fox Canyon, consider heading to the nearby Santa Rita Hot Springs or exploring the historical town of Santiago.  

Recommended by Annie from Your Friend the Nomad

12. Go Whale Watching in Cabo

Whale watching from Cabo San Lucas is one of the most exciting things to do in Baja California Sur that doesn’t require any particular effort or ability. 

You sit on the boat and enjoy the views of these beautiful marine mammals! From this area of Mexico, you can see humpback whales, while other baleen whale species are visible from other parts of the Mexican peninsula.

Whale breaching the ocean besides Cabo San Lucas.
Come to see the whales breaching!

How to do it:

There are different types of boats available for whale watching, including catamarans, fishing boats, and zodiacs. I chose a tour on a fishing boat because it had a maximum of 12 people, and you are free to move around, so you get a better chance to see the whales and take pictures.

If you are a photographer, I believe this type of boat is the best option. Usually, tours leave from Cabo San Lucas Marina, but some of them include land transportation from your hotel if it’s requested.

A whale slapping its tail on the ocean in front of Cabo San Lucas.
A magical sight

TIPS: The only negative aspect of this tour is that is not available all year round. Humpback whale migration in Baja California Sur occurs only from November through March when these gentle giants of the sea pass by the Baja California Peninsula’s coast, mostly between Todos Santos and Cabo Pulmo.

If you happen to be in Cabo at this time of the year, you should not miss the chance to see them. 

Recommended by Isabella from Boundless Roads

👉 Check Here for The Best Whale Watching Tour

13. Take a Camel Ride in Cabo San Lucas

Looking for something unique to do in Baja California Sur?  How about taking a camel ride in Cabo San Lucas?

This unique tour includes a nature walk, a ‘photo-shoot’ with a camel, and a group camel ride along the beach!

To be part of a camel caravan trekking along the beach alongside the gorgeous Pacific Ocean is a memory you’ll never forget.

Tourist group riding camels along a beach in Cabo San Lucas.
A unique experience in Baja Sur!

Two people ride each camel, so if you’re traveling with a friend, it’s ideal.  If you’re taking the tour solo, you might get a camel to yourself, or you might be paired with another solo traveler.

After your camel ride, enjoy a delicious Mexican buffet and plenty of tequila tastings!

TIPS:

  • Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather in Cabo since you’ll be outdoors the whole time.  (I wore jeans, but I wish I’d worn shorts like everyone else.) 
  • Flip-flops and sandals are not recommended since they could fall off during your camel ride.
  • Make sure the tour you choose is Humane Certified, so you know the camels are being well taken care of! The tour I recommend IS!

Recommended by Lisa Garrett of Waves and Cobblestones

👉 Check Here For The Best Camel Riding Tour

14. Swim With Whale Sharks and Sea Lions in La Paz

Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet and a great destination for wildlife lovers. Located on the east coast of the peninsula, La Paz is the lively capital of Baja California Sur and has lots to see and do.

La Paz is protected by a large bay, which nurtures the perfect environment for marine wildlife. It’s in the protected waters here that you can jump in and swim with whale sharks and sea lions.

Whale shark filter feeding in the ocean near La Paz in Mexico.
Get up close and personal!

How to do it: 

Swimming with sea lions and whale sharks in La Paz can only be done with a licensed tour company. Mexico has laws to protect wildlife from unethical practices so, by taking a tour like this one, you can be sure your visit will leave no impact.

TIPS:

  • The best time to visit La Paz for marine encounters is from Winter to Spring. 
  • Two islands, Espíritu Santo and San Rafaelito, are home to large sea lion colonies, and getting in the water with these cheeky creatures is possible between October and May, as June to August is closed for the breeding season.
  • Whale sharks are migratory and can be found in a highly restricted area at the same time of year.
  • Snorkeling gear and wetsuits are provided by the tour company, but it’s a good idea to take reef-safe sunscreen, a towel, and a change of clothes.

Recommended by Lucy and Dan from Thoroughly Travel

👉 Check Here For The Best Ethical Snorkeling With Whale Sharks Tour

15. Sandboarding The Dunes Del Mogote

Adventurers! You do not want to miss out on this one when visiting La Paz… Only a 25-minute drive from the city, you’ll find the incredible sand dunes of Mogote. 

Not only do they face the sea and are pretty big, but they also offer one of the best adrenaline activities in Baja California: sandboarding!

This is pretty much like surfing on a wave or skating on the ground, but we bet you’ve never tried it on sand. With a sandboard in one hand, a helmet in the other, and a guide in front of you, you’ll be ready for this fun adventure.

A man sand boarding down dunes in a desert.
Start competitions with friends to see who can go the whole way!

How to do it: 

For a good, fun, and safe tour, this is the tour we recommend. They will first give you a safety lesson before you hurtle down the dunes on your boards!

TIPS:

  • You should wear a helmet! Falling in the sand doesn’t look too hurtful at first, but with the speed, it can be.
  • I also recommend wearing strong sunscreen as the sun reflects on the sand.

Recommended by Soline from On the Road Diary

👉 Check Here For The Best Sandboarding Tour

16. Turtle Release in El Pescadero, Baja California

On one of the local beaches of El Pescadero, you can participate is a once in a lifetime experience: Releasing turtles in the ocean!

Every year, thousands of sea turtles are illegally hunted and killed. Conservation groups and local communities unite to safeguard the nests and ensure the hatchlings can survive.

This outdoor bucket list experience begins with a brief educational session. You’ll learn how the turtles are cared for from when the eggs are laid until the hatchlings are ready to release.

Baby turtles rushing over a beach to the ocean at sunset.
Look at the lil’ cuties go!

It’s important to note that most people working there don’t speak English, only Spanish. But even with minimal language knowledge, you’ll still be able to participate and enjoy this activity.

As the sun begins to set, the most magical moment arrives. You’ll have the chance to release the tiny turtles onto the sand gently. Watching these little creatures make their way to the ocean, driven by instinct, is magical!

How to do it: 

Join one of the many local organizations in Baja California Sur that release baby turtles into the ocean.

Recommended by Emilie from Love Life Abroad

17. Boat Trip to The Cabo Arches

The Cabo Arches, known as El Arco, is a distinctive rock formation at the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Protruding from the azure waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, these arches are a must-visit landmark in this beach destination.

How to do it: 

There are two main transportation methods to get close to the Cabo Arches: boat tours or kayaking. 

A guided boat tour is by far the easiest and most convenient way to explore the arches, and they get very close. Some specialty boats have completely transparent vessels. Other trips include activities like snorkeling or visiting different spots like Neptune’s Finger and Lover’s Beach.

Kayaking besides Cabo Arches in a cliff face.
Kayaking is a great way to see the arches

If you’re up for more action, rent a kayak and paddle your way to the arches yourself. Jump in and swim with the fish whenever you want; just be sure to have basic kayaking skills and check the weather conditions beforehand.

TIP: Go to the pier and negotiate directly with the boat captains for the cheapest option.

Recommended by Catherine from Nomadicated

👉 Check Here For Boat Tour | Rent a Kayak

18. Take a Day Trip to Cabo Pulmo from Cabo San Lucas

Cabo Pulmo is a stunning national park in eastern Baja California Sur. Its protected area, recognized by UNESCO, is home to a rich diversity of marine and wildlife. It also offers some of the most adventurous activities to enjoy in the region! 

The highlight is arguably snorkeling in its hard coral reef, the only one in North America, with colorful fish, turtles, rays, and sharks. However, you can also hike in the park’s nature trails, chill at the beach, and go whale watching.

Female traveler standing besides a jeep looking out over Cabo Plumo.
Did somebody say roadtrip?

How to do it: 

To reach Cabo Pulmo you can either drive or book a tour. I went with the second option and joined this Private Jeep Tour Cabo Pulmo, which I highly recommend.

The park’s mountain trails and the scenic coast road from Cabo San Lucas are not accessible with a normal vehicle. For this reason, unless you’re renting a 4WD vehicle, going with a tour is the safest bet. 

TIPS:

  • Visit in May through October for the best weather and snorkeling conditions.
  • There are no ATMs in Cabo Pulmo Town, so be sure to have some pesos with you. 
  • Snorkeling is only allowed under the supervision of a guide, so keep that in mind if you decide to go on your own. 

Recommended by Stefania from Every Steph

👉 Check Here For The Best Tour to Cabo Pulmo

19. Go Sea Kayaking From Loreto to La Paz

Mexico has many wonderful areas for sea kayaking, but Baja California Sur is internationally known as the ultimate spot!

The coast of the Sea of Cortez has rugged cliffs, secluded beaches, marine life, and desert splendor for sea kayakers to see. A 10-day trip from Loreto to La Paz for experienced sea kayakers is a chance to enjoy the remote beauty of the coast of Baja.

You’ll spend your time snorkeling in the crystal clear water, revealing colorful tropical fish and coral, and watching dolphins play each morning. After setting up camp, some group members hike in the desert with towering cacti and blooming flowers!

Man sea kayaking near Loreto.
Sea kayaking is a full on journey

How to do it:

Several reputable sea kayaking companies run this trip. They provide guides, boats, and logistical support. Participants camp on deserted beaches and sleep under the clearest skies. Authentic Mexican camp meals are prepared each day by the guides for hungry paddlers.

The 10-day sea kayaking route is for seasoned kayakers and campers. However, many companies offer shorter trips for beginners, including paddling around Isla Espiritu Santo near La Paz.

Recommended by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler

I hope this list of the best things to do in Baja California Sur helped plan your trip!

Pin this post for later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments

  1. Hi Colleen, out of all the times I’ve been to Mexico (like a million) I’ve never got sick! You don’t want to drink the tap, so yes, you’ll be drinking bottled water. It’s a great place to escape the winters back home but just keep in mind it does get chilly in winters here too! But it wont be like back home if you’re super north and in the snow, that’s for sure. haha. Have fun!

  2. This sounds like a fabulous trip and one I am going to seriously consider as a way to escape winter! Do you have to drink bottled water all the time? Did you ever get sick from the food or water?