Baja is magical.
A place for families that love adventure.We found deserted beaches, gorgeous desert hiking, chilly diving, and a waterfall oasis hidden deep within the surrounding foothills.
I cannot wait to return.
Planning a trip to Baja? Then click here for a complete itinerary.
After two hours of driving on poorly paved and dirt roads, we arrived in the tiny townlet of Cabo Pulmo, on Baja’s East Cape. Our rental house, designed and owned by an artist, was a lush garden oasis in the midst of Baja’s sand and desert environment.
The kids explored the casitas, rinsed off in the outdoor shower, and chased butterflies in the garden. The adults slowed down, sipped fresh-squeezed orange juice, and began our vacation reading. The kids were having none of that. They wanted the beach.
Date Traveled: December 2014
Children: Ages 1 and 4
Trip Length: 7 Days
Details: El Encanto Rental House and Cactus Rental Car
Route Map: Here
Cabo Pulmo’s beach in December: Windswept and deserted.
After spending a day lazing about town, we headed west for the town of Santiago, an hour and a half by car. Here we hiked out to the Sol De Mayo Cascada (waterfall) for a picnic lunch and a quick dip.
Cabo Pulmo, home to the most northern hard-coral reef, is known for its diving, particularly its large schools of fish and manta rays. Depending on the time of year, be prepared for cold water and poor visibility. We went in December (5ml wetsuits) and viz was about 35 feet.
Following our underwater explorations, it was time to head back into the hills. Hiking and mountain biking trails leave directly from the house and are both plentiful and scarcely traversed. This is desert hiking at its finest.
Twenty minutes south of Cabo Pulmo is Los Frailes, known for its beachfront campground (a haven for overlanders!) and excellent swimming area. From the fisherman’s shacks, walk north on the beach toward the big bluff. The best swimming is in the protected area against the rocks. For dinner, buy a fish from the fishermen to take back to the casa. Prices range from $3-10USD/fish (depending on size and species).
If you have the time (i.e. a late afternoon or evening flight), then we highly recommend taking the dirt road south of Los Frailes along the coast back to Los Cabos and the airport. Make sure you have a full tank and plenty of supplies as there are no services. As of December 2014, the roads were in good condition (not counting the washboard surfaces!), and easily do-able for a small, compact rental car. We got a few looks upon returning our dirt-caked car to the agency but it was worth it. This road, the vistas, and the deserted beaches were so worth it!
Bonus: A few folks in our party went north to La Paz for a week before heading home. They spent their time on an island tent camp, inhabited solely by friendly sea lions.