Gray whales leaping out of the ocean, kaleidoscope sunsets filling the sky, camping on the beach 💫, and warm sunshine, can you imagine a better winter destination? Mexico’s Baja peninsula offers all of the above and so much more. So, read on to find the ultimate Baja California itinerary!
Baja California is separated into two parts: Baja California Norte & Sur. While the North part is mostly rugged and untouched, the south is full of vibrant beaches and life. Driving through the peninsula you’ll be amazed at the stunning scenery and fun destinations within.
My husband and I spent the cold winter months exploring the coastal towns of Baja California. Along the way, we got to swim with whale sharks, snorkel with rays, and eat tons of tacos 🌮. It was one of the best experiences we ever had, and we completely fell in love with Baja.
Every winter, tons of RVs and van lifers 🚐 head down from the US to make the migration down to Baja. It is a haven for nomads and explorers. Read below for my complete itinerary including where to stop and stay in the peninsula!
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Table of Contents
Baja California Road Trip Details
When to Go on a Baja California Road Trip
Baja California is a fantastic place to road trip in the cooler months in the US. You can drive all the way from San Diego to Cabo and chase the sunshine ☀️ along the way. The best months to drive Baja are the months from December through the beginning of April.
Once the late spring comes around, temperatures start to warm up 🌡 and it gets too hot to camp. But, in the winter it’s perfect to spend days under the warm sun, while the night air still gets cool. It’s a paradise for road trippers and campers alike.
Things to Know Before Driving Baja California
☀️The biggest rule of road tripping Baja California is to only drive during the day. Do not drive after dark, because there are many potholes, cows, and police.
⛽️ There are many stretches of remote road without anything around. Make sure to fill up on gas whenever you get the chance.
🛣 Many of the roads in Baja besides the highway are not paved. You should take them slow because they can be very rough.
🐮 Watch out for cows that cross the road at all times of day. They are often munching on brush that is near the road.
🚛 There are a lot of trucks that drive on the highways in Baja. They will often pull over slightly to the side of the road so that you can pass them. Cars pass other cars even when there are double lines and it’s not technically permitted.
🗺 Download maps of the road before you start driving. There are plenty of areas where you will not have any service and you do not want to get lost on the streets of Baja.
🪖 You will have to pass through military checkpoints along the drive. Sometimes they will just wave you through. Other times, they’ll ask you questions about your trip and if you are in an RV or van, they may ask to search it.
⚠️ I’m not saying you should speed, but many drivers on the road will drive far faster than the speed limit. Also, remember that all speeds are in Kilometers per hour.
🚨 If you do ever get pulled over, then make sure to ask the police to take you to the police station. They often just want some cash, but will let you go if you insist on going to the station.
Baja California Itinerary
San Felipe is one of the few bustling towns in Baja California Norte. This quaint coastal town sits on the Sea of Cortes on the Eastern side of the peninsula. There are a lot of great RV parks with palapas to enjoy sunrises over the ocean and slow down for a bit.
This is one of the areas in Baja where the desert meets the sea. If you stay here, you’ll be able to drive through giant cacti 🌵, ride over large sand dunes, or enjoy the low tides of the sea. It’s a great place to relax and camp on the beach!
Things to do in San Felipe:
- Eat Fresh Fish Tacos
- Walk down El Malecon (the boardwalk)
- Take an ATV Tour on the Sand Dunes
- Sunbathe on the Beach
- Visit the Huge Cacti at Valley of the Giants
- Soak in the Puertecitos Hot Springs
How Long to Stay: 1-4 days
Where to Camp in San Felipe:
- Pete’s Camp ($$) – showers, toilets
- Victor’s RV Camp ($$) – hot showers, toilets, restaurant
Guerrero Negro sits right on the line between Baja California Norte & Sur. It is one of the only places in the area to stop, but there are many reasons to visit this destination. Take tours to the salt flats or go on the best whale tour of all.
Every year gray whales complete an annual migration from the Arctic to the Baja lagoons. One of the places you can get up close to these beautiful whales 🐳 is Ojo de Liebre just outside of Guerrero Negro. This is where the mother whales have their calves and teach them important life skills. Go on an unforgettable tour here!
Things to do in Guerrero Negro:
- Go Whale Watching in Ojo de Liebre
- Visit the Salt Mine & Salt Flats
- Ride ATVS on the Sand Dunes
- Get Baja’s best Tacos at Tacos el Muelle
How Long to Stay: 1-2 days
Where to Camp in Guerrero Negro:
- Malarrimo RV Park ($$) – toilets, shower
- Mario’s ($$) – toilets, hot shower
- Sand Dunes (Free)
Mulege is a quieter area in Baja, but it’s proximity to the Bahia de Concepcion beaches means it’s a popular stop through. Stroll through the cute town streets, admire the mangroves that line the river, and enjoy some great tacos in the small restaurants. So, add this in to your Baja California itinerary for a place to regroup.
Things to Do in Mulege:
- Visit Faro de Mulege
- Admire the Mision Santa Rosalia de Mulege
- Meander through Downtown Mulege
How Long to Stay: 1-4 days
Where to Stay in Mulege
- Don Chanos RV Park ($$) – showers, toilets, slow wifi, restaurant
Bahia de Concepcion
Imagine a place where you can sleep on the beach with brilliant blue waters 💙 and rugged mountains as your backyard. There’s a stretch of beaches along this bay in Baja California Sur where you can relax in solitude. Vibrant sunrises light up the sky in the morning and bioluminescence makes the water glow at certain times of year.
You can camp at these beaches for the low price of just $10 a day, which will get you a prime spot on the beach. Although, it’s primitive camping so there are no facilities. But it’s worth it when locals come by during the day to sell delicious locally made food, firewood, and souvenirs. You can kayak 🚣♂️ and paddle through the bay while dolphins swim only a few feet away or snorkel to see the abundant sea life. It’s one of the places that people say make them fall in love with Baja.
Things to do at Bahia de Concepcion
- Camp on the beach at Playa Santispac, Playa Los Cocos, Playa El Requeson, Playa El Coyote, or Playa el Burro
- Paddleboard and Kayak in the Bay
- See the Bioluminescence
How Long to Stay: 4 days-2 weeks
Where to Camp in Bahia de Concepcion:
- Playa Los Cocos ($)
- Playa Santispac ($)
- Playa El Requeson ($)
- Playa El Burro ($)
- Playa El Coyote ($)
Loreto was the first city established back in the colonial days. Which means, there is plenty of history within the city’s confines. If you’re a fan of history, then you can learn more about the colonial architecture and buildings ⛪️ from the old days.
History isn’t the only thing that Loreto has to offer. There are also fantastic beaches, a plethora of fun tours, and delicious food to eat. It’s a lovely city to visit for a few days on your Baja California itinerary!
Things to do in Loreto:
- Walk on the Loreto Malecón
- Take a Boat Tour to Isla Coronado
- Visit Mission of Our Old Lady of Loreto
- Go on a Blue Whale Watching Tour
- Stroll Through Town
- Get Smoothies at Veganautas
How Long to Stay: 2-5 days
Where to Stay in Loreto
- Romanita RV Park ($$) – showers, toilets
- El Moro RV ($$) – showers, toilets
- Juncalito Beach (Free)
- Agua Verde (Free)
La Paz is one of the larger cities in the entire Baja peninsula. Which means that there are plenty of ways to spend your time! La Paz is well known for having great tours in the Gulf of California to get up close with sea life. Scuba divers, snorkelers 🤿, and fisherman flock to this great vacation destination.
There are also stunning beaches just outside of La Paz including Playa Tecolote and Balandra Beach 🏝. You can spend a few days relaxing on the beach and enjoying the gorgeous blue waters. At night, you can head into town for great restaurants and mezcal spots.
Things to Do in La Paz:
- Go on a Whale Shark Tour in Winter
- Spend a Day at Balandra Beach
- Visit Playa Tecolote
- Walk El Malecón
- Swim with Sea Lions on a tour to Isla Espiritu
- Kayak in Sea of Cortez
How Long to Stay: 1-2 weeks
Where to Stay in La Paz:
- Playa Tecolote (Free)
- Campestre Maranatha ($$) – Hot showers, dump station, toilets, cafe
Todos Santos is a must for your Baja California itinerary! You’ll fall in love with the colorful streets, adorable restaurants, and fantastic beaches. This small town packs a large punch.
Todos Santos is growing in popularity, with more people going on day trips from Cabo to explore this great town. Whales jump out of the sea, consistent waves hit the shore, and well-curated boutiques line the streets. It’s no wonder It’s the kind of place that makes you want to stay forever 🥰.
Things to do In Todos Santos:
- Surf at Los Cerritos Beach
- Whale Watch from Shore
- Hike to Punta Lobos
- Dine at the delicious local restaurants
- Shop downtown
- See Turtles get released at Playa Los Tortugas
How Long to Stay: 3 days-2 weeks
Where to Stay in Todos Santos:
- San Pedrito Beach (Free)
- Los Cerritos ($) – toilets
- El Litro RV Park ($$) – showers, toilets
- West Cape Beach (Free)
Cabo may be the most well-known and most visited areas on the Baja peninsula. But what you may not know, is there are actually two areas in Cabo: Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Cabo San Lucas is the more touristy area with big chains and tours, while San Jose del Cabo is a cuter area with good restaurants 🥘 and shopping.
Despite the crowds, this area is still a fun area to explore! Go on one of the plethora of tours to get out in the water and get close to sea life 🐙. There are also great places to stay including nice airbnbs and beaches with free camping. Don’t forget to go out and experience the nightlife there!
Things to Do in Cabo
- Take a Tour to the Arch
- Go on a whale watching tour
- Shop in San Jose del Cabo
- Horseback ride on the beach
- Spend a day at the beautiful beaches
How Long to Stay: 3 days-2 weeks
Where to Camp in Cabo:
- Playa Santa Maria (Free)
- Playa El Tule (Free) – pit toilets
- Playa Costa Azul (Free)
Visit this quiet coastal town on the East coast of Baja California Sur. In this sleepy town, you’ll find calm waters to swim in with gorgeous sunsets 🌅 that will blow you away. Travel below the water to see abundant sea life in this peaceful area.
You can make Los Barriles your home base while you explore incredible natural destinations. Drive 15 minutes 🚗 from Los Barriles to Cabo Pulmo National Park to snorkel in one of the liveliest and colorful reefs. Continue another 15 minutes and you’ll make it to the natural reserve with beautiful waterfalls and hot springs.
Things to do in Los Barriles:
- Soak in the Santa Rita Hot Springs
- Swim at the Gorgeous Cañon de la Zorra
- Go Snorkeling in Cabo Pulmo National Park
- ATV in the sand dunes
How Long to Stay: 2-7 days
Where to Camp in Los Barriles:
- Cañon de la Zorra ($)
- Baja Sunrise RV Park ($$)– full hook-up, toilet, shower
- Beach next to Baja Sunrise (Free)
La Ventana is one of the best kiteboarding destinations in the entire world! Because of the way the mountains extend out into the water it gets very windy 💨, but you always get blown back to the shores of the beach.
But even if you aren’t a kiteboarder 🪁 there are plenty of reasons to visit this small town. It has beautiful beaches to spend hours snorkeling and relaxing. One of the beaches, Playa Agua Caliente, even has hot springs in the tidal waters right by the beach. It’s one of the most unique sites to see. When you’re done exploring, you can visit the great restaurants in the area.
Things to do at La Ventana:
- Take a Kiteboarding Lesson
- Soak in the Natural Hot Springs at Playa Agua Caliente
- Spend a day on the beach
- Eat at La Tuna BCS
How Long to Stay: 2-7 days
Where to Camp in La Ventana
- El Sargento Campground ($$)– showers, restaurant, toilets
- Beach Access #1 (Free)
- Hot Spring Beach Camping (Free)
Although this town feels like a mix of Mexico and the US, it’s still a great place to stop on your Baja road trip. Because it’s just two hours from San Diego, it’s a popular destination for Californians that are seeking some sunshine. There are great beaches and plenty of whales that swim past the coastline.
Things to do in Ensenada
- See the Waves at La Bufadora
- Spend a day at El Salto Canyon & Waterfall
- Learn new things at Caracas Science Museum
- Swim with Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island
How Long to Stay: 2-5 days
Where to Camp in Ensenada:
- Corona Beach RV Park ($$) – toilets, cold showers
- Campo #5 ($)– toilets
- Playa Salamando ($$)– showers, toilets
Valle de Guadalupe
Did you know that Mexico has wine country 🍷? Valle de Guadalupe is a stunning area with a wonderful wine scene. Just an hour from the border, the wineries here are a growing destination for Americans and Mexicans alike. Although this area is a bit more expensive, it’s still much lower than US prices.
Spend a weekend winery hopping through this resplendent valley and you’ll be enamored 💕. Along the way, you will see rolling hills, rugged mountains, and be able to eat some of the very best food in the entire Baja peninsula!
Things to Do in Valle de Guadalupe
- Visit the amazing wineries like Bruma Winery, L.A. Cetto, and Monte Xanic
- Eat at the incredible restaurants
- Go on a hot air balloon ride over the valley
How Long to Stay: 2-4 days
Where to Stay in Valle de Guadalupe:
- El Valle RV Park ($$) – showers, toilets
- L.A. Cetto (Free if you visit there for the winery)
Spending your winter in Baja is one of the best things you can do! You will fall in love with the serene coastal towns, the mouthwatering tacos, and the wild sea life. There is so much to do that you will want to stay for months at a time. So, add these spots to your Baja California Itinerary!
Let me know in the comments if you enjoy this itinerary!
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