Baja California is a long thin peninsula running parallel to the west coast of the Mexican mainland, separated by the Gulf of California. Divided into two states, Baja California Norte in the north and the southern region of Baja California Sur, it extends from Tijuana on the American border down to Cabo San Lucas at the peninsula's tip.
Baja is a wildly beautiful place of unusual scenery and dramatic colour changes, boasting exquisitely azure bays and miles of fine white beaches. Rocky cliffs give way to dry mountainous slopes covered in a stunning display of cactus plants. The interior is harsh and undeveloped, while the coast is dotted with attractive resorts and modern towns. The warm waters are rich in marine life, and the protected waters on the Pacific coast are an important breeding ground for whales. Most resort tour operators arrange whale watching trips from January to March.
A journey down the trans-peninsula highway conveys many surprises, from the bulging and frenetic activity of the modern city of Tijuana, to the oasis town of San Ignacio with some extraordinary cave paintings nearby. With peaceful laid-back villages like Mulegé, tranquil ports like La Paz and the charming traditional Mexican town of Todos Santos in the south, there are a great variety of places to explore and enjoy. The UNESCO-listed Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, in the mountains south of La Paz, is a wonderful playground for hikers, mountain bikers and nature lovers. The Baja Peninsula also boasts the best seafood and wine in Mexico.
There is an efficient bus system between Tijuana and Los Cabos on the Trans-peninsula highway. Car and passenger ferry services connect Baja to the Mexican mainland and there are airports at Tijuana and near Los Cabos. Car rental companies can be found in the larger cities and at airports. Within the towns there are plenty of taxis and collectivos (shared taxi vans) for hire.