Baja California: the idyllic land of a thousand contrastsWednesday 3 January 2018
A narrow rectangular peninsula off the eastern coast of Mexico, Baja California stretches out into the ocean. Floating between the mainland and the Pacific, its rich landscape of around 1250km consists of arid deserts, craggy mountains and immaculate beaches. This paradisiacal region is dotted with luxury hot-spots, guaranteeing some truly unforgettable experiences.
Northern Baja California: a mosaic of wild landscapes
So close to mainland Mexico and yet so different, Baja California boasts an incredible diversity of landscapes. To the north, the sharp mountain peaks of Sierra de San Pedro Mártir give way to never-ending deserts, whose horizons are punctuated by cactus silhouettes. The most well-known, the Sonora Desert, covers almost the entirety of the region's north – a backdrop that really comes into its own at nightfall, when the moon illuminates the landscape. Magical.
The arid lands of Baja California hold even more surprises, the most spectacular of which are its lush, refreshing oases such as San Ignacio. Emerging from a cactus desert, this typical village, surrounded by palm trees, date palms and fig trees, huddles on the edge of a particularly spectacular lagoon - one of only three in the country where Grey Wales come to mate from December through April. An ideal place to observe such a special ritual by these impressive cetaceans.
Looking for an unforgettable swim? Head to the shores of the Coronado islands. Located around 15km from the north-west coast, this archipelago makes up the largest marine reserve in the country: a wild paradise populated by dolphins, elephant seals, pelicans and multi-colored coral. Experience uninterrupted communion with nature, all within a preserved and restricted setting.
Baja California Sur: where stars align and unwind
The generous sunshine, turquoise water, pristine sand and luxury establishments are the reasons behind the popularity of Baja California Sur in the south. For several years now, the tip of the peninsula has been seen as an El Dorado for Hollywood stars. For vacations, glitzy events or simply family get-togethers, Baja California Sur is where it's at. Their favorite location to escape to is Cabo San Lucas, or simply "Cabo" as it is known, which has seen visits from the likes of Beyoncé and Leonardo DiCaprio, who always reserve at the Esperanza Hotel. This giant 17-hectare hotel complex is one of only three in the country to have made it onto the prestigious "Relais et Châteaux" list. Enjoy a meal facing the open sea from its terrace that subtly blends into the natural rocks.
But "Cabo" isn't the only luxury destination in the region. Be prepared for a change of atmosphere at San José del Cabo, where the clean white lines of the ultra-graphic Mar Adentro Hotel sweep out dramatically towards the sea. Breathtaking views guaranteed!