While Baja has plenty to offer visitors year-round, winter is the season when most of the peninsula really comes to life. From craft beer and art gallery walks to natural hot springs and petting gray whales in the wild, there’s an activity to suit every taste. How many of them will you experience this season?
1. Drink Craft Beer in Mexicali
Temperatures can be unbearably hot in Mexicali during the summer months, so go now while it’s cool to enjoy the bourgeoning Mexicali craft beer scene. Some of our favorite breweries to try? The quixotic garden setting at Cerveza Urbana, the industrial Legion tasting warehouse, and Tres B’s The Show Beer Rock Bar. Try other local Mexicali craft beers (like Fauna or Cucapá) at beer bars like El Sume.
2. Camp at the Hot Springs in Cañon de Guadalupe
Nestled into the Sierra de Juarez mountains is the lush oasis of Cañon de Guadalupe (not to be confused with the Valle de Guadalupe). In addition to the beautiful waterfalls, majestic palm trees, and natural swimming pools, the area attracts campers who come to enjoy the natural hot springs in the area. While the hot springs are too hot to experience in summer, winter is the perfect season to enjoy them. Book a camping trip at Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs where each campsite comes along with its own personal natural hot tub.
3. Go Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe
While most people think of summer as the season for Valle de Guadalupe, the region is now in full swing year-round with restaurants and wineries open throughout the winter. The best part of visiting during the winter? Avoiding the crowds and beastly summer temperatures. Take a wine tour with Baja Test Kitchen or spend a full weekend enjoying this rustic and peaceful region.
4. Visit the Snow in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir
While most people head south to take in the beaches and warmth that Baja Sur brings this time of year, those looking for a snowy Baja experience needn’t despair. Spend a few days exploring the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park and enjoy a stay at the charmingly remote Rancho Meling.
5. Pet a Gray Whale
One of the greatest natural wonders of the peninsula is the migration of the gray whales who come to the warm waters of Baja California Sur every winter to calve and nurse their young. Late January-early April whale watchers visit Guerrero Negro, Laguna San Ignacio, and Bahía Magdalena to pet and kiss gray whales in the wild. See our Baja whale watching guide for more information about how to visit the gray whales.
6. Celebrate Carnaval in La Paz
La Paz is home to the peninsula’s largest Carnaval festival every February. Each year, the city becomes vibrant with parades, floats, costumes, rides, and more to celebrate this colorful holiday. Book a hotel in advance to enjoy the parades and festivities at this family-friendly event.
7. Kiteboard or Windsurf on the East Cape
Both La Ventana and Los Barriles attract windsurfers and kiteboarders during the winter months when the El Norte winds kick up. Even if you don’t participate in the sport, contests like the Lord of the Wind (Los Barriles) and the La Ventana Classic in January are a fun opportunity for spectators to see the action and enjoy the parties and festivities surrounding the contests.
8. Explore El Triunfo
The quaint old mining town of El Triunfo has reopened for the season. If you haven’t visited El Triunfo in a while, it’s worth another visit to check out the new Bar El Minero, relax at Caffe El Triunfo, and take a walk around the old mining grounds. There’s currently an initiative to restore the historic “La Romana” smokestack, if you want to help be a part of the town’s revival.
9. Rescue a Turtle in Todos Santos
There are a number of conservation efforts in Baja Sur, and many that specifically focus on saving sea turtles, including the critically endangered Pacific Leatherback. In Todos Santos, Tortugueros Las Playitas has volunteer opportunities for those who want to stay and help with conservation efforts. Or if you happen to be staying in the area, their hatchling releases take place December-March in the evenings around sunset at Turtle Camp in Las Tunas where you can watch newly-hatched baby turtles totter out to the sea.
10. Do the Art Walk in San José
Every Thursday evening from 5-9pm (November-June), the San José del Cabo historical district comes alive during the weekly Art Walk. Enjoy the lively atmosphere around town, pop into a few galleries, and buy some art if you feel inspired.