The quiet border town of Tecate offers travelers a delightful blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and a serene escape from the bustle of larger cities. Beyond its fame for the famous Tecate brewery, this charming town boasts a serene ambiance and a host of attractions. Spend some time at Parque Hidalgo, the town’s central plaza, lined with small shops and eateries. Visit the nearby Tecate Brewery and take a tour providing insight into the history and brewing process of the iconic beer. For some history and culture, head to The Tecate Community Museum where you’ll find exhibits delving into the region’s heritage, showcasing artifacts and information about the Kumiai people and other aspects of Tecate’s past and present. Foodies will relish in Tecate’s delicious taco stands as well as upscale eateries like El Lugar de Nos and Restaurante Amores. Don’t forget a stop for bread and sweets at the famous El Mejor Pan de Tecate bakery, open 24 hours a day.
DBTC Insider Tip: With its tranquil border crossing, Tecate is an easy gateway to Valle de Guadalupe—just an hour’s drive south on Highway Mexico 3.
Best Time to Visit: Summers are warm and generally considered off-season for Tecate, but businesses operate year-round.
Rosarito, a coastal gem in Northern Baja, entices travelers with its captivating blend of sun-kissed beaches, vibrant culture, and a dynamic culinary scene. This bustling town offers an array of attractions catering to various tastes. The vast sands of Rosarito Beach invite visitors to bask in the sun, indulge in water sports, or take leisurely strolls along the shore. For adventure seekers, Rosarito’s waves provide excellent surfing opportunities, with various breaks for beginners and advanced surfers alike. The town’s lively arts scene is highlighted by the numerous galleries in town, the local arts center, and annual art festivals showcasing local artists. Rosarito features numerous seafood eateries and taco stands (like the famous Tacos El Yaqui), offering a tantalizing taste of authentic Mexican cuisine for all tastes and budgets. Just 30 minutes south of the border from San Diego, Rosarito is an easy and enjoyable weekend escape for the whole family.
DBTC Insider Tip: With its central Northern Baja location, Rosarito makes a great jumping off point for exploring the rest of the region (from Tijuana down to Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe) in easy day trips.
Best Time to Visit: Rosarito has temperate weather year-round like any coastal destination in Southern California, but summer is the peak season. Many restaurants and businesses have shortened hours in the winter.
San Felipe, BC
Situated along the Sea of Cortez, this small fishing village captivates travelers with its unique blend of desert landscapes, stunning beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere. The charming town is a haven for those seeking a tranquil seaside escape. San Felipe’s beaches offer a paradise for sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts alike, with opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The iconic malecón is a picturesque waterfront boardwalk bustling with local vendors and restaurants that invites visitors to savor delicious seafood dishes and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. From fish tacos at Adriana’s (rumored to be the taco stand that inspired U.S. fish taco chain Rubio’s), to sit-down establishments, the malecón has plenty of places to eat and drink with water views. For some beautiful views of the town and the sea of Cortez, check out the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe just across from the malecón.
DBTC Insider Tip: There are a few fun day trips from San Felipe. Adventure seekers can explore the nearby Valle de los Gigantes, known for its towering cacti and breathtaking desert scenery. The Puertecitos aguas termales are a great spot for relaxing in some beachside hot springs.
Best Time to Visit: Fall-Spring are the most comfortable season to visit as summers can be extremely warm.
Bahía de los Ángeles, BC
Situated along the eastern coast of the peninsula, Bahía de los Ángeles invites travelers seeking unspoiled natural beauty and a serene escape off the beaten path. This hidden gem boasts breathtaking landscapes where the desert meets the Sea of Cortez, offering a paradise for fishermen, nature lovers, and adventurers. The bay’s waters teem with marine life, making it a prime spot for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Midriff Islands, sits nearby, providing a sanctuary for an array of wildlife, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, and rare bird species. This is one of the few places on the peninsula where visitors can go out into the water with the gentle but giant whale sharks. Back on land, the Bahía de los Ángeles museum is a small but interesting museum full of wonderful artifacts and knowledge from the region.
DBTC Insider Tip: The winds pick up in the afternoons in Bahia de los Angeles, so it’s always best to plan any water or outdoor activities for the morning when the waters and winds are more still.
Best Time to Visit: Fall-Spring will give you the most comfortable temperatures. Late summer to fall is generally when the whale sharks are present in the bay.
San Ignacio, BCS
In the middle of the Central Desert, sits the lush oasis town of San Ignacio. The sleepy picturesque town features a central town plaza surrounded by colonial architecture and date palm groves. The historic Mission San Ignacio Kadakaamán is one of the peninsula’s most well-preserved missions and stands as a testament to the town’s colonial past, showcasing impressive architecture and cultural significance. The main attraction, however, is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Ignacio Lagoon, a sanctuary for gray whales during their winter breeding season. Located an hour outside of town, the lagoon offers visitors the chance to embark on whale watching tours, providing a breathtaking opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close. Also just outside of San Ignasio are some of the smaller ancient rock art sites of the Sierra de San Francisco mountains, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s indigenous history.
DBTC Insider Tip: While there are a few little hotels in town, we love a stay just outside of town on the river at Ignacio Springs where you can enjoy peaceful stay in a yurt amongst the palm trees.
Best Time to Visit: Gray whale season is January through April, which is peak season for San Ignacio.
Santa Rosalía, BCS
Recently designated as the peninsula’s newest Pueblo Mágico, Santa Rosalia has a lot to offer architecture and history buffs. The historic mining town boasts a blend of French-inspired architecture, industrial heritage, and coastal Sea of Cortez scenery. Copper was first discovered here in the late 1800s and a French mining company operated the local mine and built up the town, resulting in architecture that is truly different from anywhere else on the peninsula. The mine was closed for a number of years but is now again in operation. One of the most famous landmarks in town is a metal church that was designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), the Iglesia de Santa Bárbara de Santa Rosalía. The Santa Rosalía Cemetery on top of a hill is interesting and offers a beautiful view of the city. With the new Pueblo Mágico designation and funds, watch for improvements and new projects coming to Santa Rosalía in the next few years.
DBTC Insider Tip: Open since 1901, the Panadería El Boleo bakery is the local’s favorite spot for picking up a fresh baguette in the morning.
Best Time to Visit: Summer’s are hot, making Fall-Spring the preferred seasons for visiting.
The town of Loreto is one of the peninsula’s best gems, luring travelers with its rich history and natural wonders. As one of the oldest settlements in the Baja peninsula, Loreto boasts historical significance embodied in the Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto, the first mission in the Californias, founded in 1697. The town’s historic center exudes charm with its cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and inviting central plaza. Nature enthusiasts are drawn to Loreto’s stunning marine life; the Loreto Bay National Marine Park offers opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking amidst diverse sea creatures. For land lovers, the nearby Sierra de la Giganta mountains provide hiking trails and breathtaking vistas. Loreto’s blend of historical significance, natural beauty, and outdoor adventures makes it a captivating destination for travelers seeking both cultural immersion and scenic exploration in Baja Sur.
DBTC Insider Tip: Don’t miss taking a day trip to nearby San Javier where you’ll find one of the peninsula’s oldest missions, Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó, considered to be the crown jewel of the Baja missions.
Best Time to Visit: Most visitors prefer Fall-Spring for visiting Loreto as the summers can be hot. However, sportfishing is in its prime in the summer months making Loreto a year-round destination depending on your interests.
The villages of San Jose de Comondú and San Miguel de Comondú are known collectively as Comondú. Located in a fertile ravine of the Sierra de la Giganta mountains, the tiny towns—located two miles apart from each other—offer travelers the feeling of stepping back in time. Each town has a small plaza surrounded by colonial buildings and basic services. The town of San Jose de Comondú was home to the fifth mission built on the peninsula (only a side chapel now remains, but the ruins of the mission are still there as well). The region is rich with agriculture—fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, dates, figs, olive trees, and vineyards first planted by the missionaries. Today, these two oasis villages are sleepy and not visited by many tourists, but provide an ideal base for exploring the history, culture, and natural adventures that the region offers. The area is home to petroglyphs, cave paintings, rugged peaks, natural springs and pools, prism rock formations, and desert scenery.
DBTC Insider Tip: Located in San Miguel de Comondú, Hacienda Don Mario is the only option for accommodations in the area and can help arrange for tours and sightseeing around the area. Arrange in advance to have your meals at the hotel, as there are no restaurants around.
Best Time to Visit: Fall-Spring provide the most temperate weather.
El Triunfo, BCS
The old mining town of El Triunfo offers travelers a charming day trip steeped in history, culture, and scenic beauty. This quaint town retains its historic allure through its well-preserved colonial architecture and remnants of its mining past. The iconic smokestack, La Ramona, stands tall as a testament to the town’s mining history and is a must-see sight. Visitors can explore the Museo Ruta de Plata museum, which showcases artifacts and narratives detailing the region’s mining legacy. There’s also a small music museum. A newer museum, Muvaca, explores the region’s rich history of cowboy culture. After museum visits, there are a handful of excellent places in town to grab a bite to eat and some drinks.
DBTC Insider Tip: There are no accommodations in El Triunfo, it’s best visited in a day trip from La Paz or Los Barriles.
Best Time to Visit: Fall-Spring. Summers are very hot and most restaurants and businesses close down completely for the summer months.
Todos Santos, BCS
The West Cape town of Todos Santos enchants travelers with its bohemian vibe, artistic allure, and scenic beauty. This charming town offers a delightful blend of cultural richness and natural splendor. Its historic colonial downtown, lined with cobblestone streets and vibrant art galleries, invites visitors to explore local artwork and crafts. The town’s vibrant arts scene is complemented by the presence of numerous art galleries and studios, showcasing the works of local and international artists. Nature enthusiasts are drawn to the pristine beaches, such as Playa Los Cerritos and Playa Las Palmas, perfect for surfing, whale watching, and sunsets. Additionally, the nearby Sierra de la Laguna mountains provide hiking trails amidst breathtaking scenery. Todos Santos’ eclectic mix of art, culture, and natural beauty makes it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a laid-back yet culturally rich experience in Baja Sur.
DBTC Insider Tip: The nearby beach town of El Pescadero has also grown rapidly over the past number of years with lots of hotel and restaurant options as well as the popular Cerritos beach.
Best Time to Visit: Fall-Spring with peak season being winter when most of the annual festivals and events happening. Many businesses close down for a few months of late summer when the temperatures and chances for a hurricane are high.