ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Baja California: The Last Frontier?

Updated on May 16, 2010

Perhaps the Last Frontier

There can be few places left on the planet which has been so inhospitable to those who sought to settle and wrest a living from the soil, yet inspires in most visitors a sense of timelessness and awe in the tranquility, haunting beauty and silence.

Apart from the development at the southern tip at Los Cabos, or the bustle and confusion in Tijuana at the border, Baja remains as it has for millions of years, a practically waterless vastness of cactus, mountains and sandy desert, framed on all sides by the azure depths of the Sea of Cortez.

The roughly 1000-mile-long Baja Peninsula is divided into two States of the Republic of Mexico. Baja Norte (North) and Baja Sur ( South). It is the south that is less populous, that is the least well known and where can be found the sub-tropical ambience so beloved of thoise from colder climes. Here is found the whale-watching, the cave-art and the incredible sunsets of the capital, La Paz and the Cape region. Also in the far south are the tourist resorts, golf clubs and swanky marinas, most found in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, the last containing the international airport.

Baja sits between a gulf sea - that of Cortez to the east - and the mighty Pacific to the west. It is the unforgettable "Vermillion Sea," as the Sea of Cortez has been called, that forms the backdrop to the mountains, the many shades of green of the cactus and low-lying scrub, and home to the hundreds of islands that also form part of Baja. The sea is calm most of the time until a local "chubasco" or storm blows up and is ideal for all kinds of water sports as well as playing host to some of the world's top fishing.

La Paz

No one who knows the "Pearl of the Baja," La Paz" meaning "The Peace" in English, needs an excuse to return. La Paz, the state's laid-back capital is, in the opinion of many, one of the nicest towns anywhere, for a multitude of reason, none more important than the friendliness of "La Pacenos," the towsfolk. La Paz lacks many of the hotels and resorts of the Cape locations 100-miles south. There are a couple of niteries, but the hedonism, drunkeness and conspicuous spending of Cabo doesn't belong here. Although it is slowly changing, La Paz is more a place for a long stay, for quiet meditation along the lovely malecon, or promenade; for enjoying coffee and a meal in the many places by the harbour, or even for shopping in the maze of streets between the front and the main plaza. There is top-class fishing and kayaking out to a nearby sealion colony, and there are a dozen good beaches south of town. One, Balandra Bay, is one of the loveliest anywhere in the world.

This part of Baja and La Paz have often been likened to an island. The reason being is they are seperated by 800 miles of narrow, two-way tarmac from the USA to the north, with very few villages on route, and 100 miles of heaving water to the east and the mainland of Mexico, reached only by an uncomfortable, overnight ferry trip. To the west, of course, there are thousands of miles of the Pacific, an expanse of turbulent ocean that is even treated with respect along the Mexican coasline. All goods have to be shipped in along the tortuous roads or carried across in the ferries. La Paz does have an international airport, but flights are fairly sporadic and airlines come and go. Many visitors from Canada, the USA and Europe, among other countries, have visitied La Paz only to quickly return and buy a home or business.

Mulege, to the north of La Paz, is a place for the adventurous who perhaps live a little in the past.  There's not much tourist infrastructure and regulars would laugh at this label.  But Mulege is one of only two places in Baja possessing at least the vestiges of a proper river.  And where there is fresh water in Baja there is life, both animal and plant.

Thousands of fig trees add a south seas ambience to Mulege (Pronounced "mool-ah-hay").  They were planted many years ago and yield a substantial yearly harvest of dates.  The state prison is also there, closed now, but in it's "heyday" home to loosely guarded criminals who were allowed to go and work or visit families during the day as long as they reported back at night for lockdown.

Just south of Mulege is  20-mile-long Bajia de Conception, one of the loveliest bodies of water anywhere in the world, complete with islands and mirror-calm water.  You can camp all along the edge, often free, or for a few dollars per night.  Great for kayaking, fishing, or drinking Bohemia - my favourite Mexican cerveza (beer). 

One thing,  you may want to avoid Mulege between June and September when the 100F-degree, plus, oven-like days can be hard to take.  Of course, you can always stay in the air-conditioned hotel (there's a couple of small ones) and drink Bohemia!


.


The exotic town of Mulege, South Baja.  More like the tropics than the desert, thanks to the tidal river.
The exotic town of Mulege, South Baja. More like the tropics than the desert, thanks to the tidal river.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      13 months ago

      Thank you for the view of this place that is by many thought of as a baren area.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)