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Central Baja

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Central Baja

Except for the vicinity of Loreto, most of central Baja is unaffected by the tourism and
real-estate development present elsewhere on the peninsula. The people you’ll encounter – hotel owners, local tour operators, boat owners who take you out in their pangas
(outboard skiffs) to fish, guides who lead you on muleback to see cave paintings in the
Sierra San Francisco – are exceedingly friendly and, when you get them talking, show a
real connection to the region and its past. There’s hardly anything not worth exploring in
central Baja – and you’ll often do it alone.

HIGHLIGHTS
Bahía San Luis
Gonzaga

Wander the empty beaches and camp beneath the stars at Bahía San Luis Gonzaga
(p148), one of Baja’s most spectacular bays
Get within touching distance of majestic
California gray whales as they frolic with
their calves at Laguna Ojo de Liebre
(p157), Laguna San Ignacio (p166) and
Bahía Magdalena (p184)
Meander by muleback into the Sierra de
San Francisco (p164) and gape in awe at
the pre-Hispanic rock art
Put your car, and mind, to the test driving
out to the remote beaches and bays of
Península Vizcaíno (p160)
Journey into the rugged Sierra de La
Giganta and visit the isolated mission oases
of Comondú (p176)
MULEGÉ JANUARY AVERAGE HIGH: 80°F/27°C

Bahía de Los Ángeles

Laguna Ojo
de Liebre
Sierra de San Francisco

Península
Vizcaíno
Laguna San Ignacio

Comondú

Bahía Magdalena

WATER TEMP OFF LORETO: 62-83°F/17-28°C

CENTRAL BA JA

For many a Baja traveler, the real Baja begins south of El Rosario, when the Transpeninsular
snakes into the Desierto Central (Central Desert) with its wild landscapes of giant boulders,
towering cardón cacti and bizarre cirio trees. This is Baja’s most sparsely populated region,
where dirt roads stray from the highway traversing spectacular, wildly varying desert landscapes only to arrive at desolate beaches and forgotten bays. They lead across empty plains
to the peninsula’s most important gray whale calving grounds at Laguna San Ignacio, Laguna
Ojo de Liebre and Bahía Magdalena. And they lead over rugged mountains to historic villages,
ghost towns and exquisitely preserved missions that plunge you into centuries past. Even
if you don’t stray from the Transpeninsular, you’ll pass through historic time machines such
as tiny San Ignacio, the former French mining town of Santa Rosalía and Loreto, the first
capital of the Californias.

146 C E N T R A L B A J A

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CENTRAL BAJA

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CENTRAL BAJA
For many a Baja traveler, the real Baja begins south of El Rosario, when the Transpeninsular
snakes into the Desierto Central (Central Desert) with its wild landscapes of giant boulders,
towering cardón cacti and bizarre cirio trees. This is Baja’s most sparsely populated region,
where dirt roads stray from the highway traversing spectacular, wildly varying desert land-
scapes only to arrive at desolate beaches and forgotten bays. They lead across empty plains
to the peninsula’s most important gray whale calving grounds at Laguna San Ignacio, Laguna
Ojo de Liebre and Bahía Magdalena. And they lead over rugged mountains to historic villages,
ghost towns and exquisitely preserved missions that plunge you into centuries past. Even
if you don’t stray from the Transpeninsular, you’ll pass through historic time machines such
as tiny San Ignacio, the former French mining town of Santa Rosalía and Loreto, the first
capital of the Californias.
Except for the vicinity of Loreto, most of central Baja is unaffected by the tourism and
real-estate development present elsewhere on the peninsula. The people you’ll encoun-
ter – hotel owners, local tour operators, boat owners who take you out in their pangas
(outboard skiffs) to fish, guides who lead you on muleback to see cave paintings in the
Sierra San Francisco – are exceedingly friendly and, when you get them talking, show a
real connection to the region and its past. There’s hardly anything not worth exploring in
central Baja – and you’ll often do it alone.
Central Baja
HIGHLIGHTS
Wander the empty beaches and camp be-
neath the stars at Bahía San Luis Gonzaga
( p148 ), one of Baja’s most spectacular bays
Get within touching distance of majestic
California gray whales as they frolic with
their calves at Laguna Ojo de Liebre
( p157 ), Laguna San Ignacio ( p166 ) and
Bahía Magdalena ( p184 )
Meander by muleback into the Sierra de
San Francisco ( p164 ) and gape in awe at
the pre-Hispanic rock art
Put your car, and mind, to the test driving
out to the remote beaches and bays of
Península Vizcaíno ( p160 )
Journey into the rugged Sierra de La
Giganta and visit the isolated mission oases
of Comondú ( p176 )
Bahía Magdalena
Comondú
Laguna San Ignacio
Vizcaíno
Península
de Liebre
Laguna Ojo
Bahía de Los Ángeles
Sierra de San Francisco
Gonzaga
Bahía San Luis
MULEGÉ JANUARY AVERAGE HIGH: 80°F/27°C WATER TEMP OFF LORETO: 62-83°F/17-28°C
145
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