The Baja California Peninsula
Territory that has been inhabited from time immemorial, in this region you can play golf on world-class courses, discover the underwater treasures of the Sea of Cortez, and witness the amazing migration of the Gray Whale.
Located in the northwest region, the Baja California Peninsula borders the United States on the north, and lies east of the Pacific Ocean and west of the Sea of Cortez. The peninsula has an ideal climate, with sunny days throughout most of the year and average temperatures ranging from 15° C (59° F) in the winter and 30° C (86° F) during the summer.
Its territory, which spans about 1,300 kilometers (806 miles) from north to south, is divided into two states: Baja California and Baja California Sur.
Located in northwestern Mexico on the Baja California Peninsula, this state has the waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of California to the east. The region’s unbeatable desert and sea landscapes and its many legends will captivate you.
In this state you’ll find the mountain landscapes and wooded areas at parks San Pedro Martir and Constitucion de 1917 fascinating. The biodiversity in these areas offers the ideal setting for an ecotourism outing.
In Tijuana, one of the state’s most important border cities, you can see various cultural events at the modern Centro Cultural, including the International Dance Festival and the Opera Festival. Tijuana is also known for its vibrant nightlife, as it has numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs where you can see live shows. Tijuana is one of the most visited border cities in the world, thanks to its popular bullfights, dog racing, cultural center and its famed contribution to international cuisine: the Caesar salad.
Also in the state of Baja California, you can visit the port of Ensenada, which draws many tourists each winter to witness the migration of the gray whale and is a town surrounded by nearby vineyards, which explains why it has become the peninsula’s cultural capital in recent years. During your visit, you can visit the fertile valleys of Guadalupe, San Antonio, Santo Tomas and San Vicente, which make up part of Mexico’s famous wine producing region. The state also hosts many important food festivals throughout the year, such as the Paella and Wine Fair, the Seafood and Fish Festival, the Tequila Festival and the Caesar Salad Festival. All of these events allow you to enjoy the creativity that goes into Baja California cuisine.
Or you can do some whale-watching at la Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Scammons Lagoon), where you can see Gray Whales. Also nearby is Rosarito, one of Mexico’s top destinations for scuba diving and fishing.
Baja California Sur
Located in northwest Mexico on the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula, this is a region where the desert meets the sea, allowing you to take in breathtaking scenery.
Inhabited from time immemorial, as evidenced by the cave paintings found in the Sierra de San Francisco, near Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, has more than 1,200 km (744 mi) of coastline and a wide variety of marine species. Here you’ll find incredible natural scenery: beach resorts, deserts, nature reserves and the mountains of the Sierra de San Francisco.
In Baja California Sur, you can visit the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, it’s known for its abundant plant and animal life and was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. You can also tour the salt mines at Guerrero Negro, or visit important historic monuments like the Jesuit missions built near the town of Loreto.
You can witness the arrival of the gray whale, which migrates each year to the Bahia Magdalena Nature Reserve, the San Ignacio Lagoon and the Soledad y Ojo de Liebre estuaries. You can also enjoy all kinds of recreational activities, including scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, sportfishing, mountain biking, hiking and guided camping outings.
What’s more, you can enjoy the numerous spas and resorts of Los Cabos, one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. You can enjoy the excellent services offered in Los Cabos, a destination known for its top-notch tourism development, first-rate hotels, excellent golf courses and spas, and fine restaurants along a waterfront promenade where you can indulge in the finest in regional, national and international cuisine.
North of Los Cabos, in La Paz and Loreto, you can do some sportfishing, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving and whale-watching on the beautiful Sea of Cortez.
For road trips, it’s worth noting that you can drive across the region along the Transpeninsular Highway, which stretches from Tijuana to Los Cabos. You can also travel by way of the so-called Escalera Nautica, a nautical route that stops at various ports along the coast.
The Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula, located in southeastern Mexico between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, has a year-round hot and humid climate, which is ideal for enjoying its Beach Resorts and natural paradises.
The region, which comprises the states of Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, is well known for its numerous Mayan archeological sites, the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea that wash onto white-sand beaches, Cancun, a bustling tourist destination with luxurious hotels and nonstop nightlife, and the nature parks Xcaret, Xel-Ha and biosphere reserve Sian Ka’an. .
Many of the ancient traditions of the Mayas persist, for example, many women wear a traditional blouse called a huipil, and some homes are still built with straw rooftops but you will also find regional henequen haciendas, many of which have been converted into posh boutique hotels and world-class resort hotels.
Located in Mexico’s southeastern region on the Yucatan peninsula, it borders the state of Yucatan and the Gulf of Mexico to the north, Quintana Roo to the east, Tabasco to the southwest and Guatemala to the south.
Mexico’s hidden treasure, Campeche, is a historic fortified port city that in the past often came under the attack from pirates and privateers. In this walled city, you can see the forts, bulwarks and gates that once protected the residents from invasions. The city’s famed wall, now a top tourist attraction, has been revamped. Behind the wall you’ll find the Cathedral and many old buildings in the city’s Historic Center, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Near Campeche are amazing Mayan archeological zones Edzna and Calakmul, Biosphere Reserve, which is the biggest biosphere reserve in the country.
In addition to the ancient Mayan temples and palaces that you’ll see there, you can also do mountain bike riding, hiking or go on a photo safari, an experience that allows you to discover the natural beauty that left many explorers during the 19th and 20th centuries thoroughly impressed. Campeche offers interesting tours of old haciendas that once produced grains, henequen and sugarcane, which were vital to the economy during the 17th century. At the various haciendas, you’ll have the opportunity to try delicious regional cuisine, including armadillo, venison, fish and seafood, and exotic vegetarian dishes. Don’t miss out on this enjoyable experience.
Located in southeastern Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, Yucatan state borders the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo and has a hot and humid climate.
Just two hours away from Campeche is the state capital, Merida, one of the most visited destinations in the country. Merida, the so-called white city, where the local cuisine is unbeatable and a stroll down Paseo Montejo the city’s main avenue which is lined with beautiful palaces, old buildings and 19th-century mansions and allows you to appreciate the city’s most important historical buildings.
In the surrounding areas, you can visit old henequen haciendas, many of which have been converted into luxurious hotels with museums, restaurants and spa services. You can also visit the town of Valladolid, in the heart of a cenotes zone (cenotes are sink holes, or fresh water pools connecting to submerged caverns), the ideal spots to go swimming or cave diving.
There’s also the magical town of Izamal, where you can check out the magnificent Ex-Convent of San Antonio de Padua, which has the largest atrium in the Americas.
In this state you’ll also find the most cherished sites of the Mayan world: Uxmal, Kabah,Labna, Sayil, Dzibilchaltun and the impressive ceremonial grounds of Chichen Itza, which was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Among the notable sights there are the Observatorio (Observatory), also known as the Caracol, the Juego de Pelota (Ball Court) and the Piramide de Kukulcan (Pyramid of Kukulcan), where you can witness the shadow image of a plumed serpent descend on the pyramid’s stairs every spring equinox.
Yucatan also offers beautiful natural environments, such as Celestun, the natural habitat for hundreds of pink flamingoes, or Ria Lagartos, where you can go kayaking through the mangroves. During you visit, don’t forget to try the Yucatan’s famous regional cuisine
Located on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo offers the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, top-notch tourist resorts, white-sand beaches, marvelous ecological reserves and ancient Mayan ruins.
Located in the state of Quintana Roo is Cancun, a bustling tourist destination for national and international tourists, and has a 30-km (19-mi) stretch of beaches, an impressive hotel zone with luxurious hotels and nonstop nightlife.
Also in Quintana Roo is the Mayan Riviera, where you’ll find nature parks Xcaret, Xel-Ha and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
The islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres located several kilometers away from the Great Mayan Reef. Isla Mujeres offers all kinds of tourist attractions, including pre-Hispanic ruins, the remains of an old hacienda and a modern aquatic park where you can go snorkeling among hundreds of colorful fish that inhabit the coral reefs. Nearby lies Cozumel, Mexico’s largest island, where you can go kayaking through mangroves and scuba diving along the Great Mayan Reef, the second largest reef in the world and an underwater paradise for scuba diving. The reef runs through the Parque Marino Nacional de Arrecifes de Cozumel and the Parque Natural de Chankanaab.
The Mayan Riviera
The Mayan Riviera, a natural paradise that merges with the waters of the Caribbean Sea, is a coastal strip that stretches more than 120 km (75 mi) from Puerto Morelos to Punta Allen, in the state of Quintana Roo. The climate in this Yucatan Peninsula region is subtropical with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F).
Considered one of the fastest growing tourist destinations over the last decade, here you can relax or enjoy recreational activities at luxurious resorts nestled in the jungle, offering exclusive golf courses, spas and white-sand beaches, where you can bask in the sun and indulge in all kinds of water sports. You can scuba dive off the coast at a depth of more than 10 meters (33 feet) as you take in the spectacular sights of the Great Meso-American Barrier Reef or visit the archaeological zones of Coba and Tulum, a walled city located right on the beach overlooking the sea. At Playa del Carmen, the Mayan Riviera’s cosmopolitan city, you’ll find excellent tourist facilities at ecotourism parks Xcaret and Xel-Ha, and at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
Source: Mexico Tourism Board