Hiking in Baja amidst a wide variety of landscapes

Hiking in Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos offers quite a range of types of terrain and scenery. There are many hiking trails in Sierra de la Laguna and north as well as east of San Jose del Cabo. Sierra de la Laguna is one of the most popular hiking spots for residents of the Cape area. Hiking up from the west side can be completed round-trip in two days. The vegetation changes quickly along the way, from desert to forest, and the views of the sierra and of the Pacific Ocean are absolutely magnificent.

The eastern trails into the sierra are more difficult to navigate, so hiring a local guide might be a good idea. Guides are available in Santiago and Miraflores. The rate is usually around US $30-50 per day.

Guided day hikes and eco-tours to backcountry sites include the Hot Springs near Santiago, a small village an hour north of San Jose del Cabo. This is an easy uphill hike through a maze of boulders and rock formations. At the top are pools of clear water perfect for relaxing and picnicking. Other hiking and natural history tours feature fossil fields, challenging hikes into the Sierra de la Laguna and day trips to old mining ghost towns.

You must be especially careful when hiking in Baja's desert lands. You will need twice as much water since it is so hot and dry. Good sun protection is also essential. Make sure to have good footwear, as you may encounter a rocky terrain in some places. The temperature cools down quite a bit at night, so make sure to have enough layers of clothing to be comfortable.

July through October rains have caused many floods which have been known to wash out hiking trails. The best backpacking season is late fall, after the rainy season, when the streams are full. The warmest temperatures are usually in May and June but in the sierra may only reach around 80 degrees, unlike the high temperatures of the coastal plains and desert at that time of year.

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