Baja's great outdoors--no tours, no crowds

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 5-12, 1995

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Baja's great outdoors--no tours, no crowds

Q: We like private or guesthouse places to stay and a variety of things that we can do--if we want--like mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, great dinners, and long afternoons reading and writing on the beach. NO structure or tours...just freedom.
Laura D'Ambrosio
Minneapolis, MN
[email protected]

A: If you're serious about experiencing the crowd-free version of Baja's great outdoors, you can't do much better than Todos Santos, a small village on the Pacific coast--about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas on Highway 19. With waterfront cafés, pristine white-sand beaches, and a growing community of artists and galleries, Todos Santos is a laid-back alternative to touristy Cabo. Base yourself at the Todos Santos Inn, an 1850s house right in town, where one of their three guest rooms--with ocean views and breakfast each morning--will cost you $40 per night. From there, it's only about a mile walk past the ballpark to some relatively unexplored beaches and nearby shoreline lagoons that are perfect for birdwatching. Or, hop in your car and head out to Playa Los Cerritos or Playa Las Cabrilles, two of the more popular surfing beaches several miles outside of town. After a morning spent lazing around on Playa San Pedrito's sandy crescent, stop by Campo Experimental, a desert botanical garden just down the road that offers guided weekday tours and a close-up look at Baja's medicinal and food plants. There's lots of great mountain biking in the area--try a 15-mile ride from the center of Cabo San Lucas north into the mountains to the tiny pueblo of Candelaria; the Brisa del Mar trailer park in San Jose del Cabo rents bikes for $15 per day. Your best bet for nearby kayaking is to stop by Cabo Acuadeportes right on the bay in Cabo San Lucas (011-52-114-30117); rent a kayak for $10 an hour or sign on with a three-hour group tour for $75 per person. Head over to the La Paz region on the eastern peninsula for hiking in the San Dionisio Canyon. For more information, contact the Todos Santos Inn at 011-52-114-49133 or check out "Baja California" in our special winter Travel Guide, online beginning this week.

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