Crystal clear water, white sand and no sound but the waves and a couple of dogs barking at us from the distance. As close to paradise as one could imagine.
Last month, I had a business trip scheduled in Mexico, from Chihuahua to Baja California Sur. Being a two-day drive something completely out of the question, we had to decide whether to drive for 9 hours and then taking a 10 hour ferry ride to Santa Rosalía, or to fly 4 hours to get to La Paz and then driving for about 7 hours to get to our destination.
Truth be told, I was kind of hoping we went with the ferry option so that I could experience the natural amusement of crossing the Sea of Cortez. Unfortunately, due to a tight work agenda, we had to go with the second option. We got there as soon as possible so that we could take advantage of the short time we had to get to know the area, and at the same time meet with our associates on the scheduled dates.
I’m still hoping I can take said ferry some time, though the second option wasn’t half bad. It was actually quite more than what I expected.
I couldn’t see as much of La Paz as I wanted, so there’s not much I can say about it. But being one of the main cities in the peninsula, I’m certain there is plenty of information around that can definitely make you feel like going over for at least a couple of days. On this trip, I was far more interested in visiting the not-so-common places of the state. Those little hidden spots where no TV camera or spring breakers have ever been. On my way back, I was lucky enough to, standing in awe, see the sun rise on one of those spots.
Mountains, desert and sea
During the 9 or so hours of driving all the way through the Transpeninsular Highway that runs across the entire state, you’ll be able to see three different ecosystems come together in a beautiful and unique road that keeps you constantly wondering how this territory is even possible. As someone who comes from a mostly mountainous region, I never thought I’d get to see the sea and the desert right next to a mountain. Literally next to it.
There is something magical about going down a road that on one side offers the steepest mountain range you could imagine, and on the other lets you enjoy the sight of a calm sea. And that’s not all, alternating with the mountain range; you get to go through the most mesmerizing unbranched cactus valleys a couple of times.
Nice people all around
I once wrote that hospitality doesn’t necessarily mean that people will approach you on the street to invite you over for dinner or offering to show you around. On the contrary, I’ve always felt much more comfortable when the locals treat me just like everybody else, or when they hardly even notice me. Makes me feel much more at home than the other way around.
That’s exactly what you’ll get in most of the cities in Baja California Sur, except of course for the main touristic sites like Los Cabos or La Paz where, being tourism as strong as it is, the way locals treat you is quite different.
In small towns such as Ciudad Constitución, Ciudad Insurgentes or San Ignacio, everyone will smile at you if you are polite. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, or if you do, but with an accent that is different from theirs, they will still treat you as if you were from the area; or what’s even better, they won’t even acknowledge the fact that you’re foreign.
If you mind your own business and you’re nice to the townspeople, they will be nice to you too. That is for me, what true hospitality is all about.