Baja Sur by Car….

After an earlier visit to the all-inclusive Riu Palace Baja California in Cabo San Lucas, it was time to follow up with a road trip to check out other locales on the peninsula.

San Jose del Cabo is a delight.  We stayed at the Marisol Hotel Boutique.  Its location was perfect.  Turn right out the door, stroll two blocks, and you are at the beach.  And the hotel supplies towels, beach chairs, and umbrellas. 

Turn left and La Comer, a giant supermarket/department store, is a five minute walk away.  It’s perfect for picking up locally grown fruits and vegetables, gourmet meats and cheeses, and freshly baked desserts, bread, and rolls.  The yellow “Urbano” busses retired from taking children to school are now used to transport people around the hotel zone.  Although there are marked stops, one can flag them down. The cost: $1 US.  We took it from the hotel to city center where there is a picturesque church square flanked by restaurants, shops, and art galleries. 

Plan a visit to Playa el Chileano for a day of relaxing, swimming, and snorkeling.  

Cabo Pulmo was next on the itinerary with a quick stop at the spot where one crosses the Tropic of Cancer.  It’s worth the diversion, if only for bragging rights. 

Cabo Pulmo National Park is a 17,000+ acre Marine Protected Area. It’s a diving/snorkeling mecca and the location of the only Pacific coral reef in the Sea of Cortez.

Los Barriles is a quintessential coastal Mexican village destination. For windsurfers and kiteboarders, it’s the go to place for action. Fishing is spectacular and, seasonally, divers come to swim with whale sharks. Rent a quad for off-road adventures and exploring the beach. 

We stayed on the beach at the Hotel Playa del Sol.  It’s a ten minute walk into the center of town where there are bars, restaurants, and shops.  While there, eat at the marvelous Beans & Rice (the name does not do it justice).  

La Paz was a wonderful surprise.  It’s a city of 250,000+ and the capitol of Baja California Sur. Its Malecon, a 5 km long seafront promenade, is a bustling hub of activity including restaurants, bars, stores, art galleries, and gourmet ice cream shops.  Nightly, it’s a lively scene of families, tourists, locals, and teens strolling and hanging out. 

Twenty minutes outside of town is Playa Balandra, a conservation area, It is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen.  It’s on Balandra Bay and the crystal clear water is so shallow one can walk across to the other shore.  There are two time slots to visit and only 200 people are allowed at a time; there’s no fee for parking or entrance. 

El Tecolote Beach, a 10 km long stretch of white sand nearby, is also worth a visit.  

Drive Times 

Los Cabos International Airport to San Jose del Cabo, 30 minutes.

San Jose del Cabo to Cabo Pulmo, 2 hours. 

Cabo Pulmo to Los Barriles, 1 hour.  

Los Barriles to La Paz, less that 2 hours. 

Back to the airport from La Paz, 3 hours.  

Get to the airport 3 hours before your flight.


Epic Group is my preferred ground operator in Los Cabos. Their representatives are easy to located at the airport. Make advanced reservations by contacting  them at

Google the family owned Marisol Hotel Boutique in San Jose del Cabo for reservations or call direct,


Contact the Hotel Playa del Sol in Los Barriles at

One packing essential is the Rubber Ducky combo of sunscreen and lip balm.

Another is Kleen Kanteen for hydration.  

Both are designed with the environment in mind (and don’t you love Kleen Kanteen’s latest color, Tiger Lilly?)

Baja Sur by car is a road less traveled but well worth it.

Let’s go!

Howard Hian

Thanks to some internet sources for information/details.

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