The rising sun brings hope to lizards darting into naturally designed angles of sunlight, to rest a moment, before continuing to search for tasty tidbits. Their playground, an area called Baja California Sur, is the perfect marriage between desert and ocean. Harmony blooms from the cactus standing proudly at attention watching as the fishing boats pass by in the Sea of Cortez.

From San Diego, Cabo is about two hours away by airlines such as Aero Mexico, and there are new direct flights on Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles to La Paz. Frontier Airlines also has three non-stop flights per week into Cabo San Lucas from Los Angeles. Check with your travel agent for airlines and flight schedules.

Whether you are traveling solo or with friends, renting a car from the airport can get you going quickly and give more opportunities to explore the southern half of the peninsula. A good place to start would be the city of San Jose del Cabo.

San Jose del Cabo is an old city with an inviting, slow pace and buildings of historical and architectural value. The Municipal Palace, constructed in 1831, is decorated with neoclassical styles. The Culture House, which now provides workshops in music, painting and dance, was built in 1847 and served as a refuge for North Americans during the War of Intervention.

The Jose Antonio Mijares Plaza looks across at the graceful twin-towered Mission San Jose del Cabo Anuiti, established in 1730 by Father Nicolas. The mission was destroyed in 1734 and rebuilt on the same location in 1932.

Among the many fine restaurants in San Jose del Cabo is Damiana, situated in an 18th century hacienda mansion. Damiana is also a liqueur thought to possess aphrodisiac qualities. This romantic restaurant is appropriately named with its lovely, flower filled courtyard lit by candles, stars and the moon.

Casa Natalia, a boutique hotel in the middle of town, would be a convenient place to stay. San Jose del Cabo has the largest organic farming area in Mexico with much of the produce shipped to the United States.

Moving north along the coastline of the Sea of Cortez, the tranquil beauty surrounds you with a spiritual, peaceful feeling.

The whole peninsula has some of the best fishing in the world, and the East Cape area is no exception. The family owned and operated Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort is a perfect base of operation to enjoy all the activities this area has to offer.

After a long day of fishing, relax with a massage in their spa while they prepare a delicious meal with your catch of the day. Catch-and-release fishing is practiced here with fish weighing less than 100 pounds. The most sought after fish in these waters are sailfish.

The hotel can arrange fishing trips, scuba/snorkel tours, or ATV mountain adventures. Julio with Quadman ATV is a great guide who can take you on trails running through riverbeds and crystal clear waterfalls for a quick dip to cool off.

Thirteen hundred different varieties of cacti dot the entire length of the peninsula. October through November is a breeding ground for several different species of butterflies. What a joy to see the fluttering petals of color against the desert landscape!

Driving north again for a couple of hours will bring you into La Paz, the main city on the peninsula. La Paz has several marinas; one of the newest is Marina Costa Baja. Situated next to the Marina Costa Baja is Fiesta Inn Hotel, both about a 10-minute car ride to the center of La Paz.

The Malecon stretches three and a half miles along the waterfront. Your breath is taken away when the sun sets and the sky seemingly bursts into flames.

La Paz has beaches, boats and balmy temperatures. Fine dinning abounds with restaurants such as Gula, Bistrot Francais, Bismark-Cito, or Bufalo Bar-B Q.

In addition to the Fiesta Inn Hotel, other choices could be Hotel Perla, Hotel Seven Crown, or Los Arcos y Cabanas de Los Arcos. For an extended stay in La Paz you might want to try Casa Tuscany Inn, a bed and breakfast run by Patricia Lowe and Ken Bonner. They are sure to pamper you with cooked breakfasts, lovely rooms, and lively conversation.

If you want to learn Spanish or brush up a bit, Se Habla…La Paz has a language program.

There is no lack of night life in La Paz with Casa de Villa, a bar; La Paz La Pa, a bar, Mexican food and disco; Escape, a pool bar; or perhaps Espresso Café, a bar and disco.

La Paz is a shoppers’ paradise. Two stores that carry fine quality Mexican arts and crafts are Artesanias La Antigua California and Hummingbird, both run by Angelica Duron de Quentero. The department store, Dorian, carries everything from candles to evening shoes to perfume.

Driving from La Paz to the artistic haven, Todos Santos, you pass through deserts filled with cactus landscaped so beautifully it would seem that master gardeners finally reached perfection. Todos Santos, nestled in the Sierra La Laguna Mountains, is located on the Tropic of Cancer, on the west side of the peninsula, ambling down to kiss the Pacific Ocean.

With its wide range of art galleries, restaurants and beaches, you will want a few days to indulge. The Hacienda Todos Los Santos is a wonderful place to rest and refresh each day, or maybe Hotel California. Could this be the place mentioned in the famous Eagles song?

The stretch of highway from Todos Santos to Cabo San Lucas has incredible ocean views almost the entire route.

Cabo San Lucas is located at the very tip of the Baja peninsula where the cool Pacific Ocean swirls in to meet the exotic Sea of Cortez. The waters dance together around the Arch, the famous landmark in Cabo San Lucas Bay.

Cabo San Lucas is a destination by itself with world class fishing, beaches, outstanding outdoor activities, sightseeing, championship golf courses, shopping, festive night spots, fabulous hotels, and restaurants that also attract the rich and famous.

If spas are on your to do list, try the spa at Esperanza Resort. Let your hair down and prepare to be pampered from your curly locks down to your tippy toes.

The arid climate and relaxed lifestyle instill a healthful and revitalized feeling. While you reflect at the end of yet another glorious day, and the setting sun casts a mesmerizing glow over you, the now peaceful lizard, lazy from a full belly, is ready to tuck in for the night.

About the Author

Julie Ferro was raised in California but born to be a
traveler. The excitement that she experiences planning a trip or just thinking
of short or long distance travel is beyond compare. Strolling in a new city
holds so many pleasures: cultural sites, shopping, dinning, fashion or just
people watching. She loves it all.

Julie is a tennis player, hiker and into adventure. She loves antiques and art and
lives in a condo in Glendale with her beautiful cat Farrah.