Blog posts chronicling our travels throughout Mexico, with an eye toward family-friendly activities & adventures.
Each place we’ve visited in Mexico – from the wild coast of Baja California to the solitary Sonoran desert, from the tropical Nayarit coast to the bustling metropolis of Mexico City – has been remarkable in its own way. Chiapas, however, stands apart from the rest. From its Mayan history to its enduring indigenous communities, and from its natural beauty to its gastronomic delights, the state of Chiapas is the epicenter of all things that make Mexico great.
3 Top Escapes to Beat the Summer Heat
In our four years living on the Nayarit Coast, we’ve found these three spots top our list as the best places to beat the heat less than a half-day’s drive away. They are also great places to visit for anyone wanting to enjoy and experience Mexico outside of the more popular tourist destinations along the Nayarit and Jalisco coasts.
Birding in San Blas
We woke before dawn and drove through the darkness to La Palma – a tiny puebla on the outskirts of San Blas. Beyond La Palma, we climbed a rocky dirt road leading into the jungle – the same road, “El Camino Real,” that many years ago served as the main route between Mexico City and San Blas. We all got out of the car – me, my husband Brian, Tonio (our birding partner for the day), and my 4 ½ year-old daughter, Maya. Although it was my first Christmas Bird Count, something was telling me I had been in this place before.
Art is Everywhere
One of the many things we love about Mexico is how art is central to the culture. From elaborate murals and public art displays, to ceremonial masks, handmade pottery, jewelry and more – everywhere you look is adorned with vibrant colors and patterns. Even simple homes and storefronts are expressions of art with their brightly painted walls and whimsical signs.
Along our drive through Baja, we captured video clips of the various roads, towns and landscapes we drove through. We hope you enjoy this “Drivelapse” video of Baja California!
The rainbow that greeted us at the entrance to our home in La Paz proved to be a message from heaven that the next two weeks were going to be magical. We arrived in La Paz on Oct. 18, not really sure what to expect of the capital city of Baja California Sur. We were invited to stay at a friend’s home on El Mogote – a small peninsula at the end of a long, narrow sand bar that juts out into the Sea of Cortez, cutting off the peninsula from town.
We made it to the tip of Baja! On Oct. 1, we finished our traverse of Baja California and entered “Los Cabos,” the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. Since entering Baja on Sept. 1, we have driven more than 1,100 miles from top to bottom.
As I write this, Hurricane Patricia just finished barreling down on the Pacific Coast of Mexico not far from where we plan to make our new home in Chacala, Nayarit. Initial reports from people on the ground say that the storm passed through Chacala and the rest of Nayarit with minimal impact. Hardest hit were southern Jalisco and Colima, the two states south of Nayarit.
Bahía Concepción and Loreto
Baja’s Transpeninsular Highway zig-zags back and forth between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez as you drive from north to south. Over the course of our first two weeks in Mexico, we have zigged west to Puerto Santo Tomás on the Pacific, zagged east to Bahía de Los Ángeles on the Sea of Cortez, then zigged back west again to Guerrero Negro on the Pacific.
Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio
On Sept. 12, we left Bahía de Los Ángeles and headed west back over the mountainous spine of the Peninsula, and then south to Guerrero Negro on the Pacific Ocean. Guerrero Negro sits at the border between the two states of Baja Norte and Baja Sur. It is a surprisingly delightful little town with brightly colored and welcoming tiendas (stores) lining the main street.
Bahía de Los Ángeles
On Sept. 7, we left our rustic confines of Puerto Santo Tomás and made the all-day trek to Bahía de Los Ángeles on the Sea of Cortez. It was a long haul – about 8 hours – but we made good time despite the many diversions, potty breaks, washouts, potholes, big rigs and roaming livestock that marked our journey down the main (and only) state highway 1.
Puerto Santo Tomás
Our next stop after the Valle de Guadalupe was Puerto Santo Tomás. Puerto Santo Tomás is about a two hour drive south of Ensenada. It sits at the end of an 20-mile, bumpy dirt road that winds through farmlands and steep mountainsides and along the coastline, until it simply dead-ends at the port.
Valle de Guadalupe – La Ruta del Vino
Baja California is proving to be as beautiful as we expected, but much more remote than we anticipated. We are purposefully steering clear of the big cities – Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada. Hence, we have little access to the internet to post updates and send emails. So you are about to get several stories in a row, which will catch you up to where we are now as of Sept. 12 in San Ignacio. This first post is about our first stop in Baja California, Mexico, from Sept. 1 – 4 at Valle de Guadalupe, or La Ruta del Vino – the wine route.