Surrounded on all sides by bathwater-warm crystal-clear turquoise waters - the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez to the east - Baja California is a mecca for enthusiasts of all watersports. Snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking… it's also legendary for sport fishing, whale-watching and its 'life's a beach' attitude.
On the map, the spindly finger of desert and craggy mountains stretching 1,000 miles south of San Diego looks very much like an extension of the US. In part, that’s true. Americans flock to the sprawling beachfront hotels and championship golf courses at the southernmost tip of this relatively new Mexican state. Easy-to-travel asphalt roads link authentic Mexican towns including bohemian Todos Santos, sleepy Loreto and La Paz and the round-the-clock party town of Cabo San Lucas. But there’s still a wonderful unexplored feel to Baja... this is a frontier that has changed little since Hernando Cortez discovered the peninsula in 1535.
And boy, are there beaches. Some of the best snorkelling and diving spots can be found off the beaten path at places like Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. And many Baja beaches are still hidden at the end of dusty single-track roads radiating from numbered markers on the main highway - signposts to secret spots of paradise.