The Baja California Peninsula is in the northwest region of Mexico. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. With four main desert areas, this peninsula offers some harsh, but beautiful environments. Its natural beauty is not the only thing that attracts tourists; Baja is also popular for sports fishing, diving with whale sharks, whale watching, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
There are two major tourist destinations in Baja California: La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. La Paz lives up to its name of « peace ». It is more laid-back and manages to keep its authenticity despite the tourism. Unfortunately, to get to nice beaches you have to drive out of town. Cabo San Lucas is far more touristy. It’s very beautiful and the town has fantastic restaurants, good shopping, and nice beaches.
However, if you come to Baja California looking for good kitesurfing spots, you won’t find them in La Paz or Cabo San Lucas. So my friends and I headed over to Los Barriles!
With the famous spot La Ventana further up north, Los Barriles is a fantastic kitesurfing spot between November and April. I happen to live in San Francisco, where the kitesurf season is the exact opposite: April to October. So you could imagine how many Californian kitesurfers flock to Baja California during the winter holidays.
Los Barriles is a very small town, definitely not a party scene: you go there for its authentic charms, not for fancy hotel resorts. You can still find some nice restaurants, a couple of bars, and a supermarket. Take a look at the picture below and you’ll see that my hotel still offered this perfect paradise beach setting you can find in Cabo San Lucas.
My friends and I ended up kitesurfing, but also renting some ATVs to explore a canyon in the area, snorkeling, driving up to La Paz, and eating a LOT of grilled fish. If you are tired of crowded resorts, and are looking for something a little more authentic, Los Barriles should definitely go on your bucket list. It’s the perfect destination for the outdoorsy, local-adventure type of traveler.