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The Best Time to Visit Baja California in 2023 | When to Go

The Best Time to Visit Baja California in 2023 | When to Go

Blessed with desert landscapes, stunning beaches, and rich underwater life, Baja California is one of the most unique destinations you can visit as part of your Mexican itinerary.

If you’re considering it, chances are you’re wondering what the best time to visit Baja California is, how to steer away from the peak season crowds, and when to visit to go easy on your wallet, to name a few.

Find out all there is to know about Baja California’s high and low seasons in our extensive guide. We can help you pick the best dates for your Mexican journey, as well as equip you with all the necessary pieces of travel advice to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime.

Shall we?

Overall Best Time to Visit Baja California

A humpback whale surface breaking on the wavy sea and mountains can be seen in background.

ArtDary/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Baja California is during the November–April period. These months are the driest in the entire year, with very low humidity levels.

Visitors can enjoy exploring the great outdoors and engage in recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing, and horse riding. The January–March period also sees humpback and great whales breeding in the lagoons.

Winters in Baja California are ideal for sailing the Sea of Cortez, hiking, cycling, and whale watching. Also, January marks the start of the peak season for expedition cruises.

March is perfect for those hoping to see blue-footed boobies and red-billed tropicbird. April is the ideal period for spotting different whales such as fin, humpbacks, minke, and pilot.

To culturally enrich your stay, consider attending some of the many festivities taking place in the span of these months. In the fall, there’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and Los Cabos, La Paz, and Todos Santos are the places to be if you wish to see the best celebrations.

Wine lovers should be on the lookout for the GastroVino Wine and Food Festival. Also, as the festival has a Greek god theme, expect to see plenty of attendees in costumes.

To get the adrenaline going, consider the Baja 1000, an off-road motorsport competition. Perceived as some of the most challenging races of this kind worldwide, Baja 1000 is only for the bravest of individuals (both watchers and competitors).

January hosts the popular Fiesta de los Reyes Magos in La Paz. Celebrating the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem, the event features live music, parades, and traditional Mexican delicacies.

Come February, the Carnival de Ensenada brings one of the biggest shows you’ve ever seen. Featuring parties, parades, enticing costumes, concerts, and fireworks, the Carnival de Ensenada is most visitors’ highlight of their stay in Baja California.

March hosts the Todos Santos Film Festival, focusing on Latin American cultural themes with Mexican artists being at the front.

From documentaries and animations to short films and indie flicks, the festival has something for every movie buff. For a more glamorous stay and a small-scale festival, consider attending the Baja WinterWondergrass Festival (April).

Highlighting wellness and overall well-being, the festival gives access to glamorous beachfront areas to relax, small concerts, and well-known artists.

Finally, note that if you visit around Christmas and New Year’s, get ready for higher prices than usual, and you’ll need to book your stay in advance.

Cheapest Time to Visit Baja California

The cheapest time to head to Baja California is in the June–August period. Money-conscious travelers can find reduced hotel rates and attractive plane ticket prices at this time.

Summers are known for surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and other water-based activities. June sees the peak of the mobula ray breeding period, and it’s the birthing period for sea lions. Biking and hiking are off the table, as the weather’s quite hot.

If you wish to cool off, consider heading to Baja’s Pacific side, as it’s the most pleasant area during summertime. July visitors can see elephant seals, and this month is also the start of the sea turtle nesting season.

In terms of popular festivals, June hosts the Tijuana International Beer Festival, and as Tijuana is renowned for its craft beer, visitors need little convincing to attend it.

July has the CLB Seafood Festival Ensenada, which is a haven for seafood lovers, as you can find anything from bluefin tuna to urchins during the event. In July, there’s also Independence Day, celebrating Mexico’s Independence from Spain with music, food, and parades.

August visitors would do well to remember the Fiestas de la Vendimia, a festival honoring the yearly grape harvest, where you can sample some local wine, enjoy fine dining, and even take part in officiating a huge paella competition.

This month also has the Baja Beach Fest, days full of Latin music, reggae vibes, and a chill summer atmosphere. The site also has a Ferris wheel, a VIP beach club, and plenty of social-media-worthy segments.

Least Busy Time to Visit Baja California

A massive cruise ship docking on a pier at a city during dusk.

ENSENADA, MEXICO – November 19, 2019: Ensenada is a coastal city in Baja, Mexico and is the destination for many cruise ships leaving Los Angeles and San Diego, California./Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

The least busy time to pay Baja California a visit is in May. It’s the ideal month for those who wish to explore Baja California without fighting for more elbow room, as this month is the perfect limbo period — the rainy season has yet to start, and the peak season crowds have just left.

Most of the migratory whales are gone at this time, so cruises operating at this time accentuate whale shark watching and the mobula ray seasons. Birders can see pelicans, frigatebirds, terns, ibis, and willets, to name a few.

Worst Time to Visit Baja California

The worst time to visit Baja California is in the August–October period. This is hands down the rainiest period of the entire season, followed by high humidity levels.

There’s a probability of hurricanes occurring as well. That said, if you visit at this time, you can spot some lizards, iguanas, and chuckwallas sometime in September.

Plus, lucky for you, there are festivals and celebrations during this time to compensate for the lack of good weather, such as the Fiestas del Sol in Mexicali (September). One of the best parties of the year, the Fiestas del Sol features hip hop, pop, and rock performances for two weeks.

In October, there’s the Valle Food and Wine Fest — foodies can’t skip this event; we’re talking celebrity chefs, desert setting, shiny lights, and music.

Things to Consider

A woman wearing a swimming clothes and a hat looking at the crystal clear waters of the beach.

Andrea De la Parra/Shutterstock

We want you to have the best possible stay in Baja California, so we gathered our best travel tips to make sure you have a great holiday:

  • The US government has issued a “Reconsider travel” advisory for travelers interested in visiting Baja California due to kidnapping and crime.
  • Being such a vast peninsula, how safe you are in Baja California largely depends on the part you’re visiting — the northern area is much more dangerous thanks to cartel activities, whereas the Baja California Sur region is safer, provided you’re careful.
  • Take all the necessary health precautions — for instance, dengue poses a threat in La Paz; also, La Paz is the first Mexican city with Wolbachia mosquitos, so make sure to protect yourself against any mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Avoid driving at night, as most roads have poor lightning, and there could be wandering livestock.
  • If you book any tours, such as hiking or wildlife watching, always check reviews and make sure the company values its clients’ safety above all.
  • Be careful with your swimming endeavors — swimming along the Sea of Cortez is safer than swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Always check for any warnings and follow local advice. Also, be mindful of any stingrays as they’re quite common — do the “stingray shuffle” when you enter the ocean; instead of walking normally in the water, keep your feet on the bottom of the sea floor and shuffle your way forward in the water.
  • Smaller towns may accept only cash, so make sure to always have some money with you.
  • While most locals can communicate in English, learning a few basic phrases in Spanish can be very useful.
  • Get travel insurance — not doing so simply isn’t worth the risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

A 4x4 driving on an off road adventure going towards rocky mountains.

Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

What are three facts about Baja California?

Here are three facts about Baja California:

1. Baja California is divided into five separate municipalities as follows: Mexicali, Tecate, Tijuana, Ensenada, and Playas de Rosarito.
2. It is alleged that the first people settled on the Baja Peninsula sometime 1000 years ago and the area was ruled by several Indigenous people; that said, Europeans didn’t make it to the Baja Peninsula until sometime in 1539.
3. The Baja California Peninsula is the third longest worldwide at 800 miles.

Is Baja California expensive?

You’ll need around Mex$5,988.08 (350.30$) per day per person during your stay in Baja California, or Mex$6,506.81 (380.70$) if you’re with a partner. This includes accommodation for two adults in a four-star hotel.

Set aside Mex$5,469.35 (320.00$) for eating out and having drinks and Mex$556.85 (32.60$) for entertainment for two people.

Note that your expenses largely depend on where you fly from, the type of accommodation you pick, and how you wish to spend your time in Baja California.

Also, note that the above-mentioned travel data is based on previous visitors’ information, and as such, it’s meant to help you make a more accurate estimate of your budget and isn’t set in stone.

Is Baja California worth going to?

Yes, Baja California is definitely worth visiting if you’re a fan of desert landscapes, rich marine life, glamorous beach resorts, and finger-licking Mexican food.

Do you need a car in Baja California?

Renting a car is very convenient in Baja California, as it will allow you to see most of the region on your own terms and go off the beaten path. That said, note that narrow roads are quite common in the country, including Baja California.

The driving habits of locals and the overall traffic conditions can be quite hectic, too, making the overall experience of driving in Baja California a challenging undertaking.

Do I need a tourist visa for Baja California?

If you’re an American citizen, you’re required to have a FMM tourist permit (Forma Migratoria Multiple) to enter the country.

Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!

A group of sea lions swimming near the surface of the water.

Joost van Uffelen/Shutterstock

👍 Best Time to VisitNovember to April
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitJune to August
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitMay
👎 Worst Time to VisitAugust to October

In general, regardless of when you visit Baja California, you’ll find soon enough that it’s one of the most wonderful destinations in Mexico. Not only will you not want to leave, but you’ll ask yourself why it took you so long to visit it in the first place.

Happy travels!