Being located in Arizona with Baja just a few hours away it seemed like it was about time we go explore our southern neighbor. The work that has gone into the Bajadivide.com website has paved the way for bikepacking to pick up momentum in Baja the last two years and it’s quickly growing in popularity. Given the limited time I had for the trip, I appreciated having the route beta and a GPS track to follow so I could spend more time riding and less time navigating.
The whole Baja Divide route is 1700 miles but there are shorter options as well, most notably the 280 mile Cape Loop at the southern tip of the peninsula. Given my ruffly 2 week window, I opted to do something of a hybrid route starting on the Southern end of the Divide and finishing with the Cape Loop, about 480 miles in total. This was convenient because it also allowed me to fly in and out of Cabo both ways, maximizing my time on the bike (only a 3 hour flight from PHX !).
My route started in Ciudad Constitucion and continued south from there. From the Airport in San Jose del Cabo I took a shuttle to the Bus stop for the main north-south bus run by Aguila. This bus got me all the way to Ciudad Constitucion, although it was an 8hr ride, arriving at 11pm. A long day, but still plenty of hours to get a nights sleep before starting riding in the morning. Here I met up with Chase in CC and she even helped me carry my bike from the bus stop to the hotel. Chase had winter break off and was riding the whole divide, and we had picked CC as a good meeting point that I could “easily” get to in one day’s travel.
From Ciudad Constitucion, the divide route heads southeast to the Sea of Cortez through some very remote and rugged landscapes dotted with old Spanish missions and little Ranchos tucked away in the most unlikely places. It a dry and sun-blasted landscape but there are a few oasis that we passed where we could get water. The roads are rough dirt, sometimes little more than a two-track. It took us two days to reach the Sea and we saw only a few cars during that time.
We spent the night in San Evaristo, a tiny fishing village on the Sea of Cortez with no store and only Maggie and Lupe’s little restaurant. This was a highlight for me, one of your nicer camp spots and we had a nice fish dinner with cold beers and a big breakfast in the morning as well. They are very friendly and accommodating to cyclists, we bought some tortillas and bananas from them for provisions to get us down the coast.
Heading down the coast from San Evaristo to La Paz was fantastic riding with stunning and dramatically rugged coastal landscapes. The weather was cloudy with gusty winds further adding to the awesome feeling being emersed in an alien land. And eerie too, we didn’t see anyone on the road till we were nearing la Paz.
For once in my cycling carrier, I arrived somewhere early, with the help of a strong tailwind and Chase’s insistence that I not “loly gag” we made it to La Paz in one big push. I checked us into a nice hotel with the intention of spending the following day resting poolside and exploring La Paz’s vast culinary offerings, AKA eating our faces off!
From La Paz we headed to the Hot Springs beach of El Sargento where we enjoyed more beachside camping. El Sargento is a windsurfing mecha and also has a decent network of mountain biking trails which we explored after a night of shinanagins drinking tequila and trying to dig a pit in the hot springs beach to soak in.
Needless to say after all that and a full days ride to La Rebara we where exhausted, which was perfect because Chase’s aunt and uncle invited us to stay with them there for a few days in a house they had rented for the winter. Can’t pass up a hot shower and bed, not to mention all the awesome family breakfasts we had over the next few days. Chase’s trip ended here as she had to get back to work. So I was rolling solo for the rest of the Cape Loop.
My highlights from the Cape Loop were spending a day riding clunky city buses around Cabo trying to find a bike box, riding over the Sierra De Laguna on the Las Naranjas Road, and spending a day in Todos Santos in a neat loft apartment that I randomly found asking around because all the hotels were full.
The best part was I decided to ride back over the Las Naranjas road so I got to enjoy the views heading in the West to East direction as well. Much steeper going West to East but I enjoyed it, my last day riding in Baja, and the long downhill back to San Jose was Awesome!
Well, that pretty much sums up the trip, I can’t wait to return to Baja next Winter!