Category Archives: Hiking

Are you afraid of heights?

On the Tijuana-Ensenada libre, you do not need to worry about the San Andres fault, about 76 kilometers away from Tijuana, there is a great canyon called El Salto.

It's about a 30 minute hike uphill to get to see this view.
It’s about a 30 minute hike uphill to get to see this view.

This can either be a day trip or a week-end long trip. You pay 20 pesos (less than two dollars) per person upon entering the park, and at around 5 pm you will get kicked out; or you can pay 60 pesos (less than 5 dollars) per person and camp. It’s reasonably priced considering you have access to a bathroom, (cold) showers, a barbecue and fire pit. The installations are clean and the staff is friendly.

Take advantage of the amenities to cook up a carne asada or some hamburgers.
Take advantage of the amenities to cook up a carne asada or some hamburgers.

The hikes are very nice, there are a couple that can be done, some more difficult than others. The first one does not have any incline and ends at a canyon where people have lunch or rappel. If you do want to rappel, you bring your own, there is no one there providing equipment. The canyon is quite big and there are lots of places one enjoy the view.

Feeling up to it?
Feeling up to it?

If you want to sweat a bit, take a left before the canyon. You will see a path, climb to the top of the path and you take a right, there you will get to a “mirador” (view point) where you can see the valley from the top. It’s pretty scary because there is no protection, but if you stay safe, you won’t fall off. If you’re not tired after that, you can keep on hiking down the hill (on the other side from where you came) and you will arrive to a tiny lake with a teeny waterfall.

If you come after a lot of rain, there is more water and you can jump off the rocks into the water
If you come after a lot of rain, there is more water and you can jump off the rocks into the water

If you are feeling adventurous, there is a little beach you can camp at. The park is already quiet, this campsite is extreme solitude! There was a tent, but keep in mind you have to pick up after yourself and make sure that you leave the area as it was when you came. And make sure you can carry everything because it’s a steep walk back to the main campground.

The way up, very slippery but easier on the way up.
The way up, very slippery but easier on the way up.

Whether you only have the day or the week-end it’s a great trip for your family and your dog. Not once did we feel unsafe or threatened; nature is for everyone and if you can experience it close to untouched, well how great is that?

Puppies (and humans) are happier outside!
Puppies (and humans) are happier outside!

Unfortunately there is no website to the place but it’s called EL SALTO near Ensenada, BC. Try to take the trip!

Advertisements

Discover the Many Caves of Baja

San Ignacio isn`t just known for its mission and whale watching, it is also surrounded by world famous cave paintings. These have been around for thousands of years and while locals knew about them, they have been famous only for a couple decades. There are a couple paintings you can see. El Raton y el Palmarito (the one we saw) are day trips while there are others that take minimum 4 days on a mule. Talk about something unique!

You`ve made it!
You`ve made it!

Because we only had enough time to go to el Palmarito the tips will be about that cave painting. We were told that for a day hike, it was the best one to see.

There are two ways to go about organizing your hike.

Option 1: go to the tourist center underneath the San Ignacio mission and have someone call the guides and organize them for you. There is a $50 peso fee to bring cameras to the top and $100 pesos per person (free for students, doesn’t matter if the student is international or not). If your car doesn’t have 4WD they may offer to take you in their car.

Option 2: just drive to the site and hope there is a guide available for you. You may get lucky and not have to wait, or the most likely scenario, you’ll have to wait until a guide comes to take you to the paintings. You will pay at the base camp instead of the tourist center, and the price will be the same as mentioned above.  (Option 1 is a lot easier and will make everything flow better)

Starting the hike. It takes about an hour each way
Starting the hike. It takes about an hour each way

After driving for an hour and a half, you will arrive to the house to pick up your guide, from there you will drive to the bottom of the hike. Remember, you are walking in the middle of the desert and will need plenty of water and a sunhat, it gets hot. Our guide told us that in the summer it’s 100+ and many people who set out to make it to the top end up giving up. Don’t try this hike in the middle of the summer!

What to expect once you get to the top
What to expect once you get to the top

When you get to the top, you can spend as much time as you`d like and there are three caves you can explore. You’ll fist arrive to the biggest one, covered in different colored figures.

Close up of little animals
Close up of little animals

Even though the paintings are one of a kind, the view is also one to take in; it makes you realize how far you are from everything and how much the people who drew must have walked. On the caves, there are picture of whales, these painters walked all over the area.

Don't forget to look at the valley
Don’t forget to look at the valley

This is considered a World Heritage site, make sure you get to check it out, you will not regret it. And if you have more time, take one of the many other mule guided trips to other sites.

Close up of a figure

Close up of a figure

How to get there? Once in San Ignacio, drive to Bonfil (about 20 kms) and take a left, stay on the main dirt road and drive for about an hour. I believe it was 60 kms each way. You will get to the guide house and they will tell you what to do next.