Heading out of Loreto across the coastal plain peppered with beautiful beaches, you pass through a region of dry, knobbly hills which support a smattering of drought-resistant plants as well as the ubiquitous cactus. The undulating road here is paved and in good condition. You might decide to stop off for a swim at El Requison Bay, just short of the town Buenaventura, and continue on to Mulegé which has a Jesuit mission dating back to 1703. One of Baja’s stunningly attractive oases, Mulegé has a view point over Santo Rosalia river which is lush and planted with citrus trees and date palms. The hilltop mission is worth a visit.
Further north is the port Santa Rosalia, built to export copper from the now exhausted mines (you can see abandoned mine paraphernalia scattered around) and now surviving on fishing. It has a central church constructed with the help of Eiffel (of Eiffel tower fame) and, unusually, houses built in French Caribbean style.
Approaching the Vizcaino Reserve, a scalding caldron of desert heat, you’ll be exposed to uncompromising desert all the way until suddenly you hit on San Ignacio, by contrast a lush green and shady place filled with date groves. The town hosts a clutch of Baja’s rare thatched colonial buildings, painted in pastel colours, bedecked with bougainvillea and sheltered by laurel trees. The striking mission here, completed by Dominicans in 1786, is probably the most ornate and interesting in Baja.
If you drive without stops it will take around 3.5hrs to cover the distance (272km) but we are sure you will want to park up to enjoy some of the places of interest en route.