Baja California

Baja California, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, number 29, of the thirty-one states that, together with Mexico City, make up Mexico. Its capital is Mexicali and its most populated city is Tijuana, head of the municipality. homonymous, the most populated in the country. It is divided into seven municipalities.

It is located in the northern part of the Baja California peninsula in the northwest region of the country. It limits to the north with the state of California, to the east with the states of Arizona and Sonora and with the Gulf of California, to the south with the state of Baja California Sur and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. With 71,450 km², it represents 3.6% of the national territory, being the twelfth largest federal entity in the country.

Its population according to the 2020 Census is 3,769,020 inhabitants, which represents 3% of the Mexican population, being the fourteenth most populated entity in the country, close to the average position of seventeenth. It is also the fourteenth least densely populated entity, also close to the middle position.

Its Human Development Index (HDI) is one of the highest in Mexico, the fourth nationally, rated as very high. It is also the twelfth entity by gross domestic product (GDP) and thirteenth in competitiveness according to IMCO data. .​ Due to its geographical position—adjacent to the United States—it allows an area of commercial and cultural connection. It is also one of the most visited states in the country. The Guadalupe Valley (Ensenada) is the largest wine producer in Mexico, recognized internationally.

In 1931 the Territory of Baja California—which had been established since 1824—was divided and the Northern Territory of Baja California was formed. Said federal territory was elevated to a free and sovereign state on January 16, 1952.



1 Mexicali — The state capital is a popular destination for visitors from California, just across the border.
2 Camalu — A coastal town between Colonet and El Rosario, about 2 hours south of Ensenada.
3 Cataviña — Nearby there are some cave paintings and a field of giant rocks, mixed with desert vegetation.
4 Ensenada — "The Beautiful Cinderella of the Pacific" is an important commercial, fishing and cruise port.
5 Puerto Nuevo — "Lobster Capital of Baja California"
6 Rosarito Beach — Beautiful coastline, sandy beaches, cliffs, beautiful weather.
7 San Felipe — A tourist destination with a spectacular tide: the sea recedes up to 2 km.
8 Tecate — A border city best known for Tecate beer.
9 Tijuana — Baja California's largest city and gateway to Mexico, just south across the border from San Diego.


Other destinations

1 Bahía de los Ángeles — This sport fishing hot spot provides access to the numerous islands in this part of the northern Gulf of California
2 Cañon de Guadalupe — Thermal oasis in the middle of nature.
3 Guadalupe Island — A remote island that is a destination for diving excursions to see great white sharks.
4 Valle de Guadalupe — The best wine region in Mexico.
5 Constitución de 1857 National Park — Remote park with a mountain lake in the middle of a pine forest.
6 San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park — Remote marine environment with five islands in the Sea of Cortez.
7 Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park — Rugged mountain park, home to bighorn sheep and condors.


Getting here

By plane
By far the largest airport is in Tijuana. In addition to numerous domestic American connections, there are also flights from North America and Asia. The airport in Mexicali has some connections to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

By train
There is no cross-border rail service for passengers between the United States and Mexico. However, you can reach San Diego by train and take the San Diego Trolley (Blue Line), a type of tram, to within a few hundred meters of the border and then cross it on foot.

On the street
There are about half a dozen border crossings between California and Baja California, but the mega border crossing at San Ysidro between San Diego and Tijuana is notorious for long traffic jams. At the small transitions such as B. Tecate is more tranquil. When taking a vehicle with you, please note that special insurance must be taken out for Mexico (US insurance does not cover the Mexico risk). For tourists from Europe, traveling by car is generally not an option, as US car rental companies usually prohibit taking the vehicle into Mexico.


Travel around

By car
Mexican federal highways 1 and 1D are the main north-south highways in Baja California.

Milestone markers mark the distance along Fed 1 through Baja California in four separate and enhanced segments. The first of these is the 109 km (68 mi) length from Tijuana to Ensenada, which is informally known as Mex 1 Libre to distinguish it from Fed 1D, the parallel toll road. The second part of the signposted highway runs 196 km from Ensenada to San Quintín. The third segment covers 128 km (80 mi) from San Quintín to the Parador Punta Prieta intersection. A final segment extends 128 km (80 mi) from Punta Prieta to the border of the state of Baja California Sur, near Guerrero Negro. The total route of Fed 1 in Baja California is 713 km (443 mi). Mexican federal highway (Hwy) 1D is a 4-lane highway ('highway type') that serves as the main toll highway between Tijuana and Ensenada, while Hwy 1 runs along it serving as a 'free' highway with access to multiple local side streets.

Mexican Federal Highway 5 begins in the border city of Mexicali, at the western border crossing. From there it has four lanes until approximately km 80. At this point it becomes a two-lane highway (with little or no shoulders in most areas) until km 160, about 18 km (11 mi) south of the junction with Mexican Federal Highway 3, and about 40 km (24 mi) north of San Felipe. From there, the highway is a wide four-lane divided highway with a median and wide shoulders, until it ends in San Felipe.
from Mexican Federal Highway 2 is the main east-west route along the US-Mexico border from the Mexican side. It connects Tijuana with Highway 15 in Santa Ana, Sonora (110 km south of the border in Nogales) through Tecate, Mexicali, San Luis Río Colorado and Sonoyta.

By bus
The main bus companies that connect the towns and cities along the Transpeninsular Highway (MX Hwy 1/1D) between Tijuana and San José del Cabo are:
Baja California Motor Transport (ABC)
Aguila Motor Transport

In addition to the above, the following offer east-west service between Tijuana, Mexicali, San Luis Río Colorado and intermediate points on Highway 2 in Mexico and between San Diego, Calexico and Yuma on I-8 in the United States:

White Star Group. ☎ +0800-507-5500 (domestic). It connects the North Terminal of Mexico City with Tijuana via Guadalajara, Tepic, Mazatlán, Cualican, Hermosillo, Mexicali and intermediate points along highways 2 and 15. The Elite, TNS (Transportes Norte de Sonora) brands operate; Chihuahuanese, Pacifico, TF (Transportes Frontera); and the Estrella Blanca brand. They have a collaboration agreement with Greyhound Lines to travel to the United States and vice versa.
ETN Turistar. ☎ +0800-8000-386 (domestic). Connect Tijuana and Mexicali with the Mexican continent in Deluxe class for 20% more than the 'first class' service
Greyhound Lines & Cruises USA. It connects San Diego with Yuma through Calexico on the US side and from San Diego with Tijuana.
Tufesa. ☎ +52 644 4102444. Connects Tijuana and Mexicali with multiple locations in Jaliscos, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Sonora on the Mexican mainland and with Las Vegas and Los Angeles in the US. Click on this link to learn about their operations in the US. USA


See and do

Picacho del Diablo Hill. This is one of the many high peaks in Baja California. The mountains of the region are very similar to those of the Sierra Nevada in California.


To drink

Although Mexico is not typically seen as a wine-consuming country, wine production has been increasing in both quality and quantity since the 1980s, and the Baja California area produces 90% of Mexico's wine.

The "Wine Route" connects the wine-growing areas of the municipality of Ensenada, such as the Guadalupe Valley, the Llano Colorado Valley, the Santo Tomás Valley and the San Vicente Valley with the port city of Ensenada and the border cities of Tijuana and Tecate. The Route connects more than fifty wineries, along with luxury restaurants, hotels, museums and other attractions in this part of the state of Baja California. The route is marked with "Wine Route" signs on roads and highways to promote the area for wine tourism purposes, especially from the border with the United States.

Another great tourist attraction is the Harvest Festival, which is celebrated in Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe every year in August. The festivities include wine tastings and contests, winery tours, fishing tournaments, cooking contests, gourmet food and concerts. These events are sponsored and/or organized by area wineries. Taking place in summer, afternoon temperatures can be around 38°C (100°F). Some of the events are the "Noche de Cofradía en Ensenada", which offers wine and food tastings from around thirty wineries and restaurants, pairing local wines with culinary specialties from the area.


Place names

The name California already existed before the discovery of America or the first exploration of European lands as the name of a fictitious and paradisiacal country. The relation of such appellation to the similar "Califerne", name of a non-Christian queen of the Song of Roland, whose etymology is different (from the French "calife"), is doubtful. In the chivalric novel Las sergas de Esplandián, published in 1510 in Seville (Spain), the name as we know it today is cited for the first time, perhaps coming from "Cálida fornax" or 'hot oven' plus the suffix of country -ia.

"Know that on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California very close to one side of the Earthly paradise; and it was populated by black women, without a man existing there, because they lived in the manner of the Amazons. They were beautiful and robust bodies, fiery courage and great strength. Their island was the strongest in the entire world, with its steep cliffs and its stony coasts. Their weapons were all of gold and of the same metal magical ponies were the harnesses of the wild beasts that They used to tame them to ride them, because in the entire island there was no other metal than gold."

However, according to Fernando Jordán in his book "The Other Mexico"​ he says:
Christopher Columbus, who upon discovering the continent [...] Since then, that unknown and unapproachable island of the Amazons would be called California. The name, moreover, was not new; Montalvo found it and took it when reading The Song of Roland. "My nephew is dead who conquered so many lands, and now the Saxons rebelled against me, and the Hungarians, and the Bulgarians and so many others, the Romans, those of Pulla and those of Palermo and those of Africa and those of California."



In a remote antiquity calculated at fourteen thousand years, the first nomadic human groups, with a subsistence economy, arrived to the peninsula along the route along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. The Yumano-Cochimí languages constitute a linguistic family of Amerindian languages spoken in California and Arizona, United States; and the Baja California peninsula and northwestern Sonora in Mexico. It was included among the Hokan languages by Voegelin and Haas, and as Hoka-Sioux, according to Edward Sapir.

There were three perfectly defined tribal groups in pre-Hispanic times; the pericúes, guaycuras and cochimíes. The Pericúes inhabited the southern part of the peninsula and extended northward, from Cabo San Lucas to the middle part of the peninsula. The Guaycuras lived in the middle part and the Cochimíes in the extreme north.

Parallel to the Cochimíes, the existence of other nomadic groups such as; The Kumiai (K'miai), one of the indigenous families that together with the Cucapá, Paipái, Kiliwa, Cahilla and Akula populated the north of the Baja California peninsula, all belonging to the Yuman trunk.

Baja California was originally populated by the Kumiai (K'miai), one of the indigenous families that along with the Cucapá, Pai Pai, Kiliwa, Cahilla and Akula populated the north of the Baja California peninsula.


The first Spanish explorations

The first expedition in the lands of the state of Baja California

Hernán Cortés is currently considered the conqueror of the peninsula, although the first European who landed in what is now the Baja California peninsula was the Spanish pilot and navigator Fortún Jiménez who, in command of the ship Concepción, whose skipper was Hernán Cortés, He sighted and visited the peninsula in 1534, which he thought was an island.

The first European to set foot in what is now the state of Baja California was the navigator Francisco de Ulloa, who traveled both coastlines of the Baja California peninsula between 1539 and 1540, as well as the coast of what is now the state of Sonora.

Hernán Cortés, who had already sponsored three exploration voyages in the South Sea (Pacific Ocean) and which had ended in failure, decided to send a fourth exploration voyage to the South Sea under the command of Francisco de Ulloa in 1539. The expedition from the port of Acapulco on July 8 of the aforementioned year aboard the ships Santo Tomás, Santa Águeda and Trinidad, at the height of the Marías Islands they were forced to abandon the ship Santo Tomás, so they continued the journey of exploration on the two remaining vessels.

They entered the Gulf of California and visited the abandoned town of Santa Cruz, currently known as La Paz, on the round trip. They arrived at the northern end of the Gulf of California on September 28, at what is currently known as the mouth. of the Colorado River and called the mouth of the river "Ancón de San Andrés", a brief record was drawn up whose text is transcribed:

I, Pedro de Palencia, public notary of this army, give faith and true testimony to all the gentlemen who see this, whom God our Lord keeps from harm, as on the twenty-eight days of the month of September of five hundred and thirty-nine years, the very magnified Lord Francisco de Ulloa, lieutenant governor and captain of this fleet by the most illustrious Lord Marquis of the Valley of Guajaca, took possession of the Ancón de San Andrés and Mar Vermeja, which is on the coast of New Spain towards the North, which It is at a height of thirty-three and a half degrees, by the said Mr. Marquis del Valle in the name of the Emperor our king of Castile, actually and truly, putting his hand to the sword, saying that if there was any person who contradicted him, that He was ready to defend it, cutting trees with it, uprooting grass, moving stones from one place to another, and drawing water from the sea; all in sign of possession. Witnesses who were present to what was said are the reverend parents of Mr. San Francisco, Father Fray Raymundo, Father Fray Antonio de Mena, Francisco de Terrazas, Veedor Diego de Haro, Gabriel Márquez. Date, day, month and year mentioned above. And I, Pedro de Palencia, public notary of this army, wrote to him as he passed before me; Therefore I fixed here this sign of mine, which is such, as a testimony of truth.
Pedro de Palencia, public notary. Frater Ramundus Alilius, Frater Antonius de Mena, -Gabriel Márquez. -Diego de Haro. -Francisco de Terrazas.

After having disembarked and taken possession of the lands at the northern end of the Bermeja Sea (Gulf of California), the name they gave it because of the reddish color of the waters that were dyed by the waters from the Colorado River, they began their return to the town of the Santa Cruz, they doubled Cabo San Lucas and entered the Pacific Ocean, through the current Magdalena Bay, they spent December 5 without having entered because Ulloa was wounded, due to a skirmish he had with the natives. On April 5, 1540, he sent Cortés from Cedros Island a report of the events of the exploration in one of the two ships, in the other he continued with the exploration, Francisco de Ulloa and his followers were never heard from again. sailing companions.


The expedition of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo

On June 24, 1542, three ships left the port of Navidad Colima, Mexico, accompanied by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, sailors, soldiers, Indians, a priest, food for two years, live animals and merchandise. Cabrillo commands the small fleet aboard the flagship San Salvador that he built himself.

After setting sail, it travels along the coast of Colima and heads towards the Baja California peninsula, which it had in sight on July 3. It arrived in San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, and there it was supplied with water on the 13th of the same month. He discovers Magdalena Bay, which he names as such. On August 5, they enter the waters of what is now the state of Baja California and rediscover Cedros Island, where they remain until the 10th of the same month. They continue their journey along the coast. the Baja California peninsula and drawing up maps, on Tuesday, August 22, 1542, they entered the Bay of San Quintín, which they baptized with the name “Puerto de la Possession”, because it was there where they made their first takeover. in the name of the Spanish crown.

Rodríguez Cabrillo had been sent by the first viceroy of New Spain, Don Antonio de Mendoza, to map the northern Pacific coast of little-known California. Rodríguez Cabrillo had problems: one of the ships was leaking and in such circumstances he led the first meeting between Hispanics and natives of the land, most likely Kiliwas (although this may be wrong given the high social mobility of the pre-Hispanic world in these lands). Rodríguez and his crew had to repair the ship's failure and in these pressing circumstances his priority was to find wood and begin the repair that would last 5 days: Until the following Sunday. The natives reported with very interesting data. The expedition replenished its freshwater reserves (surely its men hunted in the wetlands). Rodríguez flew the colors of Spain and it was in San Quintín where Hispanics set foot on the land of what is now Baja California for the first time. On September 17, they arrived at what is now the port of Ensenada, which they named San Mateo. From there Cabrillo continued sailing north until entering the waters of what is now the state of California, where he died.


The time of the missions

After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and the Mesoamerican area, a little more than a century passed trying to do the same on the peninsula, until 1683, when the Jesuits founded the San Bruno Mission to the south. The history of the Baja Californian missions can be divided into three periods, determined by the presence of many other religious groups that, to a greater or lesser extent, imposed their own stamp on missionary organization and life: Jesuits, Dominicans and Franciscans. First they were the Jesuits (1697-1768) who took charge of the tasks of evangelization of the Californian peoples. In what is now Baja California they founded the missions of Santa Gertrudis and San Borja. Then, after the Company was estranged, the missions were entrusted to the Franciscan fathers of the Colegio de San Fernando de México (1768-1772).


XIX century

On March 2, 1804, Ensign José Manuel Ruiz asked Governor Joaquín de Arrillaga for land near the bay of Ensenada de Todos los Santos. The land covered two large cattle sites, equivalent to about 3,510 hectares, which were limited to the west by the Pacific coast, to the east by the mountains, to the south by what is now Maneadero, and to the north by the Arroyo del Carmen, which It is currently the city of Ensenada.

With the proclamation of the constitution of 1824, the territory of Baja California was established, made up of the current states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. In 1829, almost at the end of the missionary era and 9 years after Independence was consolidated, José María Echendía, governor of the Californias, granted Santiago Argüello Moraga an area of six cattle sites, equivalent to 10,000 hectares, which would be called "Rancho Tía Juana". The mission was secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, and most of the mission lands were granted to former soldiers. Beyond the city of San Diego, ranches were formed that served to increase the local economy. Some of those that occupied part of what is now Tijuana are Rancho San Antonio, Rancho Cerro Colorado, Rancho Cuero de Venados and Rancho San Isidro.

In 1846, due to the Mexico-United States War, the United States Navy began the invasion of Las Californias. The fight that broke out forced Mexico to negotiate how to end the catastrophe; The dilemma was to accept peace or continue the war. Once the armistice was signed, attention focused on setting the new limits. Mexico, after consulting Congress and the governments of the Republic, was forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, losing more than half of its territory, including Alta California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. . On April 12, 1849, Congress divided the territory of Baja California into two parties, called North and South. A year later it was established that its political representation would be by a deputy and a political leader.

The region suffered an invasion on November 29, 1853 by William Walker and his companions who wanted to form an independent Republic of Mexico with the name of Sonora-Baja California, but the heroic Antonio Meléndrez and the Ensenadense ranchers managed to expel them to the border line. On December 2, 1855, it was established that the Northern Party of the Territory of Baja California is comprised of a single municipality: Santo Tomás de la Frontera.

At the beginning of 1873, gold was discovered at the site called Japa, 50 kilometers east of Real del Castillo. This caused a displacement of several of its inhabitants to that point and of people of Mexican origin from Alta California. North American gold seekers crossed and the few settlers of Baja California migrated to the nascent place. By August, the place had more than 400 Gambusinos looking for the precious material. Thanks to that, merchants from the port of San Diego opened their stores in the town and stagecoach lines ran between San Diego Bay and the mines. The place had more than 1,500 inhabitants by 1875. Over time, Ensenada became the entry route for goods and supplies from San Diego and San Francisco, destined for the mining centers. However, three years later the mines declined and the fame of Real del Castillo declined.

May 15, 1882 is said to be the official date of the founding of Ensenada, by decree of President Don Porfirio Díaz declaring that the head of the northern district of Baja California passes from Real del Castillo to Ensenada de Todos Santos. Given the growing rise of the Territory of Baja California, by presidential decree of General Díaz, of December 14, 1887, the peninsula was divided into two districts: South and North, and Ensenada was designated the head of the latter.

To the north, on July 11, 1889, the agreement was signed that concluded the litigation, which the heirs of Don Santiago Argüello held for a long time on the land of Rancho Tía Juana. A plan dated June 15 of the same year was attached to said agreement, with the name Map of the town of Zaragoza projected to be located on land of the Tijuana ranch. However, on February 10, 1891, the area where the town was originally located was completely devastated due to the torrential waters of the rains that fell for five days, so its location was moved to the southeast, removed from the bed. from the river. On June 5 of that same year, Congress decreed the official limits of the northern territory, starting from the 28th Parallel to the south, to the border with the United States to the north, and the Colorado River to the east.


Twentieth century

In 1911, during the events of the Mexican Revolution, the political and military leadership was located in Ensenada, which was also the most populated city in the Northern District with 2,000 inhabitants, so all political decisions in the territory were made in the city. (In this period the municipality of Ensenada had the name of Municipality of La Frontera and covered the entire territory of the District).

During the revolution from 1911 to 1914, it had 9 political leaders. Discontent was beginning to emerge in Mexicali, since after it was taken over by Maderista groups, the inhabitants had had to take refuge for 6 months during the time the occupation lasted. Finally, the discontent was so great that the inhabitants of Mexicali demanded to have their own municipality and after a series of accusations they requested that: "the section of Mexicali, which today depends on the Ensenada city council, be erected as a municipality" and on the 4th of November 1914, Baltazar Avilés, Political Head of the Northern District of Baja California, decreed the creation of the second municipality, Mexicali, and its city council entered on January 1, 1915, date on which also, by orders of Colonel Esteban Cantú , the district capital moved from Ensenada to Mexicali.

From January 1, 1915, until 1920, Esteban Cantú was appointed governor of the Northern District of Baja California, ratified by Venustiano Carranza until Álvaro Obregón arrived, who was exiled as a result.

On March 11, 1917, the creation of the municipalities of Tecate and Tijuana, previously belonging to Ensenada, was decreed. On January 2, 1923, after Tecate had already been declared a municipality, Governor José Inocencio Lugo decreed its suppression and disappearance to incorporate it back into the municipality and administration of Mexicali. But this lasted until October 15, 1925, when the fourth municipality, Tijuana, was created, as Tecate was annexed to the jurisdiction of the new municipality.

The new legal concept of municipalities worked until 1929, when Abelardo L. Rodríguez by decree abolished the town councils on April 31 so that municipal councils could be formed. For this reason, the free municipalities became municipal delegations and the delegations became subdelegations, so that the Northern District of Baja California was made up of 3 delegations: Ensenada, Mexicali and Tijuana.

On September 1, 1951, President Miguel Alemán announced in his report that the Northern Territory of Baja California satisfies the conditions required by the second section of article 73 of the General Constitution of the Republic. From that date the executive began to promote the creation of the new state of Baja California.

On January 16, 1952, Miguel Alemán published the decree (approved by Congress on December 31, 1951), through which articles 43 and 45 of the Constitution were reformed, giving way to the creation of the new state of Baja California, whose territory is the former Northern Territory of Baja California.

On September 23, 1952, a series of complementary provisions for the constitution of the State of Baja California were sent to the Chamber of Deputies.

Alfonso García González is appointed provisional governor of the new state. On December 31, 1952, the call for the election of the seven constituent deputies was launched. And the first electoral districts are created, which are formed as follows: Mexicali, 1st. and 2nd.; Mexicali Valley 3rd.; Tecate and part of the Mexicali valley, 4o.; Tijuana 5 and 6o. and Ensenada 7o.

On January 16, 1952, the Northern District of Baja California ceased to be a federal territory to become the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, made up of 4 municipalities: Ensenada, Mexicali, Tecate and Tijuana.

The first state elections were held on March 29, 1953, for the election of the seven constituent deputies. The contending parties were the PRI, the PAN, the FPP (Federation of People's Parties and the UNS (National Synarchist Union). The last three presented common candidates. The winners of this election were the seven PRI candidates.

The Political Constitution of the State of Baja California was promulgated on August 16, 1953.

The state's first gubernatorial election was held on October 25, 1953, as well as the 1st. Legislature in the state. The participating gubernatorial candidates were Francisco Cañedo Lizárraga for the PAN, Braulio Maldonado for the PRI and Maurilio Vargas for the FPP; The PRI candidates were winners, both in the governorship and in the deputies. It should be noted that due to the constitutional reform of 1953, Aurora Jiménez de Palacios is the first woman from Baja California to the Congress of the Union. They were also the first elections in Mexico in which women voted.

On December 1, 1953, Braulio Maldonado Sández took office as governor of the State.



Baja California has two coastlines. To the west it borders the Pacific Ocean and to the east with the Gulf of California. The geography of the state is very diverse. The Sierra de Baja California is located in the middle of the peninsula and along its long stretch it has different names; The most important are the Sierra de Juárez and the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, in which the Pico de la Encantada is located - the highest on the peninsula. From Pico de la Encantada you can see a large part of the Upper Gulf of California and the San Felipe Desert.

Among these mountain ranges you can find some fertile valleys such as those of Guadalupe and the Valle de Ojos Negros. The temperate climate makes this area excellent for growing grapevines and some citrus fruits. The area is also rich in minerals. To the south of the state, the Sierra approaches closer to the Gulf of California and moves away from the Pacific, forming a plain to the south called the Llanos del Pronghorn.

Pacific winds and the California Ocean Current make the climate in the extreme northwest mild almost all year round. The coastal cities of Playas de Rosarito and Ensenada have one of the best climates in Mexico. But due to this same cold ocean current, rains from the north rarely reach the peninsula and this makes the climate become drier and more arid as you go south. To the south of the town of El Rosario, the landscape becomes desert. This desert, however, is rich in endemic plants such as Cardón, Cirio and Ocotillo, among others. These plants survive in part thanks to the coastal fog common in the area. The desert landscape can be seen in all its splendor when driving along the MX-1 transpeninsular highway.

There are numerous islands on the Pacific coast. The remote Guadalupe Island is the habitat of large colonies of sea lions. On Cedros Island there is a small community dedicated mainly to fishing. The Todos Santos Islands are visited by people dedicated to surfing, since its waves are some of the largest in the world.

To the east of the territory, the Sonoran Desert dominates the panorama. Some of the highest temperatures in the country are recorded in the Mexicali Valley. However, with the irrigation mechanisms of the Colorado River, this place has become an agricultural emporium. Near Mexicali is the geological area of Cerro Prieto, which produces about 80% of the electricity that Baja California requires and can even export the surplus to California. Laguna Salada, which is located between the Sierras de Juárez and the Cucapá, is also located near Mexicali. The highest point in the Cucapá mountain range rises 1087 m above sea level. n. m. but its most famous mountain is Cerro del Centinela, 781 m above sea level. n. m., for being a regional symbol and part of the shield of the city of Mexicali.

Many beaches are located on the eastern coast. Some fishing and tourist towns, such as San Felipe and Bahía de Los Ángeles, are a great attraction among those seeking adventure, good beaches and fresh seafood. The area south of San Felipe is almost undeveloped. Likewise, you can find many bays with excellent beaches. All of the islands in the Gulf of California belonging to the state are located adjacent to the municipalities of Mexicali and San Quintín.

The largest hydrological sources in the state are the Colorado and Tijuana rivers. The Colorado River ends its long channel in the Delta of the Gulf of California and its waters are used for irrigation of the Mexicali Valley and for the supply of water to the state capital. The rest of the state depends on groundwater, some dams and even some oases located on the peninsula.

Baja California's climate is very diverse; varies from Mediterranean to arid.

The Mediterranean climate is located in the northwest part of the state, with its dry summers and cool, rainy winters. This type of climate can be found from Tijuana to the interior valleys. The cold California current generally creates fog near coasts. This fog can be seen anywhere in the state bordering the Pacific Ocean.

The change in altitude towards the Sierra de Baja California causes an alpine climate in this region. Summers are cool and winters can be very cold. Snowfall is common in the Sierra de Juárez (for example, in La Rumorosa and Laguna de Hanson) and in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir (and in the interior valleys between these mountain ranges) from December to April.

Rainfall is scarce in the mountains, causing arid climates. The Sonoran Desert is characterized by having very warm summers and moderate winters. The Mexicali Valley (which is below sea level) experiences the highest temperatures in the country.

Further south along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, the climate also becomes desert-like; but it is not as extreme and hot as on the Gulf of California coast. Transitional climates (from Mediterranean to desert) can be found from San Quintín to El Rosario. Towards the East and near the Gulf, the vegetation is very scarce and temperatures are very high in the summer. The desert climate is also found on all the islands of the Gulf of California. Some oases are located in towns such as Cataviña, San Borja and Santa Gertrudis.


Flora and fauna

Many of the terrestrial or marine species that inhabit the Baja California peninsula are native there. Recently, Guadeloupe has positioned itself as one of the best places in the world for great white shark sightings. The island has been a sanctuary for wildlife since 1975.

The fauna of Baja California is rich and varied, and the following can be counted as the main animals, grouped by species:

Mammals: gray whale, Guadalupe fur seal, fur seal, squirrel, wild sheep, pronghorn, ibex, sea otter, cacomixtle, rabbit, coyote, guinea pig, wild cat, wild boar, hare, ounce, puma, kangaroo rat, badger, ocelot, deer, xoloitzcuintle, fox and skunk.
Birds: snipe, harrier, lark, gannet, owl, roadrunner, huitlacoche, chachalaca, coot, water hen, heron, sparrowhawk, gull, sandgrouse, mourning hawk, hawk, flybird, wallhopper, dove, quail, California condor.
Fish: tuna, totoaba, carp, kingfish, dorado, mojarra, white shark. Aquaculture: tilapia, rainbow trout

As for the flora, the plant called the candle tree (Fouquieria columnaris) stands out, endemic to the peninsula.

The saguaro has a characteristic columnar stem, which can reach a height of 15 m and a diameter of 65 cm. It presents branches that can be found in a number greater than 7; and may in turn present new ramifications. The number of facets on the stem (the ribs) is between 12 and 24 and they are obtuse. The areolas are brown, and are about 2 cm apart. In the apical area the distance is less and they appear covered by a brown felt. The radial spines can be 12 or more, and the central ones between 3 and 6, up to 7 cm in length. They are brown in color and turn gray as the plant ages. The flowers, with short petals, appear at the top of the stems. They are of a striking white color and are 12 cm in diameter. The fruit is red and also edible; matures in summer. Flowering is in spring; The flowers open during the night and remain open part of the next day.

Very slow growing, it is estimated that 1 meter of saguaro needs about 30 years in the best conditions of dryness and light. The maximum speed it can reach in some vigorous branching is about 10 cm per year. The largest specimens that exist in the part of the desert that corresponds to Arizona may be 200 or 300 years old. There is also the cachanilla, it can be seen in many places in the Mexicali Valley, although today it can be seen in smaller quantities unlike what it was in the 20th century.


2010 earthquake

At 3:40:41 p.m. m. PDT on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010, a 7.2 Mw (on the moment magnitude scale) earthquake trending northwest struck the Mexicali Valley, with its epicenter 26 km (16 mi) southwest from the city of Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California. The main shock was felt as far as the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson, as well as in Yuma, where at least half a dozen aftershocks with magnitudes between 5, 0 and 5.4, including a magnitude 5.1 shock at 4:14 a.m. centered in El Centro. At 6:31 a.m. PDT on April 5, 2010, the death of two people.​



The main economic activities in the state of Baja California are the manufacturing industry, hospitality and tourism; Agricultural, livestock and fishing production are also part of these. Regarding the communications sector, the state has good and modern roads that link the main destinations inside and outside the state, as well as railways, seaports and airports.

Currently, the fruit and vegetable sector is one of the most successful activities in Mexicali, the state capital; Onion and green asparagus are among the most important crops, cotton and wheat are still cultivated. There is an annual agribusiness fair in March of interest throughout Mexico and the United States called Agrobaja.

The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminated most restrictions on trade between the two nations, puts Baja California in an economy tied to that of its American neighbor. Mexicali is considered among the most prosperous cities in Mexico for its resources and attachment to the United States border.

Tijuana, the most populated city in the state, was considered the world capital of televisions, due to the enormous number of televisions and PC monitors that are manufactured (14 million a year according to Businessweek). There are currently many companies dedicated to the assembly of electronic items. Light and medium industry is considerable. Two vehicle assemblers are setting up shop in the region. Some companies with plants established in Tijuana include Avery Dennison, Sony, Toyota, Samsung, Kodak, Matsushita/Panasonic, Medtronic, Nabisco, COVIDIEN Healthcare, Philips, Pioneer, Plantronics, Pall Medical, Tara, Sanyo, Hubbell Lighting, Vimay, Medical Systems Alaris (Beckton Dikinson), Fresinius Healthcare, Baxter, Thermo Fisher and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare.

In 2005, Baja California's economy represented 3.3% of Mexico's gross domestic product, that is, $21,996 million.26 Baja California's economy focuses on tariff-free export-oriented manufacturing (maquiladora) . In 2005, 284,255 people worked in the manufacturing sector. There are more than 900 companies operating under the federal Prosec program in Baja California.


Cinema and television

The film and television industry has an important presence in Baja California in the recording of films and television series. Baja Studios is located south of Rosarito and has the largest recording sets and water tanks in the world.



Baja California offers one of the best educational programs in the country, with high marks in schooling and performance.

The state government offers education and training courses to raise workforce standards, such as school-business linkage programs that help develop a workforce in line with industry needs.

91.60% of the population between six and fourteen years old attends primary school. 61.95% of the population over fifteen years of age attends or has already graduated from high school. Public school is available at all levels, from kindergarten to college.

The state has 32 universities offering 103 professional degrees. These universities have 19 research and development centers for basic and applied research in advanced projects related to biotechnology, physics, oceanography, computer science, digital geothermal technology, astronomy, aerospace, electrical engineering and energy. clean, among others. At this educational level, the offer is increasing. Baja California has developed the need to be self-sufficient in terms of technological and scientific innovation and to be less dependent on foreigners. Today's companies demand new production processes, as well as technology for business incubation. The number of graduate degrees offered, including doctoral programs, is 121. The state has 53 graduate schools.


Government and politics

The list of governors can be seen at Governors of Baja California.

Baja California was the scene of political movements even before its creation as a federative entity. During the Mexican Revolution in 1911, a group of Magonistas staged the Taking of Tijuana, trying to consolidate a socialist republic in Mexico, which if achieved, would have been the first in the world even before Soviet Russia in 1917. Decades Later and with the growth of its cities, in the 40s and early 50s, the inhabitants of the Territory of Baja California sought recognition as a free and sovereign state, achieving this status in 1953. At the end of the 60s, A group of men and women took to the streets to defend their vote, led by the opposition party, the PAN, demanding that the Institutional Revolutionary Party respect the results of the elections held in 1968, which declared the candidates the winner in Tijuana and Mexicali. PAN members.​ After demonstrating in Mexico City before President Díaz Ordáz, the local Congress determined to resolve the political crisis by installing a Municipal Council that would later hold elections again.

Almost two decades after fighting by the opposition, in 1980 they managed to obtain the first 3 local opposition deputies (PAN and PCM). Three years later, Ensenada would obtain the first mayor from a party other than the PRI, a fact that would be repeated in 1986 with the victory of Ernesto Ruffo Appel for mayor of Ensenada. The well-known "ruffomania" would lead, in 1989, the then mayor to become the first opposition governor to win an election, marking Baja California as the cradle of Mexican democracy. From there, a stage of bipartisanship would begin between the PAN and the PRI, especially in the mayoralties and legislative seats. In 2019, after 30 years of PAN governments, Jaime Bonilla Valdez wins the governorship, ceding power to the National Regeneration Movement. Said election would be tainted by the aspirations of the governor-elect to extend his mandate from 2 years - as Congress had established in 2014 - to 5 years, to end in 2024, at the same time as the federal elections. Therefore, there were those who considered that there was a political crisis in Baja California in 2019.

The political parties with the greatest presence in the state are the following:
National Regeneration Movement: Its popularity increased in the state after the 2018 federal elections in Mexico. In 2019, he achieved victory in the five city councils, the 17 local electoral districts and the governorship, thus breaking with 3 decades of PAN governments. In 2021, he managed to retain the governorship.
Encuentro Solidario Party: In the 2021 state and federal elections it managed to be the second political force, in some districts third. Within his constituency, BC gave him almost half of the votes.
National Action Party: Since 1989 it became the first political force, having some alternations in the municipal government. He maintained the alternation of power in the city councils with the PRI, governing mainly the municipalities of Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito and Mexicali. In 2021, even making an alliance with the PRI and the PRD, it fell to being the third political force.

Other parties with less presence are:
Institutional Revolutionary Party: Since 1989 the party has not been able to return to the state government, however, it maintained its political strength in Congress and some city councils, especially in Ensenada and Tecate. In 2010 he managed to govern the 5 city councils and have 13 deputies from 17 electoral districts, however, later he became the 5th political force. In 2021 they became the fourth political force.
Citizen Movement: The social democratic party has not been able to obtain the presence in the state as it has in Jalisco or Nuevo León,38​ however, it has managed to participate without alliances in the elections and obtain political positions in councils and Congress.39​ In 2021, although it did not manage to improve its numbers, it maintained the state record and consolidated itself as the 5th political force.


Form of government

Baja California, as one of the 32 federative entities of the country, is autonomous in terms of its internal regime, which, according to its local constitution and in synchrony with the federal Magna Carta, is republican, representative, democratic, secular and popular. ; made up of 7 municipalities. According to its fundamental law, sovereignty and public power are the origin and correspondence of the people, and it is the people who decide to exercise it through a system of separation of powers: Head of Government (Executive), local Congress (Legislative) and a Judicial Power, deposited in different institutions, whose head is the Superior Court of Justice.

Regarding the Congress of the Union, Baja California is represented on equal terms with any other state. In the Senate it is represented by 3 senators, two elected by relative majority and one assigned to the first minority; and in the Chamber of Deputies by the number of districts according to their population size. In 2019, 13 federal deputies were elected.


Executive power

The governor of Baja California is the head of executive power in the entity. He is elected by direct and universal vote. Once elected, he takes office on November 1 of the year of the election. His term lasts a period of six years, with no possibility of re-election; not even in the case of having served as interim, provisional or substitute. The position can only be resigned for serious reasons, which must be qualified by the Local Congress. In the event of death, dismissal or resignation, he immediately and provisionally assumes the position, the secretary of government, then, with the reservations contemplated in the local constitution, it is up to Congress to appoint a substitute or interim.

The current local Constitution provides for this position in its fourth title, second chapter, and is addressed by the various points and subsections that make up article 49. They specify the obligations, powers, requirements and restrictions of the position; specifications that range from the command of the City's public force (local police and assigned national guard); the ownership of economic, social development and public security policies; the promulgation and execution of laws issued by the legislative branch; propose appointments to positions that require approval by Congress or the Superior Court of Justice; and various prerogatives granted in other articles of the same Magna Carta and local laws.

The governor is the head of the local public administration and is assisted by a cabinet made up of several secretariats, local agencies, decentralized organizations and general directorates, which are in charge of various public interest portfolios, in addition to different advisors assigned to the office. of government.


Legislative power

The Congress of Baja California is the body responsible for legislative power in this federal entity. Formed as a unicameral assembly, it is made up of 25 deputies, of which 17 are elected by popular vote and 8 by the principle of proportional representation. Its members are elected by universal vote under the two principles already mentioned; the first directly and the others according to the multi-member list system established by federal law. The duration of the position is three years with the option of immediate re-election, as long as it is representing the party or coalition that originally nominated the deputy. For each regular deputy, a substitute is elected; This being the one who will make up for the temporary or permanent absences of his running mate.


Power of attorney

The Judicial Branch of the Entity is made up of the Superior Court of Justice (which has a Constitutional Chamber), a Council of the Judiciary and the local Courts and specialized Courts. Its foundations are found in Title IV, Chapter II of the Political Constitution of Baja California and the Organic Law of the Judiciary of Baja California. The administration, surveillance and discipline of the Judiciary, with the exception of the Superior Court of Justice, is the responsibility of the Judicial Council. In this power and its set of bodies, the power to administer justice in all institutional aspects of the city is deposited; the application of legal norms and principles in conflict resolution; and in all areas of the application of Law and the interpretation of laws in society (civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial, labor, administrative, fiscal, procedural, etc.), as long as none is contemplated exclusively for the Power Federal Judicial.



According to the Intercesal Survey carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography in 2015, the state of Baja California until then had a total of 3,315,766 inhabitants. Of this amount, 1,650,341 were men and 1,665,425 were women. The average annual growth rate for the entity during the period 2010-2015 was 1.3%.

Baja California is a state inhabited by a heterogeneous population, composed mostly of migrants who have arrived from throughout the Mexican Republic, especially residents of states such as Sinaloa, Chiapas, Jalisco and the State of Mexico. The ethnic variety and its consequent cultural diversity are the hallmarks of this border area, where the two largest cities of the entity are located, Tijuana and Mexicali. This unique characteristic has given rise to profound social phenomena whose effects and manifestations are continually studied in prestigious Mexican and American institutions. More than a state that marks differences, it is a point of union between cultures. Its capital Mexicali, one of the youngest cities in the Republic, was born when irrigation works began on the Colorado River, and it grew economically based on agriculture, especially in the valley area.

That small town from the beginning of the century is now a city with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants thanks to the fertility of the Mexicali Valley, the commercial exchange with the United States and the industrialization that began around 1985 when the primarily agricultural profile of the city It was modified by the industrial one.

Over the course of a few years, factory parks with North American and Asian capitals were opened, giving a dynamic character to the economic activities and cultural mixes of this city, headquarters of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state.


Ethnic groups

In the state there are 5 indigenous indigenous peoples, which remain isolated from urban communities and surprisingly have survived maintaining their language, customs and ancestral traditions, these peoples are; the Kiliwas, the Cucapah, the Paipái, the Cochimíes and the Kumiai, which are related to the Yumana tribes that live in the United States.

The Cochimí spoke a language from the now extinct Yumano-Cochimí family called Cochimí Laymón. They populated the central area of the California peninsula, south of the current state. Currently, there is a population of only 116 inhabitants (2019), established mainly in La Huerta; They sporadically make rag dolls, the stick for hunting rabbits similar to a boomerang, figures carved in wood and ceramic with modern techniques, as well as pyrography on leather. Of course, none of the people speak that language anymore.



The Kiliwa live in the north of the state, established in the Valle de la Trinidad, in Ensenada, located between the mountains of San Miguel, San Pedro Mártir and the San Felipe desert. Their language seems to belong to the Hokana family. According to the Ministry of Culture, the population was, in 2019, just 11 people; Before, there were only 5 inhabitants registered. They were the only native settlers of Baja California who never agreed to submit to the activities of the missionaries.



At the postgraduate level, there are two important CONACyT centers: the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE) and the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF). Tijuana has the Digital Technology Research Center (CITEDI), which is a unit of the National Polytechnic Institute. The Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology and the Institute of Astronomy are also located in Ensenada, both dependent on the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The most important public university in the State of Baja California is the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC). The UABC also has the new Valle de las Palmas CITEC campus (Engineering and Technology Center.)

There is also the system of Regional Technological Institutes in Ensenada, Mexicali (ITM) and the Technological Institute of Tijuana, as well as the Polytechnic University of Baja California (UPBC) in Mexicali and the "Technological University of Tijuana", giving an important bias to the system. public in higher education. In upper secondary education there are the most outstanding high schools at the state level such as the College of High School Students of the State of Baja California COBACHBC, College of Scientific and Technological Studies of the State of Baja California CECYTEBC, College of Technical Professional Education of Baja California CONALEPBC. As well as at the national level DGB (Lázaro Cárdenas Federal High School), DGETI (CBTIS, CETIS), DGETA (CBTA), DGECyTM (CETMar), among others.

There are several Private Universities in the State, some of them are the Center for Technical and Higher Education (CETYS University), the Catholic Technological University of Baja California, the University of Professional Development, the University of the Valley of Mexico Campus Mexicali, the Universidad Iberoamericana Tijuana (belonging to the Jesuit University System), Univer Noroeste, the Xochicalco University, the University of Las Californias (UDC), ESCOMEX Higher School of Foreign Trade (, among others.

In addition to those mentioned above, in Baja California you can find Normal Schools in each municipality, these dedicated to the training of preschool, primary, physical education and special education teachers. The most important is the Benemérita Escuela Normala Urbana Federal Fronteriza, located in Mexicali, founded in 1940 (BENUFF) that currently offers 3 bachelor's degrees: Bachelor's degree in primary education, and in two branches of special education: motor area, and learning problems .



The gastronomy in Baja California derives from a mixture of culinary styles, a product in turn of the different groups of people who migrate to the state bringing with them the recipes of each of their cultures. As a northern state, meats are one of the main ingredients in their dishes, although not the traditional one, as in the states of Sonora and Nuevo León. Pork and chicken generate complements for the typical dishes of the new urban cuisine, such as hamburgers, cakes, donkeys and salads. Roast beef tacos are the most popular dish in Tijuana cuisine, also called Asaderos in Mexicali, and steam tacos are popular in the town of La Rumorosa. There are everything from street stalls to establishments. The flavors vary with styles exported from other places in the country such as adobada tacos (variant of Tacos al Pastor), birria, head, chorizo, suadero, among others.

Baja Med cuisine is a fusion of Mediterranean ingredients, using mainly vegetables that are harvested in the state, as well as seafood. Some examples of this gastronomic style are: tempura fish tacos, Shrimp with fried needle, miniature tomatoes, chives and sauce made from local cheeses, Beet carpaccio with blue cheese and mint dressing, duck with licorice skewers sprinkled with guava, Risotto with nopalitos and charred octopus and Ribs bathed in fig syrup over a black mole sauce, to name a few. Caesar Salad is one of the main traditional recipes of Baja California cuisine, originally from Tijuana, created in the first decades of the 20th century by the chef of Italian descent

In the Mexicali Valley area, Chinese food is already a tradition. The main ingredients used are soy sauce, oyster sauce and black beans. Popular dishes include fried rice, chop suey, wonton soup and Peking duck, which is traditionally prepared by steaming and then baking in a charcoal oven, topped with molasses to give it a crispy texture. fur; This is one of the favorite dishes of Mexicans. Other dishes that are also popular are red carnitas, chicken with pineapple, fried rice and specialty dishes, such as Chinese-style steamed fish with ginger.

In the coastal area, the most popular dishes are lobster, in Puerto Nuevo; fish tacos, abalone chorizo and tomato jam in Ensenada and other seafood dishes, such as fish, shrimp or octopus ceviche tostadas. In fact, Ensenada is the only municipality in Baja California to be part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and was the first Mexican city to be recognized in the gastronomic field by this world organization, thanks to the great diversity and quality of its natural products.​ In addition, the Guadalupe Valley in Ensenada is one of the most important gastronomic destinations in the country and is one of the main destinations for Baja Med cuisine.

As for desserts, local cuisine has been influenced by the surrounding northern states, such as Sonora and Sinaloa, with the traditional sweet bread, Coyotas, Coricos, wafers and empanadas. In Tecate, sweet bread is internationally recognized and a tourist site for all travelers from southern California.

Finally, in beverages, Ensenada remains the original city of the popular Margarita, in addition to being the main wine producer in Mexico, in the Guadalupe Valley. Tijuana, Mexicali and Ensenada have achieved great popularity in the production of craft beer, in fact, Tijuana is considered "the capital of craft beer in Mexico" and Ensenada hosts the largest craft beer festival in the country "Ensenada Beer Fest". For its part, Tecate gave its name to the famous Cuauhtémoc Brewery brand. Other drinks are prepared sangria, Cubalibre and prepared Clamato.



The state of Baja California is a very active state in sports. It has football, baseball, basketball, bowling, swimming, etc. clubs. It has 3 High Performance Centers (CAR) in Ensenada, Tijuana and Mexicali. It also has stadiums in almost all cities.

Ensenada Mariners (Baseball)
Pescadores De Ensenada FC (Soccer)
CF Diablos de Ensenada (Soccer)
Atlético Ensenada (Soccer)

Soles de Mexicali, play at the State Auditorium (Basketball)
Águilas de Mexicali, play at the B'Air Stadium (Baseball) formerly known as "The Eagles' Nest"
Aguiluchos de Mexicali, play at the B'Air Stadium (Baseball) formerly known as "The Eagles' Nest"
Mexicali FC, play at the Ciudad Deportiva Stadium (Football)

Club Tijuana Xolos de Tijuana, play at the Caliente Stadium (Soccer)
Tijuana Bulls, play at the Chevron Stadium (Baseball)
Tijuana Zonkeys, play at the Zonkeys Auditorium (Basketball)
Toritos de Tijuana, play at the Chevron Stadium (Baseball)

Saint Quentin
Freseros de San Quintín (Baseball)

Rosarito Lobsters (Baseball)

Tecate Brewers (Baseball)



Newspapers from Baja California include El Centinela, El Informer de Baja California, El Mexicano (Tijuana Edition), El Mexicano Second Edition, El Sol de Tijuana, El Vigía, Esto de las Californias, Frontera, La Crónica de Baja California, La Voz de la Frontera, and the Semanario Zeta.