Overseas Overland: The World's Top 4x4 Spots

Mexico: Baja California
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With terrain ranging from high-altitude ridges in the Sierra Madres to high dunes on the west coast, Baja is a four-wheeler's dream. You can explore the coast along the Sea of Cortez, camping on the beach, or venture inland on rugged, rock-strewn routes. Along the coast road to San Felipe you can cruise for miles on lake beds, a dustier version of the Bonneville Salt Flats. There's endless variety for any 4WD taste, from mild to wild. You can even sample desert racing during the San Felipe 250, one of off-roading's premier competitions. Run in March, this race draws hundreds of competitors and spectators every year.

If you like to cap off your adventuring with nightlife, head all the way south to Cabo San Lucas, where you can explore remote surfing and fishing beaches with your 4WD, then motor back to your hotel in time for the night's party. Another nice spot is halfway up the coast at Bahia De Los Angeles. Major overland routes can be explored from here, and there's superior fishing and diving offshore. Cut across to Santa Rosalita on the west coast and explore miles of deserted beaches, or camp out at nearby Scammon's Lagoon for winter whale-watching.
The American Automobile Association produces good general guide for motor tourists in Baja, available free to all AAA members. The Baja Book III , by Tom Miller and Carol Hoffman, describes campsites and contains dozens of maps illustrating jeep trails, as well as the best spots for fishing, diving, and surfing.

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 27 Aug 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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