Want to know about the Top events of the year in Baja?

Published 04 April 12 10:08 AM


Tourism website compiles the top events of the year

The vibe on the ground seems to be that “Baja is back!” Of course, Baja aficionados know Baja never went anywhere, but there’s a noticeable resurgence of interest in the region. And as reported by Baja.com, the quickest-growing segment of tourists is not the cruise ship passengers, guests at five-star resorts or students on spring break; it’s visitors seeking an authentic travel and life experience. Those of us familiar with Baja already appreciate its pristine environment and natural beauty. Whether it’s food, music, culture, nature or adventure you’re seeking, Baja has it all.

In addition to our list of the best annual events in the region, Baja.com has gathered information about hundreds of other events in Baja. Since many events depend on good weather, dates and times can change. So please be sure to confirm the schedule on Baja.com before you book your travel.

For more details such as event maps, official websites, and photos of the events, visit baja.com/events.

Upcoming events


San Jose del Cabo: Festival de San Jose del Cabo

Every year during March, San Jose celebrates its patron saint (St. Joseph) with music, dance, and parades in Plaza Mijares. Food booths can be found throughout the historic district and downtown, where attendees can sample spicy tamales and the typical sugared pumpkin sweets. The festival usually continues for 11 days; beginning and ending dates will vary.

Cost: Free admission.

East Cape: 12th annual Baja Shakespeare Festival (March 22-25)

This year’s performance is a British-style pantomime with a Baja twist — a parody of “Cinderella” that will entertain kids and amuse adults. The play will be presented for four nights on the outdoor stage at the beautiful Rancho Buena Vista Hotel in Buena Vista, near Los Barriles.

Cost: Approximately $20.

San Jose del Cabo: Eighth annual Liga MAC JazzFest (March 23)

This jazz festival helps raise money for medical, food and educational programs for low-income families and individuals in San Jose del Cabo. This year’s headliners will be Motown’s Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

Cost: $150 to $350.


Ensenada: 65th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (April 27-29)

Any sailor worth his salt has heard stories about the trail of beer this race used to leave behind. This is a social event and there are opportunities to hop aboard a yacht in Newport Beach and participate if you are an experienced crew member.

Cost: Entry fee ranges from $125 to $225.

Mexicali to Cabo: NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally (April 28)

For those not quite ready for the Baja 1000, this rally offers everyone in the family a way to share in the adventure of a drive down the peninsula. Along the way, you’ll get to know many other fans of Baja. The winner is the participant who has the most fun!

Cost: Free for spectators; participant registration starts at $1,600 per vehicle.

Rosarito Art Fest (May 26 & 27, Memorial Weekend)
The Rosarito Art Festival will be celebrating its third year, hoping to build upon the rampant success of last year’s event. The event is put on by the artist’s community of Playas de Rosarito, and will showcase the skills of over 100 well known artists that represent the backbone of the visual arts community in the region. Music all day, food and beverages from Baja California. 
Cost: Free

San Diego: The Baja Bash / Baja is Back (June 2)

Wildcoast, the international conservation team responsible for groundbreaking environmental projects and campaigns in Baja California, is behind this innovative event that will celebrate the beauty of Baja. Surf legends, community leaders and environmental pioneers will gather at the Port Pavilion on San Diego’s Broadway Pier to share ideas and experiences about the Baja they love. We’ll see you there!
San Jose del Cabo: G-20 in Los Cabos (June 18-19)

The G-20 is an important financial and economic international summit. It is comprised of 20 members — the world’s major and emerging economies. In 2012 the meeting will take place in Los Cabos. The summit’s meetings will be held at the new Convention Center in San Jose del Cabo to discuss such economic and financial issues as the reform of international financial institutions, financial supervision and regulation, and the international monetary system.

Cabo San Lucas: Annual Stars & Stripes Fishing and Golf Tournament (June 28 to July 1)

This is the “feel-good” Cabo event of the year, which since 1996 has raised more than $11 million to benefit children in the U.S. and Mexico. The four-day event includes a fishing tournament, golf and live music.

Cost: Registration is $2,375 per person (all inclusive packages are available).


Cabo San Lucas: Third annual Cabo Marine Show (July 5-7)

For those who love boating, this event is a must. Representatives from charter companies, nautical services, marinas, resorts, top-of-the-line golf courses and water event promoters will attend the event, which includes three days of concerts and cocktail parties at the IGY Marina in Cabo San Lucas.

Cost: Free.

Tijuana: Tijuana Beer Fest (during July; dates still to be determined)

This festival features more than 100 types of beer and also has great music during the two days dedicated to the art of brewing and tasting.

Cost: Entry tickets are approximately $8.


Ensenada: Wine Festival — Fiestas de la Vendimia (during August; dates still to be determined)

The festival’s name comes from the Latin word for wine, vinum, and demere, meaning “to take” or “take away.” The Vendimia is time for celebration, with the two-century-old wine tradition of the Guadalupe Valley as the focus. For nearly three weeks in August wine aficionados can sample wines, savor gourmet meals and attend workshops and concerts. Last year’s activities included an opera concert in a local vineyard.

Cost: The price varies for each event during the Vendimia; tickets range from $100 to more than $1,000.


Cabo San Lucas: Pimp ‘N’ Ho Costume Ball (Oct. 27)

This is the most outrageous party of the year in Los Cabos. It has been an annual event since 1998, and each year draws a bigger crowd. The dress code requires either a pimp or “ho” costume, and there are prizes awarded for best costumes. Guest DJs take turn spinning records throughout the night.

Cost: Tickets start at $20 in July and increase every month, up to $100 on the night of the event.

Cabo San Lucas: Bisbee’s Black & Blue Fishing Tournament (Oct. 23-27)

Bisbee’s Black and Blue is one of the biggest fishing tournaments in Mexico, with a grand prize of more than $1 million. With two back-to-back events in Cabo — the Los Cabos Offshore and the Black and Blue — the Bisbee is also one of the most active and popular of the fishing tournaments.

Cost: Registration starts at $5,000.
 Cabo San Lucas: Baja Ha-Ha (Oct. 28 to Nov. 10)

All boats over 27 feet (power or sail) that are designed, built and maintained for open-ocean sailing are welcome to participate in this two-week rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. The event is all about having a good time and meeting new friends along the approximately 750 miles of the course. The end of the race in Cabo is celebrated with several parties and an awards ceremony.

Cost: Registration begins at $325 per boat.


San Felipe: San Felipe Shrimp Festival (November; dates still to be determined)

Every November, San Felipe celebrates the shrimp harvest with a festival that features an abundance of succulent shrimp dishes, tequila and regionally produced wine tastings and folkloric dances. There’s also a competition that rewards the chef with the best shrimp dish.

Cost: Admission is free; $5 and $10 tickets are available for shrimp and drink tasting.

Ensenada: Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 (November; dates still to be determined)

The Baja 1000 is one of the world’s most famous rally races, covering 1,000 miles of rugged, unforgiving terrain. More than 200,000 spectators are drawn to the event each year as approximately 300 cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs attempt to navigate the mountainous course. This is an event that needs to be experienced to be appreciated, and spectators are encouraged to view this popular race.

Cost: Free for spectators; vehicle entry fees start at $3,000.

January and February 2013

Todos Santos: Todos Santos Music Festival (January; inaugural event was Jan. 5-21, 2012)

This was a charitable three-week event at The Hotel California, featuring Peter Buck of REM, Steve Wynn, Robyn Hitchcock and Scott McCaughey. There were concerts four nights each week, and special guests such as Chuck Prophet, Kevn Kinney and The Elected made surprise appearances.

Cost: This was a free event with a few seats sold for $5 each.

East Cape: Lord of the Wind Showdown (Los Barriles) (January; the 2012 event was Jan. 12-16)

With a $20,000 prize offered to the winner, some of the best wind-sport enthusiasts in the world attend this event, putting on a spectacular show. More than 800 people enjoyed the live music and beach parties of the 2012 event.

Cost: Free for spectators; event registration $90 to $115.

Ensenada: The Peligroso at Todos Santos Island (January or February; last event took place in 2011)

The competition only takes place when the waves are 30 feet or larger. While the event did not happen in 2012, typically surfers from all corners of the world come together to take part in this unique “paddle-in” surfing competition.

Cost: Free for spectators.

Mulege: Pig Races (February)

No Baja roundup would be complete without this 28th annual event. Eight four-legged contestants are cheered on by a crowd of several hundred people. Spectators can place bets and compete in a hog-calling contest.

Cost: Free for spectators.

Todos Santos: Third annual Open Studio Tour (February)

This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore the famous Todos Santos art galleries. You can watch as renowned artists create their works in their own studios. More than 30 painters, sculptors and photographers will open their doors to the public and share their passion and vision with other art lovers.
Cost: Approximately $12.

Todos Santos: Todos Santos Historic Home Tour (February)

The historic home tour meanders through the more notable sections of town and gives information about how the architecture fits into the overall history of Todos Santos. Many artisans have worked tirelessly to restore these historic buildings, keeping them intact for future generations.

Cost: Approximately $10.

Todos Santos: Film Festival (late February and early March)

The 2013 edition of the Todos Santos film festival will be in both Todos Santos and La Paz, with innovative independent filmmakers presenting their movies, documentaries and shorts from Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Chile and Argentina. The first half of the 10-day festival is in Todos Santos, then the festival moves to La Paz.

Cost: Approximately $12 per screening. 


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