Sunday, June 16, 2024

Find the perfect art lover’s weekend getaway in Baja California Sur

The founders of Zona Maco contemporary art fair in Mexico City have launched a new Art Baja California (ABC) in Baja California Sur this year, which started March 10 and ends Sunday.

The festival has been held in three cities, La Paz, San Jose del Cabo, and Todos Santos, and was designed as a cultural journey across the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, to be experienced in conjunction with road trips, gastronomical experiences and getting to know approachable artists. 

Mexico News Daily writer Marko Ayling recently sat down with ABC’s co-founder Zélika García to learn more about the festival, including her personal recommendations below for the perfect weekend in Baja California Sur.

Day 1: Arrival in San José del Cabo

Take an early flight to San José del Cabo, which has direct flights from Mexico City. I like the flights that arrive at 8 a.m. so I can hit the ground running and make the most of my three days. 

Next, have breakfast at one of the restaurants participating in “Lo Local,” our program that invites 60 local restaurants, hotels and galleries to host art exhibitions, live music and pop-up [events]. 

Baja California Sur is an art-lover’s paradise, where galleries abound and often serve as impromptu socializing hubs. (Cortesía ABC Art Baja California)

Then go to the pop-up gallery at Casa Musa, where you can see a ceramic bazaar from Taller Contorno. Make sure to check out the Baja Stone Market, which has some incredible furniture for sale – all made from local stone. 

Grab lunch at Semillón, and then you can take a pottery class at Casa Musa. It’s one of the many cultural programs we have developed to make art accessible to everyone – not just professional collectors.

At sunset, swing by Galería Alfredo Ginocchio, which is hosting evening cocktail parties and special events.

When it comes to hotels, you have some great options in San José. To be central, stay at El Ganso, a design hotel that regularly hosts artists and world-class musicians like L’Imperetrice and Khruangbin. For privacy, stay at Montage Los Cabos. It’s on a secluded beach about 20 minutes west of the main town. 

For dinner, I recommend  La Revolución, Comedor de Baja California with Benito Molina, a very important chef from la Valle de Guadalupe.

Todos Santos, BCS
Todos Santos is a beautiful yet quiet town worth making time for. It feels like a true Mexican pueblo. (Shutterstock)

Day 2: Todos Santos

The next day, either rent a car or hire a driver to get to the bohemian village of Todos Santos, which is a pueblo mágico. Todos Santos is full of artists precisely because it doesn’t have an airport and is still difficult to get to. It’s more pueblo

There’s a very tight community there, and you feel more like you’re in a quiet Mexican town. You can walk the whole pueblo in a single day and go from one restaurant to the other and one gallery to the other on foot, and the local plaza is a traditional Mexican town square.

If you have time on the way, you should stop in the small town of El Pescadero, 20 minutes from Todos Santos. It’s on our official program, but few people stop there. One of the artists from “El Patio,César Perales, has a studio in the middle of the desert there. 

Agricole Cocina del Campo is a farm-to-table restaurant that serves food they grow onsite. And finally, Teatro Pescadero is a live theater with some amazing performances — especially for a fishing village in the middle of nowhere. 

Your first stop in Todos Santos should be “El Patio” by Zona Maco, an open-air art installation designed to be the central hub. Then have lunch at Oystera, a new oyster bar with the freshest Baja seafood and a live DJ set at sunset. 

Todos Santos, BCS
In between gallery hopping, check out the film selections from ABC at Todo Santos’ charmingly vintage theater. (Cortesía ABC Art Baja California)

Next, stop by Galería Enrique Guerrero, a prominent Mexico City gallery that recently opened a location in Todos Santos, as well as Galería Militar, owned by painter Mark Gabriel and filmmaker Jessie Wallace. It showcases local and international artists. 

The best place to check out the film selections from ABC is the charming cinema on the main plaza, which dates to 1944. 

If you want to stay in the town, choose Guaycura Boutique Hotel and Beach Club. The renowned design hotel Paradero is just outside of town and offers serenity in style. 

For dinner, try Il Giardino.

Day 3: La Paz

Complete your ABC circuit in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur. It’s a small community on the Sea of Cortéz, with fewer resorts and more boutique hotels like Baja Club Hotel or Orchid House. 

Baja Club Hotel in La Paz, BCS
The Baja Club in La Paz is the perfect boutique hotel to take a rest after perusing all the amazing galleries in town! (Cortesía ABC Art Baja California)

Have lunch at Hambrusia, which is right next door to Baja Club Hotel on the oceanfront. You can also take an oyster-shucking workshop at nearby Quemadero as part of “Lo Local. For your evening, have dinner at Majagua, which has a pop-up every weekend with different artists. Finish by catching a film from el “El Cine” next door at Puerto Cortés. 

The next day, you can fly home from La Paz’s airport and start planning your next trip to Baja California Sur!

Marko Ayling is a life-long traveler and the creator and host of Vagabrothers, one of the most trusted and popular travel shows on YouTube, with 1M+ subscribers worldwide. He now writes “The Missive” on Substack, a weekly dispatch of travel tales, reading recommendations, and curated cultural recommendations.

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