Cliff walk from Todos Santos
I was picked up at Hotel California by Sergio at 9 am to do the cliff walk. Just 3 km on the highway from Todos Santos, a fisherman favorite beach Punta Lobos is situated. The fishermen ride 20 – 30 miles from the coast to bring in fresh fish every day. This was the place where we jumped out of the car ready to do some hiking.
There’s no many coasts I have hiked because I usually go to beautiful beaches to swim and not to rocky cliffs. Coast for me means hot weather so hiking is not on the bucket list there. But here in Todos Santos swimming is not allowed on many Pacific coast beaches and dynamic waves, breeze and some clouds on the sky were what I prayed for in order not to sunburn and sweat way too much than needed.
Anyway, I took a long breath when I saw the hill we had to climb. I thought I would never make it as this year I’ve done way less hiking than I spent time hiking in 2012! But Sergio assured me it was easier than it looked as he does this cliff walk even with both elder people and kids.
On the way up we saw a dead puffer fish with just internal organs and the head and only there I found out puffer fish organs are poisonous so the fishermen cut them out like that. Even if birds eat it, they die. You do learn something every day, right?
After a short hike we found ourselves on the top of the hill with views of Punta Lobos long sand beach behind us, Sierra de la Laguna mountains on the left, dessert landscapes in front of us and dramatic cliffs with waves crushing onto them with all the power on our right. A perfect mixture for refined eye such as mine. Sierra de la Laguna, protected by UNESCO, is 2,000 m above sea level just a few kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. When I imagined our highest mountains of Slovakia, High Tatras, with its 2,655 m a.s.l., Sierra de la Laguna did not look that high at all.
The most adventurous part of the cliff walk was walking on top of the huge rocks with rather impressive texture to the highest point of the cliff.
We passed a rocky place where the rocks form 3 arches through which the sea waves splash ”look, jacuzzi” Sergio smiled. But not a hot one and not very pleasant one either. You would never leave that jacuzzi and it was definitely not one of those jacuzzis I would love to do travel blogging from.
Afterwards, we spotted a sea lion colony on a huge rock formation in the sea. We continued hiking until Puerto Algodones appeared below us. Avoiding cacti and other scattered vegetation, we hiked closer to Puerto Algodones, the first port where since 1849 the ships started to make their stop on the way to California for the Gold Rush. Small ruins of the guard’s house on the cliff about the port are still here.
During the whole cliff walk Sergio was teaching me the local flora, such as Pitaya (I’ve only know its white and bright pink violet colored fruit but here it has bright red fruit), maguey, mamilarias (a little cactus with bright red flowers), torote tree (white, red or colorado species with skin peeling off that looks like a cooked potato and Spanish moss living on it) or even beautiful blue flowers I never learned the name of.
”Imagine doing this cliff walk and observing whales swimming in the Ocean” Sergio pointed out to the sea to make me jealous of those who visit Todos Santos during the whale season.
”Next time” I sighed.
At slow peace, we hiked the last hill until the beach Las Palmas. Locals know the beach as San Pedro but the foreign tourists and expats renamed it to Las Palmas because of palm trees grove around the river here. It is the only beach in the area with a river and green vegetation and it looks marvelous from up the hill. Also, there is another San Pedro beach and a San Pedrito beach close by which confused the foreigners together with the fact that they are mostly not Catholic and their Protestant religion does not really go well with all the Saints. They just don’t understand it, hence the new name of Las Palmas beach.
Usually the only living creatures you can find on the Las Palmas beach are turkey vultures and when the weather gets better, after the cliff walk everyone jumps into the sea. But it was pretty rough and not that warm when I did the hike so I skipped it and we had lunch straight away waiting for us at the ruins of an old fisherman shrine. A healthy sandwich with fruit and also some unhealthy options. I couldn’t resist red Pringles!
Walking to the car through the palm tree grove we saw a face carved on one of the trees. Unfortunately, our cliff walk from Todos Santos came to an end.
On the way back to Todos Santos, driving 5 km on the highway from Las Palmas beach we saw a number of lizards crossing the roads, a chipmunk running in front of our car and a massive cardon cactus that according to some must be around 700 years old. Yeah, I knew all about the cardon since the camel riding in Los Cabos.
I also learned one thing. Most of the roads in Todos Santos area are off road. We saw a cool off road buggie proving us that what it’s called off-road culture you choose in the US, is off-road life in Todos Santos. You don’t really have a choice but to change your tires a lot faster than on the highway only cars.
My cliff walk from Todos Santos adventure tour was a press trip organized by Todos Santos Eco Adventures as part of my Adventure and Spa project. Thanks for all the information and the laughs, Sergio.