Baja el Nuevo
According to the boutique resort’s designer-builder Roger Pollock, “I wanted to create an historic hacienda, a place [defined by] privacy and pure luxury. With stunning views extending the horizon, and being surrounded by three sides of ocean – there’s nothing like it in all of Baja or even California for that matter. I was inspired by the hacienda architecture style, wanting [modern] luxury but a look and feel of a [mansion] that was 100s of years [old]. And as the only resort on the Pacific side of the peninsula, it has to be the most beautiful beachfront property you will ever see.”
As the newest addition to Baja California Sur’s south-western coast, Hacienda Cerritos boasts an astonishing locale – set above the rocky Pacific shore and ever-famed Cerritos Beach. While Baja is home to hundreds of miles of pristine coastline, Playa Los Cerritos attacks international attention for its exceptional surf breaks, and offers guests the only ocean-swimming venue; other beaches in the area are known for swift rip tides and undertows, with fairly steep drop-offs close to shore. A location chosen for this very reason, guests also enjoy the local ambiance of the Cerritos Beach Club; known for their casual dining atmosphere and live music, the club has hosted such Hollywood elite as Tommy Lee, Rob Lowe, Adam Sandler, Kelly Slater and Sammy Hagar.
Spanning 30,000 square feet of all-inclusive luxury accommodations on a five acre estate, the boutique resort extends endless opportunity for a truly customized travel experience. With 11 premier suites and a host of alfresco entertaining, the resort yields a more intimate getaway than most; from captains of industry and celebrities, to the more discerning traveller, Hacienda Cerritos – with the convenience of a helipad and yacht mooring – is personal and private, hosting individual and family vacations, corporate retreats and weddings.
Set near the Tropic of Cancer, outdoor amenities enjoy world-class fishing, yachting, kayaking and of course, sunbathing. For the more adventurous, horseback riding or ATV trekking unveil not only the splendour of local beaches and lagoons, but the bounty of a neighbouring nature preserve and impressive waterfall display. Hiking, biking and whale watching are also attractions of note.
Allowing guests to simply relax and rejuvenate, a number of spa therapies and treatments are also available; and in true luxury, massages (both individual and couple sessions) can be arranged in the comfort of your room, on the beach or even on the cliff-side palapa overlooking a Pacific sunset. The outdoor terrace serves dining and lounging, featuring the joys of a hammock siesta, pools, spas and a continuous ocean panorama.
“I dreamed of a place like this for years,” states Pollock. “Being apart of its creation and watching the process unfold has been most rewarding [for me]. Our vibe is very laidback, and our location is simply breathtaking.” And in referencing the best time of year to visit, he notes, “The winter months offer warmer water temps, however, December through July are optimal months to visit as the climate is milder.”
Sierra de la Laguna Nature Reserve
Spanning more than 300,000 acres, the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve – a former island retreat – is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife and foliage. Coupling a landscape of rugged mountain peaks with steep valleys and coastal canyons, the reserve is essentially an isolated environment on the peninsula, protected for conservation and is a National Geographic hotspot for biodiversity and native species.
20 minutes from the hacienda, the reserve lends opportunity for private tours and hikes through a number of trails and paths, exploring the forest’s interior and wildlife. A serendipitous 1.5 mile meadow, located at 5,600 feet, features emerald pools, massive red rock formations and unspoiled desert scenery. It is recommended that tours and hikers plan their nature observations for morning hours to avoid extreme heat.
Surrounded by ancient fields of papaya, avocado, palms and mango, Todos Santos – meaning “All Saints” – is a quaint coastal village along the Pacific, well supported by the lush gardens and forests of the Sierra Laguna mountain range. A mere eight miles from Hacienda Cerritos, the town was originally founded as a Mission in the early 18th century, extending a vibrant artist colony and historic cultural milieu; often referenced as a natural paradise, Todos Santos plays host to fine dining, local boutiques and an active night life.
Highlighting the essence of Spanish Colonial architecture and design, the mission Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz – neighboring the small town plaza – holds a celebrated history, retaining much of the original structure, artwork and interiors; the mission contains the Virgin of Pilar statue, a focus of Todos Santos’ main festival in October and is considered the mother of all Baja churches founded by the Jesuits.
The town population currently accounts less than 5,000, with a growing attraction as an artist community. Painters, sculptors and artisans from all genres are featured throughout the areas 14+ galleries, offering fine art selections that often display the lure of the local landscape and ocean tides; such artists include Sebastian Diaz Duarte, Charles Stewart, Ezra Katz, Gabriel Rodriguez and Catherine Wall.
Whatever your travels ensue, welcome to Baja el Nuevo.