Baja Travel Resource Guide                                                presented by:


BCmex Bookstore

amzn-assoc.gif (1012 bytes)

creditca.gif (2733 bytes)

The following titles are recommended reading (and maps) for those wishing more in-depth information for specific interests.  They are simply the best of what's currently available.

Prices listed are recent, but amazon.com sets the price.  By following the link to purchase a book, the current price will be found (with no obligation to buy).  Purchases made using the links on this page support this site, and still cost you less.  To order multiple books at the same time, simply add an item to your shopping cart, then return here for your next selection.   Simple.

"Baja Handbook" by Joe Cummings, Avalon Travel Publishing, 2000 (fourth edition). -- Joe Cummings is a travel guide deity, and Baja travelers are lucky that he has become as fond of the peninsula as we are. This is the best of the travel guides to Baja California, as the information is top-notch and Cummings' coverage and research are the most comprehensive of anything presently available (inside one cover).  If you're only willing to purchase one book of this type for your trip, look no further.  503 pages.
Recent Price: $14.36 Purchase this book
"Cabo Handbook" by Joe Cummings, Avalon Travel Publishing, 2000 (third edition). -- Because of its continued incredible growth as a destination for travelers, Moon also offers this smaller version of the "Baja Handbook" that only focuses on the Cape region of the peninsula from La Paz, south (Including: Los Cabos, Todos Santos, areas along the East Cape, etc.).  If your trip only involves exploring this area, then save yourself a dollar or two, and the weight of the heavier full-Baja edition, by getting this version.  247 pages.
Recent Price: $11.96

Purchase this book

"Baja California" by Andrea Schulte-Peevers, et al; Lonely Planet Publications, 2001 (fifth edition). -- This latest edition is still slightly more conscious of, and descriptive about, the needs of budget travelers than the Moon/Cummings book(s) (above).   I personally can't go anywhere without having this work as well.  An excellent travel guide to the peninsula.  317 pages.
Recent Price: $13.59 Purchase this book
wpe44894.gif (48117 bytes) Frommer's Portable Los Cabos & Baja by Lynne Bairstow & Stephanie Avnet Yates, Macmillan, 2000.  -- Lives up to the Frommer's reputation of excellent recommendations for non-budget-frenzied travelers.  Very competent book, just not as detailed as the above books from Moon and Lonely Planet.  When Ms. Bairstow goes into detail about requirements to drive a vehicle across the border, she somehow missed mentioning that it doesn't pertain to Baja... only mainland Mexico.   Still worth mentioning here though, especially at this price.  It's interesting that Frommer's publication date is the year 2000, yet it's readily available in October '99.  Giving it that age-readiness, eh?
Recent Price: $8.95 Purchase this book
"The Baja Adventure Book" by Walt Peterson, Wilderness Press, 1999 (third edition). --  A must for the adventurers among us. Peterson covers all the fun activities like: fishing, hiking, climbing, diving, off-roading, kayaking, etc. This book also has a road log for the highway, as well as side-trip logs.
Recent Price: $15.16

Purchase this book

bajabook4.gif "The Baja Book IV" by Ginger Potter, Baja Source, 1996.  --    The most comprehensive road-log book for the Baja California peninsula. AAA's book doesn't come close. Ms. Potter took over the reins of this book when Tom Miller passed away just a few years ago.  Unfortunately, we lost Ginger as well in 1998.   Hopefully someone will be able to continue updating this project into the future.   Miller started the use of NASA Spacemaps to complement the road-log, and Potter continued with the program. The "Baja Book" contains excellent summary information on: Missions, fishing, RV Parks, plants, city maps, and whale-watching. Ginger added new logs for off-road adventures as well.  Slightly dated now at almost 4 years old.
Recent Price: $15.96

Purchase this book

magpen6.gif (9319 bytes) "The Magnificent Peninsula" (sixth edition) by Jack Williams, H.J. Williams Publications, 1998. -- A broad-based book with information on most of the activities possible along the peninsula: camping, RV'ing, surfing, fishing, off-road side-trips (and some on-road ones too), etc. Excellent introductory information on vegetation & geology (I don't recall any of the other travel guides having this broad of information on geology), and a section with good information for first-time visitors.
Recent Price: $15.16

Purchase this book

cavepnt.JPG (19396 bytes) "The Cave Paintings of Baja California" by Harry W. Crosby, Sunbelt Publications, 1997.  243 pages.  -- An extremely welcome update to the original work from this author in 1975.  The new publisher has brought out the colors to a much greater and realistic degree than that original edition.  Mr. Crosby sought just to make the book available again, but in going over the content, decided to entirely revamp it.  This book is absolutely a must for anyone with interest in the ancient murals of the peninsula.  It covers the Sierras de: San Francisco, Guadalupe, San Juan, and San Borja.  I simply can't say enough about this work.  It's expensive and worth every penny and more.
Recent Price: $39.95

Purchase this book

bajacatch3.jpg (12779 bytes) "The Baja Catch" by Neil Kelly and Gene Kira.  Apples and Oranges Publishers, 1997 (3rd edition).  --  The current "bible" for Baja California fishing aficionados.  This is a comprehensive guide to fishing and camping along both coasts of the peninsula.  Anyone interested in fishing anywhere along the peninsula will eventually look back with glee one day at their decision to possess this book.
Recent Price: $17.56

Purchase this book

bajarv.gif (17498 bytes) "Exploring Baja by RV" by Walt Peterson and Michael Peterson, Wilderness Press, 1996.  --  From the author of the "Baja Adventure Book" (and his son) this seems like a newer addendum to the previously mentioned work than a book just for the RV'er (and having both books wouldn't be a mistake).  A bit tamer than the older work, and (loosely) geared for not only those traveling by RV, but quite simply even those with just a car and tent.  Over half the book concentrates on being somewhat of a road log for the paved highways and many of the unpaved roads of the peninsula, including the standard side-trip experiences from the Petersons.  An excellent work once again.  Bravo!
Recent Price: $15.16

Purchase this book

"Diving & Snorkeling Baja California" by Walt Peterson, Lonely Planet Publications, 1999.   --  Mr. Peterson is showing himself to be quite the prolific writer on Baja subjects, especially when adventure is involved.  An absolutely "can't miss" book for those with any inkling of going beneath the waters along the coasts of Baja.
Recent Price: $13.56

Purchase this book

bajakayak.gif (5857 bytes) "Sea Kayaking in Baja" by Andromeda Romano-Lax, Wilderness Press, 1993.   --  A kayaking guide focused on independent trips that provides descriptions of various areas, put-in points, etc.  A very good reference for the beginning Baja kayaker.
Recent Price: $11.16

Purchase this book

divebaja.gif (5555 bytes) "Diving Baja California" by Susan Speck, Aqua Quest Publications, 1995.   --  Covers both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean (including the Socorro Islands).  An excellent guide to marine life (even for snorkelers).  Information on dive operators and dive sites (including maps) are in here as well.
Recent Price: $15.16

Purchase this book

dictionary.gif (3490 bytes) "Larousse Mini Spanish-English English-Spanish Dictionary," by Joaquin Blasco, Larousse Kingfisher Chambers, 1999.  --  Compact, easy-to-carry or to tuck into a pocket, this edition includes 40,000+ translations that provide detailed information about basic Spanish vocabulary.  Full of information on culture and travel as well.   A great value considering the depth of the content.
Recent Price: $3.96

Purchase this book

kingmoon.gif (8765 bytes) "King of the Moon" by Gene Kira, Apples and Oranges Publishers, 1996.   --  A moving novel set in a fictional fish camp along the central-southern Baja California Sea of Cortez coast.  It's a story about family and values built around life in this area circa the late 1960's.  Mr. Kira himself is an avid Baja fisherman (and is co-author of "The Baja Catch," listed above), and has also authored a book on coaching soccer previously.  His knowledge of both enjoyably comes through in different scenarios that take place.  One does not need to be an aficionado of either to enjoy this story however.  This book is *highly* recommended, and I've personally purchased multiple copies to give as gifts to friends/relatives that have little knowledge of the peninsula... the story is really that good.  I've corresponded with Mr. Kira that I frequently raise a toast to him, and to the "King of the Moon."
Recent Price: $15.37

Purchase this book

"The Other Side: Journeys in Baja California" by Judy Goldstein Botello, Sunbelt Publications, 1998.  This is about a love affair with Baja California and how it happened over 20-plus years.  Wonderful reading from a woman's point-of-view.  She shares stories of short jaunts across the border to Tijuana and the people she met, as well as adventures further south.  Not only dealing with the "other side" of the border, but the "other side" of one's self.
Recent Price: $12.95

Purchase this book

"The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez: Baja California's Golden Age, 1947-1977: The Life and Writings of Ray Cannon" by Gene Kira.  Cortez Publications, 1999.  Ray Cannon was the first writer to popularize the sport fishing opportunities in the Sea of Cortez. Through his weekly Western Outdoor News articles, he created interest and brought about much of the early popularity for Baja California. This book, another from Gene Kira, is a testament to Mr. Cannon's writings, accomplishments and much of the early history of adventure in modern-day Baja California.  Certainly not-to-be-missed for true Baja buffs.
Recent Price: $27.97

Purchase this book

steinlog.gif (6680 bytes) "The Log from the Sea of Cortez," by John Steinbeck, Edward Flanders Ricketts, and Richard Astro; Penguin USA, 1995.  --  Originally published in 1951, this is a story about a 6-week trip made by Steinbeck and his marine biology cohorts in the 1940's from Monterey, California to the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.  Largely filled with notes about their biological discoveries, Steinbeck's observations of the local inhabitants at the time, and certain spontaneous musings make it all worthwhile.  The observation in Cabo San Lucas that the lighthouse only worked when the tuna-canning plant was operational (hence, during the day), is one of many humorous anecdotes.  A classic book, about a classic place from a classic writer.  How can you pass it up?  
Recent Price: $11.16

Purchase this book

forgotten.gif (14444 bytes) "The Forgotten Peninsula, A Naturalist in Baja California," by Joseph Wood Krutch, 1986 (reprint).   Dr. Krutch, who chose to move from New York City to the Sonoran desert area of Tucson, Arizona because of health reasons, then became quite an expert on the desert.  This work is about his pilgrimage down to the ultimate desert locale of North America: Baja California.  Here you will find some of his insightful remarks and observations circa 1961 (from Mama Espinosa in El Rosario: bad roads act as filters... bad roads bring good people, good roads bring bad people).
Recent Price: $13.56

Purchase this book

bajantopo.jpg (39255 bytes)

"Baja California Norte Almanac," Baja Almanac Publishers, Inc., 1997.   Topographic map book of the northern state of the peninsula.  From the same people who made the previously bulky "Baja Explorer" map book.  These new versions (the one for Baja Sur is below) are 8�" x 11", quite thin and easily brought along on a trip.  At amazon.com, unfortunately, these books are not discounted and are a "special order" that will take longer to process.  I include them here because of their incredible utilitarian importance and value.  A *must have* for off-road adventures.
Recent Price: $12.50

Purchase this map book

bajastopo.jpg (36691 bytes)

"Baja California Sur Almanac," Baja Almanac Publishers, Inc., 1997. Same info as the above entry, only covering the southern state of the peninsula instead.
Recent Price: $12.50

Purchase this map book

"Air Baja, a Pilot's Guide to the Forgotten Peninsula" by Galen L. Hanselman, QEI Publishing, 1998.  The definitive information resource for pilots about the peninsula.  647 spiral-bound pages about all the landing strips, pictures of their appearance from the air, and ground information.  Very thorough.
Recent Price: $49.95

Purchase this book

"Motorcycle Journeys Through Baja" by Clement Salvadori, Whitehorse Press, 1997.  Mr. Salvadori, a senior editor for Rider and American Rider magazines rates paved and unpaved/unimproved roads throughout the peninsula from the viewpoint of a motorcyclist.  Irreverent commentary throughout for better and for worse (kind of like this website).  Entertaining read.  240 pages.
Recent Price: $19.95

Purchase this book


amazon.com


Search amazon.com for any other titles using these keywords:

 


Other Important Sources:

John Cole's Book Shop.  Large selection of books relating to Baja, including many out-of-print titles.  780 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA (P.O. Box 1132, zip92038). 619-454-0814

Dawson's Book Store carries a wide selection of older (many out-of-print), books on or pertaining to Baja California. Prices here aren't cheap. Their own self-published 50 book "Baja Travel Series" is worth about $2000. Some of the volumes are available individually (minimum $30). 535 Larchmont Street, Los Angeles, CA 90004 213-469-2186

aaabajamap.gifAutomobile Club of Southern California (AAA) offers a small guidebook to the peninsula that many people swear by (although those listed above are considerably better), but also has the best fold-up map of Baja as well.  If you're an AAA member, these resources are free.  Many other organizations retail these items as well.   The map is recommended for just about any visitor to the peninsula.  It retails for $3.95 most places that I've seen it.  If there's an opportunity to make it available here, we'll do so.


� Copyright 1996-2002 Q87 International, San Diego, CA. All rights reserved. User Agreement.

Last revised: June 21, 2002