Mexico/Baja Norte: Baja California Desert

The landscape of the heart of Baja peninsula – Baja California Desert – is nothing short of spectacular and otherworldly. It covers 77,700 sq km in both Baja California Sur and Baja California Norte of mostly varied elevation, mountains, hills, and flatlands, some of it of volcanic origin. The flora is incredible – giant cordon and organ pipe cacti, dozens of species of cholla cacti, ocotillo bushes, upside-down boojum trees (which actually deserve their own post) – every plant and shrub and tree adapted to the dry and inhospitable desert environment with needles and spikes and succulent bodies. Absolutely surreal landscapes everywhere you look, and even more bizarre when you go hiking and exploring around. And most people just come to Baja to the tourist trap of boring Cabo San Lucas.