An Authentic Mexican Meal in the Baja Desert

[Photographs: Farley Elliott]

Flying low into the Los Cabos airport at the southern tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, you might start to wonder when the palm trees and lush valleys are going to arrive. Well, it turns out they aren't. Despite their proximity to both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, the cities of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas that make up the Los Cabos region are arid and exceedingly dry. Low-lying chaparral dominates the landscape, with only cardon cactus extending into the sky.

Here, the desert is harsh, but livable, as evidenced by the region's rich cultural heritage. And in this part of the desolate Pacific coast, it's a heritage you can still taste today.

Cabo Adventures is the region's premiere outdoor entertainment venture, with packages that include scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, zip lining, swimming with dolphins and ATV rides on the beach. Due to popular demand, they've also added a half-day excursion through the Baja desert, complete with an authentic Mexican lunch prepared on the spot.

Eating out here courtesy of the Los Cabos Visitor Bureau, a few feet from the plancha and mercifully shaded from the sun, there is a real sense of reverence for the culture of Baja. The heat resonates from everywhere, the sun blisters anything it can, and the surf pounds endlessly at the shores. Yet, there is life here, and has been for centuries.

Stewed Eggs

Two woman were making tortillas from fresh masa, and if that wasn't enough, they continued to chop and stir, adding onions, cilantro and spices here and there to the main dishes (stewed eggs and chicken mole). After the tortillas are stacked and allowed to cool briefly, the feast begins.

Check out the feast in the slideshow >>