I recently returned from an incredible two week trip to the little-visited (by Brits, anyway) Baja Peninsula and Copper Canyon areas of Mexico and was, quite frankly, blown away.

Baja California

From the super-swanky resorts in Los Cabos to the laid-back vibe in Todos Santos on the Pacific coast, Baja California is much more than featureless desert. Take the stunning Espiritu Santo Island, which Jacques Cousteau described as the world's aquarium. After snorkelling with sealions and the mind-boggling numbers of fish there, I tend to agree with the great Frenchman, and if you're lucky (or well-advised) enough to be there from January to March, it's also one of the finest places in the world to see the annual whale migration.

...snorkelling with sealions and the mind-boggling numbers of fish...

Copper Canyon

A short hop over the Sea of Cortez and I was in Mexican cowboy country for a trip into the stunning Copper Canyon. A backdrop of cacti was replaced by one of pine forests as the Chepe (Chihuahua-Pacifico railway) climbed away from the coast and into the Sierra Madre mountains. The scenery was pretty amazing, and I could have stopped at every turn to take another photo as we weaved in and out of the valleys. I then travelled to the tiny town of Batopilas at the bottom of the canyon to celebrate Mexican Independence Day with the locals. I had a fantastic evening and even witnessed an authentic Mexican bar brawl (an optional extra), only to find the participants dancing happily in the town square together an hour later…

The scenery was pretty amazing, and I could have stopped at every turn to take another photo as we weaved in and out of the valleys...

A final word about my guides

They were outstanding throughout, knowing where to stop for lunch with the best view and always going out of their way to make my first trip to this part of Mexico a memorable one. Add their depth of knowledge and passion about the areas and quite simply they made the trip for me, and would for you too.