Situated between Los Cabos and La Paz is the La Sierra de La Laguna mountain range, a hidden gem filled with waterfalls, crystalline waters and towering trees. One of the most beautiful and least-explored areas of the Baja peninsula, 11,600 hectares of the mountain range were designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1994. It’s a place locals, adventurists and Baja loyalists have long celebrated and explored, climbing its peaks to capture panoramic views of where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. The water that flows through the biosphere reserve represents the primary source of groundwater in the region, providing water to 67% of Baja California Sur’s state population.

Angie Villa of The Agency Los Cabos recently hiked and camped in La Sierra de La Laguna and provided the following first-hand account of the reserve’s beauty and mystique.

Our hike started in “La Burrera,” where donkeys or mules are available for hire to carry supplies and camping equipment. It is essential to bring a backpack with food, clothes for a cold climate and enough water (4 liters) for the first few hours of the trip. Once on your way, you will not find a place to buy food or supplies.

The walk continued for at least four hours to the next stop, “La Ventana,” perfectly named as the views from here are like looking through a window at a picture-perfect landscape. We camped in this area and slept until just before dawn.

Around 4am we continued with the most difficult passage, “La Calambrina,” a steep and narrow rocky climb. At the end of hiking this gap, the climate and vegetation changed radically; the cacti disappeared and were replaced by beautiful pine trees. I had the opportunity to see the black oaks and meet some very curious wild hogs that feed on the pine nuts that fall from the trees. We camped for two nights between the waterfalls and “El Picacho.” The stars in the night sky are a sight worth seeing.

Angie recommends visiting La Sierra de La Laguna after the rainy season; November is the most popular month for exploring. Whether setting out to explore for the day or for a camping adventure like Angie’s, we recommend you travel with a guide. Eco-tourism company Baja Sierra Adventures offers hiking and biking trips out of Santiago.