Camel Crew: An outback adventure in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

It turns out you don’t have to head all the way to the Middle East to ride a camel.

While Mexico may be better known for things like tequila, sombreros and tacos, there’s a spot on the country’s Baja Peninsula where visitors can hop on a hump and go for a stroll along a gorgeous white sand beach—and yes, you even get to wear a turban. Sort of.

The Outback & Camel Safari starts at the Cabo Adventures headquarters, overlooking the palm-fringed, colourful marina in Cabo San Lucas where birds perch on the blindingly-white yachts docked in the harbour. After a short transfer on an air-conditioned bus blasting feel-good tunes like Macarena, guests arrive at Rancho San Cristobel to kick off the only-in-Mexico adventure.

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Our excursion started off with a nature walk, where our guide talked about the area’s native flora and fauna, highlighting the medicinal and aromatic properties of the plants spotting the arid landscape. He also plucked exotic fruit right off the trees for us to sample, while helpfully pointing out desert hazards such as the jumping cholla cactus which is infamous for latching its prickly stems into unsuspecting visitors who brush by too closely.

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

A jumping cholla

Once our group reached the bottom of the valley (free of any incidents involving cacti, it’s worth noting), we hopped on a sunshine-yellow, open-air truck to be whisked off to the portion of the excursion we were all really there for—the camel ride. It was immediately clear that the Cabo Adventures crew treats them as kindly as they would their pets, ensuring there was as little weight on each one as possible by asking us to leave backpacks and cameras behind. We were also under clear instructions not to use anything like gimbals or selfie-sticks, lest a camel get spooked and decide to hoof it all the way to Tijuana.

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Each of us were then outfitted with a helmet covered in flowing white cloth made to look like a turban, proving that sometimes form and function can mix. Or at the very least, make for a hilarious photo-op. Once we were dressed the part, we were hoisted onto a comfortable seat affixed to each camel’s back, then it was off to the races.

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Of course, being camels it wasn’t much of a race—more like a leisurely stroll which suited us all just fine. The steady pace made it easy to take in our gorgeous surroundings, the eye-candy coming courtesy of the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Framed by a bright blue sky and blonde beach dotted with deep green foliage, it made for a mesmerizing scene. We were encouraged to keep an eye on the ocean, as pods of dolphins and breeching whales have been known to make guest appearances.

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

The ride lasted about 20 minutes, and after hopping off the saddles we made our way over to a rather fashionably outfitted fellow named Louis. Patiently waiting to provide us each with the ultimate selfie, the camel was outfitted with a brightly-coloured blanket and primed for pics—this clearly wasn’t his first rodeo. A photographer was standing by ready to capture every moment, including when Louis would lean in for a kiss, which was easily the highlight of the entire day for most of us. In the spirit of capitalism we weren’t allowed to take photos of Louis ourselves and had to purchase them from Cabo Adventures afterwards, but in my opinion the price tag was worth shelling out for. Really, how often do you get to do a photoshoot with a camel?

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico

The tour wrapped up with a tasty buffet lunch of Mexican favourites like quesadillas, mole, beans and salad, paired with tastings of mezcal and tequila, natch. We raised our glasses, lime and salt close at hand, toasting to a fun-filled day in Mexico’s outback and our newfound camel crew.

Outback camel safari in Baja Mexico tequila

Globe Guide enjoyed the Outback & Camel Safari as a guest of Air Transat and Cabo Adventures. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.

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16 Responses

  1. Maram says:

    I live in Saudi Arabia and I didn’t know camels existed outside the Arab world! I would love to see cacti like that. That cholla cactus looks intriguing. Does it need physical contact to latch on or does it throw itself at you?
    Cool post!

    • Haha being from Saudi I guess camels aren’t that exciting to you then 🙂
      The cholla is quite a beast- you don’t even have to make physical contact, just get close enough that it can latch on to you. No fun at all!

  2. Marissa says:

    I had no idea you could ride camels in Mexico! That’s awesome. I love how Louis the camel knows exactly how to pose for the camera!

  3. Thomas Mathys says:

    Wow, it’s so cool that you can have this experience in Mexico! I love the fact that they treat their camels very well and that you learned a lot about the area in general as well. The cholla cactus sounds rather dangerous! It’s also good to know that they take take safety not lightly and outfitted you with stylish looking helmets 😀 Were you not allowed to make any photos by yourself or only no selfies with the camels? Thank you for this cool article!

    • They didn’t allow us to use our own cameras- which they said was due to weight but I’m guessing has more to do with the fact that it means you have to buy photos from them after if you want any 🙁

  4. Renata Green says:

    It looks really nice and almost genuine, but actually I prefer to join activities where they are originated – in this case North Africa and the Middle East.

  5. Elaine J Masters says:

    Looks like a fun trip. What a full day too. I admire them keeping the weight down but then there are two people on each camel? Never saw that in Jordan.

  6. Indrani says:

    Looks like well organised camel tour. The white helmet/hood suits the purpose so well… must be very hot there. The cholla cactus sounds interesting don’t wish them to latch on though 🙂

  7. Aleah says:

    Great photos! I loved the one of the dried wood. And I didn’t know that Mexico had camels. Totally cool. And your camel looks chill. When I tried to kiss mine in Wadi Rum in Jordan, it almost spit on me hahaha

  8. Megan Jerrard says:

    Oh wow! Wouldn’t have expected camels on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula! The Outback & Camel Safari sounds fabulous – too cool! Those trucks look hardcore! I love that the Cabo Adventures crew treat the animals kindly and with a high level of respect – animal tourism can be dicey these days but it sounds like it’s a responsible experience.

    You look like legit Arabian explorers!

  9. Nathan Aguilera says:

    This looks fun! I’m currently living in Mexico and didn’t know this was an option. I’ll have to keep it in mind. It definitely made me think of something in the Middle East- so cool to know it’s an option here.

  10. Jennifer Melroy says:

    Are the camels native to the area? I am curious about why they brought camels over to Mexico. I love all the cacti. It looks like some pretty landscape to explore.

    I am glad to see the camels look healthy in Egypt most of the camels look like they are sick.

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    […] Camel Crew: An outback adventure in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula […]

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