Sierra de San Pedro Martir, Baja California, Mexico.

© Aleida Cuvel/Shutterstock

Parque Nacional Sierra San Pedro Mártir

Northern Baja

Bobcats, deer and bighorn sheep await visitors to San Pedro Mártir national park, but its real claim to fame isn’t what’s on the ground but what’s in the air: this park is one of only six places in the world where the almost-extinct California condor has been successfully reintroduced into the wild.

Even if one of the world’s largest birds doesn’t soar over your head, there are lots of other reasons to make the detour. Conifers scrape the sky, the air is pine scented and clean, and the (tortuously winding) drive passes through boulder-studded, ethereal landscapes that seem more Martian than something here on earth.

To reach the park, turn left at the sign at approximately Km 140 on the Transpeninsular, south of Colonet. A 100km paved road climbs to the east through an ever-changing desert landscape, affording satisfying vistas all along the way. Camping is possible (no toilets; bring water) in designated areas, but there are no other facilities.