Camp Cecil de la Sierra
Hiking in the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve
The Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve is one of Baja's most beautiful but least explored areas. Part of an island 10 million years ago, the reserve still retains that sense of island isolation. There are many wonderful hikes from Camp Cecil de la Sierra, some that provide dramatic views out to the Pacific Ocean, some to delightful springs and waterfalls, some that provide a vigorous workout and some that allow for a slower pace to enjoy the plants and birds. The Biosphere Reserve has an extremely high rate of endemism among both flora and fauna - that is, many of the plants and animals that you see in the reserve cannot be found any other place on the planet!
Flora and Fauna
In September 2015 a group of 29 scientists from 19 institutions in the US and Mexico conducted a study on 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve. This team of Next Generation Sonoran Scientists found 877 species of flora and fauna, including 107 species endemic to the Cape Region alone, and 29 species listed as endangered by the Mexican government. Not only that, entirely new species were documented, including 2 insect species (and possibly more), and a completely new plant species record for the entire Peninsula, Brickellia diffusa, part of the sunflower family. The results are all the more astounding when you consider that they only had 8 days to conduct their research in December, a relatively unproductive time of year. In fact, the scientists reckon that their study represents only 25% (invertebrates) to about 50% (reptiles and amphibians) of the total species present in the region. It's an amazingly rich and biodiverse place to explore!
Birding in the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve
Over 430 bird species have been spotted in Baja California Sur, and it is home to six endemic species as well. At Camp Cecil de la Sierra early morning is generally the best time to get out and connect with our feathered friends. We often see a wonderful array of birdlife in the reserve, including the endemic cape pygmy owl, Xantus's hummingbird and Belding´s yellowthroat.
The ranchero culture of Baja California Sur is quite distinct from that of the rest of México. The forebears of the current generation were handpicked by Jesuit missionaries for their skills in farming and ranching, as well as for their qualities of honor, trustworthiness and focus on family. When the Jesuits were thrown out of Baja, these farmers and ranchers were given some of the Jesuit lands. The result is an egalitarian culture that values skill, hard work, family and hospitality, and on the ranch where our camp is located you’ll see all those qualities on full display.
During your stay our hosts Chito, his mother Angela and their family member Delia who is our camp manager, will offer workshops to suit your interests including leather working and making many food items in the traditional manner including candy, tortillas, tamales and empanadas. It's a tremendous amount of fun!
Camp Cecil Gardens
We have planted our own garden at Camp Cecil de la Sierra. It currently provides most of the vegetables and herbs only for the Sierra camp, but eventually it will also serve our island camp, Camp Cecil de la Isla, as well as our hotel in Todos Santos, Los Colibris Casitas. Guests are invited to tour the garden and learn about our composting and recycling programs at the camp.
Camp Cecil de la Sierra is in a completely remote, secluded area of the mountains with zero light pollution so the star gazing is simply sensational!