When Is California Not in the United States?

When it’s Baja California!

Baja means “low” in Spanish. Baja California is the peninsula of Mexico that extends southward from the border with the state of California. Also known as Lower California, the peninsula measures 760 miles in length and is up to 150 miles wide, with a total area of some 55,000 square miles. But most of the Baja is desert. It is very thinly settled.

Lower California is separated from the rest of Mexico by another “California”, the Gulf of California. This long inlet of the Pacific is also called the Sea of Cortes because it was first sighted by the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes in 1533.