The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve is an ecosystem that has a direct influence on the climate and water resources in the southern region of the state of Baja California Sur, providing significant benefits for the development of the region’s main economic activities of tourism, agriculture and livestock production.
The Sierra de la Laguna is a paradise for anyone who loves nature. Several different activities are available to visitors, including camping, hiking, biking and riding.
And everywhere you glance, the scenery provides you with a fresh, enchanting view. You will find plants and animals on the reserve that you won’t see anywhere else in the state.
Sierra de la Laguna, Baja California Sur
As you move through the landscape, you will discover the lifestyle, customs and language of the ranchers of southern California.
A story is told that this sierra acquired the name Laguna (“small lake”) because a lake did in fact exist here. It was a sacred place for the Guaycura people; in the months of August and September it was customary for men and women to bring their children, especially the youngest, to worship their God Guaymongo (1).
The Guaycuras were a peaceable people who lived by hunting and gathering and were not known to construct buildings or temples.
The men didn’t use clothing and the women wore reed skirts and shell ornaments. The arrival of the missionaries and colonists brought changes to their customs along with contagious illnesses.
When the Spanish explorers and missionaries discovered the lake, the Guaycuras opened canals and drained it so that outsiders would not be able to contemplate what had been their ceremonial center for centuries.
For thousands of years this was a special place for the early inhabitants of the region, and it can remain a special place for all of us if we follow the rules and suggestions of the park rangers who work to prevent fires and to re-forest.
Name: The Sierra de la Laguna is a natural protected area known as a Biosphere Reserve, established as such in the Official Record of the Federation on June 6th, 1994.
Location: In the southern region of the state of Baja California Sur, between the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos
Area: 277,832 acres
Elevation: 7,000 feet above sea level
Climate and Vegetation: There are extreme variations in the climate and vegetation, depending on the elevation. From sea level to 1,300 feet, xerophilous shrubs predominate. From 1,300 to 4,000 feet, the climate is extremely dry with deciduous vegetation appropriate to low-level forests, including plants not found in any other region of the peninsula. From 4,000 feet to the highest peaks, there is a temperate climate with an abundance of rain, favorable to the growth of conifers and pines.
There are numerous kinds of reptiles and mammals including Bura deer, coyotes, badgers, foxes and bobcats.
Author: Mogens Gallardo
(1) From "The Legend of the Windmill" by Leonardo Reyes Silva.