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Baja California

From Openwaterpedia
Baja California is the site of the finish of the Pan-American Colibrí Swim or the Nado Panamericano Colibrí between Imperial Beach, California, USA and Playas de Tijuana in Tijuana, Mexico, a cross-border swim and example of Speedo diplomacy by a group of ocean swimmers from five nations with the purpose to raise awareness and funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights in the Pacific Ocean

Baja California, officially Free and Sovereign State of Baja California (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California), is the northernmost and westernmost of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California (El Territorio Norte de Baja California). It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California peninsula, north of the 28th parallel. The state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. State of Arizona, and the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez), and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

Baja California's geography ranges from beaches to forests and deserts. The backbone of the state is the Sierra de Baja California, where the Picacho del Diablo, the highest point of the peninsula, is located. This mountain range effectively divides the weather patterns in the state. In the northwest, the weather is semi-dry and mediterranean. In the narrow center, the weather changes to be more humid due to altitude. It is in this area where a few valleys can be found, such as the Valle de Guadalupe, the major wine producing area in Mexico. To the east of the mountain range, the Sonoran Desert dominates the landscape. In the south, the weather becomes drier and gives way to the Vizcaino Desert. The state is also home to numerous islands off both of its shores. In fact, the westernmost point in Mexico, the Guadalupe Island, is part of Baja California. The Coronado, Todos Santos and Cedros Islands are also on the Pacific Shore. On the Gulf of California, the biggest island is the Angel de la Guarda, separated from the peninsula by the deep and narrow Canal de Ballenas.

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