Sixty-six days and 5,000 kilometres on the Baja and we didn’t encounter a single corrupt cop, anything resembling a bandido or even a mildly aggressive soldier at a checkpoint. Not much of a Mexican adventure tale when the theme is ‘there were no surprises and everything went according to plan.’
I felt a little ripped off. For real. I mean, where’s our interesting near-miss story for us to exaggerate and then retell dozens of times? Turns out military checkpoints are a breeze when you have a puppy named Javier, which is the Canadian equivalent of naming your dog something like ‘Kevin’.
Our best advice to future Baja campers? Don’t forget the sun-shower…. and be sure to hit these spots along the way.
#5. Playas Del Sol, San Felipe
fee Mex$200/night / 31°05’28.4″N 114°52’07.6″W
Nothing more than a small collection of palapas perching on a bench above the endless beach – but that beach though, and the Sea of Cortez sunrises are unreal.
Located about 6kms north of the San Felipe, there are a few decent flush toilets on site but no showers or water.
#4. Cascadia Sol De Mayo
fee Mex$140/night + park fee / 23°29’55.0″N 109°47’39.2″W
Camp in a parking area located less than 500 metres away from an exquisite swimming hole with a legendary cliff jump. An impressively clean outhouse sits at the head of the trail to the waterfall and water can be found at the nearby caretaker facilities.
#3. Playa La Pastora, Todos Santos
fee free / location 23°29’14.9″N 110°16’27.9″W
So good. No services to speak of but can’t beat the price – or the sunset – or the waves. This is a frequently used beach but the scene is comfortable and there is plenty of space.
Drive north from Todos Santos into the adjoining town of San Ignacio and follow the Las Playitas road north for about 7 kms. Use the GSP coordinates to nail down this one down.
#2. Rivera del Mar, Loreto
fee $10US no plugs, $20US for services / location 26°01’03.2″N 111°20’45.4″W
The appeal here is in Loreto’s perfect mix of walkability and authenticity, there are enough good restaurants, taco stands and interesting streets here to warrant a few days of wandering. The lovely little RV park – named Rivera del Mar – is owned by a mother-daughter combination who run a tight ship… The clean showers and decent wi-fi help the days drift by.
fee free / location 24°20’14.2″N 110°18’37.3″W
Stay without charge at a beautiful oceanside just a 30 minute drive from all the wonderfulness of La Paz. There are a couple of restaurants on the large beach area which is surrounded by hikable mountains… And the added bonus is that Tecolote is just a three minute drive from ‘the most beautiful beach on the Baja’ – Balandra Bay.
This is a boondock area with no services at all other than the potential to pay ten pesos to use the facilities at the restaurants. Strong winds or storm surges regularly blast in off the coast so prepare your camp accordingly.
Worth a mention:
fee free / location
The Sierra de los Gigantes range looms over a large bay area. This is a perfect place to stay the night before getting up early to make the push to La Paz.
Turn down a dry river bed (arroyo) about halfway between the 97 and 98 kms marker. There was a small drop in the rocky road which deters most vehicles without high-clearance.
fee free / location 23°26’47.1″N 109°25’30.5″W
Cabo Pulmo National Park is located about 30 kms south of La Ribera – 20 kms of which is unpaved and straight washboard. This boondock area sat at the bottom of the hill as you enter into the village. There were a couple other groups parked closer to the entrance but we found a secluded cove towards the southern end of the beach. There are no amenities.
fee Mex$130 / location 26°38’18.7″N 111°49’53.7″W
To be perched on a sandpit which connects at low-tides to an island in Bahia Conception is more than worth the price of admission. There are run-down pit toilets but no other amenities. The entrance to the site is located slightly north of km 92 marker on Hwy 1.
fee Mex$120 / location 26°38’18.7″N 111°49’53.7″W
Loads of space on an endless beach. The flush bathrooms were clean and showers were included. The turn-off is located between km 16 and 17 south of San Quintin. A bfierce rain began soon after sunset which didn’t subside until 2 or 3 am. We were forced to relocate camp off of the beach at midnight after realizing our access was rapidly turning into a storm-water pond.
fee mex$80 / location 29°49’54.4″N 114°24’08.8″W
High clearance or skid-pates are required for access to this secluded area. A young man came from the nearby house to take our pesos before unlocking the gate for us. The pit toilets were nasty and the previous year’s hurricane had toppled garbage cans and strewn it across the beach’s brush areas… but a pod of dolphins skirted the bay as the sun rose. Seriously.