Baja Norte: Sea of Cortiz between Loreto and La Paz
|Twilight on the Sea of Cortiz|
This is a favorite beach with the primitive camping set. Why is it so popular? Because not only is it free, it's located in a very attractive setting. Tripui RV Park where you'll find a restaurant, store, and laundry is just 2.5 miles south. The scenery is great, the beach is in a somewhat protected cove, the fishing is fantastic around the several offshore islands, and boaters can anchor their craft close to the beach. While tent campers will be very pleased, RVers most likely won't. Before going in with a large motor home or trailer, walk it out to see if you'll fit. Odds are this isn't the place for you.
Where it's at: Juncalito is located about 14 miles south of Loreto on Highway 1 on the Sea of Cortiz (approximately one mile north of the turnoff to Tripui RV Park and Puerto Escondido). Head one-half mile down a rough dirt road to the beach on the southern end of Bahma Juncalito. The village of Juncalito occupies the northern waterfront. Look for the sign on the east side of the highway.
This beach is not for trailers or larger rigs. There is thorny brush aplenty, soft sand, and a small beach but it is pretty. Additional beaches about two miles north and two miles south to Ensenada Blanca can be reached by sand roads suitable only for pickups, vans, or four-wheel-drive vehicles. Inflatable or car-top boats can be carried or dragged across the beach for fun fishing and snorkeling around the many little islands. The small ones that stick straight up are called Los Candeleros (the Candles). Some very nice, cozy little coves await exploration down the coast, well within the range of such small boats. Diving and snorkeling around the islands is a delight, with lots of colorful reef fish to look at. A week in a tent swimming and snorkeling can pass very quickly here.
Where it's at: Playa Ligui is located about 22 miles south of Loreto on Highway 1 on the Sea of Cortiz (six miles south of Tripui RV Park and Puerto Escondido). At the fence, ignore the"Propiedad Privada" (Private Property) notice, but look for the small "Trailer Park E. Blanca" sign. It has a rough map showing the turn to take to the low ridge at the south end of the beach and the most accessible camping area. Drive down the dirt road straight east of Highway 1 about three-quarters of a mile to the beach, then take the last right turn and follow the signs marked "Playa" for another three-quarters of a mile. The rest of the beach immediately to the north is used by local fishermen for their pangas.
On the drive in, remember that you have to come back up. Playa San Cosme is at the bottom of the grade. There are low sandy beaches between rock outcrops for about 1.5 miles on the north side of Punta San Cosme. Campsites can also be found elsewhere along the eight miles of road to Agua Verde village. Fishing is fair for grouper and barracuda near the shore. The view of Agua Verde Cove is worth the trip. It has long been a favored anchorage for cruising boats. Now you can enjoy it, too. We anchored there overnight with a group of Vagabundo boaters and were delighted. Winter is when you should visit.
Where it's at: Agua Verde is located south of Loreto. From Kilometer 63 on Highway 1 about 35 miles south of Loreto, head southeast on a dirt road for about 25 miles. The final pitch is steep with sharp switchbacks and is suitable only for pickups, vans, or four-wheel-drive vehicles not motor homes or trailers.
You will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach San Evaristo; pickups and vans can get to El Mechudo, about 10 miles south of San Evaristo on the San Juan de la Costa route, but four-wheel drive is necessary from El Mechudo on. We went in some years ago, shortly after this road was completed, with a friend who owns the saltworks at San Evaristo and Isla San Josi. It was a fascinating trip, but going up and back from La Paz in one day was too much. The cove at San Evaristo is a favored anchorage for cruisers who want to land their dinghies and stretch their legs. It has a very nice little beach that provides a protected place to sunbathe and wade. Other beaches are between San Evaristo and El Mechudo. Fishing can be good for bass, grouper, snapper, pargo, roosterfish, dorado, and sierra, improving the farther north you go.
Where it's at: The village of San Evaristo is about 45 miles north of San Juan de la Costa on a rough dirt road (about 80 miles north of La Paz). A paved road leads 24 miles into San Juan de la Costa from Kilometer 17 on Highway 1, about 10 miles north of La Paz. Another, but worse, route is approximately 50 miles in from Highway 1 at Las Pocitas, which is about 27 miles south of Santa Rita and 62 miles south of Ciudad Constitucisn.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication