Baja South, Unplugged

Coyote Beautiful
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Camping at Bahma Coyote
It's very simple: Choose a beach and set up a tent, or rent a palapa (about $7 a night). Or try EcoMundo, an experimental, ecologically sound beach camp and restaurant ($12 per night). Want a super-quiet beach? Try Playa Escondida ($6).

Bahma Coyote, a bay within a bay within the Sea of Cortez just a few miles south of the coastal town of Mulegi, represents everything that distinguishes Baja Sur from anywhere else in Mexico. Its desert oasis, subtropical fauna, and warm, quiet waters swirling around a chain of islands make for a getaway all its own.

But it's no relaxation picnic: People come here for some of the best kayaking in the world. The large Bahma Concepcisn is the largest bay in the Sea of Cortez, and its rich marine life and beautiful, green-blue waters make it fantasy central for a kayaker. As a bonus, unlike the Cortez and Pacific, Concepcisn is protected from winds most of the year.

So we set out to kayak, snorkel, wander, and bird-watch all of the eight islets that litter Bahma Coyote. Kayaking between these islands to find the best spots is easy enough. Although winds can pick up in the afternoon, each island is only separated by a mile or two, and the sea is usually flat in the morning.

We stopped at Isla Guapa, whose scant vegetation gives it an ominous look, for a close sighting of rare birds—osprey and blue-footed boobies. We made it over to the small Isla Liebre, close to the coast, where we found great snorkeling—mounds of shallow rocks are host to rays, wrasses, and damsels.

But the highlight came at Isla Bargo, whose protected white-sand beach makes for great secluded camping. We snorkeled around the rock reefs and climbed to the center of the island. Here, the view is one of the best in all of Baja Sur, affording enough height to see the entire blue and green length of Bahma Concepcisn as well as the deep-red canyons of both sides of the coast. We stood there as the sun went down, taking in all that makes southern Baja special.

Read about Erik's adventure in northern Baja!

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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