Baja – Pueblos y Ciudads

The Bahías – La Ventańa and El Sargento

We drove from La Paz to two small fishing villages, La Ventańa and El Sargento, barely two streets wide, each busy with kitesurfing, big game fishing (marline, swordfish, dorado, sailfish and tuna) and remarkable off grid housing in the stark desert.

At El Sargento, the pavement ends, replaced with a isolated, rough, dusty, stark road to stunning Agua Caliente beach set against a backdrop of sandy mountains.

Beyond the beach, “No Name Road” was too much of a challenge. We turned around, leaving it to the 4-wheelers to make it to the natural hot water beach. (Dig in the sand…and the water is muy caliente!)

Picturesque gringo housing at El Sargento – cool houses on a stark desert.

Playa Central and Joe’s Bar, kite-surfers hangouts.

Bahía de los Sueños (Bay of Dreams)

The bay’s original name was Bahía de los Muertos (Bay of the Dead). The (now-defunct) development company thought the name off-putting so renamed it. The locals still use the original name.

At one time, the dreams were big at the Bay of Dreams. The master planned community built a golf course, equestrian center, tennis courts, but most of the facilities are closed and for sale.

Stunning views overlooking a pristine snorkeling area and the Sea of Cortez.

El Triunfo (“thre UN fo”)

El Triunfo is 45 minutes south of La Paz in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. Once the largest and richest town in Baja California Sur, it became a ghost town when the silver mines closed in 1926.

Worth a trip to see the well-curated Museo Ruta de Plata (Museum of the Silver Route), the brainchild of Christy Walton (Sam’s daughter).

El Triunfo is now a big weekend hangout due to a couple of chic restaurants, a few nicely restored buildings in this tiny dusty town.

Museu del la Música

In its glory days El Triunfo was a cultural center and musical instruments were shipped from all over the world, but ultimately abandoned. The museum has fallen into disrepair.

Todos Santos – a Desert Oasis on the West Cape

After the highway was paved in 1980 the town was noticed by hippies and they never left, now a bohemian lifestyle, a strong art scene and The Hotel California (NOT the inspiration of the Eagles song).

A Pueblo Magicó, Todos Santos is earthy and laid back with studios and galleries in its old brick and adobe buildings. Aging sidewalks with steps, is not handicap accessible. No resort – and an extraordinary culinary scene.

We were waved into a nondescript wine sho by Anastasia, the owner – if you were in the door before closing – all good! Several expats sharing several wine that they had purchased. “Come on in…have some of mine, try this one!”

Tortugeros Las Playitas is a non-profit sea turtle rescue center dedicated to restoring leatherbacks on the verge of extinction – there are only 2300 female leatherbacks in the world. They collects and incubates eggs after nesting, releasing hatchings to the sea.

West of town, off narrow one-lane dirt roads, are endless miles of the Pacific ocean coast.

El Pescadero

Once a remote fishing and agriculture village, El Pescadero’s expat development brings beach sprawl. Dozens of mostly gringo-owned houses of various size and value were scattered along dusty roads with many empty lots in between.

The town’s 4-lane highway is hazardous for people crossing to taco stands and small bars on both sides of the road. To convince drivers to slow down, cut-out cop cars are placed at the end of town.

The Cabos

At the peninsula’s southern tip, the region between San José del Cabo (international airport) and Cabo San Lucas (Spring Break parties) is completely different from all the rest of the peninsula. With big money here, yachts and cruise ships fill the marinas. Dance clubs and bars are busy.

Cabo San Lucas – Ciudad

The spring break capital of the west at the peninsula’s tip. The marina has upscale stores, beachside restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, tour operators, cruise ship passengers, etc.

El Arco rock (Land’s End Arch), accessible via water taxi, is the most photographed landmark in Baja. The Sea of Cortez and Pacific ocean converge and the rocks that extend out into the Pacific are magnificent.

Our water taxi dropped two people at Lover’s Beach, a calm two-sided beach accessible only by boat, and then swung around to show us the backside which faces the Pacific Ocean, the water too rough for swimming (Divorce Beach).

San José del Cabo

The Cabo Corridor, a long string of exclusive resorts on the most beautiful beaches. San Jose’s traditional historic center, Plaza Teniente José Antonio Mijares, is low key and many of the historic buildings are art studios and galleries. The area retains authenticity. José del Cabo is a pretty town.

Ciudad de La Paz

La Paz is the capital of Baja Sur. We stayed here 2 1/2 months.

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11 thoughts on “Baja – Pueblos y Ciudads

  1. That is an intense wave!! Never would have crossed my mind to go to Baja…now I am intrigued!

    1. Marlene and Steve April 27, 2019 — 10:34 pm

      We are on the lookout for our retirement home.

    2. Marlene and Steve April 28, 2019 — 12:07 am

      Same waves as in the Pacific off of the state of California…so fierce.

  2. I love reading your stories about places off the beaten path. And superb photography!

    1. Marlene and Steve April 23, 2019 — 4:55 pm

      Can’t believe we leave in two weeks! Sad to go. And you! Waiting to hear about Morocco.

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