Oh! MexicoJimmy Buffet/James Taylor
Sounds so simple, I just got to go
The sun is so hot
I forgot to go home
Guess I’ll have to go now.
All too soon it was time to go. We were sad to leave the sea, the beaches so big, cheap dinners (farm to table, exquisite chefs), Indio beer, Baja Wine, and the easy, lazy days. Two months was not long enough.
What We Learned
#1) It is ok to do nothing. Those lazy days are seductive. As the song goes, “way down here, you need a reason to move”.
#2 – Slow it down – La Paz is 933 miles from San Diego. San Jose Del Cabo is 1,045. Driving is fine…if you take your time and build in stops.
- No driving at night: cows, donkeys, goats like to sleep on the warm asphalt
- Shorter driving days – maximum of 6 hours per day to factor in bad roads, slow traffic
- Take side trips. stop and see one more mission, see more whales, spend time on the beaches between Loreto and Mulegé
- At the end of this post is a list of places to stop
#3) Smile! Say Hola! Be happy to be there, be polite and gracious.
#4 ) Steve would add.…Get a boat!
Feliz Viaje – “Happy Travels”
Leaving La Paz in early May, we chose to stay two nights in Mulegé, a river town 5 hours north.
The stunning beauty of the oasis along the river is what gains the attention of travel writers who claim Mulegé is the most beautiful village in Baja Sur. The label was lost on me. The village is small with dusty, winding streets, and a pretty mission. It retains its authenticity.
We went to a bar for dinner and from our open window seat, we saw people flocking to a small fenced in basketball court in the next block. Not one to be left out, we wandered over to check it out, but when I heard roosters crowing, I knew the event of the night was a cockfight. Boogied right out of there.
Sea of Cortez – Last Look
Between Loreto and Mulegé is where you say goodbye to the Sea of Cortez. We drove from beach to beach, looking over the cliffs at amazing vistas. Places to eat are few, so for lunch we stopped at a hostel on a beach – highly recommended. Although the kitchen/restaurant was closed and preparing for a family baptism celebration, they welcomed us and whipped up what Steve proclaimed as the best shrimp tacos, ever… and had us hang out.
Cavatina – Cactus and Petrographs
Since we were taking our time on the long way out, we stopped about half way at Cavatina to climb the boulders, find cave paintings and hike around the cacti.
Back to the Pacific Ocean
After the long desert crossing from east to west we stopped at the Hotel Mision Santa Maria on the Pacific Ocean near San Quintin. This is an agricultural and fishing community, and dinner was outstanding. Walking on the windy, windy beach and dunes we found sand dollars all over the place.
One last night in wine country and then the border crossing at Tecate. At the border, we were in line for a reasonable 30 minutes, and then we, and our case of Mexican wine, were on to Palm Springs.
Travel Logistics – What We Learned
Our budget was $100/day for lodging. (It averaged out.)
|Places to Stay||Travel Time||Cost||Comment|
|San Diego to Guadalupe||2 hours||>$100||Anywhere is great|
Bodega Valle was a bargain at $120
|To San Quintin Area||4 hours||$68||Hotel Mision Santa Maria|
|To Guerrero Negro||5 hours||$38-$55||Hotel Terra Del Sol|
Hottel Los Caracoles
|To Ignacio Springs B&B||2 hours||$105||Reason to Stop |
Pet the whales at the lagoon
|To Loreto||3 hours||$58||Agra Hotel – Basic|
Upscale ($$$) options on Malacon
|To La Paz||4 hours||Contact La Paz Bay Rentals |
Beyond La Paz
- Todos Santos – 1 hour beyond La Paz >$100 (Hotel California, The Vibe B&B)
- Cabo Corridor or San Jose Del Cabo >$150
- Avoid Cabo San Lucas – a party/spring break type destination