Baja Camping Heaven: Orange Groves, Turquoise Bays, & "Pueblos MÁgicos"
We welcome you back to our best of the best in Baja! This is hands down my favorite section of the peninsula and you'll see why in a moment. To lure you in further highlights included freshly squeezed orange juice at our fingertips, a crescent-shaped bay where we slept (and played) at the ocean's edge, Mexican towns that left us begging to come back, and the most divine and flavorful fish tacos - oh heck, I'll just sum it up by saying the most divine and flavorful Mexican food we've ever consumed. Period. If your mouth isn't watering yet, I'll bet money it will be at some point during this post.
If you recall, previously we had just come down from an exhilarating day chilling with Baja's Gray Whales in Guerrero Negro (if you haven't read that post, you MUST). We wondered if anything could surpass that experience and almost contemplated heading back north for fear of the media's (and state department's) portrayal of Baja Sur. But something urged us to carry on. Baja has that affect on people - the jagged mountains, quaint towns, and azure water seducing travelers further south to investigate the next section. Many come to find its brilliance further increasing with each mile and eventually just commit to traveling the entire length. Everything we saw and experienced had us itching for the next. I would describe the following areas precisely as that.
Millions of Oranges, Oranges For Free
Have you ever imagined your campervan enveloped by lush, mature fruit trees of all kinds? Where you can literally eat as many oranges and drink as much juice as your stomach can handle (note to self: bring alka selzer next time). No bustling towns nearby or loud roads filled with semi-trucks. Sun-kissed hills greet you in the morning and pink skies at dusk. Spread out are other friendly campers set-up atop the finely manicured lawn to share the experience with. A place such as this exists in Baja and it served as the most charming location for respite from the heat and dust of Baja. This orange grove (and grapefruit, lime, tangerine) heaven is called Hacienda De La Habana, or formerly known as Ray's RV Park and it is just a few miles outside Mulege. We stayed here two nights and if we weren't eating fruit or pushing around dump trucks filled with fruit, then you could find us in the pool (yes, they even have a pool)! Feast your eyes on this gem of a campground...
Bahia De Concepcion - The Mother of all Camping Spots In Baja
Ask anyone who has been to Baja what not to miss and ten times out of ten they will mention Bahia De Concepcion. This is the quintessential Baja beach-camping experience. Bahia is just south of Mulege and from a bird's eye view it is a long, U-shaped bay lined with sandy beach after sandy beach to explore and camp along. We were in search of our "spot," the paradise we would call home for a few nights. After scoping out Playa Santispak and Playa El Burro, we decided those were too busy with Canadian and American snowbirds (they are everywhere - and stay put for months). We dropped into El Requeson and I remember thinking this place is it! For those of you who want some highly intelligent and well thought-out steps on ensuring a good time in Bahia, look no further. See how we managed to get along below! :)
14 STeps To Ensuring A Fabulous Time In Bahia De ConCepcion
Step 1: Pull up next to your favorite Palapa & Pop The Top
Step 2: Re-energize with some PB&Js, canned green beans, and slices of cheese (while scoping out your new view)
Step 3: Take a stroll To An OffShore Island Where More exploration (and Swimming) await
Step 4: Carboload With A Snack (Chips & CHeese To Be Exact - And Yes, The Real Healthy Kind. Ha! Side Note: How Big Is that Chip Bag?!)
Step 5: Don't Forget To Mingle With The Locals
Step 6: Take a Scenic Bike Ride Through THe CactI
Step 7: Realize that some parts might not be so scenic
Step 8: Kick Back and Enjoy The Views In The Westy Lounger
Step 9: Then Meditate, Read, Nap (All Of The Above?) In Said Lounger
Step 10: Wait for "the Goods" To Be Delivered To You
Step 11: Don't Forget About Your Hygeine
Step 12: Try The Human Version of a Drone?!
Step 13: Converse With Your Friends Over Campfire and Happy Hour Drinks ABout How You're Going To Do It All Over Again Tomorrow
Step 14: WHen You'Ve Had Your Fill, Hop in the Van and Head To THe Next amazing Baja Destination (That tire though. SigH...)
"Pueblo Mágico" De Loreto
Leaving the relaxing beach scene was difficult (I mean look at that scenery!!!) but like I mentioned earlier, Baja kept surprising us, and now with yet another highlight. Just over an hour south it was recommended that we spend time in Loreto. This town would be our first Pueblo Mágico (or Magical Town) in Baja (there are three) meaning it offers visitors a “magical” experience – by reason of natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. The small city on the Sea of Cortez is the oldest settlement in Baja and is exceedingly pretty with a romantic town center, cobblestone streets, and a quaint little harbor with a ton of Mexican flair. This was my MOST FAVORITE town/city in ALL of Baja. I could have stayed here a very long time. It is far enough away from Cabo but offers the perfect mix of foreigners and locals leaving it feeling authentic (and safe too).
Pack 'Em In Like Sardines - Camping in Loreto
We camped at a compact but inviting campground called Riviera Del Mar RV Park. The only downside to this spot is that your neighbor is literally a couple inches away. Yes, I said inches. Ours, whom we liked might I add, slept in the back of his truckbed under the stars in his birthday suit. In the mornings he'd so graciously sneak his manparts back into his clothes. It was pretty comical but like I said, he was a fun guy to meet and the proximity to other campers ended up not bothering us at all. So quickly do we meet our neighbors when camping anyway that this just allowed us to meet them sooner! We loved this place for the myriad of travelers, laundry (!!), walking/biking distance to the historic plaza and harbor, hot showers, outdoor sink, and the kids' play area (you just have to watch the cute swings video below!).
Honorable Mention: San Ignacio
With more date palms than people, San Ignacio is the most quaint little town, just before Mulege. It has a charming town square surrounded by Mexican restaurants, ice cream parlors, and an elaborate mission called Mision San Ignacio Kadakaaman. Take note: we stumbled upon the most delicious Mexican food our lips have ever tasted...if ever driving through Baja, stop at Loncheria La Mision De Kadakaaman. It is to die for!
Anyone else Out There In Awe With These Baja Favorites Too?
Maybe you see it, maybe you don't but this section of Baja checked off everything on our list and more. When I envisioned Baja, this is how I saw it - mouth-watering food, safe places to sleep and play, charming towns, and a turquoise bay to sleep on. I'd easily dream about coming back one day to this spot. Road trip, anyone?!?!?!?! Has anyone else felt moved in this section of Baja?!
Some Central Baja Stats:
Miles Traveled in This Section of Baja: 232
When not eating fish tacos, our go-to Mexican food is: Chip- Huevos Rancheros, Me- Chile Relleno, Boys - scrambled eggs, black beans, and Mexican rice
Winner of the most pictures in a post: This post at 38 photos (It felt like more), 3 vids
Number of times we moved Spud before finally deciding on a camping spot in Playa El Requeson: 4 times (it's a tough life deciding where to camp on the beach)
Most favorite meal of the ENTIRE time spent in Baja: Loncheria La Mision De Kadakaaman in San Ignacio (Chip got to eat there again on his way back north)
How we stayed connected in Mexico: Verizon Travel Pass ($5 a day for texting and internet which we have only used twice)
Saddest thing we saw in this section: Cacti poked with garbage and huge tires hung around its arms. Even Bennett and Reid couldn't put the trash problem to rest.