Baja Camping Heaven: Orange Groves, Turquoise Bays, & "Pueblos MÁgicos"

 

Surrounded by orange tree after orange tree at Hacienda La Habana outside of Mulege, Baja.

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.

Just look at those orange trees towering over Spud!!!

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...

Pulling into Hacienda De La Habana, formerly Ray's RV Park.

Does it get any more picturesque than this?!

Orange tree views.

Laundry hung between trees...the simple life.

Bennett with a load of oranges, comin' right up!

Reid making the first of MANY freshly squeezed orange drinks.

Sneaking out of the van in the morning to admire and greet the day. I could get used to this.

Bahia De Concepcion - The Mother of all Camping Spots In Baja

Playa el Requeson views, Baja California Sur.

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

Often in Baja, campers can count on enjoying a palapa (or palm leaf structure) alongside their camper. Great for shade, storage, and extra outdoor space!

Step 2: Re-energize with some PB&Js, canned green beans, and slices of cheese (while scoping out your new view)

Lunching under the palapa.

Step 3: Take a stroll To An OffShore Island Where More exploration (and Swimming) await

Chip and Bennett out to explore Isla Requeson.

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?!)

What a couple of baby birds begging for more cheese!

Step 5: Don't Forget To Mingle With The Locals

This is Goonie - One of our pal's dogs actually. SO CUTE!

And you know our love for cats runs DEEP!

Step 6: Take a Scenic Bike Ride Through THe CactI

Our daily morning activity - the boys bike, I run.

Step 7: Realize that some parts might not be so scenic

The trash problem in Baja is depressing though. Heaps of it!

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

Above: With no services (or reception) everyday locals would descend into Playa Requeson each offering something different to sell. This woman was selling shrimp, scallops, fish, and fruit tarts. But you name it, they sell it.

Left: The tarts were to die for and I could have easily gained several pounds eating those each morning!

Step 11: Don't Forget About Your Hygeine 

Brushing your teeth to these views doesn't get old.

Step 12: Try The Human Version of a Drone?!

Dadiko still has it!

Step 13: Converse With Your Friends Over Campfire and Happy Hour Drinks ABout How You're Going To Do It All Over Again Tomorrow

Roger, Sam, Jay, and Bennett talking about real men things ("Did I just hear somebody fart?!")

Step 14: WHen You'Ve Had Your Fill, Hop in the Van and Head To THe Next amazing Baja Destination (That tire though.  SigH...)

Off we head towards Loreto.

"Pueblo Mágico" De Loreto

All the larger towns and cities in Baja have these adorable welcome signs - Here we are exploring near the sea in Loreto, Baja.

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). 

Our first glimpse at the charming historical center of Loreto - only a five minute bike from our campground.

If you ever go to Loreto, make note: Eat at El Rey Del Taco!!!

Biking past Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó

Biking around Loreto town.

A stroll through town center filled with restaurants and shops.

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!). 

Campground sunset views.

  A campground regular brought us to a woman's house because we "had to see this tortoise!" He was a hoot (came opening the screen door on his own to come greet us!)

A campground regular brought us to a woman's house because we "had to see this tortoise!" He was a hoot (came opening the screen door on his own to come greet us!)

Twin Singing in Loreto Town Campground.

Notice how tight we are to our neighbor (Can you spot his truckbed? What a cool guy though!)

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!

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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.