Driving Mexico's Baja Peninsula from San Quintin to San Ignacio

Driving Mexico’s Baja Peninsula from San Quintin to San Ignacio

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Following our three week house sit in the San Pedro Martir mountains, we set out once again heading south down the Baja Peninsula, more than 1,000 miles of awesome, winding roads.

San Quintin

Our first day on the road was just a quick jaunt down the road due to a late start, just south of San Quintin to camp on the beach in a palapa (a palm tree leaf shelter) at Fidel’s Campground.

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The palapa was large enough that we could back the truck right into the entrance. Very cool!

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We lucked out with the weather in the northern portion of the peninsula… The days were relatively cool and overcast, with a nice breeze coming off the Pacific.

It felt more reminiscent of San Francisco than Los Angeles during our stay. Unfortunately that would soon be changing…

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The Trans-Peninsula Highway weaves across the Baja Peninsula, from the Pacific side, to inland desert, to the gulf side, and then back again.

Valle de los Cirios

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Following San Quintin, the route heads into the inland mountains, surrounded by cactuses and big boulders, in the protected area of Valle de los Cirios, a scene quite reminiscent of Joshua Tree.

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We were trying to limit our driving time to just a few hours per day and aimed for Bahia de los Angeles for the following night on the Gulf side.

We crossed from the scorching heat of the desert over a small hill where we caught our first glimpse of the Gulf and we were immediately slapped with the heavy humidity.

Baja basically has three micro climates—the Pacific side which tends to be fresher, cooler, windier; the Interior which is a dry, desert heat; and the Gulf side which is hot and really humid.

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The Peninsula is quite narrow, but the differences can be quite dramatic from one part to the next.

At the end of July this area is HOT.

We did the trip south basically in the reverse of what you should do… Starting in December or January. But what else could we do?

Just suffer through the heat and keep on keepin’ on.

Bahia de los Angeles

Faced with the prospect of trying to sleep in the truck or tent in this heat and humidity we opted for out first night in a hotel. Daggett’s Hotel is right on the water and cost 600 pesos ($40).

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Bahia de los Angeles is a pretty quiet, dusty little pueblo with a rocky shore. There wasn’t much to see in this area besides the bay and the beautiful islands that surround.

The following night we wound our way back inland and through the dusty town of Guerrero Negro. We hadn’t had a good pizza in well over a month, so we decided to stop at a little cafe for a delicious slice.

They served up the pizza with some ranch sauce to dip it in, quite different.

We had heard there was good camping along Ojo de Liebre right outside of Guerrero Negro—unfortunately after heading down a long dirt road, we came across a small caseta and a gate across the road. We honked the horn and hung around for a minute but no one was around.

San Ignacio

We turned around and headed toward the town of San Ignacio, where I had seen other places to camp on iOverlander.com, to try and arrive before dark.

We found ourselves at the rustic, no frills Don Chon Campground with a few locals camped along the banks as well. We ran into a very friendly couple originally from Guadalajara, but now living in Tijuana who were here on vacation with their two girls. They would offer us delicious refresco and ice, and were regularly checking on us.

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Mexico Travel Tips

Mexico Travel Tips

Important tips and resources for planning an amazing trip to Mexico, based on my extensive experience traveling across the entire country.

Instructions

  1. Book a cheap flight to Mexico with Momondo, or better yet, start travel hacking so you can fly for free.
  2. Plan a rough itinerary and how long you will spend in each destination. Pick up Lonely Planet Mexico to help with this.
  3. Work every day to teach yourself Spanish, you want to know as much as possible before you arrive.
  4. Book your lodging in advance, at least for the first destinations -- For hostels use: Booking, for cheap hotels use: Hotels.com, for apartments use: Airbnb.
  5. Reserve your on the ground tours and activities through Get Your Guide.
  6. Purchase travel insurance with World Nomads to protect yourself from illness, injury, and theft while in Mexico. VERY important, read more about getting travel insurance for Mexico.
  7. Check out my comprehensive guide about traveling to Mexico with information on cities, lthings to do, places to see, and more.
  8. Learn more money saving tricks with my top budget travel tips if you want to get more bang for your buck.
  9. Put together your Mexico packing list.
  10. Enjoy this incredible country!

Notes

I hope this helped you plan your travels in Mexico! I know it can be a struggle to find accurate and on the ground information when traveling to a new place like Mexico, which is why I started writing so extensively about it!

If you have any questions about Mexico, budget travel, or anything else shoot me an email at ryan@desktodirtbag.com.

(I love getting questions! That is how I get ideas for my blog posts and what to write about!)

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Ryan

Author, Writer, and Head Honcho at Desk to Dirtbag
Ryan is an author, adventurer, perpetual wanderer, and self-proclaimed dirtbag (but that might not mean what you think). Originally from Seattle, he headed to Washington D.C. where he spent five years working for Congress before heeding the call of the wild. He set out truck camping to road trip across the American West. Since then he set out traveling to Colombia, drove across all of Central America, and also wrote a best selling book: Big Travel, Small Budget. He just finished driving his old truck across all of South America. Follow the adventures on social media or read more about me.

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