Puertecitos & San Felipe, Baja

O ne hundred and ninety km south into Mexico from Mexicali and the American border lies San Felipe, a small fishing village now more concerned with tourism than fishing. It is built upon the beach of the northernmost section of the Sea of Cortez. The people are very friendly and the accomodations are clean and cheap. The food is excellent. Here you can enjoy fish tacos in a beachside outdoor cafe and wash them down with the beverage of your choice. US dollars and pesos are interchangeable currency. Mexican tourist items are sold along the beach front road. My very limited Spanish was greatly appreciated and well received.

F or the really adventurous in spirit, drive another 90 km south along the Sea of Cortez and arrive at Puertecitos (spanish for 'little harbors'). There are no hotels but the camping is excellent. Concrete pads support a thatched sleeping loft under which is a picnic table and BBQ grill. You are just a few steps from the clear warm water of the Sea. There is no drinking water so bring your own. A nearby Pemex gas station is here but it's usually closed so be sure to gas up in San Felipe before. There is a small market also nearby, open sometimes, to buy ice and the barest of essentials. On the outermost rocks by the Sea are a series of natural hot springs which boil up out of the rocks a few yards from the Sea. The first pool is almost boiling and actually dangerous but by the time the spring water reaches a few of the lower tide pools it is the right temperature for bathing. There's no sulpher smell and the water is clear and very therapeutic. At night the stars are overwhelming to view. The Milky Way is a cloudy path through the cosmos and falling stars punctuate the blackest night sky imaginable. It is so peaceful.
Puertecitos Beach at Daybreak - Tide Receding
A Puertecitos Beach at Midday
Puertecitos Seagull Art by the Sea of Cortez
Natural Hot Springs at Puertecitos
The San Felipe, Baja Sign on the Boardwalk
Sleeping Platforms near the Beach at San Felipe, Baja