This is part of a series of blog posts about a ten-day trip I recently took south of the border through the Mexican state of Sonora and then back up north (after a ferry trip across the Gulf of California) through the Baja Peninsula.
Actual travel date: Dec. 30. Along the eastern Baja peninsula.
After the overnight trip by ferry across the Gulf of California, we slept a few hours at a hotel in Mulege before continuing our trip through this southern part of the Baja peninsula. We wanted to visit a few of the beaches between Mulege and Loreto that lie along a bay called Bahia Concepcion.
According to The Lonely Planet travel book on Baja California, the bay is made up of 5o miles of beaches with names such as Playa Santispac, Playa El Burro and Playa El Requeson (that one once made a list of Mexico’s “top ten” beaches in Conde Nast Traveler). You could spend a week – or longer – getting to know the different beach spots along this bay, which is shielded to the west by a finger-like outcrop called the Sierra Los Gavilanes.
Here is a glimpse of the bay as the road shifts from its inland route towards the ocean south of Mulege (excuse the dirty windshield):
We pulled into Playa Santispac, one of the first beaches you arrive at as you drive south from Mulege. The beaches in Sonora had been a bit too cold at this time of year for breaking out the swimsuits, but this Baja bay was like a little oasis. The geography provided protection from the wind and the water’s ripples along the shore seemed to beckon us to step into this picture-perfect postcard scene. We set up the beach chairs and snacks and plunged into vacation bliss.
Over the course of the afternoon, the water receded from the shore and exposed rooted clams and other sea life. I explored the shallow area by foot, catching sight of schools of fish and corals feathered with plant life.The placid water was perfect for floating, and so we rented a few kayaks from some local kids (if I recall correctly, they charged $10 per kayak for an hour, or $20 for all day) and spent an hour paddling long the shore.
Eventually we moved on to Playa el Burro where we ate lunch around 3 p.m. before heading to Loreto. The trip from Mulege to Loreto takes about two hours, so it was dark by the time we arrived in Loreto. We checked into the Hotel Junipero - which is a few blocks from the coast – and searched for a travel office to make reservations for the next day’s excursion: A boat trip to the Isla Coronado. Most of the tour places on the main street were closed, but we managed to find one shop on a side-street that helped us arrange reservations for the following day. We tried on some snorkeling gear and were told to meet our boat at the dock at 8:30 the next morning to spend the last day of 2009 at the island.