Bahia Concepcion is the largest bay in Baja, and is located a short drive south of Mulege. Dozens of beautiful sandy beaches can be found along it's west coast. The crown jewel of this area is a collection of beaches off of a large bay called Bahia Coyote. The protected emerald waters of Bahia Coyote are a tropical paradise, complete with deserted offshore islands. Honey, I'm home!
The first beach that visitors see as they drive south on the main highway is Playa Santispac. This large bay within a bay offers beach front camping spaces for short or long term stays, and a small restaurant back from the beach. This part of paradise gets a good crowd in winter, as the snowbirds from the colder latitudes enjoy calling this 'home' as they wait out the snow and frost at their main casas.
One of the beaches that cannot be seen from the road is Playa Arena. A development is currently in the planning stages here which will include sea front and sea view lots, as well as a small hotel fronting the private beach. Many other homes can be found as one drives the main road further south, below Bahia Coyote.
Because the waters off of most of these beaches are so warm and calm, and because the water is so shallow, even the most timid landlubbers enjoy frolicking in the waters of Bahia Concepcion. The more time one spends in Bahia Concepcion, the easier it is to understand why some folks enjoy spending several months of the year here!
The large 'island' that can be seen way across the bay from these beaches is actually a large barren peninsula. A rough road traverses the peninsula to the tip, but there is very little out there besides rocks and cactus. Probably the best way to explore it is by laying on the beach at Bahia Coyote, with a pair of binoculars in one hand, and an ice cold Snapple in the other.
CARLOS FIESTA'S HOT TIP: Near the northern end of the beach side camping spaces on Playa Santispac is a small kayak rental company called Baja Tropicales (Palapa #17). These kayaks are easy to use, and offer the perfect way to get offshore to check out the calm waters and offshore islands! Guided tours are available.
PLAYA PUNTA ARENA
Left off the blacktop at Km. 119 * 2 miles on a tough rock and dirt road. Worth it! One long, beautiful, private, wind protected beach! No crowds, a few local homes. A rough road wraps to the south, ending up at Playa Santispac (lunch anyone?).
Off the main Baja Highway at Km. 114 * A short drive right down to the beach! Very popular, for a lot of good reasons. Protected, lots of beach space available. A restaurant behind the beach works well for snacks, meals, and wedding receptions!
Left turn off the Transpeninsular at Km. 112 * Just down the hill to paradise! The beach is great here, but what makes this place special is the close proximity to the offshore islands. This beach is the perfect launching pad for kayaks, boats, etc.
PLAYA LOS COCOS
Left turn off of Highway One at Km. 111 * Watch for oncoming cars and trucks! You've driven by all the big beaches with all the crowds, but looking for a beach with a little more intimacy. This jewel is small, and usually not crowded. Enjoy!
PLAYA EL BURRO
Slip down off of the Baja Highway at Km. 109 * Get your mask and snorkel ready! A very good beach, plus directly off shore is the largest island in Coyote Bay. Isla Bargo has a secret beach on the back side that provides the perfect place to escape!
PLAYA EL COYOTE
Hang a left off the asphalt at Km. 108 * Take it slow over the bumps! A large beach with room for everyone. Looking for a mini-adventure? There are hot springs at the south end, just up from the shore.
PLAYA SANTA BARBARA
Off the freeway at Km. 100 * A long dirt road heads south and finally ends at the beach. This beautiful beach cannot be seen from the road, and is not easy to get to. Hence, it is one of the last to get crowded when the season gets busy. Enjoy the solitude!
Hang a left at Km. 94 * Just a short drive to the parking lot and beaches. Nice beaches, and a very well organized location. A big draw here is the Hotel San Buenaventura, a small but top cabin escape for those in the know. Very nice!
Slip off the blacktop at Km. 92 * The beach is downhill to the right. Another very scenic beach, including palm trees! At low tide the island connects to the shore. This is a fun place to snorkel and just hang out in the shade!
PLAYA LA PERLA
Left turn off of the Baja Highway at Km. 91. A quiet beach offering palapas in the sand. Because it is so much further south than the other beaches, it rarely gets crowded here. Also, it's a bit more exposed to wind.
13 miles south of Mulege.
Toilets / showers / palapas / restaurant / busy in season / tents welcome.
15 miles south of Mulege.
13 sites / full hook-ups / flush toilets / showers / tennis / tents welcome.
PLAYA EL BURRO
16 miles south of Mulege.
Palapas / toilets / tents welcome / boat launching over sand / inexpensive.
27 miles south of Mulege.
Palapas / cabanas / pit toilets.
ADDITIONAL CAMPING SPOTS:
Km. 88, 85, 84, 82, and 80.
Good clean camping locations with few amenities.
Bahia Concepcion is a very large bay, an opens up on the north end to the Sea of Cortez. Fishing can be good in the bay, and improves considerably as one heads out to sea. Organized fishing is not well established in most of the bays, but organized fishing can be arranged in Mulege, a short drive north. Launching off of the beach is possible on many of the bays in Bahia Concepcion.
HOTEL SAN BUENAVENTURA
Tel 011-52 (115) 3-0408 * Located at Km. 94.5 off of the main Baja Highway. Clean rooms / air conditioning / restaurant / bar / parking / very well constructed. This is the only hotel on Bahia Concepcion, and a great place to hang your hat.
Bahia Concepcion is dotted with many different islands, and make a fun destination for exploring, or for a picnic and snorkeling destination. There are eight islands in Bahia Coyote, as well as a few further south. When disembarking from your vessel to explore, watch out for sharp clam shells. Foot protection is highly recommended!
Back in the hills, up the canyons behind El Burro, the original habitants of the area left some amazing drawings behind. It's best to hire a guide in Mulege.
Some of the longer beaches can be fun to bike on. Hard packed areas are usually just behind the soft sand, and make peddling easy. Bike rentals are available in Mulege.
Snorkeling along the beaches and small cliffs is enjoyable, and diving well offshore offers even more rewards. Contact Mulege Divers for the best locations and equipment rentals.
Island hopping in kayaks is a real treat in these calm waters, and excursions south into the bay or up to Mulege will satisfy the die-hards. Drop by the BAJA TROPICALES palapa at the north end of Playa Santispac for rental and tour information.
The calm waters of Bahia Concepcion make for great sailing, once you get far enough off shore to pick up the wind. Gusts can get unpredictable near the beaches and island, but usually run more consistent in the main bay. Shallow drafts in the coves make tendering a must.
The waters off the beaches of Bahia Concepcion are great for swimming! The water is generally warm from April through December, and the lack of waves makes wading a pleasant experience for even the most timid landlubbers.
Waking along the beaches of Bahia Concepcion is a great way to get a little exercise. It's also a good way to meet fellow Baja travelers. Many long term friendships have been started with simple words like "good morning!".
Mornings are usually very calm, but a decent breeze often picks up in the afternoon. These breezes are generally light in the coves, and combined with the shallow waters, provide an excellent place for beginners. The winds get stronger and more consistent out in the main channel, a great place for experienced sailors to cut loose.
Playa Santispac * North end, back from the beach. You can't miss it!
Basic menu in a very relaxing environment. Gets busy at night.
HOTEL SAN BUENAVENTURA
Playa Buenaventura * Off the highway at Km. 94
As nice of a restaurant as you will find in Bahia Concepcion. Crazy Mike and his crew keep a great kitchen, a clean beach, and there's always good music for your listening pleasure!
ESTRELLA DEL MAR
Playa Coyote * Just up from the beach.
Nothing fancy here, but unless you've got a cooler full of sandwiches . . .
Baja Highway One plays tag with the coastline of Bahia Concepcion for many miles. Access to the various beaches is usually from a dirt road directly off of the blacktop. Buses travel up and down the highway here, but usually don't stop until they get to Mulege. The nearest gasoline is at the large PEMEX station, a three miles south of Mulege, on the east side of the highway, and includes a mini-mart.
The Concepcion Peninsula has attracted hard core Baja adventurers for many years, long before the Transpeninsular Highway was completed and paved. Although it is easily visible from the western shores of Bahia Concepcion, the vast majority of this peninsula is extremely remote and mostly inaccessible. A dirt road spurs off of the blacktop near the south end of Bahia Concepcion, eventually heading west to the Sea of Cortez and north into the barren territory of the peninsula. Although a few hearty souls have temporarily made this rocky finger of land their home, over the eons it has remained by and large a desolate, empty territory. In many ways the Concepcion Peninsula is a lot like the Baja Peninsula, only on a smaller scale. Both are very remote, yet allow access to those looking for an adventure. Both are hot and dry, yet surrounded by vast open seas of refreshing waters. And both peninsulas seem to be worlds away from the conveniences of modern life, yet each is just a short (as-the-seagull-flies) hop to 20th century amenities. And like Baja itself, the Concepcion Peninsula still has many years of solitude ahead, offering raw nature and a unique beauty to those who will take the time to explore it.
The beautiful coves and bluffs of Bahia Concepcion are the perfect location for a Baja hideaway. Most homes along Bahia Concepcion are either right on the beach, or on a nearby bluff top with spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez.
Each year more homes are built on the beaches and bluffs of Bahia Concepcion. Few of these come on the market, but when they do come up for sale, they usually don't last long.
Most of the real estate in the Bahia Concepcion area consists of smaller parcels, dedicated to single lots. However, as the area becomes more popular, developers are looking at building out some of the larger beach front parcels into master planned communities.
Tel. (714) 488-3426 * (403) 226-1769.
32464 Crown Valley Parkway, Dana Point, California, 92629.
Site Location: north end of Bahia Concepcion, just up from Bahia Coyote.
Master plan consists of ocean front and ocean view lots and homes.
Contact: Alan Jewitt.