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SAN QUINTIN   (GPS coordinates 30'49 N ~ 115'90 W)   is home to one of the largest protected bays on the west coast of Baja. It actually consists of 3 different bays which includes the outer bay of Bahia Santa Maria to the south, as well as the two inner bays of Bahia Falso and San Quintin Bay. This mostly agricultural area is 190 miles south of the U.S. border, roughly a four hour drive, and it is the last coastal tourist town before the Baja Highway heads down and over towards the east side of the Peninsula.

San Quintin has several different focal points. The first one that most visitors see is the long commercial sprawl along Baja Highway One. This stretch is Worth a visit for gasoline and supplies, but most visitors who want to spend time here head for San Quintin Bay, located about 3 miles west of town. The dirt access road south of town heading towards the Old Mill Hotel and Don Eddies Resort is a good place to start. This area is located on the east end of the bay and fishing is the name of the game here. A third and more remote San Quintin locale can be found on the ocean side of the bay...miles and miles of empty beaches!

Boating and fishing are popular in the local waters here, and so is claming. There are no large tourist centers here yet, however the few small hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists here have developed a strong following.

A variety of goods and services can be found along the Transpeninsular Highway which runs several miles through the San Quintin Valley, including four gasoline stations, several banks, restaurants and a variety of other miscellaneous services.

Just south of San Quintin lies the Rancho Los Pinos agricultural area. Hundreds of acres of land is farmed on both sides of the highway and up into the hills, with tomatoes being the largest crop here. The Rodriguez brothers seem to expand their operation more every year.

Because of the relatively close proximity to the border several different large scale plans are on the drawing boards to develop this area for tourists. Waterfront homes, a marina, and a golf course are all down on paper, but time will tell if these projects ever get off the ground. Until then, San Quintin is still considered the pivotal town where northern Baja civilization ends, and the raw Baja frontier begins. Heading south from here, Baja travelers find that vacation 'decompression' kicking in much more completely, and that 'Baja mode' really sets in!

A Visitors Center and rest stop for the San Quintin area is sometimes open on the main highway about 8 miles north of town on the west side of the highway at Km. 178.3. You can't miss's the only newer building along the highway! This small but nice building has brochures for the various tourist areas around San Quintin and is the perfect place to stop, stretch, and get your questions answered!

Visit our EL ROSARIO page to see what awaits you an hour south of San Quintin!

San Quintin was the third night's stop that Carlos Fiesta hit on his 2,200 mile SOLO BAJA CIRCUMNAVIGATION!

To purchase a good map of the Baja Peninsula visit the web site of MEXICO MAPS.



Gringos have been coming to the San Quintin area for years to enjoy good fishing and good friends. Most of the gringo activity tends to center around the hotels on or near the San Quintin Bay, including the Old Mill Motel, Don Eddie's, the Old Pier Hotel and Cielito Lindo. Ten minutes south of town the Desert Inn (old La Pinta) hosts visitors looking for a nice hotel on a large sandy beach, outside of Bahia San Quintin.



Driving south on Highway One through San Quintin past all of the local businesses and shops leaves a visitor with the initial impression that there's not much here for the tourist. Don't fret, amigo. Head straight through town for the "Old Mill" resort sign just south of town (at the power plant substation turn-off). Take this unpaved but decent road all the way to the end, hang a right at the sign, and then drive to the bay and park. The old wood sidewalks and mining town flavor of this waterfront location are the perfect place to enjoy the fantastic view of the bay, smell the salt water, and order up a cold drink at the Don Eddie bar and restaurant!

If you would like to see what San Quintin looks like FROM SPACE check it out!


CARLOS FIESTA'S HOT TIP: Much of San Quintin city is located on either side of the main Baja Highway, well east of the Pacific Ocean. To find the 'real' San Quintin, turn west at the sign for the Old Mill Motel. Next to the motel there are two launch ramps which will accommodate most trailered boats. The motel restaurant and bar at Don Eddie's are also a great places to relax, grab a bite to eat or drink and enjoy the spectacular view of the beautiful bay!






San Quintin has great beaches, without question. Also, part of the uniqueness of the area is the large bays that have made San Quintin so popular over the years. Collectively, these bays are some of the biggest on Baja's west coast, and offer excellent opportunities for fun and adventure!



    (inner bay)

    Once through town, about a mile past the military camp, follow the signs on the main highway to Old Mill Motel, west of the highway. This road dead ends at the Old Mill launch ramp on the bay.
    This inner bay is long and somewhat narrow, and goes for miles south until it finally opens up into the main bay. A good portion of this bay also heads north from here, at a point near the Old Mill Hotel where the bridge used to cross over towards the other side of the bay. This is a fun place to watch the tides swing from high to low, as they flow quickly through the narrow straight just in front of the hotel!



    (outer bay)

    Once through town, turn right at the first road past the military camp at Lazaro Cardenas, go three miles and bear right at the fork in the road.
    "False Bay", although not as deep as inner San Quintin Bay, is very wide. However, these waters are still protected from the ocean winds by a strip of land separating False Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
    Heading south from here takes you to the main entrance of San Quintin Bay, just to the west of Laguna Cape.
    There are a few homes, mostly Gringo homes, on the east shore of the peninsula that separates the two bays.



    Accessed by taking Lazaro Cardenas off of Baja Highway One, west towards the ocean, right at the fork, then 3 more miles to the ocean.
    On the Pacific Ocean, running from Picacho Vizcaino south to Cabo San Quintin, this long empty beach offers 8 miles of solitude and adventure!



    Right turn off the main highway south of town, near the La Pinta Hotel, until the pavement stops.
    Miles and miles of empty beaches running south from the mouth of the bay down to the marshes!
    Services can be obtained at both the La Pinta Hotel, as well as Cielito Lindo Motel.




There are miles and miles of open areas to camp both north and south of the San Quintin area, both inland and at the beach. Since these beaches are not far from the main highway, security is not assured. There have been a few isolated incidents where tourists camping on the beach have run into trouble with bandits. Something to keep in mind.

South of San Quintin near the km. 16 (head west at the sign) is Palapas Alvinas, just up from the beach. Camping, showers in a quiet environment.

If some degree of civilization, amenities, or security is desired, the following camping and RV areas are available.



    Telephone 011-52 (646) 166-2181.
    Located south of San Quintin.
    After passing through San Quintin turn right at the electric sub-station, then head west 4 miles.
    Web site:
    Number of spaces: mucho.
    Camping and RV sites.
    Restrooms / hook-ups / restaurant and bars nearby.
    Daily, weekly and long term rates available.
    A great location for Baja folks who want to fish....the boat ramp is very close by.
    Visit their web site for additional information.



    (and hotel)

    Telephone (800) 330-7799.
    (619) 474-8505.
    Fax 011-52 (646) 177-7693.
    U.S. Fax (619)691-0855.
    Right turn off the main highway at the Old Mill sign.
    5 pull-throughs cement spaces / 15 additional cement spaces / full hook-ups / concrete pads / restrooms flush toilets / hot showers / restaurant / bar / store / 2 boat ramps / horseshoe area.
    Many of these spaces back up to the bay, and the rest are just a stone's throw away!
    The camping and tent area is located in the RV area, on the west side.



    South of town, west of of Baja Highway One at the La Pinta Hotel sign. Next to Cielito Lindo hotel.
    Tent camping / flush toilets / full hookups / restaurant / good location on Santa Maria Bay!




The fishing in the 3 large bays here is particularly good! Access to the bays by large commercial boats is not particularly easy, because of the ocean waves and shallow harbor entrance, so the bays do not get fished out very easily.

Halibut, mackerel, perch, croaker, are readily available in the bays, and yellowtail, yellow fin, sea bass, rock cod, link cod, and sometimes dorado can be found in the open sea. Surf fishing can be good on the beaches south and north of the bay entrance.

Boat rentals can be arranged at the Old Mill Hotel and the Cielito Lindo Hotel.

To help flatten out your learning curve, BAJA DIRECTIONS offers excellent fishing charts for the San Quintin waters!

For more information on obtaining the proper fishing documentation required for dipping your hook in Baja waters check with the professionals at MEXICO ADVISORY SERVICES.

For more information on fishing in Baja drop by our main BAJA FISHING section!



    Telephone (800) 272-6236.
    Located on the road to the Old Mill Hotel.
    Fishing tours arranged in San Quintin Bay and outer waters.



    Telephone (760) 951-5774.
    Apartado Postal #7, Cielito Lindo, San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico.
    Complete fishing packages for San Quintin Bay and outer waters. Check out their web site for further information and the fishing report!



    Located on the road near the Old Mill Hotel, north (right) side of the street.
    Custom panga fishing in San Quintin Bay.
    Hunting and diving also.
    These are good honest people with a good understanding of the local waters.



    Telephone (909) 765-9522.
    Fishing location: San Quintin.
    Fishing packages include lodging, boat, and food. A good operation.



    Located on the main road near the Old Mill Hotel, just before the bay, right side.
    Fishing / hunting / music and a large palapa offering food.



    Telephone (800) 330-7799 * (619) 479-3476.
    Fax 011-52 (646) 177-7693.
    U.S. (619) 691-0855.
    A great Baja hotel located right on the bay!
    Clean rooms around a center courtyard with plenty of room for parking.
    Located next to the boat ramps.
    Boat rentals available nearby, plus fishing tackle, ice, telephone and sodas!
    Carlos Fiesta loves this place!



    Telephone 011-52 (646) 621-1244 * 011-52 (646) 162-2722.
    Take the main highway south of town, head west at Km. 1 (at the power substation) for 3 miles.
    Located right next to the Old Mill Resort, just north.
    The new kid on the bay. Fishing trips arranges plus clean accommodations.
    Excellent restaurant and bar with upstairs and downstairs seating.





First class hotel accommodations are not San Quintin's strongest suite, although there are grand plans on the drawing board to change that.

Meanwhile, the existing hotels and motels provide a good place to hang your hat while exploring the San Quintin area.

There are quite a few small hotels scattered on both sides of Highway One, most of them very affordable. However, the tourist hotels tend to be near the bay, just south of town, and to the west.



    Telephone (619) 479-3476.
    Toll free (800) 479-7962.
    Fax 011-52 (646) 177-7693 * (619) 691-0855.
    Just south of town, follow the signs, west off of Highway One at the small power sub-station at Km 1. Take the (somewhat rough) 3 mile dirt road to the very end. If you go too far, you'll end up in the bay!
    Number of rooms: 27.
    Cottages with kitchenettes / sleeping rooms / 2 launch ramps / BBQ / picnic tables / basketball / veranda fireplace / 24 hour electricity / very nice bar & restaurant / fish freezers / security guard / cats!
    All rooms face a well manicured gravel courtyard, just steps from the bay. Well maintained and affordable, with rooms from $34.
    Plenty of parking for cars, RVs and boats!
    Jim and Nancy Harer have done a good job since they purchased the Old Mill Motel in 1995. Check out their web site for further information.



    Telephone 011-52 (646) 176-2601.
    Ensenada main office 011-52 (617) 176-2601.
    Main office fax 011-52 (617) 176-3688.
    Toll free (800) 336-5454.
    Corporate address: Avenida Floresta at Bucaneros, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
    On a big beach, south of San Quintin off of Km. 11, west for 2.5 miles.
    Number of rooms: 60.
    Biggest of the La Pinta chain / on the beach / ocean views / restaurant / bar / tennis courts / horseback riding.
    Like all of the La Pintas, this huge hotel offers all of the conveniences of home, with little Baja flavor.
    If you are driving through town in the middle of the night, have no reservations, and need a clean room, this is one of your main options. The front desk is manned 24 hours a day!



    Telephone 011-52 (646) 621-1244 * 011-52 (646) 162-2722.
    Take the main highway south of town, head west at Km. 1 for 3 miles.
    Located right next to the Old Mill Resort.
    Number of rooms: 20.
    On the bay / restaurant / bar / ocean view margarita deck / fishing trips.
    The newer kid on the bay. Give 'em a try if the Old Mill is sold out!



    South of town, right turn just past the bridge at Km. 11., then head west 3 miles.

    Located just north of the La Pinta Hotel.
    An old standby serving Baja travelers well for many years.

    Juanita is still working at the hotel to keep guests happy!



    Telephone 011-52 (646) 177-5897.
    Post Office Box 189003, PMB 120, Coronado, California, 92178-9003.
    North of San Quintin, 32 miles east of the blacktop on a good gravel road.
    After being closed for the better part of 2000, this Baja jewel is open and ready to make you happy!
    A charming place to stay in a beautiful setting, the family style meals are fun! Fishing, hiking and saddle trips relaxing are just a few of the items on the agenda!
    Check out their web site for more detailed information!



    Telephone 011-52 (668) 1-5514.
    Take a left spur road halfway to Meling, or use Highway 3 and then head south.
    Popular with the motorcycle and off-road crowd, miles of trails, good accommodations and food.




The National Observatory is approximately 60 miles north-east, off the main highway on a fairly good dirt and gravel road past Meling Ranch. Regular passenger cars should have no problem during dry road conditions.

The observatory sits on a high peak in the mountains of Sierra San Pedro Martir. The road goes all the way up to the observatory, although a 'do not enter' sign indicates that they prefer that you walk the last half mile of paved road.

On a clear day the view from the nearby rocks allows you to see both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez!

A fun excursion includes grabbing a room at Meling Ranch on the way up, enjoying a good home-style dinner and breakfast, and then heading up to the observatory in the morning!

Visiting the observatory after November can be risky, as snow often falls on these mountains when cold fronts drop down from the north.




Beach activities are the main focus in the San Quintin area. Both the bays and the open beaches offer plenty of opportunity for recreation.

Hunting is also an option in the San Quintin area, and several places offer guide services.

Check out the WHALE WATCHING section of Baja Expo for mucho mas information on Baja's Whales!

Two good web sites to review for RVer's who want to tour the Baja Peninsula in an escorted RV caravan include BAJA WINTERS and BAJA AND BACK RV TOURS.



    The bays and marshes south of town offer some of the best birding on the Baja Peninsula. A big variety of birds and enjoyable climate ad to the fun.



    All 3 bays, plus the ocean facing beaches are productive at low tide. For access to the bays, head for the Old Mill area. For access to the open ocean beaches, the La Pinta Hotel area is a good, as are the beaches directly west of San Quintin.



    The tidal flats and marshland just south of San Quintin provide good hunting for duck and goose in winter, and for quail all year long.

    From November through March 15,000 Pacific Brant make a 3,000 mile migration from their breeding grounds in Alaska to San Quintin Bay. Several places offer guide services. Remember, gun laws are very strict in Baja.



    Located 3 miles west of the blacktop, south of San Quintin, just before the Old Mill Hotel.
    Guide services available for the San Quintin area.



    Located south of San Quintin, west at the Old Mill sign, located just before the bay.
    Guide services for hunting and fishing.



    Kayaking in the bays is a pleasant experience because of the calm waters, especially in the inner bays. Ocean kayaking and wave riding is good south of the bays, with easy launching over the sand.



    South of San Quintin at K 21 there are many miles on sand dunes, stretching from the highway west to the ocean.

    Dirt bikes, sand rails, and dune buggies will have a great time exploring this beautiful coastal area. Staying on existing trails helps preserve this area for future generations.

    Visit the web site of WIDE OPEN BAJA for awesome buggy tours of the Baja Peninsula.



    Located 5 miles southwest of Cabo San Quintin, Johnston's Seamount offers good visibility, plenty of sea life, and interesting pinnacles and reef structure. There are several places near the Old Mill Hotel that offer diving services.



    Located 3 miles west of the blacktop, south of San Quintin, just before the Old Mill Hotel.
    Diving services for the open waters off of San Quintin.



    Located south of San Quintin, west at the Old Mill sign, just before the bay.
    Scuba diving services for the San Quintin area.



    Good surfing can sometimes be found at the beach break at Picacho, north of the bays, and at the point break at the end of the San Quintin peninsula.

    And if you are serious about a Baja surfing adventure check out the web site of BAJA SURF ADVENTURES.




Above and beyond the list here, there are many other restaurants and bars scattered along the Transpeninsular Highway for several miles from Lazaro Cardenias to San Quintin. There are also quite a few taco stands, which offer a great way to grab a quick snack (plus they are cheap!).

EL JARDINES restaurant and bar located south of town on the Old Mill road. Great prices, good service and they will cook the fish you just caught!



    Telephone 011-52 (646) 621-1244 * 011-52 (646) 162-2722.
    Take the main highway south of town, head west at Km. 1 for 3 miles.
    Located right next to the Old Mill Resort.
    On the bay / restaurant / bar / ocean view margarita deck / fishing trips.
    One of the few San Quintin restaurants on the bay.
    Give 'em a try...great food and service!



    Located one block west of the main Highway one block south of the Old Mill turnoff.
    Breakfasts, lunches and dinners at reasonable prices.
    Beef and seafood meals and a full bar.
    Happy Hour from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Carmen and Guillermo at your service!
    Open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.



    Center of town, on the main highway, west side, just south of the PEMEX 2634.
    Located on the south east corner of the town square area.
    Just a small but great taco stand.
    Great fish tacos, shrimp tacos and drinks.
    Super clean and tidy inside and out.
    Family owned and operated.
    Order on the left side, pay on the right side, pick up on the left side.
    Carlos Fiesta gives this place a 5 star(fish) rating.



    South of town, near the La Pinta Hotel.
    Variety food.
    Try the cracked crab!



    Right next to the Old Mill.
    Good food, very good prices, and a great bay view!



    South of town, west at sign.
    Typical La Pinta food, nice ocean view.



    Located on the highway, on the north end of town, west side of the street.
    No skimpy servings here! Your custom fish taco comes chock-full o' fish, and they are tasty!




Highway One goes through town for quite a few miles, offering just about everything a Baja traveler might need! Gasoline, pharmacies, liquor stores, taco stands, tire repair . . . you name it.

Load up now because these things are in short supply over the next few hundred miles. Next significant shopping down the highway is Guerrero Negro.

Looking for a big supermarket? Mercado Avical is located on the south end of town on the east side of Baja Highway One. It's a big store and has most of the items you would find back at home. Even Oreo Cookies!

Visit the web site of JOHN RAMOS to review his unique and colorful Mexico art work.




Buses traveling the Baja Highway make a stop in Lazaro Cardenas, just north of San Quintin, on the west side of the street.

There are a few taxis in town for local transportation.

3 PEMEX stations are available to the Baja traveler in this area. The north station (Pemex #2881) is located at the traffic signal and also serves up diesel fuel. There is a bathroom at this station but it is not pristine.

The second one (PEMEX #6671) is located further south in San Quintin at Km. 191 serves ice, snacks, sodas, and Red Bull (for those long halls). It is open 24 hours a day and it also offers air and water for your vehicle, and clean restrooms!

The newest PEMEX (#7574) islocated a bit south of town near '0' is very large and offers a market and clean restrooms. A good place for RV's because it is so large and has extra room for parking.

The Bays of San Quintin are excellent for boats and yachts in need of temporary shelter. The entrance to the main bay can be tricky, especially at low tide. Current charts are very important!

Two good web sites to review for RVer's who want to tour the Baja Peninsula in an escorted RV caravan include BAJA WINTERS and BAJA AND BACK RV TOURS.

For more general information on transportation in Baja check out our main BAJA TRANSPORTATION section.




Don't even think of heading south from here with the hope of finding gasoline or supplies! There are some services in El Rosario, but not many. If the gas station in El Rosario happens to be closed, your out of luck. Best bet is to fill up here, which should get you to Guerrero Negro.

The PEMEX at the Bahia de Los Angeles junction has been closed for some time, although locals sometimes sell gas at that intersection from large drums.

For information on obtaining travel documents for Mexico such as Tourist Cards, boat permits, fishing and hunting licenses check out the web site of MEXICO ADVISORY SERVICES.




    Your ATT i-Phone and other cell phones with AT&T service will work in the San Quintin area.
    Before heading south set up an inexpensive Mexico plan for more affordble rates.


    Located north of San Quintin in Lazaro, on the west side of the street.
    The phone rates here are much better than those "Call Collect" phones in other locations. They will take dollars or pesos here.



    Located in San Quintin on the west side of the road, just south of the traffic signal.
    Good phone service for about a buck a minute. That's not bad for this neck of the woods!



    About a mile west of Baja Highway One, on the road to the Old Mill, north side of the street.
    A small store with a phone station. Competitive rates, pesos or dollars.





      Telephone 011-52 (616) 6-2728.
      Located on Highway One, 3 miles north of town, on the west side of the street at Km 178.3.
      Brochures, maps, and good information about the San Quintin area. Stop by and check it out!



    Telephone 011-52 (616) 6-2034.
    Thomas Guerrero or one of his buddies are very helpful and will try their best to assist you.




    San Quintin real estate tends to mark the southern boundary for Baja fans looking for real estate within a reasonable driving distance from the U.S. border. The four hour drive is tolerable for most folks who want to invest in Baja, and it's far enough south where they actually feel they are in the remote 'Baja' that most tourists never see.

    Many potential Baja homeowners have had their eyes on the large, beautiful bay here for years, and several developers are currently in the process of helping to make those dream homes a reality. Large sections of land near the bay have been master planned for residential communities, and other large tracts are now being offered for sale. Unlike much of the residential development further north in Baja, where homes have been build randomly with no central theme, it is likely that much of what gets built in the San Quintin area will consist of specific ideas on zoning, lot size, and aesthetics. This forward thinking should result in communities that hold their values well for many years.



    There are several different plans in various stages of development in San Quintin, although most tend to be in the early stages at this time. Large land holders and project developers in these early stages can often offer special incentives and price discounts to potential buyers in order to build sales momentum.



      Locaced approximately one half hour south of San Quintin.
      Villas, homesites in a master planned seaside community.
      Fly-in opportunities available.
      Visit their web site for additional information.



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