LinksHere are my favorite places and contacts on the peninsula, north to south.
Hostel Sauzal: This was my refuge for my early trips down the peninsula. I was one of María Navarro's first guests and I watched her build her kitchen and develop the garden. The hostel is in the community just north of Ensenada, El Sauzal, up the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. People from all over the world rest and visit in María's garden. María is bilingual and has a wonderful talent for hosting. www.hostelsauzal.tripod.com.
Estero Beach Hotel: At the south end of the long beach of Ensenada is a beautifully placed and developed hotel, a fine destination for even a short trip south of the border. I try to get a room upstairs facing Punta Banda so I can watch the sunset over the point. The campground is probably the finest of the peninsula, sited along the estuary, with lawns, large clean bathrooms and laundry facility. But the big draw for me was the extensive mudflat, with its fascinating invertebrate life, which I was studying at the time. You can also walk out from the hotel along the Pacific Ocean beach. www.esterobeach.com.
Kuyimá Ecotours: The kind people of Kuyimá can help plan any tours you would like from San Ignacio. They have a very comfortable camp out at Laguna San Ignacio where the grey whales visit in the wintertime, but they also offer leisurely desert explorations for bird watchers and plant lovers,* and guide and provision mule trips to visit the cave paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco to the north. Their offices are here on the square in San Ignacio town. www.kuyima.com.
*Plant lovers will want to visit the little volcanic hill east of San Ignacio called Cerro Colorado. In a study by Mark A. Dimmitt, John F. Wiens, and Thomas R. Van Devender, Cerro Colorado proved to have more succulent species per unit area than any other small area in southwestern North America. www.desertmuseum.org/programs/succulents.php.
Trudi Angell's mountain rides: Trudi has lived in Loreto since 1976 and her Paddling South kayak tours are still going strong. Recently she has been following her heart into the mountains, developing mule routes into the Sierra de San Francisco where hidden ranches follow the old patterns of life, and seldom-visited cave paintings await exploration. I went with her into Canyon Santa Teresa and we had a wonderful time. www.tourbaja.com
Campo Rene: Just north of Laguna San Ignacio is Estero el Coyote and perched on the edge of the estuary, like a mirage, is Campo Rene. I love to sit on the restaurant porch in the shade, eating their fine meals and watching the water level change on the mangrove islands. Shore birds are everywhere. A short walk across the dunes leads to a long open Pacific beach where we swim. And another short excursion past the oyster farm by the lagoon entrance often leads to views of a feeding frenzy of birds, dolphins, small whales, or green turtles. The resort has small cabins, RV and camping spaces along the lagoon and is lovingly maintained. www.camporene.com >en cache.
Iguana Inn: This very comfortable small hotel is near the center of town, but also just a few blocks from the beach. The rooms are behind the garden, where I like to sit and read a paperback borrowed from the bookcase. Julie and Mike are very thoughtful to their guests and helpful in solving problems of travel. www.iguanainn.com.
La Damiana Inn: I love to be inside the old homes of the peninsula and Debora and Gerardo have created a beautiful place just half a block from the mission promenade. I like to sit and read in the old rocking chairs and visit over breakfast. www.ladamianainn.com.
Juve Orozco: Juve is a highly professional guide to boat tours in Loreto Bay, diving, and tours of the mountain ranches west of Loreto and of Mission San Javier. When I went out snorkeling with him he asked me to lie in the front of the boat and lean over the water and we ran with the dolphins. He is a pleasure to be with. www.seatrekbaja.com.
Casa Tuscany Inn: Here Patricia Lowe and Ken Bonner are the hosts in an old home a block above the malecón. The rooms are around and above the inner garden courtyard, where they will visit with you, help you orient to La Paz, and in the morning serve a fine breakfast. www.tuscanybaja.com.
El Angel Azul: Old courthouse buildings form the corner of the block, while new guest rooms are set back behind the large patio. Breakfast in the garden is a delight and a chance to visit with the other guests and compare plans for the day, or poke into the fine bookstore next door. A few steps take you to the cathedral and park, where the art teacher welcomes drop-in students each day. www.elangelazul.com.
Dos Olas This Dos Olas webpage offers a more modern glimpse of the drive down the peninsula I knew so well in the 90's. www.deadmans.com/baja.html