Cruising Tips for the Sea of Cortez traveling South from Santa Rosalia to La Paz

Santa Rosalia

Fuel dock.

There is space to anchor in the port at the far side. We heard that there is a lot of debris on the harbor bottom and anchor retrieval might be difficult. There is also a protected bay outside the port. We didn’t anchor here, please research.

There is a sunken panga near the end of the ferry jetty. Be alert when crossing the harbor.

Cell service.

No bees, no noseeums.

Fonatur Marina is the only marina left, after a hurricane took out Marina Santa Rosalia. So far there are no plans for rebuilding it.

Cheap, laundry, showers, pool, situated between the malecon and the center of town.

Wifi at the marina office and ok to spotty at the docks.

Small charming, mining town with a landmarks as the Mahatma Gandhi library, a museum, several good restaurants, the best seafood taco stand in front of the library, banks, hardware stores, a Ley for provisioning and Onel, a department store and plenty of vivid city life.

Taxis cost 40-50 pesos in town, no matter where you are going and how many in your party.

Emergency room at hospital is free of charge for doctor’s visit and medication. Take the road uptake hill from the iron church.

 

Mulegé

Charming town with only a open road stead anchorage. River too shallow for cruising boats, but you can take the dinghy up. We anchored at Playa Santispac and hitched rides into town, which is very easy in winter with all the snow bird tourists and ok in summer. There are two bridges: one brings you to the main square, the other to the heroes’ arch, where we stood across the road from to hitch back to the beach.

Walk past the arch into town, past the kindergarten on the hill, past the post office until you reach ‘the’ intersection. There are tourist shops and a bank on the left. There is a 99 cent store at the corner, Mago’s is straight ahead, further down a dive and clothing shop on the left. The owners know everything about diving in the sea.

If you follow the road, there is a church and way down an internet cafe with desks, computers and excellent wifi for 20 pesos an hour.

The parallel street next to the church brings you back and to the main square.

Most restaurants have wifi and let you sit for hours.

Mago’s Cafe has good wifi, baked goods and chicken soup.

‘Los Equipales’ is Mulegé’s casual but upscale restaurant with yummy food, large portions, low prices and great view of the town and the surrounding hills. We sat for hours enjoying their hospitality and their wifi.

Supermarkets: One at the main square, one on the way from the heroes gate and the best is on the next street after the bank, take Calle Montezuma to the right.

 

 

Bahía Conception has many small bahias within the inner gulf:

Playa Santispac

Large bay for many boats, 30′ shelf nearly the whole bay.

Sand bottom.

Chubascu squalls at night in summer so set the anchor well. Good protection against northern wind and swell in winter.

No cell phone reception.

Situated right at the Mexico highway No.1, busy, noisy road, easy access to get to Mulege.

‘Armando’s Restaurant’ for strong drinks but not for food, we heard the cook had left recently…

‘Ana’s Restaurant’ charges 20 pesos for one hour of internet, which very poor at times, so we hitched into Mulegé for wifi and cell service. They bake good bread and rolls every Wednesday and Saturday. They also have a small tienda in a corner and cold showers in the back for 15 pesos per 1/2 hour.

The food is ok and the owners are very nice

Tuesdays happy hour half price drinks at Armando’s

Wednesdays and Saturdays fresh bread and cinnamon rolls at Ana’s.

Easy hitch hiking from the beaches to Mulegé with expats and Mexicans, no need for taxi, some RVs listen to VHF 16 arrange rides into town.

Bahia El Burro and Bahia Coyote both beautiful coves with white beaches, palaces and houses on the beach, good snorkeling, restaurants, Coyote also has a tined. 4th of July party hosted by Geary (the weather man on the net) at Bahia El Burro.

Isla Requesion 

We anchored on the North side of the island in 17′, in sand with good holding.

There is a restaurant and ‘resort’ on the beach nearby, more of a biker bar, American prices, skip the food. Apparently they have Taco Tuesdays in winter and sell 300 Tacos a night…

Restaurant San Buenaventura near Isla Requsion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caleta San Juanico

Beautiful large bay with dramatic rock formations. Plenty of room for many boats, we counted 8 and there was still plenty of room left.

Shelves between 12′ and 35′.

Sand bottom.

Not very protected from the swell from the east, but offers protection from north, west and south winds. Leave plenty of room around the rocks which divide the bay and the beaches.

Sandy beach, turquoise water, a rock beach section.

 

Ísla Coronado

Anchored at Bahia de Loreto, the south west bay.

Large bay with two beaches.

Large anchoring shelf, sand, 20′-35′

Protected from Southern winds, anchorages on the East side of the island are better in North West winds.

Beautiful white sand beach with palapa shade covers and light turquoise water. Great for snorkeling. Nice short interpretive walk with sign of the plant. Didn’t do the hike up the volcano, over 900 feet high.

The Baja side of Isla Coronado has good cell phone reception from Loreto.

We had bees scoping our boat for fresh water and also no-see-ums came after sunset. Come prepared with screens and bug repellant and don’t rinse the boat or cockpit with freshwater just use saltwater.

 

Bahía Ballandra/ Isla Carmen

Very secluded from Northern and Southern winds.

Cell reception from Loreto.

No-see-ums in summer.

 

Loreto

Open road stead anchorage outside of the commercial port, exposed to winds and waves from all directions. We anchored in offshore winds, which was comfortable, until the wind changed to the north and the rolling started.

Large shelf of 20′-12′ just to the north of the harbor jetty.

Sand bottom.

Dinghies are allowed inside the harbor, we tied ours onto a commercial dock out of the way of the commercial pangas. Nobody said anything. The gates to the harbor are open from 8 am – 10 pm. North of jetty is a beach, probably you can beach your dinghy there also, we didn’t try that.

Cell service all along the shore as far as Bahía Ballandra across the bay at Ísla Carmen and Ísla Coronado.

Lovely town. Pretty malecon and beautiful historic small town behind with the oldest mission on Baja California, which is worth the visit.

A couple internet cafes are N off the main square, Cafe Ole has good breakfast and bad coffee, next door is a coffee house with great coffee. Free city wifi at the main square.

Across the street of the mission is a courtyard restaurant, Mi Loreto, excellent, authentic, regional Mexican food at good prices.

Provisions of fresh vegetables depend on timing when the food truck arrives. Farmers market is on Saturday. Supermarkets: El Pescador and Super Ley.

Puerto Escondido

Mooring balls inside the inner bay, anchoring outside the bay, might want to ask the Fonatur office for all anchoring spots.

Fuel dock.

Portable water at end tie of

Fonator Marina next to dinghy dock and also runs the mooring balls 0.20 pesos per foot per day, dock fee 0.40 pesos per foot per day (at 37′ ling, we paid 580 pesos $30 for two nights). Includes pool, showers, coin laundry open from 9-5.

Upstairs pool and restaurant (upscale and very good food) are lovely.

Cell reception.

Wifi for 10 pesos per hour at the Carol’s tienda from 9-5.

Loreto for provisions is 20 km away or 500 pesos by taxi one way.

Great hike right across the highway up Cañon de Tabor (also known as Steinbeck Canyon) over river rocks to natural pools fed by rains in winter and spring.

 

Puerto Escondido

Mooring balls inside the inner bay, anchoring outside the bay, might want to ask the Fonatur office for all anchoring spots.

Fuel dock.

Portable water from the mountains at the fuel dock end tie of the marina next to dinghy dock.

Marina Puerto Escondido bought Fonatur recently and runs the docks and also the mooring balls. Prices are higher now, 40′ for $20 a night on a mooring ball.

Includes pool, showers, coin laundry open from 9-5 and two laundry tokens (you can buy more at 50 pesos each.

Upstairs pool and restaurant (upscale and very good food) are lovely.

New market opened June 2017.

Nice pool side restaurant, Tripui, half way to main road. They come and pick you up if you call foe reservations.

Marina has Wifi, best on land, spotty on mooring field.

Cell reception further out on the mooring field.

Loreto for provisions is 20 km away or 500 pesos by taxi one way.

The new market at Puerto Escondido features bench seating for socializing and Wifi.

The new market at Puerto Escondido with a good canned selection, Costo items and some fresh foods.

 

 

Bahía Aqua Verde

Good shelter from all wind directions, position accordingly.

Large anchoring shelves along all 3 beaches.

The anchorage near the N beach is quiet shallow, room for 3-4 boats.

Small fishing village with 3 tiendas, 1 goat dairy, 2 churches, 1 school, 1 restaurant on the beach.

South beach dinghy sand landing left side of boat ramp. Follow the Southern Rock to find the tienda up the road on the right, past the goat pens. Goat dairy sells goat cheese across from the tienda. 2nd tienda is further up in the center of valley (we didn’t go there).

We had dinner at a small restaurant on the N side of town’s beach. Very good fish tacos, not cheap. Follow path next to restaurant back to 3rd tienda.

No cell, no wifi.

 

Puerto Los Gatos

Very remote bay and beach.

Very beautiful scenery with petrified red sand formations.

Anchorage on a large 20′ shelf.

Shade structure on one of the beaches.

No people, no wifi, no cell connection.

 

Bahía San Evaristo

Large bay with shelter from all winds. Large 20-27′ shelf right in front of the village to hide from Coromels.

Small fishing village.

Lupe Sierra’s and Maggie Mae’s restaurant was open this time. Fresh good food, great coffee and a small tienda selection. Lupe is a character and the place is appointed with true creativity.

No cell service.

The village has a wifi tower and the restaurant give the password to costumers, which was 321 654 19870 in January 2007.

Potable desalinated water next to the wifi tower in a small white building with a blue stripe.

The tienda housed in a salmon colored building 150 yards inland from the wifi dish/water building, gets fresh vegetables from La Paz once a week.

Call Tony on Channel 16 to get distilled water. SAPA for the 9very slow0 village internet, password: 3216549870.

 

Isla Coyote

Inhabited by about 20 families working in mining the island. Will sell fish and jewelry from a panga, we heard but didn’t try.

 

Isla San Francisco

There is a perfect crescent beach in the south if the island, but due to the Coromels we chose a close by and more protected beach on the north side.

No cell service and no wifi.

No bees, nor noseums.

 

Isla del Espirito Santo and Isla la Partida

Park permit is required, you can buy it from park rangers in speed boats or in La Paz.

Ensenada Ballena

as most anchorage on the West side of the island, is not protected from Coromels.

Caleta Partida

very nice, sits between two islands connected by a beach. During high tide, ride the dinghy to the bay on the other side. Tuck into the Northern cove during northern winds. Anchor along the south side during southern winds, a shelf of 20′-27′ close to the main beach.

No cell service and no wifi in the whole park.

 

La Paz

Diesel at the first marina, Costa Baja, when entering the La Paz channel or at Marina Palmira, half way down the channel.

In June 2016, we chose the Marina de la Paz for their laundry mat and own desalination plant for their drinking water.

Close to the Promenade Malecon and center of town.

Family like atmosphere.

Good Mexican/American Restaurant on the property.

Cruisers Club on the property, meet Mo-Sa around 9 am for coffee.

Chandlery across the street from Marina de La Paz.

Bill Lee, watermaker services, at Marina la Paz.

Chedraui, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Home Depot and plenty of boat services available.

Good medical and vet services (Dogtor House).

The second time, January of 2007, we anchored a little further East of Marina de La Paz on the West side of the channel. Anchoring here was a bit nerve wrecking at first because the tidal current pushes the boats on anchor around like toys, depending on size and keel shape all swing differently and not like we are used to with all boats pointing in the same direction. It’s called the ‘La Paz Waltz’ with every boat moving to their own tune. Leave double the swing room as normal and 360° because your neighbors could creep up on you or you on them, as it happened to us and we re anchored very fast.

Protection from swell, although little wind protection.

Dinghy dock at Marina de La Paz costs 20 pesos a day, includes drinking water fill ups and dinghy security. Showers 20 pesos per person. Propane service (not cheap) Fridays and Tuesdays, drop off tanks before 11 am in front the office.

Cruiser’s Net 8 am on VHF22

Club Cruzeros at Marina de La Paz is very helpful for any kind of info.

 

Please note that weather conditions make a big difference for anchorages. Also there is personal preference. This is what worked for us.

We traveled here from 12/11/2016 – 6/30/2017.

 

 

 

Bahía Santispac.

Fresh cinnamon rolls at Ana’s at Bahía Santispac twice a week.

Whale sharks in the house, literally. A family hung out around Bahía Conception for the week we were there.

Our dinghy tucked behind a commercial pier in Loreto harbor.