East Cape scene
Hotel, Motel, Tour & Business Guide
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  • East Cape 
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  • Real Estate 
  • Restaurants - Bars 
  • Shopping, 
  • Transportation, 
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    East Cape scene
    by Axel Valdez

    Dear Friends, Our thoughts and prayers are to all of our friends and America for the terrible tragedy that overwhelmed the entire world last month.

    I want to thank all of our friends that one way or another has let us know their concern about Hurricane Juliette's effects in our area. I have constantly been speaking with Esaul, since Saturday (with Monday as an exception).

    The storm was coming too slowly and it gave us enough time to get everything ready here at the resort and also to prevent our collaborators. This gave all of us the opportunity to have everything safe. We are always prepared for this time of year in different ways to be ready for a contingency like this: We have larger amount of diesel, food sources and we are ok with water source with our well. Since roads most likely would be closed, we need to be self-sufficient for what may happen. Also we do not have all the boats in the water, and all of those in the water, have their trailers at hand to be immediately taken out, together with two tractors that help us if needed.

    This time, it paid off: We had electricity for our generator with enough fuel. We have been working normally in the hotel with enough energy for air-conditioned rooms and of course for the food supply. We even sent some guests by boat back to Palmilla (past San Jose) so they could get back to the airport on time. We had boat fishing on Monday and today. At this time, we have a group of 30 guests arriving to the hotel, and as the road is closed we are taking them down to La Ribera where we will lounge them to their last part of their road trip, back to our dock in front of the Hotel. Most likely the road will be open tomorrow for non-four wheelers cars, for as these were the only cars going through. Tomorrow everything should be back to almost normal (with the detours in way, it might take about 1 hour to get to the resort, instead of the 45 minutes it normally does). My mom told me that the garden is looking even more beautiful, because the rain cleaned all of the plants more than normally. Everyone was back at the resort and with a lot of work to be done, it was more about getting back everything to its normal condition, and thanks to all of our people, we were able to get back on our feet quite fast. The beach is nice and clean, the swimming pool is in perfect conditions, and the boats are back fishing.

    Hurricane Juliette acted like no other hurricane before, since it was stationary once it hit land. This created two-three days of a lot of rain (they say that the rain that we had in these two days, it is equal to what we normally have in 3 whole years). The rain created great trouble for highway 1, from Los Cabos to La Paz (both ways) specially; and to the airports that were close for few days, they restored the flights two days ago. The Cabo area, according to my Dad, all of the major hotels are functional, the road has been re-opened and most of San Jose has electricity by now. In Cabo San Lucas it is going a little slower, but they should be back to normal now that the sources are coming in to La Paz. Phones are working on a 30% capacity; therefore there has not been a steady communication down south. La Paz had electricity and the report shows that water is a little scarce. But the hotels are working almost 100%. Even though, our state is not used to this much rain, our philosophy toward hurricanes is, and we are thankful to God that the losses of lives were minimal, (one) and it was caused by imprudent behavior. The material damages can always be recovered, but unfortunately, not life.

    We are really looking forward for the month of October, we strongly believe that this month is going to be one of the best fishing months in a long time; "it should be a month to remember among months". We ask that you take in consideration a trip to the area during the remaining of the year. Due to the tragic incidents during the past month and to this natural disaster, I am almost sure most of the hotels will have rooms available. But I am more certain that your visit will help our whole community get back to its feet. Despite the terrible damages that came with this hurricane, and those of September this remains a wonderful and peaceful place and its people stand out for their warmth and friendliness. We really hope to see you soon. Sincerely, Axel Valdez Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort


    by Connie Ellig
    Road log La Paz to Los Barriles & San Jose
    GENERAL CONDITIONS: LA PAZ TO LOS BARRILES
    Road: Very goodWeather: Very hot day. Warm, still night in Los Barriles.Gas: No problems 
    MON., JUNE 5: LOS BARRILES
    Since our last visit, Los Barriles had grown. Many businesses in the Plaza del Pueblo Shopping Center had survived their growing pains, among them Buzzard's Bay Cantina, the East Cape Smokehouse and Baja Beach Co., where we purchased a colorful chili pepper scarf and chatted with manager Ruth Ryan about new specialty shops in the plaza: a bakery, casa de cambio, artisan shops and an Internet service (computer rentals available, no phone line connections for laptops yet). We had a tasty lunch of chicken tacos and a Muffaletta sandwich on the patio of Otra Vez, then visited the attractive new Hotel Los Barriles (20 rooms, a pool and palapa bar) next to Juanito's Garden RV Park. Our next stop was Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort where we chatted with Marisol Verdugo about their new roof garden restaurant and expansion from 20 to 29 hotel rooms (many with kitchenettes). We selected a campsite for the night, then headed for Tio Pablo's. It was difficult to choose among the many selections on the menu, but we opted for a large New York style pizza (pepperoni, Italian sausage, olives & lots of cheese) and spoke with owner/ROAD LOG consultant Paul Gilbert about the steady growth of Los Barriles and his new Restaurant Tio's in Santiago. After closing the bar, we retired for the night.
     
    GENERAL CONDITIONS: LOS BARRILES to CABO PULMO to san JOSE del CABO
    Road: Very good...Weather: Very hot days and pleasant night with steady south wind at Cabo Pulmo...Gas: No problems 
    TUES., JUNE 6: LOS BARRILES TO CABO PULMO
    After a dip in the pool and a hearty breakfast in Verdugo's panoramic view restaurant, we spoke with anglers who reported outstanding East Cape fishing with 25 lb. tuna, 45 lb. black marlin (others caught and released), and 15-48 lb. dorado...We spoke by phone with our former neighbors from Rancho La Bufadora, Kathy & Les Brown, who now operate VBS Lumber & Carpentry in Los Barriles. (They send saludos to Jose Toscano & the Bufadora bunch!)... In La Ribera, Correcaminos RV Park has expanded to 21 full hookup sites. If the RV park gate is closed, go back to the owners' small tourist information/fishing/real estate store in town for camping info...  We visited Cabo Pulmo for the first time via 10 miles of paved road (several washouts), then about 10 miles of rough washboard. Pulmo Reef is the only living coral reef system in Western North America and has 200 species of tropical fish. In 1995, the Mexican government declared it a National Marine Park which includes the bays of Cabo Pulmo, Las Barracas and Los Frailes. In order to maintain the fragile ecosystem, fishing, spearfishing and the collecting of marine park specimens is prohibited. Marine Park maps and info are available at Nancy's Restaurant or Pepe's Dive Center... We chatted with Marine Park Director Jose Luis "Pepe" Murietta (e-mail: pepesdive99@mail.com), who suggested a good snorkeling and camping spot and reminded us to bring out our trash to dispose of in the dumpster in "town." (Town consists of several restaurants, dive shops and solar-powered rooms, casitas and bungalows for rent at Nancy's Park Place Inn and Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort.)... We spent the rest of the afternoon snorkeling and encountered many colorful and exotic tropical fish. It was fabulous! 
    WED., JUNE 7: CABO PULMO TO SAN JOSE DEL CABO
    At the campsite, we exchanged stories with Bob Middleton of Tung & Groov of Laguna Beach, CA, then headed back to town (with our garbage), stopping on the bluffs to shoot the fantastic panorama... In Santiago we dined on delicious fish filets with garlic butter/cilantro sauce at Restaurant Palomar, checked out the new Tio's Restaurant (breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, pizza) in its refurbished century-old building, then visited Agua Caliente thermal springs... In San Jose del Cabo, we registered at Brisa del Mar RV Park, which has undergone some pleasant changes. The ugly old tent camping area on the park's fringe was gone; all sites are now attractive and have full hookups (prices cheaper if you don't use hookups). Since there were few campers, we were able to obtain a beachfront site with a palapa. What was once a large swimming pool is now a smaller one and a terrace with a trickling fountain for the busy restaurant/bar. We devoured excellent Beef Chimichangas and a fresh salad topped with BBQ chicken slices, then retired for the night with the sound of the crashing surf in our ears.

    New East Cape Visitor Information Center

    will soon to be open on the main road entering Los Barriles between the Plaza Del Pueblo and Amigos ATV Rental. Not only will the VIC be a welcome addition to the tourists, but to the business community and the local residents as well. Offering different levels of participation for business owners, VIC can be their showcase to make first time visitor, repeat visitor or part-time resident aware of the services they offer.

    Conceived and owned by long time residents, Gary and Yvonne Graham, this new service will be available October 1, 2000. English speaking, trained employees will staff the office seven days a week from 2:00 - 6:00 P.M. The Visitor Information Center will provide a central place for tourists and residents to gather information on the services and activities that are available in the East Cape area from our courteous, knowledgeable staff who are eager to greet visitors and answer their questions. VIC is not just another typical Baja Information Center designed to sell something. VIC is designed to provide quality information to the visitor.

    VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER; TELEPHONE 114-1-03-74; Located on Calle Principal between Plaza del Pueblo and ATV Rental.

    History, Statistics:
    Introduction:


    For a spectacular photo of the East Cape from space...CLICK HERE!

    CARLOS FIESTA'S HOT TIP: Cabo Pulmo offers excellent snorkeling, especially in the morning. After a fun-filled underwater adventure, lunch at Tito's or Nancy's is the perfect way to satisfy those hunger pangs. But remember, this is manana country. Your meal may not be served with the expediency of that Denny's back home. Relax, there's no hurry. You're in paradise!

    Beaches 
    The East Cape has been famous for it's great beaches to those in the know for over half a century. These beautiful beaches run from Buena Vista, all the way to San Jose Del Cabo, over 65 miles south. They are the best beaches Baja has to offer! 
     
    Although there has been some minor development along this spectacular stretch of coastline, the vast majority of these beaches are empty and untouched. Most of these beaches are unnamed! The beaches mentioned here are only a tiny sampling of the more well known beaches. Part of the fun of exploring the East Cape is discovering new beaches to add to your list of favorites! 
      
    North to south: 
    PUNTA COLORADAFrom Buena Vista to Punta Colorada, a dirt road runs a bit inland from the coast. These beaches are very beautiful, and empty. Close to the services of Buena Vista. 
    PLAYA LA RIBERA Leaving Baja Highway One at Km. 93, east for five minutes, continue past village. Empty beaches, sometimes used by the locals of La Ribera. Access is mostly paved. 
    CABO PULMO The paved road south from La Ribera turns to dirt. Keep going 5 more miles. Some sandy beaches nearby, but the big draw here are the coral reefs just offshore. They offer world class snorkeling and diving!  
    BAHIA LOS FRAILES South of Cabo Pulmo about 15 minutes on the dirt road, or north from Los Cabos. A spectacular wide sandy beach located on a beautifulnatural bay. Without question one of the most beautiful places an all of Baja. Paradise!  
    PLAYA HIGUERA About ten miles north of San Jose on the dirt road, look for the huge gnarled tree trunk! Just one more of a dozen empty beaches scattered along the East Cape. Beautiful!  
    SHIPWRECKS Located below the small bluffs a few miles south of Play Higuera. A big sandy beach with a right reef break at the south end, great for surfing and picnics!  
    PLAYA LA LAGUNA About 5 miles from San Jose off the dirt road, an easy drive for most vehicles. Absolutely beautiful white sandy beaches, not completely desolate, but very close. 
    Campgrounds & R V Parks, Camping on the East Cape means back to basics. There are very few facilities, so most camping consists of pulling up to an empty beach, and just setting up camp. But the scenery is so spectacular, most Baja travelers don't seem to miss the amenities that are offered at most other Baja destinations. A key element to an enjoyable camping experience on the East Cape is remembering to bring in everything you need, as forgotten items may not be obtainable without going all the way down to San Jose Del Cabo, or all the way up to Buena Vista.

    R.V.'s are increasingly common along the East Cape as the government continues to regularly maintain the graded road. Even still, this is a very slow journey in an R.V., and down right impossible (and impassable!) after heavy rains. It's a good idea to ask around in San Jose Del Cabo as to the current condition of the road.

    Fishing - Boating, The waters off the East Cape are full of fish, however most of the organized fishing facilities are located at the very north end, in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area. Surf fishing can be productive along the many sandy beaches.

    Towing a small boat along the East Cape road is possible, but not common. The road can be tough enough to negotiate in a regular vehicle, and towing a boat is that much more of a challenge. For those who do bring boats, they can be launched across the sand at Cabo Pulmo.

    For more good information on East Cape fishing, check out EAST CAPE FISHING WEB.

    For a fun fishing experience, why not try a fly fishing adventure in Baja? For more information, check out the web site of the East Cape fly fishing experts, BAJA FLYCASTERS.

    For excellent updated information on East Cape fishing action, check out the web site of EAST CAPE SMOKEY'S REEL SCOOP. Lots of good information!

    Hotels - Lodging, There are very nice hotels on the East Cape, most of them are located in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area at the north end of the cape. There are also a few accommodations that are located south of the Buena Vista area .

    Restaurants - Bars   For decades the only place to eat and drink on the East Cape was at the hotels on the north end. And the north end still holds the edge on good dining in these parts. However, with the Los Cabos crowds sneaking up from the south for a peak at paradise, a few more options are becoming available.

    For a fun article on keeping the pooch happy at the dinner table in Baja, check out this article from the BIG SOMBRERO web site titled DOG SOUP!

    Shopping  Shopping is 'nada mucho' on most of the East Cape. Baja travelers headed in this direction should pick up basic supplies in San Jose del Cabo when coming in from the south, or in Buena Vista when dropping down from the north.

    Local Interest,

     EAST CAPE RANCHOS The lack of a decent road has kept the crowds away from the East Cape for many years, and to some extent, continues to do so today. However, as tourism continues to heat up in the Los Cabos area, more and more Baja travelers are venturing off of the beaten path to escape the crowds, and heading up towards the East Cape for a look.

    Many visitors are surprised to find that there are still a handful of Mexican families that continue to live out here on their ranchos much as their ancestors have for many generations. These folks lead very simple lives, have no running water or electricity, and most of what they live on still comes from the land and the sea. They are a very gracious and appreciative people. Unfortunately, it looks like their days may be numbered.

    At some point the East Cape road will be completely paved. When that happens, all hell is going to break loose on the East Cape development scene. It is unlikely that these warm and friendly people will survive the onslaught of future growth. If they disappear, so will a very special element of East Cape history.

    As you journey along the East Cape road, take note of these small ranches and their people. Smile and wave, say "Hola!". They may not be there next time you come through.

    Recreation,Like much of coastal Baja, many of the recreational activities on the East Cape take place on or near the water. Access to the mountains west of the coastal road is limited by a lack of access roads, so the vast majority of East Cape activities takes place between the coastal road and the Sea of Cortez.

    BIKES The coastal road that wraps around the East Cape is relatively flat, although there are sections where it traverses through hills and passes where some inclines will challenge the lower gears of most mountain bikes. The Sea of Cortez is visible along most of this road, and mountains provide a beautiful backdrop on the west side. Water and basic services are available in Los Frailes and Cabo Pulmo. Depending on how recently the road has been graded, it can be pretty smooth or the ultimate washboard experience

    DIVING Good snorkeling can be found north of Cabo Pulmo at Punta Bickel (just north of the house with the round roof), and along the cliffs at Los Frailes further south. Cabo Pulmo offers some of the best snorkeling in Baja, as well as some excellent diving opportunities! The area consists of eight fingers of coral reef, some more than a mile long, and starting just off shore. The Inner Pulmo Reefs are great for beginning and advanced snorkelers, and experienced divers will enjoy Outer Pulmo Reefs, accessible by boat. All reefs offer beautiful coral, and a multitude of fish and sealife. See 'Miscellaneous' below for more information on Cabo Pulmo. 

    KAYAKING Because much of the East Cape is 'tucked in' and protected from most of the swells from the Pacific Ocean, the majority of the coastline tends to be relatively calm, and perfect for kayaking! Scenery alternates from beautiful sandy beaches, to occasional rocky bluffs, and the water tends to be very clear most of the year. There are many places to put in, and just as many places to beach the kayak for a relaxing break. Launching at Cabo Pulmo and paddling to Los Frailes is a wonderful one day excursion, and limited supplies are available at both locations.
    SURFING The east Cape has several well known surf spots, and a few secret spots as well. Half the fun of surfing here is discovering new breaks, so we're not going to divulge any secrets here. A few of the more popular breaks include: 

    PUNTA ARENA  Towards the north end of the East Cape, just before Punta Colorada. A good left break when a strorm swell pumps up from the south. Otherwise flat. 

    SHIPWRECKS  About 10 miles up from San Jose Del Cabo on the dirt road, a long beautiful beach. A fun right break, picks up most any south-southwest swell, almost always breaking. 

    PUNTA GORDA  A few miles up the coastal dirt road from La Playita, not far from San Jose. Not as consistent as Shipwrecks, but a fun ride when there is a definite swell in. 


    Realestate,  The East Cape real estate market is gaining momentum, starting just outside of San Jose Del Cabo, and heading north east up the cape towards Buena Vista. The further away the properties are from the paved highway, the cheaper the prices tend to be.

    The lay of the land in the East Cape lends development more towards single family homes, and most of what is being built is either ocean front, or between the ocean and the coastal road.

    Transportation: Mass transit has yet to hit the East Cape. And nobody seems to be in too big of a hurry to change that. Almost everyone visiting the area arrives via the coast dirt road, although there is another dirt road that cuts through the mountains from Highway One, 1.5 miles south of the Los Cabos airport.

    No taxis, no buses (except for the occasional Green Tortuga full of Dead-heads), no nada. Flying in or boating in are the only other ways to get here. Be sure to get gas in Buena Vista or La Ribera before dropping in from the north, or in San Jose del Cabo before coming up from the south.

    AIRSTRIPS  Most of the hotels in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area have decent airstrips (See Buena Vista). South of Buena Vista, there are 3 additional places to park the bird.  

     HARBOR The large sweeping bay in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area is a good place to drop the hook when conditions are nice, but when the wind pick up, most sailors prefer the natural harbor at Bahia Los Frailes. It is very well protected from the prevailing winds, provides more than enough draft for even the largest boats, and there are a few restaurants in the village of Cabo Pulmo to put the galley on hold for a meal or two. Bahia Los Frailes also makes a great sailing destination, coming from either Cabo on the south, or from La Paz to the north. 

    What is it that brings us back to Mexico?
    by Summer
    When you meet a person for the first time, there are a few things that create that first impression. It's the same when you travel to Mexico.
    The Eyes
    Such an devine design.... They tell a whole story in an unspoken exchange.The eyes of Mexico are deep and broad, yet old and wise. These eyes have seen more history than can be told in a book. Even in our imaginations we can't begin to travel where Mexico has been.
    The Smile
    How a person smiles or if they smile at all can unravel their own story....People sometimes hide behind a smile, not realizing we see through the disguise. Mexico doesn't hide behind it's steadfast smile. It is there for the taking. We receive smile after smile, everyday of our visit. Even in the face of adversity, we can depend on Mexico to give us the gift of a warm smile. And we respond with our hearts.
    The Voice
    Is it high pitched? Is it deep and rough? A voice can be a cruel joke, not matching the landscape.....For me, the voice of Mexico is a warm whisper that can't be heard. It is something you feel inside. It is a silent sensation that speaks of heritage, simplicity and rich colors. We experience an endless season of celebrations through this whisper. I fell in love with the voice of Mexico many years ago. This love grows stronger with each visit.
    Something Else.
    Put the eyes, the smile and the voice in a bookmark for a moment. There is something else that keeps calling us back. Is it the scenery and the recreation we experience? Of course, but even that isn't it. It's the one thing that keeps Mexico stranded in our minds for endless hours....
    Pace. 
    The pace of Mexico gives us permission to live each day, one at a time.
    We don't have this privilege in our everyday lives. We are far too busy preparing for the next step, the next meal, the next day. We are not happy unless we are predicting tomorrows problems and preparing for every possible disaster that may fall in our path. We spend our life preparing for life but we are far too busy being "productive" to live it. When you wake up in Mexico the pace will greet you and it will remind you. At breakfast you'll be enjoying the morning, not worrying about the afternoon. At lunch, you will simply enjoy the afternoon. There is no need to worry about dinner. It will arrive. If you need to look at your watch to be reminded go ahead, but why bother? Evening will arrive without a clock and you will often find that you are still enjoying the afternoon when it does.
    The pace of Mexico is what draws us back year after year. If you don't take the time to savor it you just might return home with the wrong impression.
    reprint from the Cancun Net

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