San Quintin Scene
Quintín Baja Bash a Success!
the new management of Laura & Gene Allshouse, Wet Buzzard Restaurant/Gypsys
Beach Camp at Rancho Cielito Lindo held its annual Baja
Bash on March 20. The fiesta attracted more than 170 Mexicans and
Americans including local residents, snowbirds and a large contingent from
Punta Banda and Ensenada. To the accompaniment of live rock, the hungry
horde devoured vast quantities of pork carnitas, barbequed lamb, rice,
beans, macaroni salad, corn tortillas, cake and three kegs of Tecate beer.
It was an afternoon to meet new friends, reacquaint with old ones, tell
tall tales and savor the flavor of Baja.
by connie ellig; photo by david hopps
Although the bash wound down around 6pm, many guests were still wound
up. The party moved to the bar at Cielito Lindo Restaurant where music,
dancing and margaritas flowed until the wee hours. All had a great time
and another memorable chapter in the history of San Quintín fiestas
Located on Bahía Santa María, Gypsys Beach Camp features
37 dry RV sites, enclosed camping, hot showers and Laura’s Wet Buzzard
("Zopilote Mojado"), open daily from 6am-9pm. For info or reservations,
Cielito Lindo Motel/RV Park features 13 refurbished rooms, full hookup
and palapa campsites, and restaurant/bar featuring world-famous Juanita’s
Cracked Crab Claws. For reservations call (616)165-9246; USA voice mail
(619)593-BAJA ext. 2; e-mail
sure to check out the most comprehensive, up-to-date
language Events Calendar for Ensenada County at
by Carlos Fieta
San Quintin is home to one of the largest bays on
the west coast of Baja. This mostly agricultural town is roughly a four hour drive
south of the International border. It is the last coastal tourist town before
the main highway heads down and over to the Sea of Cortez.
fishing are popular here, as is claming. There are no main tourist centers here
yet. There are, however, three small motels on the bluffs overlooking the bay,
and a very large La Pinta hotel south of town, right on the beach.
variety of services can be found along the highway running through town, including
restaurants, gasoline, two banks and other miscellaneous services.
of the relatively close proximity to the U.S. border, several different plans
are under way to develop this area for tourists. Waterfront homes, a marina, a
golf course, and lots more are on the drawing boards.
San Quintin is
often considered the pivotal town where Baja civilization ends and the real Baja
begins. Heading south, visitors find the decompression process kicking in more
completely, and that 'Baja mode' really begins to take over!
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! Camping,
RVing, 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. However,
if some degree of civilization or amenities are desired, these camping areas are
- Boating, The fishing in the 3 large bays here is particularly
good, as access to the bays by commercial boats is not always easy because of
the ocean waves. 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.
Boat rentals can be arranged at the Old Mill Hotel and the Cielito Lindo Hotel.
Lodging, First class hotel accommodations are not San Quintin's
strongest suite, although there are 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 Baja peninsula.
local sites, The Old Mill south of town,
follow the signs, on the bay.. 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! Recreation,
Beach activities are the main focus in the San Quintin area. Both the bays and
the open beaches offer plenty of opportunity for recreation.
WATCHING, The bays and marshes south of town offer some of the best
birding on the Baja Peninsula. A big variety and enjoyable climate ad to the fun.
CLAMMING, 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 ocean, the La Pinta Hotel area is a good
HUNTING, 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.
Kayaking in the bays is a pleasant experience because of the calm water.
Ocean kayaking and wave riding is good south of the bays, with easy launching.
SCUBA DIVING, Located 5 miles southwest of
Cabo San Quintin, Johnston's Seamount offers good visibility, plenty of sea life,
and interesting pinnacles and reef structure.
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.
- Bars, Above and beyond the list in the business
section, 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 (and they
are cheap!). Shopping,
Highway One goes through town for a couple of 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. Transportation,
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, and
2 PEMEX stations.
The new gas station in El Rosario, ca. 35 mi south
happens to be a very reliable self service . Best bet is to fill up there, which
should get you to Guerrero Negro. The PEMEX at the La Pinta Hotel in Cataviña
has only sporadic gas, the Pemex at the Bahia de Los Angeles junction has been
closed for some time.
CARLOS FIESTA'S HOT TIP:San Quintin
offers a great harbor, but water access is not so obvious. There is a launching
ramp next to the Old Mill motel which will accommodate most trailered boats. This
is also a nice place to stop for a bite to eat and for a cup of Baja coffee.