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Floating Away to Baja's Gonzaga Bay

A trip to Baja California, Mexico

By: Scott Sichler + Save to a List

Last year we spent a month in San Felipe, Baja California on the Sea of Cortez in our RV. San Felipe is about two hours from El Centro, California and an easy drive to access cheap shrimp tacos, sand, and the sea. We called this first foray into Mexico in our RV Baja-lite. This year we were determined to make it further south into the real Baja but road reports showed potholes the size of kiddie pools that would potentially destroy our RV. We opted to return back to San Felipe for a week and then head south via Highway 5 with a potential of 23 miles of unpaved road to connect back to Highway 1 and skip the potholes. 

Even the paved portion of Highway 5 south of San Felipe was a bit challenging with vados or dips that could launch you into the desert if you attempted to take the road at US highway speeds. After two and half hours we arrived at the beautiful Rancho Grande in Bahia San Luis Gonzaga AKA Gonzaga Bay for us gringos. For less than $14 a night we camped on the beach with a great palapa.

We inflated our boards and paddled out on the glassy bay to enjoy the sunset. This finally felt like the real Baja.

 The next day we went out the nearby islands.

We heard loud splashing and breathing sounds. A pair of whales surfaced about 3/4 of a mile out to sea. Too far to photograph and paddle to but a great memory from the trip.

We drove our Jeep further south on the unpaved part of the road to Highway 1. We opted not to take our RV. This would be the end of our real Baja trip. After nine days of enjoying this amazing place I was OK with that.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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