Driving Down the Baja

Hacienda de la Habana

We left Valle de Guadalupe and made our way through the busy port city of Ensenada. I don’t have any pictures of that part of the drive because we were too busy trying not to hit potholes and cars weaving in and out of traffic. Once we got out of the Ensenada suburbs, the drive became very scenic with rolling green hills. This is a newer part of highway 1 and features something we would soon miss – shoulders!

There was a little section of construction but since we were traveling on Sunday, there was no wait unlike when we would come back in April.

The area features some of the older wineries in Baja but we didn’t stop. The drive was 130 miles and took about five hours.

San Quintin is a major farming area and Highway 1 goes right the towns with resulting crowded streets and farm vehicle traffic. Our stop for the night was Cielito Lindo, a campground with a motel and restaurant just a short walk from the beach.

For 90 pesos, or less $5 per night, we dry camped in a long pull-through space.

The happy hour from 4-5 is pretty well known for their potent margaritas and they did not disappoint. We celebrated Jaime’s birthday eve in style and had a quick walk safely back to our rig.

The next day, with slightly foggy weather and heads, we continued down the road and up into the mountains for one of the most challenging parts of the drive. The road got increasingly narrow, twisty and bumpy as it made its way up towards Catavina.

This is a very interesting part of Baja, but there a few places to pull over to enjoy the scenery. Light rain made a hard drive a little harder.

We finally arrived at Rancho Santa Ines south of Catavina where for 120 pesos (roughly $6), we parked for the night in a large dry camping area.

Another long day of narrow road driving brought us to the not so scenic town of Guerrero Negro which is famous as a winter home to grey whales. We were too early to take a tour out to see the whales and get a chance to pet the babies like some of our friends did who came down later in the year. Hard to tell from the below picture but The Bago and Jeep were coated in mud. The Jeep windshield had several large cracks which probably came from a passing semi-truck.

Our spot at Mario’s Tours cost 250 pesos a night which seemed expensive considering the power didn’t work. One bright spot is that the weather cleared up as we crossed into Baja California Sur and the temperature a hit a comfortable mid 70’s.

We moved on the next day and after a little more narrow road driving we reached a better stretch and decided to head straight to Mulege instead of stopping in San Ignacio.

The road drops down from the mountains…

… finally our first sighting of the Sea of Cortez on this trip. A couple of hours later we arrived in Mulege and drove down an are-sure-this-is-right country dirt road to arrive at Hacienda De La Habana campground for what we thought would be a two or three-day stay before heading to the beach.

We were basically toast after a stressful few days of driving and the campground felt like a lush oasis. You probably can guess, or already know, that we ended up staying just a little more than three days.

Thinking about RVing in Baja? Check out the “Traveler’s Guide to Camping Mexico’s Baja” on Amazon (affiliate link).

2 Replies to “Driving Down the Baja”

  1. Great article on the internet. Are you planning to head to Baja this winter? If so, we should start a group messenger since a number of us are planning to go for most of the winter

    1. Done. I think Jaime added you now.

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