Bahia Concepcion is one of the most desirable places to camp in Baja. In fact, we’ve known many travelers who have never made it further south along Highway 1 than the Bay of Concepcion.
They fell in love with the sandy beaches, sunshine and saltwater of the warm water of the bay and never looked back. And we have seen many first-timers extend their vacations to thoroughly experience the bay’s charm and tranquility.
If you follow Highway 1 south out of Mulege for around half an hour you’ll reach the first of a handful of beaches along the bay.
The bay itself offers 20 miles of some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the Baja California Peninsula. A dozen formal sandy beaches are scattered between rocky points and coves and offer travelers places to camp for around $10 USD per night.
Bahia Concepcion used to be the fishing capital of Baja. It had all sorts of incredible fish in abundance and celebrities used to fly into Mulege to head into the bay for some spectacular sportsfishing.
But overfishing has significantly depleted the fish situation in the region. And while it’s still possible to land a Rooster Fish or triggerfish just offshore or near one of the many small islands, the catch is few and far between.
But there are a lot of things to do in Bahia Concepcion, mostly involving relaxing or watersports. The huge beach has facilities for all sorts of watersports activities, including kayaking and paddleboarding, snorkeling, diving and boating. Occasionally it is windy enough to enjoy wind sports such as kiteboarding, windsurfing or sailing.
If you’re looking to stay active on the water or are simply looking for a quiet place to relax along the beach, Bahia Concepcion plays host to the iconic Baja beaches.
Things to do in Bahia Concepcion
Bahia Concepcion is probably one of the most beautiful areas in Baja. The stunning beaches, beautiful landscape, and clear sea keep us returning year after year.
Here are the best things to do in Bahia Concepcion.
Like all the beaches in Baja, Bahia Concepcion has all the offerings to enjoy watersports. In fact, it is considered a paradise for campers, snorkelers, and kayakers, because of the calm and peaceful bay creates an ideal environment for these activities. Moreover, rare but sudden winds also allow windsurfers and kiteboarders to race across the bay.
Buenaventura, Playa Requeson, Playa Santispac, and coves around the lighthouse are the best places for snorkeling, paddleboarding and kayaking. You can also find whale sharks seasonally on a variety of beaches via boat, kayak or paddleboard.
The 20-mile bay has many hiking trails that you can walk to experience the panoramic views of Bahia Concepcion. Here are a few of the quick and easy hikes along the bay, all starting at the beach indicated.
- Playa Los Cocos: You can take a short hike on the northern end of the beach to go up and over a nearby hill. From there you will look down upon and be able to meet up with Playa Escondido.
- Playa El Burro: It is a short, steep 900 feet hike on the hill north of Playa El Burro. The trail is clearly visible from the beach. Standing on the rocky spine will give excellent views of the bay.
- Playa el Coyote: The hike starts from the south end of the beach and takes you to the top of a small hill near a cove. The longer walk to a cove is also possible if you want.
- Burro Cove Hike: Burro is a stunning cove in Bahia Concepcion. The hike is relatively short, following the old road separating Burro beach from Coyote.
Bahia Concepcion is a great place to sit back, relax and live at a slow pace. The modern amenities (and distractions) are not there and you literally have to go out of your way to get to the closest restaurants and entertainment.
In fact, many of these beaches have grown into seasonal ex-pat communities by those who prefer the warm winter nights and the company of new and old friends.
Beaches in Bahia Concepcion
While each beach deserves its own write-up, the following beaches are the most accessible and popular among travelers. You will pay a small fee for basic amenities, such as trash cans, pit toilets and water delivery.
Some of these beaches offer restaurants and/or small stores. But plan to stock up in Mulege if traveling from the north, or Loreto if coming from the south.
The following beaches are listed from north to south as you travel from Mulege to Loreto.
Playa Santispac is the first beach and is easy to access through Highway 1. The sheer breathtaking beauty has made this a haven for snowbirds. The calm water of the beach is excellent for snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding.
This is the largest and most big-rig-friendly of the beaches listed. So if you have a Class A or large travel trailer you may want to look no further than Playa Santispac for camping.
There are a few restaurants on the beach, a small store and the opportunity to purchase very scattered satellite WiFi if you must connect to the world outside of Bahia Concepcion.
Playa la Escondida
Playa Escondida, as its name suggests, is a hidden beach accessible through a narrow rocky road not suitable for low clearance or long rigs. It is one of the more difficult beaches to reach, and thus you will not find many tourists there. The beautiful beach is an ideal spot for snorkeling and relaxing.
Playa Los Cocos
Playa Los Cocos is just a short drive south of Playa Escondida and offers a slightly easier path to its sandy beaches. The turn-off is not always well-marked and, like most beaches on Bahia Concepcion, you’ll follow a suspect dirt road that is always subject to changing conditions.
But you can have a bit of isolation here. Plus, this is the only beach that offers a dump station.
Playa El Burro
Playa El Burro or Donkey Cove Beach is located just before El Coyote. It is not the most beautiful beach as most of the cove is taken up by permanent residents.
However, there is a free camping area at the southern end of the beach. And Playa El Burro has a restaurant if you need to change up your cooking.
Playa El Coyote
Playa El Coyote is a semi-gated beach that is popular among both locals and campers alike. Most campsites include a palapa and you will find that vendors will come by daily to offer everything from fresh water and fruit to kayak rental and blankets.
The beach is divided by a narrow, rocky stretch of road that can be intimidating to larger rigs. However, it is one of the more popular beaches for ex-pats, which is both a draw and a deterrent for many travelers. Like other beaches, don’t expect anything by way of amenities – other than some rudimentary outhouses and plenty of sunshine to keep your solar system happy.
Playa El Buenaventura
Playa El Buenaventura is located about halfway down Bahia Concepcion. What is billed mostly as private residences and businesses, the beach offers the opportunity to camp away from other RVs.
The beach has facilities for kayaking and paddleboarding and you can usually find quality information about fishing in the bay by asking around. The restaurant at the beach also serves some pretty decent food.
Playa El Requeson
Playa El Requeson is the last easily accessible beach of Bahia Concepcion, famous for its unique landscape. In fact, the road to reach the beach is paved off Highway 1, unlike any other beach along the bay.
Known for the spit of land visible at low tide, which is then covered with water as the tide rises, Playa El Requeson is literally picture-perfect. Because of its reputation, it receives a lot of daily tourist traffic.
But at night the beach is very quiet and the night sky is typically filled with stars. Like the other beaches, there are suspect pit toilets and no other amenities.
Playa La Perla
Playa La Perla is a gem of a beach not easily accessible for most RVs. Because it is difficult to reach and offers fewer formal campsites than its neighbors, Playa La Perla feels far more remote and uninhabited.
There is a small sandy beach here. But much of Playa La Perla is a rocky shoreline not as ideal for watersports as the other beaches.
Playa Armenta is the beach furthest south and arguably the most difficult to reach. You can see the beach from the highway at the end of a steep descent suitable only for smaller RVs, vans and car-camping vehicles.
It is not much developed, but some pit toilets and palapas exist. But because it is not as popular, you can stay there to swim in crystal clear water and enjoy the breathtaking views sometimes all by yourself.