San Juanico, most known for its encompassing Scorpion Bay, is a small fishing village located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The village has a population of just a few hundred people, although the transient population explodes anytime there are waves to surf in Scorpion Bay.
American smugglers and surfers noticed the incredible waves in the 1970s and afterward San Juanico grew with a reputation of being one of the best surfing spots in the world.
San Juanico is typically a peaceful and slow village with a lot of artists and those people looking to escape the development of many of the other popular towns in Baja. But as the town is often on most Baja 1000 race routes, everything seems to move faster during the race as many teams and spectators camp in the village.
Moreover, fishing is another popular tourist attraction. Scorpion bay has some of the best fish in Baja including seabass, yellowtail and Corvina.
There are two ways to reach San Juanico. Firstly, you can start from San Ignacio Lagoon and arrive in San Juanico a few hours later via the mandatory 4WD “North Route.” The path is unpaved, unmarked and bumpy.
But having driven this route with a caravan that had been making the trip for nearly 20 years, we don’t recommend driving the North Route even with 4WD because it is very easy to get lost among the various paths and trails.
The second one is the South Route which requires you to drive into Ciudad Insurgentes before turning north toward La Purisima. This is the best route, as the road is paved all the way to San Juanico. But the drive is almost 7 hours longer than the North Route.
Things to Do in San Juanico
Scorpion Bay is a tiny fishing village, and there is not much to do except fishing and surfing in the Pacific Ocean.
Here are the things to do in San Juanico.
San Juanico is often among the top 10 surfing spots in the world. During the right swell, the bay produces more than 6 break waves, allowing you to ride for what seems to be from one end of the bay to the other. The legendary point breaks make it an unforgettable surfing destination for every surfer.
However, when there are no waves the bay is incredibly calm and is more suited for other water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and boating.
Head Out Fishing
Like every Baja Bay, Scorpion Bay is also quite rich with diverse game fish. Local fishermen will take you on half-day fishing tours in the Pacific in their pangas. Ensure that you have all your supplies before embarking on the journey because some fishermen will not provide fishing poles or equipment.
Embrace the Art and Culture
San Juanico is not just about fishing, surfing and water activities. There is another side of tranquility, connecting with nature and stepping back in time. Local art, culture and tradition are displayed in Galleria la Cura.
And you’ll find that most of the shops and stores in town are aesthetically pleasing and artistic in nature. Moreover, there are also many opportunities to join yoga and meditation sessions at a variety of places in San Juanico.
CAMPGROUNDS IN SAN JUANICO
There are no formal campgrounds in San Juanico at present. As the town itself is still developing, as slowly as possible, there does not seem to be the infrastructure to support or justify a proper campground.
However, if you have 4WD and/or are comfortable driving on soft sand, you are welcome to camp anywhere on the beach along Scorpion Bay. Be mindful of the tides and weather and be certain you have the confidence to find your way out of the sand if you get stuck.
|BEST BOONDOCKING /ALTERNATIVE CAMPING OPTION
On the Beach. If you have the right vehicle and/or confidence in yourself, camping on the beach along Scorpion Bay is your best option. You’ll leave town and drop down toward the sand where the local fishermen leave their boats.
Head back along the beach as far as you feel comfortable. Keep an eye on the tides. But even if the surf is up, it’s likely you’ll still find plenty of space to yourself.