Far from everything, Bahia de Los Angeles is not an average bustling Mexican town. Rather, it is a small village tucked away down a gorgeous 60-mile (95 km) stretch of highway with rugged mountains, a vast desert, huge cacti and the stunning blue Sea of Cortez hemming it in.
The town is, without a doubt, one of the treasures of Baja California if not only for its remote location. It is one of the finest places to visit for adventure and sea lovers who want to experience the extraordinary beauty of nature while being primarily off-grid.
Don’t expect cell service or even WiFi at local businesses in town that offer it. In Bahia de Los Angeles you are about as off-grid as you can be while still having access to grocery stores, restaurants, small shops and fuel.
As an offshoot of Federal Highway 1, the road into Bahia de Los Angeles is paved and easy to drive and the long journey is rewarded by the incredible landscape. The breathtaking and scenic ride through the desert mountains with “Dr. Seuss-like” cirios cacti set the tone for the upcoming adventures in Bahia de Los Angeles.
Bahia de Los Angeles was established as a fishing village now with around 1,000 residents, most of which are fishermen and former miners. It used to be one of the remote areas of Baja, but because of its position and popularity among tourists, the area is developing quickly.
All throughout Baja, you’ll hear gringo-speak call it “Bay of LA” or “BOLA” as it has risen in popularity recently. Moreover, much development is underway to enhance accommodation options, internet access, waste disposal, and other necessary amenities.
The weather of Bahia de Los Angeles is usually warm due to the desert, though the wind can pick up with little notice and offer some of the best wind sports opportunities on the peninsula. Whale sharks will also migrate as far north in the Sea of Cortez as Bahia de Los Angeles, but only when the water is warmest, typically between July and November.
The Mexican government is actively working on conserving marine life in Bahia de Los Angeles. The surrounding 16 islands and several small islands around the bay are the nesting grounds for five sea turtle species and reserves for endangered species.
Moreover, there’s also a private sea turtle research center. Tourists can also visit the research center to see the beautiful creatures up close.
There are several places to camp in the Bahia de Los Angeles. You can virtually camp anywhere in the bay at Playa La Gringa. However, there are a couple of excellent campgrounds that offer good amenities, such as Daggett’s and Campo Archelon.
Watersports, aqua tourism and fishing are the primary source of income for the locals. You will find all sorts of watersports activities and fishing trips in the bay. Moreover, some museums cover local mining history and a collection of fish skeletons.
Things to do in Bahia de Los Angeles
Bahia de Los Angeles is a place with a wonderous landscape and fabulous marine life with a perfect climate to provide an unforgettable experience.
Here are the top things to do in Bahia de Los Angeles.
Enjoy All the Watersports
The Bay of Los Angeles is an excellent spot for watersports. Places like Villa Bahia Hotel and Daggett’s Campground offer free kayaks when you stay there. In addition to exploring the water just off the coast, the nearby islands provide some excellent opportunities to enjoy watersports.
The crystal-clear water with diverse marine life creates an ideal snorkeling and scuba diving environment.
Moreover, paddleboarding and kayaking around 16 surrounding islands in the Sea of Cortez is a magnificent experience. While paddling, you might see dolphins, sea lions, marine birds, whale sharks and fin whales.
Head Out Sportsfishing
Once overfishing considerably reduced the fish in the bay. But the conservation efforts from the Mexican government have really increased the number and species of fish in the water. Now Bahia de Los Angeles is a world-famous place for sport fishing.
The bay is mainly famous for yellowtail but also has bass, cabrilla, barracuda, skipjack, grouper and roosterfish. In summer, you might even catch a marlin or sailfish.
If you aren’t traveling with your own boat, you can hire local fishermen to take you to the best spots as the main fishing area is around the neighboring islands.
Check out this map of where to fish in the Bay of Los Angeles!
READ NEXT: Be sure to check out San Felipe for another great sport fishing spot on the Sea of Cortez!
Swim with Whale Sharks
Bahia de Los Angeles has a great variety of life under the water and is a playground for dolphins, whale sharks, and grey whales. It is possible to swim next to whale sharks between June and November (when the water is warmest).
You can book boats from hotels and campgrounds to dive with the soft giants of the ocean. Moreover, you will also see dolphins, sea lions and sea turtles.
Go Whale Watching
In addition to the dolphins, sea lions and whale sharks that are abundant in Bahia de Los Angeles, both grey whales and fin whales will migrate through the area seasonally. Both whales are most likely to be present from November through April as they follow the warmer waters and abundance of food.
You can book tours to head out and watch the magnificent creatures as they prepare for their long summer migrations.
READ NEXT: Don’t miss out on whale watching in Laguna San Ignacio!
Visit the Nature and Culture Museum
The nature and culture museum is the main cultural attraction of Bahia de Los Angeles. It is located in the downtown area behind Bahia de Los Angeles delegation. The museum has a mixture of bones from mammoths, dolphins, whales and dinosaurs.
Moreover, you will also see some mining artifacts of the 19th century along with illustrations and historical pictures. The visiting hours vary but are typically 9 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm and the museum remains closed during August and September.
- Check out their website for more information.
Explore the Mision San Francisco Borja de Adac
The Mision de San Francisco Borja is an 18th-century mission in a region known to the Cochimi people. Construction took place over 42 years between 1759 and 1801 and ended up being abandoned less than 20 years later. It was rebuilt as a quarry by the Dominican order and was abandoned and looted several times.
Now it is open to the public as one of the dozens of missions scattered throughout Baja that tell the story of this chapter in history through the remaining architecture of the buildings.
Day Trip to La Isla Coronado
Isla Coronado lies just off the eastern end of Bahia de Los Angeles. It is a 7-kilometer island with a beautiful landscape accompanied by beautiful lagoons, incredible marine life, and a wide variety of reptiles on land. The island is also surrounded by excellent snorkeling and scuba diving spots.
If you do not have your own boat, you can hire a guide from hotels and campgrounds in Bahia de Los Angeles.
See the Cave Paintings of Montevideo
A little off the beaten path, though still accessible, the cave paintings of Montevideo are considered some of the oldest and most important in the Baja peninsula. They are a great abstract presentation of animal figures and geometric designs that date up to 10,000 years ago.
The paintings are located 14 miles (22 km) from Bahia de Los Angeles on the road leading to the Mission of San Borja following the Montevideo stream. It is advisable that you travel by 4WD vehicles to reach both the cave paintings and the mission.
- For more information on how to get there, check out this post.
READ NEXT: Check out even more accessible cave paintings in Catavina!
Campgrounds in Bahia de Los Angeles
Although there is ample room to camp along Playa La Gringa, there are two popular campgrounds in Bahia de Los Angeles that attract the most travelers.
Campo Archelon is a beautiful beachfront campground with palapas, picnic tables and cots. Once a sea turtle research center, it has since been converted into the most popular campground in Bahia de Los Angeles.
It has hot showers, clean toilets, and water. The Wi-Fi is as good as it gets in Bahia de Los Angeles. And you can expect to see quite a few species of birds during your stay.
- Address: 22830 Bahía de los Ángeles, B.C., Mexico
- Phone Number: +52 646 273 9936
- GPS Coordinates: 28.9720, -113.5469
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Daggett’s Beach Camping
Daggett’s Beach Camping is another beautiful beachfront campground. However, it does not have a lot of amenities. There is no electricity, Wi-Fi is very slow, showers are cold with less water pressure and sites don’t have water and sewer hookups.
But this is a popular place to stay if you plan to spend some time fishing and you can camp right on the beach.
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|BEST BOONDOCKING /ALTERNATIVE CAMPING OPTION
Playa La Gringa. By far the best and most popular place to boondock in Bahia de Los Angeles is Playa La Gringa. Located a few miles to the north of town along a sometimes rugged dirt road, Playa La Gringa offers a long stretch of rocky and pebbly beach on which to camp.
If you want to really feel like you are away from things, boondocking here will give you a true escape even from the remote town of Bahia de Los Angeles. Although the beach had a bad security rep for a few years, it is safe to camp and, like any time boondocking, just be aware of your surroundings and consider camping with friends.