Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos

Puerto Adolfo López Mateos is a small yet significant fishing village located on the Pacific coast around an hour (40 miles/65 km) northwest of Ciudad Constitucion on the northern end of Magdalena Bay. The road is paved and in mostly decent condition. 

It’s not likely you’ll put this pin on the map in your itinerary outside of winter whale-watching trips or summer fishing trips. But we still thought it was an important destination to include, even though it’s not necessarily ideal for camping.

Named after Adolfo López Mateos, the President of Mexico from 1958 to 1964, this port town is renowned for its rich marine life and vibrant fishing industry. It lies within the municipality of Comondú and serves as a gateway to the magnificent Magdalena Bay, which is one of the most important breeding grounds for gray whales. 

Each year, from January to April, the bay attracts tourists and researchers from around the world who come to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of gray whales migrating, mating, and calving in its calm, protected waters.

In addition to its role in ecotourism, Puerto Adolfo López Mateos plays a crucial part in the local economy through its fishing and seafood processing industries. The community is deeply connected to the sea, with generations of families involved in fishing and related activities. 

The town’s infrastructure, though modest, supports these industries with facilities for processing and exporting fish and seafood products. You can also enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants, offering a taste of the region’s culinary heritage. 

The surrounding natural beauty, characterized by mangroves, sand dunes, and diverse marine ecosystems, provides ample opportunities for activities such as bird watching, kayaking, and exploring the serene coastal landscape, making Puerto Adolfo López Mateos a hidden off-the-beaten-path gem in Baja California Sur.

Things to do in Pueto Adolfo Lopez Mateos

There are really only 2 reasons to visit Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos: whale-watching and fishing. We’ve done both here, successfully, so here are a few things to know about both activities. 

Whale Watching. Although it is possible to find companies and book reservations in advance, one of the nice things about whale-watching at Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos is that you can drive through town to where the road ends at the Gray Whale Sanctuary (“Sanctuario de la Ballenas Gris”). Park in the wide open lot and walk to the adjacent area where you will see several tour company offices side-by-side. They all offer the same basic tours and prices, so we suggest shopping around just by which one leaves when you’d like to and/or might have smaller tour sizes. While all pongas will accommodate you comfortable, if you’re able to secure a ponga for yourselves or a small group of friends it will be a more unique experience. 

Fishing. Fishing in the area is typically done either with inshore or offshore options. Most captains specialize in both and some will offer the chance to combine these in one trip. Magdalena Bay is a hot spot for striped marlin, which is what we were after. 

Other offshore fish you are likely to come across are mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna. Our last captain put us on tuna and his wife prepared and served fresh sashimi from our catch upon our return!

If you opt to fish inshore you can catch a few different types of grouper and snapper, corvina, halibut (flounder), pompano, snook, jack crevalle and other species that thrive in the mangroves. 

The best way to find a captain is to hop on the internet and shop around using Facebook. The pricing is mostly the same. But if you see a captain posting lots of recent photographs of the kind of fish you’d like to catch, that’s your sign! Prices are more reasonable than those in Cabo San Lucas and you don’t have to drive any further south if you do not want. 

Camping in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos

There are no formal campgrounds in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos. Your best bet, and the one we must advise, is to return to Ciudad Insurgentes to camp there. If you have a towed vehicle or tow a trailer, the easiest thing to do is to set up camp in Ciudad Insurgentes and then make the 45-minute drive or so to Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos. 

Informally, you can check with any camping apps you have as there are unofficial camping options that we cannot promote out of respect for the local businesses these options impact.