No Bad Days

San Felipe Travel Blog

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Fortunately, the Sea of Cortez is never too far away for a refreshing dip with almost 50 miles of uninterrupted beaches.  Strolling along the seafront walkway in the evening is a great way to enjoy the evenings all year long.

I planned on spending the remainder of the day photographing my charming destination.  As I made my way thru town to the sand dunes for some motorized fun I passed the homes, shacks and shanties that lined the road.  The kids outdoors playing since most of the houses did not yet have electricity.

  Even in the smallest most deshelved dwelling the colors were brilliant and the people seemed to burst with joy as that spoke to each other animatedly.  I came across a pepper stand in the front yard of one of the small shack with a women who had to be 110 years old manning the station.  The lines on her face told the stories of her life; her hands were soft almost like silk until you reached the palms which wore the work of her life.  She welcomed me into her yard and then her home, she told me of San Felipe and its history, the past of her family and what they did now. Her pride and joy was her great granddaughter that had the face of an angel, the strength of an ox and the temper of the Diablo.  While I was there in the afternoon she was an angel and there was no reference to see the Diablo in her.  Anna (the great-grandmother) is actually 92 years old and had lived in that very house her father had built her entire life, she had four kids, 7 grandchildren, and 3 great grand-children Monique the Diablo being the youngest.
  Anna taught me one of the most important things that day besides the obvious of family, love, tradition and so on.  She taught me that when you get pepper burns on your hands from peeling or splicing peppers, stick your hand in flour and the burn is gone.  Oh I owe that women so much, not more than 6-months after that day I tangled with a bag of habanero peppers and thought I would have to cut off my hands to end the pain, then I remembered the flour and I can still type with both hands.  Anna invited me back for dinner which I graciously accepted and made a mental note to buy extra food and a doll before I returned.

Off to the sand dunes and some four-wheeled fun, I got to the sand dunes in the middle of the day.  This is a bit too late if you want a four-wheel ATV so, I got a 550cc dirt bike at premium cost $20 for the day (oh how I love Mexico).

  I went up and down the dunes, town, and beach and into a little town that could best be described as a village.  It had two large thrift huts, small stores, a taco stand, and a beer stop.  Luckily the town only has one light and it can be avoided, this was due to the small fact that at 5’10” on a 550cc I could barely touch the ground when I stopped.

As I returned the bike and headed back to town I noticed the boats coming in and went to meet them.  I was fortunate to find a fisherman who had a motorized boat and went further out and lucked into yellowtail and bass so I bought both.  I then went back to the boardwalk for my truck and a doll and then off to have dinner with the locals.  The smells wafting out of Anna's home would melt the hardiest of picky eaters.  Dinner consisted of homemade salsa, fish, beans, homemade corn tortillas and a soup dish (I couldn't tell you what was in it and the language barrier did not allow for translation); I am a picky eater so it was probably best I didn't know.

  The family came together every evening for dinner and to spend time catching up on their day.  Monique was thrilled with her doll, not so much with dinner and even less thrilled about bedtime, at that point I saw Diablo in full force as those dark locks spun around covering the opening the noise was coming out of.  I bid them a farewell and thought it would be glorious to find a building with ac, cold drinks and a view.

Mission accomplished I happened upon the Hacienda de la Langost Roja which is a hotel/resturaunt.  The charming part I found was the view from the bar, cheap drinks, packed with people, and the air conditioning (did I mention it was hot in the summer).  The bartender here gets paid in two ways tips and percentage of food costs so, don't plan on parking at the bar and not eating.  I met some other tourists and a couple very handsome locals.

  We ordered well a lot of adult beverage and one of each appetizer which came up to 14 appetizers.  The bill for this five hour drinkathon, a whopping $84.00.  So to reiterate the food and drink in San Felipe is inexpensive and good.

The next morning came early and I wondered back into town and right next to the market square there is a mother and daughter who set up an orange juice stand.  It is all hand-squeezed, ice-cold, and homemade and the best juice I have had in my entire life.  It is worth going back to San Felipe getting drunk just so I can taste that ice cold juice in the morning okay, so the getting drunk isn’t necessary.  You get a full quart of juice for $1.00 and that ask you to keep the container and bring it back.  At this time San Felipe Malecon has not opened so I did a little shopping.  I found hand-blown margarita glasses in assorted colors 4 for $10.

00 and many other wonderful deals and products.

San Felipe Malecon has fishing boat and simple boat tours available, you can spend the day relaxing on a sailboat as you go down the coast, go fishing in the bay, or go deep sea fishing.  I and 4 other people chartered a deep sea boat for the day and spent $45.00 total.  This included lunch, drinks, and a snack, adult beverages were extra and they had shots or beer, the adult drinks are $1.00. 

Well after the boat docked we spent the remainder of the trip partying so, basically this is most of what I remember or at least can share with strangers.

  So, as with all of my travel blogs I will now close with facts and tourist info that will be handy to know.

For a town so famous for tourists, San Felipe is a bit short on quality accommodations.  This is partially because most people visiting this part of Baja are not looking for anything fancy.  Where the Cabo crowd demands rooms with color T.V. and telephones in each room, most of the Felipe crowd seems content just to have running water and a pillow.

If you like seafood, you’re in luck in Felipe.  If you like fish tacos you have died and gone to heaven.  Felipe offers dining options across the board, from small street-side taco stands, to full-on resturaunts with air conditioning, bathrooms, and fake silverware.

There are dozens of campgrounds located on sandy beaches north and south of town and Felipe is starting to build some nicer hotels.  Basic services such as gasoline, ice, beer and food are plentiful in the various markets located throughout Felipe.  One of Felipe’s claims to fame is the extreme tidal changes.  When the tide goes out, it goes way out!  This makes for excellent beachcombing, but makes launching a boat more of a planned event that a random act.  For those of you who are reading this thinking no I don't want to drive that deep into Mexico, not to worry.  Felipe has a small airport that you can fly in and out of, they have a tower and it is very safe and getting safer to fly in and out.  By the way if you are a diver the airport has not always been at its current standards and there are some great diving attractions i.e. crashed planes about 1 mile of shore from the airport.

San Felipe was named San Felipe de Jesus in 1721 by Father Fernando de Consag, who organized the first expeditions.  Due to this San Felipe has three amazing fort style churches to photograph.

San Felipe is considered the second most important tourist port in the state due to the development acquired since 1925.  The place is known for its low tides, small bays of thermal water, brooks and inlets in the mountains of San Pedro martir and the "Valle de los Gigantes."  San Felipe is a natural attraction in itself, due to its sunshine, its bay, its warm beaches, quiet sea and abundant fauna. 

San Felipe is a very easy two and a half hour drive south of the border from Mexicali on a good paved road, and worlds away from any typical gringo environment.  When I drove to San Felipe there was one military post set-up, they ask you the basic information and for $10.  They only spoke Spanish so keep that in mind.

I found San Felipe to be a welcome change from typical tourist spots and a great place to escape.


o_mendfornd says:
You've taken some fantastic photos of this place.
Posted on: Feb 25, 2008
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San Felipe
photo by: michellepowell