Bahía de las Palmas
After winding its way over the Sierra de la Laguna heading southeast from La Paz, Mexico 1 reaches the Gulf coast once again at Los Barriles, more or less in the middle of the wide and exposed Bahía de las Palmas. The bay is roughly 32 kilometers long, extending from Punta Pescadero in the north to Punta Arena at its southern end.
The area experienced its first heyday in the 1960s as a fly-in resort for anglers. Fishing is still a draw in summer; however, a new pair of sports have taken center stage in the winter months: Strong winds blowing out of the north combined with thermals generated by the inland peaks create ideal conditions for kiteboarding and windsurfing.
As with the rest of the Southern Baja coastline, land development is fast changing the profile of communities beside the bay. Second homes owned by retirees from the United States rim the shore, with a few resorts mixed in. In general, the bay gets less developed the farther north you go, but even the famed Hotel Punta Pescadero has expanded to become a full-service luxury resort.
Accommodations along Bahía de las Palmas range from all-inclusive hotels to modest hotels and RV parks to private vacation homes available for rent either by the owner or through a property manager. Los Barriles has the greatest concentration of options, but Punta Pescadero, Buena Vista, and La Ribera all have at least a couple of options.
There are a number of casual eateries along the shores of Bahíia de las Palmas, with the greatest variety in Los Barriles. Seafood takes center stage on most menus. Los Barriles also has the only large-size grocery store in the area, Supermercado Chapito’s (7:30 A.M.–10 P.M. daily).
Many owners rent their Baja vacation homes by the night, week, or month.
East Cape Property Management and Vacation Rentals (Plaza del Pueblo, tel./fax 612/141-0381, www.abajavacation.com, 10 A.M.–2 P.M. Mon.–Sat.) handles rental properties in Los Barriles, Buena Vista, Punta Pescadero, Rancho Leonero, and Los Frailes.
Sunset Rentals (20 de Noviembre, just past the Hotel Los Barriles, tel. 624/141-0416) offers short- and long-term rentals in studios as well as one- and two-bedroom condos. All have kitchens, garages, balconies, wireless Internet, and air-conditioning.
Vacation Rentals by Owner (www.vrbo.com) also has a few dozen East Cape listings. Rates range US$75–195 a night for one-bedroom homes.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition