Hotels, Resorts, and Camping
Located about 800 meters past El Sargento, the Ventana Bay Resort (tel. 612/128-4333, www.ventanabay.com, US$110–140) has clubhouse rooms on the beach or private bungalows set back from the beach. Amenities include tiled floors and showers, rustic wooden furniture, ceiling fans, private patios, and hammocks strung between palms on the beach.
The resort offers a variety of packages that combine accommodations, meals, and windsurfing/kiteboarding or other activities. For example, a seven-day kiteboarding package includes accommodations, two meals per day, and unlimited use of kiteboarding gear for US$875–1,050. A “sports” package for US$595–695 includes unlimited use of mountain bikes, sea kayaks, snorkeling gear, and Hobie Cats. Wireless Internet is available at additional cost. The resort also manages a few private homes as vacation rentals. Its Cisco Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fresh fruit margaritas are a popular way to pass the afternoon.
Between La Ventana and El Sargento, Palapas Ventana (tel. 612/114-0198, www.palapasventana.com) has two types of newly constructed palapa-roof casitas. Regular ones sleep two in a king or in two twin beds with shared shower and bath and air-conditioning (US$60 pp double occupancy). Specialty casitas sleep four (in one room) with private tiled bath and air-conditioning (US$77.50 pp double occupancy). Extra touches include high ceilings (with fans), Mission-style furnishings, hammocks, purified water dispensers, and rain showers. Also on-site are a dive shop, gated parking area, Internet café, and restaurant.
The resort offers kiteboarding lessons, stand-up paddle surfing lessons and rentals, kayaks, fishing/spearfishing, whale-shark research trips, and surf trips to the West Cape as well as guided hikes to local cave paintings. Stay-and-dive packages include five days/four nights of accommodations; three days of diving (two tanks per day); breakfast every day and lunch on dive days; and free use of kayaks, snorkeling gear, and sailboats (US$655 pp, min. three people).
Mokie’s (tel. 612/114-0201, U.S. tel. 541/478-2199, www.mokies.com, US$550/wk. or US$1,500/mo., payment via PayPal) rents studio and one-bedroom casitas on 1.4 fenced hectares fronting the beach. Both casitas come with full-size bed, kitchen (including margarita glasses), two full-size futons, bath with large shower, mountain and sea views, and an outdoor terrace. Guests store their gear in a beachfront loft just 10 meters from the water’s edge, or walk to shops that rent gear and offer lessons. When not on the water, you can enjoy a partially shaded beachfront terrace that has a glass wall for shelter from the wind.
Kurt-n-Marina (tel. 612/114-0010, U.S. tel. 509/590-1409, www.ventanakiteboarding.com) offers several casitas with palapa roofs and tiled baths (US$55) as well as camping (RV spaces US$12, tent camping US$8) and a spacious outdoor kitchen area for guests to share.
Lush gardens, comfortable beds, and seven stylish rooms (called casitas) are a plus in relatively new Casa Verde (tel. 612/114-0214, U.S. tel. 509/228-8628, www.bajmahal.com, US$110, tax included). Enjoy natural light, private baths, small refrigerators, and sea views in each one. Two stand-alone houses on the property rent for US$150 per night. Three Native American lodges are set up for camping (US$30/40 s/d); guests may use a main kitchen or garden kitchen and shared bath with hot showers. Bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and wireless Internet are included as well.
The resort has teamed up with Kitemasters to offer seven-night, all-inclusive packages that cover accommodations, all meals, and eight hours of lessons for two people, plus the use of kayaks and mountain bikes (US$1,800, including tax). Tee Pee Camping (US$55) in one of the resort’s three Native American lodges is a unique option for budget travelers. These are simply furnished with beds, and guests use shared bath and kitchen facilities. The on-site espresso stand is a plus while you’re waiting for the wind to pick up. RV camping and a new spa are great additions to the guest experience at this property.
Steps from the sea, Baja Joe’s (tel. 612/114-0001, www.bajajoe.com) has several palapa-roof cabins for rent (US$50–110). Some share a bath; others have their own. All have air-conditioning and a small refrigerator. RV cabanas have private kitchens, while economical bunkhouse rooms (US$40/50 s/d) have use of a shared outdoor kitchen and one of six baths on the property. Rates include use of mountain bikes, sea kayaks, snorkel equipment, and a storage area for gear. No children under age four. Discounts for long-term stays. Baja Joe’s rents windsurfing and kiteboarding equipment, or you can stop by its store to buy new or consigned gear. Its instructors use WaveRunners and helmet radios to facilitate faster learning.
The main camping area is called La Ventana Campground, located along the beach just north of the village of La Ventana, and it packs in the sailboarders during the windy season. This barebones campground has around 50 simple tent sites (US$7–8/night) close to the water—and the road. There are toilets and cold showers. RVs are welcome, but there are no hookups for utilities.
Yoyo’s Campground at the entrance to La Ventana, is similar, with hot showers (tel. 612/114-0015, cell tel. 612/348-0004, US$8/day up to two people, US$8/day each additional person).
Between La Ventana and El Tecolote on a remote stretch of beach accessible by private aircraft, Rancho Las Cruces (tel. 612/125-5639, U.S. tel. 858/764-4122, www.rancholascruces.com), has poolside rooms (US$185–275 pp) and cabanas (US$290 pp) that are open to nonmembers. Rates include all meals, and children ages 5–12 are 20 percent off when they stay in the same room as their parents. (No charge for ages four and under.) Guests enjoy hikes on trails through the expansive property, a private golf driving range, tennis courts, and croquet courts, plus sunbathing and sportfishing. The resort is closed mid-July–mid-October.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition