Motel Chávez (San Quintín, tel. 616/165-2005, motelchavez [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$20–30, cash only), next to a highway bridge toward the south end of San Quintín , has been a mainstay on the budget travel circuit for years. Its clean rooms have fans. Also on the highway, the Hotel Real de Cora (San Quintín, tel. 616/166-8576, US$32) has secure parking.
A relatively new option in town is the Villa de San Quintín (Av. A #5 btw 8th/9th, San Quintín, tel. 616/165-1800, www.hotellavilla.biz , US$35), an offshoot of a Tijuana hotel that was built in 2005. It has 32 nonsmoking, carpeted rooms with private baths, and air-conditioning, TV, phone, and free high-speed Internet. Secure parking is designed for trailers and boats, and an on-site restaurant is open 6:30 A.M.–9:30 P.M. daily.
At the northeast end of Bahía San Quintín, Don Eddie’s Landing (tel. 616/165-6061, www.doneddies.com , US$45) has older rooms with lots of beds and sagging mattresses. Fishing packages are available and include lodging, boat, and food.
South of Don Eddie’s Landing and next to the public boat launch, the Old Mill Motel (tel. 800/208-2154, U.S. tel. 619/428-2779, US$40–50) occupies the former gristmill site. A regular crowd of hunters and anglers frequents the place, and they like to party at night. Accommodations are in cabins arranged around a courtyard, with an attached campground (US$10). Rates often include two cold beers. No heat or air-conditioning. The road out to these two places can get extremely muddy after a heavy rain; high clearance is recommended.
Next to Bahía Santa María, Rancho Cielito Lindo (U.S. tel. 619/593-2252, cielitolindo [at] bajasi [dot] com, US$10) is a restaurant and bar with a few rooms and a campground on the premises.
On Bahía Santa María, the Desert Inn (tel. 616/165-9008, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/800-9632, www.desertinns.com/sanquintin , US$75) was about to change hands at press time. Spacious rooms have remote-control heat and air-conditioning units, plus sea views and terraces. Modern tiled baths have glass shower doors; full-size bath towels are a treat. A palm-lined walkway leads to the beach. If you find yourself in the area at sundown and you don’t want to shack up in a sportfishing lodge, this hotel is a good bet for a quiet night’s sleep.
The newly renovated Hotel Jardines Baja (U.S. tel. 619/591-8922, www.hotel-jardinesbaja.com , US$50–75) has raised the bar considerably for accommodations in the San Quintín area. It has several rooms, including a suite with its own deck and separate living room; some of the rooms have working wood-burning fireplaces. Its new restaurant opened in 2008 to rave reviews. Beds are comfortable, the grounds are beautiful, and the coffee is strong. Watch for the Jardines sign on Mexico 1, south of Lázaro Cárdenas, at the sign that points the way to Bahía San Quintín. Turn right and follow this road for about 1.5 kilometers to the sign for Hotel Baja Jardines. Turn left here, and the hotel will be a few hundred meters down on the right.
One of the newcomers on the San Quintín scene for RV camping is Los Olivos Family Park (tel. 616/165-6123, US$15), popular because it is close to the highway, so you don’t have to drive your big rig down a long bumpy dirt road just to crash for the night. This secure park has full hookups and a swimming pool, and hot showers were under construction at press time. It is located on the road to the Jardines Hotel and Restaurant.
Rancho Cielito Lindo (U.S. tel. 619/593-2252, cielitolindo [at] bajasi [dot] com, US$12 RV, US$10 tent) has 15 campsites—some with palapas—for tents or RVs.
A favorite among repeat Baja campers, El Pabellón RV Campground (Km. 16, Mexico 1, US$5–10) is comfortably removed from the towns of San Quintín and Lázaro Cárdenas and set back from the highway. It has campsites in a large open lot fronting the beach, with water and sewer hookups but no electricity. Restrooms are clean and have hot water. A fellow camper here once shared a delicious Peruvian-style ceviche made of Pismo clams dug that day at the beach.
Beach camping is permitted but not recommended in the San Quintín area due to a persistent problem with theft.