There are now two ways to reach the northern end of Bahía de las Palmas  and the southern end of Bahía de los Muertos : A sandy, washboard road, narrow in parts, heads north from Los Barriles  right along the water—the turnoff from Mexico 1 is signed Punta Pescadero. The road traverses two wide arroyos that could be flooded in heavy rains.
Alternatively, a paved road built in 2005 continues along a scenic inland route from Los Barriles directly to El Cardonal. Watch for potholes and broken sections along this otherwise good road.
The reef that extends out from the point here is among the best places in the Sea of Cortez for snorkeling.
A new, paved highway makes it much easier and faster to reach El Cardonal, located north of Punta Pescadero, at the south end of Bahía de los Muertos (23 km. from Los Barriles). You can snorkel among the coral heads close to shore, hire a guide for a look at the local cave paintings, or simply enjoy the views from the beach.
After El Cardonal, the road continues northward along the coast and then veers west to traverse the Sierra El Carrizalito before reaching San Juan de los Planes southeast of La Paz.
At the far north end of Bahía de las Palmas (13.6 km north of Los Barriles), the historic Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise (tel. 612/141-0101, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/332-4442, www.puntapescaderoparadise.com , US$174–199; pets of any sort strictly prohibited) is transforming from a low-key sportfishing establishment to an exclusive luxury property, complete with timeshares, gourmet food, and guided tours.
A development master plan shows planned growth well beyond what is now in operation, with villas, beach clubs, “villages,” spas, and a pier all included in the design.
The resort has long been popular with private pilots, since it has a paved landing strip (1,065 m, Unicom 122.8, US$25 landing fee), and you’ll likely hear regular fly-in guests trading stories at the bar. (As at other Baja airfields, plane theft is a very real concern here; throttle locks and prop chains are essential. Contact Baja Bush Pilots, www.bajabushpilots.com , for more information. Baja Bush Pilot and AAA discounts available.) A row of houses lines the airfield facing the sea.
Each of the 24 spacious rooms comes with a view of the bay, private terrace, air-conditioning, satellite TV, and refrigerator; some have cathedral ceilings and fireplaces for keeping warm on chilly winter nights. All rooms were renovated in 2005. King-size beds are made in crisp white linens with fluffy pillows and down comforters.
During the windy season, ask for a room that faces southwest for a terrace that’s sheltered from the El Norte gusts. A gracious staff speaks excellent English, and public areas include a restaurant with large picture windows, outdoor patio dining, small pool, lighted tennis court, and rental equipment for free diving (US$14/day), kayaking (US$10/hr), boating (US$15/hr), fishing (30-foot cruiser US$510/day, 28-foot cruiser US$400/day, super-panga US$300/day, panga US$250/day), and ATVs (US$20/hr).
The resort restaurant is open to the public with theme-night menus, such as a traditional suckling pig roast on Saturdays and romantic Italian nights beachside on Fridays—and Sunday brunch. Guided trips include city tours of La Paz, a visit to the closely guarded local petroglyphs, and tours to the sites of former Spanish missions. Tour prices range US$50–460 and range 2–8 hours in length.
Canadian-owned El Cardonal’s Hide-A-Way (tel. 612/348-9793, www.elcardonal.net , US$69) offers six sparsely furnished suites. There are also spaces for RV (US$13/day for full hookups) and tent (US$10–12/day) camping. Each of its large beachfront studios comes with two full-size beds, a sofa, kitchen, and ceiling fan. Amenities and services include a dump station, fishing boats, hot showers, 24-hour restaurant, laundry facilities, public telephone, horseshoe pit, volleyball net, picnic tables, ice, and rental shop with equipment for fishing, windsurfing, diving, kayaking (free with stay), and snorkeling.
You can pick up the Wi-Fi signal from the restaurant/patio area. An all-inclusive fishing packages run US$599 for four days/three nights/two days of fishing and all meals. The owner, Eddy, can put you in contact with local guides for a two-kilometer hike to nearby cave paintings.
The restaurant at Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise (tel. 612/141-0101, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/332-4442, www.puntapescaderoparadise.com ) is open to the public with theme dinners on different nights of the week. Turn off Mexico 1 in Los Barriles and follow a dirt road nine miles north until you reach the resort.
El Cardonal’s Hide-A-Way offers meals to guests and other visitors at Restaurante Acuario (no tel., hours vary) and serves whatever is fresh—lobster, shrimp, and fish as well as local eggs and produce—with homemade tortillas and salsas. This is an out-of-the-way place, on a dirt road along the coast, and hours vary according to demand. Reservations are recommended. Expect to wait 35–45 minutes if you arrive unannounced.