Bahia de los Angeles Baja California Travel Guide

Thinking of traveling to Bahia de los Angeles? You have landed in the right place.

I spent a few nights in this semi-off-grid destination during my epic road trip in the Baja California Peninsula, and in this post, I will tell you all about it.

Located on the western coast of Baja California on the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) Bahia de los Angeles is a cute little village 90 minutes drive from the main road that runs across the Mexican state.

It’s a spectacular drive among red rocky desert cacti with glimpses of the blue sea of Cortez.

In this post, I will tell you all about it, from when is the best time to go to all the amazing things to do and where to stay.

The hotel beach at Bahia de los Angeles.
The beach in Bahia de Los Angeles from my hotel Los Vientos

How to Get to Bahia de los Angeles California: Flying or Driving?

There is no international airport in Bahia de los Angeles, or even one very close to it.

The most common way of reaching this picturesque bay from anywhere is by taking a plane to Tijuana International Airport or Mexicali.

From there, you can book a rental car and drive south to Bahia de los Angeles.

Or, you can fly into Loreto, Baja California Sur, and drive up from there. In fact, you may want to combine the two destinations, for your trip. That’s how I did it. I actually drove all the way from La Paz to Loreto first and then up north.

Either way, you will need a car.

There are tons of rentals available at the airport and the entire road is in great condition.

I recommend that you use DiscoverCars to reserve a car from one of them so that you get the best rates and avoid any hidden charges.

Plus, you get free cancellation with DiscoverCars so you can book way in advance and get the car of your choice without having to worry about availability issues.

Once you have a vehicle sorted, it’s time to hit the road because we have a long way to go before reaching Bahia de los Angeles.

The main road in Bahia de los Angeles town.

🚘 Driving from Mexicali to Bahia de los Angeles

Google Maps screenshot from Mexicali to bahia de los angeles
Photo © Google Maps – Click on the image to open the map

Driving from Mexicali to Bahia de los Angeles is about 521 km / 323 miles.

You can make a stop in San Felipe as well, which is a nice small town on the coast of the Gulf of California.

If you drive straight to Bahia de los Angeles consider about 6 and 30 minutes to be on the safe side. Make sure you read all my tips about driving in Baja California.

🚘 Driving from Tijuana to Bahia de los Angeles

Google Maps from Tijuana to Bahia de Los Angeles
Photo © Google Maps – Click on the image to open the map

The drive is almost 700 km, which means over 10 hours of driving. But it’s also a very scenic one – with so many incredible attractions and views along the way!

The change of landscapes also makes for a stunning sight, ranging from mountains and deserts to ocean and beach towns.

Also, if you’re using a maps app, make sure you download an offline map of the peninsula on your phone to always have it handy.

I didn’t get to Tijuana but I crossed the peninsula all the way to Ensenada and I know for a fact that the road is spectacular and relatively safe during the day.

AVOID traveling at night in these regions, or anywhere in Mexico, but especially here.

The road that crosses the central mountain from San Felipe is renowned for quite a few assaults during the night. So don’t risk it. Also, have a spare tire and know how to change it.

Road to San Felipe.
Road to San Felipe

🚘 Driving from Loreto to Bahia de los Angeles

Google Maps from Loretoto  Bahia de Los Angeles
Photo © Google Maps – Click on the image to open the map

Driving from Loreto can be a great itinerary especially during whale season, when you can stop in San Ignacio and Guerrero Negro for whale watching, which would be February and March.

It’s about 600 km/ 373 miles and the road is spectacular most of the time. Keep in mind that you don’t have phone coverage for most of the time.

The road is great though just keep in mind that from Guerrero Negro to Bahia de los Angeles, you don’t find absolutely anything but spectacular infinite landscapes.

One important thing to remember when driving in Baja California is to make sure you have the tank full all the time because you never know when you find the next gas station.

🛥 Taking a Boat or a Yacht to Bahia de los Angeles California

If you’re sailing in the Sea of Cortez, you can also visit Bahia de los Angeles on a private boat or yacht.

Though this way of getting to Bahia is not as common as driving to it via land for a memorable road trip, it’s still an alternative that people use to avoid the lengthy drive and get there faster.

A boat at the dock in the beach in Bahia de los Angeles.

Is it Safe to Drive to Bahia de los Angeles?

I already spoke about it in the previous session. The road to Bahia de los Angeles from Tijuana or all the way to Loreto is in good condition, and there’s also not much else to worry about on the way; so yes, it’s pretty safe to drive to Bahia de los Angeles.

What’s more, the place is considered a great road trip destination.

Still, make sure you research the local laws and speed limits and get good travel insurance coverage as well because it’s a legal requirement for driving in Mexico.

There are some things to keep in mind while driving in Mexico, such as:

✔️ Don’t Drive at Night

Driving in Mexico is relatively safe, but it’s a good idea to always stick to driving places during the day.

That’s because some roads and highways don’t have good lighting, and you might encounter potholes as well.

These and many other road hazards make driving at night a bad idea in Mexico.

✔️ Keep All Your Paperwork Handy

You might come across checkpoints and other routine traffic stops while driving in Mexico.

Getting through those is always quicker when you have things like your passport, driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance, and other important documents ready to show.

Beautiful sunset at the beach.

✔️ Learn About Road Signage

Practicing some basic Spanish to read what road signs mean in Mexico is also a good thing to do when you plan on driving here. It will save you a lot of trouble. 

✔️ Never Speed

I know this one sounds generic, but it’s important to say this.

Don’t go above the speed limit even if you see other drivers doing it, because cops are more likely to pull foreigners over.

✔️ Refuel Frequently

This is especially important when you’re taking a long road trip, like the one from Tijuana to Bahia de los Angeles.

Ideally, try not to let your tank go below half in case the next gas station might be closed, out of gas, or might not accept credit cards.

Aerial view of the road going to Bahia de los Angeles.

✔️ Know About the Green Angels

This is a service by Mexico’s Department of Tourism that operates on the main highways of the country.

You can dial their helpline (078) in case you’re having car trouble on a main highway and one of their trucks will show up to help.

They will help you with your car for free, but it’s recommended that you tip them some money anyway.

Also, stick to toll roads (they’re well-maintained and in good condition), avoid using your phone while driving, and read similar helpful tips about driving in Mexico and you won’t have to worry about anything on your trip.

As for Bahia de los Angeles California itself, the place is considered safe as well. The town has a population of only 1,000 residents, and they’re very hospitable.

Plus, you will meet some travelers living there as well. In short, Bahia de los Angeles is a very serene and tourist-friendly destination.

Punta la Gringa Beach.
Punta la Gringa Beach

When is the Best Time to Travel to Bahia de los Angeles

The best time to visit Bahia de los Angeles will vary based on your individual preferences.

Though it’s a year-round destination, it offers slightly different weather, things to do, and experiences at different times of the year.

Prices for flights, rentals, rooms, and activities change a little bit based on the travel season as well.

Most people look for the best time to visit Bahia de los Angeles for good weather.

Contrary to many Mexican destinations, Bahia de los Angeles’ high season is the summer because that’s when all the watersport activities are doable because of the warm water.

Also, whale sharks swim up to the north along the Bahia de los Angeles coast so you can swim with the gentle giants of the sea in the summer.

In winter you can find whale sharks near La Paz.

Also this time of the year, you can find more tourists, so it’s easier to find a tour to join.

Flight and room prices will also be higher during the high season, along with rates on tours and activities.

So, if you’re on a budget, or want to enjoy a more laid-back vacation here, the off-peak months are a better time for it.

I traveled in February and it was kind of cold and very windy. No snorkeling tours were available and I didn’t even feel like doing one because the water temperature was too low for me.

There are fewer people visiting Bahia de los Angeles during this time of the year, and you might also score deals and discounts on flights and tours.

Things to Do in Bahia de los Angeles

1. Take a Walk on the Beach

Bahia de los Angeles is known for its laid-back vibes and what better way to enjoy those than taking a serene walk on one of its gorgeous beaches?

There are plenty of beaches to hit up for exactly that, the two most popular being its north beach (Playa La Gringa) and the south beach (Playa La Mona) with an old ship that ran ashore.

But no matter which beach you choose to visit, taking a leisurely stroll on it with the sea in view and enjoying the cool breeze is truly a rejuvenating experience in Bahia de los Angeles. Highly recommended!

The Bahia de los Angeles beach.

2. Take a Snorkeling Trip

Water activities are one of the most popular draws of Bahia de los Angeles. After all, it’s a charming coastal bay with lots of marine life thriving in its waters.

So, if you’re visiting here, enjoying a snorkeling trip in the sea is a must-do.

You will get to see so many exotic sea creatures up close, including whales, dolphins, and sea lions.

There are tons of tour operators in Bahia de los Angeles offering snorkeling trips, so all you need to do is choose and book a trip with one, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories.

3. Go Diving

Bahia de los Angeles California’s diving scene is one of the best in all of Mexico, which means you have to give it a try if you’re visiting here.

It’s a way of connecting with the region’s marine life even more deeply (quite literally) and makes for a fascinating experience.

Again, there’s no shortage of diving tours here and to nearby islands. They take you out in the sea to watch exotic fish, turtles, and sea lions in their natural habitat.

Combined with the pristine waters of the bay, diving in Bahia de los Angeles is truly an incredible activity. 

A cat inside the Museo.

4. Go Fishing

With species like yellowtail, sea bass, dorado, snapper, and marlin, fishing is great in Bahia de los Angeles.

There are tons of fishing sites, and fishermen also visit the islands of the bay to go fishing. Sports fishing is also popular here.

If you’re up for this thrilling yet tranquil activity while vacationing in Bahia de los Angeles, you can join a fishing tour to go out on a boat and hunt yourself some delicious fish and enjoy expansive views of the Sea of Cortez while doing it.

5. Swim with Whale Sharks (Only in Summer)

I already mentioned diving and snorkeling with marine life in Bahia de los Angeles, but swimming with whale sharks is a water activity that deserves a separate recommendation.

It’s hands down one of the most popular things to do here, and for good reason.

Whale sharks are the largest fish species in the world, so getting to swim with them and see them so near you is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you don’t want to miss out on.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to swim with whale sharks in Bahia de los Angeles California; there are lots of frequent tours for it.

You just gotta keep in mind that whale sharks have a season here.

They’re in the waters of Bahia de los Angeles only from July through early November when the water temperatures are warm.

So tours to swim with whale sharks are also available during those months only.

But if you’ve already booked a vacation for another time, don’t let it dampen the mood; you can still spot fin whales and other exotic species of fish in the waters of Bahia de los Angeles.

Plus, there are so many more activities to enjoy as well.

Local museum entrance.
Museum of Nature and Culture

6. Visit the Local Museum

The small town of Bahia de los Angeles is home to the amazing Nature and Culture Museum, located in its downtown.

Visiting the museum is definitely an enlightening experience if you’re interested in the natural history and cultural heritage of Bahia de los Angeles.

The museum features skeletons of whales and even dinosaurs and mammoths.

Countless species of shells, 19th-century mining artifacts, and historical photos and illustrations are also part of the Museum of Nature and Culture.

Entry fee is any amount you would like to donate to the museum, and you can visit it between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the year (except for August and September when it’s closed temporarily).

The Punta la Gringa beach.
Punta la Gringa

7. Hike in Punta la Gringa

I mentioned Playa la Gringa earlier in the post. Well, there’s also the rocky point near the beach called Punta la Gringa that you can hike to the top of.

It has water surrounding it, and you can only hike it from the end of the beach.

It’s a very short hike that gives you great views over the bay.

Just make sure you wear some comfy hiking shoes when visiting Punta la Gringa because the hike can get a bit rough due to its rocky, desert terrain.

Skeletons inside the local museum.
Musuem in Bahia de Los Angeles

8. Get Your Picture Taken with Skull Island as the Backdrop

La Calavera Island is a rocky island off the coast of Bahia de los Angeles that attracts tourists because of its unique shape resembling a skull.

The island is part of the Bahia de los Angeles Nature Reserve, so you can take a boat tour of it and capture some incredible pictures – all while getting to see some exotic bird species and playful sea lions.

Town center of Bahia de los Angeles.

9. Visit the Punta Arenas Lighthouse

Punta Arenas is a sand spit sheltering the waterfront of Bahia de los Angeles, and it features a lighthouse that you can take a walk to (ideally before the sunset) for some scenic views and a quiet evening by the sea.

The place is also perfect for taking some incredible pictures, and there’s an estuary nearby where you can bird watch if you bring binoculars along.

All in all, it’s a great thing to do in Bahia de los Angeles if you’re in the mood for something tranquil and relaxing.

Keep in mind that the road to the lighthouse is not in good condition.

I had a normal car rental and I was discouraged by the locals from venturing out in such terrain. If you have a four-wheel drive you may want to take the chance.

Hiking viewpoint at Punta la Gringa.
Punta la Gringa

10. Visit the San Francisco de Borja de Adac Mission

Founded in the 18th century by Jesuit missionaries, San Francisco de Borja is a quarry mission located an hour and a half away from Bahia de los Angeles.

There are many unique things about this mission, the first and foremost being its architecture.

The history of the mission is also quite interesting, and the place is open to the public.

The drive to it is definitely worth it if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and historic, with a unique location in the central desert between the Pacific and the Gulf of California.

Just keep in mind that you will need a 4×4 high-clearance vehicle to take this trip.

It’s worth it because the drive is quite picturesque, and there are caretakers at the San Francisco de Borja Mission who will give you a guided tour of the site and nearby rock art.

11. Marvel at the Fascinating Cave Paintings of Valle Montevideo

The historic landmarks of Bahia de los Angeles California go far beyond the 18th century.

In fact, they go all the way back to the cave painting era.

And if you want to see for yourself, you can drive to the Montevideo site where these pre-hispanic cave paintings can still be found.

The site is located a few miles south of Bahia de los Angeles, close to the San Francisco de Borja Mission, and you can drive right up to it.

There is a dirt road leading here just a couple miles of drive south from the bay.

12. Take a Trip to the Archangel Island

Isla Angel de la Guarda is a large, uninhabited island situated very close to Bahia de los Angeles – and visiting it makes for a fun experience.

It’s located on the eastern horizon of the bay and is part of a group of uninhabited islands listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Sea of Cortez.

There’s much to do here, including family-friendly water activities like kayaking and paddleboarding and seeing whales, sea lions, and exotic seabird species.

You can also explore around the island to soak in its untouched natural beauty and admire the thriving greenery.

IMPORTANT INFO – to organize the boat tours you need to contact a local company. You will find them advertised throughout town.

In high season it’s easy to find an organized tour with other people to share the cost of the boat, otherwise, prices are not per individual but per boat. Ricardo’s Diving Tours is one of the most popular options.

Entrance of Alejandrinas.
Restaurant Alejandrinas

Where to Eat in Bahia de los Angeles

Though Bahia de los Angeles is small and doesn’t have as many restaurants as you will see in a more popular destination, there are still a few interesting eating options. Here is where I ate.

🍽 Restaurant Alejandrinas

Considered hands down the best restaurant in Bahia de los Angeles for its Mexican dishes and seafood, Alejandrinas is your go-to eatery in Bahia de los Angeles.

It’s open throughout the day; you can grab breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner here and vegetarian options are also on the menu – so it’s perfect for all your cravings.

Along with the exceptional taste of its food, the two other things that make Restaurant Alejandrinas so popular among visitors are its excellent service and pocket-friendly prices.

It’s a very simple eatery but with great service and delicious food choices.

Interior of Alejandrinas.
Restaurant Alejandrinas

🍽 Las Hamacas Restaurant

Las Hamacas is another great restaurant in Bahia de los Angeles California.

The place is known mostly for its seafood, but its Mexican cuisine and burgers are praised just as highly as well.

Safe to say, you will come to love the place for its delightful food regardless of what your tastes and preferences are.

I haven’t personally tried it but the reviews were flattering.

Entrance of Siete Filos Cafe.
Siete Filos Cafe

🍽 Siete Filos Cafe

Located in a campsite where they rent cabanas and tent space, Siete Filos is a sort of gathering point of Bahia de los Angeles you will find great WIFI, delicious cafe and cakes, sandwiches, and all sorts of comfort food.

🍽 Roca Velas Restaurant and Beach Club

Cozy restaurant in a cute laidback- elegant ambiance, in Roca Velas you can find delicious healthy dishes at any time of the day. Service is a bit slow but it’s worth the waiting.

Exterior of Hotel los Vientos.
Los Vientos Hotel

Where to Stay in Bahia de los Angeles

🛏 Los Vientos Hotel

Cozy room of Los VIentos.
Los Vientos Hotel – Photo © Expedia

I stayed at Los Vientos Hotel, which is one of the top-rated resorts and the cutest. It was low season when I traveled there so prices were relatively low.

During the summer it becomes very expensive but also very convenient and cozy. Despite the price, don’t expect to find luxury.

Nice and comfy place. Food was very good and the personnel at the check-in and the restaurant in the morning were very helpful.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ luis, june 2023

What to Pack for Bahia de los Angeles

There are tons of things that you need to pack for a fun-filled vacation in Bahia de los Angeles, so I won’t list everything.

But there are some essential items that you can’t forget, and I’m listing those here for you.

📌 Eco-friendly sunscreen: One of the first things that you need to pack for Bahia de los Angeles is sunscreen.

The region has a desert-like climate, so the sun can be intense here (especially during summer).

This makes having a good sunblock an absolute must to protect your skin. Just make sure it’s an environment-friendly one. 

📌 Full-sleeve shirts: Full clothing goes well with sun protection in Bahia de los Angeles, which means it’s a good idea to pack some full-sleeve shirts as well.

📌 A hat and sunglasses: In terms of accessories, make sure to pack a hat (preferably a wide-brimmed one) and a pair of sunglasses.

These are excellent for covering more of your skin from the UV rays on top of making you look great!

📌 A comfy pair of hiking shoes: Pack a pair of hiking shoes to protect your feet in the rocky terrain of the region.

Bahia de los Angeles is a small town, so you can walk to a lot of its attractions, and wearing comfy shoes makes that so much easier on your feet.

📌 Beach towels: Bahia de los Angeles is known for its beaches and water activities, which means you will be doing a lot of those – and having beach towels handy makes that all the more enjoyable, so don’t forget to pack lots of those!

📌 Light jacket or sweater: Though it doesn’t get very cold in Bahia de los Angeles, bringing along some warm clothes for the occasional chilly evenings is still recommended, especially if you’re visiting during winter.

📌 Flip-flops and some shorts: Along with the clothing items mentioned above, bringing some shorts and flip-flops is a good idea.

You can wear them to the pristine beaches of Bahia de los Angeles to spend evenings kicking back and relaxing by the sea.

Road to Bahia de los Angeles.
Road to Bahia de los Angeles

☀️ How Many Days Do I Need in Bahia de los Angeles?

That depends on your travel plans. Bahia de los Angeles can be that one-day stop on your Baja California road trip itinerary, or you can also spend even a week here.

If you’re exclusively driving to the bay, I recommend staying for at least 2-3 days here to soak up all the highlights and enjoy the top things to do.

But that’s just the minimum. You can spend even longer if you want to explore the place more thoroughly.

There are plenty of immaculate beaches, lots of unique landmarks, and an endless array of activities on offer in Bahia de los Angeles, and you should experience them without a rush to get a proper taste of this charming destination.

Plus, snorkeling, diving, and whale-watching opportunities here are some of the best in all of Mexico – which means you can’t leave the place without trying your hand at those either!

Beautiful beach at Bahia de los Angeles.

Bahia de los Angeles Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Bahia de los Angeles is a true hidden gem of Mexico in the Baja California Peninsula.

This laid-back town offers one of the best chances for you to go off the grid and connect with nature for a refreshing break away from city life.

As for the activities here, there is no shortage of incredible experiences ranging from the best whale watching, snorkeling, and diving to seeing historic landmarks, visiting nearby islands, and sampling delightful local cuisines.

So, if you’re up for this unique experience, I have highlighted everything you need to know in this Bahia de los Angeles travel guide.

Now you know all the things you need to pack, how to get there, must-do activities, and the best places to eat.

All that’s left for you to do now is to get ready for this unforgettable journey. Have a fun vacation!