Far away from everything, Bahía de los Ángeles in Mexico is not a luxury resort or even a bustling colonial town. What you will find here are hard-working fishers and former miners, a scattering of hotels and restaurants and some incredible nature. The bay is perfect for tourists who want to get off the beaten path and see nature face to face and fin to fin.
Bahía de los Ángeles is a bay on the coast of the Sea of Cortez known for its sport fishing and beautiful natural surroundings. The town isn’t much more than a fish camp, but because of its position and popularity with tourists, it has a good number of basic amenities. Less than a thousand people live permanently in the bay, and only in the last few years did they get regular electricity instead of depending on generators. The winds that blow out of the west can make this town hot and windy, so watch out if you are camping or mooring a boat.
Bahía de los Ángeles is easily accessible by private boat or yacht, and if you are cruising along on the Sea of Cortez it will make an easy stopping-off point. You can come in on Highway 1, but it is a long way from everywhere, so be prepared for a trek. It’s better to arrive during the day and not as the sun is going down, so that things are still open when you get there and you can find somewhere to stay. There is a tiny airstrip (BHL Airport) just north of town, and you can take a short flight to here from other major airports in the area.
From December to April, the great grey whales come to the bay, and it’s an exciting moment when you see them for the first time. The bay is also home to sea lions, dolphins and lots of sea birds. In addition to the marine life, you can take a trip to visit the church, monk cells and kitchen of the Jesuit Misión San Francisco Borja, built from cantera stone and located just outside town. The dirt road that takes you to the mission also passes several caves with prehistoric cave drawings, considered some of the most important on the peninsula. Finally, the Museo de Naturaleza y Cultura gives you a glimpse into the town’s pre-hispanic and mining past.
Bahía de los Ángeles is known for its water sports and sport fishing. It’s an excellent spot for kayaking, boating, windsurfing and hooking a few fish. The bay and the surrounding waters offer yellowtail, sea bass, snapper, grouper, sierra, bonito and the occasional dorado. Non-sport fish include trigger and barracuda. There are 16 islands surrounding the bay, so you can take some great snorkeling and sightseeing trips.
Fish is, of course, the freshest thing going. If you are out sport fishing and catch something good, most restaurants will happily cook it up for you. There are lots of tiny no-name places along the town’s main road, and a few of the hotels have restaurants and bars as well. Daggett’s is a camping spot with a good restaurant on its property that is open from October to March, and the Los Vientos hotel just north of town also has a restaurant. The Costa del Sol hotel has a good Mexican breakfast, and Hotel Las Hamacas has great fish tacos and shrimp and scallop cocktails.
The area is a little low on nightlife. Your best bet is to visit one of the few well-stocked but small grocery stores, pick up a few beers and enjoy the view beachside or on a terrace. Restaurants, of course, serve alcohol, but most places don’t stay open very late. Occasionally, the town hosts parties or events during the holidays, sometimes on the tennis court behind the internet café.
If you want to camp, there are lots of places available. Daggett’s offers camping and also has regular rooms with hot showers. In front of Guillermo’s Hotel there are camping spots with views of the beach. Your best bet for safety and comfort is to camp in town. There are also a handful of hotels in the bay including the Villa Vita, Guillermo’s, Hotel Costa del Sol and the Villa Bahía Hotel, which offer free kayaks with your room fee, and north of town you will find Los Vientos Hotel, which has a swimming pool. For an unbeatable selection of hotels in Baja California, check out our round-up of the best boutique hotels in the sun-kissed Mexican state.