Playa Juncalito, An Abundance Of Activities For RVers. Part 1

by Dan & Lisa Goy
(Surrey, BC Canada)

Playa Juncalito, An Abundance Of Activities For RVers. Part 1

Playa Juncalito, An Abundance Of Activities For RVers. Part 1

Editor's Note This story was submitted on our What Is Your Favorite RVing Or Camping Destination Page

Getting to Playa Juncalito; located in a National Marine Park on the Sea of Cortez, is about 22 km south of Loreto, Baja Sur. Juncalito is always a stop on our tour and many other RVers agree, with stunning scenery and plenty to do and see. This is dry camping although there are a couple of pit toilets that have seen better days.

Leaving Loreto heading south simply stay on Highway 1, you will come across a Propane Plant on your right in a few minutes, this is a good opportunity to fill up, you may be staying at Juncalito for a while. As you continue south you will pass the development of Nopolo (Loreto Bay) which includes a golf course, about 10 minutes later you make a climb and find a large Mirador (lookout) on your left. Pull over and enjoy the Ocean view of El Chenque Bay, Isla Mestiza, the larger Isla Carmen and Playa Juncalito, the view is simply stunning and these scenic pullouts are as rare as hen’s teeth on Baja. On your right, you will see RVs on the beach, if you’re heading for Juncalito that is where you are going.

Continuing southbound you descend quickly and on your left, you will see some homes, this is the village of Juncalito (sitting on Ejido property) not the beach, do not turn left at the Juncalito sign (km 97), carry on another 200 meters. Look where the hydro power lines cross the highway and you will see a gravel road on your left, take it slowly (put your 4 ways on), watch out for the drop off the road.

Drive straight towards the ocean then the road descends into an arroyo, it has not rained for 3 years so this is very passable, from the highway to the beach is about 1 km. As you near the end of the Arroyo/gravel road you will see palm trees and water straight ahead, on your right you will see a large sign for the Marine Park, this is the usual entrance to Playa Juncalito. We have done this with every size of RV you can imagine.

You now have two options, camping in the Palm trees or on the beach. Best to park out of the way and look around, both options have positives and negatives. For those choosing the beach you will enjoy a wonderful view of the ocean, watching boats come and go, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, birds galore and occasionally playful dolphins, sea lions and maybe a whale. Watch out for soft sand and be mindful to park strategically away from the wind, it has been known to blow a gale for days.

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Locating in the Palms gets you out of the wind and you are only a short walk to the beach. Do not park too close to the Palm trees; they are occupied by 50 Turkey Vultures every evening and this can get
messy on your rig! Also best to have a good outside mat as the dirt tends to track everywhere.

Wherever you locate make sure you put out some halved oranges on the trees, humming bird feeders or some bird seed on the ground, lots of local birds will pay you a visit. This is a great beach to go for a dip or just sit, relax and read a book.

You will never tire of the jagged peaks of the Sierra de la Giganta which rise up abruptly from the coastal plain to form a dramatic backdrop to the west. The contrast between sea and sky then adding a Palm Grove is just magnificent. At sunrise, the pink and red glow of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range is so spectacular it aches.

Isla del Carmen is clearly visible (many think it looks like an alligator) from El Juncalito and is very popular with kayakers as the waters around Isla Carmen are the winter range to an abundance of Fin and Blue Whales. The snorkeling and paddling is some of the finest in Baja. As with all the islands of the Sea of Cortez, birdlife abounds on Isla Carmen. Ospreys nest high on headlands, brown pelicans congregate on partially submerged reefs and blue-footed boobies roost on white seaside cliffs.

The terrain includes broad turquoise bays and towering headlands backed by 1000 ft high russet peaks. Many kayak tour groups use Playa Juncalito as a launching point to explore Isla Carmen, a very large island with an active fishing village and an abandoned salt mine. Circumnavigating Isla Carmen can take you approximately five days, so many folks paddle to Isla Danzante, just a few hours to the south.

Always keep an eye on the weather as the wind can predictably blow up in the afternoon, creating two to three-foot waves that will make a rather challenging return trip to Juncalito.

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El Juncalito has a reputation for excellent sport fishing, if you need to charter a boat just visit the village, look for the Torres Sportfishing sign and ask Jose, you will not be disappointed. There are two well-defined fishing seasons: summer features “dorado” and species like marlin (black marlin, Atlantic blue marlin, striped marlin) and sailfish, which are ideal for the fly fishing; winter fishing features “yellow tail” (jurel) and other species that usually are deep in the sea rocks.

In addition to these seasonal species, Loreto's waters are home to other species like snapper and sea bass, which are found all year long. The yellowtail is one of the strongest species; its season begins in November, peaks from March to April, and comes to an end in late May.

Submitted by Dan & Lisa Goy
Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours

Continue to part two

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