Rancho Verde - A Hidden Baja Treasure For RVers

by Dan & Lisa Goy
(Surrey, BC)

Pictured La Ventana Campground

Pictured La Ventana Campground

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

This campground is one of our favourites because it is so very different from all the others in Baja Sur, it also often reminds us of camping in the mountains back in British Columbia, Canada. Rancho Verde is located just off Highway 1, at Kilometre 142, between San Bartolo to the south and San Antonio to the north at an elevation of 1700 Feet/520 Meters in the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. This is an operating 3100 acre ranch, that includes a 200 acre “RV Haven” with an accompanying campground.

Rancho Verde “RV Haven” advertises “...a relaxed atmosphere only minutes from the hetic life of the beach communities – the real Mexican lifestyle that everyone is seeking and hardly finds! Peaceful, carefree living amid scenic wilderness and mountains of greenery, a beachfront launch site, guided fishing tours for those without boats, and a total security package for your peace of mind while you are away from the premises” and they deliver.

The campground has 29 sites with easy back-in spots that include dump stations and potable water, however no electricity. WiFi with AC power is available at the common building central to the campground as are hot showers and flush toilets just a short stroll away. The rates; daily, weekly or monthly are very reasonable. You can tent or take your Big Rig, everyone is welcome and all sizes can fit. On the ranch itself there are miles/kilometres of trails for hiking, horseback riding (see the rancho next door), ATVing or dirt biking, lots to see and the vistas are stunning.

This rancho is also a bird watchers paradise. Fred and Joyce Harrington spent a week in February of 2008 at Rancho Verde and reported observing over 50 species of birds including many varieties of hawks, owls, doves, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, wrens, warblers and flycatchers. A pair of resident Crested Caracaras can often be seen in the horse paddock as visitors arrive, and if you scatter some birdseed, provide a bowl of water or put out a hummingbird feeder, we guarantee other birds will show up.

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Rancho Verde is an excellent location to stage from for day trips about and around this very unique and interesting region. El Triunfo, founded in 1748, is a must see about 20 minutes north of Ranch Verde. You can visit the old smelter site where impressive stacks still stand; the tallest “Ramona” was designed by famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel. Plan on a meal and purchase of freshly baked bread at the “El Triunfo Caffe”, you surely will be impressed; Mark and staff run an excellent establishment. Take the time to visit the Music Museum, operated by Nicolas Castro, a renowned concert pianist, Senor Castro has an extensive display
of antique pianos and offers a wonderful review of the musical history of the region. Later you can visit the village of El Roasrio, where you will find a “one of a kind” Cactus Sanctuary (Santuario De Los Cactus) and local artisans.

Another great daytrip is the La Ventana Classic held over the 3rd weekend each January which includes an 11 mile down winder race from Cerralvo Island to La Ventana for Kiteboarders and Windsurfers, and many other paddle and kite board events and clinics. We spent a weekend at La Ventana Classic a couple of years ago, a free event to watch and a great time was had by all, only 40 minutes on a good paved road from Rancho Verde, make the turn east at San Antonio.

Yet another worthwhile excursion is Bahia de los Muertos (Bay of the Dead) renamed Bay of Dreams by real estate developers. This was once a very popular dry camping location which is now quickly being developed, however still a great place to visit, go fishing, swim and have lunch at the Giggling Marlin. The hidden treasure here is Gran Sueno, a spectacular and exclusive resort for the rich and famous owned by a very wealthy American. If you can arrange a visit you should make the time and effort to go and take the tour. With a golf course, stables, restaurant that includes an incredible miniature train display upstairs, a large theatre, chapel, multiple infinity pools, hot tubs and rooms you can only imagine, this getaway 6 Star will make your sock roll up & down, really!

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Of course Los Barriles is only 30 minutes south of Ranch Verde, a great place to resupply, bank or have dinner and if you are looking at returning to the beachfront yet another popular RV destination. There are three (3) popular place to stay, Martin Verdugo’s Beach Resort, East cape RV Resort and Playa Norte RV Haven. Some folks also just dry camp in the arroyo north of town, which works fine unless it rains (very rare but it does happen).

Whether you are an RVer, local East Cape resident or condo Snowbird in Los Cabos we recommend you spend some time in Rancho Verde and see what the region really has to offer, we are confident you will not be disappointed and your expectations will be exceeded.

Submitted by Dan & Lisa Goy

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