In the Mexican state of Baja California, the beautiful seaside town of San Felipe is a must-visit destination. Its position on the northern Sea of Cortez makes it popular with tourists. It is also just a two-hour drive from the state capital of Mexicali heading down Mexico Route 5. Popular for its beaches, cuisine, and recreational activities like sport fishing. San Felipe caters to travelers with its wide range of accommodations, entertainment venues, and lovely natural scenery.
San Felipe is known as the Gateway to the Sea of Cortez due to its position at the north of the sea. It is at a crossroads where the desert meets the sea. Likewise, the region is wild and remote. In the summer, the weather is Floridian (hot and humid). However, in the winter, it is warm and dry. Also, its beaches are rich in aquatic life and cleanliness. Sometimes, during the new and full moons, sea tides become extraordinarily high. The sea is home to a wide variety of sport fish as well as staples like shrimp. In the outlying areas of the city, flora like giant cactuses and other desert vegetations thrives.
In 1535 Hernando Cortes discovers the Baja Peninsula. It would be centuries before settlement. Mostly as a result of the difficult terrain and hostile indigenous peoples. However, missionaries start settling in the 18th century. San Felipe finally becomes a city in 1916. Prior to then, it was a fishing village. Even as late as 1940, San Felipe only had one hundred official residents. Yet, as tourism grew, so too did the population. Today, it is a popular vacation destination during winter and spring break.
Tourism in San Felipe
San Felipe’s relative proximity to the U.S. and other popular cities like Ensenada, Tijuana, and Mexicali make it a popular holiday destination. The surrounding desert flora and fauna provide a welcome contrast to the life of the bay. While the beach attracts sunbathers, campers, boaters, and sport fishers, the desert lures off-roaders and hikers. Tourists will discover a wide range of amenities from RV parks to world-class spas and resorts. Moreover, campsites are also popular as is beachside camping. Chartering boats and kayaks or exploring the marine life on tours is a considerable part of the town’s tourist industry.
Things to See and Do in San Felipe
The Coast: Enjoying the beaches and water sport is why most people flock to San Felipe. Soak up the sun, watch the tides, snorkel, scuba, or kayak along the coast for a memorable time here.
Sport Fishing: Most tourists head out with local fisherman for a small fee to reel in fish like sea bass, yellowtail, and grouper.
The Valley of the Giants: This popular nature reserve is home to giant cactus species like the thousand-year-old Cardon Cactus. Hiking and photographing the flora and fauna are popular pastimes in this area.
Enjoy the Local Cuisine: Regarded as the home of the fish taco. Many restaurants boast celebrated takes on this must-eat dish. Fresh seafood is a hallmark of local cuisine.
Konsag Island: Located off the coast, this island is a fabulous eco-destination filled with sights of sea lions, sea birds, and marine life.
Watch the Races: Many tourists head to races like the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. The races typically pass through San Felipe and attract large crowds.
Puetecitos: This small port to the south is known for its soothing thermal waters. It’s an attractive destination for tourists in search of a remote locale.
Entertainment: Clubs are near the beach and are always hopping on weekends. Dancing, enjoying cocktails, or playing beach volleyball are just some of the activities to enjoy. There are also many hotels and fabulous restaurants that sponsor entertainment, too.
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