Last Updated on November 23, 2022

Baja camping is for adventurous folks who know it’s all about the journey and the destination. Road trips down the *Baja Peninsula lead to stunning, quiet beaches suitable for sleeping out. Camping here abounds with natural beauty, total isolation and freedom to go almost anywhere in any season. This guide highlights what to expect, what you need, where to go and how to get the most from Baja California camping.

Specifics for 12 different Baja camping beaches are given in this article along with a general overview of the where these beaches are located.

*Note: The Baja Peninsula of Mexico consists of two states; Baja California and Baja California Sur. The ENTIRE peninsula is commonly known as Baja California and is often referred to simply as Baja Mexico. This guide uses the former and latter to denote the ENTIRE peninsula and each individual state will be noted where applicable: B.C. for the state of Baja California and B.C.S. for the state of Baja California Sur.

Baja California Camping: What To Expect

Aside from endless adventure possibilities, stunning blue water and plenty of sunshine year-round you must understand camping in Baja California is a bit different from what you’d expect north of the border, for quite a few reasons. Several of these differences can be pleasantly refreshing while some can be just the opposite. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • First come, first served: There are no reservations for most Baja California beach camping – simply show up and pick a spot.
  • Toilets: DO NOT expect clean, maintained toilets. DO expect dilapidated wooden sheds with a seat above a hole in the ground.
  • Vendors: Friendly locals arrive in the morning and throughout the day selling food, water, firewood, trinkets and tours.
  • Bugs: Sand flies (chitres) and regular houseflies haunt the beaches here. Come prepared with fly paper and repellent.
  • Heat: There is little to no natural shade when Baja camping. Have an awning on your rig or seek out beaches with palapas (see below).
  • Lack of organization: Baja camping is often free of any real restrictions or oversight.
  • Crowds: Winter months see plenty of snowbirders in RVs – beach camping in Baja Mexico is VERY popular this time of year.
  • No hook-ups: Looking for hook-ups for your RV in Baja California? Head to a proper RV campground instead.
  • Haggling: The price of Baja camping is often negotiable – and always get a receipt after paying.
  • Litter: Trash barrels are provided but efficient means to dispose of the litter is sorely lacking. Trash barrels are often overflowing.

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 What You Need for Baja California Camping

Rely on only getting the most basic of supplies in Mexico like food, ice and water. Finding quality goods and especially Baja camping essentials is rather difficult. Consider getting these before you cross the border:

  • Saw and hand axe: There is plenty of dead wood around, even in this desert climate; make sure you have a way to cut and split it.
  • Bug spray: The price and scant variety of insect repellent here means you’re better off importing it yourself from home (see above).
  • Fly paper: We searched for this in Baja California; fly paper (see above) doesn’t exist here. You’ll need this on the beaches – trust me!
  • Sun block: The selection, quality and price of sunblock here means you’re best supplying your own. Come prepared.
  • A sturdy cooler: Throw-away styrofoam coolers are easily found here and you may find quality used ones at secondhand shops. These shops are found along the highway in every town. I suggest you come prepared with your own sturdy cooler.
  • Water containers: Avoid buying purified water or spring water in stores to save money. Instead, look for businesses called Purificadoras, available in every town and often found along Highway 1. Simply present your empty container(s) and watch as they’re filled with purified water from a filtration system. Expect to pay pennies per liter of water – a huge money saver!
  • Maps and guide books: Nothing beats real maps and books to hold in your hands. Use these to figure out where you’re going right now, where you’ve been and where you want to go next.

Getting to Mexico

Border wait times getting into Mexico are seldom a concern. Where to cross depends simply on where you’re coming from. However, border crossings at either Tijuana or Tecate offer more direct routes down the main road, known as the Transpeninsular Highway, or Highway 1. Crossing the border at Mexicali is well-suited for Highway 5 to San Felipe, Puertecitos and Punta Willard.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to products and services whereby we receive a nominal commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. This comes at no extra cost to you. Please see our Disclaimer for full information.

A Volkswagen van driving in the desert.

Again, traveling in Mexico is about the journey and the destination. To make the most out of your Baja camping road trip, consider the drive involved. Road conditions, driving habits and the remoteness here may differ from what you’re accustomed to at home.

Need to Mix Up Your Baja Camping Trip With Some Creature Comforts?

You’ll always find somewhere special to stay through Airbnb. From rural getaways to luxury spots in the city, Airbnb’s Baja Mexico listings offer something for everyone. Find your ideal place to stay and wake up ready for more Baja adventures! 

For a good selection of conventional accommodations at the best prices we recommend Hotels.com on the peninsula and throughout Mexico. Choose from familiar national chains in the bigger cites or smaller independent hotels.

Need the Perfect Gift for a Camping Enthusiast in Your Life?

See our camping gift ideas and discover the things they’ll want while sleeping under the stars! These presents are for anyone on your gift list and they’re sure to fit your budget. Don’t send ’em out into the wilderness without the proper gear.

Do you need a vehicle permit or insurance in Baja California? For information on these considerations and more, read our guide on what you need to know before any trip down the Baja Peninsula, located as a link in the 2nd box above.

Your Baja California Camping Style

No matter your style, Baja camping is possible in an RV, car, truck, van and even with a tent or hammock. Many formal Baja RV parks are scattered throughout the peninsula, but even the biggest rigs can find a secluded spot for beach camping. This article focuses more on informal Baja beach camping on the Sea of Cortez, suitable for any style.

A Volkswagen van Baja California camping on a white sand beach with mountains in the background.
Baja Camping on Playa El Coyote.

Shelter from the sun is critical for beach camping in Baja Mexico; having just a tent means you need a palapa overhead. Even camping out of your car or van means you need shelter from the sun. What is a palapa? Simply put, a palapa is an open-sided structure with a roof and often several walls. They are crudely built of organic material – wood, palm fronds, etc. but are sturdy and provide shade.

Where to Go Baja California Camping

The areas below are given much more detail later in this article, but here’s a brief overview:

So, where should you go? The short answer is just about any beach you can physically get to. Also, keep in mind boondocking in Baja California is almost always an option; get familiar with www.ioverlander.com to learn more about where to really get away from it all.

Instead, the focus here is on beach camping and several general areas and those are:

Bahía de los Ángeles, B.C. features a gigantic arc of beach suitable for all vehicles. Bahía de los Ángeles camping is convenient to town, so basic supplies are just several miles away. The bay contains an astounding variety of marine life. Bahía de los Ángeles appeals to those looking for a less-busy Baja camping experience in winter – and it’s free.

A view of two beaches with white sand and blue water full of people camping in Baja California.
Bahia Concepcion: Playa El Burro (foreground) and Playa El Coyote beyond.

South of the small town of Mulegé, B.C.S. is Bahía Concepción, featuring a handful of very easily accessible beaches perfect for camping. The premier destination of Bahía Concepción is 12 mi (20 km) south of Mulegé along Highway 1. Sea kayaking here is among the best in the world and many folks in RVs return here each winter for Baja camping.

The big city of La Paz, B.C.S. offers all the services you’d expect and great Baja camping nearby. Deep sea fishing, nightlife, restaurants, museums and tours to protected Isla Espíritu Santo round out the great beaches in La Paz. Considering everything available here, this is a rather handy area for Baja camping.

When To Go Camping in Baja California

High season in Baja California runs roughly from November to after Easter. The weather is quite dry here but the temperatures in winter are much more comfortable than summer. High season is also peak time for RVs from Canada and the U.S. and Baja camping is rather crowded at this time with folks returning to their “spots” annually. Beach camping in Baja California is possible at this time, just expect more company.

A burgundy Volkswagen van and an RV Baja California camping on a white sand beach with a palm tree in the background.
Baja Camping Often Means Plenty of Neighbors.

Low season means hot temperatures, even throughout the night. However, if you’re seeking quiet beaches in Baja California for camping, consider the months of May through early October. Many Mexicans go on vacation from mid July through mid August looking for lugares para acampar en Baja California. Beaches will be busier July through August although not as bad as winter RV season.

Great Beaches for Baja California Camping

Bahía de los Ángeles, B.C. or Bay of L.A.

Although not as popular as areas further south, Bahía de los Ángeles camping certainly has its advantages – the beach is only five miles from the town and getting in to get basic supplies is easy. Also, camping here is free and there’s plenty of free firewood on the side of the road. The calm water in Bahía de los Ángeles is crystal clear, however the beaches tend to be pebbly rather than sandy.

Where Is It?

Bahía de los Ángeles, three hours north of Guerrero Negro, is reached from an extension of the Transpeninsular Highway, or Route 1. This extension, also called Route 1, begins at the locale of Punta Prieta and continues for about 40 mi (65 km) east to the town of Bahía de los Ángeles, on the gulf side of the peninsula.

A road in the desert of Baja California with mountains in the background.
The Road to Bahia de los Angeles.

From the entrance to BahÍa de los Ángeles go through the roundabout and exit left. The road soon makes a very sharp right; continue on this road for several miles. The paved road ends and leads to the beach, Playa la Gringa, roughly one mile further. The unpaved road to the beach is suitable for all vehicles, as is driving onto the pebbly beach.

Playa La Gringa 

Cost: Free

Toilets: Crude pit toilets at Playa La Gringa – wooden stalls atop a hole in the sand and a blanket for a door – let you know you are indeed Baja camping.

There is no shade or palapas; come prepared for that. Also, Bahía de los Ángeles weather can see extreme temperatures and the risk of red tide in summer months – check ahead. There are no hook-ups for RVs.

Marine life abounds here and beachcombing is quite good. We were here Christmas morning 2017 and witnessed an Italian family dispatch a good-sized squid right from shore! They promptly cut it up and prepared it for their Christmas dinner!

A pebbly beach popular with campers in Baja California with mountains in the background.
Playa La Gringa

You can easily spend the day walking on the beach or hiking from your campsite here. Kayaking, SUP’ing, fishing and snorkeling in Bahía de los Ángeles is very good. Chartered fishing tours are also available in town.

Mulegé, B.C.S. and Bahía Concepción Beaches

The Lowdown

Two hours south of San Ignacio is Mulegé, a pleasant little town with services and a clutch of amazing Baja California camping spots. The waters of Bahía Concepción are clear and blue with white sand beaches. These beaches are surrounded by stunning desert landscape and no large-scale tourism infrastructure.

Mulegé really is a great little community year-round. Here, you’ll find a laundromat and some very useful notice boards at several of the small grocery stores throughout town. Make sure you visit the local museum and the Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé while you’re here. And don’t skip Mariscos Peralta’s as you enter Mulegé for some of the best fish tacos in Baja Mexico.

A blue and yellow fish taco restaurant in Baja California.

Baja camping here is popular with American and Canadian RV’ers in winter and Mulegé has some seasonal homes. That said, this area remains pleasantly low-key all year and you simply cannot beat the beaches here. The Bahía Concepción camping beaches mentioned below have palapas to keep you from wilting in the sun.

Where Is It?

Mulegé and the Bahía Concepción beaches are all easily reached from Highway 1. Mulegé is 175 mi (280 km) south of the state borders of B.C. and B.C.S. at Guerrero Negro. The beaches of Bahia Concepción begin 12 mi (20 km) south of Mulegé – the first being Playa Santispac.

Of the six beaches highlighted here, all but one (Playa Escondida) are well signed from the highway, however all are accessible by any vehicle. Driving distances between the first five beaches (north to south) are only several minutes apart. The last beach, Playa Requeson, is approximately 9 mi (20 km) south of the other five beaches.

Baja California Camping on Bahía Concepción: North To South

Playa Santispac

Cost: Baja camping on Playa Santispac ranges from 150 to 250 pesos depending on the caretaker’s whim and the demand for space – haggling is acceptable.

Toilets: The ramshackle outhouses here round out your Baja camping experience – carry your own toilet paper.

Just before reaching Playa Santispac are several pull-ins off the highway with breathtaking views of Bahía Concepción in front of you. One look at the white sand, clear blue water and nearby islands is all it takes to let you know beach camping in Baja California is as good as it gets anywhere.

A view of a beach popular with Baja California camping.
View of Playa Santispac

Several palapas line the beach here; these are perfect for slinging a hammock. The beachfront Restaurante Bar Ana opens in the winter and makes Playa Santispac a great choice for Baja camping. If you have a kayak Isla San Ramon awaits just offshore and behind that is a reef perfect for snorkeling. Within the mangroves behind Playa Santispac is a lagoon and some rather brackish hot springs.

Playa Escondida

Cost: Playa Escondida is 100 pesos per night, making this one of the cheapest spots for Bahía Concepción camping. Caretakers come by on an irregular basis to collect money and, on an even more irregular basis, to empty the trash barrels.

Living up to its name, Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach) is easy to drive past and miss altogether. Just south of Playa Satispac is Posada Concepción, a small collection of villas on the waterfront. Immediately beyond the entrance to Posada Concepción is the mangled sign pointing to Playa Escondida. Turn left here and follow the rough road for several minutes to a perfect slice of beach. Low clearance vehicles may have difficulty along this short road.

A baja camping beach palapa with mountains in the background.
Our palapa on Playa Escondida

This really is a hidden little gem of a beach tucked away from the road. About 8 palapas are here along with 3 pit toilets. A small trail here ascends to an image of the Virgin Mary painted on the side of a rock formation. Colorful lights twinkle around her image throughout the night. A small island (Isla Liebre) with a beach sits just offshore from Playa Escondida. Paddling out to this deserted island takes several minutes.

An overhead view of a white sand Baja camping beach with very blue water.
Baja California Camping on Playa Escondida

Baja camping really doesn’t get much better than at this beach. Playa Escondida is a very quiet and scenic spot; in summer 2018 we had this entire stretch of sand to ourselves for several weeks!

The caretakers at Playa Escondida have planted some vegetation in front of the palapas and the toilets here aren’t as run-down as those at the other beaches. Still, don’t expect any fancy facilities!

Playa Los Cocos

Cost: Expect to pay between 150 and 200 pesos per night for beach camping at Playa Los Cocos.

Just beyond the turn for Playa Escondida is Playa Los Cocos, where about 25 palapas line the beach. A small footpath at the left end of the beach leads over to Play Escondida. A small lagoon and mangroves are located just behind Playa Los Cocos.

If you have a kayak, follow the coastline to the right of Playa Los Cocos toward Playa El Burro for great fishing. A small reef lies between these two beaches, about a five-minute paddle away. If you don’t fish you can view the teeming marine life swimming around this reef instead.

Playa El Burro

Cost: Unknown as we didn’t camp at Playa El Burro although the price is likely similar to other beaches; ask around.

Playa El Burro is most noteworthy for the popular Bertha’s Restaurant and Bar located just feet from the water. The beach here is a somewhat private community, although limited beach camping is available.

Several beach palapas sheltering trucks and RVs which are Baja California camping for the season.
Playa El Burro

We’ve never camped here due to the “community” look and feel of this beach compared to others nearby. Playa El Burro also seemed too congested for our liking with RVs and palapas very close to one another. If you like the look of Playa El Burro just pop in to see what the deal is.

Playa El Coyote

Cost: Pay 150 to 200 pesos per night. The caretaker makes his rounds in the evening to collect fees.

Toilets: Expect plenty of crude toilets at Playa El Coyote.

This long expanse of beach has plenty of open sand and areas with a concentration of palapas. There’s a trail at the south end of the beach leading to a hot spring and through the hills beyond. You can also paddle out to the spring with a kayak. Expect water that is fresh rather than hot.

A twenty-minute paddle from Playa El Coyote is Isla Coyote. On the far side of this small island is a perfect white sand beach ideal for a swim and exploration – you’ll likely have it to yourself as a reward for paddling out here. Also, a secluded beach to the right of Playa El Coyote is reachable by kayak – follow the coast for about fifteen minutes to find this secluded beach.

A view of a beach with vehicles Baja camping.
Playa El Coyote, another popular spot for Baja California beach camping

Locals rent kayaks, snorkeling and fishing gear on Playa El Coyote during July and August. If you don’t have your own kayak but wish to explore Bahía Concepción, Baja camping at Playa El Coyote may be just for you.

Playa el Requesón

Cost: Camping on Playa el Requesón is 100 pesos per night, making this another cheap spot for Bahía Concepción camping.

Roughly 9 mi (20 km) beyond Playa el Coyote is the rather unique Playa el Requesón. What makes this unique is a narrow spit of sand which is exposed briefly throughout the day; this leads to a small island. You can walk out to the “island” or even wade out when this spit is submerged. About 10 palapas are here along with plenty of open space if these shelters are occupied. Kayaking here is very good.

Approach Playa el Requesón from a paved road just off Highway 1. Before reaching Playa el Requesón, a dirt road curves right leading to several other small beaches. A few secluded palapas are located along the water here – try these beaches if Requesón is too busy.

Baja Camping Near La Paz, B.C.S. 

The Lowdown

La Paz certainly has it all – secluded, free beach camping and every service you’d expect from a big city. In that sense, La Paz offers the best of both worlds. A pleasant malecon (paved waterfront walkway) extends for several miles along the municipal beach in La Paz and many hotels, clubs, bars and restaurants line the waterfront here.

White sand beach with mountains in the background.
Beach near La Paz

Where Is It?

La Paz is 300 miles (490 km) south of Mulegé, reachable from Highway 1. Despite its size, the city is very easy to get around and the five camping beaches near La Paz mentioned are an easy 30-minute drive from the center of the city. Look for Highway 11, which begins off Highway 1 as you enter La Paz; this road runs along the waterfront of the city and continues to the La Paz beaches.

Taking the Ferry From La Paz to Mainland Mexico? Keep the Adventure Going!

A Visit to Mexico City Is a Must! We Have a Few Articles to Get You Started.

  • Mexico City is full of free sights and we’ve found plenty which are just far enough off the beaten path.
  • Ride the Metro in Mexico City and discover a unique underground city full of shops, services and plenty of entertainment.
  • You’ll visit Teotihuacan, but will you make the day trip to Tula? Getting here is easy and makes for a peaceful escape from the city.

Baja Camping Beaches Near La Paz

The following La Paz beaches are listed from the closest to the furthest from the city, heading north:

Playa Erendira

Cost: Free

Toilets: No

Highway 11 takes a very hard right at a PEMEX facility about 4 mi (6.5 km) from La Paz with Playa Erendira just beyond. There are no palapas here and the beach is little-used during the day. You’ll likely have this beach entirely to yourself at night, too.

Playa Solitaria

Baja camping on the beach with a fire and a skillet and a pile of fire wood nearby.
Baja camping (and cooking) means an open fire

Cost: Free

Toilets: No

The name here says it all, really. This free camping spot is just a minute up the road from Playa Erendira. Again, no palapas are here to protect you from the merciless sun. Also, you’ll likely have this beach to yourself during the day and at night.

Playa el Manglito

Cost: Free

Toilets: No

More isolated La Paz camping beaches continue along Highway 11 beyond Playa Solitaria. Thankfully there is some shade at Playa el Manglito due to the namesake mangroves here. You are in a narrow bay at Playa el Manglito and the clear, shallow water makes for excellent swimming and kayaking. Of the three La Paz beaches already mentioned, Playa el Manglito is the best.

Playa Balandra

Cost: Free

Toilets: Port-a-potty toilets were on-site during one of our visits and were gone on another – be prepared for anything.

Only 17 mi (27 km) north of La Paz is her most scenic beach, Playa Balandra, lined with palm parasols. Although you cannot take a vehicle onto this beach people still camp in the oceanfront parking lot, However, you can still tent camp beneath the stars on Playa Balandra.

A view of a crescent beach with palapas and blue water.
Playa Balandra

Kayaking here is amazing! There are several secluded, white sand beaches reachable by kayak only. Much of the water in front of Playa Balandra is knee-deep and you can wade out for quite a distance. Kayak rentals are available here.

A mushroom-shaped rock formation.
Hongo de Balandra

Reachable by kayak or by hiking over a hill to the right is the famous rock formation Hongo de Balandra, or Mushroom of Balandra. You’ll be happy to know this precariously perched fungus costs nothing to see.

Playa El Tecolote

Cost: Free

Toilets: Basic, open-air outhouses here are designed for the ultimate in public shaming; find them scattered among the dunes.

Less than one mile from Playa Balandra on Highway 11 is an area filled with seafood restaurants known as Playa El Tecolote. To the left of these restaurants is a stretch of beach packed with day trippers; to the right is where you’ll find open beach for camping.

A very basic baja camping toilet on top of a sand dune.
A luxuriously appointed Baja camping toilet at Playa Tecolote.

The water here is slightly less suitable for kayaking as this point of land often sees more wind and choppy seas. Beyond Tecolote on a rough road are several grey sand beaches also suitable for camping. Isla EspÍritu Santo is visible just offshore from Playa El Tecolote.

Simple Baja California Camping Activities

Camping in Baja California camping is a dream come true for adventurous people. If your vehicle can handle, head off-road just about anywhere. In fact, the dirt roads far outnumber paved ones and all you need beside good suspension is a map and a sense of adventure.

Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez “…the world’s aquarium…” and you’ll understand why! Locals provide scenic boat tours around the bright blue waters and charter boats take folks out in pursuit of game fish. You can even swim with whale sharks here.

Kayaks and tents beneath a tree. on a Baja camping beach.

More active folks camping in Baja California enjoy sea kayaking on the waters of Bahía Concepción. The water here is clear blue and the conditions are mostly favorable year round, depending on winds. From the handful of beaches around Bahía Concepción numerous uninhabited islands are easy to paddle to.

Also, make a point to check out some Baja California missions. Are you doing your beach camping in Baja California on a budget? Find out where to find the tastiest budget bites as you get from one Baja California camping spot to the next! See the boxes above for much more information!

Pin Me Now!

View overlooking a beach and aquamarine water, with hills in the background.

A collage of two photos showing both an orange kayak on a beach next to a campfire and a very colorful mural of a whale on the side of a building against a white background.


  1. Julian Cota

    Hi I was just wondering when you are tent camping! Where do you take a shower ? traveling with 5 girls

    • Hi Julian.

      While camping on Baja Peninsula we’d simply get a hotel room after a while if we wanted to shower. There are loads of basic, clean and safe hotels in Mexico for $300 MXN (about $17 USD), so if you are traveling with 5 others it can be easy to split the cost of two rooms, or one big room.

      Additionally, some people use portable solar showers which can be purchased online or at certain stores selling outdoor gear. A fresh source of water can be used for cleaning up or one can shower in the rain, although it doesn’t rain much on Baja Peninsula. In a pinch, we had baby wipes handy if we really needed to freshen up in between showers.

      Good luck and have fun!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  2. Michael George Conway-Brown

    I have camped in Baja for up to four months at a time, mostly boondocking. Playa La Gringa costs to camp now, and we have been hassled everytime we camp on any beach in LA Bay.

    In Bahia Concepcion there is one beach with free camping, Playa Armenta, the southernmost beach. Windier than the others.

    Coyote Bay is a favorite because of the community there. Great parties.

    I love Baja and have traveled there ten times exploring back roads.

    • Hi Michael,

      How much does camping at Playa Gringa cost per night? Let me know; I’ll ask around on some Baja groups and see what they say as well. Once I have some more information I’ll change it on the blog to reflect the price. Thank you very much for that information.

      Playa Armenta always looked very enticing to us from the road; that’s as far as we got to it! Frankly, we had little confidence in the suspension system on our van at the time so we gave it a skip. It looked to us like too steep a road down to the water with one palapa on the beach. Indeed, it looked like a great little slice of sand, however camping there just wasn’t in the stars for us… Maybe next time?

      We found camping around Mulege and La Paz much more enjoyable in summer; it was hot there but the beaches were more suited to us due to the lack of crowds. We had Playa Escondida all to ourselves for two weeks in July – perfect!

      Tell us more about your travels there. If and when we visit there again it’ll be with a robust vehicle capable of exploring much more of the backroads. We tried getting off the highway a few times but our vehicle just didn’t have the right stuff to do it properly!

      Your Drifters,

      Jerry and Fiona

  3. mysticfoxtrot

    So how do you know what beaches you can just camp on for free and what beaches you need to pay for?

    • That’s a very good question…

      Here is what we experienced: Free camping is often found on beaches lacking public outhouses, palapa shelters and, usually, trash bins. Of course, this is not always the case, as Playa La Gringa near Bahia Los Angeles is free to camp, but offers really basic outhouses. Paid camping often can be expected on beaches very easy to get off of Transpeninsular 1, beaches with many vehicles, palapa shelters, overflowing trash bins and public outhouses. My examples are just a general rule-of-thumb. If you’re unsure, just ask anyone else who may be camping at the time or inquire locally.

      If you are asked for payment I have 2 suggestions: First, ask for a receipt. Believe it or not, the caretakers/fee collectors carry rather official looking receipt books and they’ll happily fill one out if you ask. These receipts indicate the date(s) you wish to camp, the price per night and the total payment. It’s just a good idea to do this for several reasons. Usually, local ejidos, or community landholdings, are in charge of these stretches of beach and camping fees go to these groups and to the upkeep of the facilities. Fees are usually collected in the late afternoon/early evening. Secondly, I suggest asking other campers what they are paying per night and making sure the price you are quoted is the same.

      This makes it sound like there is little rhyme or reason for how to really tell if beach camping is free or not. It will certainly seem like that at first but you’ll get a pretty good idea of protocol as time goes by. Again, if you are unsure, ask locally if camping is free or ask fellow campers and always ask for a receipt.

      Hope that helps – and I’d be more than happy to answer any other questions you have. Do you have a camping trip planned? Need specific advice on an area?

      Thanks for reading!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  4. As someone who has traveled & tent-camped many times on the entire Baja peninsula during November-March one needs to have a lot of patience as most of the above-mentioned camping spots will be crowded with large RV’s. Now there are very few uncrowded beaches unless you have a 4-wheel drive so one needs to be aware of this when traveling during the high season. Don’t expect many isolated beaches.

    • Mary,

      I do mention under the When to Go section how crowded these beaches get November through March. We preferred camping these beaches in summer rather than the time of year during our first Baja road trip in November/December. As luck would have it, Playa Escondida was all ours for about 2 weeks in summer, although it was quite toasty at that time.

      If we were to return to this part of Mexico we’d most definitely do it in a vehicle with a suspension system more robust than our 1999 Volkswagen van! Still, we had a great time with our kayak and got quite a bit of use out of it.

      Can you recommend any good beaches only reachable with a 4×4?

      See you on the Baja!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  5. Kerry Abbott


    Thank you for taking us on your Mexican adventure. And thank you for the view of the ocean. That in of itself is relaxing.

    I hope you are both doing well. NW Pennsylvania weather in February is fickle this year. You never know what it will be doing in an hour. March will be no better.

    Both you and Fiona stay safe, and keep us updated on your adventures.
    All the best,
    Kerry and Sean

    • Hello Kerry!
      It is good to know those ocean photos can be so therapeutic to you! When you are dealing with fickle winter weather you must repeat one thing: One day closer to spring! My Dad always says that.
      Soon, you and Sean will be hitting the road again yourselves. Keep us updated on your travels as well. Let us know all about your next road trip.
      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  6. Yvonne Johnson

    So enjoyed this piece on Baja camping as it reminded me of our two trips down Baja, nearly 30 years ago, camping with a 3 year old and a few years later with 2 small. children, camping and budget hoteling, including The Hotel California. Your advice and suggestions are excellent and the photographs bring back wonderful memories. We would not hesitate to do it again! Thank you!

    • Yvonne,

      What a great comment to get from you! We both thank you so much for reading the article and taking time to leave us such a nice reply! It sounds like you have some really great memories of the Baja. Our guess is very little has changed in 30 years – the Baja STILL remains a very wild and low-key spot to spend some time. Cabo San Lucas is still Cabo San Lucas (which is full of budget food places, by the way!) but the rest of the peninsula remains pretty chill. We both hope you get back there soon with your family!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  7. I’ve wanted to visit Baja Mexico for quite awhile now! To be honest, I’m not the camping type. However, these locations look way too stunning to pass up.

  8. Thanks for the detailed article. I’ve never done beach camping, but as an adventurous soul, I think this is something to definitely put on my list. Oh.. and thanks for the heads up about the toilets, I guess that’s part of what a great adventure entails!

  9. Great photos, and I love the detailed info you provided on the various beaches. It sounds like this is really “roughing it,” with the lack of facilities and services – but it also sounds like a lot of fun, and a way to disconnect from modern society for a while.

  10. These are trips I’ve never really thought of but they all sound so exciting! Thanks for the suggestions. We may be doing some camping like this in rural areas on Panama so the timing was perfect for me!

  11. Cathy Roberts

    What a neat adventure! I’ve never thought to camp outside of the US.

  12. What a fantastic and thorough post. Camping by the Sea of Cortez is an absolutely amazing experience. I stayed in La Ventana but would absolutely love to go back and explore these beaches. Camping like this is just so good for the soul. My first picks would be Playa Escondida ( who doesn’t love a hidden beach?) and kayaking by the hongo!

    • Alison,

      Playa Escondida is a solid choice! We were so lucky to have that beach to ourselves for almost 2 weeks. Hopefully you make it there one day and find Escondida to be just as quiet as we did – and don’t forget the hongo!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  13. Baja was a favorite escape when I lived in Southern California years ago. Did a lot of kayaking along the coast. Bahia Concepción was super special. My favorite adventures though were inland … in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. Rugged, wild, beautiful.

    • Hello Michael,

      The Baja is still like a rite of passage for many – it’s the classic road trip. It’s great to see a lack of development around Mulege and Bahia Concepcion – let’s hope it stays that way. What a place to do some sea kayaking…

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  14. Playa Escondida is on my list for a camping trip here, glad to hear the toilets are a little better 😉 I hope we get it as lucky as you and have the beach to ourselves!

    • Paula,

      Yes, the toilets are slightly better at Playa Escondida, but the small beach here is perfect. Have a great time – and let us know how your camping trip goes!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  15. Wonderful article, the what to expect & what you need section brilliantly informs the traveler how to prepare for the whole trip. I especially loved reading about Playa La Gringa and how rugged and close to raw nature it seems. Playa El Coyote took looks like a serene spot to relax and spend a night. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. This sounds right up our street, we’ve done a lot of camping and road tripping sleeping in tents or the car and staying at basic free camps. Of course, you do miss things like running water and toilets but the freedom it gives you is just amazing and you feel outside of society almost! This looks like a fun region to do it in!

    • Hello Nic

      Yourself and Shorty would LOVE Baja Mexico! Aside from all the great beach camping it’s easy to head down any dirt road you see and have a great adventure. We hope you both make it to this part of the world soon!

      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  17. Thanks so much for all of the detailed information that you’ve put together. This is a really great resource! Those little huts looks so cute. I wish we had that style of camping here in Australia.

  18. I was told that while public areas can be full of trash in Mexico (omg the roadsides!), Mexican homes are spotless. There just isn’t an interest in these public areas. Hope you guys are having fun.

    • …and the vehicles are spotless, even the older ones. No matter what, we are head-over-heels in love with Mexico and Central America. Fiona and I are having a blast out here on the road. We will soon head back to Mexico in May; right now we are in New Mexico where we are house/pet sitting and eating green chile. Red chile, too.
      Thanks for the comment Keith. Say hello to everyone at SGC.
      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

  19. Barbara Truex

    I just can’t figure out how sidewalks can be so clean and piles of trash so prevalent at the same time……but I guess every culture (ours included) has stuff that makes one tilt their head in wonder, confusion and puzzlement….!!

    • Barbara,
      Thanks for seeing the wonderful insanity in it all! Those sidewalks are something, though. You really need to watch where you are going. Yeah, there are PLENTY of things about us, at this exact moment in history, that have the world shaking their heads in astonishment. Thanks for following along on the blog as we try to make sense out of it all!
      Your Drifters,
      Jerry and Fiona

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