Bahía Concepción: the Baja California Peninsula's Beach CentrepieceWritten by Ian Wright
A dozen or so beaches line the highway with the Sierra las Gavilanes (Sparrowhawks) on the less accessible eastern side of the bay completing the scene. Such is the reputation of the area Rough Guide list it as number 6 on their list of "things not to miss in Mexico", citing the "pristine azure waters contrasting with desert-fringed mountains."
Approaching from Loreto to the south you wind your way through the mountains of the Sierra la Giganta before the bay suddenly opens up in front of you. About fifteen minutes later at Km91 (as measured from Loreto) is Playa Armenta - the beach furthest south which can be seen from the road, followed just a couple of minutes later by Playa Requesón (Ricotta Beach) at Km91.5. Most notable about Requesón is the sand bar which leads to an island of the same name. At Km94.5 is Playa Buenaventura, which unlike Armenta and Requesón has seen some development, including a restaurant.
Next the road cuts inland for about ten minutes before you reach the main cluster of beaches in the bay. At Km107.5 is Playa El Coyote, with Isla Bargo (or Coyote) lying just off it, then at Km108 Playa Ensenada El Burro (Donkey Cove Beach), which has a small restaurant. At Km111 is Playa Los Cocos (Coconut Beach) and nearby is the turning for the suitably-named Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach), which cannot be seen from the main road.
Posada Concepcion is a permanent gated community at Km112 and at Km113.5 is Playa Santispac. Barely half an hour from Armenta it is the furthest north, and therefore most popular of all the beaches in the bay, since it is the first one people travelling down Mex 1 see. Punta Piedrita (Little Stone Point) shelters the beach on one side, and the islands of San Ramon, Liebre, Blanca and Guapa are all nearby.As a general rule facilities and equipment are limited in the bay, so if you do want to camp, kayak or snorkel either bring your own equipment or rent in Loreto or Mulegé, the latter being just 20 minutes to the north of Santispac. Expect to pay a small charge for entering any of the beaches. For more detailed info on the bay visit http://www.ontheroadin.com/baja/bajarvparks/bahiaconcepcion.htm
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