La Ventana - Baja Mexico - December 22, 2005 - January 2, 2006
by
Kinsley Wong - http://XtremeBigAir.com

Archive of Kinsley Wong and Team XtremeBigAir's World Famous Xpeditions!



A nice slide show of our trip put together by Alicia H. 2.8mb

There are many ways to reach La Ventana. The best way would be to fly into Lapaz then you rent a car and drive about 30 minutes to La Ventana. Otherwise, you can also fly into Cabo San Lucas then drive 2 hours to La Ventana.

On this xpedition, we want to see the rest of Baja California so we chose to drive our RV and Camper. We drove mainly on the Mexico 1 from San Diego straight down to La Ventana. Some section of the Mexico 1 highway is quite windy and bad.  Another alternative would be to drive into the mainland of Mexico then take the ferry to Lapaz. This route, the road is straight and better. Team XtremeBigAir headed south of the border on December 22, 2005.  It took us 3 days of hard driving to reach our destination La Ventana.

Driving Directions:

If you choose to drive your own car, there are a few things to know that will make the journey safe and enjoyable.

La Ventana is about 1000miles south on the US/Mexican border and you should plan to stop for at least one night.  Our trip took 3 days of driving each way. Your American auto insurance isn't effective 60miles into Mexico. You'll need to buy a policy from a Mexican Insurance carrier.  In preparation for the trip, I got the instant insurance quote for my RV and it was $54 for 12 days. I ended up pay for full coverage and the total was $140 for 10 days. Here is the link: http://www.mexadventure.com/  In planning the trip, my friend George Henry went to AAA and made us a very nice map of Baja.

If you travel from California it's easy to cross the border at Tijuana or Tecate. Tecate is only a few miles east of Tijuana and is a much less crowded crossing. Both Tijuana and Tecate are 60miles from Ensenada, but the drive from Tijauana includes a four-lane toll road that parallel the coast and saves time. From Ensenada the road becomes a well travel two-lane highway crossing the Baja Peninsula several times on the way to Land's End at Cabo San Lucas.

On Dec 22nd, we left Oxnard around 4 a.m.  We made it to Tijuanna around 7 a.m. Thanks to our super Overdrive Team Driver: Brian.  At Tijuanna, we paid $20 for the Tourist card.  After 2 hours of driving on the toll road, we reach Ensanada.  Before reaching Ensanada is La Salina, a great mountain ridge for paragliding and then one of my favorite surf spot: San Miguel. 


Then we traveled though farmland and a few small communities. Whenever passing through a village, be sure to slow down and watch for "topes" speed bumps that can be quite severe. Some are marked and some are not. We drove pass through Manedero and San Vicente, then into the mountains and the village of Santo Tomas, where there is a rest area and hotel. San Quentin is the last farm village until you reach El Rosario and turn inland.  Before El Rosario are a few other great surf spots and kitesurfing spots that you don't want to miss: San Antonio Del Mar where you can paraglide, surf, and kitesurf, San Jacinto where a good right and left hand breaks near the shipwrech, then La Socorro: a beautiful long right hand point break.

El Rosario has fabulous restaurant that serves lobster tacos and a "Pemex" Mexican gas station where it's a good idea to top off you tank. From here you'll cross the desert and the Pemex along this stretch of highway are often out of fuel.  Also here, you can venture out to the Punta San Carlos, a famous kitesurfing/surfing point.

The first night, we stopped at Catavina.  Catavina is the next stop where you can get gas; the La Pinta Hotel has a good restaurant.


From Catavina you'll drive through some wonderful boulder and scenery and then on to Guerrero Negro where you'll cross into the state of Baja California Sur. Here there is a military check and an agriculture inspection. You will be asked to have your car sprayed for bugs. San Ignacio, off the highway 2 miles, is an oasis with lots of palm trees and water. There are good restaurants, RV parks and hotels. There is a mission here dating from the 1600's, and Town Square is interesting.   On our returnning leg, we had lunch at Rene Restaurant in San Ignacio.

Santa Rosalia is at the bottom of a long steep downgrade where you'll see the Sea of Cortez for the first time on the journey south.  We stopped and kited at the rocky beach. Then after another hour and half you'll reach Mulege, another oasis. There are several restaurants, hotels, and RV parks in town and
a big Pemex south of town that's easy to get gas at. Another hour and you'll reach Loreto and Napolo. This is another full service town, this one complete with an airport and gulf course.

We spent our second night at Loreto's RV Park "River del Mar".  From here, we head inland again, pass farmlands and the two villages of Insurgentes and Ciudad Constitution. These are farm communities, but there are hotels, restaurants, and RV parks.

La Paz is another 2 or 3 hours and the capital of the State of Baja California Sur. It's a modern city with all the conveniences of a city on the U.S. It's not a tourist destination like Cabo San Lucas but is a great destination for scuba divers and fishermen.

La Ventana is 40 minutes from La Paz on Highway 286. This is a left turn toward Los Planes as you leave La Paz on Highway 1 south. You travel southeast, go over the mountains, and at Km 36 turn left towards El Sargento.

About La Ventana, Baja California Sur

La Ventana/El Sargento is a beautiful Bay in Southern Baja, Mexico. The two towns have a combined population of about 400 people and is located approximately 45 minutes south of La Paz, the capitol of B.C.S. .This quaint village is mostly inhabited by fisherman and their families until the winter months when lots of North Americans windsurfers and kitesurfers arrive for the windy season. Currently, the village has eight small mini markets, two building supply stores, a pharmacy and five small restaurants. Most everyone goes into La Paz for the major shopping.  There are no banks or ATM machines in La Ventana, and credit cards are not accepted.

In La Paz or Los Cabos, you find a lots of banks, ATM’s and money exchangers, in addition to restaurants and stores that do accept credit cards.  Most tourists bring US Dollars and some US traveler’s checks. La Ventana has recently become one of the world’s foremost windsurfing and kiteboarding destinations. During the winter months (mid-Nov. to mid-March), the days are warm and the nights cool.  Average day temperatures reach 80 degrees fahrenheit and drop at night to a low in the 60’s. Water temperatures hover from 68-78 (all temperatures in fahrenheit). Summer temperatures (April – Nov.) range between 85-105 during the day and 80-90 at night. The water is a perfect 80-90 during the summer.

The windy season Mid October until April when the thermal winds blow on an average of 4 days a week. La Ventana is a very safe kiteboarding spot, perfect for beginners and experts. alike. For warmth, a thick shortie or lightweight full-length wetsuit is sufficient. On non-windy days there are plenty of other activities: kayaking, mountain biking, dirt bike riding, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking through the desert. Nothing is mandatory, reading and sun bathing or just plain snoozing is allowed.La Ventana is a peaceful, beautiful area with something for everyone.


Boy with 3 blow fish!                                     

Travel Info
To get here you can fly to La Paz or Los Cabos. La Paz is closer but Los Cabos has many direct flights with better airfares. Once in La Ventana you generally will not need a car since everything is so close, but you may want to rent one to make some other trips for sightseeing or snorkeling.

Los Cabos Flights:CONTINENTAL, UNITED, ALASKA, AMERICAN and AEROMEXICO are just a few of the airlines that serve Los Cabos.
La Paz Flights: La Paz has the advantage of being closer to La Ventana, only about 40 minutes by car. The best option is to stay overnight in Los Angeles and then take the early flight on Aero California, which is direct to La Paz. Aeromexico and Aero California are the only airlines that fly to La Paz from the U.S.
Rental cars and taxis are also available at the airport.

On Xmas day, we arrived at KurtnMarina's RV and Camping place.   It is right on the beach, down wind from Captain Kirks and upwind from Baja Joe's.


Kinsley's Toyota Sunrader.                                                                                 Kinsley, Art, Alicia, and George

We went straight out and kited.  I was on 10M while the big boys were on 16M kites. 


Then we jumped right into Kurt's traditional annual xmas roasting pig dinner.


Kinsley - Chef "Wong"                                       Art, Eduador, and Oscar


Kinsley, Jessisca, Greg, Maria - Paulina, Shannon, Duke, Mariana, and Camila



.
Beach Scence infront of KurtnMarina                                                                  Sunrise at La Ventana





                                                                                                    A very happy kitesurfer girl "Holy" from Massachuset.


Art went big and so did Brian!


Kinsley went Xtreme!



                                                                                                                        La Buffadora - very south end of the bay.


Hot Springs beach on the very North end of the Bay, upwind.                              South end of the beach, in front of Baja Joe's


Playa Requeson near Bahia Conception

Alicia, George, Kinsley, Brian, and Art: celebrating New Year Eve at Playa Requeson     -----      Alicia and Geoge Henry

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2006 - Jan 01, 2006 at Playa Requeson


Our Xpedition got a few minor problems on the way back home:


More Driving Information:
The roads are all in great shape other than a pothole region south of Catavina.

Guerro Negro immigration documents are checked and recorded and the underside your vehicle must be sprayed at your cost for 10 pesos.

CAUTION: There are unmarked topes in many towns.  So go slow through all towns.

CAUTION. Fill up in San Ignacio on the left just past the turn into town If it is open. The station in Santa Rosalia has had rigged gas pumps for years. Or get gas just past Mulege.

Ensenada:

The Ensenada Migracion office where you can pick up Tourist Cards is next to the Port Captain's Offices.
Look for 3 tall palms on the north side of the street. If you have a large RV continue on the main road for about 1/8 of a mile where there is good parking. Parking is very tight near the office. They are open til 8:00 PM.

El Rosario:

You MUST tank up here. If you use lots of gas fill an extra tank.  There are guys selling gas from barrels in Catavina. 

Lots of reports that the rip offs at the gas station several blocks from downtown Santa Rosalito are worse than ever. This station has had problems for over 25 years and should be avoided.

To avoid these stations get gas at San Ignacio if the station there is open. (The Santa Rosalia station has always had rip off problems)

Treated unfairly by a police officer?  Ask for his badge number and license plate number and tell him you will be contacting the Sindicatura. The Sindicatura investigates corrupt police officers. Also visit: http://www.sindicatura.gob.mx/complaints/Complaints.asp

Other Kiting Spots if you have the time:

1) Bahia de Los Angeles

It is colder here. The road is rough on the last 40 miles.

L.A. Bay is easy to find. Just turn left at the well-marked turnoff and head east to the Sea of Cortez. La Gringa, as it's called by the locals, offers good flat-water kiting from the campsite across the La Gringa Bay to the point.  The beach is sandy and cobblestones.

2) Punta Chivato

Located between Santa Rosalia and Mulege at the end of a 15 mile dirt road is Chivato.  The camping is on a firm sand beach. The launch is sandy.  The wind and water are very cool compared to La Ventana.

Chivato is easy to find. There is a sign "Palo Verde" at the entrance to the road to Punta Chivato. Once on this 15 mile dirt road follow the sign
"New Road" at the fork in the road. The road is usually it is in pretty good condition unless it has rained recently.

3)Punta Arena / Playa de Los Naranges/ Playa Requeson

Located near the most beautiful bay Bahia de La Conception: you will find great camping and boating here.