La Ventana - Baja Mexico - December 22, 2005 - January 2, 2006
A nice slide show of our trip put
together by Alicia H. 2.8mb
by Kinsley Wong - http://XtremeBigAir.com
Archive of Kinsley Wong and Team XtremeBigAir's World Famous Xpeditions!
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.
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:
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
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
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
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.
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
Kinsley - Chef "Wong"
Eduador, and Oscar
Kinsley, Jessisca, Greg, Maria - Paulina, Shannon, Duke, Mariana, and
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
"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.