Bahia de Los Angeles is nestled in the Baja California peninsula between the Central Desert and the Sea of Cortez. Also considered a biosphere reserve, it is a refuge for whales and countless bird species.
This charming little beach town is far from the big cities and seaports.
Its wild environment, characterized by the desert’s ocher color and the sea’s intense blue, gives the bay a unique view that makes it memorable.
Because of its abundant aquatic life, it is considered the marine oasis of Baja California.
However, the sea is not its only attraction. In the surroundings, you can visit an old Jesuit mission and find cave paintings.
How to get to Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja California
Bahia de Los Angeles is just over 600 km south of Tijuana .
At the junction with Federal Highway 12, known as Parador Punta Prieta, take the turnoff to the east, and a little more than 62 kilometers away, you’ll see the bay.
Renting a car is the best way to get there since there are many hidden beach towns along the way.
There is no public bus service to Bahia de Los Angeles, the only ones that run by the transpeninsular highway communicate only up to the “Parador.”
Tijuana’s International Airport, General Abelardo L. Rodríguez, is the closest. This one connects with the main cities of the country and abroad.
Buses, cabs, and car rental services are available at this airport.
Ensenada also has a small airport called El Ciprés; however, it is limited to commercial flights (small planes only) and private jets.
It is also the only deep-sea port in Baja California, where cruise ships arrive mainly from the United States.
Main attractions in Bahia de Los Angeles
The bay has several beaches and islands and is an excellent place to practice aquatic activities and ecotourism.
Marine explorers can find whales, dolphins, rays, and whale sharks.
North of the community is La Gringa, a sand and gravel beach with warm water in the summer. Fishermen come to this area on their way to the islands and other fishing sites.
To the south, in El Rincón, is La Mona beach, known for housing an old ship that ran aground.
You may want to read: TOP 10 Beaches in Baja California, Mexico: North and South
A few km away, you can visit the old Jesuit mission of San Francisco de Borja, a building constructed in the quarry of which the church, the missionaries’ quarters, and the kitchen are preserved.
On the way to the highlands, in the Montevideo Valley, you can visit the cave paintings, small abstract figures in white, yellow, orange, black, red, and green.
These majestic paintings are on a stone wall that protects the place from the wind and creates a magical atmosphere around them.
TOP 10 things to do in Bahia de Los Angeles
The main beach activities can be practiced in the bay, as well as diving, windsurfing, sailing, sport fishing, and walks to observe flora and fauna.
Hiking, camping, and mountain biking are also available in the surrounding area.
1. Admire the Isla del Angel de la Guarda
This large uninhabited island is the largest of the archipelago.
You can find great biodiversities, such as sea lions, seagulls, pelicans, and reptiles.
The calm water allows you to practice activities suitable for the whole family, such as paddle surfing and kayaking.
In addition, during the year, you can witness different whale species since the habitat surrounding the island allows them to stay in place without the need to migrate.
Although the island is uninhabited, you can visit a whaling base in the northern sector.
Despite being extremely dry, the island has different native fauna and flora.
2. Explore the Lobero de San Lorenzo
It is located within a natural reserve in the San Lorenzo Archipelago (which is also one of the best places to camp in Bahia de Los Angeles).
There are two key points where you will find colonies of sea lions: one is on the beach of Isla Ventana, while the other is on Isla La Calavera (skull island), so called because of its rock formation.
You can take a boat ride to meet the sea lions, listen to their low sounds, and sometimes they will even visit your boat with curious visitors.
3. Go scuba diving in Bahia de Los Angeles
Under the waters of Bahia de Los Angeles, you will find various waterscapes and aquatic species.
You can swim with the whale shark (June to November) or the humpback whale (December to April). You can also do other activities, such as snorkeling.
4. Admire the impressive cave paintings of Montevideo
This tourist site is 21 kilometers from Bahia de Los Angeles on a dirt road that leads you to the San Borja Mission, located on a rocky front of volcanic rocks on the banks of Montevideo Creek.
These cave paintings are considered one of the most important on the peninsula.
You will find a great abstract presentation of animal figures with geometric designs.
To get there, just take the Punta Prieta-Bahia de Los Angeles highway and, after 10 km, take the turnoff to the San Francisco Mission.
Continue 3 km and take the detour to the left to continue for another 8 km until you reach the cave with the paintings.
5. Visit the Museum of Nature and Culture
The Museum of Nature and Culture is one of the main tourist attractions in downtown Bahia de Los Angeles.
Here you will find mammoth, whale, and dinosaur skeletons, mining artifacts used during the 19th century, historical photographs and objects, and illustrations representative of the Pai Pai aborigines.
It is located behind the Los Angeles Bay Delegation. Admission is by voluntary donation.
You can visit the museum from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., but it is closed during August and September.
6. San Francisco de Borja de Adac Mission
Jesuit missionaries built this mission in the 18th century in a region known by the Cochimí people as Adac, a toponym that probably means Mezquite or Place of Mezquites.
It was later rebuilt in quarry stone by the Dominican order and abandoned and looted for some time, but it is now open to the public to marvel at its architecture and history.
7. Plaza de Armas Bahia de Los Angeles
It is located on the town’s boulevard facing the sea and is the only paved street.
It has a kiosk where youngsters practice skateboarding in the afternoons.
The plaza also has some very interesting samples that show flora and fauna of the place.
8. Visit the Reséndiz Turtle Center
Created for the conservation and study of sea turtles, you can appreciate the turtles in unique ponds built on the beach.
9. Explore La Calavera Island
A rocky island that, from afar, resembles the shape of a skull. It is located within the Bahia de Los Angeles natural park.
The island is home to sea lions and different bird species. Undoubtedly a very peculiar place perfect for taking lots of pictures.
10. Relax in the San Lorenzo Archipelago National Marine Park
The San Lorenzo Archipelago is formed by eleven beautiful islands between the Sea of Cortez and Los Angeles Bay.
The islands are surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and are the perfect place to admire the wide variety of wildlife, including birds, whales, sharks, and even mollusks.
Important things to know about Bahia de Los Angeles
Bahia de Los Angeles has restaurants, hotels, stores, and trailer park areas. The locals offer boat tours to visit the islands and their surroundings.
A permit is required to visit the islands and camp, which can be obtained at the Regional Office of the Islas del Golfo de California Flora and Fauna Protected Area.
You may want to read: Loreto Baja California Sur: TOP 14 Things to Do and See
For those who enjoy sailing in the open sea and sport fishing, there are multiple moorings along the bay, and species such as dorado, marlin, sea bass, and snapper can be caught.
The town has a Nature and Culture Museum, where mammoth bones, dinosaurs, and whales can be seen. There is also a sea turtle research and conservation center.
The local roads are bumpy, dirt, sandy, and sometimes muddy. It is important to follow the signs to avoid getting stuck.
Are there hotels in Bahia de Los Angeles?
Yes, there is a wide variety of hotels in Bahia de Los Angeles, from the traditional ones (such as Los Vientos Hotel or Villa Bahía) to the eco-friendly ones (such as Baja AirVentures Las Animas).
Rates per night average 1,500 pesos (75 USD).
Alright! Now you know what to expect in Bahia de Los Angeles on your next vacation.
This is the ideal place if you are looking for a natural environment with very few people where you can relax. Vamonos!