Bahía Concepción

After leaving Mulegé, we headed towards the famous Bahía Concepción, a gorgeous bay that has been designated as a national marine preserve. After reading so much about it, we were ready to be impressed. To get an overall sense of the area, we took a side road up a hill to a microwave tower, Microondas Tiburones. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.84797, -111.9047  We learned that these microwave towers are often located on the high natural features throughout Mexico, and are great scenic detours for panoramic views or camping spots. The towers all have amazing ungated cobblestone access roads.

Bahía Concepción - Microwave Tower at North End - SportsmobileBahía Concepción - Microwave Tower at North End

As we headed into the heart of Bahía Concepción, we couldn't believe the number of RVs squeezed into every cove. We had purchased our Sportsmobile camper van as a way to get away from people. These were beautiful beaches, but why camp somewhere packed with other RVs? It was not for us. As Highway 1 runs right next to the western side of the bay, we could take a look at every beach on the shore. Some were more crowded than others, but they all were right next to the busy highway.

Bahía Concepción - Lots of RVs CampingBahía Concepción - Playa Requeson - Beach Land Bridge - Lots of RVs Camping

We were getting a bit grumpy as our dream of camping alone on the gorgeous beaches of Bahía Concepción was not turning out as we had hoped. We had wanted to rent kayaks the next day, so we didn't want to get too far away, but we didn't want to camp in an RV parking lot. Finally, we decided to check out a little road heading east along the south edge of Bahía Concepción. It was a bit windy but we were alone except for one other truck camper off in the distance. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.55396, -111.7091  Just our style!

We explored this beach until the sunset, pulling up a few dozen clams for dinner. We also found a huge dead squid, and weird slabs of solidified sand. The peninsula on the eastern side of the bay (Sierra los Gavilanes) was calling our name but that exploration would have to wait for another trip.

Bahía Concepción Camping on South Shore - BeachBahía Concepción Camping on South Shore - ShellBahía Concepción Camping on South Shore - Hard Sand - LauraBahía Concepción Camping on South Shore - Laura - Huge Dead Squid

Kayaking

We drove back north early the next morning to a place called Eco-Mundo to rent some kayaks. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.74792, -111.8962  Roy, the owner, was terrific. He gave us a map and a full rundown of what to see in the islands in Bahía Coyote.

Bahía Concepción EcoMundoBahía Concepción EcoMundo - CabañaBahía Concepción EcoMundo - Cabaña - Laura

We dinked along, paddling from island to island, peering into the gorgeous clear waters at the fish below. There were lots exotic birds everywhere we looked: an osprey pair with a nest in the branches of a Cordon cactus, blue footed boobies, numerous pelicans, red billed oystercatchers, swooping frigatebirds, peering herons, and numerous cormorants. It was almost like being in the Galapagos!

Bahía Concepción - KayakingBahía Concepción - Hawks - NestBahía Concepción - Blue Footed BoobyBahía Concepción - PelicanBahía Concepción - OystercatcherBahía Concepción - Male Frigatebird with Red NeckBahía Concepción - HeronBahía Concepción - Kayaking - Laura - Cormorants

We ate lunch and tried a little snorkeled from the sandy side of an island with numerous pelicans. The water was cold and after seeing too many dead fish (skate bodies discarded by fishermen), we quit early. As we were eating lunch, one juvenile pelican came sauntering over to visit us. He kept his distance but I think he thought we might give him some fish. When a nearby skin diver swam to his boat with his catch, he was swarmed by all the surrounding birds who had been waiting for him.

Bahía Concepción - Birds IslandBahía Concepción - Kayaking - Little Island - PelicanBahía Concepción - Dead SkatesBahía Concepción - Kayaks - Pelican

We left Bahía Concepción mid-afternoon and started our drive south. We wanted to get a few miles under our belts so we could make it to La Paz by the weekend. This photo shows an example of a typical Mexican accident site we saw along the road. There's a memorial shrine for the deceased built into the cliff, and the destroyed vehicle (a big truck) is still lying there, rusting away at the bottom of the ravine.

Bahía Concepción - Accident Site