Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Down south in Estero La Bocana, Baja Sur

Wildlife and fresh seafood just a 12-hour road trip away in Baja.

Admiring the sunset in Estero La Bocana.
Admiring the sunset in Estero La Bocana.

Dolphins play near the shore at sunrise, whiplashing their tails to form a sand circle to entrap their breakfast. The panicked fish jump up directly into the dolphins' mouths – a nature event I'd only seen on Planet Earth was now happening a couple of yards from me.

I take a short stroll on the beach and spot a sunbathing seal. It scurries into the water when I try to get a picture. It is the last morning of the year and my first visit to Baja Sur.

"Feliz Viaje" from La Bocana.

Baja Sur road trip

My brother invited me to spend New Year's week in Estero La Bocana, on the southern end of the Baja peninsula. In the van with us were my brother's wife, her parents, her teenage sister and cousin, my 7-month-old nephew and, following in a small sport car, my parents.

We left the morning of December 28th and arrived in the first town of Baja Sur, Guerrero Negro, to spend the night after a 10-hour drive. Pit stops along the way included San Quintín for a seafood lunch at a shack with whale bones at its entrance, afternoon pictures in the middle of the desert, and late coffee in the desert area of El Vizcaíno at a hotel where we thought we could spend the night... but the $94 price tag deterred us.

Next morning we expected a two-hour drive to La Bocana after having a horrible overpriced breakfast at the cheap hotel that failed to deliver on its advertised hot water. The drive took us almost the whole day because my dad accidentally drove ahead and missed the right turn to Puerto Abreojos. With barely any cellphone signal, we waited for him to turn back, but instead, my dad went ahead all the way to Puerto Rosalia.

Once we established contact and told them they went too far, we went ahead before the sun went down. The road to Puerto Abreojos is desolate with barely any signs or paint, with big patches of broken concrete left over from a hurricane that hit Baja Sur over the summer. Puerto Abreojos is a small beach town that I barely got to see as we made an oblivious right turn into an open sand trail.

Cabins at sunset.

Destination arrived

Twelve miles of driving and we arrived at our destination at sunset: six lovely log cabins and a restaurant/bar steps away from a beach estuary where fishing boats await. A night was only $45 for a recently built cabin with two queen beds and actual hot water ($35 for the single). The treacherous road gave my dad's tiny car a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. He arrived after midnight as my brother and our host went around town looking for help.

Our host in La Bocana was Hector Ojeda, my sister-in-law's college friend whose family has been fishing in the area since before the town was established. "In July we celebrated the 70th year of the cooperative," Hector tells me as we do the short drive from the cabins to his house.

"I met everyone, el Chulada, el Jonron, Caguamita, el Oso, el Gordo, el Panecito, el Yeguita..." My brother boasts that he met the whole town while going around with Hector looking for a spare tire for my dad's car. No one seems to go by their real name; even Hector is known as Tito.

The town is two concrete roads, no longer than 1/2 mile, with crossing dirt roads. Its main income is abalone and lobster fishing. Eco-tourism is a recent endeavor. "We talked to investors about bringing more tourism via airplane, so hopefully we have more guests soon." Hector tells me more about his hometown.

The cabins, named Bocana Adventure, have not seen many guests since they built them a bit over a year ago. Some townsfolk do not want tourism to grow, since they think it might hurt the fishing economy. They also do not want a concrete road where the open trail is.

Hector knows everyone in the town of less than 2,000 people. The nearest town, Puerto Abreojos, barely breaks 1,000, though it seems more developed.

New Years' dinner of lobster paella with chef Juan Carlos Arreguin and host Hector Ojeda.

New Years' in La Bocana

We spent New Year's night at his family's house, which is located steps away from the ocean. A huge paella with 10 lobsters was served for dinner, cooked by my brother's father-in-law, Juan Carlos Arreguín.

“Taking a lobster burrito for lunch to school was looked down on." Hector shares stories of growing up in the town during dinner. “It was like, damn, lobster for lunch again... the cool kids had chips or something cheap from the city.”

The first day of the year greeted us with cold weather and heavy currents. Our plans to go out on a boat were moved to January 2nd, the same day we were headed back.

The group was split into two different boats. The captain on my boat was “Oso,” who quit high school to become a fisherman around 10 years ago (my 7-month-old nephew also steered the boat). Dolphins swam next to the boat as we headed to a green area of the estuary, where Hector promised us we would easily find scallops for breakfast.

Crate filled with live lobsters.

“Those floating things over there, where the birds are standing, are lobster cages," the captain, Oso, tells us, pointing around the area. "They capture the lobsters, then leave them inside the cage for them to grow. Each cage hold around 100 lobsters. The beach hut over there is an oyster house. Do you see the black things at a distance? Those are oyster beds. Over there is the open road that leads to La Bocana.”

Dolphin swims next to the boat.

We did some kayaking in the area, but found no scallops. I was the only one who dived to search for them on the sandy bottom of the shallow open ocean, but I failed... Later we were told by the other captain that diving for scallops with no gear was a very difficult task and that there was a danger of encountering stingrays.

We left that same evening after a sushi/lobster dinner at around 4 p.m. The long Baja road proved to tough to drive in one sitting, so we spent the night in a nice hotel in San Quíntin before making it back home the following day.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

“My favorite John Waters movie is…”

A quick dissertation on the correlation between organic food intake and jean skinniness
Admiring the sunset in Estero La Bocana.
Admiring the sunset in Estero La Bocana.

Dolphins play near the shore at sunrise, whiplashing their tails to form a sand circle to entrap their breakfast. The panicked fish jump up directly into the dolphins' mouths – a nature event I'd only seen on Planet Earth was now happening a couple of yards from me.

I take a short stroll on the beach and spot a sunbathing seal. It scurries into the water when I try to get a picture. It is the last morning of the year and my first visit to Baja Sur.

"Feliz Viaje" from La Bocana.

Baja Sur road trip

My brother invited me to spend New Year's week in Estero La Bocana, on the southern end of the Baja peninsula. In the van with us were my brother's wife, her parents, her teenage sister and cousin, my 7-month-old nephew and, following in a small sport car, my parents.

We left the morning of December 28th and arrived in the first town of Baja Sur, Guerrero Negro, to spend the night after a 10-hour drive. Pit stops along the way included San Quintín for a seafood lunch at a shack with whale bones at its entrance, afternoon pictures in the middle of the desert, and late coffee in the desert area of El Vizcaíno at a hotel where we thought we could spend the night... but the $94 price tag deterred us.

Next morning we expected a two-hour drive to La Bocana after having a horrible overpriced breakfast at the cheap hotel that failed to deliver on its advertised hot water. The drive took us almost the whole day because my dad accidentally drove ahead and missed the right turn to Puerto Abreojos. With barely any cellphone signal, we waited for him to turn back, but instead, my dad went ahead all the way to Puerto Rosalia.

Once we established contact and told them they went too far, we went ahead before the sun went down. The road to Puerto Abreojos is desolate with barely any signs or paint, with big patches of broken concrete left over from a hurricane that hit Baja Sur over the summer. Puerto Abreojos is a small beach town that I barely got to see as we made an oblivious right turn into an open sand trail.

Cabins at sunset.

Destination arrived

Twelve miles of driving and we arrived at our destination at sunset: six lovely log cabins and a restaurant/bar steps away from a beach estuary where fishing boats await. A night was only $45 for a recently built cabin with two queen beds and actual hot water ($35 for the single). The treacherous road gave my dad's tiny car a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. He arrived after midnight as my brother and our host went around town looking for help.

Our host in La Bocana was Hector Ojeda, my sister-in-law's college friend whose family has been fishing in the area since before the town was established. "In July we celebrated the 70th year of the cooperative," Hector tells me as we do the short drive from the cabins to his house.

"I met everyone, el Chulada, el Jonron, Caguamita, el Oso, el Gordo, el Panecito, el Yeguita..." My brother boasts that he met the whole town while going around with Hector looking for a spare tire for my dad's car. No one seems to go by their real name; even Hector is known as Tito.

The town is two concrete roads, no longer than 1/2 mile, with crossing dirt roads. Its main income is abalone and lobster fishing. Eco-tourism is a recent endeavor. "We talked to investors about bringing more tourism via airplane, so hopefully we have more guests soon." Hector tells me more about his hometown.

The cabins, named Bocana Adventure, have not seen many guests since they built them a bit over a year ago. Some townsfolk do not want tourism to grow, since they think it might hurt the fishing economy. They also do not want a concrete road where the open trail is.

Hector knows everyone in the town of less than 2,000 people. The nearest town, Puerto Abreojos, barely breaks 1,000, though it seems more developed.

New Years' dinner of lobster paella with chef Juan Carlos Arreguin and host Hector Ojeda.

New Years' in La Bocana

We spent New Year's night at his family's house, which is located steps away from the ocean. A huge paella with 10 lobsters was served for dinner, cooked by my brother's father-in-law, Juan Carlos Arreguín.

“Taking a lobster burrito for lunch to school was looked down on." Hector shares stories of growing up in the town during dinner. “It was like, damn, lobster for lunch again... the cool kids had chips or something cheap from the city.”

The first day of the year greeted us with cold weather and heavy currents. Our plans to go out on a boat were moved to January 2nd, the same day we were headed back.

The group was split into two different boats. The captain on my boat was “Oso,” who quit high school to become a fisherman around 10 years ago (my 7-month-old nephew also steered the boat). Dolphins swam next to the boat as we headed to a green area of the estuary, where Hector promised us we would easily find scallops for breakfast.

Crate filled with live lobsters.

“Those floating things over there, where the birds are standing, are lobster cages," the captain, Oso, tells us, pointing around the area. "They capture the lobsters, then leave them inside the cage for them to grow. Each cage hold around 100 lobsters. The beach hut over there is an oyster house. Do you see the black things at a distance? Those are oyster beds. Over there is the open road that leads to La Bocana.”

Dolphin swims next to the boat.

We did some kayaking in the area, but found no scallops. I was the only one who dived to search for them on the sandy bottom of the shallow open ocean, but I failed... Later we were told by the other captain that diving for scallops with no gear was a very difficult task and that there was a danger of encountering stingrays.

We left that same evening after a sushi/lobster dinner at around 4 p.m. The long Baja road proved to tough to drive in one sitting, so we spent the night in a nice hotel in San Quíntin before making it back home the following day.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Floating Outdoor Cinema on the Bay, Toy Piano Festival

Events September 27-September 30, 2020
Next Article

Claudia Gomez‘s sound showers with Trio Gadjo and Besos de Coco

“Playing again has lifted everyone’s spirits.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close