San Felipe, also known as the Gateway to the Sea of Cortez, is
famous for two things – their fish tacos and their sparkling
beaches. While fabulously delicious fish tacos can be found just
about anywhere throughout San Felipe, this guide to the area’s
beaches will have you strolling the sand and searching for shells
in no time. Bring a book and an umbrella along with your favorite beverage and you'll quickly remind yourself why you enjoy relaxing as much as you do. The kids will find plenty to keep them occupied and the water is comfortable almost year round.
One of the best things about the beaches in Mexico is that they
are all open to the public. If you can get to the water, you are
free to explore, bask in the sun, splash in the sea or simply enjoy
gazing out at some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet.
Many of the beaches listed here are near clusters of homes that
have been developed along the shoreline in what are known as “campos” or
camps. These areas generally have good access to the water and
while many remain somewhat isolated, most are simply peaceful,
beautiful beaches that welcome you to their shores.
The northern beaches are known for their striking natural beauty,
quiet and undisturbed coastlines, and relaxed atmosphere. Most
of the northern beaches are considered rural and access to them
is generally via dirt roads that veer off the main paved roads.
Camping along the northern beaches is relaxing, peaceful and definitely
rugged! However if you are looking for miles and miles of open
beach, with few if any camping neighbors, head north and dozens
of quaint alcoves and secluded, romantic spots await you. While
most people enjoy the beach while camping, day trips to these shoreline
retreats offer visitors a chance to sink their toes into soft,
glistening sand, stroll the coast for unique and exotic shells,
and watch the sunset across the calm waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Your best bets include:
Campo el Californio – ten miles north of San Felipe, this
is a quiet and secluded stretch of sand that is the perfect place
to pitch a tent or sleep under the stars.
Camp El Dorado – isolated and rugged, this slice of San
Felipe is an exceptionally beautiful place to watch the sunset.
Campo Los Compadres – seven miles north of the village,
you can find pit toilets and a few palapas in this quiet and friendly
One northern beach that is perfect for exploring the sea without
driving too far is Playa Bonita. Its name means Pretty Beach, and
once you leave the roadway and head toward the water, you will
easily understand why. A collection of many small, charming beach
niches, complete with driftwood, rocky outcroppings and native
vegetation, Playa Bonita is less traveled and more relaxed than
beaches located in town. Found just north of Punta San Felipe,
Playa Bonita is close by yet will feel like a different world as
you enjoy is peaceful shores and quiet solitude.
If you prefer a more sophisticated beach camping experience, there
are several developed campgrounds along the northern beaches as
well. The best of these include:
Campo Los Amigos – with hot showers and flush toilets, this
is one beach campground that is becoming increasingly popular with
RVers and tent campers alike. Located ten miles north of town,
this beachside stop offers sites with palapas and is affordably
Pete’s El Paraiso Camp – found eight miles north,
Pete’s is a camper’s beach haven. With full restaurant,
bar, hot showers and flush toilets, this beach campground is one
of San Felipe’s best kept secrets.
Playa Encantada – also eight miles north of San Felipe,
Playa Encantada is slightly less crowded than Pete’s Camp,
yet offers all the same amenities. Prices range from $10-12 per
night and this beach camping oasis also includes hot showers and
The beaches in San Felipe and beyond to the south are fabulous
places from which to explore the coastline and venture into the
beautiful waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Playa San Felipe – considered the main beach in the town
of San Felipe, Playa San Felipe is the recreational hub of the
community. From great restaurants to entertainment to venturing
in to the water itself, Playa San Felipe is the place to enjoy
the beach without ever leaving town.
Campo Santa Maria – considered one of the finest beach enclaves
in San Felipe, Campo Santa Maria is lined with beautiful homes
overlooking the water. The sand is wide and offers great spots
for clamming, one of the area’s best seaside hobbies.
Campo Mayma – found just one half mile east of the highway,
Campo Mayma is your gateway to the Santa Maria Bay and the ecologically
diverse tidal flats. From there you can find exotic sea creatures
living in the sand and experience a seaside exploration only possible
in San Felipe.
Nuevo Mazatlan – just 18 miles south of town, Nuevo Mazatlan
is a quiet beach perfect for basking in the sun or playing in the
water. During low tide the rocky shoreline is exposed, so plan
your trip to this beautiful spot using one of the tidal charts
available from local businesses or at the Tourism Center at Playa
Quinta Playa Hermosa – the most isolated beach south of
town, this is lovely beach is perfect for pitching a tent and enjoying
the peace and quiet.
Whether you are looking for solitude and communing with nature,
or seek the best spot for finding colorful seashells or harvesting
clams, San Felipe has the beach for you.