San Felipe Beaches.
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 beachfront community.
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 priced.
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 flush toilets.
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 San Felipe.
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.