Casual Solar-Powered Home Offers Spectacular Ocean Panorama from the Huge Veranda and Living/Dining Room at the Front of the House. Disconnect and Enjoy Total Relaxation.
3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths. Just 5 Miles from the Center of San Felipe...Your Beach Is Virtually Private.
As you can see, the setting of this home is out of a dream. Of all the world's oceans, Jacques Cousteau favored the Sea of Cortez, calling it "The Aquarium of the World." His favorite body of water is the panorama you'll enjoy through two walls of glass in this expansive home.
Stunning views...empty white-sand beaches...ultra-clear skies. And the only sounds you're likely to hear are the gentle surf and ocean breezes.
There's really no other place like Baja California, This land has changed little since Fernando Cortés first saw it in 1533. And dawn over the sea begins each day in spectacular fashion.
Our huge front room combines living, dining, and kitchen into one 700-square-foot space, with four sets of doors which open to a broad Spanish-style veranda. Spend the day reading in lounge chairs, mixing a drink or two at the hand-carved bar, or walking on miles of secluded beach.
The kitchen area offers 20 feet of counter space, while a massive wooden dining table easily accommodates your entire group for memorable meals.
Each of the three spacious bedrooms features a king or queen bed, while the two bathrooms feature large showers. There's also a queen platform airbed for children or extra guests.
The town of San Felipe is completely safe and friendly -- and unlike a Cabo or Cancun, it offers an *authentic* Mexico experience.
(If anyone in your group has concerns about Baja, search the following for a great Lonely Planet article: "Are Americans Safer in Mexico than at Home?")
In Baja, wild nature is everywhere. The houses range from humble one-room shacks to desert palaces. As you can see in the photos, our home is nicer than average, yet still simple and very casual. It's a true Baja beach house -- not a designer bungalow on Nantucket. San Felipe doesn't offer the manicured beach resorts that you find in Hawaii or Cabo. This is a rougher -- and much more traditional -- place to be. Also much less expensive.
In short, we'd say that if you're the kind of person who would never go camping, this is not the ideal spot for you. We encourage everyone to scan a half-dozen reviews, to get the full range of guest reactions.
Please note that this house is off the grid, with a solar electric system, a rooftop tank holding mountain spring water, plus a propane fridge, stove, and water heater. Everything usually works just fine, but conservation has real meaning here, and there are no guarantees. If you try to run a hair dryer, or run the ceiling fans 24/7, you will likely deplete the batteries. One of several electrical components could fail...the water pump can break. There’s always a measure of unpredictability when you go greener.
If you require a concierge to manage your holidays, demand fancy new furniture, can't stand desert dust on the windows, or would be upset to light a candle if the lights go out, you may want to consider another destination. This is a place for hearty living -- a place Steinbeck would have loved.
It takes only 5 to 10 minutes to travel from this isolated beachfront retreat to all the shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and other attractions of North San Felipe and the Malecon.
Dining options range from casual to fine. Regardless of which you choose, you'll love the freshness, taste, and purity of San Felipe's seafood-focused cuisine. (Arid Baja has none of the "issues" of mainland Mexico.)
At your doorstep await unforgettable wilderness adventures, in untouched desert backcountry where mountains soar 10,000 feet over huge dry lakes.
The Sea of Cortez (also known as the Mar de Cortés and Vermilion Sea) offers kayaking, windsurfing, boating, fishing, and more.
And after sunset, clear air and virtually no ambient light ensure some of the finest skies left on this planet.
All just a 5 1/2-hour drive from Los Angeles...4 hours from San Diego.
* Mapping for Mexico is a bit difficult. You can enter "San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico" in the most popular mapping program, zoom out till you see El Dorado Ranch and Playa Hawaii north of San Felipe. Our home overlooks the beach in this area.
* Biologically speaking the Sea of Cortez is the richest body of water on the planet. This diverse sea supports more than 900 varieties of fish, and more than 2,000 species of marine invertebrates.
* The house features solar power, with battery reserves for the evenings. The refrigerator, kitchen stove, and water heater are fired by propane. Please note that the propane fridge is not nearly as cold as a typical electric unit. It's a good idea to load items already cold from an ice chest.
* Spring water is trucked in, and stored in a 1,000-gallon tank. The first tanks of water and propane are included. If a water refill is required, you pay the $50. The cost of a propane refill is about $15.
* There is no AC, no landline, and no internet at the house. Disconnecting for a while is a blessing, but many cell phones will have a full signal, and if necessary, you can use high-speed internet at a local cafe.
* Note that Baja can be HOT, especially from mid-June through the end of August. In Summer, typical temperatures are 90s or low 100s during the day, and 70s to 80s at night. In Winter, it can be quite chilly. Check a weather website for specifics.
* Pets are welcome.
* Please smoke on the veranda.
* Sheets are provided for the three beds. You should bring bath and beach towels, as well as your favorite toiletries, including paper.
* Very basic kitchenware is provided, but if you're particular, you should bring your favorite gear. Bring all the edibles you plan to eat. There are often extra paper towels, garbage bags, and dish soap, but you should bring some of your own, or buy it locally.
* There is a charcoal barbecue grill.
* A 600-square-foot garage with RV doors is available at modest cost with advance arrangements -- but there's plenty of easy parking outdoors on approx. 1 1/2 acres.
* If you have kids, please note that the bluff in front of the house is about 30 feet above the beach. It would be a nasty fall.
* The closest path to the beach is in the arroyo just south of the house. There is also another road to the beach which begins about 150 feet above the entrance to the property. The beach itself is fine sand, and deep in places. Motorcycles and ATVs are welcome. For four-wheeled vehicles, 4WD is essential.
* Kayaks and other small watercraft can be launched easily from the beach. Be aware of the tides! The Gulf of California has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, and at low tide, the ocean recedes far from the beach for a few hours.
* PWCs and boats on trailers can also be launched from the beach. A 4WD tow vehicle is essential. Again, be aware of the tides.
* There is a wood-burning fireplace. In the unlikely event that you want to use this heat source (sometimes, in Winter), it's best to bring your own firewood, as it can be harder to find in Baja.
* There are large supermarkets in central San Felipe (such as Calimax, on the main drag). You can get fresh food and everything else you might need at reasonable prices.
* Wheelchair access to the home is fairly easy. The showers are very large, but otherwise of standard design.
* There are a few dogs roaming free, but we've never seen an aggressive one. You may also encounter mosquitos, little desert critters, etc.
* It costs over $100 to get an off-grid home ready for each guest, so generally there is a three-night minimum. Of course you are free to pay for the three nights and enjoy the home for 2 3/4 days. ;)
* Snowbird? Looking for a long-term retreat? Low rates are available to quality candidates.
San Felípe, Baja California, Mexico