This is an interesting area 120 miles south of Ensenada. It is
a growing center of tomato production and packing. Each of the
two towns has now sprouted a stop-light (1996) - a sign of
progress which, I suspect, the locals will be slow to accept.
In September '96, further signs of progress were evident in a
widening of the road to four lanes as it passed through the
If I have a guest along for a first time ride down the highway,
I try to stop at San Quintín overnight (at least stop for a
long walk on the beach). The best place to reach the beach is
from the La Pinta Hotel south of the towns (there are two
versions of San Quintín - a north and a south). Follow the
signs to the west to reach the La Pinta (about 2 miles off the
The beach can even be driven on if a "road" out to the beach can
be found - follow the road to the Cielito Lindo and pass the
entrance to find a track veering off to the left and leading to
the beach (watch for soft areas!). There is also access from
within the Cielito Lindo property by following their road towards
the beach and taking the "Playa" branch. The beach is very wide and
very flat, with many "sand dollars" to be found. At times of
extreme low tides many locals will drive out on the beach and
dig for clams - the beach can become a minor thoroughfare!
Beginning in 1997, there have been numerous reports of
tourist-oriented crime in the San Quintín - El Rosario area. If
you are stopping in the area, I'd strongly recommend that you either
stay in a hotel/motel or an established campground.
About 30 miles south of San Quintín, the road turns inland to
enter the great Central Desert. South of El Rosario, the
fantastic desert scenery begins. It reaches a peak at the "rock
garden" of Cataviña.
There is available a book on Baja California plants which makes
this section even more interesting (Baja California Plant
Field Guide by Norman C. Roberts, Natural History
Publishing Co., P.O. Box 962, La Jolla, CA 92037; 1989, ISBN
0-9603144, the cost is about $23).