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If you have never camped in Baja, you haven’t been camping. Picture this: A night under the star-lit sky as you perched on the cliffs, with the waves crashing below you.
There’s nothing but the open road, taco street stands, and fresh food markets beckoning you along the journey through Baja. But maybe you’re a bit intimidated when camping in foreign places.
No worries! We have all the information you need to camp in Baja.
About Baja Camping
Baja camping is some of the best on the planet. Baja California is a long stretch of land in Mexico, south of California extending into the Pacific Ocean.
The Gulf of California, or the Sea of Cortez, separates it from mainland Mexico. Many people like to refer to it as Mexico Light because it’s similar to traveling in the U.S.
Baja has two states: Baja California is the northern section. Baja California Sur is the southern state. Before you head out, have your destination in mind.
Baja California Norte offers different camping opportunities than Baja California Sur. Crossing the border near Tijuana or Mexicali might dictate if you’re camping along the shores of the Pacific or the calmer waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Campgrounds along the shores of the Pacific near Ensenada are sought-after locations for local or global surfers.
The campgrounds generally perch atop cliffs with waves crashing into the rocks below, giving surfers high waves. Crossing into the high mountain deserts of Baja California will provide you with different campgrounds, some in wine country.
Most people traveling into Baja for camping fun head south into Baja California Sur. The draw to many of these campsites is the calmer and warmer water of the Sea of Cortez, whale-watching, and the tropical vibe.
While Baja camping can be magical, prepare for some harsh realities. There are many resort camping options, but the beach camping that you may seek will come with reminders that you aren’t in the U.S. anymore.
Some campsites can be primitive with limited amenities, and you may find more trash than you expect. You must also remember while many people speak English in Baja Norte and Sur, you are still in a foreign country where the primary language is Spanish.
Is Baja Safe for Camping?
Camping may be about unknown adventures, but those unknowns might raise some safety concerns. One of the most commonly-asked questions about Baja camping is if it’s safe.
Safety is never guaranteed. Yes, some areas are safer than others, but accidents and crime can happen anywhere. The same holds when camping in Baja. You can’t guarantee safety, but you can take steps to keep as safe as possible.
In Baja, some of those steps are what you would do when camping in the U.S. Have a plan for travel, including an emergency plan if something goes wrong. Keep maps on hand, along with extra water, emergency supplies, and accessible contact information besides your phone.
When traveling in Baja, know where you’re going in advance. Schedule your campsites whenever possible and ensure someone knows where you will be. Don’t drive at night. Stay on the main roadways.
Don’t flash money or valuables. Respect Baja’s culture and laws. People may refer to Baja as Mexico Light because it has many similarities to the U.S., but it is still a foreign country, and they have different laws.
According to a recent article in Forbes, “The state of Baja California Sur has a less problematic political risk profile than many other areas of Mexico.
The risk of organized crime-related violence (public shootouts, kidnapping of executives) in Baja California Sur is quite low. Overall, Baja California Sur recorded the 2nd fewest total number of murders of any state in Mexico.”
You might hear some concerns from friends and family when you tell them you are embarking on a Baja camping adventure. But like camping at Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, or Texas beaches, safety concerns always exist. Follow safety precautions, be aware of your surroundings, and trust your gut.
Can You Camp Anywhere In Baja?
Get that vehicle ready; It’s time to camp in Baja. You can camp almost anywhere along the peninsula.
Like camping in the U.S., there are options for resort-style camping, dispersed camping, campgrounds, beach camping, desert camping, and more. You’ll find campgrounds with all the amenities and plenty of campgrounds with nothing except Mother Nature.
With all these options, you might think you can set up camp anywhere you want. You cannot. Like the U.S., there are rules against street camping depending on where you are. There are also rules for how long you can stay.
There are policies for how to behave. Baja may be an adventure into the unknown, but there are regulations to follow, and officials expect you to respect the land.
Wherever you end up setting up camp, be aware of the rules. If there are none, you know how to behave when camping, so do it in Baja, too.
Can You Camp on Beaches in Baja?
Even if there are regulations to follow when camping in Baja, it’s still possible to pull up on a beach and set up camp without reservations and campgrounds. That’s one of the best things about Baja camping; it’s beach camping.
With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other, at its widest, a mere 199 miles apart, there are many options for beach camping in Baja. These can range from RV resort campgrounds full of other tourists to remote, dispersed sites.
Best Places for Baja Camping
Beach camping or desert camping, we have a few of the best places for Baja camping right here.
With amenities to make you feel at home, waves crashing in your backyard, and street tacos right next door, these are the places you won’t want to miss when planning your Baja camping trip.
Baja’s Resort at East Cape
Address: 185 Calle 20 de Noviembre, Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
Nightly Rate: Starting at $35 per night, with weekly and monthly rates available.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Imagine Baja camping in an idyllic setting. Embrace the easy life and relax by the pool and spa, or if you’re feeling up to it, enjoy the lush scenery and explore what Baja offers while staying at Baja’s Resort at East Cape.
With whale-watching, beach adventures, fishing, and more activities at your fingertips, there’s something for everyone here.
The resort offers 18 RV sites for all sizes and types of RVs. It has full hookups and bathrooms, along with laundry services on-site. With a self-title as a Grown Up Camp, you won’t want to leave.
Why It’s Great: That’s a reason why this place is excellent. Many people come here and don’t want to leave. If you’re one of them, you can purchase a casita or a palapa and live onsite with other like-minded guests.
Still, only want to camp? There are spaces available during the winter with a four-month minimum stay. Who needs snow when you have the beach only 1,000 feet away from your doorstep?
Clam Beach Resort
Address: KM 70.9 Escenica Tijuana – Ensenada, 22765 Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
Nightly Rate: Starting at $30 per night with weekly, monthly, and additional pricing available.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Enjoy Baja camping with all the amenities at Clam Beach Resort, an hour south of the U.S.-Mexico border. With full hookup sites, many beachfront areas, a clubhouse, a rec room, and onsite laundry, you can have your Baja adventure without worrying about creature comforts.
If lounging on sandy shores isn’t enough, why not explore all the Ensenda area offers? Go swimming or fishing in the ocean. Drive 30 miles to Valle de Guadalupe and experience the Baja version of Napa Valley.
Head to nearby Puerto Nuevo, the “Lobster Capital of Baja.” Whatever your Baja pursuits may be, Clam Beach Resort is ready to accommodate you.
Why It’s Great: This is the place to get away from it while being near it all. It is on the shores of the Pacific, yet near dining, nightlife, and urban adventures.
Baja camping at this RV resort is a way to experience Mexico while still feeling the comforts of home.
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Address: Carr. a Tijuana Km 94, 22760 El Sauzal, B.C., Mexico
Nightly Rate: Starting at $20 per night.
Rating: 4 Stars
Baja California Norte’s Playa Saldamando is the ideal Baja camping destination. If you’re looking for a true getaway, this one-mile-long, gated, and fenced property between Ensenada and Rosarito is the place to go.
With breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean, you might even spot some dolphins and whales splashing about. While there are no hookups, you will have access to restrooms with flushing toilets and showers to freshen up. Drop everything, relax, and enjoy Baja’s wide-open space.
Why It’s Great: Playa Saldamando may not have all the amenities of a fancy resort, but this is Baja camping at its best, with fishing, surfing, and snorkeling all within easy reach.
Feeling closer to nature while camping on the beach is one of the finest ways to do so. Plus, you’re an arm’s reach away from all that Ensenada and the surrounding area offer, with shopping, dining, and more to explore.
Villas de Cortez RV Park and Camping
Address: Km. 171, BC 5, Playas de San Felipe, 21100 San Felípe, B.C., Mexico
Nightly Rate: Starting at $30 per night
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Baja camping has never been easier than a stay at Villa de Cortez RV Park and Camping. Sitting north of San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez, this camping spot has something for everyone, from tent campers to all the luxuries of a little trailer rental.
You can’t forget about their wide range of fun amenities, including a pool for cooling off in style, palapas with electricity, and grills for cooking up some excellent Baja flavor.
They have an array of kid’s games to keep the kiddos occupied throughout your stay. With bathrooms, showers, and kitchen areas available, it is a Baja luxury you can easily access.
Why It’s Great: Being on the Sea of Cortez means warmer and calmer waters.
You’ll have relaxing days on the beach and evenings around campfires. This simple campground may not have a resort flair, but with palapas over your head and sand in your toes, simple is all you need.
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Fidels Palapas RV Park
Address: San Quintin, BC, Mexico, near Ejido Nueva Odisea GPS: 30.3715, -115.8635
Nightly Rate: Starting at $12 per night.
Rating: 4 Stars
This Baja camping RV park is about a mile from a small village with a few restaurants and grocery stores.
The RV park is right on the beach. There are two palapas, along with other sites, all along the sand. Electricity and water are available depending on the site, along with a dump site. You’ll find restrooms and showers on-site, too.
If you’re looking for a place that is secluded but easy to reach, Fidel’s Palapas RV Park is the place to be. The beach goes on for miles in both directions, ending in dunes you can climb.
Beachcombing is a delight, as you may never come across a place with as many intact sand dollars. Watching the sunset out your door while burying your toes in the sand reminds you why you came to Baja.
Why It’s Great: Besides the wide-open miles of beach access, the owner, Fidel, makes this Baja camping experience excellent.
His home is on-site, and he is personable and attentive. If you catch him when he’s fishing, you might purchase fresh fish and lobster from him, or he might cook it for you.
Camp in the Warmth of Baja All Winter Long
Whether you’re a camper who loves the amenities of a gated resort or want a place to park on the sand, Baja camping has what you need. However, we all know why Baja calls our names.
It’s the warmth of the sun shining down all winter long. Strolling along the miles of shoreline, eating fresh tacos from open-air markets, gathering sand dollars, and never putting on shoes, you can’t do that in the snow. Grab your passport. Baja is calling.
Would you go camping in Baja?