Where to Go and What to Do
Baja California Peninsula is the ultimate destination for vanlifers, and now that the main highways are fully paved, and Starlink is on the scene, this gorgeous place is more accessible than ever. If you’ve been thinking about van camping in Baja Mexico, I highly encourage you to go. It’s an amazing place that is full of beauty and adventure, and you won’t regret it. (In fact, you may never want to leave!)
Not sure how to start planning your van trip to Mexico? You’ve come to the right place. Below are my absolute favorite places to stay and things to do while camping in Baja Mexico.
Van Camping in Baja California
The first place I recommend stopping when exploring the peninsula is the town of San Felipe. While there isn’t anything specific to do here, it’s a great little city with plenty of places to stock up on groceries, obtain pesos, have a meal or two out, and get acquainted with Mexico before going further south.
There are tons of places to stay in San Felipe, including some dry camping options located just outside of the city. That said, I highly recommend Villa Marina. This is a super cute campground located right on the water and about 20 minutes south of the city. It includes full hookups, so you’ll be comfortable as you get things sorted, and the flush toilets and clubhouse are nice.
The only downfall is that the showers need attention and do not offer hot water. My family and I paid $400 pesos a night to stay here.
After a couple of days in San Felipe, you should be ready to continue south. The next stop? Gonzaga Bay. You won’t have to drive far to reach this place, and you will be treated to some seriously amazing views as well as some great opportunities for paddleboarding and kayaking.
My family and I enjoyed our stay at Rancho Grande on Gonzaga Bay. The only amenities offered were palapas and trash cans, but the proximity to the water, beautiful views, and excellent shell-collecting at low tide more than made up for the lack of luxuries. The folks who run the beach camping also have a store across the way where you can buy necessities, grab a burrito, and even stock up on water. We paid $300 pesos a night to stay here.
Van Camping in Baja California Sur
Okay, so Guerrero Negro isn’t an awesome town in and of itself. That said, this is the place to go for some of the best whale-watching in all of Baja. The gray whale watching tours are offered in the winter and spring and take you so close to the whales that you can actually touch them and play with them. This is an incredible experience, and you don’t want to miss it!
While in Guerrero Negro, my family and I like staying at Mario’s Tours RV Park. The park is clean and well-kept with water and electricity at each site (though the wiring of the latter can be sketchy), and they have decent bathrooms with showers. There is a restaurant on-site, and the place offers whale-watching tours that leave from the campground, so you don’t have to drive anywhere. We paid $300 pesos a night to stay here.
San Ignacio is an adorable and sleepy little town that I recommend checking out for a day or two. There is a charming little ice cream shop in town that is worth visiting, and the mission there is absolutely lovely.
There is a small, free museum about cave paintings in the area, and there are a few different places to grab a bite to eat. Additionally, the town is home to a nice natural swimming spot, as well as some hiking opportunities.
There are a few great places to stay in San Ignacio. El Padrino Campground is a quaint park that is located just a short walk from the town square. It has restrooms with flush toilets, showers, and one site with access to electricity. We paid $300 pesos a night to stay here.
Easily one of the best places for camping in Baja Mexico, Bahía Concepción, is an absolutely stunning location and is another must-do while traveling the peninsula. The waters are typically calm here and crystal clear, giving them a turquoise shine when the sky is blue. There are several tiny islands dotting the landscape, and sometimes the waters come to life at night with bioluminescence.
When staying on the Bahía Concepción, I recommend staying at Playa El Requeson or Playa Santispac. El Requeson is home to a land bridge that appears at low tide and leads to one of the aforementioned islands. That said, this beach campground doesn’t have any amenities to speak of. Meanwhile, Santispac is home to a dump station and vault toilets, and water refill trucks visit often.
Both locations are perfect spots for paddling and both cost $200 pesos per night.
Loreto is probably the cutest city in Baja and is well worth stopping at on your way down. Be sure to visit the adorable square in the middle of town and enjoy the shopping, dining, and live music that seems to happen nightly. You’ll also want to walk the Malecon (boardwalk area) and take a boat ride over to the Coronado Islands to see sea lions, dolphins, and blue-footed boobies.
One of the best places for vanlifers to stay in Loreto is Romanita RV Park. This park is pretty tightly packed, but it is right in the middle of the city, so you can walk to everything. Some sites offer full hookups, and the toilets and showers are clean. The cost to stay here is around $250–$300 pesos per night.
La Paz is a relatively big city and is the place to go for shopping and running errands. You’ll even find a Home Depot and Walmart in La Paz! That said, those are far from the only reasons to visit this city. This is also the place where you can go diving with whale sharks or snorkeling with sea lions—both things that come highly recommended.
When visiting La Paz, camp at the full-hookup RV park known as Campestre Maranatha, located just outside of town. This park has very level gravel sites, clean restrooms with showers, a laundry room, and a pool. It’s also right next door to an awesome coffee shop. The cost to stay here is $560 pesos per night.
Another option is to head a bit farther out on the opposite side of the city to do some free camping on Playa Tecolote. This is a lovely beach with no amenities (besides trash cans), but there are bars and eateries within walking distance, and you can’t beat free camping!
El Pescadero and Todos Santos
Finally, I must mention the lovely communities of El Pescadero and Todos Santos. El Pescadero is a quiet little town with a few dining options, a place to pick up groceries, and some really good coffee spots (try Cafelix). Meanwhile, Todos Santos is an artsy town with some excellent food, great nightlife, fun shopping, and (our favorite thing) baby sea turtle releases during the winter and early spring.
There are plenty of places to stay in Todos Santos, but most are pricey. Head a bit south and park at Playa Los Cerritos. This is a hopping beach with a fun atmosphere and some really good surfing, as well as a chance to see some whales in the distance. There are bathrooms with flush toilets and a place to dump trash. The cost to stay here is $200 pesos per night.
There you have it, our favorite places to go when camping in Baja Mexico. Be sure to add these spots to your plans and add in some of your own finds for an amazing trip to one of the most magical places on earth!