82 days camping in Baja: a Recap

In 82 days we ate more tacos than I could count, likely drove more miles on dirt than pavement, and turned acquaintances into lifelong friends. We traveled to some of the most remote places we’ve ever been, hiked among cactus as tall as a two story building, and saw the brightest most awe-inspiring meteor we’ve ever witnessed.  We swam in natural pools high in the mountains, we paddled with dolphins and were woken in the middle of the night by the sound of breaching whales. The silence, the stars, the sunrises and sunsets were all worthy of writing about all on their own.  

And while I just distilled the last 12 weeks down to some of the most memorable moments I’ll add that there were times when we were bored and lonely. We dealt with injuries and a month of illness. We continued to run our business remotely and had to navigate insurance and tax woes. Because there’s no such thing as an 80 day vacation. We’ve simply chosen to live our life in a different way from what most people are used to life looking like.  

Lastly I’ll add that we never once felt unsafe, we weren’t robbed or bribed or shaken down.  Mexicans in Baja are the epitome of chill, not much seems to ruffle their feathers.  They always wave, never seem agitated, and have a great deal of patience for us gringos.  Baja wouldn’t be what it is without their hospitality.

Below is a summarized version of our winter in Mexico.  The kinds of places we stayed, some of our favorite things, and the gear we used the most.  A macro version of what’s been shared in our daily posts. 


Our completely unplanned route

Our Baja travels are 100% spontaneous. We never plan routes more than a few days in advance, instead we let the weather be our guide. Here’s where the wind blew us in 2024…


Places we stayed

We primarily seek wild places to camp and only end up at campgrounds when facilities are needed like laundry or it’s the only place we can find to hide from the wind. This year we stayed at…

  • 17 beaches
  • 4 desert spots
  • 3 ranches
  • 2 mangroves
  • 1 campground in a palm oasis
  • 1 vacation rental
  • 1 RV park in a city
  • 1 cactus sanctuary parking lot

Number of paid nights: 30
Number of free nights: 51


Favorite places and things

Favorite taco stand 

El Muelle taco truck in Guerrero Negro.  Our favorite fish tacos in Baja.


Favorite restaurant 

El burro en Primavera in San Juanico.


Favorite drive

The 30 or so miles of dirt road north of San Carlos.  It’s narrow and rough at times but the desert terrain and views of the sea are exquisite.


Favorite beach 

Never could I ever name just one.  Let’s just say there were far more that we loved than ones we didn’t.


Favorite camp

An abandoned ranch in the middle of the desert where we spontaneously spent Christmas with 5 brand new friends.  It was nothing short of magic and proof that the people make the place.


Favorite cultural experience 

Rolling up to the home of Jesus and Maria in the absolute middle of nowhere at 6pm in need of a place to park for the night.  One review on iOverlander led us here in hopes of food and showers. They welcomed us and provided everything we were hoping for.  Seeing their off-grid way of life is something I’ll never forget.

Jesus and Maria’s home on the right and the dining area on the left.

Best sea life sightings 

The East Cape.  The whale and jumping ray activity is spectacular.

Three whales that passed by our beach.

Favorite hike

While we spend more time on the water than on trails in Baja we did a few hikes this year that were awesome.  Hiking in the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve was stunning.


Favorite town

San Ignacio. We love walking around the beautiful town square, loving on the street dogs, and watching the dozens of vultures that seem to always be soaring right above town.  Overall this tiny town has a great vibe.


Most used gear & tech

Starlink

For working while we travel, researching places to camp, route-finding, etc.

Windy app 

For us, deciding where to camp depends largely upon the wind.  While wind is ever-present in Baja, following the weather predictions closely helps us determine which locations will be the most comfortable.  We consult the Windy app almost daily to make these decisions.

Windy app – Premium version (for tide reports)

The Windy Premium version includes tide and swell reports. This is vital information for camping on beaches in Baja if you don’t want your camp to get washed away. Like ours almost did one morning in San Juanico.

Blackstone 

We brought a Blackstone griddle with us for the first time this year and it turned out to be what we primarily used for cooking. Thanks Parker 🙂


Instant Pot 

Our second most-used cooking appliance.  We got the 3 quart one for this trip and it worked beautifully.  We use it frequently for making oatmeal, beans, rice, potatoes, and more.

Paddleboards 

Having a means of getting out on the water elevates the experience of camping in Baja to a whole new level.  We paddled with dolphins and sea lions and saw countless stingrays and fish.  I can’t imagine going to Baja without a board, boat, or kayak. These are the inflatable paddleboards we take with us that we love.


hats and sun shirts

It’s usually sunny in Baja so these items are used daily. Especially a big, wide-brimmed hat.

iOverlander app 

The iOverlander app is priceless for reading reviews about particular campsites and for locating resources like propane, water, groceries, etc.

Tire deflators 

We frequently let air out of our tires while traveling in Baja.  Either to be able to drive in soft sand without getting stuck or to soften the ride when traveling on rough dirt roads. We carry this ARB deflator kit as well as these simple deflators.

Air compressor 

For putting air back in the tires before returning to pavement.


Baja Atlas 

We consult our Baja California Road and Recreation Atlas often when trying to figure out where we want to head next.  But what I love having it for most is comparing notes with fellow travelers.  Everyone seems to have one of these and on several occasions we found ourselves at a table with each of our maps open while we exchanged intel on our favorite places.

New friends sharing favorite Baja campsites.

Cameras

There’s so much eye candy in Baja.  Wildlife, marine life, the best sunrises and sunsets you’ve ever seen.  Our wide range of cameras and lenses are always put to good use.  The Canon R6 being our camera of choice and the DJI Mini our favorite way to get those awesome aerial photos.


Camp shower 

We spend more time camping in wild places than anywhere with services.  Having a way to get clean is one thing that keeps us from feeling the need to find a campground. This year Mark upgraded our shower by purchasing this 3.5 gallon stainless steel sprayer and attaching a kitchen nozzle to the end. He would heat it up over our propane stove and then pressurize it with our air compressor. It worked beautifully for hot, pressurized showers.


Charles Schwab credit card 

We opened a checking account with Charles Schwab when we started traveling to Baja as there are no foreign transaction fees and unlimited ATM fee rebates.

Snorkel gear 

Mark spontaneously bought a set of cheap snorkel gear in the fall and ended up using it a ton.


Thus concludes the best winter of all-time

If this wet your appetite for a road trip to Baja California, check out our daily recaps for a more in-depth look at what it’s like to spend a winter traveling around this spectacular region.

Or, if you’re ready to get right to planning a trip, check out our complete Baja Travel Guide here.

Lastly, thank you to our incredible friends for making this trip what it was.


If you enjoy the stories we share, you can support our travels by shopping on Amazon via this link or the links to the products above. At no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you purchase through the links provided. Thank you for being here!

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By michele

About

We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.

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