On our third day in Mexico we drove from Catavina, in the center of the
Baja California peninsula, to Guerrero Negro, on the Pacific coast,
where we grabbed some lunch. Guerrero Negro is a fairly charmless
town whose principal industries are harvesting sea salt and servicing
the tourists who come to whale-watch in the nearby Laguna Ojo de
Liebre. (Whale-watching was out of season while we were in
Mexico.) The town has some good restaurants, however, and we had
some great seafood at one of the better of them, the Malarrimo.
Just north of Guerrero Negro is the boundary line between Baja
California and Baja California Sur, where the magic of the peninsula
really begins. We drove that day only as far as San Ignacio, back
in the center of the peninsula on the way to the Mar de Cortés, because
we were told that the last stretch of mountain road leading down to the
east coast of the peninsula was challenging and not to be driven when
tired. That proved to be an understatement.
San Ignacio grew up around a freshwater lagoon, which the Spanish
missionaries tapped for irrigation. What they planted, in great
abundance, were date palms, and so San Ignacio is a most improbable
palm-shaded oasis in the middle of the desert. The town’s
once-famous dates have been undercut on the Mexican market by cheaper
dates from abroad, so the town has a sleepy, vaguely depressed air,
though it’s still extremely charming, with a central square planted
with tall shade trees and one of the most beautiful missions on the
We ate our first lobster at an old restaurant in town that looked as
though it had seen better days — lobster tacos for me and a whole
lobster for Harry.
The lobster in both forms was a bit over-cooked and over-priced but still delightful.
We stayed at yet another La Pinta inn, one of the few choices for accommodation in
When we got to the town it was being spruced up for its annual date
festival, to be held the following week, but there were no dates for
sale anywhere we could find . . . because, we were told, “the date
harvest isn’t until October.” The mystery of this only added to
the slightly unreal loveliness of the place.
For previous Baja California trip reports, go here.
[Photos © 2007 Harry Rossi]