Bahía Concepción Baja
Bahía Concepción lies just south of Mulegé and 625 miles south of the Tijuana border. Bahía Concepción is one of the most beautiful spots in Baja. The bay is just over 20 miles long and varies in width from two to five miles. Bahía Concepción has, over the years, become the final destination for many Baja travelers. A lot of seasoned Baja travelers simply aim straight for Bahía Concepción with no intention of going any farther. Many first-timers arrive and they are absolutely overwhelmed with the beauty and serenity of this area…somehow they just cannot manage to leave, often extending their vacation plans by days or even weeks.
The dramatic scenery along the western coastline of Bahía Concepción is the ultimate photo opportunity for almost all Baja visitors that travel this far south. This giant bay, within the Sea of Cortez, offers travelers a close-up of what “The Real Baja” is all about. The 28 miles of highway that hug the coast below Mulegé offer direct access to what are considered by many to be the finest beaches in all of Baja.
Bahía Concepción is one of Baja’s favored spots for kayakers, those with RVs, campers, sailors, and anyone who just loves beautiful beaches and quiet coves. The bay is especially good for novice kayakers and sailboarders as it is usually quite glassy with light winds and not much in the way of strong currents. Incredible anchorages are too numerous to count, making this area a sailor’s dream come true.
This incredible bay was once teeming with scallops, oysters, butter clams, and nice-sized game fish. My first remembrance of any mention of Bahía Concepción was when someone told me (in the early 1970s) that the bottom of this bay was paved with butter clams and scallops. The oysters and scallops are long gone, as are most of the game fish. These days the clams that are available and the bigger fish are only found along the beaches of the eastern shore. Humanity just seems to have a natural talent for depleting nature’s bounty.
There are beach-side campgrounds, with varying degrees of services for RVs and campers scattered along the coast below Mulegé. Some of these campgrounds offer complete services and even a restaurant or two. Most others offer no services at all and many camping spots are rather impromptu, discovered only as the need for a siesta arises.
There is a small hotel 17 miles south of Mulegé, at Playa Buenaventura, that may or may not be open (remember where you are). If you are camping, and unfamiliar with the area, it is suggested that you bring in all of your supplies as you may well end up staying longer than you had originally planned to. The few small stores that serve this area keep irregular hours, at best, and may be closed for days, weeks, or even months at a time.
Fishing conditions along the western shore of Bahía Concepción are not the best in Baja although some smaller, yet tasty, fish can still be caught within the bay. The eastern shoreline offers a completely different set of circumstances, mainly because of the great effort it takes to get there. The rugged eastern shore is not easily reached and is largely uninhabited. Visits to the eastern shore should only be attempted in 4×4, high-clearance vehicles, that are well equipped for extreme conditions.
The rugged eastern finger of Bahía Concepción remains mostly unexplored and almost completely uninhabited. A few primitive fish camps dot the shore, but they are mostly seasonal and may be uninhabited depending on the current fishing conditions. Think twice before any attempt to experience the truly unique adventure that this pristine piece of “The Real Baja” has to offer.
If, after a visit to Bahía Concepción, you think that this is the kind of place you might want to call home, there are a couple of real estate developments, that offer beachfront lots on the bay, just south of Mulegé. Solar power and propane appliances along with satellite TV and Internet service can do wonders for those who want to get away from it all. Progress and technology do have some great benefits for those folks that choose to live along the peaceful shores of Bahía Concepción.