San Juanico, better known as Scorpion Bay, is still a small fishing village, even by Baja standards. That all changes if there is good surf. If there is a large swell out of the south, or southwest, the population can easily double or even triple. The surfing grapevine is quick to react to a possible swell, and surfers from all over Baja and So. California, start arriving in Scorpion Bay soon after the news of a good swell gets out.
Scorpion Bay is known to have some of the best surf in all of México when the swell is just right. With 6 points and even more breaks there are waves for all levels of surfer. On big days, the rides here can last well over a minute. If one of the points is not breaking, try the river mouth south of town. If there is a west swell, you can go even farther south (approx. 17 miles) along the beach to Punta San Gregorio.
The normally slow pace of San Juanico can get a little rushed, and somewhat dusty, when the Baja 1000 race blasts through town. Some of the race teams set up pits in and around San Juanico so it can get quite interesting and many photo ops may show up. Several of the Baja 1000 teams stop here when they are pre-running the course, as well.
Since there are only a couple of very small hotels, camping is the most popular game in town. The Scorpion Bay Cantina sits out on the point and offers the best camping. They provide showers, toilets and trash pick-up with all sites. They also have a pretty good restaurant, which is the center of social activity for most all visitors. Wireless Internet service is available to all campers.
The little town has four or five small restaurants, a few small grocery stores and a small hardware store. There is no bank, so bring pesos unless you want to get really screwed by the local exchange rates. There are, of course, a few gourmet taco stands and hot dog carts. San Juanico is growing and new businesses seem to be opening almost daily.
The local fishermen launch their boats through the surf early in the morning and usually return to the beach by early afternoon. They are usually willing to sell enough fresh fish to make an awesome fish dinner for however many people there are in your party. They don’t speak much English, but they will usually accept U.S. dollars. The rest is up to you…if you want fresh fish, you will find a way to make them understand what you want. If you’re running low on money, they are usually open to trading for…whatever. Lobster may also be available at certain times of the year.
A few of the fishermen are also willing to hire their boats out to take you fishing. Half-day trips are the most common. You must bring your own gear, food and any drinks, remember to bring something along for the captain, as well.
There are two ways to drive into Scorpion Bay, from the north via San Ignacio lagoon on a mostly bad road of mixed rocks, hard-packed washboard and sand. This road is basically unmarked, with little traffic, so unless you have done it before, I do not suggest it.
Easiest by far, is from the south via Villa Insurgentes on a mostly paved road. The southern route is much longer in driving time (about seven hours more) but unless you have a rugged vehicle (and Baja off road experience) this is the best way to go. The new pavement is finally finished and this makes the whole southern route stand out even more, as the way to go.