After driving south for eight and a half hours, you will see a metal sailboat welcoming you into la Bahia de los Angeles (the Bay of the Angels); which Jacques Cousteau once called “the world’s aquarium.”
Unfortunately, your first impression will leave you wondering why you drove so far to get to this place. The town is dirty and seems unwelcoming to visitors, however, one does not come for the town, one comes for the bay. This majestic bay is world famous for its scenery, marine life and unusual cactus.
There are a couple of hotels in town. In the winter, the village shuts down and the seasonal activities are unavailable, it`s windy, cold at night and it gets dark at 5. And after five there is not much going on as there are few restaurants and no bars. We were told that spring and fall are the best times to visit because the temperature is just right. There are various turtle conservancy groups that help guide baby turtles into the water. And in the fall (August to October) the whale sharks are in town.
Since we were there at a quiet time, we went kayaking. We were told permits were needed to reach the islands; we did not get very far as one of our kayaks started to sink! It was a fun ride, the water is crystal clear and we could see schools of fish swimming under our kayaks. A nice way to enjoy the marine life is on a kayak, the right sport for the Sea of Cortez (non-polluting and you get a work-out)! But paddle boarding could be pretty cool too.
I do not recommend visiting in the winter, the water is cool but the town is shut down and the sun goes down at five. If you are going to take the time to drive down, try to do so when the sun is up longer and the nights are warmer. It was quite windy and dark and we did not get to fully experience the Bahia de los Angeles.
Driving Instructions: There are two ways to get to this quiet bay. One from San Felipe which requires driving on a dirt road for about 2 to 3 hours that ends up connecting to the main highway or the easy way, driving on Mexico 1 the entire way. According to Google Maps, driving the main way is 8 hours 33 minutes. I would recommend leaving early in the morning so that there are no problems with driving in darkness or missing the turn to the Bahia (it’s off the main road).
Make sure you have gas and cash! There are no ATMS or banks in town and sometimes the gas station decides to close (it can take a couple days to reopen). Make sure you come prepared! Otherwise you may not get to experience the true Bahia de los Angeles.