Today we continue with Part II of our blog post on Pedro's journey through Baja California Sur; or how a business trip can turn into pleasure.
Don’t miss Part I of this journey!
Although a lot of the state’s income comes from tourism and activities related to fishing and the exporting of agricultural products to the United States and Japan, there is a growing economic development thanks to the mining business.
Towns such as Santa Rosalía, located on the northern part of the state, exist and keep on growing thanks to the discovery (back in 1868) of one of the largest mine sites in the country, Minera el Boleo.
Just a couple of hours from Santa Rosalía, right in the border of the two Baja Californias, there’s another town that has blossomed thanks to its proximity to an industrial organization. Guerrero Negro is a small, but fully developed city that is a result of the success of the largest salt exporter of the world: Salt Exporters, Inc. (ESSA).
This salt mine produces around 7 billion tons of salt a year and, thanks to the state’s geographical location, it exports to many countries across the Pacific as well as to the rest of the American continent.
Great weather, awesome food.
In most of the northern states of Mexico, the first three months of the year are the coldest ones. With temperatures as low as -18°C (-64°F) places like Chihuahua or Coahuila may not be the first option for someone to visit in the middle of the winter because of the extreme temperatures, so with a mild 22°C (71°F) starting February, I can honestly say that the weather in Baja California Sur is quite delightful.
Just like the taco stands in Mexico City in the mornings or like the classic hot-dog carts in New York at night, on most of the cities in Baja California Sur you can find some of the freshest seafood you will ever have the chance to taste. Whether it’s on a normal restaurant, a gazebo in the beach or in a food-truck on the streets, no fish taco will ever taste the same after you get a taste of the local cuisine.
At first it was really odd for me to have “ceviche” for breakfast near a traffic light on Loreto’s main street, but I don’t think scrambled eggs and pancakes after a long night of partying will ever be enough anymore.
Tourism: Sight-seeing, RVs and hidden beaches.
Even if the ferry and cheap domestic flights are the most convenient ways to get to this place, there is a third option that apparently is very popular amongst people from the United States. All along the road I got to see a lot of RVs with license plates from various different states in the U.S.
Most of them seemed to come from California and southern states located nearby, but I saw a couple from other states as well. When I stopped to get a drink at a convenience store in Mulegé (two hours away from Loreto) I couldn’t resist the urge to ask a family from Wyoming what was it that made them fill up the tank and drive all the way down there.
After kindly smirking at me, Mr. Fairmont tapped my shoulder and said: “Young man. I’m a retired lawyer and all I want to do is spend some time on the road with my two boys and the Mrs.; There are a lot of beautiful beaches back home, no doubt about it. But, I take it you’ve never been to Santispac, have you?”. I nodded and as he was paying for some snacks he looked over his shoulder and finished me up with this: “Boy, you’re only 40 minutes away from heaven and you don’t even know it. Go get yourself a piece of real living”.
I said goodbye and asked an old man for directions to this little piece of heaven. I started driving south and just like Mr. Fairmont said, there it was. He wasn’t exaggerating at all, and from what I witnessed, many other U.S. tourists were on the same page.
Only minutes away from each other, El Burro, El Coyote and Santispac are three little movie-like beaches enclosed by mountains and only feet away from the highway. There, you can either pay to spend the night camping or maybe even buy a property if you’re lucky. From what I saw, many went there as tourists and just never left. Go once and I assure you, you won’t be able to judge them.
As I got out of the car to enjoy the sun piercing through an orange and blue horizon, I finally made up my mind on how I felt about what Mr. Fairmont said to me. He was right about it all, except for one thing: If I could, I wouldn’t go there on vacation…I’d stay for good.