San Felipe, BC – Mexico’s Other Weekend Destination

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Mexican insurance, San Felipe Group of Friends on the Malecón

Story and photos by Jim Foreman

When you say, “Weekend in Mexico” you’ll likely hear, ‘Ensenada,’ ‘Rocky Point,’ or ‘Rosarito.’

Occasionally, someone smart will say ‘San Felipe.’ Not to say the other destinations are not awesome, they are. San Felipe though stands on its own because it takes a little more effort to get there.

Located between the phenomenal Colorado desert and the waters of the sea of Cortes, San Felipe is unarguably one of the choice destinations, particularly for foreigners who are looking to buy a vacation home.

From Los Angeles, San Felipe is about 350 miles away. That’s about 50 miles further than the distance to Las Vegas. From Yuma, it’s only 175 Miles. In most cases, Mexicali serves as your entry point.

San Felipe is the choice destination for tourists and retirees alike; I remember a lot of college students from the US love to visit San Felipe for spring break season.

The road (Mex 5) down to San Felipe is in excellent condition and is a pretty straight shot south.

Visitors to San Felipe won’t find large mega resorts or cruise ships in port. Instead, San Felipe is a quiet village with fishing and tourism as it’s primary sources of income.

For lodging, San Felipe has many options from Rental homes with popular sites like Airbnb and smaller hotels. Some favorite choices for hotels include the El Cortez Hotel and the next-door Stella Mar Bungalows. The cost is very reasonable, and the location is about 500m south of the malecón (boardwalk). Both are situated right on a wonderful stretch of beach.

Sunrise at low tide.

Speaking of beaches, San Felipe has a beautiful phenomenon in addition to warm water temperatures. During low tide, the water recedes about a kilometer or more making for some incredible sunrise or sunset photos. The shallow seabed makes playtime in the water safe, fun, and very enjoyable.

Dining in San Felipe is quite good. San Felipe, commonly attributed to inventing the fish taco, serves up some of the best. There are many seafood options along the malecón all vying for your business. They are excellent for lunch or a quick bite, but when you want a great dinner, the choices are a little more limited. Highlights include the El Nido Steakhouse on the south end of town and La Vaquita Marina on the north end.

If you’re looking for a place to hear live music and knock back some great drinks, head back out of town onto Mex 5 for about 10 minutes and stop at either the Roadrunner Café or the Sand Rail Pizza and Jolly Mon Bar.

If you love fishing, one can easily hire a local with a Panga to take you out to some secret spots.

There are lots of fun activities you can engage in; they include; off-road driving walks along beaches, sports fishing, desert tours, tours along the surrounding mountains, etc.

Because of the incredible dunes inland, ATVs, dune buggies, and Dirt bikes are regularly seen in town. Several vendors also rent out ATVs by the hour.

When it comes to peaceful family-friendly weekend getaways, San Felipe makes an excellent choice. With a strong combination of accessibility, fun, and value, San Felipe shines.

Panoramic view of the San Felipe Coast.

Getting to San Felipe is easy. Just make your way to El Centro via I-8 and head south to Mexicali. Returning is also hassle-free with two main crossings in Mexicali. The East Gate (Garita II) is typically far less busy. Leave on Monday instead of Sunday and sail back across the border like a boss.

The only other thing you need is your passport and your Mexican Insurance for San Felipe from

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Son Wilbanks October 26, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Tire change, towing, and extra fuel are just some of the road problems you can received from Mexico insurance policy.

Kirstin Davila June 7, 2018 at 6:11 pm

San Felipe is considered as Baja California’s shrimp capital. Furthermore, San Felipe is very popular for its big blue shrimp.

Mammie Beckwith July 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm

You can wind up and relax in San Felipe. You can also enjoy its wonderful scenery and delight in their delicious local delicacies.

Isa Bayne March 24, 2019 at 7:10 pm

Before taking your trip, get some money exchange first. It is always important to have some pesos on your wallet before entering Mexico.

Shelly Creighton February 3, 2020 at 5:33 pm

San Felipe is considered as a hidden paradise in Baja. Yeah, its beautiful sea is quiet and warm. San Felipe is indeed a great paradise.

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