La Ribera and Punta Colorada
As the last coastal town with municipal power and water heading south until San José del Cabo, La Ribera (pop. 2,000) has evolved into a busy commercial center. The town has its first ATM, two Pemex stations, a few small hardware and grocery stores, and several restaurants.
One of two large real estate developments in the works has broken ground: Cabo Riviera (Calle Santa Maria de La Ribera, tel. 624/105-1005, www.caboriviera.com.mx) will have multiple golf courses, a 285-slip marina, plus the requisite condos and hotels. The main channel has been dredged, two breakwaters built, and two man-made islands formed inside the harbor. You can’t miss the blue flags that mark the office on the way into La Ribera.
Nearby, Cabo Cortés (www.cabocortes.com), located at Bahía El Rincon, has plans to build out to 30,000 beds, three golf courses, and a marina for 400 boats on 10,000 acres of coastal land, but SEMARNAT recently suspended the project due to environmental concerns.
Cabo Pulmo Vivo (www.cabopulmovivo.org) is an organization that has been working hard to prevent large-scale developments that will drain already limited resources from moving forward.
Punta Colorada lies to the south, marking the southern end of Bahía de las Palmas. Below La Ribera, several tiny seaside communities remain off the grid—though mainstream power and phone service loom in the not-too-distant future.
Hotels and Camping
At the south end of town, near the beach, RV Park La Trinidad (Esq. 16 de Septiembre, La Ribera, tel. 624/158-9837, http://latrinidadrvranch.com, US$25/150/500 per day/week/month) has more than 20 full hookups, a swimming pool, and an incredible ratio of bathrooms and showers per site (there are eight of each). There are a few tent camping sites and a restaurant/bar that serves a Mexican/seafood buffet for US$16–18. To find the park from the highway, follow the exit at Las Cuevas east to La Ribera and drive straight through town until you reach the beach road (Calle Hacienda Eureka). Turn right (south) and go about 800 meters to a Pemex station; then turn left (east) and look for the entrance on your left.
The southernmost of the original Baja fishing resorts was established in 1966 and overlooks Punta Colorada at the south end of Bahía de las Palmas.
Friendly and unassuming to this day, the Hotel Punta Colorada (tel. 612/121-0044, U.S. tel. 818/222-5066 or 800/368-4334, www.vanwormerresorts.com, US$130–180) has reputation throughout the sportfishing community as the place for catching roosterfish, described by veteran anglers as reel-melting fighters that will keep you coming back for more. The conditions off Punta Arena, the next point south from the hotel, are as good as it gets in Baja, as evidenced by the photo of a record-setting 42-kilogram catch on the wall in the bar. Guided fishing trips start at US$245 a day for a super-panga and US$330–385 for cruisers; half-day trips cost 70 percent of the full-day price. The hotel teams up with partners to offer kayak fishing and fly-fishing tours.
The hotel has 39 large rooms, all but eight of which have ocean views. Free wireless Internet is available in the lobby/courtyard area. Three meals daily are included in the price, and the locally renowned restaurant serves a Mexican buffet dinner open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays as well as a seafood buffet on Sundays. Call by noon for reservations. The hotel also has an indoor/outdoor bar and its own airstrip (1,000 m, Unicom 122.8). Tap water at the resort comes from a mountain well, so you can drink it. The hotel is closed in January, February, and September through the first week of October.
Close to the beach and a few blocks from the Trinidad RV Park, La Costa (no tel., 11 A.M.–6 P.M. Tues.–Sun, main US$5–10) does a good shrimp ceviche as well as large-sized fish and scallop tacos.
Mercado Rey (7 A.M.–10 P.M. daily), on El Camino Rural Costero, just past the Y and across from the Pemex, carries tools, propane tank parts, chains, and beer, plus basic groceries and a good selection of American liquors.
At the entrance to La Ribera, Vianey’s Restaurant (La Ribera, cell tel. 624/158-0938, vianeyslaribera [at] hotmail [dot] com, 8:30 A.M.–10 P.M. Thurs.–Tues.) does egg dishes for breakfast; tacos, meat, and fish dishes for lunch; and more elaborate meat and fish dinners. Thursday is a special pork rib and chile rellenos combo. Lunches range US$5–7, dinners US$10–15. The restaurant makes its own bread to serve with dinner entrées.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition