The defining image of day-to-day life in Los Barriles these days is that of early retirees happily speeding along dirt roads on ATVs, which they ride to the supermarket, hardware store, beach, and everywhere in between.
A strip mall on the main access road from Mexico 1 is the de facto town center, with another row of commercial businesses along Calle 20 de Noviembre, heading north to Punta Pescadero. A row of gringo McMansions front the beach behind a stone retaining wall, and several developments are in varying stages of completion in the hills above and to the north of town.
However, those in search of the “real” Baja should not despair; Los Barriles retains an authentic tortillería, plus roosters that roam the streets, a cement factory where blocks are still made by hand, numerous taco stands, and countless other family-owned businesses. Local Mexicans know each other by their sobrenombres (nicknames), and the untamed backcountry is just minutes away.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition