Bahía Asunción (pop. 2,000) has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, from electricity and pavement to signed streets. It’s a town that appears to be prospering and receiving considerable attention both from foreign and national interests.
For this reason, its days as a quaint and quiet destination may be numbered, especially now that the pavement is complete from the Vizcaíno road.
The town’s main street is Benito Juárez, on which basically all services can be found, including a Pemex, SEMARNAT office (where you can get a permit for an island tour), airstrip, and two plants that process marine products, plus a clinic, library, post office/telegraph service, and a few eateries. Long-distance phones can be found at Farmacia Eduardo’s, Farmacia Rosio, and Ultramarinos Asunción.
The waterfront in Bahía Asunción is not particularly attractive, but it does have a pier and a small beach located just north of town. The annual town festival, that of the Virgen de Asunción, is held in mid-August and includes a fishing tournament and surf competition.
Visit Galería Bahía (cell tel. 615/103-4432, www.galeriabahia.blogspot.com, hours vary, daily Oct.–Apr.), where artist Nancy Pridham maintains a small art studio, with cards, paintings, and sculptures for sale. To find the gallery/home, follow the pavement through town and up the hill. Turn right at the stop sign at Atun street. Go two blocks and turn right to find the two-story mustard-yellow house.
For most visitors, life at Bahía Asunción centers around sportfishing, socializing, and eating the daily catch. Throw a line into the surf for halibut and corvina, try spearfishing for grouper, or troll for yellowtail, dorado, wahoo and yellowfin tuna—all within a mile of shore.
Otherwise, you can walk the beach and watch seawater spew out of the Bufadora. In June, you can snorkel at Isla Asunción, when thousands of baby sea lions are born. Surfers find numerous beach and reef breaks nearby. And you might be able to arrange a scuba diving trip through Mulegé-based Cortez Divers.
Juan Arce Murron is one of several local fishermen who offer guided trips. He and his wife, Canadian Shari Bondy, also offer guest accommodations and camping. Located across from the California Fishing Co-op near the point, Kalicos Locos Sport Fishing and Excursions (tel. 615/160-0241, cell tel. 615/107-3720, kalicosloco [at] yahoo [dot] com) runs fishing tours as well as trips to Malarrimo Beach or to view the wild desert pronghorn. Camping and RV parking are free for clients.
Hotels and Camping
The friendly Hotel El Verduzco (Juárez at Mantaraya, tel. 615/160-0004, US$$30) has clean, simple rooms with hot water and wireless Internet.
Fishing captain Juan Arce Murron built the Bufadora/Blowhole B&B (tel. 615/160-0289, U.S. tel. 619/906-8438, US$60) one stone at a time, in between fishing trips. Perched on the side of a cliff, its two guestrooms are quiet and contemporary and overlook rocks and the blowhole below. From the patio, you’ll enjoy views of Islas Asunción and San Roque just offshore. Amenities include Wi-Fi, fridge, and microwave. Rates include full breakfast. The owners also have built several vacation rentals over the years, including a three-bedroom beach house (US$150/night for two people), rustic three-bedroom Casa Pargo (US$90/night for two people), and a one-bedroom bungalow (US$60 per night). You can also camp on their property for US$10 in a sheltered cove at the water’s edge. One more option is the rustic fishing cabin at the abandoned San Roque fishing camp for US$40 per night. Camping is also possible here for US$10 per night.
Under the same ownership, centrally located Campo Sirena has tent camping and some hookups for RV travelers. It provides bathroom/shower facilities and a fee dumping station. Find the camp one block south of Benito Juárez near the entrance to town.
Kalicos Locos has both tent sites and ample space for large rigs. There are restrooms and showers and great views, and you’ll be steps away from the panga boat launch in the morning. The camping is free if you book a chartered fishing trip with the owners.
Restaurant Hotel El Verduzco (Juárez at Mantaraya, tel. 615/160-0004, 8 A.M.–10 P.M. daily, mains US$5–7) serves dependable Mexican staples. Next door to the hotel is the town’s only Internet café, open to nonguests.
At Campo Sirena, Tide Pool Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The menu features fish tacos, abalone burgers, sushi/sashimi, and pizzas. You can bring your fresh catch or request box lunches for fishing or picnics.
Across from the fishing co-op at the three-way stop sign, Lonchería Mari (no tel., 8 A.M.–10:30 P.M. daily) is a relatively new establishment that offers seafood, burgers, tacos, and pizza and is open all day.
Plenty of taco and antojito stands line Benito Juárez, and the addition of new pavement along the beach heading out of town will probably lead to a revamping of some waterfront restaurants as well.
Getting to Bahía Asunción
There are two ways to reach Asunción from Tortugas: You can retrace your steps along the Vizcaino–Tortugas road to the fork and follow the southern branch (partially paved) southwest to the coast. Or you can take a more scenic and shorter route via San José del Castro.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition