Punta Bufeo to Punta Pinal
You need high clearance, sturdy tires, good shocks, and a lot of driving patience to continue south of Puertecitos. Plan on 5–6 hours of driving to make the 72.5-kilometer trip to Alfonsina’s on Bahía Willard.
Bahía San Luis Gonzaga
Popular with private pilots and experienced Baja adventurers, the flat, gray-sand beach along remote Bahía San Luis Gonzaga is reminiscent of an earlier time. A few dozen rustic beach homes line the shore—each with its private plane, boat, or dune buggy parked outside. Rancho Grande (tel. 555/151-4065) offers beach camping for US$5 a night. Facilities include outhouses, showers, and a minimarket.
Punta Final is a small cape with several points and a small lagoon. It marks the south end of Gonzaga Bay and offers good views of the bay from above.
Fishing fanatics enjoy the onshore catch off Punta Bufeo and around the Islas Encantadas just offshore. This group of islands provides the ideal habitat for yellowtail, croaker, corvina, and sierra.
The next settlement to the south, Alfonsina’s (Tijuana tel. 664/648-1951) has supplies, including gas (but not diesel). Rancho Grande (no tel.) also may have gas if Alfonsina’s is out.
Hotels and Food
Campo Punta Bufeo (56 km south of Puertecitos along the dirt road that parallels the coast) has campsites (US$5–10) on the beach, as well as a restaurant, toilets, showers, and simple motel rooms (US$20).
Punta Willard, the next point south, about 12 kilometers south of Punta Bufeo, has a legendary settlement called Papa Fernández (www.papafernandez.com). This campground on the beach has palapa shelters (US$5), outhouses (but no showers), a boat ramp, and panga fishing. The best part about Papa Fernández is its restaurant (no tel., dawn–dusk, and often later, daily, mains US$6–14), which serves homemade tortillas and chile rellenos and will cook your catch.
Papa Fernández does not have its own telephone; however, in an emergency, you can dial the mini-mart at Rancho Grande on a satellite phone (tel. 555/151-4065). Leave a call-back number, as well as your name and the name of the person you are trying to contact. It’s also a good idea to describe the vehicle that your contact is driving in Baja. On the message, ask Rancho Grande to contact Papa Fernández on the marine radio.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition