The farming town of Colonet has a Pemex and handful of places to eat and shop. Use it as a supply station for trips to the coast or into the sierra. There aren’t any sights of interest in the town proper.
Almost due west of Colonet, San Antonio del Mar is a remote beach camp on an estuary with a few homes and trailers. The exposed, sandy beach faces west, and there are good shore fishing and decent beach breaks in both directions.
This is a good bet to escape the crowds. Stock up on supplies and fill your tank with gas in Colonet. Primitive camping with no facilities costs US$5 per night. Turn off Mexico 1 at Km. 126, a little north of town and just before the bridge. From here, it’s 12.5 kilometers to the coast.
Bahía Colonet (14 km southwest) is supposedly a target for development as part of the Escalera Nautica project, but nothing has materialized to date. The north point of this bay, Cabo Colonet, breaks on northwest swells. On the bay itself, Cuatro Casas is one of the more crowded longboarding breaks along this stretch of coastline. It is also a fickle spot that doesn’t break consistently.
Crime warning: An armed robbery of a surf instructor and longtime Baja traveler was widely reported in the San Diego press in 2007. He was camping with his girlfriend in a deserted spot along the coast after getting lost on the road to Cuatro Casas after dark. Take precautions when exploring this area. Leave your valuables behind, travel in groups, camp at the hostel, and don’t be conspicuous.
On an exposed bluff overlooking the break, Cuatro Casas Hostel Surf (U.S. tel. 619/756-0639, www.myspace.com/cuatrocasas ) has a variety of clean rooms starting at US$15 in a large house and camping for US$5. The parking area is fenced, and the owner has a bright spotlight on the roof to ward off would-be intruders. In recent years, we’ve seen shortsighted fishermen out front using bleach to ferret out octopuses from their holes in the tide pools.
To find Cuatro Casas coming from the north on Mexico 1, drive 13.8 kilometers south of Colonet to a Pemex on the left and then another kilometer and a half on the highway after that toward the intersection with the paved road to San Telmo. After you pass a yellow auto parts store, turn right onto a dirt road that leads to the coast (12.9 km). Call or text the owner, Richard, for reservations.