As Mexico 1 emerges from the sierra and prepares to descend to the coast once again, it passes through the farm settlement of San Bartolo (pop. 550) at Km. 128. An attractive row of markets and eateries line both sides of the highway.
San Bartolo celebrates its patron saint day on June 19, just a week after San Antonio’s town festival.
San Bartolo has one of the best water supplies anywhere in Southern Baja, and waterfalls along its arroyo are a popular way to cool off on balmy days. Organized tours from Los Barriles often travel here via ATV. But if you want to drive yourself to the falls, head to the village of San Bartolo and inquire at Rancho Verde for directions.
Rancho La Venta (Km. 144.5, Mexico 1, tel. 612/156-8947, www.rancholaventa.com ) offers guided horseback rides (US$50 for up to 2 hrs., US$70 for up to 3 hrs., US$550 for overnight ride with meals and drinks) and trails for hiking and bird-watching.
Rancho Verde (Km. 143/142, Mexico 1, tel. 612/126-9103, U.S. tel. toll-free 888/516-9462, www.rancho  verde.com) advertises itself as a private RV community with lots for sale, but it does rent sites by the night as well (RVs US$12/day, US$72/week; tents US$8/day). Set on more than 1,200 hectares of sierra wilderness, this park offers a refreshing contrast to the increasing crowds and real estate development that are overtaking much of the Baja coast. Amenities include water, sewer, hot showers, and free Wi-Fi.
Just up the road, in a historic location on the mission trail, Rancho La Venta (www.rancholaventa.com , US$75) offers a few casitas for rent, meals included. Owners Bob and Liz Pudwell ran a popular fish taco restaurant in Alaska before moving permanently to Baja. Now they grow organic vegetables on their ranch.
You can buy mangoes, avocados, and other locally grown produce from markets along the road—or pick out a bag of homemade candies. Then grab a seat on a wrought-iron bench and enjoy the vista looking down on the palm-filled arroyo.
Restaurant El Paso (no tel., hours vary, mains US$4–8) and Dulcería Daniela’s (no tel., hours vary, mains US$4–8), on the east side of the highway, serve simple Mexican dishes as well as sweets.
El Oasis (no tel., hours vary, mains US$4–8) sells fruit-filled dulces and snacks and prepares simple meals. It’s also a popular stop for guided tours from Los Cabos.