TVW Wander Guide
Getting down to the The Bay, or better known to the adventure traveler, Scorpion Bay, or to the locals as San Juanico - is a true Baja experience. The drive is gorgeous and it gives you a true feel for all of the amazing things Baja California has to offer. Your in for the ultimate road trip, I have multiple routes to choose from for your first day on the road.
From the Valle de Los Cirios (one of my favorite parts of the drive due to the biggest cacti you will EVER see, rolling hills and the huge red boulders) to the best fish taco of your life from a food truck.
NOTE: 4x4 is required. Tools to dig yourself out of the soft sand should be accessible, pack h20 in case you get stuck. Roads less traveled can cause you issues, be cautions and if you can, caravan.
Sea of Cortez Route
It takes about 15-16 hours driving from San Diego to Scorpion Bay, if you know where and when to make the proper turns ; )
I like to take the Sea of Cortez route for a couple reasons; it’s safer, the roads are much wider than the Pacific side freeway, there are less truckers, and the Sea of Cortez might just be a little more scenic than the Pacific.
Pacific Ocean Route
If you decide to go down the Mexican Highway 1 you can cross at TJ, or my preferred option, cross at Mexicali. Leave San Diego about 4 am to arrive at Guererro Negro in time for lunch. You are now halfway there!
I would HIGHLY recommend my favorite food truck with the freshest fish tacos around. Just three blocks passed the Malarrimo Hotel, on the right. The food truck is painted like a grey whale, its gleaming clean, the owner changes his cooking oil every day, and lays out the whole gamut of toppings. I have been going stopping here since I was 10 years old. Once you know how good it is, time somehow flies by.
You can also op to spread the drive into two days by staying one night here (Guererro Negro) at Hotel Malarrimo. It has a great restaurant and bar. This hotel is clean, cheap and safe. Its also one of the only options in town. I recommend trying their locally sourced scallops, straight from the lagoon! Either way, once you've made it to Guererro Nergo you are halfway to The Bay, so roughly eight to nine hours left to go!
MORE FOOD OPTIONS
Look for the mariscos spots that are the most crowded, it’s about 5.5 hrs from the border
Has some options on the left hand side, heading south. There is a good spot across from the Hotel La Pinta, which is about it’s 6.5 hours from the border.
CONTINUING FROM GUERERRO NEGRO TO SAN IGNACIO
If you stayed in Guererro Negro, get up early and get on the road. If you make good time, you'll be in Scorpion/The Bay by lunch & can catch the surf!
I recommend fueling up before making the right into town (you are 110 miles from your destination) and grab a snack in San Ignacio. Before heading onto dirt roads, you must stop and check out the beautiful mission of San Ignacio, built in 1728, it is breathtaking.
Once you are finished with Instagram photos of the church, fill up your cooler with snacks, water, ice and cervezas! There are also incredible fresh, handmade corn and flour tortillas made daily at the tortilaria!! Now you're geared up to hit the salt flats for your epic drive to The Bay.
THE NORTH ROAD
Put your whip in 4-wheel drive. The alternative route is to go around through Loreto. This adds a couple hours, but it has some beautiful sites like Muleje.
The North Road is the best it's been in over 20 years. It used to take eight hours, but now you can make it under three. It is filled between salt flats and bumpy sandy roads. For more detailed info on the roads, check out
You pull up (hopefully with an ice cold beer in your hand), check the surf, and then check into Scorpion Bay Hotel. Get excited for ceviche & margaritas, you made it!
Anything listed for your following days can arranged or guided by the staff, feel free to contact management for help!
Beach day at 2nd Point. Bring it ALL = boards, tents, fishing equipment, chairs, snacks, and BEACH IT UP! If you don't know much about the way the waves are set up, 1st (Point) is for beginners and has really good party waves. 6th is where advanced short boarders should head, and check out Scorpion Bay Hotel's surf trends for more info on each point.
After the beach, read your book in a hammock at the hotel, soak in that there is no power, no wifi, and allow yourself to disconnect.
After a morning surf session, spend the day adventuring out to the Cadeje estuary. Explore the blue crabs, beach breaks, and if no one is around, make it a nude beach?!
Get your shoes on, cameras ready, a backpack, and make some cocktails to go. You're about to take in sunset with a hike up the mesa. These views will give you perspective on why The Bay has one of the longest waves in the world.
Rent a ponga with a local fisherman and have them take you to one of their favorite spots to catch halibut, yellowtail, tuna, dorado or grouper.
If you're here on a weekend, make sure you follow the live music. The local band, Los Primos, will show you a good time.
Wake up early and catch a yoga class at one of the locals houses, Angela or Teresita!
After yoga, enjoy complimentary breakfast (everyday) upstairs on the deck at Scorpion Bay Hotel. I made the menu that is a combination of homemade granola, fresh fruit, local egg dishes, and homemade breads.
Pack a lunch and rent the vehicles from Scorpion Bay Hotel to spend an afternoon treasure hunting. There are so many things to see and find. From turtles, to shark teeth, arrowheads to ancient finds!
For the explorers. Take a day trip to Santa Domingo, also known as, The Finger. You'll have a beach all to yourself.
A day trip out to Santo Domingo by car takes about an hour. You hike down big black rock cliffs to an endless beach all by yourself. There is also great beach break to surf and great rock fishing from The Finger. Make sure you pack everything you need, from chairs to food. There’s nothing there, except the fish you are going to catch of course (fire, fishing poles, h20, cervezas)!
OTHER BAY ACTIVITIES
Care to volunteer or give back to this amazing community? Contact the manager, Chalu, at Scorpion Bay Hotel. You can set up a day with the niños del pueblo to do a beach clean up, art activity, or kick the soccer ball around.
Make sure to check the local restaurant, Vaqueros de Las Olas. Especially after a long day of shredding.
There is always a special on the menu, like aqua chile, an amazine ceviche style dish, and you could literally drink her salsa. Its that good. You really can't go wrong!
After too many beer days and tequila nights, one could really go for a michelada. Head to the Cantina at 2nd Point for a michelada made by hand with 11 ingredientss that are all amazing. It will cure your crudo ("hangover" in Spanish)!
Leaving The Bay is never fun. And almost every time I have to leave there is a swell coming. But your vacation must come to an end, and when it does, make sure you have plenty of snacks and water for your drive home.
This feeling is something that has keep me going back for over a decade now, its always a new adventure (its Mexico, there’s a lot of unexpected). I cant wait for you to experience the feeling when you live out this post.