San Felipe, Mexico: Escape the Crowds and Relax by the Beach (2023)

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San Felipe Mexico is a coastal town on the upper Baja Peninsula, approximately 200 km south of Mexicali, and is considered the gateway to the Sea of Cortez.

Its beaches constitute a majestic landscape of intense blue water that contrasts with the sandy soil and the arid mountains of Baja California.

On these beaches, you can enjoy a privileged climate almost all year round because in San Felipe, “there are no bad days.”

The port of San Felipe is a well-known tourist and fishing destination.

Blue shrimp, a species highly appreciated for its size and flavor, is caught in its waters.

Shrimp fishing is so important that it has earned the “shrimp capital” title.

Table of Contents show

Top things to do in San Felipe, Mexico

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The natural environment of San Felipe offers multiple options to discover.

You can enjoy beaches with clear sands and small waves in the bay that goes from Punta El Machorro to Punta Estrella.

The sea temperature is temperate, cooling down a little in the winter.

The lack of major tourist developments makes its beaches, such as El Faro, Playa Rubens, and El Dorado Ranch, ideal for walking, sunbathing, and relaxing.

Water sports are a good option. The marina and hotels can arrange sportfishing excursions, motorboats, yacht rides, water skiing, and hang gliding.

The rocky terrain allows cross-country hiking and mountain biking.

Cerro Machorro is a hill near San Felipe from where you can get a panoramic view of the port, the mountains, and the sea.

The dunes near the coast are ideal for ATV rides.

In the urban area, you can visit the municipal park, where families traditionally go on weekends.

You can walk along the boardwalk and the lighthouse hill on the coastal avenue.

San Felipe’s Punta Estrella

San Felipe, Mexico: Escape the Crowds and Relax by the Beach (1)

Towards the south, near Punta Estrella, you can visit the valley of the Giant cardons, an extensive desert area populated by saguaros cacti.

On this same route, you find the fishing village of Puertecitos, located on the shore of a small and beautiful bay. Here you can visit geothermal springs and enjoy an amazing night sky.

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To the west of San Felipe is the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir; in its mountains, you can find fossil fields, cave paintings, and Indian caverns.

Hiring expeditions made in special sand carts are recommended to get to know this area.

El Dorado Ranch in San Felipe

San Felipe, Mexico: Escape the Crowds and Relax by the Beach (2)

Although it has a large territory, Rancho El Dorado is still a hidden recreational paradise located in San Felipe Mexico.

For a select group of people who have found the year-round warm weather and quiet, uncrowded ranch ideal for vacationing and retirement.

Driving on Highway 5 towards San Felipe, you can’t miss Rancho El Dorado.

It is located at kilometer 176 on the San Felipe-Mexicali highway.

There is a waterfall, a security building, and two huge flags at the main entrance, one from Mexico and the other from the United States.

When you visit, you can enjoy all the ranch’s amenities, just as the owner himself would.

With the first and only 18-hole golf course in San Felipe, and the safest locations, there is simply no comparable place in the area.

And if you’re not a golf aficionado, don’t worry; there are a variety of activities to keep you entertained: a tennis court, swimming pools, pickleball courts, restaurants, and a private beach are just a few of the many amenities that are available for your enjoyment at the ranch.

The main pool, La Papala, has an adjacent bar and restaurant (try their tequila and mezcal tasting!).

With a surround sound system, it constantly plays a mix of lively and mellow music, much to the delight of visitors.

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How to get to San Felipe Mexico

From the city of Mexicali, heading south on Federal Highway 5, you will reach San Felipe.

You can also get to San Felipe if you’re driving from Ensenada by Federal Highway 3; both roads meet at the hamlet of El Chinero.

On the same route and a few kilometers before arriving in San Felipe are located Playa el Paraíso and Playa Blanca.

Further south, along the same highway 5, you reach Puertecitos, located a little more than 50 kilometers from San Felipe.

Some cruises arrive at the port of San Felipe within the route that crosses the Sea of Cortes, which comes from Mazatlan, passing by Los Cabos in Baja California Sur and the Bay of Angels in Baja California.

If driving is not your thing, you can also get there by air through the local airport for private flights.

Mexicali’s airport, General Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, is the nearest commercial airport.

It offers domestic and international charter flights. It has bus, cab, and car rental services from well-known companies.

Another option for those traveling from the United States is the Calexico International Airport, adjacent to Mexicali.

Relevant information about San Felipe, Mexico

San Felipe has been transformed from a fishing port into an important tourist destination.

In recent years, the sale of properties and the construction of real estate developments have increased.

Including the construction of an impressive golf course called “Las Caras de Mexico” and another one designed by Jack Nicklaus is being built in the marina area.

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There are multiple lodging options; you can find hotels, motels, palapas, and trailer parks with basic services, as well as rentals and timeshares.

Camping is allowed on some of the beaches on the way to Puertecitos.

San Felipe has specialized fishing stores, bars, and restaurants.

In any of these, you can taste the famous blue shrimp cooked any way you prefer: in a cocktail, grilled on skewers, breaded, or sauteed garlic.

The “cachanillas” (a slang term for Baja locals) recommend savoring the shrimp cocktail seasoned with tomato and lemon sauce in one of the local bungalows, where you can also taste the octopus with butter and the aguachiles with avocado.

Nature and Eco-tourism

San Felipe, Mexico: Escape the Crowds and Relax by the Beach (3)

As far as nature conservation and ecotourism are concerned, it is good to know that the imaginary line that crosses the sea and joins San Felipe with Puerto Peñasco in Sonora marks the limit of the protected waters of the Biosphere Reserve of the Upper Gulf of California and Delta of the Colorado River.

Therefore, no more than 5 kilometers from the port of San Felipe, you can find endemic species such as the Gila monster lizard, the totoaba fish, and the vaquita, unfortunately almost extinct.

The San Felipe carnival has been held for more than 20 years; although it may be small compared to other famous carnivals, it is characterized by the excitement of the locals and tourists, good weather, and safety.

San Felipe is a “Spring Break” destination for young people from the Pacific and Southwestern United States. During that season and Easter vacations, the high flow of tourists may cause overcrowding and excessive traffic.

Visiting San Felipe, Mexico: Summary

As I said before, this little village is perfect for relaxation and beach activities.

You can sunbathe, swim and practice countless water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, diving, or sport fishing.

Likewise, its geography favors the practice of ATV and all-terrain vehicle tours, hang-gliding, expeditions to the desert and mountains, camping, trekking, flora and fauna observation, or simply contemplating the night sky.

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More recently, local resorts offer golf, gastronomic, wine sampling, and spa services.


What is San Felipe famous for? ›

San Felipe is historically a fishing town. Today it is also a popular tourist destination, known for its beaches, nature, and desert racing, as home to the San Felipe 250.

Is San Felipe a good place to visit? ›

San Felipe is a sunny beach town with temperate to hot weather and lots of ocean-related activities. Come prepared with your bathing suit, snorkel, UPF shirt, sandals, and travel towel. Some San Felipe essentials include: Reef-Safe Sunscreen.

How much does it cost to live in San Felipe Mexico? ›

List of prices in San Felipe Current as of Aug 2022.
FoodUpdate prices
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flatCH$50,843
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive areaCH$450,000
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal areaCH$350,000
57 more rows

How far is San Felipe from the US border? ›

San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Just 120 miles south of the Calexico / Mexicali border crossing, San Felipe is a great destination for the quick weekend getaway or the perfect place to park your RV and stay a while!

Can you swim in San Felipe Mexico? ›

The beach is a major draw for people coming to San Felipe, because just as it provides countless business opportunities for the locals, it provides just as many fun and recreational activities for those who come from near and far. Visitors love to swim in the clear waters and sunbathe on the coast.

Is San Felipe Mexico a good place to retire? ›

Safe in San Felipe

The town's proximity to the U.S.A. is one of the prime features which attracts foreigners, and particularly Americans, to consider the town as a place for part-time or full-time living and retirement.

Can Americans buy property in San Felipe Mexico? ›

As a foreigner, you can acquire irrevocable and absolute ownership rights to property in Mexico through a 50 year perpetually renewable and transferable Real Estate Bank Trust called a “Fideicomiso.” This trust is the legal equivalent for deeded ownership (commonly referred to in the U.S. as fee simple) and is provided ...

Is the water clear in San Felipe? ›

Crystal clear waters, low tides, spectacular panoramas and desert landscapes are what you should expect to find at this paradise destination.

Is the water warm in San Felipe Mexico? ›

In general, the swimming season ends In December. Average annual water temperature on the coast in San Felipe is 73°F, by the seasons: in winter 62°F, in spring 68°F, in summer 83°F, in autumn 79°F. Minimum water temperature (58°F) in San Felipe it happens in February, maximum (89°F) in August.

How much do you need a month to live comfortably in Mexico? ›

I've also lived in Oaxaca too, and it's even more affordable (I spent well under $600 per month).
Average Cost of Living Across Mexico: $600 – $2,000.
Monthly ExpensesCost (USD$)
Rent & Internet$375
Electricity & Water$0
2 more rows
Jun 18, 2013

How much do you need to make a year to live comfortably in Mexico? ›

In Mexico, you can live a comfortable life on $1,000 a month. The average cost of living for expats, digital nomads and retirees varies between $600 to $2,000 depending on one's lifestyle choices and their location. Baseline costs in Mexico are around $750 a month.

Is there cell service in San Felipe Mexico? ›

San Felipe has two cell phone companies: Telefonica Movilstar and TelCel.

Are there mosquitoes in San Felipe? ›

The risk for mosquito activity is extremely high. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when spending time outdoors to prevent bites. The risk for mosquito activity is high.

Does San Felipe have a hospital? ›

In any case, if the injury or illness is serious, they will be stabilized and then transported on up the Mexicali hospitals for further treatment as necessary. Back in 2003, San Felipe was finally blessed with a small, fully equipped hospital of it's own, St. James Infirmary, located next to the police station.

Which is better San Felipe or Puerto Penasco? ›

The Final Verdict: San Felipe Has It All

Both San Felipe and Puerto Penasco are great places to visit, but if you are looking for an authentic Mexican vacation with a small-town feel, combined with beautiful beaches and a vibrant arts and culture scene, San Felipe is a must-see vacation destination.

Are there alligators in Mexico Beach? ›


On land, you might spot the classic American alligator, Florida black bears, deer, and various other wildlife. Mexico Beach is also a popular host for numerous bird species such as bald eagles, osprey, pelicans, and many species of herons and egrets.

How cold does it get in San Felipe Mexico? ›

The cool season lasts for 3.4 months, from November 25 to March 5, with an average daily high temperature below 75°F. The coldest month of the year in San Felipe is December, with an average low of 55°F and high of 70°F.

What is the cleanest beach in Mexico? ›

  • Beaches of Cozumel, Quintana Roo (Las Casitas, Downtown, Dzul-ha, Chankanaab, Rastas, Bonita, Caletita, San Martín and Chen Rio)
  • Mahahual Beach, in Othón P. ...
  • Beaches of Altata Bay Navolato, Sinaloa (Altata and El Tambor)
  • Costa Azul Beach, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
  • Playa Dzilam Bravo, Yucatán.
Dec 25, 2019

What is the safest beach town in Mexico to live? ›

Cancun is ranked as the safest beach town in Mexico with lower crime rates than most Mexican cities.

Where do most retired Americans live in Mexico? ›

"Most Americans who choose to retire in Mexico opt for San Miguel Allende," said John Hubbard, the founder and CEO of Urban Dare. "That's because it offers a temperate climate all year round. Low-cost and high-quality healthcare is also available.

Can I buy a house in Mexico for $100000? ›

You can find a house for $100,000 USD or more in Mexico!

If you want to buy a small house, then your budget can be $100,000 USD or more. However, if you want a large home with an ocean view and many bedrooms, then your budget can be more than $1,000,000 USD. There are many options in between these two price ranges.

Can I buy a house in Mexico if I am a US citizen? ›

Foreigners can own property in Mexico. It's perfectly legal. Outside the restricted zones—50 kilometers (about 31 miles) from shorelines and 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) from international borders—foreigners can hold direct deed to property with the same rights and responsibilities as Mexican nationals.

How much does a house in Mexico cost? ›

On average, a property in the country's capital city would cost almost three million Mexican pesos, approximately double the national average.
Average housing price in Mexico in 1st quarter 2022, by state (in 1,000 Mexican pesos)
CharacteristicPrice in thousand Mexican pesos
Mexico City2,892.36
12 more rows
Aug 29, 2022

Are there sharks in San Felipe? ›

The waters surrounding the Baja peninsula are famous for their diverse sea life, and divers can expect to see hammerhead sharks, mantas and thousands of tropical fish.

Is it safe to drive to San Felipe? ›

Road Conditions are Big Problem in San Felipe

The street is paved, but be careful as the shoulders are not adequate and there is no light at night. This can be a dangerous situation. In order to stay safe, make sure your car is in good condition.

Which beach town in Mexico has the best weather? ›

Mazatlán has one of the best coastal climates in all of Mexico, especially for snow birds who visit for half the year. The winters are sunny and dry with lower humidity, almost a 0% change of rain, and cooler refreshing night temperatures.

Where does San Felipe get its water? ›

San Benito County receives its share of imported water through the CVP. This water is stored at San Luis Reservoir. From there it is pumped through the Pacheco Pass and into our county through a section of pipe called the San Felipe Project.

Can you snorkel in San Felipe? ›

San Felipe, Mexico offers an international airport, nightclubs, restaurants, sport fishing, snorkeling, sailing, and sightseeing tours.

Can I live on $500 a month in Mexico? ›

Just to recap, it IS possible to live in Mexico on $500 per month, but it is difficult. My top recommendation for where to live in Mexico on $500 per month is San Cristobal de las Casas because it's a beautiful city with lots of things to do and it's very inexpensive.

Can I get my Social Security in Mexico? ›

If I retire in Mexico will I lose my social security? No, U.S. citizens can collect social security in Mexico. There are a few countries the U.S. will not send benefits to and your payments are withheld until you return to the US, but Mexico is not one of them.

What is the cheapest beach town to live in Mexico? ›

With nearly 6,000 miles of coastline, these are the most budget-friendly beach towns in Mexico.
  • Playa del Carmen. This Riviera Maya coastal town attracts high numbers of international backpackers who bunk in hostels, guesthouses and budget-friendly hotels. ...
  • Mazatlán. ...
  • Loreto. ...
  • Pátzcuaro. ...
  • Todos Santos. ...
  • Troncones.

What are the disadvantages of living in Mexico? ›

13 Negatives Of Living In Mexico
  • But, It's Not All Paradise!
  • Basic Utilities Aren't Always Reliable.
  • Internet Speed Isn't As Fast.
  • Uneven Sidewalks Or NO Sidewalks.
  • Lack of Saftey Building Codes and Inspections.
  • You Can't Flush Toilet Paper.
  • Public Bathrooms Are NOT Free.
  • Topes Can Hurt Your Car.
Jun 15, 2022

How much does it cost to rent a house in Mexico? ›

How expensive is housing and accommodation in Mexico?
Renting in Mexico CityAverage monthly cost
large apartmentMex$21,000
medium apartmentMex$12,800
small apartmentMex$10,000
student dorm roomMex$8,500
1 more row
Dec 19, 2017

How much is average rent in Mexico? ›

Full Breakdown of The Cost of Living in Mexico
ExpenseU.S. $
Rent (furnished, two-bedroom home)$750
10 more rows

Do I need a passport to go to San Felipe Baja California? ›

If you are a U.S national, you may be looking up questions like “Do you need a passport to go to Baja California?” The answer is, yes. You will require a passport to travel to this Mexican state. While many people consider traveling by car, boat, train or bus, traveling by air is arguably the most convenient option.

How far is San Felipe Baja California from the US border? ›

San Felipe is a small fishing village, situated on the Sea of Cortez, 118 miles south of the U.S. border, which was historically dependent upon fishing; however, today tourism and real estate provide the economic base.

Do you need a passport for San Felipe Mexico? ›

Are passports required to visit San Felipe? Passports and visas are not required by the Mexican authorities to enter Mexico and travel to San Felipe.

What month is mosquito season? ›

As discussed earlier, mosquitoes require a temperature between 50 to 80-degree Fahrenheit to survive. That's why they come out in the summer season from March to early November.

What happens if you get bit by a mosquito in Mexico? ›

The odds of a disease being passed to you from a mosquito bite in Mexico are very low; notwithstanding this, if after being bitten by a mosquito you feel fever, unusually sweaty, experience back and body aches, a stiff neck, or begin vomiting seek medical advice.

What time of year are mosquitoes most active in Mexico? ›

Mosquitoes in Mexico are most commonly found during the mosquito season that runs from April to November. Areas in the south of Mexico such as Chiapas, Tabasco and Yucatan often experience more mosquitoes in this period than areas further north.

Is San Felipe touristy? ›

San Felipe is historically a fishing town. Today it is also a popular tourist destination, known for its beaches, nature, and desert racing, as home to the San Felipe 250.

Can you take a boat from San Felipe to Puerto Peñasco? ›

The easiest way to get to the island is to charter a boat from the Malecon in downtown San Felipe and head on a 45-minute boat ride, 23 miles, to the island. This is about the halfway point between San Felipe and Puerto Penasco.

Is Baja safer than mainland Mexico? ›

Baja California is one of the safer areas of Mexico, especially if you stick to Rosarito, Ensenada, and Guadalupe Valley. However, it does have cartel activity, and crime is also a risk. So be sure to avoid sketchy areas and always be aware of your surroundings.

Why is San Felipe del Morro important? ›

El Morro served as an active U.S. military base during the two World Wars. A bunker, naval observation post and an anti-aircraft gun emplacement were added to the historic fortification.

Why did Austin call the town San Felipe? ›

Founded in 1824 as San Felipe de Austin, the town served as the capital of Stephen F. Austin's first colony and the founding site of the Texas Rangers. The town was named after Stephen Austin and Felipe de la Garza, commanding general of the Eastern Interior Provinces.

How many tourists does San Felipe del Morro get? ›

Over two million visitors a year explore the castillo, making it one of Puerto Rico's leading tourist attractions.

Why is El Morro so popular? ›

El Morro is one of the most well-known attractions in San Juan and Puerto Rico. Its iconographic shape and character represent and pay tribute to five centuries of Spanish colonial and American history that speak about the strategic importance of the island to its mother nations.

What happened to the San Felipe? ›

San Felipe de Austin didn't survive the war for Texas independence -- it was burned by its own residents as they evacuated during the Runaway Scrape of 1836.

What is the girl version of Felipe? ›

Philipa can be spent many different ways including Phillipa, Philippa and Filipa.

Does Felipe have an accent? ›

Felipe has a great English accent

Unlike the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, Felipe VI conversed easily with President Obama. And revealed his English accent sounds ever so slightly like former James Bond, Sean Connery's.

Why do they say keep Austin weird? ›

Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas. It is intended to promote local businesses and is inspired by comments made by Red Wassenich in 2000 while giving a pledge to an Austin radio station.

What name was given to Mexicans who moved to Texas? ›

Historically, the Spanish term Tejano has been used to identify various groups of people. During the Spanish colonial era, the term was primarily applied to Spanish settlers of the region now known as the state of Texas, which was first part of New Spain and after 1821 was part of Mexico.

Why did they burn San Felipe de Austin? ›

On March 30, 1836, the small garrison remaining at San Felipe to defend the Brazos crossing ordered the town evacuated and then burned it to the ground to keep it from falling into the hands of the advancing Mexican army.


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