BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

Buena Vista

Buena Vista and Los Barriles are two seaside areas that still retain much of the kick-back pace that made Baja popular! Fabulous sandy beaches, clean beautiful seas filled with fish, crystal clear air, and a remote feeling that seems far removed from civilization. The Baja Highway briefly kisses the coast here, before heading back inland on its way to the 24 hour party at Cabo San Lucas.

There are a few small (yet wonderful!) beach side hotels in the area, but few other services. Each year a few more homes are built on or near the beaches, yet Buena Vista still retains a relaxing and peaceful pace.

A dirt road heading north from here leads up to Punta Pescadero, which features the beautiful Hotel Punta Pescadero (one of Carlos Fiesta's favorite hotels in the world!). The recently enlarged verandah offers to-die-for views of the Sea of Cortez, and even the pool has a great view! The pace is s-l-o-w and very relaxing.

Just north of the hotel, spectacular beach front homes, complete with a paved airstrip, await the Baja aficionado who really wants to get away from it all.

The road south from Buena Vista also skirts miles of postcard-perfect beaches, with a couple of small, well maintained hotels ready to serve the needs of Baja travelers.

If you are looking for a quiet beach to stretch out and read that new Danielle Steel or Deepak Chopra paperback, you won't have to look far. These beaches are some of the best you will find in Baja!

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

Buena Vista Beaches 

The beautiful beaches of Bahia de Palmas run for over 20 miles, from Punta Pescadero on the north end to Punta Colorada on the south. These are some of the best beaches in Mexico!

And the good news is that, except for a few small settlements and hotels, these great beaches remain largely undeveloped. Growth has been increasing in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area largely because this is where the Transpeninsular Highway briefly kisses the coast before heading inland again.

NORTH to SOUTH, these beaches include:


North of Los Barriles on a decent coastal dirt road, approximately 8 miles. Beautiful long white sandy beach with large tidal rock areas great for snorkeling! Parking and access are easy at the arroyo, about a hundred yards before the hotel.


Where the coastal road nears the coast, take the new paved spur road east to beach. Beautiful sandy beaches start north of town, all the way to the hotels of Buena Vista. More homes are being built along the beach here, but the area remains pretty quiet.


Just south of Los Barriles, take one of several dirt roads east to the Sea of Cortez. Picking up where Los Barriles left off, miles and miles of beautiful calm beaches. Hotels front the beach in several areas, but guests tend to stay close to their pools.


Accessible from a dirt road that runs parallel and somewhat inland from the coast. Wide open beaches run south for a dozen miles from Buena Vista all the way out! Out here you need to bring along your own ice, drinks, and food. No services.

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

Many Baja travelers like camping and in the Buena Vista-Los Barriles area because they can find the wide open spaces and beauty that used to be easy to find down Los Cabos way.

Now that Cabo has grown up, the beaches of the Buena Vista area are the hot tip for those folks looking for empty beaches and solitude. There are over 20 miles of beaches to set up camp on, as well as the following campgrounds:


    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

There are more boats anchored off shore in the Buena Vista-Los Barriles area than anywhere else in Baja. And they are all there for one reason . . .hook-up! Most of these boats are chartered from the local hotels, although a few are privately owned and operated by locals. For the Baja traveler who dares the adventure of driving down the Baja Highway with a vessel in tow, there are several places to launch in the area, including the ramp just north of the Hotel Buena Vista Resort.

The fishing in these waters offers something for everyone. Sailfish are plentiful offshore from June through December, and the dorado, yellowtail, roosterfish and wahoo keep the anglers busy all year long. Inshore fish include pargo, cabrilla, grouper, and sometimes yellowtail. There are definite advantages in going out with someone who know the local waters, and it's usually worth the price for an experienced captain.

The Tuna Hole, about 4 miles south of Punta Pescadero, offers yellowfin tuna year round, but the underwater terrain has been known to chew up many a line and leader. Most of the fishing in the areas is arranged through the various hotels, each offering special fishing packages. There is also a fishing shop in the new shopping center at the entrance to Los Barriles.This is tight-line heaven!


Telephone (800) 458-3688 * (562) 594-9441 * Fax (562) 596-5666.

2221 Palos Verde Avenue #1D, Long Beach, California, 90815.

Custom sportsfishing adventures in East Cape waters.


Telephone (800) 593-6510 * (714) 692-6970.


Family owned and operated custom fishing tours off of Baja's East Cape.


Telephone 011-52 (114) 1-0237.

If you just want to go out with one of the local Mexicans on a panga to try your luck, give 'em a call.

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

Most of the hotels in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area have been here for a long time. They are all right on the beach, and many have airstrips nearby to accommodate the private pilots who have been escaping to these special hideaways for many years.

Up until just recently, the hotels were the only places in the general vicinity to grab a bite to eat or drink. The hotels of Buena Vista were 'destination resorts' long before the term became popular in other parts of the world.

Cash is always accepted, credit cards and checks are sometimes not. Making payment plans before you go is highly recommended.

Book Eastcape Hotels

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

A few years ago the Baja traveler had few choices to pacify the palate in the Buena Vista-Los Barriles strip. Today, although still narrow by most standards, the choices will are increasing.

In the past, the hotels were the main place to eat and drink, and for the most part, they still are the main social gathering places and watering holes. However, new options in town offer diverse menus in nice environments, and nobody seems to be complaining about the new choices.

List of Restaurants

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

If the Buena Vista-Los Barriles are is short on anything, it's shopping. Even still, the pickin's are much greater now than they were a year or two ago. Not too long ago a Baja traveler had to down to San Jose Del Cabo, or up to La Paz, for even the most basic supplies. There are now a few small stores in the area, including the new pueblo style shopping center on the north east corner of Highway One at the entrance to Los Barriles. You can't miss it. Hopefully, as the paint becomes a bit weathered, this nice collection of shops won't stand out quiet as much as it does now.

List of Stores

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

The Transpeninsular Highway is the lifeblood to the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area. Until Highway 19 was completed on the west coast back in the 80's, this strip of blacktop saw all of the traffic between La Paz and Cabo. Now, much of that traffic takes the western route through Todos Santos, which tends to be straighter and maybe a bit faster (although both routes have more than their share of cattle on the road).



LOCATION: In the middle of town, in front of the hotel.

SURFACE: Sand and dirt.


RUNWAYS: 3 / 21

LENGTH: 3,866 Feet

TOWER: Unicom122.8



COMMENTS: A good reliable strip. Watch for cars crossing the runway at the north end. Walking distance to most of the action. Just steps to the Sea of Cortez!


The bus stop is right on the main highway, near the PEMEX station. Buses going south are headed for San Jose del Cabo, but not necessarily to Cabo San Lucas. Buses going north are headed for La Paz, and changing buses is usually required before heading further north. Most of these buses are pretty nice, and some even feature color TVs. Plan on the bus making a few stops to pick up locals in both directions.


The supply of reliable gasoline in the Los Barriles area is improving. The PEMEX station on the main highway keeps pretty regular hours, and usually has unleaded gas.

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

Over a hundred years after silver was discovered in the southern Baja mountains at San Antonio, silver and gold were discovered in a nearby mountain area, soon to be called El Triunfo (The Triumph). The year was 1862, and the fever grew quickly as minors from other parts of Mexico and the United States set up camp to find their fortunes. Many of the miners who missed out in the California gold rush of 1849 came to El Triunfo for a second chance at striking it rich, along with many of those who hit pay dirt in California, and wanted do try their luck again.

By 1865 this once-sleepy cattle ranch became a boom town of approximately ten thousand souls. It was, at the time, the largest settlement in all of southern Baja. After 60 some-odd years of mining, El Triunfo finally closed it's operations in 1926.

Today, as the Baja traveler drives the Transpeninsular highway approximately 30 miles north west of Buena Vista, it seems difficult to picture this quaint collection of brick buildings as anything more than just another quiet Baja village. The buildings that are located right on the highway in town are very scenic, but the empty ghost-town feel of the area makes it hard to imagine that over 400 people still call El Triunfo home.

The tall chimney and surrounding brick buildings just in from the south side of the highway are the remains of the old smelter. The interior ceilings of the smelter buildings are lined with dried smoke remnants inches thick from the many decades of operation.

As we near the next millennium, mining on a very small scale still takes place today, as a small reminder of the grand history of this very special Baja town.

    BAJA.TV / practice your own brand of freedom tm /   Buena Vista

For a sleepy little village, there's plenty to do in the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area. You'll probably get all excited about doing something constructive when you first get into town. Don't worry, your high spirited enthusiasm will soon take a back seat to the 'manana' mode that catches every Baja traveler. Still, if you really must do something, here are a few options:


All Terrain Vehicles are a great way to get around Los Barriles and Buean Vista. They are also tons of fun to rent for a few hours!


Telephome 011-52 (114) 8-3549.

Located at the main entrance of Los Barriles on the north side of the blacktop, between the market and Chapitos.

A.T.V. and Wave Runner rentals. Half hour, hourly, and daily rates. Mountain and private tours also available!


The Buena Vista - Los Barriles area is a great place for mountain bikes, largely because of the dozens of miles of coastal dirt roads and very little traffic. The road north towards Hotel Punta Pescadero is well graded and flat for the first few miles, and then becomes hilly and rocky as it approaches the hotel. The views from this road are spectacular! The road seems to smooth out just past the hotel, but don't be fooled. It turns in to the road from Hell as it eventually cuts through the mountains towards Los Planos, eventually turning into blacktop as it heads up towards La Paz.

Heading south from town the road stays relatively flat for dozens of miles, although it does tend to run a mile or so inland from the coast itself. There are several spur dirt roads that connect with the Sea of Cortez, most of these are access roads for the various resort hotels. A nice place to stop, have a cold one, and enjoy the view!


Most of the snorkeling and diving in the Buena Vista area tends to be along the coastline, as there are no islands directly offshore here, and the offshore shelf tends to drop off rather quickly along most of this stretch of the Sea of Cortez. The one advantage of this rapid drop off is that the local fish usually aren't too far from shore. Spearfishing can be good along the rocky beaches, and north of the Hotel Punta Pescadero. For further local dive information:

 VISTA SEA SPORT  (Web Page / e-mail)

011-52 (114) 1-0031

Apartado Postal #42, Buena Vista, Baja California Sur, Mexico, 23580.

Scuba and snorkel trips / 2 hour - half day - all day / rentals and certification.

Mark and Jennifer Rayor do a great job running this first class dive operation. Experienced dive masters, quality equipment, and local knowledge of the best dive locations make this company one of the best in the East Cape area.


Horseback riding on the beach, just like you've seen on TV commercials, but better. Because you are on the horse! Most of the hotels will help you arrange a macho steed to romp with along the surf line. Even a casual ride through town, along the tree lined streets, can be a relaxing experience.


Most of the shoreline along the Buena Vista - Los Barriles area is very calm, and the water is clear (except during the occasional summer chubasco, or during the brief windy periods of spring and fall). Launching off of any beach is very easy. For a greater variety of viewing options, the rocky cliffs start a few miles up the road toward Punta Pescadero. These cliffs also provide a greater degree of wind protection when the afternoon sea breezes kick in. Longer excursions north towards Punta Arena, and south towards Cabo Pulmo provide plenty of beautiful empty beaches for overnight camping!


Surf, senior, did you say surf? Hard to believe, but true, when a southern hemi pumps up the volume in the East Cape, Cabo and Scorpion Bay, there's a good chance that the point break at Punta Arena will be offering roller coasters. This often takes place from June through September. It's a goofy-footer's dream come true . . .chances are good you and your buddies will be the only ones in the water. No Sex Wax here, bring your own.


Because the beaches of Buena Vista are tucked in behind the East Cape, the waves from the open ocean rarely get past Punta Colorada. This provides calm, often totally flat waters off of the sandy beaches. The combination of flat seas and warm waters (June through November) make taking a dip hard to resist!


The glassy waters of the Sea of Cortez are just begging for a Wave Runner or Jet Ski. Local residence, however, would probably appreciate you taking the noise a bit offshore, or up or doen the coast away from the area homes!


Telephone 011-52 (114) 8-3549.

Located on the main road coming into Los Barriles, north side of the street.

Wave Runner rentals by the half hour, hour, and by the day. Tours available.


Los Barriles is sailboard central. When the winds come screaming in during the spring, the wave-hopping begins! Although the swells are not as big as Maui, and the different skill levels offered are not as diverse as The Gorge, experienced sailors can strap in and fly all day long when the winds are up. When the winds are calm, there's always other fun stuff to do during the lull. Like trying to figure out how old that girl is in the Brazil Reef sandal ads.

 SOLO SPORTS BAJA WINDSURFING is a great web site to surf if you are looking for more information on windsurfing in Baja. These folks wrote the book...check it out!

Another good web site to check out for boardsailing in Baja is BAJA GUIDE by Mike Godsey.

And if you don't mind heading about 40 miles north of Buena Vista for some good sailing in a very laid back environment, VENTANA WINDSURF has a lot to offer!


(800) 223-5443 * Hotel Playa Del Sol.

These guys are some of the best in the business. Other locations world wide.


(800) 551-8844 * Hotel Palmas de Cortez.