Sleeping Eating

Bahía de Los Ángeles has several motels, RV parks and other campgrounds north and south of town, plus a handful of decent restaurants. Hotels in town are generally about five minutes' walk to the beach. For those hotels without telephone numbers, you can usually reserve by calling the caseta telefónica (p151) and leaving a message.

Punta La Gringa, a beautiful beach area to the north, has several rugged campsites (US$5) with choice views of offshore islands, but the road to get there is so heavily wash-boarded, it hurts; take the meandering sandy track on the inland side of the road instead.

Guillermo's Trailer Park & Restaurant (% 124-9104; campsites US$4.50, RV with/without hookups US$13.50/4.50, r US$73) Next door to Hotel Villa Vita and separated from the beach by an unsightly row of trailers, Guillermo's has about 40 spaces for tents and RVs, some with limited shade. The bathrooms are less than immaculate, but hot water is reliable. Its motel annex has five huge rooms with ocean views (from the doors) and private bathrooms. What really stands out is Guillermo's Restaurant (mains US$6 to US$14), open from 6am to 10pm, which has a festive atmosphere unmatched by anything else in town. The food (mostly seafood) is tasty, and the margaritas are large but expensive (go for the 4pm to 5pm happy hour).

Campo Archelón ([email protected]; palapas/ cabañas US$10/40) For superb beach bumming in between jaunts out to sea in your kayak, this is the spot. The palapas provide ample shade for tent campers and set you about two paces from the water's edge. The shared showers and bathrooms are kept clean. The excellent, homey cabañas (cabins) come with kitchens and a private patio. The signed access road is located off the road to Punta Gringa (near Km 1) about 2km or so from the center of town.

Daggett's Beach Camping (campsites per person US$10, r US$50) Just north of the Programa Tortuga Marina (off the road to Punta La Gringa), Daggett's offers hot showers and

DETOUR: MISIÓN SAN BORJA

A detour to the extensive ruins of this Jesuit mission make an excellent alternate route to or from Bahía de Los Ángeles. The mission, founded in 1762 as Misión San Borja de Adac, is the best preserved of all the Jesuit adobes in Baja California. Local families still cultivate grapes, olives and other crops, making the setting simply exquisite.

Dominicans built the now-restored church, made of locally quarried volcanic stone with many outstanding details, well after the Jesuits' expulsion. See the custodian before climbing the spiral staircase to the chorus and leave a small (or large) donation. On October 10, the local saint's day, devotees from throughout the region converge on the tiny ranchería (settlement) to pray and to party.

To get to the mission from México 1, take the well-signed lateral from the truck stop of Rosarito (not to be confused with Playas de Rosarito, the resort town between Tijuana and Ensenada), 14km (8.5 miles) south of the Santa Rosalillita junction and 52km (32 miles) south of the Bahía de Los Ángeles junction. The 34km (21-mile) road is rough in spots, but most passenger vehicles can handle it.

The route passes through a spectacular Wild West valley landscape of cirio, cardón, torote (elephant tree), datilillo (yucca) and cholla beneath broad volcanic mesas. The road forks about 3km (2 miles) before San Borja; a sign indicates that both forks go to the mission, but the left (northern) fork is easier on both car and driver. The road continues northeast from the mission to the Bahía de Los Ángeles road. If you're on the Bahía de Los Ángeles road, the turnoff is signed just under 21km (13 miles) west of town. This road is also manageable for nearly all passenger vehicles.

m is much cleaner and tidier than most other area campgrounds. About half the sites are just above the beach and the only downside is the noise: you may find yourself watching the sunset to blaring norteño (country) music as fishermen clean their daily catch and waking up before sunrise to the resident rooster.

Casa Díaz (% 124-9112; r US$27) Moldy bathrooms and dirty walls make this family-run motel a little hard to ease into unless you're stumbling off the fishing boat full of Tecate and fish stories. Rooms open onto the parking area which gives way to the beach. It has a grocery store and a restaurant (mains US$5 to US$14).

Hotel Villa Vitta (% 124-9103, in the US 619-6180300; www.villavitta.com; r US$40-60; ® a) With a large square swimming pool (not always filled), a Jacuzzi (occasionally filled) and a few hammocks strewn about, this is the closest thing to a resort in town. It's comfortable and clean and a good place if you like sitting around the pool drinking cervezas and munching on chips and salsa. Its restaurant (mains US$6 to US$12) specializes in moderately priced seafood.

Hotel Las Hamacas (% 124-9114; www.baja-desert .info/hotellashamacas; d US$50-60; ®a) In town, Las Hamacas has clean and spacious but unadorned doubles; the pricier rooms have

TVs (the three channels supposedly include HBO) and air-con. It's a delightfully friendly place. Its restaurant (mains US$5 to US$10) is a good choice and a bit cheaper than others in town. You can fuel up on a big plate of pescado a la Veracruzana (seafood baked with onions, peppers and olives) for only US$6. The chips are delicious and the salsa packs a punch.

Costa del Sol (% 124-9110, in Ensenada 646-1788167; [email protected]; r US$50-70; a) Just south of Las Hamacas, this five-room hotel is the most upscale accommodation option in town. Big wooden bed frames, immaculate bathrooms, colorful bedspreads, handsome dressers and large mirrors give it a luxurious feel. It's across the main road from the beach.

Villa Bahía (www.villabahia.com; accommodations US$60-250) Located off Km 4 on the road to La Gringa, Villa Bahía is a sprawling, solar- and wind-powered place offering deluxe accommodations in everything from single rooms to a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house. Most have kitchens or kitchenettes. It has a library, games room and more artwork than the local museum.

Two stores in town stock a slim supply of fruits and veggies - the selection is biggest after the Tuesday deliveries.

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