Sleeping

Mulegé lacks upscale accommodations, yet it has a couple of very appealing family hotels; you won't be dowsed in all the mod-cons but you'll be well cared for.

BUDGET

Several families rent rooms in their homes. Known as casas de huéspedes, they are very basic accommodations but offer a chance to stay with a Mexican family (and save a little money in the process). There's also plenty of camping around town but be sure to have bug repellent when camping near the Río Mulegé.

Eastbound Madero and Romero Rubio merge into a single dirt road leading to beach camping areas at Playa El Farito, 3km (2 miles) northeast of town. This is also a popular party spot for local youth, so there's no guarantee of any sleep, at least on weekends anyway.

Huerta Don Chano (% 153-0720; per vehicle/RV US$8/15) On the way to Playa El Farito you'll pass this place which offers grassy areas on which to pitch a tent just off the north shore of the river. There are showers and bathrooms, and water and electricity for RVs.

Orchard (Huerta Saucedo RV Park; % 153-0300; campsites/ RV US$5/16) Abounding with palms, mangoes and citrus the Orchard is 1km (half a mile) east of town on the river side of the Transpeninsular and offers some of the best camping around. Hot (sometimes lukewarm) showers, decent toilets and a boat ramp are available. The Orchard was badly hit by Hurricane John and was closed at the time of research. It should be open again by the time you read this.

Villa María Isabel RV Park (% 153-0246; campsites without/with hookups US$6/15) Just beyond the Orchard this is a fine spot, but the real reason to stop here is the fabulous bread and cinnamon rolls at its first-rate bakery.

Casa de Huéspedes Nachita (Moctezuma; d US$15) Doña Nachita rents a large old room with saggy beds and a shared bathroom. It's as bare-bones as they come, but totally legitimate. Prices may vary slightly, depending on how Nachita and her husband are feeling when you arrive.

Casa de Huéspedes Manuelita (Moctezuma; r with/ without air-con US$20/15) Provided you don't mind a cage full of parakeets outside your bedroom door, this friendly little place is fine for a few nights' shut-eye. It's a step up from Nachi-ta's and offers adequate rooms with private bathrooms.

Canett Casa de Huéspedes (% 153-0272; Madero; s/d US$15/20). This plain, eight-room guesthouse does the trick if you're living on the cheap, but the church bells across the street make morning mincemeat of your brain.

Baja Adventure Tours (% 153-0566, 103-0503; [email protected]; r US$25-30; a) There are three rooms with air-con and private baths for rent here.

MIDRANGE

Hotel Mulegé (% 153-0416; s/d US$22/38; a) Near the Y-intersection at the entrance to town, this is Mulegé's 'modern' hotel. Rooms are spotless, comfortable and have satellite TV, but character is nil.

Hotel Las Casitas (% 153-0019, 153-0681; las [email protected]; Madero; s/d US$29/35; a) Colorful bougainvilleas and tropical plants shade the two patios of this welcoming hotel in an attractive historic building. The attached restaurant is excellent, the management is friendly and the rooms are decorated with colorful tiles, Mexican handicrafts, and decorative furniture. The place just feels like Mexico.

Hotel Vieja Hacienda (% 153-0021; hotelhacienda [email protected]; Madero 3; s/d US$30/40; ®[email protected]) Great if you want a pool (hope it's full) and a central location, Vieja Hacienda offers two floors of unexceptional rooms with white walls, Mexican fabric bedspreads, curtains and bathrooms in need of a facelift. Big sunny patio, dark rooms.

Hotel Terrazas (% 153-0009; Zaragoza; r US$35) Named for its giant rooftop terraces, Hotel Terrazas is long past its prime but still decent. Guests can use the ramshackle kitchen area in the rooftop palapa, though it's so old and dry it could spontaneously combust (or blow off the roof) any time. The rooms' painted brown rock walls and mustard 1960s bedspreads create a lairlike atmosphere.

Clementine's Bed & Breakfast (% 153-0319; www .clementinesbaja.com; r US$60-77) Located in the expat settlement on the south side of the Río Mulegé, Clementine's is a lovely four-room B&B with a giant shared kitchen and small but supremely comfortable rooms. The owner serves up orange juice, rolls and coffee every morning, and the kitchen keeps the communal spirit aflame. There are also casitas (small houses) for rent by the week for US$440 to US$660. To get here, take the Transpeninsular past the Orchard and turn down to the river.

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