The Baja Goods – Mexico
Waterwomen Fiona Wylde is your local guide to having loads of fun in Baja, Mexico.
“Looking for a sunny place to spend a long weekend, a month or maybe three? Well, it doesn’t really matter how long you stay in Los Barriles, you can be certain that an adventure will wind up at your door step.
Los Barriles is a small town located about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas on the Sea of Cortez in Baja California Sur. The town bordered by long white sand beaches to the east and the Sierra De La Leguna mountain range on the west, it’s a cute, tight-nit community filled with Americans, Mexicans, and travelers from all over. It is where I grew up, went to school for 4 months every winter, and have some of my best friends.
Los Barriles is where I learned to windsurf, kite, and where I have found it to be one of the best training grounds for Stand Up Paddle racing.
Here’s a little how-to guide to the best places around town and my favorite things to do:
Where to rent gear?
Whether you’re looking for stand up paddling gear, windsurf gear, kites, mountain bikes, or want to learn to free-dive, Vela Baja has everything you need. You can also stay at the hotel and be right on the beach, so you don’t miss any of the action!
Where to eat?
El Viejo Taqueria is a staple for the best tacos you can dream of!
Where to paddle?
Punta Pescadero to Los Barriles Downwind Run- Load up your boards and drive 7.5 miles up the coast to the point of Punta Pescadero. From here you have a straight shot back into town. Paddle a little way offshore because sometimes the bumps will push you towards the beach, but the glides are specular! This a great run for paddlers of all abilities. Give yourself about 30 minutes to drive up to the drop off point. The paddle is typically an hour at a minimum. See the map route here.
There are loads of trails through the desert and up in the hills. It’s easy to put a few hours on the bike before you even realize it! Just remember, over the rocks around the cactus! See more trail details here.
Windsurfing and Kitesurfing
Typically the El Norte wind starts to pick up mid-morning and whether you want to windsurf, kite, or SUP downwind, you have many hours to do so! On an average day would the wind will blow about 15-18knts and it’s steady as can be. You have about 3 miles of beach that you can launch from. Swells roll through the bay, making fun ramps, or nice swells to turn on whichever you fancy. Foiling has also taken off, and it’s one of the most fun places to play in the swell.
Drive about 1.5 hours to either the East Cape near Cabo, or Todo Santos on the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula, and you’ll find long, warm runners! Bring lots of sunscreen.
Just wanna relax?
Baja is renowned for its calm glassy mornings. Enjoy watching the sunrise out of the water? In the winter months, plan on being at the beach at about 7 am and you’ll see the sun starting to peek out of the sea. It’s the perfect way to wake up. Whether you want to put a bunch of miles in or just cruise up and down the coast, the calm glassy mornings at sunrise are my favourite times on the water.
Stand Up Paddleboard Race Training
Sure, I have grown up here in this town, but honestly, it’s one of the best places to train for SUP racing in the winter months when it’s cold back home in Oregon. There’s upwind paddling, downwind paddling, flatwater paddling and the water is warm! If you live in a cold climate and want to get some rays of sunshine and have a solid training week, I would definitely suggest visiting Los Barriles! Between the water and the off water cross-training activities, you are sure to have an epic trip and put some solid hours in.
Don’t forget about the Margaritas, after all, you are in Mexico! One word of advice, they’re quite strong! 😉
Hope to see you on the water!