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FAQs – SAN QUINTÍN

Photo by Luis Lopez

 

Where is San Quintín located?

San Quintin is located in the Ensenada munipality of Baja is located about 185 miles south of the US border at San Ysidro, on Highway 1.  It is roughly a 2.5-3 hour drive south (depending on traffic) from Ensenada.  The drive is an interesting one, taking travelers over mountains into the Santo Tomas valley, through vineyards and farmland, and then through a rather tedious long stretch that runs through endless neighborhoods and over topes (speed bumps) that seem to crop up every few minutes.

 

What is the best way to get to San Quintín?

The best way to get to this agricultural town is to drive, taking the Highway 1, the Transpeninsular Highway.  Boaters also find harbor in San Quintín.  Additionally, a number of small private airstrips serve the region, but the larger airports are in Ensenada and Tijuana. Airstrips in the region are: Campo de Lorenzo Skypark; Cielito Lindo;El Buen Pastor Airstrip and Rancho Magaña.

What kinds of accommodations does San Quintín have?

This is not the place for five-star hotels or elegant B&Bs, but that said, there are some very nice, newer hotels popping up around town, such as La Villa de San Quintín.  The Hotel Jardines get some nice comments and there are also the stand-bys that have a bit of history in this are, including the Old Mill Hotel and Don Eddie’s.  The Misión Santa Maria (formerly the Desert Inn) is a comfortable, beachfront option. There are also hook-ups available for RVs (Cielito Lindo) and camping is available.

What local foods should I try in San Quintín?

Seafood, seafood, seafood.  The region is truly a crustacean, bivalve and piscine treasure chest, as evidenced by beaches strewn with crab shells and mussel and clam shells.  Fishing is a huge occupation in this region, and diners benefit.  Try the crab claws cooked in a steaming paprika broth at Cielito Lindo; or steamed clams in their broth.  That said, given the proximity of fresh produce, the salads are a good choice, too.  The main drag is packed with taco places and small seafood restaurants – just follow the people and you probably can’t go wrong.

Will I have problems communicating since I do not speak Spanish?

Although most people speak some English, this area is not geared to tourists as much as it is to agriculture and production.  Hence, English is not a ubiquitous as it is in Ensenada, Tijuana or Rosarito.  Try reading up on some handy phrases to get your through your journey!

What about drugs and alcohol?

You must be 18 years of age or older, to consume alcohol. It is against the law to drink alcohol on the streets. Driving while drinking is also against the law. Using drugs is a criminal offense.

What should I do if I am lost or have any kind of a problem?

If you have any issues, you should dial 078, the Tourist Assistance Hotline which operates 24/7. It is similar to 911 in the U.S.,  except that you will be assisted with whatever need you have.

What are the most popular activities in Ensenada?

Activities in San Quintin are almost all focused on the ocean:  the beaches are spectacular, often empty and wind-swept; sport-fishing for yellowtail, ling cod and more is a major past-time, with many charter and even pangas leaving out of Don Eddie’s landing or other piers; surfing is big at Playa San Ramón and Cabo San Quintín; hunting in the nearby Colonia Vicente Guerrero area and in the Valle de San Quintín environs is popular, for ducks and quail in particular.

What is the weather like in San Quintín?

San Quintín, like any coastal area, has multiple microclimates. Most days are sunny, mild and dry but it can get foggy in the morning near the coast. It is often very windy and in the summer, it can be very hot.  Winters can be cold and damp, and the wind can be brutal…but even so, daytime temps are often in the low 60s.  Nightime winter lows can get into the upper 40s.

What should I take to San Quintín?

This is not a place you want to be looking for a pair of good walking shoes, a new pair of Dockers or a bottle of good Sauvignon Blanc.  Bring casual clothes (layers, to take care of those cool nights) and a hat, and whatever luxury items you think you will want:  wines, special cheeses, etc.  You won’t ever have to worry about donning your suit or your stilettos, because this is definitely a jeans-and-sneakers kind of town.

Is San Quintín a safe place for my family to visit?

San Quintin is a safe town, although it is less oriented to the needs and protection of tourists as are some of the tourist destination cities. There is an office of tourism in town, which is a good resource for information.  But, like any other place you visit in the world, you have to take certain precautions to avoid any safety issues. Always pay attention to surroundings and use normal safeguards. If you see a problem, contact the local police…do not take action yourself.

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