A former gristmill, the Old Mill is one of the remnants of the English era. Many pieces of the original machinery still remain on the premises. A long drought forced the English to abandon the mill. Then in the late 1940’s, the Mexican Government established a cannery at the location where tuna, sardines, and mackerel were canned until the early 1970’s. Al Vela, the cannery manager at the time, along with his wife, Dorothy, started a modest hotel that catered to fishermen and hunters. Today, the Old Mill sits on a quiet estuary and offers a haven for hungry, tired travelers and sportsmen. There is also a loading pier called Muelle Viejo, and there is the nearby hotel and restaurant called Don Eddi’e landing.
The English Cemetery
The “English cemetery” has many old graves marked with fading crosses, some that still beat faint inscriptions of British family names. However, the English memories are hardly more than a whisper any more, given that most of those buried here are locals.
On August 27, 2011, the town of San Quintin, Baja California, opened its first-ever museum, “Museo de San Quintín, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo,” named for the famous Portuguese explorer who was the first to navigate the coast of what is now California. (The museum is, however, dedicated to Don Luis Rodgrigues Avina , who founded Pinos Produce). San Quintin has been a magnet for paleontologists for several decades now, ever since the discovery of large quantities of fossils, bones and ammonites in the area that are thought to have been extinct for hundreds of millions of years. The museum has more than 550 documented items in its collection, including dinosaur bones, fossilized mollusks and invertebrates, mammoth bones, volcanic rocks, and tribal artifacts speaking of indigenous peoples in the area. Many of the fossils and remains found in the area date back to the Cretaceous era (more than 65 million years ago), in addition to remains from humans from almost a million years ago. Remains from hunters and gatherers from 700,000 years ago have been found in the area, as well. The museum is open Tuesday-Sundays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ostiones Guerrero (Oysters Guerrero Fisheries)
This is not so much of a ‘sight’ as it is a place to possibly purchase kilos of fresh, cultivated oysters! Oyster cultivation and farming has become one of San Quintin’s big industries. Where? Ave. Ninos Heroes 309, San Quintin Papalote.
Thirty-eight miles south of San Quintin at a bend in the road is the little burg of El Rosario, which has approximately 1,700 inhabitants. Why is this a place of interest? Well, it has a Pemex station – the last one on Highway 1 for a very long time. But it is also home to Mama Espinoza’s famous restaurant, where crab soup or lobster burritos can be had.
About 2-2.5 hours south of San Quintin, Cataviña has inspired countless beautiful, panoramic photos and vistas, and is thus an incredibly popular destination for any nature-loving tourist. Cataviña is the point where the north and south portions of Highway 1 — the Transpeninsular Highway –finally met during its epic construction back in 1973. However, this special place is also the home to numerous cave paintings, giant cacti that look as though they were plucked from Dr. Seuss’ imagination, boulders the size of SUV’s, prehistoric blue palm trees, and beautiful and rare breeds of mixed desert vegetation. There is hiking here, into the boulder forests, and lucky visitors might even find ancient cave paintings in the rocks.
Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park is part of the municipality of Ensenada, Baja California, and in the San Quintin Valley region. The area was first explored by Europeans in 1701 by Eusebio Francisco Kino by Dominican orders. The park is known for its pine trees and granite rock formations. Picacho del Diablo (Devil’s Peak) is the highest peak in the park and in Baja California with its summit reaching 3,096 meters (10,160 ft). Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park is one of the few pine forests that exists on the Baja California peninsula that is important habitat for native Bighorn Sheep. In addition the park is home to the California condor through re-introduction program by several agencies, including the University of San Diego. The park features great hiking and camping, and the opportunity to see a variety of protected special such as bighorn sheep in a natural environment. Because of its elevation and location, the park was selected as the site for an observatory, Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, which is open from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays for tours (except in inclement weather). Reservations can be made by calling (646) 174-4580.