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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

Windsports Royalty to be Crowned in Los Barriles on Baja Sur’s Beautiful East Cape

6th annual Lord of the Wind Showdown to determine North American kiteboarding champion

Baja California Sur boasts world-class conditions for a number of water-based activities: Fishing, of course, but also surfing, sailing, diving, kayaking and, seasonally at least, windsports. Each winter, when strong El Norte winds blow down the Sea of Cortez, picturesque East Cape communities like La Ventana and Los Barriles become meccas for windsurfing and kiteboarding enthusiasts.

Lord of the Wind

The 6th annual Lord of the Wind Showdown is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Los Barriles, and will take place January 13 – 17, 2016.

The height of the windsports season takes places in January, when Los Barriles hosts its annual kiteboarding competition, the Lord of the Wind Showdown. Organized by the town’s Rotary Club, the event not only brings together top wind riders from around the globe for aerial acrobatics over the beautiful Bay of Palms, but also features fun, affiliated fiestas like tamale cook-offs and reggae beach concerts.

The event has made giant leaps since premiering six years ago, so much so that the 2016 event – scheduled for January 13 – 17 – is now officially the IKA North American Kitefoil Championship. In addition to the leap in prize money (now totaling $22,000 U.S.) for the freshly crowned Lord and Lady of the Wind, the event’s newfound prominence also guarantees worldwide television coverage (20 channels whose broadcasting reach extends to 98 countries), thanks to new partner Icarus Media.

The newly constituted Lord of the Wind consists of three professional events and three open division events. Professional contestants will vie for supremacy on foil and slalom courses, and in a freestyle competition. Open division participants, meanwhile, vie for bragging rights in slalom, big air, boardercross and SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) events.

As in previous years, days are given over to sporting pursuits, nights to social events. The official schedule of events for the 6th annual Lord of the Wind Showdown is as follows:

Lord of the Wind

For the first time, the Baja’s premier kiteboarding competition will also double as the IKA North American Kitefoil Championship.

Tuesday, January 12  

Registration (3 – 6 p.m.)
Opening Ceremonies and Party – Buena Vista Beach Resort (6 p.m. – midnight)

Wednesday, January 13  

Course Races IKA Foil (pro)
Slalom Races (pro)
Slalom Races (open)
Party – Tamale Cook Off – Los Barriles Concha (6 – 11 p.m.)

Thursday, January 14

Course Races IKA Foil (pro)
Slalom Races (pro)
Slalom Races (open)
Party – Smokey’s Bar and Grill (6 – 11 p.m.)

Friday, January 15  

Course Races IKA Foil (pro)
Slalom Race (pro)
Slalom Race (open)
Freestyle (pro)
Reggae Party – Buena Vista Beach Resort (6 – 11 p.m.)

Saturday, January 16  

Course Races IKA Foil (pro)
Slalom Race Final (pro)
Slalom Races Final (open)
Freestyle (pro)
Big Air (open)
Boardercross (open)
SUP (open)
Beach Party – Lazy Daze Beach Bar (6 – 11 p.m.)

Sunday, January 17

Course Race Final IKA Foil (pro)
Freestyle Final (pro)
Big Air Final (open)
Boardercross Final (open)
SUP Final (open)
Awards Dinner and Party (6 – 11 p.m.)

All-events kiteboarding entry fees are $150 for professionals, $75 in open and masters (ages 50+) divisions. SUP contestants pay $25. In addition to racing access, entry fees for competitors in all classes also include secure equipment storage, a shaded lounge area, complimentary bottled water, daily lunch, free Wi-Fi, an invitation to the awards dinner, and discounts at area resorts and restaurants.  Deadline for registration at current prices is December 31, 2015. Late registration is available until January 12, 2016 at slightly higher rates. There is no charge for spectators.

As might be imagined, the event’s newfound prominence and television coverage has led to a leap in participating sponsors, with a number of new corporate partners joining traditional local, regional and industry supporters.  Thus, for the 2016 competition, Lord of the Wind’s sponsors include the following:

Lord of the Wind

The 2016 event will be televised through partner Icarus Media on 20 channels and in as many as 98 countries.

Primary Sponsors

Annex Brands
Baja California Sur Tourism
Baja Ferries
Buena Vista Beach Resort
Can-Doo Rentals & Adventures
Coldwell Banker Riveras Real Estate
Delegacion de Los Barriles – Francis Oleachea
Delegacion de Santiago
Eco Baja Tours
FUD Packaged Meats & Food
La Paz Tourism
Lazy Daze Beach Bar & Restaurant
Los Cabos Tourism
Rotary – IndieGoGo
Smokey’s Grill & Cantina
Snell Real Estate
UBS Financial Services

Industry Sponsors

Icarus Sailing Media
International Kiteboarding Association
International Sailing Federation
Kiteboarding Baja
Liquid Force
North Sports
Starboard SUP
The Kiteboarder Magazine

Local Sponsors

Amparo Message
Bahia Real Estate
Baja Beach Company
Baja Brewing Company
Baja Hurricane Protection
Baja Properties
Baja Weddings With Kathy
Bite Me Sportsfishing
Caffe Encinalito
Caleb’s Café
Chapito’s Agua Purificada Rio
Chapito’s Supermercado & Express
Chapito’s Tienda Popular – Buena Vista
CMC Construction
Dive in Baja
East Cape Health Center
East Cape Vacation Rentals
ECTech Solar
El Gecko Restaurant & Beach Club
El Toro y La Luna
El Viejo
Fayla’s Super Meracado & Store
Fuana Farms
Fur Face Dog Salon
G&T Pest Control
Green’s Restaurant
Gretel’s Animals
Island Cat Baja -Public & Private Excursions
JA Custom Homes – Designer & Builder
Joe’s Deli Mart
LB Property Services
Lighthouse Pizza
Lori Makabe Photography
Pantera Eco Expedition Cruises
PayDennis Bill Paying Service
Ramon de Auto Servicio
Seven Seas Property Management
SUP Baja
Triny’s Restaurant
Victoria’s Sunny Dresses
Wind Divas Clothing
Wolf Property Management

Over 100 volunteers will also be on hand to ensure the 2016 event is the biggest and best to date.

For more information, visit is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at



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Shakes, Rattle and Rolls: Savoring the Delights of the Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery in Los Barriles

Shakes, Rattle and Rolls: Savoring the Delights of the Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery in Los Barriles

By El Barrilito

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery provides one of Los Barriles’ most memorable dining experiences.

If you are searching for a special dining experience in Los Barriles, one restaurant immediately leaps to mind. Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery not only offers charming, nostalgic décor, but a wonderful selection of culinary treats, including fresh breads and pastries from the onsite bakery.

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Fresh breads and pastries are made onsite at Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery.

From turquoise and white booths to the authentic 1950s coffee grinder, Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery in Los Barriles reflects the fondly remembered era of hot rods and poodle skirts. Real milkshakes are mixed in soda fountain blenders. The owner, Donna Ryan, and her daughter-in-law, Mayte, operate the restaurant. The result of their efforts is great food and prompt service.

The Roadrunner was already known for its “bottomless” cup of great coffee but with the addition of a coffee roaster, they have raised the bar of excellence. Donna’s husband, Bob, roasts the coffee as needed so that it is always fresh. He will also also make you feel at home with his gregarious greetings and cheerful chatter.

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Roadrunner evokes the nostalgic days of hot rods and poodle skirts.

You can dine inside or out. The plush booths inside are very enjoyable; outside, you can sit under the vine-covered, flower adorned pergola in the wonderful fresh air of Baja California Sur. Stay in touch with the folks back home using Roadrunner’s free Wi-Fi while your breakfast is prepared. You can even buy an English newspaper with the latest news, sports and a crossword puzzle.

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Roadrunner is a popular meeting spot for locals in Los Barriles.

For breakfast, you’ll find numerous selections of eggs and omelets in both American and Mexican styles. If your sweet tooth needs attention, try the French toast prepared with a sliced cinnamon roll. It doesn’t get any better than this. Need something a little healthier? The breakfast banana split with fresh fruit and yogurt is delish. Every morning Donna offers cinnamon rolls, raspberry turnovers, scones and cookies.

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Looking for a healthy way to start your day in paradise?

The lunch menu includes wonderful salads, great sandwiches, fresh-made soup and many other selections. The hamburgers are excellent. To quench your thirst, Roadrunner Cafe has the usual variety of sodas plus fresh brewed ice tea, lemonade, fresh orange juice, cerveza and well drinks. Save a little room for dessert. Ask for Donna’s Carrot cake and maybe add a little ice cream.

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Not only do they look delicious….

Roadrunner has become famous for their Open Mic and dinner on Wednesday evenings. Customers and musicians come from all over the area and beyond to enjoy the experience. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. The entertainment is mainly provided by musicians who spend at least part of every year in Los Cabos or the East Cape. This isn’t karaoke, these are people singing and playing real instruments. Roadrunner also has a professionally operated sound system, which takes the experience to a higher level. A single selection for dinner is served and always priced around $10 U.S., so this is an affordable way to enjoy a great night out in Los Barriles. The restaurant generally has a full house (200+) during the winter months, and there is no cover charge.*

Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery

Wednesday is open mic night at Roadrunner Cafe and Bakery.

The Roadrunner Cafe is easy to find. It is conveniently located right off the highway at the entrance to Los Barriles. You will find it in the Plaza del Pueblo to your left after you exit the highway at the fountains.

*There is no cover charge but they have a voluntary contribution for donations to help the local kids attend high school. The East Cape Guild receives 100% of the money collected and offers scholarships to qualifying kids. This year, our generous patrons of Open Mic have sent close to 40 kids to high school. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

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Planning A Day Trip to Los Barriles, Jewel of the East Cape

Planning A Day Trip to Los Barriles, Jewel of the East Cape

By El Barrilito

Need a break from the touristy atmosphere and rowdy nightlife of Cabo San Lucas? How about a day trip to Los Barriles, one of the jewels of the East Cape?

Los Barriles isn’t hip and it isn’t pretentious, but it is filled with nice folks and enjoys great year round weather. The town was little more than a fishing village until about 25 years ago. Now it’s populated with full and part-time expats, retired and otherwise, who have discovered the area’s natural beauty. Los Barriles offers numerous outdoor adventures, from first-class water-based activities like diving, fishing, kiteboarding, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, whale watching and windsurfing, to land-based pleasures like bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and off-road racing. Just listing them all makes be a bit tired! But rest assured: if you’re looking for a more relaxing day trip, we also boast miles of uncrowded, easily accessible white sand beaches. There is even a little nightlife.

Los Barriles is easy to find. It’s located on Highway One just 45 minutes north of the international airport in San Jose del Cabo, where you can find an excellent selection of National rental cars. You’ll know when you get here, as the highway veers inward towards the Sea of Cortez. Look for the fountain with water spraying into old wooden barrels and the Los Barriles sign on a stone wall.

Hotel Palmas de Cortez

Hotel Palmas de Cortez is one of the East Cape’s premier lodgings.

If you arrive in time for breakfast, the Roadrunner Café and Bakery serves the best in town. Donna, the owner, does the baking and always has fresh pastries, breads and desserts. The restaurant opens early (7 a.m.), serves great fresh-roasted coffee, and offers free Wi-Fi for their customers. El Viejo is another local favorite, and is perfect for lunch. It features Mexican food, comfortable outdoor seating, and a central downtown location. Verdugo’s RV Park has a restaurant right on the beach, and is also a great place to stop during the day.

In the evening, your selection of restaurants grows. The old standard is Tio Pablo’s. It’s the first dinner place on main street. Tio Pablo’s has indoor and outdoor service, a wide selection of food, nightly specials, a full bar, good staff and plenty of televisions. A little farther down the street you’ll find Campestre Triny, where the food and service get high ratings from locals. Their seafood is good, and they’re also happy to cook your catch. Next in line is Smokey’s Sports Bar. Smokey’s has lots of strategically placed TV’s and covered, outdoor seating. The menu focus is on seafood, sandwiches and burgers, and this is a popular place for sporting events, as well as live music and raffles. Otra Vez is also downtown, and boasts an Italian-themed menu, pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, and live music several times a week.

Be sure and call for reservations if you’re coming to fish. Palmas de Cortez and the Hotel Buena Vista are good choices for both accommodations and fishing charters. They’ve been here for many years and employ experienced captains. You can choose a cruiser or panga from either place. The Hotel Los Pescadores isn’t on the beach, but they do have some boats available. If you have an RV to park, East Cape RV also offers fishing. Would you rather shore fish? Try The Reel Baja. They have years of experience and specialize in fly fishing.

Hotel Palmas de Cortez

Sea of Cortez views are a specialty in Los Barriles, as are outdoor activities like fishing, diving, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.

There some great day trips you can take by 4-wheeler. The quaint village of Santiago is only a few miles away. There you can swim in the fresh water pool at Cañon La Zorra, or lie in the San Jorge natural hot springs just a few miles further. Afterward you can order a nice lunch at the Hotel Palomar. To rent a 4-wheeler, go see the Quadman on the main drag. Quadman will show you how to operate the machine safely before he lets you go. He also has maps of the trails around Los Barriles.

The beaches at Los Barriles are protected, and safe swimming in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez can be enjoyed by people of all ages. North of town the old road runs along the water for long stretches, and there are some great spots to snorkel, including in front of the Hotel Punta Pescadero. Long stretches of unpopulated beaches are located south of Los Barriles, and are wonderful places to spend a day sunning or swimming.

What is your favorite Baja day trip? Let us know at is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

Photos courtesy of Van Wormer Resorts’ Hotel Palmas de Cortez.

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