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Guerrero Negro

The main attractions for the visitors to Guerrero Negro are the whale-watching tours to the nearby lagoons, exploring nearby Sierras for Indian art, and checking out Exportadora de Sal, the major employer for the town, and the largest salt-producing plant in the world. At 6.5 million metric tons per year, it holds that title by a large margin. 

Even if you're plans do not include a night's stay in Guerrero Negro, the motorist who passes by is missing out on the opportunity for an excellent inexpensive meal at one of the local restaurants and/or street-side food vendors (especially during the siesta/comida hours of 2-4 p.m. weekdays).

If you're the type who appreciates eating the original thing at its place of origin (such as a Caesar Salad at Hotel Caesar in Tijuana), you're doing an injustice if you eat here without sprinkling even a dab of locally-produced salt on your food while you're here.  Where else in the world can you possibly do that?

Places to stay:

Motel El Morro -- The preferable location to stay in town for many long-time visitors. Clean and basic, almost sterile. 115.70414. Budget

Motel San Ignacio -- Second choice. Clean and basic. Next to the El Morro. Budget

Motel Las Ballenas -- Behind the El Morro. Now with 14 rooms (as of 1/97). Clean, hot water (not abundant).  Personal favorite.  Ultra-Budget

Dunas Motel -- Further into town. Clean, basic. Ultra-Budget

Places to eat:

Malarrimo -- On the right side of the street before you get very far into town. A congregation place for gringos. Organized tours can be found for just about anything in the vicinity out of here. Although the prices are high for the area, the seafood and atmosphere are excellent. Budget to Moderate

Puerto Viejo -- Similar to Malarrimo, and near it too. Similar menu, slightly less $$$. Budget

Cocina Econ�mica Lety -- On the left side of the road in a blue building, neon-type "open" sign in the window. Clean place, pleasant atmosphere.  Wooden tables and chairs add to the quaint charm (most establishments of this type use cafeteria-type tables and chairs).  Steak, chicken, excellent seafood and a breakfast menu in the a.m.  Eat like a prince, all on a pauper's budget.  No alcohol served (you can ask permission to BYOB though).  Definitely one of the best values in town.  Ultra-Budget

El Fig�n de Sal -- Small, quaint, front-room-in-a-house type setting.  On the north side of the main boulevard near the Mercado Ballenas.  Fairly general menu.   Ultra-Budget

Asadero Viva M�xico -- Excellent rotisserie chicken.  Ultra-Budget

Fruteria Loma Bonita -- Excellent location for fruit smoothies (licuados).  Ultra-Budget

Roberto's Pizza -- Located by the Pemex, and I believe they deliver.  Tel#70615    Ultra-Budget to Budget

Things to do:

Whale-watching, Laguna Ojo de Liebre ("Scammon's Lagoon").  Scammon's Lagoon is one of three noted places that the California Gray Whale makes its winter home.  They congregate in these "shelters" that are little touched by humans.  Females give birth and tend to young calves in shallow areas, while mating action takes place in slightly deeper waters closer to the ocean.  Captain Charles Scammon discovered this lagoon as a hide-a-way for the Grays, and proceeded to slaughter them there.  At first, the Grays were able to fight back, and destroyed a few whalers and ships in the process, until Scammon and the men at the time learned to sit in water shallow enough that the Grays couldn't swim in, and they were harpooned from a distance.  This was the cause of the decimation of the Grays that we're familiar that they're making a comeback from.  You can follow the highway south 10 km. to the signs that mark the entrance to the park (and it's still quite a ways down a graded road to the lagoon), and make your own arrangements on-site.  Or, three tour companies offer guided tours out of Guerrero Negro (Malarrimo Tours, Laguna Tours and Mario's Tours - Mario's appeared to be to be out-of-business in '00, but reports in '04 indicate otherwise).

Exportadora de Sal is the largest natural outdoor saltworks facility in the world.  51% owned by the Mexican government and 49% by the Mitsubishi Corporation.  Tours can be made through special arrangements (plan ahead if this is of interest to you).  Exportadora de Sal is attempting to build a similar facility at San Ignacio Lagoon, further south on the peninsula, but is being met with understandable opposition from environmentalists (who've garnered considerable press for their cause, including a story on a special CNN broadcast), due to the plans of a mile and a half long pier that could affect that destination for Gray Whales that winter there.

Rock-art sites are accessible for day-trippers.  Arrangements can be made in town, usually through your motel (or the Malarrimo restaurant).

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Last revised: July 24, 2004

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