Baja Travel Resource Guide                                                presented by:

San Quint�n

(and surrounding area from Colonet to El Rosario)


In 1884, then President of M�xico, Porfirio D�az, granted a vast land concession to New York city based International Land Company who had vast plans on selling property to expatriate U.S. wheat farmers.  When droughts consistently destroyed crops, the farmers fled, and the New York firm waited it out until the droughts had passed to dump their investment on a British firm that had similar plans.  The British built a larger mill, a shipping dock and even a customs house.  They fared no better than the Americans had, and they eventually abandoned the area as well.  Some of the remnants of that time still exist.  The Old Mill Motel & Restaurant, recently refurbished, is housed in the old British mill; the pier pilings are still visible above the water near the Muelle Viejo restaurant and San Carlos Motel, and just to the south of the old pier is the old English cemetery.  An old English residence, due to be destroyed was purchased and moved just south of the Old Mill (the Cora? House).  Present signs indicate the present owners wish to sell the house and let someone else deal with it.   Fortunate or unfortunate I don't know, but the loss of this house would indeed be a tragedy.

The area here is mostly agricultural, and generally not much more than a stop along the highway for most.  Hunters and fishermen however find this area to be a small Mecca for their endeavors. The world's largest tomato producer is here (Los Pinos), but Brussels sprouts, snow-peas, and many other vegetables are also grown out here. The majority of commerce however, lines the highway through town (read: restaurants, motels, etc.).

There have been important archaeological discoveries made from the San Quint�n/El Rosario area (dinosaurs/ammonnites/etc...) in the last decade.

News reports in Southern California throughout 1999 indicate that plans are underway for a major resort development near the coast and bay here.  The shellfish currently harvested in the bay pass U.S. standards for clean water (and much of the catch is sent into the U.S.), but environmentalists feel this would no longer be the case with the encroachment of a large resort on the water here. 

Places to stay:

Motel Chavez -- Located along the highway in San Quint�n. The cleanest of the choices in town.  Budget

Motel Romo -- In Lazaro Cardenas, just to the south of San Quint�n proper.   Clean, simple rooms. Small area for off-street parking by the rooms. Ultra-Budget

Motel Cirio -- In town, but off the highway in a quieter spot.  Reach it by driving east of the highway at the Muebleria Popular (about one-half mile).  Clean, basic rooms.  Small area for off-street parking.  Budget

Old Mill Motel -- Favorite of long-time visitors for hunting and fishing. On the bay. 800-479-7962 Moderate

Motel Cielito Lindo -- Just off the beach about 6 miles south of town (near the La Pinta mentioned below). Clean rooms, hot (brackish) water, restaurant-bar. RV's welcome. 619-593-2252.  Moderate

Hotel La Pinta -- One of the better (if not the best) locations among this chain, but one of the least cared for physically. On the beach about 6 miles south of town. This chain is very acceptable, it's just that it's just a little overpriced for what you actually end up receiving. 800-336-5454. Moderate to Deluxe

Places to eat:

Besides your choice of a considerable selection of inexpensive roadside vendors, here are the other mentionables:

Palapa de Mariscos el Paraiso -- A popular spot for seafood along the highway.  Budget to Moderate

Misi�n Santa Isabel -- Very popular (and well advertised) spot on the north end of town.  Steak, seafood, mexican dishes.  Budget to Moderate

Restaurant El Alaz�n -- Known for great steaks, also serves seafood and mexican dishes.  Budget to Moderate

Old Mill Restaurant/Bar (Gaston's Cannery) -- Specializing in lobster, but also serving steak and seafood (halibut, seabass, red snapper).  Excellent atmosphere and location on the bay. The live entertainment leaves a little to be desired, but at least there *is* live entertainment.   Open at 5:30 a.m. for breakfast. Moderate to Deluxe

Motel Cielito Lindo -- Go here for dinner and order the Cracked Crab dinner. It's enough for two when I go, but if you're hungry, you can try to pack it all down yourself. Zesty/spicy, a touch buttery, and goes great with cerveza.  Approximately once a month there is a fantastic (and free) pig roast. Moderate

Things to do/see:

Visit the old English remnants to be found, including the above mentioned mill, pier and cemetery.  Today, in the cemetery, most of the names are of M�xican descent.   Towards the center though, with (mostly) wooden markers (most unreadable), are the English pioneers from pre-1900.  One of the more recent (large) shrines for a local makes it easy to spot the cemetery from the highway just south of town.

To the north of town, you'll find graded-dirt roads leading inland up into the Sierra San Pedro Mart�r Park (and the OAN observatory as well). Along the way, are famous spots like the Meling Ranch (619-758-2719), and Mike's Sky Rancho [668]15514.

Along the beaches south of town, you'll find some of the better shelling along the northern peninsula. Sand dollars are abundant.


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Last revised: June 21, 2002

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