About this listing
Solar-Powered 3-Bedroom, 2-Bath Beach House in the Town of San Felipe. Casual Relaxation, Spectacular Views.
The setting of this home is right out of a dream. Of all the world's oceans, Jacques Cousteau favored the Sea of Cortez, calling it "The Aquarium of the World." His favorite body of water fills two walls of glass directly in front of this expansive home.
The photos say it all: Stunning views...empty white-sand beaches...ultra-clear skies. And the only sounds you're likely to hear are the gentle surf and ocean breezes.
There's really no other place like Baja California, The pristine land has changed little since Fernando Cortés first saw it in 1533. And every sunrise over the sea begins the day in spectacular fashion.
Our huge front room combines living, dining, and kitchen into one 700-square-foot space, with four sets of doors which open to a broad Spanish-style veranda. Spend the day reading in the lounge chairs, mixing a drink or two at the hand-carved bar, or walking on miles of secluded beach.
The kitchen area offers 20 feet of counter space, while a massive wooden dining table easily accommodates your entire group for memorable meals.
Each of the three spacious bedrooms features a queen bed, while the two bathrooms feature large showers. There's also a queen platform airbed for children or extra guests.
The town of San Felipe is completely safe and friendly -- and unlike a Cabo or Cancun, it offers an *authentic* Mexico experience.
(If anyone in your group has concerns about Baja, search the following for a great Lonely Planet article: "Are Americans Safer in Mexico than at Home?")
In Baja, wild nature is everywhere. The houses range from humble one-room shacks to desert palaces. As you can see in the photos, our home is nicer than average, yet still simple and casual, by design.
Despite the incomparable setting, this is still a Baja beach house -- not a designer bungalow on Nantucket.
Please note that the house is off the grid, with a solar electric system, a rooftop tank holding mountain spring water, plus a propane fridge, stove and water heater. Everything usually works just fine, but conservation has real meaning here, and there is always a measure of unpredictability when you go greener.
In short, if you require a concierge to run your holidays, can't stand a little dust from the desert, or would be horrified to light a candle if the lights go out, our beach house is not the ideal spot for you. This is a place for hearty living -- a place Steinbeck would have loved.
It takes only 5 to 10 minutes to travel from this isolated beachfront retreat to all the shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and other attractions of North San Felipe and the Malecon.
Dining options range from casual to fine. Regardless of which you choose, you'll love the freshness, taste, and purity of San Felipe's seafood-focused cuisine. (Arid Baja has none of the "issues" of mainland Mexico.)
At your doorstep await unforgettable wilderness adventures, in untouched desert backcountry where mountains soar 10,000 feet over huge dry lakes.
The Sea of Cortez (also known as the Mar de Cortés and Vermilion Sea) offers kayaking, windsurfing, boating, fishing, and more.
And after sunset, clear air and virtually no ambient light ensure the finest skies left on this planet.
All just a 5 1/2-hour drive from Los Angeles...4 hours from San Diego.
* Mapping for Mexico is a bit difficult. You can enter "San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico" in the most popular mapping program, zoom out till you see El Dorado Ranch and Playa Hawaii north of San Felipe. Our home is on the beach in this area.
* Biologically speaking the Sea of Cortez is the richest body of water on the planet. This diverse sea supports more than 900 varieties of fish, and more than 2,000 species of marine invertebrates.
* The house features solar power, with battery reserves for the evenings, and there are additional independent solar lights. The refrigerator, kitchen stove, and water heater are fired by propane. Please note that the propane fridge is not as cold as a typical electric unit. It's a good idea to load items already cold from an ice chest.
* Spring water is trucked in, and stored in a 1,000-gallon tank. The first tanks of water and propane are included. If a water refill is required, you pay the $50. The cost of a propane refill is about $15.
* There is no AC, no landline, and no internet at the house. Disconnecting for awhile is a blessing, but if necessary, you can use high-speed internet at the Baja Highlands office in town, or at a local cafe.
* Note that Baja can be HOT, especially from mid-May to mid-September. In Summer, typical temperatures are 90s or low 100s during the day, and 70s to 80s at night.
* Pets are welcome.
* Please smoke on the veranda.
* Sheets are provided for the three beds. You should bring bath and beach towels, as well as your favorite toiletries, including paper.
* Basic kitchenware is provided. There are often extra paper towels, garbage bags, and dish soap, but bring some of your own, or buy it locally.
* A 600-square-foot garage with RV doors is available with advance arrangements -- but there's plenty of easy parking outdoors on approx. 1 1/2 acres.
* If you have kids, please note that the bluff in front of the house is about 20 feet above the sand.
* The closest road down to the beach begins about 150 feet above the entrance to the property. Turn right at the first opportunity, then follow the road right/left as it winds down to the sand. The beach itself is fine sand, and deep in places. Motorcycles and ATVs are welcome. For four-wheeled vehicles, 4WD is highly recommended.
* Kayaks and other small watercraft can be launched easily from the beach. Be aware of the tides! The Gulf of California has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, and at low tide, the ocean recedes far from the beach for a few hours.
* PWCs and boats on trailers can also be launched from the beach. A 4WD tow vehicle is essential. Again, be aware of the tides.
* There is a wood-burning fireplace. In the unlikely event that you want to use this heat source (sometimes, in Winter), bring your own firewood, as you will find little/none in Baja.
* There are large supermarkets in central San Felipe (such as Calimax, on the main drag). You can get fresh food and everything else you might need at reasonable prices.
* Wheelchair access to the home is fairly easy. The showers are very large, but otherwise of standard design.
* It costs over $100 to get an off-grid home ready for each guest, so generally there is a three-night minimum. Of course you are free to pay for the three nights and enjoy the home for 2 3/4 days. ;)
* Snowbird? Looking for a long-term retreat? Low rates are available to quality candidates.
Veranda, hammock, beach, sunsets...repeat.
Other Things to Note
1. Don’t worry about the troubles you may have read about, as the gang conflicts (equivalent to Mafia battles in the U.S.) have largely stopped, and there never was any of that in San Felipe or smaller Baja towns.
2. You should note that even at the height of the troubles, any foreigner has been safer in Mexico than in any U.S. city. A lot safer.
But don't take our word for it. Search the following Lonely Planet article on the web:
Are Americans safer in Mexico than at home?
Leave the digital games and electric hair dryer at home.
Disconnect. Relax. Rediscover.
This place was nothing short of amazing. Thanks to all of Mike's guidance (which is 100% accurate on every detail), we were able to find the home and settle in with ease. Mind you I went during one of the hottest times of the year but it's still manageable with the ocean breeze. The beach was everything I could have hoped for with my little one. Insanely blue, warm and gentle to accommodate for my little swimmer. Thanks to the cliffs and mountains, the beach is almost always empty truly letting you enjoy a private beach feel. Even took the pups and never once had to leash them. The only downside was there was no propane available upon arrival. Unfortunately the organic baby food quickly spoiled with the intense summer heat despite cooler efforts. Thanks to Mike's instructions, propane was very easy to find to ensure a cool fridge. Should have requested in advance that the fridge be ready but underestimated it's immediate need. Mike was very accommodating even for a last minute early arrival to help out with over night travels with a toddler. I'm sure if I would have asked about the fridge, that could have been an issue avoided. Town and markets are not far. Be wise to pack your own comforts from home since not all can be purchased in town. Note that the mosquitos can be unforgiving. Bug spray will go a long way. The ocean is full of awesome wildlife, including jellyfish as I experienced a few mild stings. So if possible pack a suit that offers full coverage if you have any concerns. Otherwise enjoy the beautiful home, amazing beach, wonderful canyons, awesome tides and if lucky late night walks on the beach lit by full moons so bright you don't need a flashlight. Thanks Mike for lending us your amazing home during our family vacation!
The directions provided are very detailed and accurate- you cannot find the house without them! They also gave good tips and recommendations on general directions to San Felipe and spending time there.
The house is in a truly unique environment, in a settlement of eclectic homes in North San Felipe on a bluff overlooking the Sea of Cortez. The climb down to the beach is pretty easy. The house is spacious but my favorite part was the porch: killer views, a hammock, and plenty of outdoor furniture.
Although the home is off the grid, you can barely tell. The water and electricity work fine, and conservation is the only thing to be mindful of. It is helpful to note that the lack of AC can be a challenge here in the summer. It is a desert after all! Since I visited in June, the heat and humidity proved a bit too much for me. The hosts were very responsive and helpful when I relayed this.
What a special place!
This is a breathtaking property. My friends and I arrived and we were so excited. It looks exactly like the photos and more. There were a few glitches with our stay but Mike was very responsive and resolved them right away. There is no WiFi but I had an international plan on my phone and didn't have a problem sending or receiving emails through the local service provider.
We arrived and the fridge was off and discovered the propane tank was empty. We took the propane tank to the recommended places in the manual but they did not have propane. I was in contact with Mike and he sent the propane delivery to the house the next morning. Lighting the pilots was a bit challenging but the propane guy took care of it.
We ran out of water the next night. I don't believe the tank was filled prior to our arrival. This caused quite a bit of turmoil with my friends and I was disappointed that the house wasn't ready for our arrival. Mike arranged for a water delivery when he received my message and he came within a few hours.
I felt like it was quite an inconvenience to have to take care of the propane and the water when we had only been there just over a day. No fridge, no hot water and no water was beyond any expectation I had. I thought the worst case scenario would be to lose the solar power for a three day stay.
Mike was very understanding and gave me a partial refund for the trouble which was very generous.
On a sidenote:
It does make a difference having a 4x4. The road to the house is sand. I debated driving my car but was glad we went we took the truck.
The living room is surrounded by glass windows with a beautiful view. If you leave the door open you can hear the ocean crashing. The sunset and sunrise is spectacular. The trail to the beach is really easy to walk down. It's a quick drive to downtown San Felipe and so much nicer than staying in a hotel.
All in all, I recommend staying here. I'd advise bringing a cooler with ice and some extra water. I told my best friend about our stay and sent her some pics and she wanted the link to make a reservation.
Mike was so helpful in guiding me through my journey to San Felipe and beyond! I was aware that the house is basically like camping indoors, so there were no surprises about the "outdoors" feeling. The house itself has the best view of the ocean! It was perfect for me.
My husband and I had a great week here in this house - what a beautiful view to wake up to! That may have been our favourite part. Being able to walk right down to the water and hearing the sound of the waves as we fell asleep was perfect. The house is spacious and bright and would be a perfect place to come back to enjoy with family! Maybe some day.
This is NOT a good review mostly because of the hosts response2r email (each included below.) #1We read every word of the description for this posting&were excited2be essentially "indoor camping."#2As of this writing, we have stayed@multiple Baja homes&viewed20+more. We luv Baja so much, we ended up staying in the area2months&want to own r own piece of heaven.#3We r hosts rselves w/nearly400reviews. We fully understand how difficult it is to receive criticism of a home u love&cherish but believe u have to take a step back&re-evaluate what u may or may not being doing well for the guest experience.#4In reference to r lack of contacting Mike, we had just arrived to Baja from Chicago w/r dog (if any of u have traveled w/pets, u know how much appreciated finding a place that allows u to travel together)&had2exhaustedly scramble to find other accommodations. One of r biggest requirements for r trip was "unplugging" from technology. Once we were settled, relaxed, rejuvenated, it occurred to us, Mike didn't know of these issues. It is a bit challenging for those of us that have never been to Baja before (or Mexico-for that matter:)) to figure out how to "plug-in".#5Not sure when the last time Mike has personally visited Baja or his property but every other property we have seen WAS pristine clean which was not what we expected at all based upon Mike's very detailed description: “if you require a concierge to run your holidays, can't stand a little dust from the desert, or would be horrified to light a candle if the lights go out, our beach house is not the ideal spot for you” However, there is an enormous disparity between pristine and disgustingly filthy.
Chris&I have been back&forth as to how to proceed with r experience@ur home. We did arrive early on r check in day&couldn't resist the temptation to check it out. Although the view was just as promised, it was really disgustingly filthy. Ok, so we r early. The cleaning guys arrived the moment we were leaving w/not even a nod of their heads&only a dirty mop. When we returned, ur beautiful home was exactly as we originally found it-disgustingly dirty w/the dirty linens remade. I would like to request ur direct email address in order to send u pictures.
Although we did not stay there, we agreed that at least contacting u in order to alert u to the issues you have w/ur cleaning crew would hopefully avoid having a similar experience for ur next guests.
Ur saying that u did not stay at the house at all from the 3rd&ur contacting me on the 10th?
U can send photos using the link, but my direct email is
I imagine that the situation was as always in Baja. As noted in the description, it definitely is not a pristine home on Nantucket. Most people love it (like the honeymoon couple who stayed just before you), but some people do not.
Every once in a blue moon, a review mystifies us. This is one of them.
For the record, we stay at this home often (and hate to leave). After the local maintenance crew does their job, we always find the house in the same condition: Clean If Not Pristine.
If this couple had contacted us when they checked in, we would have taken immediate action to resolve any issue. Unfortunately, we did not hear from them for a full week -- the day before their reservation ended. (Note: there is ample access to wifi in the area).
The email attributed to us above is not quoted properly in terms of spelling/grammar, but the content is essentially correct. We're not sure what response was desired; we provided an email address as requested, so they could send photos, and we waited to follow up. We didn't hear from them again.
Anyhow.... This is the review from the honeymooners who stayed immediately before these guests (same house, same cleaning crew): "The place was amazing and the pictures tell it all. We will do it all over again when we have the time. Honestly, it was really hard to leave. The neighborhood isn't the most upscale thing you've seen, but it was quiet, which was just what we were looking for. Thank you for the great experience." And the guests immediately before that: "Property is just as described. Stunning views and absolutely off the grid. Was very nice to unwind and disconnect. Had a couple of hiccups with the propane and water but was quickly resolved. Would definitely return for vacation in the future. Already planning for trip next year. The views are amazing! The view of the sunset will melt your worries away. Would absolutely recommend this place to anyone willing to part with technology and blow dryer in order to unwind and relax! :)" And the guests immediately before that: "Everything was great. you could not get a better view than this -- we hope to put a time lapse video up of sunrise if we can get the software sorted."
The place was amazing and the pictures tell it all. We will do it all over again when we have the time. Honestly, it was really hard to leave. The neighborhood isn't the most upscale thing you've seen, but it was quite which was just what we were looking for. Thank you for the great experience.
This host has 437 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Mike & Kiyoe
Mike is an American who has lived in Europe and Japan. A graduate of UCLA, he also works in L.A. as an international marketing consultant. For fun, he likes basketball, tennis, volleyball, hiking, skiing, cycling, and motorcycling.
Kiyoe (Kay) is a Japanese national. For fun, she likes running, hiking, tennis, and clogging. 日本の”おもてなし”をモットーにしています。どうぞ日本語でお気軽にお問い合わせください。お待ちしています。