You are not far from the water's edge - you just need to decide how you are going to get down to it - walk: 15min - drive: 6min - winged flight:1 min
This home was excavated by hand into the side of a 13 acre hill overlooking the Sea of Cortez and the town of Los Barriles ( it took forever to build ) . Staying on the hill means you escape the wind from the beach ( it's a kiteboarding, fly fishing and mountain biking mecca for a reason ! ) for the warmth and quiet of the desert . You will be a 5 minute dune buggy ride to the water's edge or to town. .
The home is furnished with funky collection of mid - century furniture and it combines beautifully with a modern kitchen and the unpredictable floor plan to create many really comfortable places to hang out in . Your vista is always filled with expansive combinations of skies , mountains and the ocean . The entire acreage around the home is private and yours to explore .
Los Barriles is a baja boom town with its ranchero soul intact. Local ranch owner families have embraced the American and Canadian families who call Los Barriles home from October to May. In June fishing is the focus of the town as the Sea of Cortez warms up and attracts really big fish.
Los Barriles is a fine place to base from: you are less than a few hours safe drive north or south from epic adventures. It is an easy 50 minute drive from SJD airport. (Car rental or van service ($85) in the terminal)
North: Kayaking and camping on the islands off La Paz
West: Authentic Mexico meets California Surf Town at Todos Santos
South: San Jose del Cabo - Saturday organic market at the Polo Grounds and dinner at Palmilla - and a hundred other great ways to spend the day.
South: Cabo - Vegas as a marina. Loads of fun but you need to be drinking tequila to get it.
Good grocery stores - local organic easy to find.
Easy to eat well every night at a different restaurant or taco stand.
American-style sports bar with a good plasma setup.
Easy to meet fellow travelers and end up at a party dancing or jamming.
Two official ATMs, UPS office and a friendly on-the-ball Police department.
Open WIFI hookups everywhere.
Miles and miles of open public, mainly deserted, beach.
The Sea of Cortez is so incredible you will smile when you swim in it.
Ask a local rancher for just about anything and they will get it for you. Ranch cheese, raw milk, avocados, mangos, papayas, limes, carne, live chickens, horseback guide into the mountains - anything. Look for a white dusty rancher sombrero and/or sandals made of cowhide and tire tread.
Interaction with Guests
Tessa our fabulous property manager will be very responsive in advance via email and when you are there if you need just about anything attended to. She can arrange a chef, massages, food, transportation and rentals.
A vibrant little town is a few minutes drive or bike ride from the house (the best place for it to be if you are looking to escape from your own 'vibrant little town').
Best to rent a car because you will want to explore the area (East Cape, Todos Santos and El Triunfo) but not required. There are mountain bikes at the house that will handle beach and grocery runs. Keep in mind you are on a hillside so heading home is up.
Other Things to Note
Expectation Adjustment for 2014 - It's been a few years since these photos were taken so while the home is essentially intact, renter wear and tear and the weather has taken its toll on the outdoor furniture.
The house is basically indestructible so relax and enjoy it. You are welcome to move beds out onto the roof decks it you prefer sleeping out under the stars. Especially great on hot nights in the summer. There are a lot of windows on the house which are now screened. The main living room is actually outside and not screened. Mosquito nets around if you get hassled.
This is a stunningly beautiful home in a fantastic location. My boyfriend and I were enamored with the design of the house and will like be back again someday. Tessa, who has lived in Los Barriles for 30 years, was our contact while in Baja and she was a joy and wealth of information. With our consent, Tessa arranged for an amazing meal to be made at the house when we arrived tired and hungry from a day of traveling. Overall the trip was simply fantastic. Communication was smooth, the house gorgeous and well kept, and the location just perfect.
Tessa was great. We met up with her in town and she showed us the way to the house. She was always very quick to respond to emails with questions, and provided great recommendations for things to see and do. The house and valley was beautiful -- exactly what we wanted.
We loved Mike’s hideaway house; it’s very clean with unique furnitures and multiple killer views for sunrises and sunsets. A great surprise were the animal life - foxes, owls, and heard of goats and cows.
Driving up to the house was a little intimidating at first, because we had a compact car, but easily got use to the terrain. We agree with the previous reviewer and recommend a 4WD or SUV for exploration. Also, check out the Baja Pony Express website for things to do and announcements like turtle releases.
We had a great week at Mike's hideaway in Los Barriles. It was everything, if not more than what we had anticipated and provided us with the perfect opportunity to relax an enjoy the beauty of Los Barriles and surrounds. We were the first guests in after the September hurricanes and the house was in great condition. We rented a car for the week, however with hindsight I would recommend that guests rent a 4WD to open op the possibilities of exploring more of the surrounding areas.
As we drive up to this wonderful cool house above Los Barilles, my husband and I were grinning ear to ear and couldn't wait to check the inside. The house is an artists paradise with three levels, amazing woodwork throughout, stained concrete floors, bathrooms with giant rocks from the hillside now inside your shower & picture windows everywhere! The house is built not just 'on' but gracefully into the hillside over a wash/arroyo. The nature opportunities were abundant with various colorful birds everywhere, blue lizards and several others hanging out in their cactus condos. A very serene private paradise with great views of the ocean. The plunge pool was fantastic and a saving grace for our summer visit. Everything you needed for cooking was available. We can't wait to go back in the spring when it is a bit cooler.
We went to Los Barriles looking for a relaxing and non-resort atmosphere, and this unique house definitely delivered. Mike's place is exactly as pictured, with stunning desert scenery on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other. We spent hours on the shaded patio relaxing and reading, and making margaritas everyday in the kitchen. Even with the 2014 expectation update on wear and tear, we found that all the furniture outside was very comfortable, easy to move around to catch shade or incoming ocean breeze. Everyday at sunset, a procession of cattle walk through the arroyo, and hearing their bells at night is something we really miss! Though we never met Tessa in person, she was extremely prompt and helpful with all our questions. I would definitely recommend asking her to set you up with Norma (a local private chef) -- we feasted on leftovers for days! There are tons of excellent places to eat in Los Barriles (our favourites were the tacos and salsa bar at El Viejo), and both the town and the beach are short drives from the house. Overall, a wonderful, relaxing stay!
Mike's place was amazing. Great location overlooking the arroyo with a view of the ocean as well. We spent most of our time there just relaxing on huge porch (great hammock!) and using the awesome kitchen to prepare delicious meals. Very easy access to town via our rental car for groceries and hanging out at the beach. House was beautiful and made for a fantastic place for some R&R. Would recommend to anyone.
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