BAJA TRAVEL: MULEGE TO CABO SAN LUCAS
By David Eidell
Mulege,a real gem on the Baja, lies a bit south of the 'halfway point' of the peninsula. From here south, hwy 1 is usually in very good condition, with the pavement being a foot or two wider than the narrow sections that you drove over, west of San Ignacio. Pemex stations become increasingly more common as you pass, Loreto (with 2), Ciudad Constitucion, also with two stations on the highway, and then on to La Paz and beyond. Gasoline and diesel is shipped across the gulf of California aboard barges which land in La Paz, and then it is distributed northward by tanker trucks.
Loreto, has a full-hookup RV park, and ten miles to the south another RV park (at Tripui) adds to the selection. When driving the highway between Mulege and Loreto, keep your eyes open for stray herds of cattle that wander across the roadway. Five miles north of Cuidad Constitucion, you'll find "Manfred's RV Park" on the East side of the highway. The park is well laid out and nicely landscaped. It's pretty much a straight run from Constitucion to La Paz.
A majority of the RV parks in La Paz, are actually located on hwy 1 west of the city. You'll drive by most of them. For destinations south of La Paz, you'll take hwy 1 southbound, and then face a "Y" (actually a "T") about fourteen miles south of the city. Branching to your right is hwy 19 "the new road" which is an eighty five mile stretch of hwy that meets the Pacific ocean coastline when you arrive in Pescadero, and Todos Santos. From here, it's about an hour to Cabo San Lucas, but beware of stray cattle wandering in the road. This stretch may be the worst in North America for cattle/RV collisions, and I never drive fast through this area.
From Cabo, you'll leave highway nineteen, and make a left onto hwy 1. Fourteen miles to the East is San Jose del Cabo, and you'll pass by all but one of Cabo San Lucas' RV parks as you head out of town (Faro Viejo Park is located in the center of a maze of dirt streets). Many of San Jose's RV parks are located just to the west of town, and you'll pass these parks before you enter San Jose del Cabo.
From San Jose's airport, northward to the junction with highway 19, highway 1, winds up and down steep hills and narrow valleys. For a few miles the highway meets the Gulf, at Buena Vista, then ducks back inland for the remainder of the journey. Generally speaking, it'll take half again as long in hours of transit to drive hwy 1 all the way to Cabo, from La Paz, as it would in comparison to taking highway 19 at the junction. If you're in a rush to get to Cabo, highway 19 is the way to go.
Cabo has two Pemex stations. A new station is located halfway between Cabo and San Jose del Cabo, and the latter has a station as well. North of here, you'll find a station each in Todos Santos (hwy 19) and in Santiago (hwy 1), and another in Buena Vista.
Banks: Santa Rosalia, has two, Mulege and Loreto, none. Cuidad Constitucion has three banks, La Paz, more than half a dozen, Todos Santos none, Cabo three and San Jose del Cabo has three banks. La Paz has scores of change houses (but the rate is lower than it is further south), and cabo at least half a dozen. San Jose has two or three "casa de cambios", but again Cabo is the most competitive place that you can exchange dollars for pesos.
For Immigration offices, Santa Rosalia's is located near the ferry terminal, Mulege has none, and Loreto only has an office in the airport terminal building south of town. La Paz's immigration office is big and friendly. Look for it a block west of the Hotel Loa Arcos, on the main (waterfront) street. Cabo's immigration office is located west of town (on the road to San Jose)about a mile and a half. A Banamex Bank, is located almost across the street from it.