Home » 2019 Baja Adventure

Playa El Requeson on the Bahia Concepcion, Mexico

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 7:00pm by Lolo
60 miles and 1.25 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionPlaya El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionThe weather was finally in our favor - our third day of sun and warmth, without gusty winds. Looks like we were finally going to get our beach camping in, which was one of our major goals while in Baja.

Before leaving on this trip, I had scouted out Playa El Requeson on the Bahia Concepcion as the best beach to tent camp on. On our way south to Loreto, we had actually stopped there to check it out, and it was definitely what we were looking for - much quieter than Playa Santispac, with fewer RVs, and a lovely sandbar connecting it to a small rocky island.

It took us about an hour and a half to get there from Loreto. It would have been less if we hadn’t been stopped and searched at a military checkpoint along the way. We had been through several of these already during out time in Baja. They were quite intimidating at first - men in army fatigues holding automatic rifles can make even the most innocent feel a bit nervous and ready to confess. However, since up until now, they had just asked us where we were going, and then waved on us on through.

Camping on Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionCamping on Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionThis time, however, they asked us politely if they could look at the contents of our car. They said this in Spanish, but we got the gist of it. What were we going to do, say no? So, we stepped out of the car while one of them looked in our glove compartment, center console, luggage, etc. I realized I had some sand dollars that I had picked up on the beach in the pocket on the door, which you are not supposed to take, so I started to sweat. Fortunately, I think they were more interested in drugs and firearms.

During the search, I was trying to chat up the three soldiers who were not holding automatic rifles, which I think is something you are advised not to do, but they were very friendly. Either because they had completed the search, or were tired of my feeble attempts at Spanish, they waved us on.

Soon after, we drove down the road to Playa El Requeson and situated ourselves in a great spot right near the sandbar, in such a way that no campers that arrived later would obstruct our view.

Campground host? - Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionCampground host? - Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionWithout further ado we walked across the sandbar until it ended, and then waded the remaining 20 yards or so to a rocky island. We followed a sandy path through the brush and then clambered up some rocks to the top of the ridge, where there was a great view of our 4Runner camped on the beach.

After lunch, I took a stroll down the beach, stopping to photograph an old dilapidated building and boat. I have no idea what it once had been - private home or beach facility? - but in either case, it was long past its prime, like so many other structures we had encountered along the way. Continuing on I came to the end of the beach, where a road led along the shore to a small house. Not knowing if it was private property or not, I turned back.

We spent the afternoon in our camp chairs just reading and watching the activity around us - seagulls looking for a handout, a girl posing at the end of the sandbar for a drone overhead, a little boy crying after getting bit by a crab, wild horses crossing the far end of the beach, and our RV neighbor running coming out of his RV swinging a lasso in their direction. I was intrigued. Who the heck packs a lasso on vacation just in case a wild horse goes by? I just had to ask. It turns out he ropes cattle in rodeos in eastern Oregon.

Evening light - Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionEvening light - Playa El Requeson on Bahia ConcepcionNext, a truck stopped right by us and a man came out carrying a tray of colorful, carved wooden figurines, most of them animals. He said his grandfather carved them and he painted them. They were cute and handmade, so we bought a balene for 100 pesos (about $5). Besides actually liking it, we wanted to do our part for the local economy.

Later on, a very old woman, kind of scary looking, came by carrying an old shoebox, which she opened for us, revealing some tiny, not particularly appealing ceramic turtles. When I asked her how much, she said “cinquenta pesos.” I mistakenly thought that meant 500 (about $25) so, thinking she was trying to rip me off, I said, “No gracias.” I really need to work on my Spanish numbers, as cinquenta means 50, which is the equivalent of about $2.50. However, by the time I realized this, she was long gone. I felt terrible that I didn’t buy one of her turtles, as I am sure she could have used the 50 pesos more than us.

Bioluminescent plankton along El Playa RequesonBioluminescent plankton along El Playa RequesonThis was turning out to be a busier place than we anticipated.

However, at dusk the show really began, as the sky lit up in brilliant shades of red, yellow, and blue.

As if that wasn’t spectacular enough, when it got completely dark, I happened to notice a bright neon blue light running along the water’s edge. At first we thought it was someone’s headlights, but there was no vehicle nearby.

We walked over to take a look. It was bioluminescent plankton!! What a magical sight. The phenomenon is caused by a tiny microscopic dinoflagellate called Noctiluca, or sea sparkle, that flashes a bright blue when disturbed, making the water sparkle. The lapping of the water along the shoreline must have provided the necessary disturbance to set off their alarms.

It gets even better. When our eyes followed the shimmering neon blue light to its end, we saw that it met up with the ladle of the big dipper!

This experience, plus seeing the gray whales in Laguna San Ignacio, made every one of the 2,700 miles we would drive this trip well worth the effort.


Watercolor sunsetWatercolor sunsetJust south of Mulege is the Bahia Concepcion, a series of shallow bays with picturesque turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. It has become a mecca for snowbirds traveling south in the winter for warmth and sunshine. There are over a dozen beaches to camp on or just enjoy for the day.

The Playa El Requeson (km 91.5) is one of the more popular ones, especially for tent camping. A sandbar connects to shore to a small rocky island.

Playa El Requeson on the Bahia Concepcion location map in "high definition"

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