to San Felipe
Banner on the
Arch in San Felipe reads: "Our
Hearts Go out to You ... Your Friends from San Felipe"
San Felipe is a thriving community of more than 20,000 permanent residents,
with an additional 10,000 from the United States, Canada and Europe.
The town is of sufficient size that a significant variety of goods
and services are enjoyed by the entire populace.
telephone service is provided by Telnor (the high technology division
of Telmex) and cellular telephony by Baja Cellular and TelCel. The
Net offers dial-up and walk in connectivity to the internet and there
are two different mail services that
cross the border to check your snail mail. There are three Pemex stations
that have unleaded gas in both regular and high octane. In addition
one station has diesel. There is a propane plant to refill portable
tanks as well as tankers to refill large tanks at your home. The are
numerous lumber yards and hardware stores as well as auto part stores.
There are grocery stores, furniture stores, and clothing stores. In
short almost everything most people think they need can be found here
without the need for a drive back across the border.
snowbird residents are active and involved in the community through
various civic organizations. There are numerous recreational and social
pursuits to fuel an active retirement lifestyle. Life is so comfortable
here that many transplants now consider San Felipe their main home.
natives are friendly and very tolerant of the many outsiders that
come into town each year. The residents also actively support the
same kinds of community recreation that we are used to in the States.
There are ball fields, basketball courts, a swimming pool, and of
course soccer fields where young and old alike compete. There are
several different denominations of churches here as well as doctors,
dentists, engineers, and lawyers. With San Felipe's proximity to the
USA border, and the new developments of El Dorado Ranch and the San
Felipe Beach Club and La Ventana del Mar, this area is rapidly becoming
a very desirable, yet affordable vacation resort community.
INSTRUCTIONS AND DIRECTIONS FROM THE USA
you are driving, you need to get to Calexico, California. You can
get there via San Diego on Interstate 8 East or from Yuma, AZ take
Interstate 8 West to Hwy. 111 exit. Take Hwy. 111 South to Calexico
and the Mexican border. There are two crossing points into Mexico
from here. See the following instructions. Drive time from border
to La Ventana del Mar is approximately 2 hours.
Crossing at Calexico:
El Centro: Go east on Interstate 8 to Highway 111 exit. Go South on
Highway 111 to the border. Go through the border, and bear right.
After approximately 500 feet turn right for San Felipe. Go straight
on this road through Mexicali (major intersections will have signs
for San Felipe.) This turns into Highway 5. El Dorado Ranch is at
Kilometer marker 176 and you will use this entrance for La Ventana
del Mar as well. Click on map below for larger version.
El Centro: Go East on Interstate 8 to Highway 111 exit. Go South on
Highway 111 to the third light (Hwy. 98 or Truck Route 7). Go East
on Highway 98 for about 7 miles where the sign shows the border crossing.
Make a right and proceed up and over the cloverleaf and into the border
crossing (this is clearly marked). RV's are to follow the signs for
Yuma: Take Highway 8 West and exit at Highway 98. Go West on Highway
98 for about 16 miles. At the traffic light, make a left and proceed
up and over the cloverleaf and into the border crossing (this is clearly
through the new border crossing you will come to a "T" crossing.
Make a right and proceed West along the border boundary to the first
stop sign where you will make a left onto Calzado Manuel Gomez Morin
(MORIN BLVD). Continue South on MORIN through 7 traffic lights, passing
the Sony plant. Turn left onto Highway 5 going South. El Dorado Ranch
and La Ventana del Mar are at Kilometer marker 176 and are about 2
- 2 1/2 hours driving time from the border.
who live farther away may want to fly.
Fly into San Diego and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately
Fly into Yuma, AZ and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately
3.5 hours. 3. Fly into Los Angeles and then fly into El Centro, CA
and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 2.5 hours.
When renting a car you must tell them you are driving into Mexico.
Some agencies will not allow rentals into Mexico. In San Diego Red
& Blue is the most economical and allows their vehicles into Mexico
with the appropriate insurance. In Yuma and El Centro, Avis rents
cars that can go into Mexico. (El Centro Avis counter closes at 5:00
on weekdays, Noon on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.)
have had some members chose another option and that is by bus. It
can be a long tedious trip but can be done. Greyhound Bus has a station
in Calexico, CA, right at the border. You can then walk or take a
taxi into Mexicali Bus Station and get a bus to San Felipe. SOMETHING
TO THINK ABOUTSAN FELIPE DOES NOT HAVE ANY RENTAL CARS AT THIS
TIME. A taxi ride to El Dorado Ranch and La Ventana del Mar is about
$15 from the bus station.
FROM MAJOR SOUTH WESTERN USA CITIES TO SAN FELIPE
from San Felipe to other major cities: (in USA)
|| 244 miles
Emergency numbers for the
Tourism Department - 078
Legal Assistance - 061
Police - 060
Medical Group: Emergency Medical Assistance, Doctors, Dentists,
Pharmacy, X-Ray Services, Lab
Abasolo Medical Group
Calzada Chetumal # 248, San Felipe, B.C. Mexico
PHONE: 011-52(686) 577-1706
#700-4, San Felipe, B.C.
(We're in first mini mall on the right as you drive into San
Felipe - one block from the Glorieta)
PHONE: 577-1462 or 577-1450
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
history of the San Felipe region dates to more than 150 million years
before present (to the formation of the Baja California peninsula)
while its written history goes no farther back than the days of the
first Europeans to set foot on its soil. Beyond that, nothing is known
of the first humans to enjoy the local shores although information
begins to appear from about two thousand years ago.
by Hernon Cortés to map the coastline of the then known "Southern
Sea," Fransisco de Ulloa recorded his presence in this area in
September, 1539. With him was cartographer Domingo del Castillo who
identified the San Felipe cove (on a map he was then making) as "Santa
Catarina." What's more, because the existence of the Baja California
peninsula was unknown at the time (the Spaniards thought La Paz was
on an island some of them called "California"), it was Ulloa
who reported it at the conclusion of this voyage. That voyage, by
the way, included circumnavigation of the peninsula as far north as
the approximate location of Ensenada.
year later, Hernando de Alarcón sailed into the area on an
unsuccessful mission of support for the Coronado Expedition (to the
Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola). With Alarcón was the
same Domingo del Castillo who, by virtue of the Viceroy of New Spain's
orders to sail as close as possible to the
shore (to enable sighting Coronado's representatives), was enabled
to improve upon the map he produced during the Ulloa voyage.
in the first ship built on Baja California soil, Juan de Ugarte landed
in the bay on July 5, 1721. Twenty-five years later, Padre Fernando
Consag landed here and formally christened the place San Felipe de
Jesús. San Felipe's modern history dates from 1876 when the
Mexican government signed a colonization contract with one Guillermo
Andrade who acquired some 30,000 hectares but died before his plans
the first fish camp was formed in 1904, it was not until 1925 that
the first sub-delegation was created and San Felipe began to develop
as an organized community. The first fishing society was founded in
1928, the first school established in 1929, and the first tourist
facilities in the early 1950's. Electricity was provided in 1963 and
the first potable water in 1967.
Great Sonora Desert encompasses a large and diverse subtropical region
extending from the west coast of Baja California to the western flank
of Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains. Within this vast expanse, the
area surrounding San Felipe (an area of transition between the Lower
Colorado River Section and the Vizcaino Desert Section) was determined
to be sufficiently unique to enable its identification as The San
mountain ranges lie within the San Felipe Desert. The most prominent
of which is the Sierra San Pedro Martír. This range, which
is the tallest in Baja forms the western boundary of our desert.
The terrain varies from relatively flat sandy brush land to incredibly
rugged almost impassable canyons.
some areas receiving as little as 3 cm of annual rain, many unique
plants have chosen to call this area home. The most impressive has
to be the Cardon cactus. These are the largest cactus in the world
and the San Felipe Desert is the northern most extent of their range.
While many of these plants
have spines or smell and taste bad they also have brightly hued blossoms
that attract lots of birds.
Birds are not the only animals that live here either. There are lots
of bugs, insects, and reptiles as would be expected. But there are
also coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, mountain sheep, and vicious
cholla chomping jackrabbits.
deserts tend to appear as rather bleak places, they are an ecosystem
literally full of diverse life forms. Even the dry sandy earth forms
an alliance with algae and lichens to create what we know as a cryptogramic
San Felipe Desert is a highly varied and very unique ecosystem. It
only takes a short time to fall in love with it. You can spend a lifetime
the links above and the rest of this site will pique your interest,
or allay any fears you might have, about visiting this exciting community
and making this your "home away from home."