Glamping on Isla Espíritu Santo
From it's blossoming wine country to it's turquoise waters and desolate beaches, Baja California offers allure and adventure along the entire peninsula. Whether you're looking to get away with your best gals or simply disconnect from the digital and daily grind, glamping on a remote island in Baja is the way to go. In this case, it was all of the above in celebration of a beautiful bride-to-be for her bachelorette party on Isla Espíritu Santo.
Espíritu Santo is an uninhabited island located off the coast of Baja California Sur in the Sea of Cortez and is home to an abundance of sealife and is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. While most visitors venture out to spend the day on the island's pristine beaches, there are a couple pop-up glampsites available for overnight stays.
Baja Camp, where we stayed, is an eco-glamping retreat featuring five safari-style tents on the uninhabited island of Espíritu Santo. Open June through September, Baja Camp offers an opportunity to commune with nature without having to be removed from the basic luxury of a cozy bed and a home-cooked meal.
Baja Camp has an onsite chef who prepared 3 meals a day and healthy snacks in between. Lunch options included delicious ceviche with tostadas, fish tacos and fresh scallop and tuna sashimi. The table was set beautifully with lanterns and decorative shells for our nightly dinner under the stars and on the menu was grilled fish, risotto, veggies and salad.
CURRENCY: Pesos. The dollar is strong right now so be sure to get a good exchange rate ahead of time. Bring cash to pay for your accommodations and any extra activities that aren't included.
CLIMATE: warm year round with highs up to 100° in the summer months. Temps tend to drop at night so pack a light jacket for cooler evenings. We were there end of June and average temp was 85° and dry.
GETTING THERE: Fly into San Jose del Cabo (SJD) which has direct flights from just about every major U.S. city. Plan on staying the night in Cabo and plan for an early departure the next morning. Whether you rent a car or arrange private transportation to La Paz, it's roughly a 2 1/2 hour drive up Highway 19 through desolate landscape consisting of arroyos and cacti. Stop for coffee and a bathroom break at Baja Beans in Pescadero and continue the drive. You'll be picked up by boat at one of the beaches, most likely either Playa Pichilingue or El Tecolote and taken out to the island (roughly a 45 min ride depending on conditions). Pro-tip: If you're just taking a day trip, you can leave your car and take a panga out to the island.
ACTIVITIES: Kayaking, SUP, snorkeling, hiking. All water gear was provided by the camp. We also rented a boat (and by boat I mean a ridiculously huge 80 ft yacht with full staff) for the day and explored other parts of the island. .
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- The accommodations are amazing, high quality safari-style tents that can accommodate up to 3 people. There are nightstands with portable lanterns and even a mirror! Every tent has it's own freestanding outdoor shower and toilet.
- The camp's "clean" water comes from a nearby well. Showering involves pumping.... and a bucket and is definitely easier with a second pair of hands. Bring your own shampoo, conditioner and face/body wash - ideally organic and environmentally friendly as it goes straight into the ground while you shower.
- El baño is comfortable given the circumstances (you're camping, peeps!). Flushing involves pumping, but no bucket ;), and a lovely view of the starry night sky.
- Wildlife: During a SUP session, I spotted turtles, manta rays, colorful fish and even a sea snake! We didn't venture to far inland, but did get some visitors at night. Babisuris, a small, racoon-like animal native to this region, came into our camp (and a few of our tents) in search of food. Be sure to zip up your tent in the evenings to avoid any furry surprises.
- The onsite chef will cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for you. Healthy snacks consisting of cucumber with lime juice and spicy seasonings were available in between meals.
PACKING LIST / PRO TIPS: Besides bikinis and bronzer, here are a few things you must pack/know in advance.
- Sunscreen - There are some seriously strong rays on the island and exposure is pretty constant. This one is my absolute fave. Layer it on.
- Bug spray - Mosquitos are prevalent when there's no wind. Be sure to put on bug spray on in the early evening before the sun goes down.
- BYOB - We brought a lot of wine, booze and snacks and sipped on margaritas and Aperol spritzes (hydration is key!) in between swim and kayak sessions. Coupled with the meals already provided by the camp, there was nor shortage of food and beverage during our stay.
- Jacket - Bring a light sweater or jacket in case temps drop.
- Organic shampoo, conditioner, face and body wash.
- No need to bring beach towels! These are provided by the camp.
To book your stay, visit BajaCamp.com