Boondocking Baja – Exploring the Remote Campsites in Paradise
Imagine waking up on a secluded beach where you watch the waves roll in while you sip a fresh cup of coffee. You can find this experience at plenty of resorts but in Baja, RVers and campers can discover these places for themselves. Some well-known campsites might cost a few bucks but many are free and open for those willing to explore.
Made for Off-Grid Travel
Baja is perfect for boondockers because the sun shines almost every day. Charging solar panels to keep your system powered is a breeze. Running a generator is also an option but it’s a good place for those invested in solar power. You won’t find much in the way of public restrooms so plan on using your own facilities.
Otherwise, finding short and long-term places to camp requires some basic map study. Big rigs have more limitations as many beaches are well off the beaten tracks. That said, big RV’s and trailers can still find some incredible campsites.
Trucks with lightweight cabovers or popup campers can really get out there and 4×4 campervans have a serious advantage when it comes to exploring the far reaches of the peninsula.
Loading Up on Water and Emptying Black Tanks
Potable water is surprisingly easy to find but you still need to plan ahead and carry enough to last while camping. Water purification stations in each town will fill your tank with treated water. Not every station has a hose connection however. Ask around to find one that can connect directly to your tank. Otherwise, pouring 5-gallon grafons into your tank is the next best option.
Black tanks make boondocking extra comfortable but emptying those tanks is still a necessity. In the US, finding sites for emptying is easy but in Baja, you’ll need to map out RV parks with sewer in advance. They exist and there are plenty but they are not located in every town. Places with tourism tend to have the most options so do a quick rundown on Google Maps and mark the parks where you can clean out the tank between trips to the beaches.
Finding Campsites that Blow Your Mind
Finding great places to camp is a research game.
The first place that you should look, however, is your Harvest Hosts app. Did you know that Harvest Hosts has several locations in and around Baja? There are a handful of Harvest Hosts wineries along the route as you make your way to the beaches.
You may be able to find other gems by joining Facebook travel groups specific to Baja. The iOverlander app is also an excellent resource for finding campsites and also for water, groceries, mechanics, and other services. It’s crowdsourced with notes so participate when appropriate. I do, however, keep some campsites to myself. If you find one that deserves protection from the crowds, consider keeping it to yourself.
I have also found spots by asking locals and by simply exploring. I carry plenty of water, a compressor, and tire plugs– and often strike out on roads that lead in enticing directions. More often than not, they are dead ends that turn into livestock trails but a few have led me to amazing campsites.
I work remotely and that means I need cell service to stay in touch with clients and to operate a hot spot for email and basic tasks. My Verizon plan has surprisingly good coverage but the data is limited while traveling.
I typically buy a Telcel chip and use it with an old phone to create a more affordable hotspot option. It has better coverage and I’ve found plenty of amazing campsites where I can work from the beach. That said, some of the best sites out there are completely off-grid and I hope they stay that way.
About the Author
Zach Lazzari is a freelance outdoor and travel writer. He has driven the Pan American highway and spends his winters exploring Mexico. He started crossbordercoverage.com to help American and Canadian drivers find affordable Mexican auto insurance.
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