San Juanico, better known as Scorpion Bay, is a small fishing village on the Pacific side of the peninsula that’s become a classic Baja surf spot. There are multiple point breaks that bring epic surf when the conditions are right. When a big south swell hits, the waves break at four points and rides can last for over a minute. Small days are great for beginner surfers while bigger days require a little more experience.
There are a few small hotels around or many people camp. The roads into Scorpion Bay can be challenging depending on recent weather conditions. The newly paved southern road is usually the safest bet. See our section on hot to get to Scorpion Bay below. Bring a board, a sense of adventure, and pray for surf.
Things to do in Scorpion Bay Checklist:
-Beginners and experts alike will want to surf the legendary point breaks. This is a surfing destination that you can’t miss.
-Is the waves aren’t breaking, take a half day to go fishing. You can get a local fisherman to take you out in a panga to catch some yellowfin, sand bass, yellowtail and corvine.
-Eat at the Scorpion Bay Cantina. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s the central hangout for surfers.
-Make a campfire under the stars. Invite a friend who plays guitar and don’t forget a bottle of tequila.
How to Get There:
Driving from San Ignacio, there are three options:
The South Road is now completely paved. From San Ignacio drive south on Hwy 1 through Santa Rosalia, Mulegé, Loreto and finally to Ciudad Insurgentes where you’ll turn north onto Highway 53. Drive north towards La Purísima to the Las Barrancas turn-off and follow the signs to San Juanico. This is the easiest, but longest route. Optimal if you’re towing anything or do not have 4-wheel drive.
The East Road is a rough dirt road that is not used often and can be especially rough if there have been recent hurricanes or rainstorms. Roads may be muddy and washed out and are prone to flashfloods. If the road is passable, you will need to have 4-wheel drive and spare tires with you. From San Ignacio, take Hwy 1 south through Santa Rosalia, Mulegé and to El Rosarito where you’ll head west on the 53 to San Isidro/La Purísima. Follow the signs to San Juanico.
The North Road is currently the preferred off-road route option. Leave Hwy 1 and cross the river at San Ignacio. Drive through town to the plaza and connect with the road leading south to La Fridera Fish Camp on the shore of San Ignacio Lagoon. Go left at the fish camp and proceed to Cuarenta, San Jose de Gracia, Raymundo, Cadajé and on into San Juanico. Bear to the right, leave the graded road and go through El Datil and Ballena via the mud flats. Do not leave the tracks on the mud flats or your vehicle will get stuck. You’ll encounter steep arroyos, some with mud and flowing water. It’s best to take the route when caravanning with another vehicle. Take a shovel, plywood, a tow chain, a good map and a GPS, shortwave radios, extra fuel, water, and spare tires.
Weather in Scorpion Bay is warm all year round with highs in the winter in the 70s/80s and over 100 degrees in the summer. For the current temperature:
Looking for a place to stay in Scorpion Bay? Check out our Scorpion Bay Accomodations page that features our recommendations for the best places to stay, including establishments that give Discover Baja members a discount.