Planning your trip to San Felipe, Mexico

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


There is no commercial airline service to San Felipe. From Los Angeles, it’s about 350 miles by way of Interstate 10, California 86 and California 111, Calexico, Mexicali and Mexico’s Highway 5.

From the highway, Calzada Chetumal is the main street that takes you through the heart of San Felipe (and two traffic circles) to its three-block beachfront promenade, the malecón.



To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 52 (country code for Mexico) and the local number. (Do not apply this calling convention to toll-free numbers.)


Unless noted otherwise, all rates quoted here include the local 12% lodging tax, and all the hotels and condos listed have air conditioning.

Hotel el Cortez, Avenida Mar de Cortez; (686) 577-1055. Beachfront slightly south of town, dates to 1959 and includes bar, restaurant, unheated pool; No credit cards accepted. 109 rooms. Doubles from $80 (queen bed) to $170 (bungalow with kitchenette).

Costa Azul Hotel, 247 Avenida Mar de Cortez; (686) 577-1548. Beachfront with 140 rooms, restaurant (in season), unheated pool, a little rough around the edges. Rates $70 to $82 February through October, about 15% less from November through January.

San Felipe Marina Resort & Spa, Kilometer 4.5 Carretera San Felipe-Aeropuerto; (800) 291-5397 or (686) 577-1569, Oceanfront, 55 units, indoor and outdoor pools, restaurant, bar, gym, sauna, tennis courts. Rates $128 (standard room) to $403 (two-bedroom suite with kitchenette).

Hotel Playa Club San Felipe, 148 Mision de Loreto; (800) 967-0005 or (686) 577-1280. Low-key, well-maintained, family-friendly beachfront rooms. Eight rooms and 24 suites. No bar or restaurant but a big pool. Rates $101 (standard room) to $180 (suite with kitchenette).

Hacienda de la Langosta Roja, a.k.a. the Red Lobster Hotel, 125 Calzada Chetumal; (800) 967-0005 or (686) 577-0483, Thirty-nine rooms, a few blocks from the beach, above a fancy Italian restaurant. Rate $85, plus tax.

El Dorado Ranch, Kilometer 176.5 on Highway 5; (800) 404-2599 or (877) 787-2624, Includes the Ventana del Mar condos ([800] 455-0119, and Caras de Mexico golf course seven miles north of town. Inventory includes 72 houses and 35 condos. House rates run $80 to $400, condos $150 to $275.

Other home and condo rentals are available through sites such as and


San Felipe restaurants generally don’t list phone numbers, because they don’t bother with reservations.

Conchita’s, along the malecón. Lots of locals eat here. Prices up to $10 (for 12 oysters).

Baja Mar Restaurant & Taco Factory, 101B Calzada Chetumal, along the malecón. Tasty tacos. Prices up to $18.

Baja Java Gourmet Coffee, upstairs at Chetumal and Mar de Cortez, java). Popular breakfast venue. Prices up to $6.

Pavilion, Kilometer 176.5 on Highway 5. The fancy-dining venue of the Ventana del Mar condos. Breakfast and lunch daily. Dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. Dinner prices up to $16.50, breakfasts up to $6., lunches up to $8.75 . If you want a closer view of the ocean, consider Juanito’s Cantina in the same development.


Instituto de Informatica,, a helpful website; and, which features business listings and history.