Northern Baja Has a Lot Going for It

A lot of Americans are looking south of the California border and finding places they like. Located about 120 miles – or just over 2 hours by automobile – south of San Diego are the town of San Felipe and a residential resort development called El Dorado Ranch.

El Dorado Ranch, a beach community on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula, offers affordable real estate for family vacations, second homes or retirement. Nearly every home site within the 35,000-acre development offers sweeping 180-degree vistas of the Sea of Cortez. Priced from $35,500, every lot is level, surveyed and has underground electricity. The ranch is a secure master-planned community backed by an American developer, and financing is available for existing homes or lots.

San Felipe (visit and environs are visited by as many as 250,000 American and Canadian visitors a year. People are drawn to the area for its sunny weather, outstanding beaches, fishing in the Sea of Cortez, and other recreational venues.

El Dorado Ranch recently opened a new, 7,152-yard 18-hole golf course designed by California-based architect, Bradford Benz. The Las Caras de Mexico Golf Course (“Faces of Mexico” –renamed from La Ventana del Mar) will be augmented by another 18-hole layout, which will span property overlooking the sea west of Highway 5. Both courses feature salt-tolerant Paspalum turfgrass, and each will turn private once the second 18 is completed. Future plans include a full-service hacienda-style clubhouse and a driving range-practice facility to service both golf facilities.

Americans who’ve arrived at El Dorado aren’t shy about extolling its virtues and those of San Felipe. Dusty Dennis, a Californian who recently purchased property, told the Woodland Hills (Calif.) Daily News, “We discovered Baja’s El Dorado Ranch four years ago. We’ve bought two home sites there. When we need a break, this is where we go to unwind.

“Some of our favorite features at the ranch are the heated pool, the palapa bar and uncrowded beaches. We enjoy all the celebrations, special parties and wonderful food. Early mornings find us sipping coffee and watching the sunrise spread over the Sea of Cortez. One look at Baja’s panoramic vistas of sea, sand, sky and you’re in love.

“We’ve been spoiled by the friendly people of Mexico and like Baja’s affordable real estate prices and low cost of living. Baja’s weather is a perfect 10. We’ve looked at other second-home properties in Tahoe and the Sierras, but El Dorado Ranch was the only one both my husband and I could agree on. It’s exactly what we were looking for.”

Time Magazine crowed about the area as well. A recent article stated, “Forget Miami. Gringos are retiring in Mexico because it’s sunny, sandy and cheap. San Felipe’s motto – ‘No Bad Days’ – is the reason it has become a magnet for Americans looking to vacation or retire.”

For more information about buying real estate in Baja or El Dorado Ranch, call toll-free 800/806-3388, ext. 607, or visit