Well, I think Baja Sur is great! My first time here was in 2007 when I met up with a friend who was kayaking the entire east coast of Baja from San Philippe to La Paz. I met up with her in Loretto and we spent 10 days exploring the Loretto Islands by Kayak. I knew that I would return. Now I spend my winters in Baja. This is my third winter and my partner has spent 11 winters here in Mulege where he has a casida (small house). This year I pulled my boat down from Oregon to Mulege and we got 18 days on the water. When not sailing I kept my boat on the trailer at the casida. There are no marina facilities in Mulege but the boat ramp is just 1.5 miles away.
This area has a very large ex-pat population. Many of these people have either lived here year round or wintered here for decades.
Boating falls into three catagories. Like me, you put in and haul out after each voyage, you are transiting and spending some time in Bahia Concepcion or you live aboard and anchor in one of the many cozy coves along the east coast of Bahia Concepcion where there are ex-pat beaches, a variety of restaurants with entertainment and mobile vendors that provide fish, fresh vegetables and water.
I found the Mexicans to be very friendly and family oriented. If you made any effort at all they would welcome you and invite you to join in on any festivities.
The winters are mild, in the 70's but can get very very windy. Once I learned the tides and wind conditions, it became easy to pick out the days best for launching, sailing and recovery. At least once a week we had several ideal days for boating. If we wanted to stay out longer we could hide in one of the many coves in Bahia Concepcion, take the dinghy into the beach, visit friends, listen to music, eat and drink at the restaurants.
On the days that we couldn't sail or just wanted to do something different, we took our dual sport motorcycles and went up into the Sierras or south and east and explored the coastal ranges and beaches between Mulege and Loretto.
We also hiked and explored the Sierra de la San Francisco ranges to the north.
We got to visit a lot of ranchos where we spoke bad Spanish and were invited to stay and join the family for great conversation.
The best time of year to sail in the Sea of Cortez is from early April to late May and early October to late November. The winds are favorable, you are out of hurricane season and not dealing with the Del Norte's of winter.
I'm sure this is not for everybody. If you want a marina setup then your choices are very limited. The big marinas are in San Philippe, Loretto and La Paz. There is a small facility for transiting in Santa Rosalia. Some people are satisfied with day trips out and about. Others provision and just use the marina's as an easy provisioning stop.
Being an adventurer, I prefer to be self support and find cool places on land and sea. My 4X4 E250 van is full self support for boon docking and all my motorcycles are capable of packing for multiple days. Now I'm slowly outfitting my Mac for boon docking in the Sea of Cortez!
Some people really thing Baja Sur is a bad place. I've not seen it, in fact, I feel safer down in Baja then I do up north. Hopefully the Baja bad message will continue to propagate. That way Baja will stay nice for the rest of my retirement!
Captain Paula of the good ship AirWave