5. NATURAL RESOURCES
Ah, the beauty of San Quintin... and its totally missed by travelers who pass through the area and never leave Highway 1!
My first few visits to San Quintin didn't do much to attract me to the area. Then I got off the Highway and started exploring. What a revelation! And in the few years that I've been here I have taken a few local people sightseeing, who have lived here a majority of their lives and have never seen the spectacular vistas that surround this little town.
One of the first things I like to do with a new visitor is take them on a photo trip to the top of one of the volcanoes that overlook the town from the west. It is an absolutely stunning view. You can see forty miles up the beach to Colonet and forty miles south to Punta Baja, south of El Rosario. And right in the middle, the amazing "Cabo San Quintin" stretching more than 7 miles into the Pacific.
But its the Bay of San Quintin that surprises people the most. Sometimes compared to Mission Bay in San Diego, "Bahia San Quintin" is the only protected bay of this kind in Northern Baja. It is a little bigger than Mission Bay and is far more pristine with more than 95% of its shoreline undeveloped. And this is the home of the best fishing on the Pacific Coast of Baja. Just outside the bay, around the volcanic cone of Isla San Martin, there is a virtual smorgasbord of rockcod, yellowtail, lingcod, and ocean whitefish, supplemented in the summer and early fall with yellowfin tuna, albacore and dorado. This is fishing like it was in the "good old days"
And the oysters in the bay, which are actually imported from British Columbia, thrive in San Quintin's pure, rich water as they do in only a few other locations in Canada and Washington State. The 25 year old industry here supplies the US as well as abundant, fresh "ostiones" to the local market. A trip to the bay and a feast of oysters fixed as you like them, by brothers Jose and Martin in their roadside palapa, is worth a drive to San Quintin all by itself. And the myriad of seafood restaurants throughout the area serve all the local favorites, including the famous Pismo clams which fill the area's beaches.
San Quintin is also home to one of Mexico's largest tomato producers. And the same climate that grows these world class beauties supports onions, cucumbers, broccoli, raspberries, and a huge strawberry crop. In fact, just about anything will grow here in the valley and fresh produce is one of the great benefits to living here. There is never a season when you can't get fresh fruit and vegetables of some variety to put on the table. And the wine producers of Santo Tomas and San Vicente are moving ever closer, with much interest in the San Quintin Valley as the demand for wines continues to increase.
In San Quintin, you're never more than a few minutes from the beach, the firtile fields, the desert or the mountains. A drive from the beach at San Telmo to the observatory at San Pedro Martir can have your feet in the Pacific Surf to start the day, and in the snow at 9,285 feet the same morning. From the top you can not only see the beach at San Telmo, but the beaches of San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez at the same time. And along the way you'll pass through desert and a pine forest that will have you believing you're in Oregon or Washington.
San Quintin. There's a lot here for you. Come... sea for yourself.