San Felipe has a large varieties of activities for all interests from sporting activities to
fishing to off road vehicle tours. San Felipe is a rapidly growing vacation
spot and with its close proximity to the U.S. and it unending days of
sunshine, San Felipe is a perfect vacation place.
(soon to be available at La Ventana Del Mar)
A SHORT HISTORY
history of the San Felipe region dates to more than 150 million years
before present (to the formation of the Baja California peninsula) while
its written history goes no farther back than the days of the first Europeans
to set foot on its soil. Beyond that, nothing is known of the first humans
to enjoy the local shores although information begins to appear from about
two thousand years ago.
by Hernon Cortés to map the coastline of the then known "Southern
Sea," Francisco de Ulloa recorded his presence in this area in September,
1539. With him was cartographer Domingo del Castillo who identified the
San Felipe cove (on a map he was then making) as "Santa Catarina."
What's more, because the existence of the Baja California peninsula was
unknown at the time (the Spaniards thought La Paz was on an island some
of them called "California"), it was Ulloa who reported it at
the conclusion of this voyage. That voyage, by the way, included circumnavigation
of the peninsula as far north as the approximate location of Ensenada.
year later, Hernando de Alarcón sailed into the area on an unsuccessful
mission of support for the Coronado Expedition (to the Seven Golden Cities
of Cíbola). With Alarcón was the same Domingo del Castillo
who, by virtue of the Viceroy of New Spain's orders to sail as close as
possible to the
shore (to enable sighting Coronado's representatives), was enabled to
improve upon the map he produced during the Ulloa voyage.
in the first ship built on Baja California soil, Juan de Ugarte landed
in the bay on July 5, 1721. Twenty-five years later, Padre Fernando Consag
landed here and formally christened the place San Felipe de Jesús.
San Felipe's modern history dates from 1876 when the Mexican government
signed a colonization contract with one Guillermo Andrade who acquired
some 30,000 hectares but died before his plans were realized.
the first fish camp was formed in 1904, it was not until 1925 that the
first sub-delegation was created and San Felipe began to develop as an
organized community. The first fishing society was founded in 1928, the
first school established in 1929, and the first tourist facilities in
the early 1950's. Electricity was provided in 1963 and the first potable
water in 1967.
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SAN FELIPE TODAY
Banner on the Arch in San Felipe reads:
"Our Hearts Go out to You ... Your
Friends from San Felipe"
San Felipe is a thriving community of more than 20,000 permanent residents,
with an additional 10,000 from the United States, Canada and Europe. The
town is of sufficient size that a significant variety of goods and services
are enjoyed by the entire populace.
Digital telephone service is provided by Telnor (the high technology division
of Telmex) and cellular telephony by Baja Cellular and TelCel. We here
at the Net offer dial-up and walk in connectivity to the internet and
there are two different mail services that
cross the border to check your snail mail. There are three Pemex stations
that have unleaded gas in both regular and high octane. In addition one
station has diesel. There is a propane plant to refill portable tanks
as well as tankers to refill large tanks at your home. The are numerous
lumber yards and hardware stores as well as auto part stores. There are
grocery stores, furniture stores, and clothing stores. In short almost
everything most people think they need can be found here without the need
for a drive back across the border.
The snowbird residents are active and involved in the community through various
civic organizations. There are numerous recreational and social pursuits
to fuel an active retirement lifestyle. Life is so comfortable here that
many transplants now consider San Felipe their main home.
natives are friendly and very tolerant of the many outsiders that come
into town each year. The residents also actively support the same kinds
of community recreation that we are used to in the States. There are ball
fields, basketball courts, a swimming pool, and of course soccer fields
where young and old alike compete. There are several different denominations
of churches here as well as doctors, dentists, engineers, and lawyers.
With San Felipe's proximity to the USA border, and the new developments
of El Dorado Ranch and the San Felipe Beach Club, this area is rapidly
becoming a very desirable, yet affordable vacation resort community.
SAN FELIPE'S ECOSYSTEM
Great Sonora Desert encompasses a large and diverse subtropical region
extending from the west coast of Baja California to the western flank
of Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains. Within this vast expanse, the area
surrounding San Felipe (an area of transition between the Lower Colorado
River Section and the Vizcaino Desert Section) was determined to be sufficiently
unique to enable its identification as The San Felipe Desert.
Many mountain ranges lie within the San Felipe Desert. The most prominent of
which is the Sierra San Pedro Martír. This range, which is the
tallest in Baja forms the western boundary of our desert.
The terrain varies from relatively flat sandy brush land to incredibly
rugged almost impassable canyons.
With some areas receiving as little as 3 cm of annual rain, many unique plants
have chosen to call this area home. The most impressive has to be the
Cardon cactus. These are the largest cactus in the world and the San Felipe
Desert is the northern most extent of their range. While many of these
have spines or smell and taste bad they also have brightly hued blossoms
that attract lots of birds.
Birds are not the only animals that live here either. There are lots of
bugs, insects, and reptiles as would be expected. But there are also coyotes,
bobcats, mountain lions, mountain sheep, and vicious cholla chomping jackrabbits.
While deserts tend to appear as rather bleak places, they are an ecosystem literally
full of diverse life forms. Even the dry sandy earth forms an alliance
with algae and lichens to create what we know as a cryptogramic soil.
The San Felipe Desert is a highly varied and very unique ecosystem. It only
takes a short time to fall in love with it. You can spend a lifetime discovering
Hopefully the links above and the rest of this site will pique your interest, or
allay any fears you might have, about visiting this exciting community
and making this your "home away from home."