Authentic. Honest. San Felipe.

Rooftop Deck in San Felipe

The rooftop deck from which we ate, drank, drank, drank, and watched the stars and the milky way.

Out of the blue I received an email from a friend titled, “Best Travel Deal Everrrrrrrr!” And, since she never emails I figured it must be good. This email goes on to explain how a group of friends is renting a house in San Felipe. They’re all meeting in San Diego and road tripping the 4.5 hours to San Felipe. Well, I was already in San Diego so that was a plus, and then came the best part…$305.68. This includes accommodations in a beachfront villa and transportation to San Felipe. Huh!!? What!!? Then I looked at the photos of the house. It was literally right on the beach. Who can pass up the best travel deal ever? So, I was in. And, that is how I came to discover San Felipe.

Road to San Felipe - Mountain Crossing

The Tecate – Mexicali Highway through the mountain crossing.

Authentic. Honest. San Felipe is, what it is. A mix of Mexican nationals and expats call this small desert coastal town home. The locals are friendly, and the pace is slow. This is not your late night beach side party town.

Looking Out The Window - Sign with Boy on Bike

Street scene.

San Felipe - Street Scenes

Street scene on our way into the center of town.

It was easy to see why this is a haven for artists and writers. San Felipe is a place where you get a beachfront 4-bedroom villa for $1600 a week, stroll the nearly empty beaches, and look up at the stars and the milky way. And, I did a lot of that during my 6-day stay in San Felipe.

Beachfront Villa in San Felipe

This is where we called home for the 7 days we were in San Felipe.

San Felipe - Our Villa

The villa and our surroundings in San Felipe

San Felipe - Our neighborhood

Our neighborhood

San Felipe - View of Sunset from Rooftop Deck

View of the sunset from the rooftop deck. I’m telling you…I was loving this deck.

Moon Rising over San Felipe

During one of our late night shooting star siting missions, we had the pleasure of viewing the moon rising over the Sea of Cortez. The photo doesn’t come close to showing its magnificence, but I thought I would share it anyway.

The Malecon, a boardwalk along the beach, is the center of the action, and San Felipe sort of fans out from there as you get into the residential areas and gated communities. Though this area is the “center,” there was a calmness about it. Even the street vendors were relaxed in the manner in which they pitched their wares. The Malecon is one of the best spots to grab a drink, and people watch with the Sea of Cortez as your backdrop.

Malecon View from Taco Factory

Malecon View from Taco Factory

The Malecon and the Sea of Cortez from Lighthouse lookout

The Malecon and the Sea of Cortez from Lighthouse lookout.

San Felipe Lighthouse

The lighthouse that is just north of the Malecon

What you won’t find on this slice of beachfront heaven is massive hotels, or large scale resorts. There are no all-inclusives. What it does have are restaurant owners like, Juan Torres, who greet you at the door of his restaurant, El Nido, as if he’s welcoming you into his home. What San Felipe lacks in the “touristy” type fanfare, it more than makes up for in authenticity, and character. I’m looking forward to my return to San Felipe.

To learn more about San Felipe, read what local resident Kat recommends for you to do an see while visiting San Felipe. San Felipe: Travel Tips From A Local


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About Terri Lundberg

Terri Lundberg is an American expat currently residing with her husband in Saudi Arabia, but she calls Seattle and San Diego home. She’s a travel writer, an avid photographer and is a resource and cross cultural trainer to expats relocating to Saudi Arabia. She's been to 100 destinations, 30 countries, and counting.


  1. This Was awesome. Thanks!

  2. K. Wynder says:

    I think you are an amazing adventurer and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your travels. I look forward to your next blog.
    Love & blessings