Campo Archelon, the site of the now defunct sea turtle rescue and research center in Bahia de los Angeles. It is named after the genus of giant sea turtles that glided through the shallow seas of prehistoric North America 70- to 80-million years ago. Fossils reveal that Archelon was more than 15 feet long and 15 feet wide and weighed as much as a small pickup.For just $8 a night, it has sturdy beachside stone and thatch palapas offering both shade and essential protection from the sometimes relentless LA Bay winds. The palapas usually come with tables and cots, and some have old cupboards and other useful bits of furniture. There are flushing toilets and hot showers. Being an ecotourist campground, trash separation and recycling and water conservation are encouraged.The sunrises over Isla Angel de la Guarda and the islands of the inner bay are always terrific. At low tide the shore is rocky... at high tide it's sandy. One or two kayaks are available for camper use. Shore birds abound and it's easy to get great photographs of pelicans, egrets, boobies and oystercatchers even from the comfort of your palapa.Campo Archelon owners Antonio and Bety Resendiz are goldmines of information about the area. Bety often volunteers at the museum in town, and "Tony," a former Mexican government biologist, now retired, has boundless energy, is passionate about conservation and sustainability, and will be happy to advise you about activities or trips you might be interested in.If you have a larger group or want something more substantial, Campo Archelon has three stone built spacious casas (which have served as classrooms) for rent for $60 a night. Just back from the beach, they come with showers, flushing toilets and kitchens. With the beds and cots supplied you could easily sleep 6 people in each, and a few more out on the patio or under the stars.Look for the Archelon signs about two miles north of town, on the road to La Gringa. It is one of the first places you come to when the paved road, or what's left of it after Hurricane Odile, runs close to the bay.
By Graham Mackintosh