While Bahia Concepcion has much to offer, and is in fact a favorite nook and cranny cruising ground in the Sea, if there’s one thing to complain about, it’s highway noise. For most of the length of the bay Baja Hwy 1 is barely a stone’s throw from the water. This makes for gorgeous views while driving, but while at anchor it can be nearly constant background noise. Playa Santa Barbara is the antidote. This place is only about a mile from the highway, but is basically devoid of noise. Even the birds seem more polite in the early morning, letting you sleep in as long as you like. Coupled with the high bluffs to east and west, one can get used to sleeping in.
This corner of Bahia Concepcion is a cluster of small islands and bays, and it requires careful, vigilant navigation. If water clarity is good, you can basically navigate by eye (which is to say water color), staying away from anything that isn’t dark blue. If it’s your first time here, best to approach Santa Barbara from outside all the islands, slip south of Isla Guapa, and pass between the eastern peninsula that forms the cove and the rather small Islet called Tecomate to the north. This Islet has shoal water all around, in particular stringing out to the west. Once you make this corner, your main concern is the sandy shoal/reef that takes up much of the west side of the bay, which can be hard to see in afternoon light.
Give room to the above mentioned shoal and keep an eye on your sounder, and take a spot wherever you like. We drop in 25-30 feet, 2/3 of the way off the beach to minimize bugs from the mangroves.
There are a few small encampments and a nice beach. A stunning home has been built on the east side of the east ridge, with a trail leading up to it, but we don’t know the status of ownership.
In strong breeze from south to east, it’s hard to beat the protection in here. The rest of the bay might be rolling, and you’ll be snuggly in your bunk until 8:30am because it’s so quiet. Good call.