El Rosario, a small settlement 36 miles south of San Quintín, is mostly famous for a restaurant, and it's owner, who is a Baja legend.
Mama Espinosa was serving up "muy delicioso" lobster tacos, burritos and other delicacies long (30 + years) before Highway 1 was paved in 1973. Most of the old time Baja aficionados kept her heavenly seafood specialties somewhat of a secret for many years. Then, in the 1960s, El Rosario became a check-point in the famous Baja 1000 off-road race. The racers came back to the U.S. and told all of their friends, their friends told their friends and their friends told....and the secret was out. Mama Espinosa's is now a very popular stop for those who chose to drive the peninsula.
El Rosario has long been well known among paleontologists for the abundant sites where dinosaur bones and ammonites have been found. Ammonites were close relatives to the chambered nautilus, which are very popular shells to display after cutting down the center. Ammonites were made up of spiraling chambers, like the nautilus, and ranged in size from 1 inch in diameter to over 8 feet. Many ammonites are more than 100 million years old, they went extinct about the same time as the dinosaurs.
The valleys of the El Rosario area support limited farming and agriculture, enabled by an adequate water supply from nearby springs. Local crops include chilies, alfalfa, potatoes, beans and onions.
The last real Pemex station (open 24 hrs) for approx. 150 miles is located here, so even if you got gas in San Quintín it is not a bad idea to top off in El Rosario. This is also a great chance to ask about the upcoming road conditions, as many gringos will be stopping for gas on their way north. Ice, and any other supplies you may be short of, should also be replenished here in El Rosario.
There are a few decent motels on the southern portion of town, after the sharp left turn. Mama Espinosa's has also opened a small motel adjacent to the restaurant, with clean rooms. A local bus station serves the entire peninsula.
A right turn, at Mama Espinosa's, instead of the sharp left of Hwy 1 will take you, on a usually passable but sometimes rough road, to some fairly nice local beaches and the road Punta Baja and points south.
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