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Malarrimo Beach, the Playa Collects World's Treasures.

Updated on October 28, 2010

Far from the maddening crowds

Malarrimo is beautiful in its own right, as this photo from shows.
Malarrimo is beautiful in its own right, as this photo from shows.

Lookout eBay! Beachcomber's coming!


Malarrimo Beach Collects World’s Treasures.

If you are born determined and the owner of a stout, four-wheel drive vehicle, there is a hidden place on the west coast of the Baja California peninsula where you can go and hunt for treasures. This is the playa, or beach, called Malarrimo. Here, strong ocean currents from the North Pacific swirl into the north coast of a jutting hook of land, part of the Vizcaino Peninsula, after calling all around the Pacific and back around Alaska, down the North American Pacific coasts, depositing artefacts from as far away as Japan, Canada and, in time, from practically anywhere on the planet.

Tree sized logs that have escaped from the logging operations in British Columbia end up here, waterlogged but still able to float; glass floats from Japanese fishing nets, much in demand from restaurants seeking good fishy décor, cases or bottles of premium whisky, gin, rum and the rest, occasionally still corked or topped and sealed and as good to drink as the days they burst from a storm-smashed container off Hawaii. Small boats, paddles, plastic containers, full or empty, small and large, from all parts of the globe, reminds you how easily biodegradable is plastic…not!!

I never found much of immense value, intrinsically, but that was before the days of eBay! Might make a killing with some of this old junk, glowingly described as originating from the Titanic, or from the wardroom of some great battleship with Admiral Togo at the helm.

This is a great, completely remote beach to camp, backed by sand dunes; there are no facilities or water, so you need to bring everything with you. And there is no help if you get hurt or the bandits do arrive! Always got to keep that in mind today. You might spend days at Malarrimo without seeing another human being, so its good for those seeking solitude with a chance to find something really valuable - or a message in a bottle thrown into the sea 100 years ago.

There are no restrictions to camping or taking anything you want from the beach. “Mal,” means bad in Spanish, “…arrimo,” means to pull in, this is not the easiest place to enter from land or sea, the seas can be very rough driven by high winds and the prevailing currents. The beach is accessed from a turning off the route to Bahia Tortugas, itself 80 kilometres from the Baja Highway, then it’s another 42 kilometres to the beach itself. Don’t attempt this route in a family sedan.

Notes: I have heard that Malarrimo gets pretty well picked-over by the whale watching tourists who come to the Scammon’s Lagoon and other bays to see the Grey Whales, which arrive in the month of March and stay for a few months. The best time to find bric-a-brac at Malarrimo might be just after the winter storms have ended. I would plan to go from October to Christmas when it is not quite so hot and there’s no more hurricanes, not that they often hit that point on the Peninsula. Actually, November through May is when the snowbirds get to Baja from Canada, etc., but not many get to the area anyway. It’ll be fun looking whenever you go.


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