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About San Felipe
About San Felipe

60,000 Visitors
San Felipe has festivals often. This festival hosts around 60,000 visitors annually..


SAN FELIPE is a remote desert community that enjoys the benefits of a warm, dry, winter climate and a hot summer. The Sea of Cortez is one of the world's most prolific salt-water habitats with sport fishing tours being available for avid anglers.

Located 125 miles south of the International border between Calexico, California and Mexicali, Baja California, the primary route to San Felipe is via Mexico's Federal Highway 5. A secondary route exists via Tijuana following Highway 1 south to Ensenada, Highway 3 east to Highway 5 and south from there to San Felipe.
The largest major metropolitan area with good airline and
transportation connections is San Diego, about 5 hours
drive by car north-west of San Felipe.

Geopolitically a part of the Mexicali municipality, San Felipe depends upon tax-based funding for all its public services. It is governed locally by a "Delegado" (Mayor), representing Mexicali's Presidente, who is responsible for all municipal matters.

San Felipe was founded in 1916 as a commercial fishing port. Still operating a sizeable shrimp-fishing fleet of small pangas, the pueblos' principal income has changed over the past five years, from fishing to tourism and retirement living with as many as 250,000 American and Canadian visitors annually. November through March is the prime "snowbird" season with mobile homes arriving from all regions of the US and Canada. We now see tourism and investment in retirement homes from people that live as far away as Australia. Easter week and the surrounding "spring break" weeks, when college students from schools around the southwest USA invade San Felipe, is the busiest time in town. Hotel rooms are at a premium and traffic jams are routine on the road to and from the border crossing in Mexicali. During the summer months, May through September, the weather is ideal for a relaxed lifestyle on the beaches. Fishing is good and the pace of life slows considerably.
With a population topping 30,000 (including foreign residents), this seaside community is a delightful retirement area. Over the past two years there has been a major influx of retirees who are building homes here and cashing out on their property investments in the USA. Local businesses provide the requisite services including, but not limited to, House Design Services, Architectural Services, Construction Services, Lumber Yards and Hardware Stores.

This is San Felipe in 1955. Move your mouse over the image to see this same view in 2007.
San Felipe, Before and After
As you can see, San Felipe has come a very long way since its beginnings, and will continue to grow more and more.

San Felipe is a "cash" society, however, you can use credit cards or personal checks here, larger hotels and restaurants. ATM machines will accept your credit card and allow you to withdraw up to 3000 pesos (about $300 per day) with an additional nominal charge to your bank account of $3.50 (dollars).

ATM Machines are located at:
• 7-LEVEN (Pemex Station) entering town just south of the Arches
• El Marino liquor-grocery store on the corner of Calle Chetumal and Mar de Cortez
• Bancomer on Mar de Cortez
• The AM/PM store at the Rodriguez Pemex station on the road to the airport
• The El Dorado Ranch office area (by the swimming pool)

The Baja 500 offroad rally race comes through San Felipe every year.

The city water supply comes from wells about 30 miles south of town and also springs in the mountains. While it is considered safe to drink, it has a high mineral content. Bottled water and mineral water is available at all liquor and grocery stores and excellent, purified, reverse osmosis, water is available at KonsAgua, Pelicanos and other producers for around $.70 for 5 gallons. Purified water is used in all restaurants and homes and for making ice for the bars.

The sea water is maintained as clean as possible because of the great dependence of the town on the fish and shrimp industries. However, the further away you are from beachfront development, the cleaner the water will be. Because of the high salinity of the sea water, swimming and floating are almost effortless. Twice a month, around the time of the new and the full moon, very large tides develop and you will see the spectacular rise and fall of the water.

Each parcel is carefully sited, planned to provide a better ocean view with the establishment of view corridors and controlled building height for each of the Subdivisions. A design review has been established to ensure that the development within each section meets the requirements set forth in the design guidelines and the accompanying CC&R. These sub-divisions seek to build in harmony with the natural desert setting, preserving views and natural habitat.

Home construction – Custom homes can be built from $75/sq. ft. In Mexico, square footage reflects both living spaces and non-living spaces, including decks, patios, garages, etc (In the U.S., when we refer to square footage, we refer to living spaces).   We can provide you with list of highly qualified architects and contractors who conform with California building standards. We have a building consultant who can oversee the construction of your home at a reasonable fee. 

Association Fees, Bank Trust Fee & Property Taxes – Approximately $1000-1500 a year depending on the subdivision.

Utility Costs – Electricity cost is somewhat lower than California.  Standard U.S. 110 voltage is used with an average energy bill of about $95/month for a 1,500 sq. feet home during the hot months of July and August when air conditioning is well deserved. Otherwise, a $20-50 monthly energy bill is the norm. We recommend utilizing energy-saving devices. Propane is $98 for 250 gallons. 

The hard line phones run about $45 per month. Telephone call-back service is available for 17 cents per minute. Locals recommend prepaying long distance phone calls.

A satellite for internet access is about $950, including setup fees. Monthly costs are $60 to $70 per month.  This will provide high-speed internet at all times and works very well.

Water – Under ground city and Piped-in water. Like some places in the U.S., though it is safe for general use such as cooking or household use. The water comes from wells in the mountains about 20 miles southwest of San Felipe.  There is more than enough water to supply four times the current need.  You may purchase bottled water in San Felipe, purified by reverse osmosis.  Price varies according to quantity purchased, i.e., $5 for 35 pint bottles, 70 cents for five-gallon bottled water.


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