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Jon Helminiak







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Alphonsina's, Baja, Mexico

In my aircraft, I can reach Alphonsina's in Baja, Mexico, from Tucson, Arizona, in less than two hours.

If you don't have an aircraft, getting to Alphonsina's can be an adventure in itself! Driving here requires a long, arduous and bumpy trip on crude, remote Baja roads. Four-wheel drive or dune-buggy vehicles are required.

Alphonsina's is small hotel and restaurant on a spit of land in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. To the north or south, the undeveloped shoreline can be kayaked for miles. Whales, deserted sand beaches, dolphins and sunshine make this a memorable and gorgeous Baja kayaking experience.

Anphonsina's has one restaurant, one small bar, and a dozen rooms. All are just 28 steps from my parked aircraft! The short, gravel airstrip is often submerged at high tides, so I fly in during periods of "new" moons.

Each morning, the shrimp boat returns and anchors in the small harbor, providing fresh prawns for a variety of delectable Alphonsina's cuisines.

Alamos, Mexico

Alamos is one of Mexico's most charming colonial towns. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so much of it has been restored to its original colonial style.

Because it's inconveniently situated, Alamos is only lightly visited and retains a small-town, Mexican feel. And fortunately, there's a private airstrip a couple miles from town. Flying over remote Mexican mountain ranges, I can be on the final landing approach in the Alamos valley in just three hours, from Tucson.

I have walked around the main square and only seen a handful of non-locals. Accommodations and restaurants are classy, uncrowded, and quiet. Alamos is not the place for nightlife.

I have not sampled any "high adventure" here, but I've been told that there are excellent white water rivers and hiking opportunities in the region.

Perhaps next time. If I can drag myself away from the little cantina on the main square.