Cactus Sanctuary | Informal Campsite

Mexico

Details

Verified:
3 months ago
Altitude:
425.1 masl
Website:
None
Contributor:
Mic’n’Di

Amenities

Electricity:
No
Wifi:
No
Kitchen:
No
Restaurant:
No
Showers:
No
Water:
No
Toilets:
Running Water
Big Rig Friendly:
Yes
Tent Friendly:
Unknown
Pet Friendly:
Yes

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Description

After a lovely late afternoon stroll through the sanctuary, the peaceful, quiet environment had us questioning why we shouldn’t stay, so we did! Only sounds were cow bells, very occasional cars passing and the rustling of creatures in the cactus forest. It was the usual washboard dirt road to get there off the highway. We came from highway near El Triunfo, not sure about the southern route. 2WD is fine. We highly recommend at least a visit to the sanctuary, which is being upgraded.

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A beautiful quiet and serene location. I parked outside the cactus sanctuary. And took a self guided tour the next day. It was beautiful. No issues. It was a 6 km ride from the highway to the sanctuary. The roads were rough, washboard and heavily bang in areas. Some soft sand, but no major issues. Watch out for cows on the road.

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we ended up not staying. I talked to Mauricio, who is a university student working at the cactus center on weekends, and he was very friendly. but it felt a little weird to go explore the sanctuary and then just sit in the rig while workers and other guests stared at our van. staring wasn't unkind in any way, we just felt like maybe we should along, so we did.

the sanctuary is cool and free and worth a stop even if you dont end up camping.

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So glad we decided to stop. Wonderful garden to stroll. We really lucked out and met Lupe as soon as we arrived and chatted for a few hours. Such a neat guy. Learned so much about the flora and fauna, medicinal and recreational properties. Who knew you can pet cacti to relieve stress. I'll upload a picture of him.

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This was one of our favorite stops on our trip in Baja! Lupe is wonderful. We were lucky because we arrived and did a self guided tour and were about to leave when Lupe returned from being gone for 3 days. He showed us all the cactus seeds he’s sprouted, the cactus he’s rescued off of other dead/dying cacti, showed us all the plants with medicinal benefits, and even gave us a tour of his garden at his home in town.

We camped there that night and he took us around town the next day and showed us a nursery and some locally made crafts for sale.

Just so it’s clear how the arrangement works, Lupe is just a volunteer. He takes care of the place because he loves the cacti, he wants people to visit, and he wants his community to be involved in the place as well. Being able to camp there isn’t anything formal, it’s just that he wants people to and the community doesn’t seem to mind. We gave him a 500 peso donation, which we recognize is quite a bit, but we loved our time there that much. And he really does keep the place clean and cared for in the absence of the government making any provisions to care for it.

10/10, go visit here. I’ll add a photo of Lupe as well so that people know what he looks like.

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We drove our sprinter up for a visit to the sanctuary. Road is easy to navigate - just slow driving.

Lupe was very enthusiastic and spent some time showing us around before our self guided tour.

We were there mostly for bird watching. We did see a few birds in the sanctuary but even more on the drive in/out.

I didn’t ask about camping prices but the price for each person to go into the sanctuary was 100 pesos. Well worth it.

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Lupe was a gem!! He gave us a very informative and energetic tour of the Cactus Sanctuary. He dances with the cactus, gets hand-massages from the cactus, and hugs the cactus. He gave us a bunch of medicinal tea, berries, cactus fruit, etc. Solid guy.

Did not charge us to stay the night at the entrance parking area. Brought us firewood before he went home. We had a small campfire for an hour or so. He told me to tell other people (especially people biking the backroads) that they are free to set up their tents as well.

Gem of a place - let’s keep it that way.

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very nice and safe place for Night when you visiting the Cactus sanctuary 🌵! Lupe was not her, nur we are in the park and its incredibel super nice and intresding! We recomend to se this santuario:-))

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If you drive super slow on the washboard it will take you about 20 minutes from the main road. The place is right before entering a small village, near the cemetery - hard to miss. If Lupe is not there, it is best to wait for him. So don't worry. He drives a motorcycle. You can also open the gate and wander around the sanctuary.

If you plan to spend the night here, search for a flat spot (there are some bricks around). You don't need special permission to stay here overnight. There are a lot of tall trees so if you have a fixed mounted Starlink it will be bearly impossible to get service.

Apparently on weekends there is some music from the village but our night was quiet.

There is a flush toilets as well as a water tap with clean mountain water so you can fill up a water jug.

We did a tour with Lupe which was great.

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We arrived at 8pm so the sanctuary was closed already- stayed overnight, very peaceful, quiet, no other cars around. In the morning Lupe came and offered to give us a tour. Such a great guy and we had great time with him showing us the sanctuary and the nearby town Rosario in which he lives. Totally recommend this place!

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We were welcome by Lupa,what a nice guy ! He offered us to do the tour by ourselves or be guided by him. We chose to do the guided tour. Lupa is very passionate about nature and cactuses. We've tip him 100mx/person for the great visit. He told us we were more than welcome to stay overnight in the parking lot if needed but we did not. Positive experience ++

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***Note: If someone has a picture of or with Lupe, please upload it for the rest of us so we are aware of what he looks like. There was no cell service so I could not check their Facebook at the time, but there looks to be a few pics of people on there. If someone could point him out and upload one to here for future travelers. Thank you so much! :-)

I had an interesting confrontation here. I arrived at 4pm on a Sunday. Lupe was not on-site. There is a sign at the front that says it does not cost anything to visit the sanctuary. The entrance was wide open. I was the only one there. I heard live Mariachi music towards the town center and figured there was a community get together and that’s likely where Lupe was. I went into the sanctuary and walked around for a bit with my dog.

I came back out to my van and there were two other vehicles now parked in the lot with me. One family was in the cemetery. The other was an old blue car with a man and a black dog. He went inside the sanctuary to the toilet and then came back out and says Buenos Tardes really loud, although I was in my van and the window coverings were up. He had seen me walking to my van as he was walking to the toilet. By now, the sun is beginning to set.

My dog started to growl at them. I asked in Spanish if he was Lupe but he looked down at the black dog and said something that I couldn’t understand. I guess he thought I was talking about his dog. I had a deep feeling he was not Lupe because he only spoke Spanish and asked me for dinero and waited outside his car for me to get out to do a tour. In the dark??? I stayed in my van and said No tour. He wouldn’t leave and since I was never greeted by Lupe and never asked permission to overnight, I decided to leave. I just kept smiling and telling the man I didn’t understand, and he thankfully stayed by his vehicle and did not approach my van again. Super bummed because I wanted a real tour but I left for Triunfo instead. Very interesting encounter.

Such a lovely sanctuary. It’s beautiful and worth the visit. Wish I could have met Lupe! I would have happily paid for a tour to contribute to this wonderful place. You can feel how much these cacti are loved and well taken care of.

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Great tour by Lupe who is very knowledgeable. You can tell he loves the cactus and enjoys educating people about them. Quiet night camping. Made a donation for the privileged of both.

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Very quiet, friendly curator/ host. Great for overnight.

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As mentioned a unique place to visit. After driving the 6 kilometers in in a good dirt road with some washboard we met Lupe the caretaker. He is a volunteer until the sanctuary us completed when he will be paid to do the tours etc. Very knowledgeable and has lived in the area for decades. Speaks good English and is quite friendly. He invited us to stay the night in the parking lot adjoined by the cemetery. Lupe showed us the town of about 100 and took us to a home where we purchased a round of cheese made that day. Very quiet and secure place.

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Really sweet experience here. Arrived around 4 and Lupe the caretaker welcomed us to stay the night and said he would be back in the morning to give us a tour. Peaceful night in the level dirt parking lot with picnic tables to cook on. Only interruption were the herd of cows milling around our van. Walked around the little village up the road and felt like we stepped into the 19th century. Friendly feel to it. On the morning Lupe came and showed us around the sanctuary. He is knowledgeable and passionate about his work. Gave us some Damiano leaves to make tea. He said put a bit of tequila in it. 3 km washboard road from the highway. Turn off is not where Google maps puts you. It puts you at the house of someone selling cheese. The entrance is about 200m further East. If coming from the west, just look for the cactus sanctuary sign - that’s where the entrance is.

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didn't stay here but right next to a cemetery if that matters to anyone.

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après quelques vérification On nous as dit que c'était 50 Pesos par personne pour la visite du sanctuaire.
une fois sur place aucunes enseigne de tarifications ni personnes sur place.
soudainement un homme arrive sur une moto et tente de nous soutirer $100 Pesos .
je lui dit demande de s'identifier comme employer du site.
mais il commence à nous dire que je ne suis pas une bonne personne et qu'il me souhaite de tomber malade.
devant son agressivité nous decidons de laisser tomber la visite tout simplement.
à première vue cette visite ne vaut pas plus de 50 Pesos

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Lovely sanctuary. There is a loop path, fairly short, through it with some signs in English and Spanish teaching you about the cacti. Lots of variety including some crested ones. Lupe the caretaker speaks good English and is passionate about the project. He has lots of good information about cacti and the broader area. The nearby town of El Rosario (just down the road) is cute and is worth a stop, especially if you need to use their bathroom.

The drive from the highway is 6km on a dirt road. 2wd/low clearance is fine, but can be pretty washboarded.

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The Cactus Sanctuary is very nice. Lupe runs the place. He speaks English and is super friendly. We spent a quiet night in the parking lot. We paid 200 p for camping and visiting the sanctuary. Walked into town the next day for lunch. Great experience!

Not sure if I'd recommend this place for big rigs.

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After a lovely late afternoon stroll through the sanctuary, the peaceful, quiet environment had us questioning why we shouldn’t stay, so we did! Only sounds were cow bells, very occasional cars passing and the rustling of creatures in the cactus forest. It was the usual washboard dirt road to get there off the highway. We came from highway near El Triunfo, not sure about the southern route. 2WD is fine. We highly recommend at least a visit to the sanctuary, which is being upgraded.

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