Rancho Cacachilas is comprised of individual ranches, each with a specific focus yet bound together by our overall responsible land management plan.
The historical ranches — Chivato, Dos Hermanos, Canoas, Cerro Pelón, Los Pisos, Gaspareño, San Martín and La Cuesta — are in various states of development to offer ecotourism activities such as camping, biking, hiking, mule riding, bird watching, and gardening and cooking classes. All of our ranches are private and off-the-grid, operating in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on public utility services.
Rancho Chivato is our largest and most developed facility for receiving groups and for overnighting. A few indoor rooms are available, as well cabin tents and campgrounds that are suitable for up to 40 people. (See photograph from inside of a cabin tent at the bottom of this page.) A large palapa* made from native woods and palms is available for meetings, courses, workshops, yoga and other gatherings. This attractive, flexible space accommodates 70 people auditorium-style. In late 2016, we renovated a few rooms to create a library with a cozy fireplace, books and games, and we installed a small swimming pool by the outdoor fire pit. Plans are also underway to renovate the kitchen and storage areas to be able to offer cooking classes, and to update permaculture systems. We provide filtered and purified water, hot bucket showers, sinks for washing up, sleeping cots, dry toilet facilities, campfires, cooking areas, fantastic sunrises and unlimited stars at night. Local guides and mules are available for trekking and cooks from the ranches can be arranged to prepare local foods. For more photographs and information concerning these facilities, please visit the Rancho Chivato page of our sister company Tenaja Holdings.
(* A palapa is a thatched-roof shelter, often open-air, that is prevalent in Mexico.)
Rancho Dos Hermanos is the center of our ranching activities. Here we have a cheesery where artisanal cheeses are made from our own goat and cow milk, and where we have offered cheese-making classes taught by Dr. Carlos Peraza. Our palapa, with a rooftop terrace, is a lovely place to take in the view and taste the products of the ranch, such as cheeses and honey.
Nearby is our organic garden where we research crops and gardening methods to grow healthy vegetables and fruits in this particular climate and region. Our open air barn is used to store grains and farming equipment. Many of our animals, that are not in the grazing herd, are kept close by.
Mickey and Jenny are the ranch caretakers – Mickey looks after the livestock and gardens, while Jenny creates cheeses and other enticing offerings. Please read about our day tours that include delicious wine and cheese tastings, garden fresh produce, and outdoor barbecues.
Las Canoas is the old homestead of Güero de las Canoas, a legendary rancher and miner of the La Paz region. In restoring this historical site, we have taken care to preserve traditional architectural styles, using local materials such as Palo de Arco* branches for shade roofs and outdoor walls, palm fronds for the palapa roof, and bricks and rocks for the kitchen and outdoor counters.
(* A native bush belonging to the Bignoniaceae or Trumpet Creeper Family. Branches from this bush are traditionally used in construction – see middle photo above.)
Las Canoas is one of the stopping and resting sites along our beautiful, panoramic Santa Rosa hiking and mountain biking trail. Located in a canyon on the edge of Las Canoas arroyo, it is in this peaceful spot that we have constructed a small water retention structure to infiltrate the soil with water and enhance the local ecosystem. Across the arroyo in a small meadow, our bee colony benefits from this oasis and in turn complements the natural environment by pollinating plants, crops and trees.
Rancho Las Canoas can also be used as a simple, rustic campsite. We have two dry toilets, two bucket-showers, and water from a nearby spring. In early 2016, we installed an AquaEOZ water filter system in the outdoor kitchen area to provide clean water for drinking and cooking.
The Cerro Pelón ranch serves as the Rancho Cacachilas gate house on the El Sargento access road. The ranch house was designed and built by our team of architects using a local earth and cement mixture that is poured inside stacked metal frames. This construction method not only creates beautiful textures on the exterior and interior walls but also results in a cool, comfortable and silent home that is capable of sustaining the harsh heat of Southern Baja summers.
Los Pisos is located at the end of the longest road on our property, deep in the mountains of the Sierra Cacachilas. It was a favorite resting and camping site of a locally famous cowboy named Don Victor, a.k.a. Don Diablo. Here he kept supplies such as pots, pans, water, a jacket and even coffee. Spending the majority of his life in these mountains, he was an invaluable resource and knew our lands very well. Learn more about his story on our Don Diablo Trail Run website.
Los Pisos, which means the floors in English, owes its name to the many floors and foundations that were previously found in this location, dating back to the mining era. This is the site of the old mining town of Cacachilas, which was once inhabited by people from various countries and walks of life. Here we continue to catch glimpses of the past in the form of glass bottles, ceramic pieces and bricks.
Los Pisos is also a gateway to the eastern cape. Serving as a staging area for hiking and riding to the sea or deeper into the mountains, trails from here lead to Rancho Las Cruces, La Paz and El Sargento. Additionally, it is used as a cattle camp for the ranches whose animals are part of our management program.
In this natural and remote setting, we have created a rustic but comfortable camping site. Temporary shelters, cabin tents, are left in place for a season, rather than using permanent constructions. Visitors have access to fresh water and an outdoor kitchen area built in the historical manner combining carrizo (a bamboo-like reed) and mud. A natural yoga platform overlooking the mountains and sea lends itself nicely for sunrise or sunset sessions and there are plenty of trails to explore the surroundings.