On the Sea of Cortez side of the sun-drenched southern Baja, where the legendary peninsula juts into the tropical zones, the palm-thatched, king-sized guest rooms and "main house" of Rancho Leonero punctuate the broad green lawns of a tropical clearing of a 350-acre corner of "Old Baja", nose-to-nose with the pristine blue sea.
A fishing and sportsman's paradise, where coconut palms bend gracefully over two miles of dazzling unspoiled beaches, it's a place like no other. Set well apart from other "East Cape" hotels, this handsomely tropical flower-studded resort stands in intimate relationship with the sea itself. Cradled by the mythical Laguna Mountains, it provides a comfortable and friendly sanctuary for those who want to truly experience the Cortez.
Even without the big-time game fishing, Rancho Leonero would be a vacationer's dream. The sit-down family-style meals are spectacular and the kick-back, intimate style of the place is truly unique in all the world. Owner John Ireland is likely to greet you personally, the staff is friendly and available and the service is first rate. It's a place "where everybody knows your name.
If you're seeking a memorable family-fun vacation in the unique atmosphere of one of the world's last great nature frontiers, or intent on setting a new game fishing record (or both), Rancho Leonero has all the facilities for full participation in your Cortez experience.
Not only do 1,000-pound black and blue marlin prowl these waters, but striped marlin, sailfish, dorado, huge yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, wahoo, grouper, snapper, roosterfish and dozens of incidentals swarm over undersea canyons and drop offs within a mile of shore.
Surf fishing along the famous "double reef" directly in front of the ranch is spectacular. If big game fishing is what you're after, Rancho Leonero sports a complete fleet of inexpensive pangas (Mexican skiffs), larger center console "super pangas", and roomy sportfishers up to 40 feet, all at affordable prices, all with superlative local guides who know how to put you on the fish.
Writes Neil Kelly, author of the definitive Baja fishing book, The Baja Catch, "This 40-mile stretch of the Cortez is the Grand Premiere class of all of Baja's waters, and few if any places in the world can approach it".
Scuba or snorkeling in the waters right in front of the ranch are like diving in an aquarium, and the astonishing Pulmo Reef nearby (the only living coral reef on the Pacific side of the northern hemisphere) is something no diver should miss in a lifetime.
It's no secret that travel writers love to "discover" an out of the way resort where their readers can find not just a vacation, but an experience that truly takes them away from the workaday world. Here's what they're saying:
"From the huge statue of Neptune in the entry garden to the incredible undersea wonders of Pulmo Reef nearby, Leonero is a natural extension of the Sea of Cortez itself. It is so different from most Baja resorts that it demands a close look before choosing. Once you find it, you'll keep coming back again and again." - BAJA NEWSLETTER
"Set directly on the Sea of Cortez[Rancho Leonero] consists of gracious flagstone-and-thatched-roof cottages. There is a nice pool directly in front of the bar, and a baronial dining room has Spanish-leather chairs Maybe 70 percent of the guests come for the fishing, 20 percent for the excellent scuba diving and snorkeling, and 10 percent loll on the beach, frolic in the pure blue bath-warm sea or explore the desert roads by foot or car." - MICHAEL SHNAYERSON, CONDE NAST TRAVELER
RANCHO LEONERO RATES
Room Description Room Numbers Features
Standard 7 thru 12 2 double beds, west-facing patios
Deluxe 1 thru 5, 29 thru 35 large rms, dbl or queen beds, ocean-view/courtyard patios
Bungalows 15 thru 20, 27 & 28 large rooms, queen beds, private patios
Ocean-view Bungalows 13 & 14, 21 thru 26 large rooms, queen beds, ocean-view patios
all rooms are air conditioned
RANCHO LEONERO RATES ACTIVITIES
Enjoy a relaxing paddle in the calm waters in front of the resort. Or experience the latest craze - kayak fishing!
The Los Cabos area is one of the most popular golf destinations in the world. Within 90 minutes of Rancho Leonero there are a bevy of championship courses, including designs by Robert Trent Jones III & Jack Nicklaus. Click on the following links for more info - Palmilla Golf Club, Cabo San Lucas Country Club, Cabo Real Course, El Dorado Course, Cabo del Sol.
Hiking & Running Trails
Enjoy the panoramic vista from the top of Flattop Mesa. Or soak in the sun while hiking or running on our selected trails, designed to satisfy and challenge all skill levels, from novice to expert.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
Spend a morning or evening exploring the famous double reef at the resort. Or take a guided snorkeling tour to Coral Beach or the secluded Iguana Beach, where you can visit the nearby sea lion colony. Click here for additional information on our snorkel tours. Scuba dive the renowned Cabo Pulmo reef, the only living coral reef in the northwestern hemisphere. Introductory dive courses and PADI certification classes available. Click here for a description of the various dive sites.
Workout in our fully-equipped ocean view gym, including paramount station, lifecycles, stair-machine, and free weights.
Relax with a therapeutic or deep tissue massage after exploring our desert trails or spending the day battling that world class marlin.
Take a day off and explore La Paz or Cabo San Lucas. Our guided tours will take you shopping, visit tourist sites, and take you to the best restaurants.
Our most popular fishing platform is the diesel-powered fly bridge cruiser. Our fleet consists of various vessels from 28' to 32'. Equipment includes bimini tops, bait tanks, plumbed heads, fighting chairs. Prices starting at $350 per day.
Super pangas are 23' to 25' center-console skiffs designed for fishing in Baja's waters. Equipment includes bimini tops, bait tanks, chairs, some with plumbed heads. Price $250 per day.
Try the latest fishing experience. We've had pargo, dorado, tuna, roosterfish, and even a few marlin taken from our fleet of ocean-going kayaks. Equipped with rod holders and bait buckets. Price $10/hour or $40/day. Check out our Kayak Fishing Page.
The 2003 edition of our famous rolling dock is now in the water. A great way to keep your feet dry getting on and off the boats.
Recommended Tackle List
With the following list of equipment you should be able to tackle just about every specie of fish to be found in our waters:
Rods: 4 rods, a 6' trolling rod with all or tip and bottom roller guides in a 50# to 80# class; a 6' rod 20# to 50# class; a 5 1/2' or 6' 10# to 40# class; and a 6' bass rod.
Reels: 6/0 reel, either lever or star drag with 60# to 80# test mono; 4/0 reel, either lever or star drag with 40# or 50# test mono; a Penn 500 or comparable reel with 20# to 30# test mono, and a quality level wind bass reel with 10# to 12# test mono.
Lures: Marlin lures in bleeding mackerel [orange/yellow], mean joe green [green/black], dorado [green/yellow], hot pink and black/purple. Tuna feathers in yellow/green, blue/white, red/white, black/purple, and all white. Magnum rapalas CD14 and CD 18 sizes in green or blue mackerel, brown/white, and orange. A few iron lures in chrome, blue/chrome, blue/white, green/yellow, and all white. Two medium sized Marauders in ninja and Tony the tiger colors.
Terminal Tackle: An assortment of hooks from 1/0 to 10/0 preferably lazer type such as Mustad, Owner, Eagle Claw, or Gamakatsu. One roll each of leader material in 100#/125# test and 200#/250# test. Ball bearing type swivels and snaps in size 4 [100#] and size 6 [200#]. A 30' roll of 135# 49-strand stainless steel cable. Yozuri [lucky joe] bait rigs.
Bait: Live bait is usually available for purchase as the boats are departing in the morning. We recommend you bring frozen squid for those times live bait is scarce, or for shore fishing.
Rod Carrier: While transporting your rods on the airlines you should protect them with a quality rod carrier. You can either purchase a rod carrier or make one out of 4" PVC pipe with a permanent cap on one end and a screwable cap on the other.
Clothing: Hat or cap, sunglasses, waterproof sunscreen, rod belt, tennis shoes, long-sleeve shirt for sun-sensitive, windbreaker for cooler months.
Rental Tackle: We have high quality gear available for rental at the hotel, featuring Shimano lever drag reels. We also have spinning rods available for shore fishing. Our captains do have a basic assortment of lures and terminal tackle for your use. We also maintain a assortment of lures and terminal tackle available for purchase in our gift shop. Check out the latest in Shimano's fishing tackle at .com
Fishing Licenses: a valid Mexican sportfishing permit is required. The resort sells weekly permits at the front desk, currently priced at $23. Daily and annual permits are available at many So. Cal. sporting goods stores. See our Fishing Regulations Page for daily bag limits.
East Cape Fish Calendar
For all reservations please call Wilderness Ways direct in Colorado on:
970 349 2773
or from the UK or Germany
(001) - 970 349 2773
(after 3 pm UK time.)
click here to access the main web site from individual pages on the web