Palmar Paradise is a waterpark Mexican-family style. The first thing you notice when you drive in is there is no one at the front gate and the road is not paved. But venturing just a little further, the story calls you to enter a tropical world of palm trees and sparkling water. Swimming pools abound here with waterfalls and bridges. Little thatched huts sit in a neat row and behind them is a strand of thick palm forest. All this just off the toll road south of Rosarito Beach and approximately an hour from Tijuana.
Before I was even out of the car, one of the park employees came walking out to greet me. Being welcomed like this is big here in Baja. Antonio introduced me to Lucy who would be my guide into Palmar Paradise. Her sweet and lively nature moved us along to the main attraction, the huge circular swimming pool. What sets this pool apart from other swimming pools is the novel construction. There is an outer narrow ring with deep water where you can swim laps, personally challenging yourself, or just glide in leisurely breast strokes. The large inner pool is accessed by a wooden bridge. This pool is shallow for cooling off and for children’s play. Quite an ingenious architect. Pool-side picnic tables invite guests to spend the day. The pool area is set up with a large covered kitchen for groups. The oversized speakers belt out the songs of Mexico. From this pool area there is a concrete walkway to the restrooms and two more swimming areas with cascading waterfalls. One pool has a massive vertical sloping pipe for an extreme tubular water-slide experience. The screams of delightfully frightened children can be heard as they birth into the sunlight, splashing into the turquoise water.
On an upper-tier from the pools, on the north side, are well-planned picnic areas that include palapas, which protect from the wind. They face the pools and are close to the road for easy unloading. They have very unique rock-slab tables, a rock BBQ and a sink with running water. Makes picnicking very easy. Bring your own chairs. Beer and soft drinks are permitted in this area, but no glass containers around the pool.
The thatched roof bungalows are rustic and clean. Concrete floors, double beds, electricity and bathrooms with hot water. The little front porch has a BBQ and will accommodate a small family group. This lodging is a short walk to the pool and out of the foot traffic and picnic areas. Just behind the huts is an open grassy expanse for tent camping. The thick grass and campsite layout makes camping seem almost plush. Each site has a rock BBQ and running water with a place to store plenty of firewood. Campers can bring their own or buy from the small store a short distance away. The theme of the water park is included even here. On a gentle slope a cascading pool cuts through the campsites like a running stream, perfect for wading or sunning on hot days. As well as the swimming pools, volleyball and a soccer court keep the kids busy. Parents can feel secure, letting the kids run and play all day, while they sit back and enjoy a cool cerveza.
As Lucy so graciously explains, there are even fully equipped two story homes with 3 bedrooms, a large kitchen and living room. On the second floor and off the upper patio is the master bedroom with a great ocean view. These homes with their lovely fired-brick exterior and inner furnishing are set away from the main part of the park and allows for more privacy. There are grassy lawns here so the kids can pitch a tent, and outdoor BBQ's are also part of the accommodations. Leading up into the mountains from here, there is a hiking trail that will take you to a spectacular view of the Pacific coastline.
Palmar Paradise is a perfect weekend destination for those who love Mexico, picnicking, and water sports in a family setting. Leave the electronics behind and have some real family fun! The park is near several nice restaurants. It is half-way between Rosarito Beach and Ensenada where you can pick up all you need at Walmart and Smart & Final. Coming from the north you might want to fill up the gas tank in Rosarito at the south end of town on the toll road. From here you are just 20 minutes from Palmar Paradise. Stay on the toll road to the La Fonda turn-off. At the stop sign on the free road; turn right. Proceed to the next highway access and re-enter the highway going north. The entrance to Palmar Paradise is on the right and just minutes away.
Entrance fee and lodging are in pesos. The exchange rate is hovering around $15 pesos to $1 U.S. Dollar. A day pass is $80 pesos, which is a little more than $5 per adult, children $4, tikes under four are free. This gives full use of the pools and picnic tables. Shaded palapas will be an extra $20 for the day. Pool hours are 8am to 8pm. Sorry, no doggies.
Reservations are suggested for weekends and Mexican/American holidays, as well as the month of August.
English is spoken using the contact information below:
From the U.S. 52-664-404-4790
Martina's email: mteomaya(at)gmail.com