RANCHO LEONERO LODGE - Kienes' Premier Destination
RANCHO LEONERO LODGE
Before the 1950s Mexico’s southern Baja peninsula was difficult to get to as it had few roads, and no airline service and Cabo San Lucas was just a sleepy fishing village at the time. Its fishing was a secret held only among a few highly affluent fishermen who could afford to fly in their private planes to the few rugged airstrips that existed at that time. When they returned to the US they bragged about the amazing fish they caught there.
One of those individuals was Gil Powell, a wildlife cinematographer who in 1950 purchased 300 beachside acres on the east cape just south of Buena Vista, with 3 miles of private beach Reef in front of property. Because Gil was always flying off to Africa for photo shoots, the locals gave him the name of El Leonero which roughly translates into “one who knows about lions” and the ranch took on the name of Rancho Leonero.
At a Glance
Target Fish: Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, Wahoo, Roosterfish, Yellowfin
Location: Los Cabos
Seasons: Vary by species. Lodge is closed between December 1 through March 1
Lodge Capacity: approximately up to 140 guests.
Nearest Airport: Los Cabos
Electricity: 110 volts
Documents needed: Passport
Many of Gil’s Hollywood friends such as John Wayne, Earl Flynn and Bing Crosby, would fly down to the Ranch to get away from the notoriety that they experienced in their daily lives and spend time just chilling out.
Gil passed on in 1974 and after a few years John Ireland found it and eventually purchased the property in 1981. He subsequently began turning it into a destination resort to cater to those who wanted to experience the ultimate in saltwater fishing. Since then, the resort has arguably become the best fishing resort on the east cape.
The resort offers rental of several different watercraft options. You have a choice of: super pangas (hold 3 people), super cruisers (hold up to 4 people), Topaz (hold up to 4 people) , and the 31 foot fully air conditioned El Gefe (holds 6 people). Pangas come with a captain for each boat. Super cruisers, Topaz and El Gefe each come with a captain and deck hand. Personal fishing guides are available and can be arranged through the lodge.
Best Fly Fishing Seasons
Striped Marlin: March-July
Blue/Black Marlin: July-November
Yellowfin Tuna: May-November
If you want to experience “old Baja” in a first class resort, Rancho Leonero is where you'll find it. It’s tucked away down a dirt road far from the discos and other resort distractions. Once there, you will experience a modern all inclusive resort that offers great fishing, snorkeling & scuba diving, and many activities for the whole family. Oh, and you can drink the water too.
Rancho Leonaro is an old time Mexican resort, that still maintains the same laid back charm it had when it was first built by Gil Powell in the mid 20th Century. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the same thing that the Hollywood crowd came there for, a great place to chill out and forget the stress of day to day life back home. For the fly fisherman, it’s a chance to fish for what may be the greatest variety of salt water species that exist anywhere in the world.
On Site Amenities and Activities Include
Satellite TV (only in bar)
Wi-Fi/internet access (free)
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving on the only coral reef along the eastern Pacific coast
The lodge complex consists of 35 comfortably furnished fully air conditioned rooms that sleep up to 5 guests. Each room has 2 queen size beds and an additional twin size bed can be added upon request. The rooms surround a plaza along with the dining room and lodge office. A dining patio sits next to the swimming pool and fronts the ocean.
Food is excellent, which is attested by the number of locals that dine at the ranch. The menu includes American style dishes along with Mexican favorites. Each Saturday evening the lodge serves its famous barbeque pork ribs cooked on an open fire. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in each lodge package. Most staff has been at the ranch for 15 years.
Getting there is simple. Hop on a flight to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) which is the closest public airport.
Rancho Leonero Resort is located right on the Sea of Cortez, in the small township of Buena Vista (15 minutes south of Los Barilles). Once you arrive you can take a taxi to the lodge. It’s best to pre-arrange your taxi pick up at least 48 hours before arrival. The other option is to rent a car at the airport and drive the 45 minutes to the lodge. To get to the lodge via the highway, head north on Hwy 1 towards La Paz until you pass the 103km marker, after which you will soon see a sign for the lodge on your right. Turn on the dirt road for about 10 minutes.
Prices are based on double occupancy and guide/captain & super panga per two fishermen.
High Season: (April 1-July 31, October 1-30)
Standard Room - 7 nights/6 days fishing: $2,495. per person
Deluxe Room or Bungalow - 7 nights/6 days fishing: $2,895. per person
Ocean View Bungalow - 7 nights/6 days fishing: $3,295. per person
Off Season: (January 1-March 31, August 1-September 30, November 1-December 31)
Standard Room - 7 nights/6 days fishing: $2,195. per person
Deluxe Room or Bungalow - 7 nights/6 days fishing: $2,695. per person
Ocean View Bungalow - 7 nights/6 days fishing: $2,995. per person
Tim Au-Young leads this repeat trip to Baja.
The historical lodge is wonderful, and the fishing can be world class. Kiene's Fly Shop loves Baja. Check this trip out. Call us with any inquiries 800-410-1222