El Centenario is a small seaside town approximately 15 km north of La Paz, the capital city of Baja Sur. In 2005, the census population was 3,626 persons.
Founded in the 1960s as an agrarian/fishing ejido by approximately 25 founding families who were given the land to use for farming and on which to build a dwelling, while the land remained under the ownership of the communal ejido, it is now known as the closest to CIBNOR, one of the leading marine biology institutes in Latin America. CIBNOR conducts studies of the Gulf of California ecosystem (also known as the Sea of Cortez) which is one of the most bio-diverse bodies of water in the world.
Here, locals eat nopal cacti as a main ingredient in tacos, which is unique in the La Paz area. This tradition was brought to El Centenario by the founding families when they moved from the interior of the Baja peninsula, where eating nopal is more common.
Each summer, El Centenario holds a town nopal-themed festival, hosting a carnival with rides and games set up in the town center, and a Nopal cooking competition remains a highlight of events.
The general year-round climate in El Centenario is similar to that of La Paz: generally warm, sunny, windy and dry. The months of July, August, and September are the warmest and most humid, with August and September being the most likely months to receive heavy rainfall.
One local weather phenomenon is the Coromuel Wind, which is a steady breeze that blows consistently during late afternoons due to the cool Pacific Ocean waters creating relative low pressure and the warm Gulf of California waters creating relative high pressure. The wind then blows from the high pressure side, over the El Centenario area, to the low pressure side. Unlike most other parts of the Baja peninsula, there are no high mountains to block this air movement between the two sides of the peninsula.
In recent years, the hillside behind El Centenario has become a favorite location for United States and Canadian citizens to build either vacation homes or primary residences for retirement. The lower cost of living, when compared to the U.S., especially California or Florida, plus the rapid modernization of Southern Baja, has made it an increasingly viable alternative to retiring in the southern United States.
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Bahia Concepcion | Boca de la Vinorama | Buena Vista | Cabo San Lucas | Ciudad Constitucion | Cabo Pulmo | Comondu | El Centenario | Elias Calle | Guerrero Negro | La Fortuna | La Ribera | Las Lagunas | LaPaz | Loreto | Los Barriles | Los Frailes | Migrino | Mulege | San Jose Del Cabo | San Ignacio | Santa Rosalia | Spa Buena Vista | Todos Santos | The Corridor | The Pacific Side | The East Cape