A History of Rancho Leonero

Pioneer resort and residential community on the East Cape keeps reinventing itself.

Somebody needs to write a book about Rancho Leonero, its rich history and stories!

Back when it was built the Baja peninsula was a rugged, remote area with few roads and even fewer tourists. Cabo San Lucas was a sleepy fishing village, and most Americans had never even heard of the East Cape. Wealthy sportsmen and adventurers would fly down in their private aircraft, land on rough dirt airstrips carved out of the desert, and return with wild stories of the big fish they caught here.

Gil Powell fell in love with the area. He was a wildlife cinematographer by profession and related to actor William Powell. Around 1950 he found and purchased a 300 acre piece of paradise located on the beach just south of Los Barriles. Gil was continually going off to Africa to shoot movies - hence the locals gave him the nickname "El Leonero", which roughly translates to "The One Who Knows Lions". During this time his ranch became known as "Rancho El Leonero", and over the years has been shortened to "Rancho Leonero".

During those Wild West days before paved roads and civilization came to Baja, Hollywood's "bad boys" would fly down in their private planes for some R&R where they could escape from the notoriety of their public lives and just hang out. The likes of John Wayne, Bing Crosby, and Errol Flynn were all frequent visitors here.

In 1979 John Ireland stumbled upon Rancho Leonero, instantly falling in love with it. John spent the next two years trying to acquire the property, and finally succeeded in 1981. In 1984 he started construction of the original five rooms of what was to become "The Inn at Rancho Leonero".  Today the Inn at Rancho Leonero is a charming resort surrounded by a lovely neighborhood of lucky homeowners. This beachfront community has become the envy of many and now you too can buy a piece of this little East Cape treasure. 

I would encourage everyone to visit Rancho Leonero to enjoy it’s charm and beauty. Take a stroll on the serene beach or a hike up to Flat Top, hire a fishing charter, view the current listings, and end your trip with a cool drink and delicious meal at the Inn.  Become one of the lucky residents of this historic, lovely neighborhood and start living the dream of many and the envy of all!

Visit Dede at Baja Properties in Los Barriles, the oldest and most respected office in East Cape, search listings at www.dedebacon.com, or call 530-545-3407 or 624-142-8990 to arrange a personal tour of current listings in Rancho Leonero.