Hey bandage, this year I returned to Baja California with one of my best friends @marfilu and I wanted to repeat with her some places that I met with Alan on the 2021 #AXMBajaRoadtrip, but also visit new places. So here I present 7 experiences to do during a road trip in Baja California.
Ah, before starting, the best thing to do is to fly to Mexicali and rent a car, or if not, hire the services of an agency. I personally highly recommend Adixion Tour that specializes in adventure tourism. Ask for Aldo.
1. Mexicali from top to bottom.
Stay at the Araiza hotel And if you’re hungry, go have lunch. Chinese food at one of its many restaurants, including the Imperial Garden The most traditional in this border city-obviously tropicalized to Mexican tastes and accompanied with a very cold Red Tecate loggerhead-which by the way tastes delicious here, it’s not terrible like in the rest of the country.
When you finish go to La Chinesca the city’s Chinatown, where they will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the ancient underground city, full of narrow tunnels, clandestine casinos, secret passageways, priceless memorabilia and tangible memories of the splendor of the Chinese community in Mexicali.
Walk to its Chinese arch, pass the pagoda and later visit the Cine Curto an old cinema -commercial, also porn cinema, then commercial cinema again hahaha- that after a long restoration has been transformed into a gastronomic market, popular cinema and beer garden.
From there, move on to one of the most important craft breweries in the country -and in my opinion one of the best: Amante Brewery. If you can’t decide on one, do a tasting of 12 craft beers, all of them extraordinary! I ended up speaking as a native inhabitant of La Chinesca hahaha
And to end the day, go have some roast beef taquitos with Don Jorge, they were BRUTAL!
2. The Volcano and the River
To have breakfast in Mexicali go to the Valle de Mexicali Museum Here they offer the best menudo (belly soup) that is most delicious in all of Mexico. It’s delicious! Also take the opportunity to visit the “ghost town” full of antiques, furniture and artifacts that decorate this theme park. I loved it!
Get back on the road and stop at the Cerro Prieto volcano, which with its incandescent bowels provides electricity to Mexicali through its geothermal energy. In addition, in its crater you can admire a cucapá sculpture “El Zopilote” by the artist Xe Juan Hernández, made up of volcanic pieces and the hands of many other people. The views from the top are spectacular.
Another hour of walking will take you to the Hardy River, the only navigable river in Baja California. Here in Campo Mosqueda they can walk on the river in kayak, boats or a small floating boat called “La Bruja”. Of course we chose the third option. Along the river you can see the cabins of the “Snow Birds” (as Canadians and gringos who migrate to these lands are known) and other birds with beautiful plumage such as white and gray herons and even pelicans. There is also lodging but we decided to continue to our final destination: San Felipe.
3. San Felipe Magico
Stay at the colorful Hotel Cortez of San Felipe. Heaven will give you some beautiful sunrises. Have breakfast at the hotel, some egg burritos with machaca, and go to the small town of Puertecitos.
In Puertecitos a particular phenomenon occurs, where the cold water of the sea combines with the thermal waters of the rocks accumulated in small pools, creating a natural spa. The place is beautiful, and when we went there was no one else but us!
Later return to San Felipe and enjoy the sunset in the Valley of the Giants, a desert full of majestic cardones. Walk the dusty paths, playing with the golden lights, embracing and at the same time avoiding the prickly arms of the cacti and falling in love with the fiery colors of the Californian sky.
End the day by going to dinner on the Malecón de San Felipe, at a restaurant called La Vaquita Marina.
4. The Bay and the Desert
From San Felipe, take the highway south and stop for lunch in the beautiful bay of San Luis Gonzaga. Order a michelada prepared with clam juice, ceviches and shrimp in different versions, while falling in love with the views of the beach and limestone seamounts.
Continue with your roadtrip until you arrive near the golden hour, to the Valley of the Cirios, and in its acropolis the cave paintings of Cataviña. Explore for a while until night falls and give the last push by car to San Quentin.
5. San Quinslandia (San Quentin)
In San Quintin, stay at the Maria Celeste Hotel, on the Transpeninsular Highway, and rent a Polaris tour with Border Adventures to go off-roading through the volcanic area.
At full speed they traverse the region wrapped in a storm of dust and sand. Stop at the salt flat, at La Chorera beach, at a reddish rock volcano, and further on at the Monte Ceniza viewpoint. Walk up to its summit where you can admire the Bay of San Quintín, the False Bay, the Wetlands, the Sea of Cortez and the 12 volcanoes of “San Quinslandia”.
If you get hungry, go back to La Chorera and eat some natural oysters and gratin at the Don Álvaro restaurant, which has a privileged view of the waves, volcanoes and dunes.
When you finish, go to the wetlands area to Los Humedales Restaurant. Rent and board your kayak and go on an adventure among the green veins of the Earth. It’s fantastic!
From there they run to reach the sunset at Molino Viejo a restaurant bar with a lot of history dating back to the English colonists. Here watch the sun go down and the last fishermen return to the pier.
Finally go for a tasting of craft beers at Wiwis Cervecería and the best hot dogs in San Quentin at Hot Dogs California.
6. The Oyster Farm
Check out of the Hotel Maria Celeste and drive along a dirt road to the local oyster farm -León Pacífico– to learn about the entire process of raising and harvesting these shells.
In a boat they will take you to the “fields” of oysters. First they will show you the fixing process, also one in floating metallic bags and finally some more with a handmade process. Trying fresh oysters is extraordinary.
Back at the port, they will try more oysters and pair them with a stout beer, also made with oysters. Delicious!
Your next stop may be the Vinicola de Becerra which since 2017 set out to be the best wine from San Quintín and boy is it achieving it. Their Nebbiolo and their Cabernet Sauvignon wow, although we actually loved them all, whites and rosés included.
If your hunger is back, go eat at Posada Don Diego where you can order a tray full of tremendously tasty meats and seafood and of course award-winning craft beers in the region, an extreme delight!
Finally 4 hours of travel will take them back to the north, to Tecate.
7. The Bread of Tecate and the Rumorosa
If you stay in Tecate for one night, stay at the Kumiai Inn hotel.
In the morning, stop by the incomparable bread of this magical town -literally “The Best Bread in Tecate”
And finally, drive through La Rumorosa -considered in the past as the most dangerous in Mexico- and stop at some of its amazing viewpoints and some ancient cave paintings, until you reach the Mexicali airport.
I hope you liked these bandage recommendations, if you want more information about Baja California I recommend this tourism account: https://www.instagram.com/bajacalifornia.travel/ and obviously also, that they throw all the videos of Alan from that legendary BajaRoadtrip.