Beach Break – 3 or 4 days
Hostel, Camping or a Combination of both
This three-day winding ride down through Baja’s scenic hills and beautiful coasts to one of our favorite surf, beach and sun spots on the Pacific Coast! Bring a surfboard or a fishing pole if you’ve got one, or else just your sunglasses and a beer cozy. This is a short drive from the border where the hubub dies away and you can spot the Milky Way at night.
Cross the border in Tijuana or Tecate. Make a short stop in Ensenada to see the sights and grab a drink or two at one of the many famous cantinas to choose from. Don’t forget some of the world’s best fish tacos. Next, a lazy afternoon drive through the hills and take the right off of HWY 1 at the town of Erindera turn off. It’s 20 Kilometers to Coyote Cal’s Hostel or continue on a few kilometers to some great beach camping on beach-front cliffs in time to witness a gorgeous Baja sunset. Choose your bed either in the hostel or select the perfect site to pitch your tent at the hostel or on the beach, and drift off to the peaceful sound of ocean waves.
A delicious waffle or egg breakfast if you stay at the hostel will energize you to spend the day however you choose. You could get an inexpensive massage or cheap surfing lessons at the hostel from the local experts or surf the waves on your own if you’re already a pro. Surf fishing abounds or charter a Panga for serious ocean fishing. Otherwise, you can motor around on a beach cruiser, take a kayak out for a paddle, snorkel around the local reefs from the hostel. If all that sounds like too much work, you can just kick back on beach chairs and swap stories with your fellow traveler at the hostel. At low tide, you can pick dinner: mussels fresh off the rocks! When evening falls, sit by the bonfire at the hostel’s bar. Tales of brazen adventure are welcome!
Have one last tasty breakfast before sliding back up the coast towards Ensenada and the border. Never fear, make a few last taco and cantina stops before you get back! ¡Hasta la proxima, compañeros!
Green Grass and High Tides – 3, 4 or 5 days
Camping, Surfing, National Parks, Winter Cross-Country Skiing, Astrophysical Observatory
This trip has it all because you can never have too much of a good thing. Wide isolated beaches, small friendly towns, green mountains, oh my.
Grab the surf boards if you have them because you’re going to some of the coolest surf spots in Baja especially the famous surf spot on the Pacific Coast of Baja. Start through Tijuana or Tecate and head south through central farms and the wine country to Ensenada. Here you’ll join the coast of the Pacific Ocean and then stop to load up on supplies, get to know some of the famous Margaritas and kick around the tourist section of Ensenada with a couple of tacos.
Are you up for some adventure? Try your hand at surfing, grab a sea kayak and paddle out or just laze and daze on the beach with new friends at Cuatro Casas Hostel. Be sure to ease into the sights and sounds of the coast and experience the cool wildlife and wild life that is in the area. At night sit by the fire and relax to the hypnotic sound of swells hitting the beach all around you.
Sleep in and then saddle up! It’s off to Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Martir. The National Park is home to the peninsula’s highest peak of 10,154 ft and a world class observatory. At a park average of just over 6,000 ft the air is so clear that a telescope isn’t needed to see the thousands of stars that decorate the night sky.
Day four is made for nature. Hike through the towering pine forest, swim in the waterfalls or if you’re lucky, play in the last receding snow from the previous winter.
Of course, a tour of the observatory and its workings are a must see. The natural park is amazing. It is also home of the rare California Condor.
These amazing creatures have the largest wingspan of any bird in North America. The world total of California Condors today is around 400, more than half of which are in the wild. They are some of the world’s rarest birds and are classified as critically endangered. Fortunately, they can be seen frequently at the park. By night it’s another hardy Baja dinner with stories and music around the camp fire.
Greet the day with a Baja breakfast and start the journey down the mountains to the coast. Wave goodbye to the park and point north along the coast to Ensenada for lunch. By night it’s back past the border and home. Buenos Caminos, amigos.
Hot Springs Blasts – 2, 3, or 4 Days
Hot Springs, Hiking, Waterfalls, Nature, Tacos
Throw off that chill and check out Guadalupe Canyon Oasis Hot Springs. Baja California’s most amazing hot springs. Located in the heart of an isolated desert oasis, a hidden geo thermal spring feeds pools of natural warmth and healing.
Cross the border in either Tijuana or Tecate and drive east on HWY 2 toward Mexicali and through the backcountry of northern Baja California.
On the way stop for a few tasty tacos in La Rumorosa. Taco’s Lalo’s has the best Taco’s for miles. While there check out Campo Alaska. Built in 1917 it’s been a barracks, hospital, asylum and now a museum. Pay the toll just after the town to enter the road through the rock gardens. Before improvements the road for many years was one of the most dangerous roads in North America. And, it’s still pretty hairy. Beauty alone will be enough to make you stop and gaze out over the majestic valley floor thousands of feet below before descending into what appears to be a whole other world.
The adventure continues as you turn from the pavement at the road sign at the bottom of the mountain and turn onto the road-less-traveled. The mid afternoon’s warm sun will find you driving either over the ancient dry lake bed of Laguna Salada or the marked dirt road. The dry lake bed is cradled for 60 miles to the west by the Pine tree-covered Sierra de Juarez mountains and the craggy peaks of the Sierra de Los Cucapah range to the east. After a final slow crawl up the rugged dirt road that leads to Guadalupe Canyon Oasis hot springs, sit down next to a campfire and soak your weary bones in the geo thermal hot springs.
Choose between soaking, hiking or relaxing. The hot springs are some of the most beautiful found anywhere and create a spectacular palm tree covered oasis in the desert. The underground thermal spring water comes into the hand crafted tubs at between 85 -125 degrees and is 100% natural, clean mineral water that is untreated.
Pick your spot in this oasis under a palm tree or hang a hammock and relax while listening to the sound of the many birds that call the hot springs home. In between soaking, step back in time and check out the prehistoric petroglyphs or hike up to one of the seven cascading water falls.
Don’t miss the hike up to each of seven different waterfalls where the natural cool river from the mountains above cascades down to form the pools of crystal clear water in the granite rock. At night, ease back down the trail and enjoy the warm campfire with the group.
After a morning soak and a big Baja breakfast begin the slow crawl back to civilization. Take your time and slide through a few smaller villages to sample the food and experience a bit of local culture.
Soon you’re back at the border longing for the next adventure. See you soon, amigos!
Cantina Crawl – 2 or 3 days
Camping or Hostel, Cantinas and Sights
Get yourselves ready to do some major bar-hopping, cantina sampling and partying through Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada! Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Get the weekend started right and cross the border for a comfy, chatty ride to Rosarito Beach, the first stop. Rosarito is full of fun bars and clubs. Ride a mechanical bull, explore the town or ride some horses on the beach with your new friends. There’s Papas & Beers and more.
After Rosarito, stop at one of our favorite pacific beaches and spend some time relaxing in the sun, doing as much of nothing as we can handle. Horseback riding on the beach at La Mision, anyone? Try the back road, old HWY 1 through the town to Ensenada and check out some of the local Cowboy Cantinas along the way
Once you arrive in Ensenada, It might not be possible, but there might be even more to do here in Ensenada than in Rosarito! You could visit the oldest cantina in Baja California, Hussong’s, or perhaps the original Papas & Beer or Habana Cabana. Check out the restaurants in the Port of Ensenada with its extravagant cruise ships or survey the local taco stands in search of the ultimate fish taco. When you’re done just wind your way back. Camp on the beach at Playa San Miguel in El Sauzal and enjoy the sounds of the nearby ocean or stay at the trusty Ensenada Backpacker Hostel in Ensenada. Sound good so far? Let the festivities begin!
Slide back up the coast for some lunch and one last look at all our new favorite spots. Once back in Tijuana the party continues through the liveliest hot spots in TJ (optional). Check out Avenida Revolucion or the crazy underground Cantina Zacazonapan and party with the hip locals. Once the fiesta stops it’s hugs and good-byes all around. See you next time, compadres!