Waking up in Baja California's wine country is a unique experience for those seasoned travelers seeking an unparalleled gastronomic getaway. When the wineries shut their doors for the evening, and the sun falls low into a golden sky, the region's boutique hotels, rustic inns, and chic bed-and-breakfast accommodations welcome those lucky few who reserved their stay in advance. And after a day of exploring Mexico's best wineries, you'll appreciate the warm Mexican hospitality, tranquility, serenity, and quiet peacefulness that blankets this desert wine region.
PLAN YOUR STAY...
If you're planning a multi-day visit to Mexico's wine country, a bit more than the normal amount of advanced preparation is required to ensure a smooth and pleasant visit. The beauty of Baja California is that it can be a little rough around the edges. But therein lies the fun; exploring Baja's wine country is like a treasure hunt. Many, if not most, of the beautiful wineries and chic lodging accommodations are located off the beaten path, some on unpaved roads. No surprise that road signs are in Spanish, and even written driving directions can be a challenge to decipher. But for the seasoned international traveler, this magical destination is worth the trouble. Step one is to secure your lodging...
Constraints related to water use mean that hotels in the Valle de Guadalupe are small - most between 3-12 rooms. With lodging demand high, and the number of available rooms relatively low, it can be challenging to find lodging in the Valle de Guadalupe on short notice. Use the inquiry form below to request a list of our recommended lodging partners. Unless you book far in advance, you'll likely have more luck if your dates don't include a Friday or Saturday night. Note that most properties in the Valle de Guadalupe require a two-night-minimum stay on weekends, and during peak seasons such as summer, spring break, and winter holidays.
If finding lodging in the Valle de Guadalupe proves difficult, don't despair. A lovely alternative is to stay right on the Pacific coast in nearby Ensenada. Just a 20-minute drive from the Valle de Guadalupe, this Mexican port town is famous for its fresh fish and seafood, excellent dining options, and vibrant nightlife. Lodging options are usually a bit less expensive in Ensenada, often without a minimum stay requirement, and offer cool ocean breezes as a welcome respite to the hotter Valle de Guadalupe.
Once you have secured your lodging, the next step is to arrange a tasting tour (or multiple tours) with Baja Test Kitchen as your guide. Departing from the border, or your hotel/house rental in Northern Baja California, our most popular tasting tours visit boutique wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe and stop for a multi-course gourmet lunch overlooking the vineyards. Cheese lovers will delight in a visit to a local artisan cheese monger or dairy, an option on some wine tour itineraries. And those more interested in the culinary delights of Ensenada will not want to miss our "Ensenada Eats" foodie tour. If you'll be visiting over multiple days, we recommend a wine tour one day, and a foodie tour the other day (our "surf to turf" multi-day experience).
When driving to the Region (the Valle de Guadalupe and Ensenada are each about 90-minutes south of the border), you may purchase Mexican auto insurance (required by law in Mexico) online through our sister company, Discover Baja Travel Club. You'll find border crossing and driving directions on Discover Baja's website, along with a wealth of other information about traveling in Baja California. Beware that drinking and driving is a serious offense in Mexico, and Mexican law only requires suspicion of driving under the influence to stop and detain, or arrest, the driver. As such, our best recommendation is to drive to your hotel, park your car, and let us do the driving during your stay.
In some cases, Baja Test Kitchen may be able to provide or arrange for transport from the border to your hotel in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, or Rosarito (based on our availability at time of booking). As we are a culinary tour operator, and not a transportation/car service, the most cost-effective way for you to book your round-trip transportation to the region with Baja Test Kitchen is to "bookend" your stay with tasting tours at the beginning and end of your stay - perhaps a wine tour on the first day, and then a culinary tour on your last day. Bookending your stay with BTK tours is a great way to enhance your Baja California experience, while saving on transportation costs, but you'll need to plan accordingly, as our tasting tours always start in the morning.
In some cases, Baja Test Kitchen may be able to provide or arrange for transport from the border to your hotel in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, or Rosarito (based on our availability at time of booking). Some hotels also provide or can arrange for transportation from/to the border - inquire with your hotel directly for this service. You should not rely on "Uber Valle" service from Tijuana to Valle de Guadalupe; in our experience, the service can be spotty and unreliable, and you stand a decent chance of being stranded in Tijuana (or in the Valle de Guadalupe) if there is not a driver available or willing to make the long trek either direction - leaving you to negotiate a cash rate with a taxi, or find the bus station (we do not recommend either).
Once you have made your lodging reservation, please use the multi-day experience inquiry form below to submit your request for our availability on your dates.
INSIDER TIP: if this is your first visit to the region, we recommend first booking a single-day group tasting tour or same-day private tour (departing from and returning to the border in San Diego) for an excellent guided exposure to the region and its rustic yet charming style - these same-day tours from the border are designed to help you better appreciate how to prepare for a subsequent multi-day visit to our region.
INQUIRE ABOUT A MULTI-DAY EXPERIENCE
For more information about our multi-day experiences for two or more people, including a list of our recommended lodging options, please complete and submit the inquiry form below; or view our calendar of upcoming scheduled group tasting tours.