Located in Ensenada, 75 miles south of the U.S. border with Tijuana, the wine country known as “Valle de Guadalupe” is Mexico’s equivalent to Napa Valley. With a Mediterranean microclimate ideal for producing wine, you will find this destination that continues to attract wine connoisseurs and foodies alike.
How to Get There
Driving from LA or San Diego, it’s easy to cross the border to enjoy a weekend getaway. The coastal scenic toll road is your best option. Shuttle services to and from the Valley have become extremely popular and allow you to relax, wine, and dine without driving. Some wineries even offer shuttle services that can pick you up at San Diego International Airport. If you’re flying to Tijuana, make sure to hire the shuttle service ahead of time.
Recommended Stops on the Road
On your drive to Ensenada, a popular destination for lunch is Puerto Nuevo. A fishing village that offers its famous lobster tacos, this is a must-stop. You can also go directly to Ensenada and visit La Guerrerense; a seafood tostada restaurant featured in Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations. Try their award-winning tostadas and rich variety of salsas. You will not be disappointed.
There are over 150 wineries and even though most accept walk-ins, if you have a particular winery in mind, check if they require reservations. Most wine tastings include a guided tour of the premises and a chance to purchase appetizers and wine. Monte Xanic, Adobe, and F. Rubio are excellent choices for your first visit.
Landscape and Oceanview
This wine country offers a stunning landscape that gives this destination a magical appeal. The privileged weather allows you to enjoy the Valley year-round, from desert roads, vineyards to ocean views. Its geographic location makes it possible to experience the most incredible scenery. A hot spot overlooking the ocean and the most amazing sunsets is Bura, located at the Cuatro Cuartos Resort.
Valle de Guadalupe offers the most spectacular culinary delights. Most restaurants incorporate modern architecture against rustic and enchanted settings. Savor the unique Baja Med cuisine, with locally sourced menus and land-to-sea options paired with excellent wine. Finca Altozano, Laja, and La Esperanza Baja Med are just three top recommendations for fine dining that showcase what this region has to offer.
Where to Stay
If you want a full experience in the Valley, a two-day stay is highly recommended. Among its beautiful vineyards, many boutique hotels have majestic architecture, luxury rooms with the best comfort and service experience. You can also find home rentals through Airbnb, or if you are on a budget, there are numerous options. One of the most highly rated places to stay in the area is the El Cielo Winery & Resort by Karisma.
From walking to mountain biking, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There are lavender garden tours, horseback riding for the entire family, or even a hot air balloon ride. The Valley has many activities to offer, including its Museum of Vine and Wine, presenting the history, industry, and identity of wine, and contemporary art exhibitions.
Wine Harvest Festival: Vendimia
August is a busy season with the Wine Harvest Festival, which is a celebration of this region’s two centuries-long wine tradition. The Vendimia is a time for celebration to experience wine tastings, workshops, concerts, or gourmet meals. Wine enthusiasts from all over the world travel during this season, so book your trip in advance.
Concerts and Events
The Valley is a popular destination for concerts, weddings, social and corporate events. A dream location for any type of celebration, they offer venues with intimate or large seating capacities. If you dream about a wine country wedding, Valle de Guadalupe is a world-class setting that will make your event a day to remember.
If you are looking for an exciting nightlife experience, the Valley has excellent options for the right atmosphere. From rooftop lounges to mixology bars, you can enjoy the best parties and sunsets with family and friends. Most places open during the weekend, where you can enjoy amazing views, electronic music parties with DJs, and much more.
Valle de Guadalupe is a sophisticated travel destination and an experience unlike any other. From a day trip or weekend getaway, you will enjoy the national production of this picturesque region and world-class dining in the most beautiful natural settings. As for COVID-19 travel restrictions, Mexico does not have testing entry requirements at this time.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories