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Uncover Mexico’s Affordable Wine Escape: The Napa Valley of Mexico

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While some travelers fight for space on Cancun beaches or are jam-packed like sardines on a Mexico City subway, there is one region of Mexico with wide open spaces calling your name.

A cold cerveza or Tajin-rimmed margarita always hits the spot on a Mexican vacation, but wine sets the mood for an idyllic getaway.

Wine glass in Valle de Guadalupe

Easier to reach than ever before, the vast, beautiful area of Baja California, deemed the ‘Napa Valley of Mexico,' is full of surprises.

Stretching from the border town of Tecate to the coastal town of Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe is an underrated destination that should be far more mainstream than a local's favorite day trip.

Don't Dismiss This Border Town

Do any destinations have a worse reputation than border towns?

Often pre-judged as dirty, rundown, and unsafe, travelers tend to skip any city backed up against U.S. borders.

Tecate banner

Of course, more and more television shows like Contraband showcasing their findings from smugglers certainly don't help.

Tecate just fits the mold here. It's not Juarez or Nueva Laredo. Quite the contrary, actually. This charming town should be viewed as the gateway into Mexico's wine country, although ironically, it's the headquarters for one of Mexico's most popular beer brands.

You guessed it – Tecate!

This blip on the map is easier to reach than ever. While you can certainly fly into San Diego and drive the 55 minutes through gorgeous landscapes to the border, the first-ever American Airlines flight to Tijuana has launched as well.

Local cuisine served at Asao, a Santuario Diegueño restaurant in Tecate

Plus, there's a fun newly opened train taking tourists from Tijuana to Tecate. While this safe, small town shouldn't highlight your trip to wine country, a stay at Baja's best-kept secret, the 4-star Santuario Diegueño, is the perfect place to recharge without the crowds.

Pay a visit to the festive Hidalgo Park, tour the massive Tecate brewery and get a free beer, or stop in classic dive bars like the decades-old Bar Diana for a sense of real Mexico without all the shiny allurement.

Venture Into Mexico's Wine Country

While you would certainly be missing out, you don't have to travel to Tecate to make your way into wine country.

Ruta del Vino sign on Mexico highway

There are multiple Valle de Guadalupe tours from San Diego to put all the border-crossing hassle into a professional's hands.

Although Tecate is so chill and welcoming, sometimes they don't even bother checking your passport! Of course, not every border agent takes the Olive Garden approach of ‘when you're here, you're family.

To play it safe, it's best to hire a verified tour guide, from which there are multiple options.

But unlike Tijuana's sketchy reputation, this side of Baja is widely considered safe, so travelers shouldn't hesitate to come on their own.

Woman holding glass of wine and cheese board

The Ruta de Vina is easy to follow and passes through gorgeous scenery with vineyards, resorts, and upscale Airbnbs for a comfortable stay.

The wide open spaces are a far cry from where everyone else seems to be visiting in Mexico, making for the ultimate place to reset and enjoy the finer things in life.

From the small town charm of Tecate to the end of the wine route, Ensenada, there are highly rated vineyards to enjoy, but many have Monte Xanic at the top of their list, although Xecue Vinicola is a TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice winner.

Level Up Your Stay This May

Vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe

Mexico's ‘Napa' has some incredible stays, from stargazing domes to spacious, pet-friendly stays.

Come May, your stay can be even better at the new Banyan Tree Veya Valle de Guadalupe set to open May 1st with online bookings available now.

Home to 30 incredible villas, now may be the best time to book as promotional offers include breakfast and wine tastings for two.

These sleek new digs will also have a world-class spa on-site for the ultimate relaxing trip as if you aren't already living your best life winery-hopping around some of Mexico's most underrated scenery.

Wine glass on barrel in Valle de Guadalupe

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