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One weekend is really not enough to experience the beauty of Northern Baja. If you have a couple of extra days in town, it's worth venturing south for a little surf mission or wine tasting!


Right in front of Poco Cielo is the La Fonda surf break. Winter is the season when the coast lights up with northwest swells. Pray for surf!

Water temperatures in December average 55°F. A 4/3 wetsuit, booties and gloves are recommended. There are no surf rentals in the area, so bring your own boards or borrow one of the many that our friends will have around all weekend.

(There is one local surf shop, K38 Surf Shop aka K-Thirty-Late, which opens whenever the owner feels like it, or never opens at all. If you happen to find it open by chance, the shop stocks boards for rent along with all the basic necessities... but don't count on it during the holiday weekend.)


Useful links:
Surfline forecast
Northern Baja surf map


Tandem ultralight flights take off on the beach in front of Poco Cielo. Contact the hotel for more information.


Horseback Riding

Carla owns a ranch in the foothills of La Misión and leads custom, all-day horseback riding tours for only $35 per person. You can ride on well-maintained trails in the hills up to the mesa for stunning views of the sea, or ride along the shores of Playa La Misión at sunset. Pack a picnic with bottles of wine for your outing, or stop at a taco stand on your horse to end the day!

To arrange a tour with Carla, call 760 807 9353 (local San Diego number) and let her know you're in town for the Linda Tran and Will Taylor wedding.

Caballos can also be rented for an afternoon trot along Playa La Misión, and are found in front of the parking lot at the public beach (5 minutes south of Poco Cielo).

Wine Tasting

A 30-minute drive inland from Ensenada takes you into Valle de Guadalupe wine country, home to many artisanal wineries and fine restaurants.

Useful links:
Wineries in Baja
Vino Mexico! (The Wall Street Journal)
Baja's Wine Country (Secretaría de Turismo)


Update on Rosarito: Foxploration and Fox Studios are currently not offering tours.

In Ensenada, watch the California gray whale migration from a boat tour in Todos Santos Bay, or visit La Bufadora, one of the largest blowholes in North America. First Street (Calle Primera) is the place to go for people-watching, souvenir shopping, tequila tasting, bar hopping, dancing, and dining. On this street you'll also find tour operators for whale watching, fishing and diving, or just hire a taxi driver to take you around.

Useful links:
Explore Rosarito (Secretaría de Turismo)
Explore Ensenada (Secretaría de Turismo)
Interactive map of downtown Ensenada


Rosarito is a pottery shopping dream. All along the free road (Careterra Libre) you'll find terra cotta chimeneas (fire pits) and masetas (pots) for a fraction of the price they sell for in the US, and a much more beautiful selection. This is also the town to shop for ceramic, stone, metal and wooden Mexican handicrafts. Bring cash and bargain away!



Taco stands galore line the Gold Coast of Northern Baja. Our favorites are El Leñador Grill (unfortunately, the owner is on vacation through the holidays) and Taco Surf (across from the Jesus statue at K38). Just look on the ocean side of the highway — you can't miss them.

The famous lobster village of Puerto Nuevo is just 15 minutes north of La Misión. Fresh catch (plus rice and beans, chips and salsa, and a round of margaritas) can be had for only $15! Most of the restaurants serve the same menu, so choose an oceanfront one and sit out on the terrace! (The hawkers on the sidewalk are fun-spirited and will usually offer to watch your car while you eat, especially if you have surfboards on your roof. We like to give them a couple bucks for the camaraderie.)

Further down the road at K52 is Splash, a bluffside restaurant serving fresh seafood and steaks with Mexican and American menus. Though we haven't eaten here yet, it gets rave reviews from our ex-pat friends.

All three of our recommended hotels at K58 and K59 (Poco Cielo, La Fonda, and Hotel La Misión) have good restaurants on site. If you just want to soak up the sun at Poco Cielo, an order of steamed oysters and margaritas on the terrace is divine.

In Ensenada, ceviche and seafood stands abound in the waterfront tourist district. More restaurants can be found on First Street (Calle Primera).

Taxi Service

If you will not be bringing your own car but still want to get around, ask your hotel to call for a taxi. The guards at gated communities like Playa La Misión, Las Gaviotas, and Club Marena can also call taxis for you. They generally do not wait on the curb in a small town like La Misión, but can be found on all the major tourist streets in Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo, and Ensenada. If you see a taxi, you can flag it down.

Always negotiate and confirm the price before you get in the taxi. From La Misión, a typical fare is approximately $20 USD to Rosarito, or $25 USD to Ensenada. You can hire a taxi for a few hours or even the whole day by negotiating a fixed rate with the driver in advance.

The main taxi service in town is called Eco Taxi and runs 24/7. You can call them directly for a pick-up from anywhere. From a US cell phone, dial 011 52 661 612 4645 (green and white taxis) or 011 52 661 614 3200 (yellow taxis). If you previously used a taxi that you like, ask the driver for his number and call him directly.