The Couple The Proposal Wedding Details Things To Do Registry

Jump to

Planning Your Trip
Travel Documents
A Note on Safety
Border Crossing
Driving Times
Roadside Assistance
Taxi Service

Planning Your Trip

It means a lot to us that all of our family and friends (and their pets!) will be traveling many miles to celebrate this special weekend with us! We understand that the logistics of planning a foreign road trip (especially during the holidays) may be overwhelming, so we want to make the process as easy as possible for everyone.

With quite a few guests traveling from the same regions around the country (SoCal, NorCal, Las Vegas, New York, and elsewhere), we can help coordinate carpools, shuttles, room shares, and whatever else will get you to Baja safely and smoothly.

If you are not sure which hotel suits your needs better, or whether you should rent a car, bring your board, or stay an extra day (or two or ten) — just ask us!

A passport is required for all adults and children for re-entry into the United States. Please make sure your passport is current. A visa is not needed for travel into Baja California.

The US/Mexico overland border is relatively lax compared to other international borders. Before you leave home, email your passport number to yourself, store it in your cell phone, or keep a photocopy in your luggage. Should you lose or forget your passport (as Linda has several times!), having your passport number handy will allow you to re-enter the US without any delays.

A Note on Safety

Please be assured that we would never ask our family and friends to visit a destination that we feel is unsafe. That said, we've traveled extensively through Baja and believe it's just as safe as any big city or rural town in the US. Use common sense, respect the country and its culture, and you'll find the locals (including the Federales) friendly and accommodating.


As a coastal town just over the border from Southern California, the weather in La Misión is very similar to San Diego. Typically in December, afternoons are warm and sunny and evenings are cool and cloudy. Daytime temperatures average 75°F but drop to 55°F soon after the sun goes down and the fog rolls in.

Bring your layers and be prepared for fall-like weather on our wedding weekend!


The Mexican peso is the national currency; however in Northern Baja, US dollars are widely accepted.

If you pay in US dollars, you will usually receive change in pesos. You can also use any Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card in Baja, but many mom-and-pop shops will levy a small surcharge (on top of your card's foreign transaction fees) for processing the card.

It's best to bring cash (either US dollars or Mexican pesos) in small denominations for shopping and dining.

Border Crossing

US to Mexico: Crossing the border from San Diego to Tijuana generally takes less than 15 minutes once you are in line at the San Ysidro border. Border agents will not check your passports upon entering Mexico, but may randomly send you into a different lane for secondary vehicle inspection.

Mexico to US: The San Ysidro border crossing may take anywhere from one hour (midweek/midday) to over four hours (weekends/rush hour). If you will be departing on Tuesday, January 1, allow at least four hours to cross due to holiday congestion, but also be aware it may take an additional hour or two just to reach the border line because of traffic detours. For guests flying out, we suggest you schedule your flight for Wednesday morning to guarantee you will make your flights.

An alternate border crossing at Otay Mesa (about five miles east of San Ysidro) may or may not be quicker, as there are fewer lanes open.

Bookmark these CBP pages for current border wait times: CBP/San Ysidro or CBP/Otay Mesa.

If you want to geek out, University of California has aggregated the daily average wait times on their site, Best Time to Cross the Border (Android users can download the free app).

Fast Pass: You may be able to bypass the long lines by obtaining a FastLane Border Pass (commonly known as a Fast Pass) from local restaurants, bars, hotels and spas. The FastLane is only available at the San Ysidro border and helps speed up border crossings, though its efficiency on a holiday may not be noticeable.

One of our recommended hotels, La Fonda Hotel & Restaurant, reportedly offers a Fast Pass to guests, and a few restaurants in Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo, and Ensenada also offer Fast Passes. Click here for a list of participating establishments (and be sure to ask for their specific requirements, or whether they still offer the Fast Pass).

Driving Times

Driving Time
San Diego Airport to San Ysidro border
San Ysidro border to La Misión
La Misión to Puerto Nuevo
La Misión to Rosarito
La Misión to Ensenada
La Misión to Valle de Guadalupe
30 minutes
45-60 minutes
15 minutes
20-30 minutes
45 minutes
60 minutes


La Misión is a seaside village on the Gold Coast of Northern Baja, halfway between Rosarito and Ensenada, with beautiful sandy beaches and nearly no one on them.

Our venue is one hour south of the California border. It is an easy drive on Ensenada Cuota, a paved toll road that runs along the coast. You will need to purchase Mexican car insurance online or before the border (several insurance shops can be found at the last US exits at San Ysidro Blvd. or Camino de la Plaza).

Click here for detailed driving directions and a downloadable PDF.

You will not encounter any hassle from the local police (Federales) if you obey all speed limits and street signs. Drive as you would at home, and assume that Baja has all the same laws on the road in regards to seat belts, open containers, etc.

If you drive to or from Ensenada, you might come across a military checkpoint. The Federales may wave you right along, or stop and ask where you're coming from or where you're going. Occasionally, they may ask you to step out for a random inspection of your vehicle (they do not conduct pat-downs or expect bribes). If you oblige and let them do their job, you'll be on your way again in just a few minutes. The Federales are mostly young, polite and curious, and if you happen to know a little Spanish (or even attempt some bad Spanglish with a smile), they'll return the pleasantries.


Arrive at San Diego International Airport (airport code: SAN), then rent a car or catch a shuttle to La Misión.

Rental cars still need Mexican car insurance, but the rental company may offer that as part of your rental agreement.

For guests wishing to vanpool, Sun Diego Car Rental offers 12- and 15-passenger van rentals into Baja. If you choose to take a shuttle, we may be able to coordinate all of our guests arriving at SAN around the same time so you can share a shuttle (and save on fares).

Rental Cars Atwest Rent A Car
  Sun Diego Car Rental
  Express Rent A Car
Shuttles Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
  International Car Rental
  Balboa Transportation

For guests flying out of SAN, allow ample time to cross the border on your day of departure. If you plan to fly back the same day that you cross, be sure to book an evening flight.


Fill up your gas tank in San Ysidro before you cross the border. A full tank should be enough for the whole weekend. Should you need to fill up again in Baja, you can do so at any full-service Pemex station.

If you'll be driving your own car, we recommend that you fill up just enough to get back across the border, and then fill up again with American gas.


Tolls range from $2.00 to $2.50 USD. Dollars are accepted (bring small bills or coins) and change is usually given in dollars.

There are two toll booths between Tijuana and La Misión, and a third toll booth right before you enter Ensenada.

Roadside Assistance

The Green Angels (or "Ángeles Verdes"), a government-sponsored crew of bilingual highway mechanics, offers free roadside assistance to tourists. They patrol the major highways and are said to pass any given point in Baja twice a day. You'll recognize them by their dark green trucks with white lettering.

If you have any kind of breakdown, pull over to the side of the road and lift your hood to signal them. You can also call 01 800 990 3900 from a US cell phone, or dial 078 from any local cell phone or pay phone in Baja.

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.



With Linda and Will, you know it wouldn't be a proper wedding without a little adventure thrown in! And getting to La Misión is part of that adventure.

The drive is an hour and a half from San Diego along a major paved highway. The only tricky part is driving through Tijuana onto Ensenada Cuota (the toll road), but if you follow these directions, you'll have no trouble navigating to our venue.

Are you ready? Let's go!

From San Diego, take I-5 South until it ends at the San Ysidro border point.

If you have not purchased Mexican car insurance yet, exit at San Ysidro Blvd. or Camino de la Plaza (the last US exits) and obtain a short-term policy from one of the many insurance shops found in the strip malls. This is also a good time to top off your fuel for the rest of the weekend.

As you approach the border, move into one of the right lanes, following the sign for "Playas de Tijuana/Rosarito-Ensenada."

Continue through the border in the right-hand lanes under the "Playas de Tijuana/Rosarito Cuota" sign. Use the "Nothing to declare" lanes for the quickest crossing.

Once through the inspection gates, continue following the signs for "Playas de Tijuana/Rosarito-Ensenada," staying in the two lanes veering right up a ramp.

From here the road takes you west along the international border fence, up over a hill and into a canyon.

As you drop into the canyon, take the right turn-off heading west to "Playas de Tijuana/Ensenada" and Highway 1. Stay in the left lane for the rest of your drive, following highway signs for "Rosarito/Ensenada."

You'll pass Playas de Tijuana and come to the first toll booth. Once you pass the toll booth, it's only 55 more kilometers to La Misión. Relax and enjoy the drive along the coast — you've made it past the tricky part!

For the remaining drive, simply follow the highway signs for "Ensenada Cuota" and Highway 1. You will pass a second toll booth just after Rosarito. From here, it's only 20 to 30 minutes to La Misión.

You'll know you're getting close when you start to descend a large hill with sweeping ocean views. At the bottom of the hill, take the "La Fonda/La Misión" exit and make a left.

Poco Cielo is 1/4 mile down the road. The hotel lobby and bar/restaurant are located in the second (smaller) building.

Park anywhere in front of the hotel, as a hotel security guard in the "parking lot" watches over the cars 24/7.

Come in and treat yourself to a few 99¢ margaritas on the terrace!

PDF DirectionsDownload these directions as a PDF to print and take with you on the road.




Next door to Poco Cielo are two small hotels with clean accommodations and secure parking. We strongly suggest staying at one of these hotels to avoid driving on New Year's Eve after the wedding.

La Fonda Hotel & Restaurant
Rustic and quirky best describe this hotel high on the cliff, where every room has an ocean view with a balcony. We recommend this spot if you don't mind the stairs, since some of the best accommodations are their beachfront bungalows with panoramic views of the surf. The south end of the hotel is newer, though you'll still find cracks in the walls and surf stickers on the windows. Rooms are heated with traditional wood-burning chimeneas, so be sure to pack for the cooler evenings. La Fonda's funkiness is best suited to our more free-spirited friends. Stay here if you like a lively atmosphere! The lounge features music nightly. Rooms offer one queen bed and run $100 USD per night for the holiday weekend.

To reserve a room, call Jose (head of concierge) at 011 52 646 155 0308 Monday through Saturday from 12 noon to 8 pm. He speaks excellent English and will put a room in your name. (Update November 27: La Fonda's reservation system is down for the forseeable future, so while you're still able to make reservations with Jose, you won't know which room you have until you check in.)


Hotel La Misión
This is a basic and well-maintained hotel with an on-site restaurant, lounge, and mini market. There is no website, but you'll just have to trust us that this is a lovely hotel that we'd definitely stay at ourselves! Hotel La Misión sits on the lower part of the cliff, so ocean views are not as dramatic but beach access is easier. Standard rooms (with two beds) are bright with partial ocean views, and larger suites (with three beds) even have an in-room hot tub. Hotel La Misión is a good choice if you prefer traditional room amenities and a quieter surrounding. Each room features a wood-burning fireplace and it does get brisk at night, so pack accordingly. The restaurant is open late and the lounge features live music nightly. Rooms start at $60 USD.

If you have issues reaching this hotel via email, call the owner, Marilou Cole Tinoco, directly at 858 231 3626 (local San Diego number) or 011 52 646 155 0333 (dial as-is to Mexico). Marilou speaks excellent English.



There are several other accommodations nearby, but keep in mind that taxi service is scarce, so we only recommend them if you will have a car.

Playa La Misión
This guard-gated beachfront community of private homes is only 5 minutes south of Poco Cielo. Surfing and horseback riding are literally out the backyards of these homes. Search for "La Mision" under Baja California Norte listings and rent directly from the owners or property managers.


Las Gaviotas
Located 15 minutes north of Poco Cielo, this guard-gated beachfront community has its own private surf break, but community rules are stricter here (e.g., no outside guests and no pets). Browse the listings online and rent directly from the owners or property managers.


Las Rocas Resort & Spa
The closest full-service resort to La Misión is 20 minutes north in Rosarito Beach (directly across the street from the Jesus statue on the hill). Las Rocas offers clean and comfortable suites with two on-site restaurants and two bars, two pools, and a spa. All suites are heated with wood-burning fireplaces. Don't forget to pack for the cool evenings!


Club Marena
These modern oceanfront condos sit on top of the famous K38 surf break (about 20 minutes north of Poco Cielo) and come with security detail and garage parking. You can rent available units from the on-site property managers, or search VRBO and rent units directly from the owners.