Tag Archives: Baja

In Ensenada, Cheap Mexican Charms Await

 

TRAVEL
In Ensenada, Cheap Mexican Charms Await
Jan.14.2015

For as long as I can remember, Ensenada has had a whiff of south-of-the-border excess and spring-break stigma. Less than two hours from San Diego, down the Baja California peninsula, it’s one of the easiest and safest places to experience Mexico on a budget — which makes it easy to think of this small coastal city and cruise line layover as a sort of Mexico for Beginners. But dismissing northwest Baja is a mistake. Beyond the souvenir shops selling sombreros, knockoff artesanía (handicrafts) and tacky T-shirts, there’s a college town, a port town and a budding culinary capital that invite exploration. While Ensenada and the surrounding area can require a bit of patience, its pleasures are worth the time it takes to find them — and all the more so because they can be had so affordably.

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A restaurant at La Bufadora, a powerful blowhole where families pose for photos as the Pacific sprays them with sea mist. Credit Freda Moon

 

I’ve had an affection for Ensenada since childhood, when it was a daylong car ride from my Northern California hometown and my introduction to international travel. In those days, I’ll admit, its beaches looked cleaner and the Pacific Ocean felt warmer. My brother and I would sip virgin piña coladas and spend hours scouring the beach for sand dollars. In college, it remained exotic in my mind — a place Tim, my then-boyfriend (now-husband), and I could go on winter break and feel like adventurous runaways. These days, Ensenada is simply the closest we can get to the Mexico we love without a plane ticket.

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Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor

 

Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor
Region’s gastro scene is boosting tourism and its image
By Michele Parente6:13 P.M.OCT. 18, 2014Updated12:14 P.M.OCT. 21, 2014

Last Sunday, chef Javier Plascencia was in Buenos Aires promoting Baja cuisine, having just taped an episode of ABC’s “The Taste” in L.A.

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Tijuana‘s new taste: The rustic chic interior of El Taller Baja Med Cocina. — Photo by Michele Parente

On Wednesday, chef Flor Franco was in New York cooking for about 160 editors at Condé Nast, publishers of such titles as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler.

And during the first week in November, chef Miguel Ángel Guerrero will be in Paris, serving up rustic Baja Med cuisine to the French.

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Javier Plascencia’s popular Finca Altozano in the Valle de Guadalupe.— Photo by Michele Parente

The trio, with about 12 restaurants between them in San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe, are Baja’s Emissaries of Eating. While out promoting their own businesses and brands, these globe-trotting gastro ambassadors are at the same time shifting the narrative of a region once known more for kidnappings and cartels than quail and kumamotos.

More than just reputation burnishing, Baja’s food and wine are driving new development around the region as well as an influx of first-time visitors from within Mexico, Europe, Asia and Latin America. It’s also reviving tourism from north of the border, which plummeted in 2008 as the global economy sunk and Tijuana’s death rate skyrocketed.

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New lanes ease wait times at border

 

New lanes ease wait times at border
By Sandra Dibble 6:36 P.M.SEPT. 17, 2014

SAN YSIDRO — Could long lines at the San Ysidro Port of Entry be largely in the past?

Many drivers accustomed to waiting in line for hours instead sailed through the busy border crossing within minutes on Wednesday.

What made it possible was the reopening of seven inspection lanes — and the completion of a key phase in the $741 million reconstruction of the massive port, the busiest on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Long Lines Disappear

Wednesday afternoon the lines at the San Ysidro Port of Entry were incredibly short, sometimes as small as 3-4 cars. Sean M. Haffey U-T San Diego

The expanded capacity in the primary inspection lanes means that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency charged with operating the port of entry, now has at its disposal 25 rebuilt inspection lanes with total of 46 booths. And that’s just the beginning: By January 2018, the port is expected to grow to 34 lanes with 63 booths.

“This is incredible. I can’t believe it. There’s something like 15 cars ahead of me,” said Marco Montano, as he waited early Wednesday afternoon to cross in the general lanes, which are usually the longest. He and a friend were heading from Tijuana to San Diego to purchase a bus part and had been prepared for the usual wait of two to three hours — not 10 minutes.

And so the cars flowed into San Diego from Tijuana: A grandmother returning from a family visit, an unemployed man from Spring Valley coming back from a doctor’s appointment, a construction worker from Lake Elsinore going home after visiting family in Rosarito Beach.

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18 thousand tourists flown away from Cabo in just three days in remarkable “air bridge” operation

The aftermath of Odile left 26,000 tourists stranded in Baja California, away from their homes, and with no communication means. But in a remarkable operation, the Mexican Government, the military and the private sector coordinated an “air bridge” that would move 18,000 tourist out of the affected region in three days.

By Thursday, Mexico’s Transportation Ministry declared that 18,000 people had already been flown out on more than 120 flights.

By Thursday, Mexico’s Transportation Ministry declared that 18,000 people had already been flown out on more than 120 flights.

Americans, Europeans, and others  were flown to major cities such as Guadalajara, Toluca, Mexico City and Los Mochas.  American passengers arriving at Tijuana were swiftly taken to San Diego.

Odile hit Baja California on Sunday, causing major damage to the International  San Jose Los Cabos Airport. By Tuesday, tens of military and commercial airplanes were flying out of the runway to lead tourists to safety.  Aeroméxico, Volaris and other Mexican airlines, were quick to react to the emergency,   establishing hotlines,   offering free trips to those in need and honoring fares for clients who had previously purchased their tickets.

By Thursday, Mexico’s Transportation Ministry declared that 18,000 people had already been flown out on more than 120 flights. “Rescue efforts will continue until every tourist is taken out of the region”, pledged the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Though the situation is not easy, and Mexico is still  faced with many challenges, the efforts to tend to the Tourist sector must be acknowledged.

We at the Baja Real Estate Group wish to make our best effort to aid the local Baja California population. Tens of thousands Mexican nationals that live and work in Cabo are without basic electricity and water, and in desperate need of basic products, shelter  and food.

These are several ways you can join us in helping our brothers in Baja California:

Financial aid
https://bisbeesconservationfund.org/Donate/CaboRelief

Items needed

  • Canned food/goods of any kind
  • Bottled water
  • Diapers
  • Bleach
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Buckets
  • Brooms
  • Towels / blankets

These are being collected at:

Rosarito DIF
The Lighthouse Sports Bar & Restaurant (KM 58 Carretera  Tijuana-Ensenada Libre)

Ship or deliver from 8 am-5pm to:
Mexicana Logistics US HQ
7734 Formula Place
San Diego, CA 92121

MEXICO DONATIONS
Ship or deliver from 8am-5pm to:
Mexicana Logistics Mex HQ
Calzada de las Americas #951
Col. Compuertas. Mexicali, BC 21218
(Cruzando la calle del Colegio de las Americas)

http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/threads/baja-strong-off-roaders-hurricane-relief.119455/

 

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

 

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico
January 15, 2014

Below is an unbiased look at the best places in Mexico to retire – with real pros and cons – to help you make an informed decision as to which best meets your needs, interests and ambitions.

So writes “Johnny Punish” (www.JohnnyPunish.com) in edited excerpts from his article written originally as an exclusive for www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) and under the title The Top 10 Places to Live and Retire in Mexico and the reasons why. Note: this paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

Punish goes on to say:

In the process of putting together this comprehensive report I have consulted with highly experienced ex-pats who have lived and/or live in the places that I rate here so, without further wait, here’s the top 10 places to live and retire in Mexico and the reasons why:

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco
2. Ensenada, Baja California
3. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
4. Guadalajara, Jalisco
5. Merida, Yucatan
6. Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo
7. Mazatlan, Sinaloa
8. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
9. La Paz, Baja California
10. San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco (Winner)

According to Kristina Morgan of Focus on Mexico, “Of all the places in Mexico I have been, none can quite compare with Lake Chapala. There’s something about this place that just seems…magical and, as corny as it sounds, that’s the word I hear people use to describe Lake Chapala time and again. Lake Chapala gets into your heart and becomes home. It’s like stepping back 50-70 years here regarding the simpler lifestyle, culture and values. When I’m here I feel like I can be me, like I can breathe a little more freely and be the person I want to be and this is a sentiment expressed by most everyone who has ever been here or lives here”.

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10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2014

 

Valle de Guadalupe/Baja California, Mexico
—Michael Shachner

Valle de Guadalupe/Baja California, Mexico

What’s that, they make wine in Mexico? Indeed, they do—have for centuries—and not just sacramental wine and plonk. In the northern reaches of Baja California, along Route 3 in the Guadalupe Valley, the quality of wine has risen over the past two decades. Wineries here have teamed up with chefs and hoteliers to create Baja’s very own Ruta del Vino (wine route). Less than two hours from San Diego, the Valle de Guadalupe, anchored by the city of Ensenada, has moved past its Tequila-and-Tecate roots to ones based on the grape. Head south of the border for a wine-and-travel experience you won’t forget. —Michael Shachner

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Baja Is Back

 

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.
By Elizabeth Salaam from the San Diego Reader, July 24, 2013

In a December 2011 Vanity Fair article, writer Dana Vachon described Chula Vista as “a sputtering neon error of beauty academies and pawnshops, recently terrorized by a homicidal Tijuana drug gang skilled at dissolving bodies in chemicals.” He also referred to the year 1989 as a time before “Mexicans were festooning highways with one another’s severed heads.” When the article came out, Chula Vistans and their mayor responded with vehement demands that Vanity Fair writers check their facts (there is only one beauty academy, damn it) and come visit this beloved seven-miles-from-the-border town before taking their stories to print.

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.

The same month the article was published, my husband and I bought a house in Chula Vista, and so I understood the embarrassment over the description. At the same time, factual or not, the writer had aptly summarized the images that presented themselves to me whenever I considered a day-trip across the border. While I hardly felt terrorized in Chula Vista, I was clear on the fact that I would not be going to Mexico anytime soon.

And then, this past Easter weekend, less than a year and a half later, I was hit with the realization that half of everyone I know was either currently gallivanting around Mexico or had just returned. Yes, I’d seen articles in the New York Times about the burgeoning art scene in Tijuana, and in the Wall Street Journal and Condé Nast Traveler about the wine country of Valle de Guadalupe. But somehow, as hip and delicious as all that sounded, I’d never relinquished my fear. Here it was, Semana Santa (holy week), and I was home in Eastlake wondering when Mexico had stopped being a scary place to visit and whether I was the last person still hung up on beheadings, while everyone else was living it up in Baja.
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Crime In Mexico: Is Baja Safe For Travelers?

by Dave Seminara

Fifteen years ago, my brother who lives near San Diego took me to coastal Baja in Mexico and the experience has stayed with me ever since. We ate fish tacos, went swimming at a sublime, deserted beach and fell asleep on the beach to the sounds of the surf. In December, I’m heading west to visit my brother again, this time with my wife and sons, ages 3 and 5, but when I asked him to take me back to the same places we visited long ago he told me that it wasn’t safe.

Beach in Rosarito

Beach in Rosarito

“No one goes down there any more,” he said. “Those places are all ghost towns.”

And after contacting Budget, the company we’d reserved a car with at its LAX location, and being told that we weren’t allowed to take our rental car down to Mexico, I wondered if perhaps my brother was right.

Crime in Mexico is serious business and anyone who suggests that safety isn’t a legitimate concern is kidding themselves. But I’ve been traveling to different parts of Mexico for years, including recent trips in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and I still believe that there are parts of the country that are safe to visit.
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Shine on Baja – Largest ‘Mob Art’ Project in Baja’s History

 

Art for Art Sake

Shine on Baja - Largest 'Mob Art' Project in Baja's History - Art of Art Sake

Shine on Baja – Largest ‘Mob Art’ Project in Baja’s History – Art of Art Sake

When: Saturday November 3rd
Where: From Playas de Tijuana to Ensenada
Time: 7:00 pm

Please, join hundreds of Baja residents as we “light-up’ the coastline with beautiful multicolored, biodegradable “Wish Lanterns”. The lanterns will drift long enough to create a spectacular bejeweled string of lights up and down the coastline!

Restaurants and hotels along the coast with desirable “Launch Areas” will be designated “Points of Light” for the project.

Promote your own “launch party” on Saturday, November 3rd, and help shed light on our beautiful peninsula.

Debbie Shine - Artist / Interior Designer

Debbie Shine – Artist / Interior Designer

Shine on Baja is nonprofit community art project by artist and interior designer Debbie Shine.

Contact event organizers, Debbie Shine: debbieshinebaja@yahoo.com (661-614-0400) | Robin MacKenzie: tatblue@aol.com

Bajamar Real Estate – Open House: Country Club 77, Villa Del Vino – Maday Valdenegro

Maday Valdenegro from The Baja Real Estate Group, Bajamar Premier Properties office, takes us on a tour of Country Club #77. A 3 Bedroom, 1 studio, 3 bathroom Villa right in the Bajamar Golf course.

– Description –
Casa overlooking the lake, the clubhouse and ocean, this hacienda style villa has all the comfort and cozy feeling that one could want. This three bedroom, three bath 2200 square ft house has been newly refurbished and tastefully decorated.

Villa de Vino looks out across the golf course, clubhouse lake and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Backyard patio invites entertaining with a stunning sunset backdrop and a pool nearby. Located on a quiet cul de sac and close to miles and miles of hiking trails or bike riding.

Twenty-four hour security with gated entrance and patrolling guards. New to market.

For more details on this real estate listing in Ensenada visit:
http://www.owninginmexico.com/Listing_33909914.html

For more Mexico Real Estate visit:
http://www.owninginmexico.com

For more Bajamar Real Estate visit:
http://www.owninginmexico.com/Bajamar_Listings/page_2344133.html