Tag Archives: living in 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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A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine Country

 

A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine Country
As seen on Forbes Magazine, Amanda Arnold , Contributor

Just a two-hour drive south of San Diego across the Mexican border lies a peaceful Baja California valley brimming with ripened grapes, delicious wines and gourmet cuisine concocted from the freshest of fresh local ingredients. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors take a peek at Mexico’s lovely—and somewhat little known—Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), a wine country destination screaming for a late summer getaway of the great outdoors, delicious food and plenty of vino.

Interested in trying a sweet alternative to beer? Venture over to our blog to explore Washington’s cider scene.

A Taste Of Mexico's Wine Country

A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine CountryThe Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe.

Where To Play
The Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe. Many of the valley’s wineries participate in the festivities by hosting special events: This year, there’s a wine pairing dinner at oft raved about restaurant Laja with special guest and prominent Mexican chef Daniel Ovadia on Aug. 7; a street party at the Plaza de las Artes in Ensenada on Aug. 8; and a wine pairing dinner at Viñas de Garza on Aug. 15—to name just a few of the happenings.

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The Best Countries to Retire to in 2013

POSTED ON FORBES.

Planning to retire abroad? Ecuador is the top spot for North American retirees, according to InternationalLiving.com’s newly-released Annual Global Retirement Index 2013.

This is Ecuador’s fifth consecutive year at the top of the heap.

Mexico voted #4 in Forbes best countries to retire.

Mexico voted #4 in Forbes best countries to retire.

This annual Index—now in its 22nd year–ranks the best international retirement destinations. To compile the ranking, InternationalLiving.com editors collated data from its team of experts on the ground in the most popular countries among U.S. and Canadian expat retirees. Editors assessed factors ranging from the price of groceries and average temperature, to utility costs and the friendliness of locals.

The information was then used to score each of the top countries out of 100 in categories such as “Real Estate,” “Climate,” “Special Benefits for Retirees” and “Health Care.

“It’s designed to help readers compare and contrast what we believe are the best options for retirement abroad in 2013,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor of International Living magazine.

“Ecuador is such an overwhelmingly attractive choice for retirees overseas today in part because your dollars really stretch there,” Stevens says. “You could live comfortably for $1,600 a month, rent included. The values extend to real estate, as well. A condo right on the coast that might cost you $1 million or more in California, you could have for less than $150,000 along Ecuador’s northern Pacific. We have readers who bought a little mountain place as well as an apartment overlooking the water and split their time between the two. They could never have afforded to do something like that in the States.”

The South American country offers great variety in lifestyle options, she adds. You have sunny beaches, temperate mountain villages, college towns where there are plenty of cultural offerings, and historic colonial cities. “This country rolls out the red carpet for its seniors, as well—offering benefits like 50% off international airfares and cultural events. Plus Ecuadorians are welcoming, friendly, and easy-going. It’s a friendly place to launch an adventure in retirement.”

Panama earned the No. 2 spot in the 2013 Retirement Index, while Malaysia rounded out the top three.

“Panama is just plain easy,” Stevens says. “Panama City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with great restaurants, and excellent hospitals. It’s a banking and commercial hub so you find a real international community there. Panama is committed to attracting foreign retirees and offers the world’s best incentive program to do so, making it convenient and easy to get residence there.”

Like Ecuador, the cost of living in Panama is significantly lower than what you’d expect back home. “A budget of $1,700 to $2,500 a month, housing included, would see you eating out, perhaps with a housekeeper a couple days a week, movies a few times a month, and so on.”

In the world’s No. 3 retirement haven, Malaysia, English is widely spoken as the unofficial first language, making it easier for North American retirees to transition.

Asia’s top retirement destination is also exotic and far away—but it is incredibly affordable. “Talk about a place where you can step up in your lifestyle without blowing your budget,” Stevens says. “Our contributing editor there says that he and his wife rent a sea-view apartment in Penang that comes with a pool and gym for $1,000 a month. They keep a small sailboat, eat out five nights a week, have a maid that comes once a week – and do it all for $1,700 a month.”

Another perk: Malaysia is a ‘medical tourism’ destination, so you can count on excellent care that’ll run you less than half of what you’d pay in the U.S., she says. “Plus, unlike elsewhere in Asia, in Malaysia you can buy property, land, houses, and condominiums freehold.”

The most attractive retirement havens aren’t just cheap; they’re welcoming places where you can integrate into the community, she adds. “They’re safe. They’re attractive. They provide the diversions you want, which could be anything from snorkeling to the opera, depending on your interests.”

But of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all destination. You really have to think about your own priorities and what you really want. “The beach? Maybe–but it might be too hot. A small village? Maybe–but if you have health issues to consider, you may want to be in a bigger community,” Stevens says.

“Retiring abroad isn’t for everyone,” she adds. “The happiest expats we meet overseas have one thing in common: They brought their sense of adventure with them. They went overseas ready to try new things, to be confounded, to be impressed, to be surprised. Living overseas works best when you’re pulled there and not just pushed. If your motivation for going abroad is entirely economic, brace yourself for disappointment.”

Also, remember that it doesn’t have to be a full-time endeavor. You don’t have to sell everything and upend your life to enjoy an international lifestyle in a good-value haven somewhere exotic in the world, Stevens concludes. “Go for a month, three months, six months. In a good-value destination, you could spend less on the whole of your everyday needs than you would on just heat alone back home.”

Full List: The Best Countries To Retire In 2013

Search for properties to buy in Mexico. Or look here for properties in Baja.

Making Surfing History in San Miguel (Northern Baja) Compiled By: Miguel Sedano.

 

A massive swell rocks the 2nd annual Walter Coloca Jr. Memorial Surf Contest and La Nueva Ola surf conference that took place in Ensenada last weekend.

Olas Mexicanas “My brother Travis and I were competing in the Vans Pier Classic and lost out on Friday, March 30th,” said Mexican-American ripper Dylan Southworth, who lives in Sayulita, north of Puerto Vallarta. “We saw the swell was on the rise and figured we would head down to Ensenada.”
Dylan and Travis were part of an international crew who found themselves surfing a historic swell at San Miguel in Ensenada on Saturday and Sunday as part of the 2012 2nd Annual Walter Coloca Memorial Open Surf Contest organized by United Athletes of the Pacific Ocean (UAPO) and WiLDCOAST.
That wasn’t all that was going on.
“On Friday March 30th, the day before the surf contest we held the first ever forum, La Nueva Ola, on the state of surfing in Baja at CETYS University in Ensenada,” said Alfredo Ramirez of UAPO.
“Scientists, surfers, coastal conservationists, politicians and business owners discussed issues related to coastal access, water quality, the economic value of surf spots and efforts to improve the current situation of the region’s coastline.”
Speakers from Pronatura, Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), WiLDCOAST, Surf Ens, CETYS University, Locales Surf School and UAPO presented their collective efforts to engage youth in the sport of surfing and reestablish a clean and accessible surfing environment.
“Although limited coastal access and poor water quality is currently limiting economic and recreational opportunities for surfing, there is a new wave in Baja California to improve the situation,” said Zach Plopper of WiLDCOAST.
The forum was a good way to launch the Walter Coloca Open over the weekend. More than 60 surfers from Mexico, Venezuela and the U.S. came together to surf in the second year of an event organized by Ramirez.
“The contest is about one ocean, one passion and one family,” he said. “We share the same ocean so it is important to come together and surf together. Waves bring us together across the border. We are all part of a surfing family.”
Saturday was for the junior, school and body board divisions. Venezuelan Derek Gomez ripped his way to both finals in both the age 12-15 and 16-18 divisions. Judges and spectators were amazed by his solid style and explosive surfing.
Equally impressive was Imperial Beach’s Josh Johnson who scored a perfect 10 (the only 10 of the event) in the 12-15 semi-finals with a double barrel ride across the entire cove section of San Miguel. Josh placed second in his division.
Zach Randall, 13, from East Lake Middle School came in third. Second place in the 16-18 division went to Andres Aguirre from Ensenada.
Also making the final were Michael Roccoforte from El Cajon, and Jorge Olvera from Ensenada. Paloma Aguirre of San Diego won the Open Body Board division with Ensenada’s Jose Peralta coming in a close second.
The Open Division of the contest took place on Sunday with an increasing combination of swells. I joined Imperial Beach surfer Sean Fowler and South Mission Beach’s Craig Macias in the rising swell Sunday.
“The swell was the product of a compact, but intense, storm that was located just a few hundred miles off the California coast,” said Kevin Wallis, surf forecaster for Surfline. He said it brought 30-50 knot-plus winds and seas of over 30 feet.
“Because of the storm’s proximity to California, the swell it created rapidly filled in and it was kind of like someone flipped on a light switch, going from small to moderate size surf from a previous swell to very large surf in a matter of 30-60 minutes as the new west swell filled in. Definitely a cool thing to witness.”
When I arrived at San Miguel on Sunday, the surf was in the 3-4’ range. By the time the contest was over the sets were 6-10’.
“This was definitely the latest I can remember seeing a swell of that size and westerly direction, which allowed it to get into many SoCal breaks,” said Wallis.
“Thirty surfers put on an exceptional show of surfing for the spectators and judges,” said Plopper, who helped to sponsor and organize the contest.
Dylan Southworth surfed consistently to the final and took home first place. In a close second was Imperial Beach’s Sean Fowler.
Placing third and fourth were Cheyne Willis from Hawaii and Travis Southworth. In the women’s division big-wave surfer Narra Nunez took the win and Everardo Montoya won the longboard division. Both surfers are from Ensenada.
“The 2012 Walter Caloca contest at San Miguel in Ensenada was one of the best contests. The vibes were great; surf was pumping all weekend, especially with only three other people out,” said Fowler. “Thank you to the locals and all the sponsors for throwing such a great contest.”
“Travis and I we found ourselves in the final with great waves,” said Dylan. “Super stoked to get the title,” said Dylan. “A lot of good competitors entered and everyone was ripping.”
If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano /  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Canadians Visiting and Living in Mexico Feel Secure; Invite Foreigners to “See For Yourself” Compiled By: Miguel Sedano

Mexico, like all countries, has isolated and unfortunate instances of tourists facing incidents while vacationing and we take every incident seriously. But these isolated incidents have not stopped the more than 22.67 million tourists to come to Mexico last year – out of which 1.6 million happen to be Canadian. And neither have stopped the thousands of Canadians who live and/or work in Mexico and are still enjoying the vibrant economy, modern infrastructure and cultural attractions that the country has to offer.

Mexico Canada flags
Canadians’ Experiences via a Calgary Herald Article
In a recent Calgary Herald article, several Canadians contributed to it by sharing their personal experiences, including 66-year-old Calgarian Maureen McLeod, who has lived several years in Mexico with her family since 1979. McLeod said, “We feel safe here, but we don’t take foolish chances. We are aware that there have been times when a Canadian has been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that kind of thing also happens in Canada.”
Dustin Wilcox from Ontario also wrote, “I’m a Canadian living in Guadalajara. My experience has been nothing but enjoyable and secure. I can’t recall when I didn’t feel 100% safe in this city.” Canadian Toni St. Clair also wrote, “I lived in Mexico City for a year in 2007 and was never faced with violence.”
Calgarian Brent McAthey also contributed with his experience in the article and wrote, “When I was 15 years old I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a buddy and his parent. I loved it and have returned every year for the last 29 years, with longer and longer stays each time. I now spend 10 months a year in Mazatlan, own a house, and I am also an entertainer, and have managed to figure out how to make a living here.” McAthey added, “We cannot understand why the media up north has projected such a bad image of such an incredible place. It’s unfair. I have always felt safe here. I have traveled the world with my music, and can honestly say this is one of the safest places I have ever been.”
Canadian Frank Lai also contributed with his experience and said, “Unfortunately, the few violent crimes involving foreigners have been overblown by the media. In our view, they were isolated incidents, and not truly reflective of the fabulous life enjoyed by residents, snowbirds and tourists alike.” Lai added, “We invite you to visit Mazatlan and see for yourself. You will be impressed by a myriad of smiling faces and stunning sceneries that is the ‘Pearl of the Pacific,’ he concluded.
Canadian Reporter from Ottawa: “Crack a cerveza and calm down – Mexico’s safer than you think”
Canadian national columnist for Postmedia News Stephen Maher also shared his safety insights and how much he enjoyed his time in Playa del Carmen located south of Cancun on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. In a recent article he wrote for Canada.com, Maher shared how different and enjoyable Mexico is once you get to visit and put safety in Mexico into perspective.
“Mexico is not a place. It is a bunch of places, and some of them are safer than places in Canada.”
“I had a great time in Yucatan province last week, inland from Playa del Carmen. We rented a car and drove to Chichen Itza, which is stunning, and spent a happy night at a fiesta among the welcoming people of the colonial city of Valladolid [sp], watching proud young people dancing in beautiful, hand-embroidered clothes,” Maher wrote. And when comparing Mexico and Canada’s safety, he stated, “The murder rate in Yucatan is 2 per 100,000. Thunder Bay’s murder rate is 4.2 per 100,000. The expatriates I spoke to in the lovely beachside bars of Tulum, down the coast from Cancun, are more worried about potholes than being murdered. In Canada, we have nine road fatalities per year per 100,000 inhabitants. Compare that number to the number of Canadians murdered in Mexico, and you have to come to the conclusion that crime in Mexico is not worth thinking about very much.”
Maher wraps up his article by saying, “Mexico is amazing. The chances of anything bad happening to you there are small,” he concluded.
Mexico is a modern, G-20 nation, with ancient Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, stunning natural beauty, and the second largest economy in Latin America. This year, because it is 2012 and the year of the Mayan prophecies, Mexico is receiving tourists from all over the world who want to visit the Mayan sites at Palenque, Tulum, Chichen Itza, and elsewhere. Mexico is also a rich nation blessed with abundant natural resources and has become one of Canada’s leading trade partners. There is so much to explore in Mexico, and we thank the more than 10 million visitors Mexico welcomed at the end of 2011 alone for visiting our country.
If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano /  Miguel.sedano@palaciodelmar.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Surf and Travel in Baja California. By: Miguel Sedano

 

What you need to know to stay safe and have fun south of the border.

Fun in Baja California

In 2007, violent assaults and robberies experienced by American surfers and off-road enthusiasts in Baja California rocked the avid Baja travel community in Southern California.

That news combined with the very real violence and media coverage of the drug war in Mexico caused many Baja stalwarts to abandon their lifestyle dedicated to surfing, fishing, off-roading, diving, hiking and just plain enjoying one of the world’s most spectacular natural and cultural regions.

Thankfully, the Mexican government finally responded to the surge in incidents in Baja by increasing roadside patrols and strategically combatting and reducing narco violence.

Tourists are slowly returning to Baja again.

According to Mexico’s Tourism Secretary, border tourism increased 9.4 percent this year compared to 2010.

As someone who works and plays in Baja California, I can attest to the increased security and the fact that for the most part, the majority of the peninsula is as safe as ever.

That is especially true in Baja California Sur, which is considered one of the safest states in Mexico.

Last year I took a 2,970-mile round-trip to the East Cape from San Diego with my two teenage sons.

We traveled down some of the peninsula’s most remote coastal dirt roads and encountered friendly locals, lots of smiles, great wave and cold cervezas.

WiLDCOAST, the organization I run, has an office in Ensenada. At any given time our staff can be found in some of the most remote corners of the peninsula or the most trash-infested colonias of Tijuana.

So far we have had no problems at all.

To get an update on the situation south of the border, I checked in with some of Baja’s most knowledgable and experienced travel experts who spend lots of quality time visiting Baja’s nooks and crannies.

Geoff Hill is the Vice President for Business Development for Baja Bound Insurance Services and a longtime Baja surfing and travel vet.

Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The MEXICO Report, MEXICO Travel Writers and is a Community Manager for the recently formed Mexico Today. She has been published in numerous publications including San Diego Magazine, Latin Style, Vallarta Tribune, Baja Traveler and Baja Breeze.

Angie Mulder is the Program Director for Baja Discovery, an adventure and outdoor outfitter that specializes in natural history tours of Baja California. The company’s destination eco-camp in San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the world’s premier locations for whale watching.

Kimball Taylor is the author of Return by Water: Surf Stories and Adventures, a columnist for ESPN.go.com, and a former Senior Editor of Surfer Magazine. He has co-authored books on both Pipeline and Jeffrey’s Bay. He is a longtime Baja California travel vet with many miles of deep Baja surf trips under his worn out tires.

Patch: From your perspective has the safety/security situation in Baja improved?

Geoff Hill: I really don’t feel that Baja has a safety problem as much as it has a perception problem. Every year I drive an average of 5,000 miles all over the peninsula and always have positive experiences wherever I travel. Be respectful, use common sense and Baja will treat you well. It’s not the scary place the media has made it out to be. I always look forward to being down in Baja. I love the warmth and friendliness of the people that I interact with and the rugged beauty.

Susie Albin-Najera: Baja is an excellent destination for road travel, whether it’s visiting the border territories or heading further south. The real safety issues are just simple road conditions but the toll roads are safe and constantly being improved. I’ve always felt safe driving in Baja, but always encourage people to purchase insurance and take normal road trip precautions.

Angie Mulder: After our nearly three decades of travel in Baja, times have certainly changed, but applying the rules of safe travel has not. Whether exploring the peninsula with guests or pursuing our own adventures, we do not drive alone or at night, and don’t carry a lot of cash or take along expensive electronics. Just use basic common sense. We continue to run our natural history trips without incident.

Kimball Taylor: The safety issue is a tough call. Although instances of shocking violence have decreased in Tijuana and the Rosarito to Ensenada corridor, the discovery of a massive pot farm near El Marmol indicates serious narco activity in Baja.

Patch: If tourists have a problem on the road, what should they do and who should they call?

Hill: To start with, it’s a good idea to carry a Mexican insurance policy that includes roadside assistance and towing. That will give you direct contact to assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. HDI Seguros and ACE Seguros are the two Mexican insurance companies that Baja Bound works with and they both have English-speaking representatives that are ready to assist you. You can also dial 078 anywhere in Baja which is the Tourist Assistance Hotline provided by the Secretary of Tourism.

Albin-Najera: The Green Angels also provide 24/7 free roadside assistance to visitors with mechanical problems. Tijuana, Ensenada & El Hongo toll roads: 01-800-990-3900 Tijuana, Tecate toll roads: 1-800-888-0911

Taylor: By far the most dangerous aspect of travel in Baja is Highway 1 (the trans peninsular highway). Although the highway is being widened and improved in places, it is still just one slender ribbon of asphalt with little to no shoulder and dubious engineering. With the advent of Costco and Home Depot in Cabo San Lucas, commercial traffic and semi-trucks increasingly burden the road. I would advise to keep driving to daylight hours and to refrain from the nighttime blitz drives that were popular in earlier decades.

Patch: What destinations do you recommend visiting in Baja?

Hill: Some of my favorite memories are surfing at Scorpion Bay back in the early nineties when it was still relatively undeveloped. Tucked up in a pine forest at an elevation of almost 10,000 feet is the San Pedro Martir Observatory. They have three giant telescopes at the facility and tours are available every day starting at 10 am. The views are incredible, and on the right day you can actually see the Sea of Cortez to the east and Pacific Ocean to the west. I recommend this trip in the warmer months. It can snow on the mountain during the winter. Erendira is a sleepy little farming and fishing village about four hours south of the border that has fun surf, nice spots to camp on the water, good fishing and is a beautiful area to relax and unwind.

Albin-Najera: Baja is a mecca of eco-adventure, marine life, dessert and natural beauty. There are so many ways to enjoy the Baja region. I’ve visited all of the regions in northern Baja and each area offers something special. I recommend visiting all of the areas, either on your own with a road map or via guided tour. You can have great experiences all around Baja. For example, some of the activities available are surfing, scuba diving, whale watching, fishing, cave exploration, off road riding, beaches, biking, art galleries, culinary festivals, brewery tours, world class golfing and wine tasting. I recommend the Discover Baja California website to get an idea of all of the options. Even just driving along the coastline from Tijuana to Ensenada offers stunning ocean views.

Mulder: Our favorite Baja destinations include the rugged and beautiful desert in Cataviña and San Ignacio. In San Ignacio must sees are the Mission and cave painting museum, followed by dinner at Rene’s. And of course San Ignacio Lagoon, where we spend most of our time. The whales, people, flora and wildlife make it a very special place that keeps us coming back year after year.

Taylor: I recommend a visit to San Ignacio. The town and mission represent both the romance and reality of Baja. With the famous San Ignacio Lagoon and its gray whales nearby, the oasis is also a way station to San Juanico for those heading south and Punta Abreojos for those heading north.

Patch: What are your favorite places to dine?

Geoff Hill: I am a sucker for carne asada tacos. My favorite stands are Los Traileros in El Sauzal (just north of Ensenada) and Tacos El Yaqui in Rosarito. Tapanco in Rosarito is a great option for a steak dinner, and Rey Sol in Ensenada has a unique French-Mexican fusion that is amazing. If you have never been to the wine country just north of Ensenada you are really missing out! Most people have no idea that there are over 50 wineries producing some unbelievable wines that are just now starting to gain notoriety worldwide. The region is also producing some fantastic artisanal cheeses, jams and olive oil. Most of the wineries offer tours and wine tastings for about five dollars.

Albin-Najera: Tijuana has garnered a lot of positive media attention among foodies and food editors as the new gastronomic hot spot. I could be just as happy eating at a no-name food stall in Tijuana as in a fancy restaurant. As a chilaquiles connoisseur, I am partial to La Casa de Mole in Tijuana, and lobster, Puerto Nuevo style. There are many new upscale restaurants in Tijuana though, that I’m eager to visit.

Angie: Outside of San Ignacio, we stop for chicken tacos at Quichules, the best beans ever.

Taylor: My favorite places to eat are the roadside taco stands in Ensenada, or just around the campfire.

*La Fonda,  Las Gaviotas and Club Marena K38 still some of the best surfing spots in Baja.

If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Med to Go International – Paving the Way for Mexico’s Successful Medical Tourism Industry. Compilied By: Miguel Sedano.

Mexican Medicine

Baja Doctors

According to recent statistics, over 59 million Americans do not have health insurance.  That said, there is obviously a tremendous need for affordable alternatives for those requiring either minor or major surgery.  Despite Mexico’s ongoing struggles, there are a few areas where the country is feeling a positive impact. Foreign investments are booming and now “Medical Tourism” is taking hold and bringing in a new type of visitor and potentially millions of dollars to the economy. With the ease and affordability of traveling south of the border, along with state-of-the-art facilities, current technology, US trained (English speaking) doctors and surgeons, and virtually no wait times, Mexico is quickly becoming a leader in this fast-growing industry.

A forecast by Deloitte Consulting projected that medical tourism originating in the US could jump by a factor of ten over the next decade. The growth in medical tourism has the potential to cost US health care providers billions of dollars in lost revenue and bring those huge dollars into a host of other countries including Mexico.

Leading the way is a revolutionary company called MedToGo International. I first met the founders ten years ago in Acapulco. Dr. Robert H. Page, Dr. Curtis Page and Robert Page Jr. are an impressive family of over achievers who were, at the time, publishing a book called Mexico: Health and Safety Travel Guide

They spent two years in 50 Mexican cities researching doctors and hospitals suitable for tourists. The end result: the ultimate guide for any tourist (or ex-pat) looking for an English-speaking doctor with excellent credentials (or an accredited hospital) almost anywhere in the country. This book on its own is an extraordinary product.

Over the years, the connections they made and the contacts they had began to take another turn. And, like most successful entrepreneurs, the Page family simply connected the dots. Today they are the only medical tourism company owned and operated by U.S. physicians. They have elevated MedToGo International© (MTGI) into the most trusted and credible healthcare referral service in North America, and offer patients surgical savings of up to 80% of what they would pay in the states. (A knee replacement for a registered MTGI© patient, including six days of physical therapy, costs about one-fourth of what it would be in the United States.)

They have conducted personal interviews and certification background checks on more than 700 physicians and have inspected over 80 private hospitals abroad. Only the top 10%, or those meeting the strictest health standards, parallel to that found in the U.S. are selected. As a result, MTGI© clients can feel assured that they will be working with the finest physicians and institutions outside the United States. In Mexico, their surgical partners are located in Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Leon, Hermosillo, Merida, and Tijuana.

The major areas of elective and specialized surgical offerings include:

* Orthopedic Surgery: Total knee or hip replacement; ACL, tendon or meniscal repair; spinal surgery; shoulder surgery
* Kidney Transplant: Live kidney donor already identified and pre-qualified
* Cardiovascular Surgery
* Weight Loss/Obesity Surgery: Lap Band, Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Metabolic Gastric Bypass
* General Surgery: Hernia Repair, Gallbladder, Nissen Fundoplication
* Gynecological Surgery: Laparoscopic or Vaginal Hysterectomy
* Dental Surgery: Full mouth Restoration
* Plastic Surgery: Breast Reduction, Liposuction, Post-bariatric Plastic Surgery
Their website (www.medtogo.com) is filled with all the information you need to explore the possibilities.  I asked if I could go through the process as if I was a patient, and they sent me the entire step-by-step. I am a stickler for detail, and I can tell you honestly, they don’t miss a thing. From the moment you submit your information for a quote, there is no stone unturned. From an “education sequence” of emails, to complete travel arrangements and assignment of your own English -speaking “Medical Liaison” who will be with you every step of the way in Mexico, they do this right. This is as professional and thorough as it gets.

Per their website:

“Once a patient is registered with MTGI© for a surgery, rigorous medical procedures are followed. Beginning in the patient’s hometown, pre-and post-surgery protocols are established with the patient’s physician/specialist to ensure the patient’s surgical readiness and long-term success. Depending on the type of surgery performed, accommodations are made regarding length of stay and follow-up medical care required back home, once the patient is released.

MTGI© also provides a team of U.S. physicians and coordinators who oversee a patient’s care and serve as their advocate while they are abroad. Safety and peace of mind are a top priority. MTGI© is the patient’s medical and travel referral source before they leave, while they are abroad and once they have returned home. Each patient is provided an English-speaking Medical Liaison to attend to them throughout their stay abroad. The designated Medical Liaison is available to facilitate communication, coordinate day-to-day schedule, and provide information.”

Medical tourism is quickly becoming a safe, affordable option for thousands of patients, and Mexico is stepping onto the world stage as a contender. With MedToGo leading the charge, Mexico might just come out the winner.
Below are the bios of the owners:

Robert H. Page M.D.
Dr. Robert Page is an Arizona native who was raised in Douglas, near the Mexican border. He earned his medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in 1971. While studying in Guadalajara, Dr. Page co-founded the Tlaquepaque Free Medical Clinic. He completed his Family Practice residency at the University of Arizona in 1978. He served as Chief of Staff at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital from 1991 to 1993 and was an Arizona delegate to the American Medical Association from 1993 to 2001. He is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), and is owner of a bilingual medical practice in Tempe, AZ, with a staff of five physicians and 22 assistants.

Curtis P. Page M.D.
Dr. Curtis Page graduated from Harvard Medical School in Boston Massachusetts from 1996. He later completed 2 years of a General Surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta from 1996-1998 and later a Family Practice residency in Brooklyn, NY at the Lutheran Medical Center from 1998-2000. While in medical school, he did volunteer work in the Dominican Republic and with elderly Spanish-speaking patients at Alianza Espana in Boston. Dr. Page is also a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and a private family practitioner in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Page has completed many years of scientific research and is published in several leading scientific journals.

Robert R. Page
Robert earned his BA in Developmental Economics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1996. He has conducted economic research in Argentina, Mexico and the US and completed further studies in Brazil and Germany. Fluent in Spanish and English, he also speaks German and Portuguese. Robert has been the project’s field researcher, spending more than three years pre-screening physicians and medical facilities throughout Mexico. Robert currently divides his time between the United States and Mexico, where he works with Mexican physicians and hospital administration on patient-care protocol.

If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Mexico: The Royal Tour – Official Trailer

He’s traveled with the King of Jordan, the President of Peru, the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Jamaica…. Now, Peter Greenberg joins President Felipe Calderón, one of the most dynamic leaders of Latin America, for a history-making television special.

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Valle de Guadalupe By Lorena Mancilla

Written By Lorena Mancilla – San Diego Reader

Imagine a valley filled with vineyards surrounded by olive trees. The weather is dry and warm and there’s hardly any wind. There are only a couple of paved roads and people mostly walk or drive on dirt roads bordered with shrubbery. The sounds and sights of the country are subtle: birds, mountains, desert plants — wait, there’s also drama: a turkey vulture devours a squirrel. Oh, well.

Valle De Guadalupe

Valle De Guadalupe

One could be standing in California or it could be Italy, but this place is Mexico; actually, it’s Ensenada, but without the breeze of the Pacific. The place is Valle de Guadalupe, a region with a Mediterranean climate where 80 percent of Mexican wine is produced. The valley is the same size as Napa Valley, but Napa has 40,000 acres of vineyards. Compared to other regions, Mexico’s production is still small. In all of the different wine-producing regions of Baja, including San Vicente Valley, Guadalupe Valley, and Santo Tomas Valley, only 6200 acres are used for wine production.

The history of Guadalupe Valley has been touched superficially by few historians; the original population was indigenous, mainly Kumeyaay. There were also Dominican missionaries, but they didn’t stay for long. In 1904, a group of Molokan Russians colonized parts of the valley and with them came the first grapevines.

During the 1950s, groups of farmers demanded farming land from the government and created ejidos. The ejidos were groups that collectively owned land, which was given to them by the government in order to promote agriculture. At the beginning of the ejido era in the valley, they grew alfalfa, wheat, and other crops. In 1927, an Italian named Angelo Cetto came to Baja California and started to explore the valley. He grew different kinds of grapes and founded a company that mainly focused on the production of brandy. In the 1940s, Cetto produced one commercial wine, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the company began concentrating on wine. The serious wine industry in Baja is fairly young, 20 years old. read more »