Tag Archives: mexico

Three-Day Stay: Las Gaviotas, Mexico

 

Three-Day Stay: Las Gaviotas, Mexico
DESTINATION & TOURISM | BRANDI ANDRES | SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

Just a 40-minute drive south of the California border to Mexico, a few miles beyond Rosarito, is the quiet, guard-gated community of Las Gaviotas.

Beyond the walls of this Northern Baja retreat is a calming escape from the daily grind that inspires a whole new fondness for Mexico. Rows of houses are stacked on a slope above the Pacific and have second-level views of the deep blue. Since the homes are privately owned (there are no resorts or hotels here), the best way to find a vacation rental is through a search online or through a travel agent.

Three-Day Stay: Las Gaviotas

Three-Day Stay: Las Gaviotas

Within the community, there’s a private beach where many Southern California surfers can be found from morning to early afternoon paddling out, determinedly, beyond the pounding waves to catch the kind of curls most people would think only exist in places like Hawaii. Although the surges can fluctuate, these waters aren’t for the faint of heart. Less experienced surfers should proceed with caution, and beginners might consider avoiding the waves altogether. The tides are strong and every evening the salty sea crashes against the cliffs that protect a string of homes along the shoreline.

For families with little ones and those who’d rather not mess with sand, there’s a community pool and hot tub that overlook the ocean. On some days a pop-up fish stand sits at the edge of the stone-paved terrace of the pool house where guests can order the freshest catch of the day sashimi-style or in a mouth-watering ceviche, a mixture of seafood cured in lemon or limejuice with salt, spices and in this part of the world tomato, onion, avocado and cilantro.

What’s nearby?

Most who stay in Las Gaviotas bring their own groceries for home-cooked meals, but anyone who loves seafood must visit the “lobster village” of Puerto Nuevo. Only a short drive to the south on Carretera Libre (free road), this small town has shops filled with Mexican art, jewelry and trinkets, plus restaurants that serve up fresh-caught fried lobster piled high on a platter and shared family style with sides of rice and beans.

Siete Mares (Paseo del Mar #2, 646-218-2370) is the place we’d recommend for the food, friendly service and a gorgeous sunset view from the outdoor deck. Villa Ortegas Restaurant seems to get a good crowd, as well. Keep in mind all of the restaurants and shops are cash only.

The city of Rosarito is also close by, just eight miles north of Las Gaviotas, and offers a larger variety of shopping, restaurant options and deep-sea fishing charters.

Across the road from Las Gaviotas is the most helpful White Horse convenience store, which sells snacks, beverages and ice.

When to go?

The weather is similar to Southern California, which means it can be nice year-round. But beach-lovers and sun-tanners would enjoy the summer months best.

How to get there?

The nearest airport is the Tijuana International Airport which has many of the well-known car rental companies, such as Thrifty, Alamo, Budget and Auto Europe.

For a weekend getaway, however, most visitors drive across the border at San Diego. The main stretch of the drive is along the highway, which is also a cash-only toll road. An important consideration, as with driving in any unfamiliar destination, is to follow all traffic rules (speed limit signs note kilometers/hour). An absolute must when crossing the border by car is to purchase Mexican auto insurance prior to entering.

A few road rules to know: drivers must wear seatbelts and it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving. For the safest trip by car, try staying on toll roads or along a main highway as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to stay within the gated community after dark.

When the weekend is over, consider heading back toward California in the morning hours. Wait time at the border can be anywhere from 3-5 hours, otherwise.

Be prepared to show a passport upon returning to the states.

As with traveling to any foreign country, please visit the website of the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

 

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Read more about the Baja style of living: http://www.bajarealestategroup.net/

Experience the winery, dining and beauty of Baja California, Mexico

 

Experience the winery, dining and beauty of Baja California, Mexico
Jan 12, 2014
By Fernanda Beccaglia   

Approximately only 10 percent of Baja California’s wine gets exported, meaning you will need to make a trip to the area, specifically Valley of Guadalupe, to sample it for yourself–personally, I don’t mind.

Some of the popular varieties you will find include Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Malbec and Barbera.

If you are planning a trip any time soon to Mexico’s Baja California, here are my top suggestions.

wine in Baja California

Only 10 percent of the wine in Baja California is exported. Experience wine tasting, dining and travel destinations to its finest in the Mexican city. (Shutterstock)

Editor’s Top Choice
2005 Zinfandel Cru Garage, Torres Alegre y Familia

Graduated in Agricultural Engineering, Víctor Torres Alegre, owner and enologist, is the first enologist in Mexico to have a Ph.D. in the Science of Enology.

He received his doctorate from the University of Bordeaux, France, and has formulated innovative ideas and practices for winemaking that have been accepted throughout.

Its winery blends delicately into the dusty Baja Californian landscape, amid vineyards and olive groves.

His wine reflects his devoted passion and dedication to winemaking for over 30 years.

Signature wines

  • Cru Garage: Zinfandel, 75 percent Tempranillo – 25 percent Petit Verdot, Grenache and Nebbiolo
  • La Llave Blanca: (50 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 40 percent Chenin Blanc and 10 percent Moscatel)
  • La Llave Tinta: (70 percent Cabernet Franc, 20 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon)

read more »

Talks Of Ownership Laws in Mexico Generate Surge in Real Estate Sales

Changes to foreign ownership laws in Mexico expected to generate a surge in sales
The historical amendment to Mexican Constitutions´ 27th Article, has stirred the interest in   properties along the Baja Riviera, as evidenced by the surge of real-estate activity along the Northern Baja Coast. “We have seen an important increase in the number of inquiries by potential clients since discussion about the reform hit international media outlets”, said Maday Valdenegro, Sales Manager at Santa Barbara in Bajamar.

Manlio Fabio Beltrones - Mexican Federal Senator

Manlio Fabio Beltrones – Mexican Federal Senator

The amendment to article 27 was approved by the Mexican Senate on April 23rd, “but it still needs to be approved by a majority of Congresses of each of the States in Mexico for a reform of the law to be final”, noted   Javier Troncoso, an Attorney at Law based in Los Cabos

The reform would now allow foreigners to acquire real estate within the “Restricted Zone” (100 kilometers wide from the borders and 50 kilometers wide from the coastal shores).

“Historically, once an amendment has passed in the Mexican Senate, the State Congresses have approved it. An amendment to the Law of Foreign Ownership would still be needed”, added Troncoso. read more »

Huge Dolphin Pod at Calafia Condos – Baja Real Estate Group

 

Calafia Condos Resort & Villas. The area sits on a privileged location that is a window to an assortment of marine wild life, from sea lions, seals, seagulls to dolphins, whales and even orcas.


This video is a common sight for the residents at Calafia Condos, a pod of a couple of hundred or so of long-beaked dolphins working together in a coordinated hunting dance to encircle fish that ends up in a spectacular feast where even the seagulls and pelicans join in.

Enjoy the video.


For more information on Calafia Condos and Baja real estate please visit http://www.bajarealestategroup.net

Mexico Tops List of Favorite Boomer Top 5 Vacation Spots

               Mexico Tops List of Favorite Boomer Top 5 Vacation Spots
By Megan Ray on August 8, 2013

Many older adults use retirement to visit certain countries they may not have had the chance to explore while they were working. While there are no bad choices when it comes to traveling during senior living, a recent survey from WatchBoom revealed the most popular destinations among baby boomers.

Mexico Tops List of Favorite Boomer Top 5 Vacation Spots

Mexico Tops List of Favorite Boomer Top 5 Vacation Spots

Mexico came in as the top spot, as it earned more than 1,100 votes from the surveyed boomers. Its popularity among the older population should not come as much of a surprise, according to The Huffington Post. For starters, it’s teeming with activity and is famous for having beautiful weather. It’s also affordable and easy to get to. A little further south, Costa Rica landed at the No. 4 spot

“Costa Rica doesn’t have the preponderance of all-inclusives, [but] it’s still a fantastic destination because of all the natural beauty,” Nina Meyer of the American Society of Travel Agents, told the news source. “The dollar value is still very good, [and it has] easy access.

Tropical destinations weren’t the only places to make the cut. Canada came in at No. 5, while Spain landed at No. 3, thanks in large part to how easy it is to get around while still speaking English.

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Look for homes for sale in Baja.

 

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.
read more »

This Sure Beats California…

Originally posted on InternationalLiving.com | By Patti Morrow

Margit Gantt wanted to find a more fulfilling lifestyle than the one she had in California. She was looking for great weather every day…somewhere she could get more for her money.

"Ensenada, Mexico feels like California did years ago"

“Ensenada, Mexico feels like California did years ago”

She and her husband Patrick knew where they wanted to be. They often vacationed in the seaside community of Ensenada, Mexico. “The feeling here is like California years ago,” said Margit. “It’s different and familiar at the same time. That’s what we love about it.”

Ensenada is on the Pacific coast of the Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Even though the population is approaching 400,000, it still maintains small-town charm.

In 1989, the Gantts took the plunge and decided they were staying. They never regretted it.

“It’s a thousand ti mes better,” said Margit.

“California is so overcrowded now, a bit of a circus, and people aren’t a community. It’s different here. Even strangers still greet each other on the street.”

The Gantts tried out several locations before settling on their current home—a three-bedroom hillside villa with panoramic views of Ensenada Bay, the city, and the mountains.
read more »

New fusion cuisine flourishes in Baja California

TIJUANA, Mexico — Until recently, Baja California’s culinary contribution to the world amounted to the Caesar salad, a dish hardly associated with Mexican food. Beyond that, this long, thin peninsula was known more for its Chinese food and pizza thanks to the thousands of migrants from all over the world who began to settle the Mexican state south of California in the 19th century.

 New fusion cuisine flourishes in Baja California


New fusion cuisine flourishes in Baja California

Now a group of chefs wants to change that, working to create a unique cuisine largely based on fresh seafood caught in the seas flanking Baja and the produce from its fertile valley. The new culinary craze, known as Baja Med, is a fusion of Mexican food with influences from the Mediterranean and Asia.

The movement has resulted in dozens of restaurants that are helping to pull a new kind of tourist to the beleaguered border city – one who enjoys great food and art rather than a brothel and a cheap drunk. People attending conventions in San Diego think of crossing the border for dinner in Tijuana, said Javier Plascencia, the chef of Mision 19, whose quest to put his city on the culinary map was the subject of a New Yorker magazine profile earlier this year.

Baja Med mixes uniquely Mexican ingredients such as chicharron and cotija cheese with lemon grass and olive oil. Signature dishes include tempura fish tacos and deep sea shrimp served with fried marlin, baby farm tomatoes, scallions and a sauce made with local cheeses.

“What Baja Med proposes is for the ingredient to be the main actor in the kitchen,” said Miguel Angel Guerrero, chef of La Querencia, a Tijuana restaurant serving such dishes as beet carpaccio with blue cheese and mint vinaigrette. “Geographically, we are privileged because throughout the year we have a variety of products available. And yet, many generations have passed, and we still don’t have a regional cuisine.”

The port of Ensenada, 40 miles south of Tijuana, is one of the country’s largest for mussels, oysters, clams and shrimp, as well as a hotbed of blue tuna sea farming. Baja California is the fourth largest producing vegetables in Mexico, according to the state government. read more »

New San Ysidro To Tijuana Border Crossing Begins Operations November 1st.

The new San Ysidro to Tijuana Border Crossing (also known as “El Chaparral”) has 22 lanes equipped with the latest technology for fast access to Mexico.

On November 1st, “El Chaparral” will officialy open as the new port of entry to Baja California.

New Sany Ysidro To Tijuana Border Crossing Begins Operations November 1st.

New Sany Ysidro To Tijuana Border Crossing Begins Operations November 1st.

Vehicles headed southbound on I-5 will turn right once they reach the border, onto the modern facilities of the new San Ysidro border crossing. “El Chaparral” features 22 lanes equipped with cutting-edge technology, creating amore convenient crossing into Tijuana and other destinations.

“El Chaparral” also connects to a set of new bridges leading to tourist destinations like Rosarito Beach, Ensenada (it is recommended travelers take the lanes on the right hand side and look fo signs “Playas de Tijuana – Ensenada Cuota”) as well as Downtown, Avenida Revolución, Zona Rio and different ares of Tijuana.

This new crossing conveniently facilitates the movements of residents and visitors.

For more information on these changes visit: www.discoverbajacalifornia.com or dial 078 while in Mexico for toursit assitance.

read more »

Home for sale in Bajamar – 3016 – Las Fuentes – Mision Todos Santos – Open House

Marycarmen Lopez from the Baja Real Estate GroupBaja Premier Properties Office in Bajamar. Takes us on an Open House tour of House #3016 Las Fuentes – Mision Todos Santos. An hacienda styled 2 story home, featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large patio, terrace and hand made stone work throughout.

The enclosed patio sits on sturdy slab stone flooring and it features a beautiful quarry stone dolphin fountain just in the center, which is the focal point of this area. A colorful hand-made stone work dresses one of the patio walls with an intricate Mexican design mosaic. read more »