#DoBaja: Mexico’s Wine Country

The courtyard archway at Quinta Monasterio, a winery in Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe

The courtyard archway at Quinta Monasterio, a winery in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe

Traveling the winding desert highways and bumpy, dusty backroads of the Valle de Guadalupe, you might think you’ve wandered onto the backlot of a classic Western movie. Instead of gunslingers, though, you’ll find acres of gnarled olive trees, Cab-Merlot blends, open-air dining at farm/sea-to-table restaurants, and architecture that ranges from the early 1800s to sometime in the distant future – because this here valley is the ruggedly elegant wine country of Baja, Mexico. [Read more…]

Book Giveaway: DK Eyewitness Travel Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Cancun & the Yucatan

This giveaway is now closed – thanks to all who entered!

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I’ve been invited on some wonderful trips in the months to come — including Puerto Rico and the Caribbean island of St. Kitts — and feel like sharing the travel love.

To inspire some romance, fun and exploration in a tropical setting: I’m giving away three sets of three DK Eyewitness Travel’s guides to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Cancun & the Yucatan!

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Way Down South, Mexico Way

Coronado Island, a national park off the coast of Loreto, Baja, Mexico

Jimi Hendrix perhaps said it best

I’m goin’ way down south 
Way down to Mexico way…
Way down where I can be free 
Ain’t no one gonna find me

Sure, Jimi was talking about a guy running from the law ’cause he’d just shot his cheating wife, but the sentiment is there: 

Heading south to explore the colonial history and natural delights of Baja, Mexico is an ideal form of escape.

Climb into a small van with a local Loreto tour guide…and leave your weapons at home.

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Villa del Palmar Loreto: A Sweet Dose of Baja

The view from my room at the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto, taken at 6am on a Friday morning

When it comes to travelling in Baja, Mexico, there are a few things to consider:

The gentle blue Sea of Cortez, white-sand beaches and private coves, lush green winter hillsides spiked with cardón cactus, craggy mountains aglow with rose-gold sunsets, fresh seafood, several centuries’ worth of colonial history, and a night sky so full of stars, it’ll blow your mind.

A 2-hour direct flight from Los Angeles, the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto will show all this to you with a focus on comfort and cultural connection to Mexico — with a side of the best handmade tortilla chips you’ll ever have.

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Tijuana’s New Foodie Scene (and Yes, I Said Tijuana)

Baja Med cuisine at Tijuana's Mision 19

In Tijuana, Mexico, the largest city in the Baja state, there’s certainly a lingering fear of drug violence and a strange tendency to paint donkeys like zebras. But amongst a vibrant backdrop of street art and mariachi music there’s also a growing focus on creative, elegant and locavore-friendly cuisine.

Tijuana’s emerging foodie scene offers both a cultural connection and, glass by bottle, a gateway to Baja’s thriving Guadalupe Valley wine country. So have a seat and tuck in, con gusto.

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