#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…]

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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Finding Balance at Rancho La Puerta – Part Three

Continued from
Finding Balance at Rancho La Puerta – Part One and Part Two

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Artichokes from the organic garden at Rancho La Puerta

The two things I heard most about Rancho la Puerta, a wellness resort in Baja, Mexico, were the hikes and the organic garden — and with good reason.

The land here is gorgeous, the quality of the light blending from soft to brilliant over sacred Mount Kuchumaa. The soil, enriched by resort-made compost, sustains enough produce to feed everyone here. You can take a special hike to see the garden for yourself, or take a cooking class at the resort’s school for a more in-depth experience.

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