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Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Baja California Sur by the Numbers: Counting Down Some of the Signature Figures Associated with the Peninsula’s Southernmost State

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Primitive rock and cave paintings in Baja California Sur may have originated as many as 7,500 years ago. Photo courtesy of Ashley Curtin.

7,500 – Estimated age in years of the first primitive rock and cave paintings in Baja California Sur

The Great Mural Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in parts of Baja California and Baja California Sur that features rock and cave paintings of human and animal figures – including fish, snakes, turtles, rabbits and deer. The primarily red and black pictographs are attributed to the Cochimis, a hunting and gathering tribe who were the original inhabitants of the central portion of the Baja California peninsula. Although dates of these primitive rock and cave paintings are often disputed, recent carbon dating suggests they may extend back as far as 7,500 years.

7,090 – Height in feet of El Picacho in the Sierra de La Laguna

Mountains descend into desert, and the desert falls into the sea…to the East in the Sea of Cortez, and to the West in the Pacific Ocean. All of this majesty is visible…and more…from El Picacho, the highest peak (7,090) in the Sierra de la Laguna, the mountain range that runs like a spine up the center of Baja California Sur.

1943 – Year Teatro-Cine General Manuel Marquez de Leon opened in Todos Santos

This vintage theater across from the plaza principal in Todos Santos – the peninsula’s southernmost Pueblo Magico – is named for a military hero who helped thwart an attempted U.S. annexation of Baja during the Mexican-American War, and opened when WWII was still raging in Europe. Not only is the theater now an immaculately restored local landmark, it’s the primary cinematic venue used during the town’s annual film festival.

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Anniversary festivities in Baja Sur’s capital city of La Paz include a reenactment of the coming of the Spaniards in 1535. Photo courtesy of Fiestas de Fundacion de La Paz.

1535 – Year La Paz was sighted by Hernan Cortes

May 3, 2015 marked the 480th anniversary of the birth of Baja Sur’s capital city, an event celebrated annually during the Fiestas de Fundacion in La Paz with an reenactment of the coming of Hernan Cortes and the Spaniards in 1535. The multi day foundation festival also serves as a showcase for local art, culture and cuisine, with activities and concerts centered around the malecon and Plaza Constitucion (also known as Jardin Velasco), the central plaza located across from the old church.

1213 – Weight in pounds of the largest blue marlin caught off Cabo San Lucas

In 2011, angler Richard Biehl of Traverse City, Michigan, and the crew of the 31’ fishing boat Go Deep spent 28 hours fighting – and landing – an enormous blue marlin estimated at 1,213 pounds (the fish was so large it was impossible to fit on the scale, and was weighed with a formula that measured length and girth). Although no official records are kept, it is thought by many to be the largest blue marlin ever caught off Cabo San Lucas, besting an 1,111 pounder reeled in during the 1980s.

18 – 24 – Tyical Winter wind speeds in knots at Los Barriles and La Ventana

Each year, from November to March, powerful El Norte winds blow down the Sea of Cortez, creating world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions off East Cape towns like Los Barriles and La Ventana. Resorts like Captain Kirk’s in La Ventana cater to seasonal big-air riders, but to catch a glimpse of windsports royalty, visit Los Barriles in January, when the charming coastal community hosts the ultimate kiteboarding competition: the Lord of the Wind Showdown.

8 – Fingers of hard coral reef at Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park

Windsports aren’t the only attraction on the rugged and beautiful East Cape. The national marine sanctuary and UNESCO world heritage site at Cabo Pulmo not only boasts the highest concentration of fish in the Sea of Cortez, but one of the oldest and largest living reefs in North America, with eight fingers of hard coral. Translation: spectacular snorkeling and diving. Spend your nights at an eco-bungalow on the beach, and your days in an undersea fantasia.

Baja California Sur by the Numbers

Playa El Medano is the largest and most popular beach in Los Cabos. Photo courtesy of Medano Beach Cabo.

2 – Length in miles of Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas

You don’t have to be a Spring Breaker to appreciate Playa El Medano. The two mile stretch of golden sand is the center of the social scene in Cabo San Lucas, and is ringed by many of the city’s best restaurants and resorts. Baja Cantina Beach Club and The Office on the Beach each showcase weekly Fiestas Mexicanas with fireworks and folkloric dancing, while Mango Deck is patrolled by a Pancho Villa look-alike named Big Johnson, who carries tequila bottles in holsters, and shot glasses in crisscrossed bandoliers. Safe swimming is available in the placid bay, and high-flying activities options like flyboarding and parasailing are also offered.

1 – Highway that runs the length of the peninsula

Completed in 1973, the Carretara Transpeninsular, or Highway 1, runs the length of the Baja California peninsula, covering over 1000 miles from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Looking for road trip adventures in Baja Sur? Stay on Highway 1. You’ll wind your way through many of the state’s most popular destinations – from Guerrero Negro, Mulege and Loreto to La Paz and San Jose del Cabo – before finally finishing at kilometer marker 1, near Land’s End and the southernmost point of the peninsula.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Destination Viewing: New TV Travel Series Showcases Baja California Sur

We’re ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille.

Eight months after Hurricane Odile made landfall in Los Cabos and rampaged up the center of Baja California Sur, the peninsula’s southernmost state has not only recovered, but is ready for a star turn in a highly anticipated new entertainment venture.

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Destination Baja Sur will showcase the beauty of the peninsula’s southernmost state, and be the most widely distributed travel and adventure show on television when it premieres in January 2016.

Destination Baja Sur – a Bill Boyce hosted television series showcasing the region’s many charms – begins shooting on May 28, and will premiere in January 2016.

The documentary/reality driven Destination Baja Sur will be the most widely distributed travel and adventure show on television, airing multiple times per week on several channels across the U.S. and Canada.

In total, the 13 season one episodes are expected to be shown 336 times during the calendar year, each reaching up to 128 million homes on NBC Sports, World Fishing Network, and the Pursuit Channel.

The half-hour show will also be seen internationally on Wild TV Africa, and Apple TV offers world-wide exposure: all the tech behemoth’s devices can access the series via iTunes, including MacBooks, iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Marine biologist, expert angler, and long-time Baja resident Bill Boyce has signed on to serve as host and executive producer for Destination Baja Sur. The award-winning face of several previous outdoor adventure series, Boyce will share his knowledge and passion during all 13 season one episodes, introducing viewers to the people and places of Baja California Sur – from small fishing villages to upscale resort areas…from historical monuments in Loreto and La Paz to 5-star accommodations and boisterous nightlife in Los Cabos.

The show’s presence on several high-profile platforms promises a staggering amount of publicity for the state, not only in terms of original content, but also exposure to an enormous international pool of viewers who know little about the region.

If the series simply achieves its stated goal – to inspire viewers to travel throughout Baja California Sur – it will markedly increase already rising tourism numbers (Mexico has the biggest spike in travelers worldwide last year), and act as a de facto marketing vehicle for Baja Sur based businesses: most notably, those that have signed up to sponsor the show.

Few know the promotional benefits of such exposure as well as Chef Brian Solomon, who saw business at his restaurant on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, Solomon’s Landing, increase 35% after it was featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives several years ago. Solomon is now an associate producer on Destination Baja Sur.

“This is real, it’s happening, and it’s a tremendous opportunity,” Solomon said when addressing Los Cabos media members at a recent press conference about the show.

Sponsorship is available on multiple levels, from integrated placement and pop-up branding to commercials at the beginning and end of each episode. But time is running out, as production and shooting begin on May 28. For more information, call (661) 202-0080, email boyceimage@msn.com, or visit www.destinationbajasur.com. In Cabo San Lucas, email Enrique Rivera at marketing@ solomonslandingrestaurant.com.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: May Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: May Events in Baja

Rosarito takes center stage in May, providing a scenic setting for several of the peninsula most notable events. The coastal community boasts the starting line of that biannual Baja institution, the Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride, hosts upwards of 10,000 people during its annual Art Fest, and welcome old and new friends for the 90th anniversary Gala Dance of landmark lodging Rosarito Beach Hotel.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

May Events in Baja

La PazFestival de Fundación

When:  Apr. 29 – May 4

Cost:  Free admission

La celebrates its 480th birthday on May 3rd, honoring the day in 1535 that Hernan Cortes first sighted what would eventually become the largest city in Baja California Sur. This year’s multi-day Festival de Fundacion (Foundation Festival) again serves as a showcase for local art, culture and cuisine, with activities and concerts – including a traditional reenactment of the first landing of the Spaniards – centered around the malecón and Plaza Constitución.

May Events in Baja

RosaritoRosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride

When:  May 2

Cost:  $42-48

Dubbed “The Original Party on Wheels,” the 50 mile fun ride dates back to 1979, when a group of friends pedaled from Rosarito to Ensenada. Now a biannual event, the scenic rides are among the highlights of the regional social calendar, and conclude with a Finish Line Fiesta featuring food, drinks, souvenirs, live music, and massages for participants.

May Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas6th Annual Cabo Marine Show

When: May 14 – 16

Cost: Free admission

Mexico’s premier maritime exposition returns to Los Cabos for the 6th consecutive year, with some of the biggest names in the boat and water-based recreation industries showcasing the latest nautical playthings along the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Other highlights include art exhibits, fine jewelry, and live entertainment.

May Events in Baja

RosaritoRosarito Beach Hotel 90th Anniversary Gala Dance

When: May 16

Cost: $57

Rosarito Beach Hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary with a deluxe dinner buffet, and a gala dance featuring live music from regional bands. Since its opening in 1925, the landmark lodging has hosted many of the world’s biggest celebrities – a sign above the lobby famously states “through this door pass the most beautiful women in the world” – including Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, and Ali Khan.

May Events in Baja

Rosarito6th Annual Rosarito Art Fest

When: May 23 – 24

Cost: Free admission

The biggest art fair in Baja California returns May 23-24, with a two block area around Blvd. Benito Juarez restricted to pedestrian traffic as regional painters, sculptors and photographers exhibit their work to an expected crowd of over 10,000 visitors.

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: April Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: April Events in Baja

April marks the return of one of Baja’s longest running events – the 68th annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race – as well as the premier of one of its most highly anticipated new ones: the inaugural running of the Bud Light Baja Sur 500, the first SCORE sanctioned point-to-point race held entirely in the peninsula’s southernmost state. And speaking of off-road races, NORRA’s vintage Mexican 1000, AKA “the Happiest Race on Earth,” returns with its annual fun-filled rally competition from Ensenada to Los Cabos.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

April Events in Baja

San Jose del Cabo Thursday Night Art Walk

When:  Apr. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Cost:  Free admission

Every Thursday evening between the months of November and June, fine arts galleries in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Distrito del Arte invite visitors to sip wine, stroll the downtown neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, and view paintings, sculptures and other pieces from some of Baja’s finest artists.

April Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas:  Circuito Cultural

When:  Apr. 4, 11, 18, 25

Cost:  Free admission

A Saturday fixture on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, the Circuito Cultural features paintings and sculptures from local artists, as well as wine and tequila tastings, cultural workshops, live music and folkloric dancing, and of course fine food at some of the city’s signature dining spots.

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San Jose del Cabo: 10th Annual Paws n’ Claws Open Golf Tournament and Dinner

When: Apr. 12

Cost: $125 – $375

This annual fundraiser for the Los Cabos Humane Society pairs an open golf tournament with raffles and prizes on the gorgeous Jack Nicklaus designed Ocean and Mountain Courses at Palmilla Golf Club with a cocktail reception and dinner at acclaimed Don Sanchez Restaurant in San Jose del Cabo.

April Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas: Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500

When: Apr. 16 – 19

Cost: $1495 – $2390

The inaugural Bud Light sponsored Baja Sur 500 race will be the first SCORE sanctioned point-to-point competition held entirely in the state of Baja California Sur (the rugged off-road race begins in Cabo San Lucas and finishes in Loreto). Entry is available to several vehicle classes, including motorcycles, buggies, trucks, and ATVs.

April Events in Baja

Ensenada: 68th Annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race

When: Apr. 24 – 26

Cost: $225

Billed as the world’s largest international yacht race, this maritime contest and social extravaganza is an annual highlight of the NOSA (Newport Ocean Sailing Association) calendar, and has been since 1948. Past participants include celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and Walter Cronkite, as well as world-class yachtsmen like Dennis Conner, Bill Ficker and Dave Ullman.

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Todos Santos:  4th Annual Gastrovino Baja Food and Wine Festival

When: Apr. 24 – 26

Cost: $400 pesos; $499 on Apr. 26

Organized annually by the owners of the wine and olive oil boutique La Bodega de Todos Santos, the 4th annual edition of this popular food and wine festival will include a pairing dinner at the historic Hotel California, as well as an all-day fiesta on the town’s plaza principal, with local restaurants, wine and winemakers from the Valle de Guadalupe, live music, and a silent auction to benefit local programs for children.

April Events in Baja

Ensenada:  6th Annual General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000

When: Apr. 25 – 29

Cost: $3167

The origins of “The Happiest Race on Earth” date back to 1967, when NORRA organized the inaugural running of the “Baja 1000.” Although that legendary race is now run under the SCORE banner, NORRA revived the spirit of those bygone days when it restarted the Mexican 1000 as a fun, vintage-style rally race in 2010. The 6th annual race starts in Ensenada, and courses down the peninsula through El Rosario, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Ignacio, Loreto, and La Paz, before finishing in Los Cabos.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

A Gringo in Mexico’s 10 Travel Warnings for Baja California

Thinking of Visiting Baja California? Check Out our Advisories Before You Go

BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO – I’m often asked by stateside friends about our family’s experiences traveling in and around Baja California. We drive just south of the border from San Diego 2-3 times a month for weekend stays on the beaches of Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, great food and wine in the Valle de Guadalupe, art and culture in Tijuana and to check out other Baja California destinations and bring the story back to you, our readers. We enjoy sharing tales of our adventures and of course always encourage our amigos and amigas to visit for themselves or join us on a tour.

However, travel is never without its detours and potentially life-changing experiences. To make sure you get the most out of your trip, here are El Gringo’s 10 travel warnings to keep in mind when visiting Baja California…

1. You will be exposed to new and interesting cultures.

From the indigenous Kumiai to migrant families from all over Mexico, visiting Baja California may expose you to new and interesting people, food and cultures.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

Basket and plate weaving from the indigenous Kumiai at the Community Museum in Tecate, Baja Calfornia.

 2. You may develop a decreased tolerance for boring wines.

The Valle de Guadalupe supplies 90% of the vino consumed in Mexico. It’s also home to a burgeoning artisanal wine scene that is producing some imaginative and delicious blends.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

Wine tasting at Adobe Guadalupe, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California.

3.  Street food.

El Gringo knows that street food in Baja California can be scary – scary good! From adobada(marinated pork) tacos and carne asada tortas in Tijuana to ceviche tostadas in Ensenada, there are many delicious and inexpensive options.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

Carne asada NY strip taco at Tacos Don Esteban, Tijuana, Baja California.

4.  Tijuana has a graffiti problem.

Not really, but the city does boast a lot of thoughtfully rendered street art. Check outPasaje Rodriguez, Avenida Revolución, Playas Tijuana and the parking lot/street art gallery at restaurant Verde y Crema for just a taste.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

Street art from local artists El Norteño and Glow in Pasaje Rodriguez, Tijuana, Baja California.

5.  Friendliness is contagious.

Baja Californians are notoriously friendly and typically easy-going. Locals welcome visitors with warmth and are always ready to help you with recommendations and directions to their favorite restaurant or cantina.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

Taking a picture of the picture guy in Puerto Nuevo, Baja California, Mexico.

6.  You will develop an aversion to frozen seafood.

Baja California has an abundance of fresh seafood. Fish and shellfish from the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez are found everywhere from vendors on the beach to several of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in Baja California.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

The day’s catch on display in Popotla, Baja California, Mexico.

 7.  You may notice an increased tendency to relax.

The sound of rolling waves through an open window at night. A glass of wine in a vineyard on a warm summer afternoon. Baja California has a reputation for relaxation. If not alert, you may experience a siesta. In a hammock.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

The tranquil view from restaurant El Poco Cielo in La Mision, Baja California.

8.  You may be bitten by the Foodie Bug.

Tijuana, Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe have become culinary hotspots on an international scale. You may not be able to resist taking a shot of that perfectly plated dish and posting it to Instagram before devouring it.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

Blue corn tostadas with mussels and beans, La Terrasse San Roman, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California.

9.  You will experience spontaneous occurrences of fun.

Baja California provides its tranquillo moments, but the peninsula knows how to have fun too. FACT: There are more festivals than days of the year in Baja California – from the Rosarito Art Fairto the Baja California Culinary Fest.

Travel Warnings for Baja California

The Rosarito Beach Art Festival, Rosarito Beach, Baja California.

10.  You will develop an urge to return.

El Gringo’s señora is fond of saying that a single day in Baja California feels like three. Living in Southern California makes it easy for us to visit south of the border often. And we suggest that you do the same. Just heed these 10 travel warnings and it’s sure to be a great experience.

Your Gringo in Mexico,

Scott

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about localrestaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: March Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: March Events in Baja

March is a busy month in Baja, with scores of events scheduled throughout the peninsula. The San Felipe Blues and Arts Fiesta is one of the most highly anticipated – a great lineup of performers are already on tap – and one of the most salutary, with proceeds going to benefit a local orphanage and other charities. And speaking of taps, beer lovers will not want to miss the upcoming Ensenada Beer Fest, home to savory suds from over 60 breweries in Baja and beyond.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

March Events in Baja

San Jose del CaboThursday Night Art Walk

When:  Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26

Cost:  Free admission

Every Thursday evening between the months of November and June, fine arts galleries in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Distrito del Arte invite visitors to sip wine, stroll the downtown neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, and view paintings, sculptures and other pieces from some of Baja’s finest artists.

March Events in Baja

Cabo San LucasCircuito Cultural

When:  Mar. 7, 14, 21, 28

Cost:  Free admission

A Saturday fixture on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, the Circuito Cultural features paintings and sculptures from local artists, as well as wine and tequila tastings, cultural workshops, live music and folkloric dancing, and of course fine food at some of the city’s signature dining spots.

March Events in Baja

Todos Santos12th Annual Film Festival

When:  Mar. 12 – 22

Cost:  $50 – 100 pesos

This annual showcase for Mexican and Latin American films was founded in 1994, and is based each year at the historic Teatro-Cine Manuel Marquez de Leon, a landmark 70+ year old movie theater that overlooks the town square in Todos Santos, with additional screenings in nearby Pescadero, and Baja California Sur’s capital city, La Paz.

March Events in Baja

East CapeLos Barriles Dog Show

When: Mar. 15

Cost:  $50 pesos per dog; 20 pesos per spectator

Think your pooch has what it takes to be best in show? Find out at the inaugural dog show at the Hotel Palmas de Cortez in the beautiful East Cape town of Los Barriles. Canines are eligible to compete in up to six categories, including best costume, best trick, best looking and cutest pair, as well as in an agility event.

March Events in Baja

EnsenadaEnsenada Beer Fest

When:  Mar. 20 – 21

Cost:  $150 pesos

To brew or not to brew, that was really never a question. This Ensenada based celebration of Baja’s best craft beers will once again be set at the Centro Cultural Riviera, with a conference the first day, and an expo offering widespread sampling opportunities from over 60 peninsula, mainland and U.S. brewers on the second.

March Events in Baja

San Felipe9th Annual Blues and Arts Fiesta

When:  Mar. 27 – 28

Cost:  $25 presale; $30 at the gate

In addition to the many great blues bands performing on the center stage at Eldorado Ranch, the yearly fiesta will also boast 20-30 tents with artists exhibiting a huge variety of fine art – from jewelry and collectibles to painting and sculptures drums and iron creations – as well as a food court and 3-4 beer stations. Proceeds benefit local charities.

March Events in Baja

TijuanaLuis Miguel in Concert

When:  Mar. 28

Cost:  $500 – 5000 pesos

Mexican musical idol Luis Miguel, AKA “El Sol de Mexico”, will appear in Tijuana as part of his 2015 national tour. The beloved balladeer, who has garnered nine Grammys and sold over 100 million records worldwide, is scheduled to perform at Plaza Monumental.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: February Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: February Events in Baja California

Love is in the air, with dozens of Valentine’s Day events scheduled around the Baja California peninsula, including a masquerade dinner and dance at the legendary Rosarito Beach Hotel, and a five-course tasting menu at what may be the world’s most romantic restaurant: Sunset da Mona Lisa in the Los Cabos tourist corridor. February is also a big month for Baja art lovers, thanks to the annual Open Studios Tour in Todos Santos – which allows visitors to meet the pueblo magico’s most talented artists – and the newly minted Circuito Cultural in Cabo San Lucas.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

February Events in Baja

Cabo San LucasCircuito Cultural

When:  Every Saturday (Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28), noon to 11 p.m.

This recently established event is Cabo San Lucas’ answer to the Art Walks held weekly and monthly in San Jose del Cabo and Todos Santos, respectively. The marina based circuit premiered Jan. 17, 2015, and provides a regular showcase for exhibits from local artists, cultural workshops, food, wine and tequila tasting, and live music and dancing.

Cost: Free admission

February Events in Baja California

Todos SantosOpen Studios Tour

When: Feb. 7 – 8

By popular demand, the Todos Santos Open Studios Tour is now a two day event. Visitors to the coastal pueblo magico, located about 45 mile north of Cabo San Lucas, will be able to see more art, and spend more time with the artists’ colony’s talented collection of painters, sculptors, photographers, muralists, jewelers, print makers, collage artists, potters and wood turners in their own studios.

Cost: $200 pesos (approx. $15 U.S.)

February Events in Baja California

RosaritoValentine’s Day Masquerade Dance and Dinner at Rosarito Beach Hotel

When: Feb. 14

Landmark Baja lodging Rosarito Beach Hotel is hosting one of the peninsula’s most highly anticipated Valentine’s Day events. Tickets entitle guests to a welcome margarita, a buffet dinner, live music, and dancing, with carnival masks on hand to ensure the requisite amount of mystery and romance.

Cost:  $39 per person

  February Events in Baja California

Los CabosValentine’s Day Dinner at Sunset da Mona Lisa

When: Feb. 14

Sunset da Mona Lisa is notable for its fresh local seafood specialties, and famed for its remarkable site: a seaside perch that looks out across Cabo San Lucas Bay and the granitic monuments at Land’s End. The Valentine’s Day special at this world-class romantic dining destination includes a welcoming drink, five course tasting menu, live music, and of course spectacular sunset views.

Cost: $125 per person

February Events in Baja California

La PazCarnaval 2015

When:  Feb. 12 – 17

Forget Rio. The world’s best Carnaval celebration takes place in Baja California Sur’s capital city, La Paz. This year’s theme is Ancestral Plumage, with five days of pre-Lent festivities – parades, costumes, live music, dancing in the streets – culminating on Fat Tuesday (in French, Mardi Gras), February 17, 2015. Performers include Rio Roma, Rayito Colombiano, El Recodo, Moderatto and Yuri. For up-to-date information, visit the Carnaval La Paz Facebook page.

Cost:  Free admission

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Mexican Chefs in San Diego: Cuisine Without Borders

Chefs from Tijuana to Veracruz bring regional Mexican flavors to San Diego’s Dining Scene

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – When many think of Mexican food in San Diego, the ubiquitous fish taco, California burritos, loaded nachos and – gah! – stomach-busting chimichangas spring to mind. But with the rising global popularity of Mexican cuisine, a growing number of chefs from Baja California and other points in Mexico are preparing dishes north of the border with south of the border flair. Here are a few of the restaurants with chefs hailing from Veracruz to Tijuana who call San Diego’s restaurant scene “home”. And are probably cooking something really delicious right now…

Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar
Mario Medina

With one parent from Puebla and the other from his hometown of Mexico City, chef Mario Medina was born with a an inherent love of Mexican cuisine. Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar’s sun-dappled patio and elegant dining room are tucked away from the street on La Jolla’s charming Gerard Avenue. At Finch’s, Mario prepares his European Bistro menu with more than just a touch of Mexican influence. A trio of starters including stuffed flor de calabazas (squash blossoms), octopus with fingerling potatoes and crab avocado sopes showcase Mario’s blend of European sensibility and Mexican adventurism.

Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar is located at 7644 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, California. (858) 456-4056. www.finchslajolla.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Mario Medina in the kitchen at Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

From left: Stuffed squash blossoms, octopus with potato fingerlings, crab avocado sopes.

Zarco
Flor Franco

Chef Flor Franco, originally from Veracruz, has lived in San Diego most of her adult life. With two restaurants – Convivia in the Valle de Guadalupe and Zarco in Chula Vista – Flor exemplifies the current wave of Mexican and US chefs who are blurring culinary borders. Zarco showcases the cuisine and wine of the Valle de Guadalupe. Working with Fernando Gaxiola of Baja Wine + Food, the bar boasts around 100 different bottles of Valle wine – all available by the glass. The food transports one not only to the Valle, but to the Baja coast as well. El Gringo enjoyed the perfectly grilled huachinango (red snapper) with cauliflower, sweet potato and parsley.

Zarco is located at 277 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, California. (619) 934-5700. www.zarcobaja.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Flor Franco with Fernando Gaxiola and representatives of Baja Tourism at Zarco.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Flor Franco’s grilled red snapper with cauliflower, parsley & sweet potato.

Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant
Martin San Roman

When not at his Valle de Guadalupe restaurant La Terrasse San Roman at Alximia, acclaimed chef Martin San Roman can usually be found in downtown San Diego at the helm of the venerable Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant. Though the restaurant and its Paris-trained chef are known for French fare such as mussel bisque en croute and duck a’ l’Orange, San Roman hosts regular Baja-themed dinners at Dobson’s with pairings from LMA Wines and Baja Wine + Food. During these events, his “Baja Provençale” fusion of country French and Baja is highlighted in dishes such as the beef oxtail on puff pastry with red wine Pasilla chile sauce.

Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant is located at 956 Broadway Circle, San Diego. (619) 231-6771. www.dobsonsrestaurant.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Martin San Roman with Baja California wines at Dobson’s.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Beef oxtail on puff pastry with red wine Pasilla chile sauce.

Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro
Javier Plascencia

Grupo Plascencia’s Romesco restaurant was born from the family’s temporary exodus from Tijuana to Bonita in 2005. Though you won’t find busy chef Javier Plascencia in the kitchen most days, the restaurant’s capable and friendly staff – some who have been with the family 20+ years – competently prepare the chef’s “Mexiterranean” menu. Their mouthwateringly-good bone marrow sopes are an El Gringo favorite and go great with a pinch of sea salt and a bit of Romesco’s tangy salsa. Stop by on Tapas Tuesday for half price tapas from their extensive hot and cold selection. Chef Plascencia opens new restaurant Bracero in Little Italy this spring.

Romesco is located at 4346 Bonita Road (between Bonita Road & Billy Casper Way), Bonita, California. (619) 475-8627. www.romescomexmed.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Javier Plascencia at the Baja California Culinary Fest press conference in San Diego in 2013.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Savory and satisfying. Bone marrow sopes at Romesco.

El Agave Old Town
Mario Montes

El Agave Old Town is an oasis of authentic regional Mexican cuisine in the middle of the Tex/Cali-Mex predominant in Old Town. Here, chef Mario Montes and his staff prepare traditional dishes from Oaxaca, Puebla, the Yucatan and other regions where Mexican food has pre-hispanic roots. Their moles are extensive and adherent to traditional preparation methods and ingredients. Nouvelle Mexican options are also on the menu, such as the succulent camaron al tequila with citrus. Speaking of tequila, the restaurant houses over 2,000 bottles of the stuff – the largest collection in North America and all available to order.

El Agave is located at 2304 San Diego Avenue, Old Town, California. (619) 220-0692. www.elagave.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

El Agave houses over 2,000 bottles of tequila, all available to order.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Camaron al tequila at El Agave, Old Town.

Allure Restaurant
Melissa Magallon

A San Diego native born of Tijuanense parents, chef Melissa Magallon started her career at chef Brian Malarkey’s Oceanaire and grew with him into new restaurants HerringboneBurlap and Searsucker – where she became their first female sous chef. Her parents partnered with her to open Allure Restaurant in 2014 in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The restaurant features hearty plates of New American cuisine using fresh, organic, sustainable local ingredients. Pork belly seemed to be a thing in 2014, and chef Melissa’s with compressed apples, maple glaze, candied chiles and cilantro pickled shallot melts in your mouth and is just the right balance of sweet and savory.

Allure Restaurant is located in the Gaslamp Quarter at 825 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, California. (619) 236-0800. www.alluresd.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Melissa Magallon in her kitchen at Allure Restaurant.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Pork belly with compressed apples, maple glaze, candied chilies and cilantro pickled shallot.

Did we miss any of your favorite San Diego based Mexican chefs here? Feel free to let us know in our comments section, below.

Your Gringo in Mexico via San Diego,
Scott

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: January Events in Baja California

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: January Events in Baja California

The New Year starts with a bang in Baja, with several of the peninsula’s signature events on tap during the first month of 2015. SCORE kicks off the off-road racing season with the Bud Light San Felipe 250. Former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck will host and perform at the 4th annual Todos Santos Music Festival, along with The Jayhawks, Old 97’s and Drive-By Truckers. And after last year successful inaugural outing, the artist’s colony will also host its 2nd Writer’s Worshop for aspiring bards. Meanwhile, over on the state’s beautiful East Cape, the windsports mecca of Los Barriles will crown the world’s kiteboarding champion non pareil:  the magisterial sounding Lord of the Wind.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

January Events in Baja California

San Jose del CaboWeekly Art Walk

When:  Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29

Every Thursday evening between the months of November and June, fine arts galleries in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Distrito del Arte invite guests to sip wine, stroll the downtown neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, and view paintings, sculptures and other pieces from some of Baja’s finest artists.

Cost: Free admission

January Events in Baja California

East CapeLord of the Wind Showdown 2015

When:  Jan. 13 – 18

The coastal town of Los Barriles is home to one of the world’s most famous windsports competitions: The Lord of the Wind Showdown. Kiteboarding categories like slalom and big air help identify the winner, with more fun at affiliated events such as tamales cook-offs.

Cost:  Free admission for spectators

January Events in Baja California

Todos Santos4th Annual Todos Santos Music Festival

When:   Jan. 15 – 17, 21 – 24

Now in its fourth year, this collaboration between former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Hotel California, and the Palapa Society of Todos Santos features a series of concerts in the coastal pueblo magico over the course of two weekends. Performers include Buck, The Jayhawks, Old 97’s, and Drive-By Truckers, as well as area acts participating in the local musical showcase.

Cost: $50 pesos for Hotel California shows; free admission at final concert on the main plaza

January Events in Baja California

San Felipe2015 Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250

When:   Jan. 22 – 25

SCORE International’s World Desert Champion Series kicks off in 2015 with the Bud Light San Felipe 250, scheduled for Jan. 22-25. This loop race starts and finishes in San Felipe, and is open to cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs. Racers must have a SCORE membership to register.

Cost: $1,565 – $2,460 for entry, depending upon class

January Events in Baja California

Todos Santos2nd Annual Todos Santos Writer’s Workshop

When:  Jan. 26 – 31

The 2nd edition of the Todos Santos Writer’s Workshop will take place at the atmospheric Casa Dracula , with five days of intensive sessions, and workshop leaders such as Gordon Chaplin (Memoir), Rex Weiner (Non-Fiction), and Jean McCulloch (Fiction).

Cost:  $950

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Baja Camper’s Corner: La Paz Here We Come

Baja Camper’s Corner: La Paz Here We Come

Baja Camper's Corner

We just call him “TEX” now!

December 1, 2014 – Well we arrived today in La Paz and have set up at Campestra Maranatha, a campground just north of La Paz in El Centenario. Our visit to Todos Santos earlier today is always a favorite, as many always look forward to the Hotel California experience.

They have a wonderful Cultural Center, Mission, Saints Alley and so many interesting shops. Lisa and I enjoyed our brunch, some headed over to George’s Taco Stand others at Cafelix. It was only a short drive today from Pescadero where we stayed at the Los Cerritos Surf Colony RV Park the night before. Although this is called an RV Park it is not much more than a parking lot with access to other amenities. Unfortunately the place sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Odile and was just commencing operation with the official opening tomorrow. The swim up bar and restaurant remained in renovation and should be ready in a couple of weeks. When we showed up they were just filling pool and only 2 tourists other than us were present. Teresa from Oregon office was supervising the opening and getting the operation up and going. We did manage to get in the pool and of course on the beach.

At 5 p.m. we headed for La Pasadita in Pescadero for our hosted dinner. Jose always does a great job and after for those interested we watched the Grey Cup game played in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium. It was an exciting game at the end and came down to a final play.

Baja Camper's Corner

Happy Hour is Happy!

As our time in Los Cabos was extended we had time to join our friends Rick & Ronnie for dinner at Lattitude 22, home of No Bad Days (well maybe one: Hurricane Odile). We also went for dinner with Peter & Geraldine who live at Cabo Bello. We had the usual excursions – Playa Santa Maria, San Jose Art District – and I met Frank Arnold and partner Carmen who have a Gallery in San Jose del Cabo. Many of the gang were out and about, Chris went diving and organized a boat ride to the Arch, Lover’s and Divorce beaches. Peter and I headed out into the mountains on Peter’s Razor (Side X Side). This adventure included the community of La Candelaria. You would not believe how much water there was in the arroyo.  Our Playa Medano Happy Hour was a great success. As always, we sure had fun.

Baja Camper's Corner

Looks like Dixie may be swimmin’.

Baja Camper's Corner

Sunrise in Los Cabos.

Tomorrow we have an excursion planned to La Paz. The tour continues, with more fun and adventure!

Baja Camper's Corner

Diego Rivera

Did you know?

Diego Rivera was born on December 8, 1886, in Guanajuato, Mexico. When his career began, the main focal point behind his works was to depict the lives of Mexico and its people. In 1921, working with the government, he began work on a series of murals that were located in public buildings. Some of his work was quite controversial; in fact, the Man at the Crossroads, which featured a portrait of Vladmir Lenin, which went up in NYC at the RCA building, was destroyed by the Rockefeller Family. He is today known as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and began working and drawing at the age of 10.

His passion for art emerged early on. He began drawing as a child. Around the age of 10, Rivera went to study art at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. One of his early influences was artist José Posada who ran a print shop near Rivera’s school and furthered his education in Europe in 1907; while in Europe, he became friends with several famous artists, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Piet Mondrian.

DSC08414-300x168

Parked for our visit to Todos Santos.

Famous Muralist

Diego Rivera had some success as a Cubist painter in Europe, but the course of world events would strongly change the style and subject of his work. Inspired by the political ideals of the Mexican Revolution (1914-15) and the Russian Revolution (1917), Rivera wanted to make art that reflected the lives of the working class and native peoples of Mexico. He developed an interest in making murals during a trip to Italy, finding inspiration in the Renaissance frescoes there. Returning to Mexico, Rivera began to express his artistic ideas about Mexico. He received funding from the government to create a series of murals about the country’s people and its history on the walls of public buildings. In 1922, Rivera completed the first of the murals at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City.

Baja Camper's Corner

Great selection at Afrain’s.

Due to the controversial nature of this, as well as the other works which Diego Rivera created during this illustrious career, he became known as one of the leading artists in the 20th century. Not only in the US, where much of his work was debated, and even destroyed, but around the world. Since he took a worldly view on art, and depicted controversial scenes which depicted different forms of politics, which were not established around the world, many of his art pieces were quite unique, and were distinct in nature from the work which other muralists had done. And the fact that he shared an interest in certain political views, which were not widely accepted around the world, contributed to the distinct style in the murals he created during the course of his career.

Baja Camper's Corner

That was fun, thank you Jose!

Commercial Success

In the 1930s and 40s, Diego Rivera painted several murals in the United States. As mentioned earlier some of his works created controversy, especially the one he did for the Rockefeller family in the RCA building in New York City. The mural, known as “Man at the Crossroads,” featured a portrait of Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin. The artist had reportedly included Lenin in his piece to portray the turbulent political atmosphere at the time, which was largely defined by conflicting capitalist and socialist ideologies and escalating fears surrounding the Communist Party. The Rockefellers disliked Rivera’s insertion of Lenin and thus asked Rivera to remove the portrait. The painter refused, and the Rockefellers then had Rivera stop work on the mural.

Baja Camper's Corner

David in the Cerritos Surf.

In 1934, Nelson Rockefeller famously ordered the demolition of “Man at the Crossroads.” Publish backlash against the Rockefellers ensued; after long proclaiming a deep dedication to the arts, the powerful family now looked both hypocritical and tyrannical. John D. Rockefeller Jr. later attempted to explain the destruction of the mural, stating, “The picture was obscene and, in the judgment of Rockefeller Center, an offense to good taste. It was for this reason primarily that Rockefeller Center decided to destroy it.”

Baja Camper's Corner

La Calendaria

Later Life and Work

In the late 1930s, Rivera went through a slow period in terms of work. He had no major mural commissions around this time so he devoted himself to painting other works. While they always had a stormy relationship, Rivera and Frida Kahlo decided to divorce in 1939. But the pair reunited the following year and remarried. The couple hosted Communist exile Leon Trotsky at their home during this period. Rivera returned to murals with one made for the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition held in San Francisco. In Mexico City, he spent from 1945 to 1951 working on a series of murals known as “From the Pre-Hispanic Civilization to the Conquest.” His last mural was called “Popular History of Mexico.”

DSC08381-300x150

Great spot, eh?

Personal Life and Death

Diego had a twin brother named Carlos, who died two years after they were born. His mother was a Converso, whose ancestors were forced to convert from Judaism to Catholicism. Speaking about himself, Rivera wrote in 1935: “My Jewishness is the dominant element in my life.” Rivera began drawing at the age of three, a year after his twin brother’s death. He had been caught drawing on the walls. His parents, rather than punishing him, installed chalkboards and canvas on the walls.

As an adult, he married Angelina Beloff in 1911, and she gave birth to a son, Diego (1916–1918). Maria Vorobieff-Stebelska gave birth to a daughter named Marika in 1918 or 1919 when Rivera was married to Angelina (according to House on the Bridge: Ten Turbulent Years with Diego Rivera, and Angelina’s memoirs called Memorias). He married his second wife, Guadalupe Marín, in June 1922, with whom he had two daughters: Ruth and Guadalupe. He was still married when he met art student Frida Kahlo. Rivera and Kahlo shared an interest in radical politics and Marxism. They married on August 21, 1929 when he was 42 and she was 22.

Diego Rivera lost his wife, Frida Kahlo, in 1954. The following year, He married Emma Hurtado, his art dealer. By this time, Rivera’s health was in decline and traveled abroad for cancer treatment, but doctors were unable to cure him. Diego Rivera died of heart failure on November 24, 1957, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Diego Rivera is remembered as an important figure in 20th century art. His childhood home is now a museum in Mexico. His life and relationship with Frida Kahlo has been remained a subject of great fascination and speculation. On the big screen, actor Ruben Blades portrayed Rivera in the 1999 movie Cradle Will Rock. Alfred Molina later brought Rivera to life, co-starring with Salma Hayek in the 2002 acclaimed biographical film Frida.

Baja Camper's Corner

Darlene was the first at the bar in the 2014/2015 season!

Whether or not you agree with his political stands, or the relationships he engaged in during his lifetime, the creative manner and approach and the disregard for what people thought about his art distinguishes Diego Rivera as one of the most famous and most renowned artists of his time. Rivera’s philosophy of art and life correspond to no specific dogma. But instead he had an extraordinarily well developed intuitive sense that shaped his understanding of the world and his humanistic understanding of the role of the artist and the role of art in society. His ability to masterfully present universal images and ideas in his art continues to captivate viewers today.

Baja Camper's Corner

This Happy Hour is always fun!

Some of Rivera’s most famous murals are featured at the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo near Texcoco (1925–27), in the Cortés Palace in Cuernavaca (1929–30), and the National Palace in Mexico City (1929–30, 1935).

DSC08303-300x122

Watch for these.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.