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Top June Events

By: Eleonora Ferri

What a great time for Baja Events in June! The choice of Cabo for the G20 summit this June reminds us that Baja is not only a place where couples find romance, families relax, fisherman find plenty, foodies are satisfied, wine lovers quench their thirst, nature lovers find paradise and revelers, well, revel. Baja also offers an ideal  setting to inspire the representatives of the world’s major economies to think out of the box as they tackle the most pressing financial and economic issues facing the world’s population. Mexico holds the presidency of the G20 this year and certainly had many beautiful venues to choose from. Selecting Los Cabos to host many of  the world’s most powerful leaders was a vote of confidence by Mexico and the G20, both in the region’s recently upgraded infrastructure, as well as its reputation for being safe.

Even for the non- delegates among us, June will offers many ways to enjoy Baja There are hundreds of local events for everyone 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.

Tecate: 2nd Paella Fun Fest
When: June 8
A feast for the lovers of this Valencian specialty with a great variety of paellas available for tasting. The event is not only about paella, attendees will have the opportunity to savor and buy regional wines and sangria while enjoying art exhibits and local music.
Cost: Approx $15

San Jose del Cabo: Bajasur Tour
When: June 9
Bajasur tour is Baja California Sur´s first and only surfing circuit consisting of four surf contest throughout the state. The surfing contests are held at some of the best surfing beaches during their prime surfing season. Enjoy a day at the beach full of activities, including free surf lessons for kids, music, food and drinks.
Cost: $18 for participants, free for spectators

San Felipe: Fiesta de la Almeja – Clam Festival
When: June 17
The Sea of Cortez is home to several types of clams, among them the popular chocolate clam that take its name from the caramel color of its large shell. You will find these and much more at the Clam Festival in San Felipe this summer. Stands and booths along the Malecon (the seafront boulevard), will offer a taste of the delicious mollusks and local wines will be available for tasting and sale.
Cost: free

San Jose del Cabo: G20

When June 18-19

This year the summit’s meetings will be held at the new Convention Center in San Jose del Cabo to discuss economic and financial issues such as the reform of international financial institutions, financial supervision and regulation, and the international monetary system. The 20 members will also touch upon non-financial issues but ones that, nonetheless, have an impact on international financial instability such as energy, development, job creation, food security and corruption.

Ensenada: 16th Annual RECORD Off-Road Series Ensenada-San Felipe 250
When: June 22-24
Cars, motorcycles and ATVs can compete in the Ensenada – San Felipe 250, an adrenaline filled race running from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez across beautiful Baja California.
Cost: free for spectators

Rosarito: Mexico International Volleyball
When: June 23-24
Previously known as the “Estero Beach”, this volleyball tournament can host up to a few thousand amateur and professional players and is one of the largest beach volleyball tournaments in the world.
Cost: $15-$50 for participants

Cabo San Lucas: Annual Stars & Stripes Fishing and Golf Tournament
When: June 28 – July 1
This is the “feel-good” Cabo event of the year that from 1996 to today has helped raise over 11 million dollars. The proceeds benefit children in the US and Mexico. The 4-day long event includes  a fishing tournament, golfing and music.
Cost: all inclusive package deals available for $2,375/person

Cabo San Lucas: 3rd Annual Cabo Marine Show
When: July 5-7
The Cabo Marine Show is back for its third year in the spectacular Cabo San Lucas Marina, in the heart of downtown Cabo. Yacht brokers and representatives from the nautical industry, luxury marinas, hotels and resorts, and many local vendors will converge on a new location at IGY Marina Cabo San Lucas for this three-day annual event.
Cost: free to the public

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Are You Addicted to Baja?

Baja Addiction

Baja Addiction Causes Sufferer to See the World through Rose Colored Lenses

If your friends and family joke that you’re addicted to Baja, they may be right. Researchers in Norway have identified seven signs that you may be addicted. They’ve used those signs to develop a test to help you figure out if your suffer from a Baja addiction.

The test, called the Baja Addiction Scale, is based on seven basic criteria, where all items are scored on the following scale: (1) Very rarely (2) Rarely (3) Sometimes (4) Often and (5) Very often. The signs are:

(i) You spend a lot of time thinking about Baja or a planned trip to Baja.

(ii) You feel an urge to visit Baja more and more.

(iii) You spend time in Baja to forget about problems in “the real world”.

(iv) You have tried to cut down on your time in Baja without success.

(v) You become restless, confused, disoriented or troubled if you are prohibited from visiting Baja.

(vi) You enjoy Baja so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies or hurts physically.

(vii) You can no longer relate to people that don’t share your addiction.

If you are, indeed, addicted, you’re not alone, researchers say. “The love for Baja has continued to increase rapidly. We are dealing with a subdivision of Baja addiction connected to traveler’s dilemma,” said Eyeluv B. Aha, who conducted the study. The traveler’s dilemma is the limbo state one experiences due to his/her love for travel when they recognize there’s nothing like sleeping in his/her own bed.

Aha heads the research project “Baja Addiction” at the University of La Paz where she has spent the last 46 years studying the illness. The results of her research have just been published in the journal Psychological Reports, under the difficult to find subsection – “Afflictions with No Solutions.

Aha said she sees some clear patterns in Baja addiction. “It occurs across all age groups but we have found that people who have a sense of adventure, love the outdoors and enjoy pleasant weather are more susceptible to the illness than those with lower scores on those traits,” she said.  People who like being inside all day tend to be less at risk from Baja addiction. They visit Baja but rarely leave their rooms. “Women are more at risk of developing Baja addiction, probably due to the social nature of Baja,” Aha said. Aha said the research also shows that Baja addiction was related to extroversion. People with high scores on the new scale further tend to have a somewhat delayed sleep-wake rhythm. When they are in Baja they find themselves not wanting to sleep because of fear they will miss out on a life changing event.

The study was based on 26 million travelers — 14 million women and 12 million men.

Despite Aha’s findings, others are not as convinced about Baja-based addictions, especially those that have never visited the region.

“There are often underlying or co-occurring psychiatric disorders, such as weekend warrior syndrome, adrenaline addiction, perma-smile, or a disturbance in the ability to conform to social norms, all of which may explain the person’s addiction to Baja,” Lisa Green, Travel Savant at Baja.com recently told Krista Simmons in an interview for the article in NY Magazine called “The Weekend Escape Plan – Todos Santos. While she was not quoted, she offered this: “The question is, do we need another ‘disorder’ in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), if the manifestations of Baja addiction can already be accounted for by well-described and better-validated conditions such as the “I live for Baja” syndrome?”

That, however, doesn’t mean that Baja.com is writing off the possibility of Baja-based addictions. Green believes that better research is needed to quantify these behaviors and she has committed to doing so. “We need far more study on this issue,” she says. In fact, our company is developing alternative treatments for people who feel they suffer from symptoms of Baja addiction, such our patented “Baja patch” which provides small doses of the chemicals found in the air in Baja, as well as a “Baja light‘ that gives off special rays that are similar to those found in Baja for those suffering from Baja withdrawal (as well as a gentle bronze tan).

Please contact Baja.com at info@Baja.com if you are interested in participating in this study or learning more about these new products.


What is the Cost of Living in Mexico Compared to the US, Canada and Europe?

The cost of living in Mexico is lower than that of the US, Canada and Europe, especially for items that are produced locally. The good news is that this includes most product categories such as food, furniture and transportation. Additionally, if you are resourceful and patient enough to look for the right place and right items, i.e., if you avoid Gringo targets and tourist traps, most products are incredibly affordable. Despite the low cost of living, Mexico supports the 11th largest economy in the world. Areas in Baja California Sur remain among the most attractive in Mexico. Here’s how a few of the principal expenses stack-up in Mexico.

Food

A single household with four family members spends around $360 every month on grocery items. Food and drinks in Mexico are very affordable since the country widely produces agricultural products, livestock and other raw materials. Food production is initially for the citizens although there are also manufacturing companies which aim to deliver to foreign countries primarily.

One can have a full meal of a taco or burrito and a drink for less than $2. There are also high-end restaurants which serve Mexican or foreign cuisines at rates averaging $100+. Middle class places can serve meals to full families for well under this amount.

Beef is very cheap in Mexico and it is the most popular meat product among locals. Poultry comes a solid second in terms of purchased grocery items. Mexico also produces several herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits which can be bought at very low prices outside the city.

There are a number of markets in major cities selling agricultural products like bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, rice and beans at low rates or wholesale. Mexican beer is cheap while there are also high quality drinks like tequila, tea and coffee which can cost higher.

Housing Costs in Mexico

On the average, a single person spends about $250 every month on apartment rentals. As the quality and space increases, prices will also become more expensive. Location is obviously a determining factor so spots in more desirable locations command more of a premium. Rents in Mexico can be higher than in equivalent-sized US towns or cities if the place is popular or fashionable, particularly places within easy reach of the US border or frequented by foreign visitors and expats. In less popular (or less well known / off the beaten track) towns and cities, you may find good quality accommodation at lower rents that you would pay for the equivalent space in the US. Some additional quantitative data can be found here.

Services Costs in Mexico

Utilities are more expensive in Mexico than in many other areas. For example, prices for electricity are high, compared with US and even European prices, due mainly to the lack of competition. Telephone services, both landlines and cell phones, are priced higher than the US and Europe. Telmex, the national telco incumbent which has a natural monopoly. The advent of internet telephony (e.g. SkypeVonage) is beginning to make long distance communications, especially, affordable. As such, internet rates start at around $20 per month while annual subscriptions tend to be cheaper.

Piped water is relatively inexpensive, but not always potable (drinkable). Decades of under-investment, combined with a widespread attitude of impertinence towards paying water bills has left Mexico’s main water system in poor condition. As a result, most people purchase bottled water, often in 20 liter containers. Bottled water costs hundreds, if not thousands, of per cent more per liter when compared against the price of potable tap water in the US, Canada or Europe.

Clothing Costs in Mexico

Shopping for name brand clothes in Mexico can be fairly expensive; however, department stores, flea markets and street vendors offer a tremendous assortment of options. The quality of clothes is also good if manufactured locally. There are imported products from the United States, Europe and Asia as well. Products from the latter are quite cheap and are sold in bulk. Prices for traditional Mexican dresses are around $30 while shoes cost around $50, depending on quality. The average Mexican spends $125 to $200 each month on clothes. Again, overall Mexico is a great place to shop for locally made items.

Healthcare Costs in Mexico

Mexico also gives utmost importance to the health and security of its people. Health insurance policies are advised to all working individuals while there are several excellent health facilities providing quality care and state-of-the-art technology. Average insurance rates cost around 50 euros every month. There are several compensation benefits provided to insurance policyholders. The government also has a housing authority agency which takes care of poverty and homelessness.

Technology in Mexico

A growing range of items, especially domestic appliances, audio/visual equipment, technology (e.g. iPods, WiFi), computers, computer software and cameras are more expensive than identical items sold in the USA.

Employment Costs in Mexico

Trade and tourism remains to be the top industries of Mexico and comprises the bulk of its GDP support. The employment rate is estimated to be at 92% and the government foresees a continued decrease in unemployed individuals. The economic boom of Mexico may also be contributed to several citizens working abroad and bringing in dollars from the United States and Europe. If expatriates’ skills match the category in demand at the moment, employment can come easy (subject to the regulatory framework).

Transportation Costs in Mexico

Cars cost slightly more in Mexico than equivalent models in the US.

Local and national pubic transportation is generally lower in cost than the US/CA and continental Europe. Competition has been introduced in the domestic airline market and low-cost airlines are beginning to make a significant difference to domestic air-travel fares in Mexico, has been relatively expensive to date.

Gasoline and diesel is (currently) subsidized by the Mexican government. For this reason prices don’t fluctuate as much as those in the USA and Europe when oil prices go up or down on international markets. In fact, the government recently suggested they would retain prices at the equivalent of around $2.50 per gallon for 2009. However, it is unclear how much longer Mexico will be able to afford to subsidize the price of auto fuels.

Baja Events – May 2012 – Baja.com Picks

Spring is in full bloom in Baja and wine shines as the undisputed star of the Peninsula during May. And where there’s wine, regional food usually follows and often with a backdrop of joyful music and fine art to cater to our senses.

The Guadalupe Valley, our backyard Tuscany, is a veteran in organizing fiestas that capture the spirit of the season. This May for the first time,Todos Santos in Baja California Sur, borrows the Valle de Guadalupe’s art of celebrating the season, blending it with its own recipe to appeal to our palate at the GastroVino festival.

If great food and fine wine is not your… cup of tea, other seasonal festivities provide an ample taste of the Baja lifestyle, including horse shows, off road races, and art festivals. Finally, on June 2nd, Baja comes to San Diego for the Baja Bash, a benefit event that promises to entertain with art and flavors of the Peninsula, celebrity chefs and top musicians, all helping to support WiLDCOAST preserve the natural and unique environment all Baja aficionados have come to cherish.

There are hundreds of local events for everyone 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.


Rosarito: World Outdoor Racquetball Mexico Cup
When: May 3-6
Don’t miss this spectacular event that will take place at the  Rosarito Beach Hotel. The competition will begin on May 3rd and continue until May 6th, 2012. The tournament will feature handball and outdoor categories that will compete for a slice of $20,000 in prize money.
Cost:
$50 to $90

Ensenada: 10th Annual Horse, Art and Wine Festival
When: May 20
A great event for horse lovers with a packed program that will keep you entertained all day. But it’s not only about horses. There will be food, live music, folk dancing, art exhibits and, of course, Guadalupe Valley wines to enjoy in the beautiful setting of the Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards Inn.
Cost: Approx $24

Todos Santos: 1st GastroVino: Baja Food and Wine Festival
When: May 19th and 20th
A festival created to celebrate the typical food and wine of Baja California. Several wineries from northern Baja will offer tasting and wine for purchase, while top chefs from the Todos Santos region will prepare local delicacies. Bands will alternate on the stage throughout the day and a silent auction will benefit local charities. A wine maker’s dinner is available on the 19th, the night before the main event.
Cost: Approx $19

Ensenada: Fiesta of the Flowering Vineyards
When: May 19
This event is a perfect choice for those looking to immerse themselves in the breadth of what Mexican wines can offer. It’s held at a different winery every year, with regional wineries presenting samples of some of their best varietals.   The 2012 edition will take place at Vinedos Lafarga. There will be regional food as well as live music.
Cost Approx $15

Rosarito: Rosarito Art Fest
When: May 26-27
The Rosarito Art Festival will be celebrating its third year, hoping to build upon the success of last year’s event. The event is organized by the artist’s community of Rosarito Beach, and will showcase the skills of over 100 regional artists.
Cost: free

Ensenada: 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500
When: June 1-3
Half the size of the Baja 1000, but not half the fun and excitement. Over 250 cars, motorcycles, trucks, and ATVs compete on 500 miles of Baja’s rugged terrain. The race will begin and end in Ensenada.
Cost: free for spectators

San Diego: The Baja Bash in San Diego
When: June 2
Baja.com is pleased to support Wildcoast, the international conservation team responsible for groundbreaking environmental projects and campaigns to conserve Baja California’s coastal habitats, in sponsoring this event that celebrates the natural beauty of Baja. Over 300 surf legends, community leaders, and environmental pioneers are expected to gather at the Port Pavilion in San Diego for an evening of festivities that include a sunset cocktail reception, Baja-inspired cuisine, a photography exhibit, live music, and a silent and live auction.
Cost: $75

 

Baja Events – April 2012 – Baja.com Picks

San Jose del Cabo Historic District

April events are plentiful in Baja, drawing upon the rebirth brought by Spring and celebrated with cuisine and libations.

‘Spring in the Vineyards’ is the first of many traditional events that continue right through to the Fall harvest in the wine region of the Northern Guadalupe Valley.

In the South, Los Cabos has the Cabo Celebrity Invitational where you’ll find Lorena Ochoa and other special guests in golf- and non-golf outings like yacht cruises, cooking classes, lunches and private beach club cocktail parties, as well as several nights of live entertainment.

Other April happenings on the peninsula include both land and sea races, music festivals and cultural fiestas.

Each festival honors and celebrates some aspect of the Baja Life.

Listings for these local festivals can all be found on Baja.com. Here’s a few of our hand-picked faves:

Todos Santos: Baja Reggae Festival (April 6, 2012)

The annual Baja Reggae Festival will take place at Cerritos Beach. This year’s line-up includes Tribal Seeds (from San Diego), DubTonic Kru (from Jamaica–winner of The World Battle of the Bands), Rise N Shine (from Seattle/San Juan Islands), Good Vibrations (from La Paz), K L Reggae (from La Paz), David Raitt and the Baja Boogie Band. Ky-Mani Marley, the second youngest of Bob Marley’s 11 children, will headline the Festival on Saturday night.

Cost: $40.00 – $75.00 USD

Ensenada: 4th Annual Taco and Mexican Food Fair (April 17, 2012)

“Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?” This is the event that would disappoint Dusty Bottoms from The Three Amigos. But for all others an event all about  tacos and great Mexican food is simply heaven. Several local restaurants and taquerias participate in the annual Taco and Mexican Food Fair making this an event for families and food lovers. The event will take place at the Plaza Cívica de la Patria.

Cost: free admission

Ensenada: Shellfish and New Wine Festival (April 20 – 22, 2012)

Simply known as “Las Conchas,” this is one of the biggest events in the region, a fabulous combination of shellfish from the Ensenada coast and wines from the Guadalupe Valley. Several activities take place during the three days of the festival, from visits to mollusk farms to workshops to wine tasting and barbecues. The Hotel Coral and Marina will be hosting the event.

Cost: $18.00 – $30.00 USD

San Jose del Cabo: Cabo Celebrity Invitational (April 26 – 28, 2012)

Dream Homes of Cabo has organized this fundraising event that showcases the best Cabo has to offer while benefiting children’s charities. Golfing is available  along with culinary classes, volleyball tournaments, yacht cruises, massages, kayaking, cocktail parties and so much more. While the celebrity participation may change without notice, here’s a list of the VIPs that are expected: Lorena Ochoa (golf pro), Dennis Haysbert (actor), Brett Cullen (actor), Bill Romanowski (football player), Elena Robles (golf pro), Jeffrey Nordling (actor), Mike Dobbyn (golf pro), Jesse Ventura (politician, wrestling pro, actor), Glenn Pakulak (football pro), Ryan Mariano (volleyball pro), Ed Ratledge (volleyball pro), Dennis Leoni (director, writer, producer).

Cost: Golfer Package $850.00 – Non-golfer Package $450.00 USD

Ensenada: 65th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (April 27 – 29, 2012)

The 125 nautical mile long race will start April 27 and end April 29th, 2012. Cruising classes will take off starting at 11am and racing classes at 12 noon. For the first time in the 65 editions of the race, both the departure and arrival will be visible from the shore, making the event more fun for non-participants. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday afternoon at the Hotel Coral and Marina.

Cost: $175.00 – $125.00 USD

Ensenada: Primavera en los Viñedos 2012 – Spring in the Vineyards (April 28, 2012)

Spring in the Guadalupe Valley near Ensenada brings new beginnings, rebirth, regrowth, and some incredible  events. The Bodegas de Barcón Balch’é Winery will host a celebration of this season with the best wines in the region, great food and live music.

Cost: Approx. $12.00 USD

Mexicali-San Jose del Cabo: NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally (April 28 – May 2, 2012)

A unique rally that will not  only feature typical race cars, but also vintage cars and motorcycles, and alternative fueled vehicles as well as rally cars, and a limited number of modern desert racecars and classes for pre-runner trucks and buggies. Participating  vehicles will run the length of Baja from Mexicali to San Jose del Cabo on on-road and off-road courses. Don’t miss the “Happiest race on Earth”! On April 28th the bullring in Mexicali will host the vintage category car show, the sign in, the technical/safety inspection and the autograph session. the race will depart from Mexicali on April 29th.

Cost: Free for spectators

The Baja Renaissance

By Jim Pickell, CEO Baja.com

2012 marks the end of the Mayan calendar for Baja’s indigenous neighbors. This timely transition neatly marks the blossoming a new era for Baja California. The region is undergoing an explosion of creativity and innovation. This is Baja’s Renaissance, being led by a diverse and eclectic group of Baja denizens, collaborating with pilgrims from the international community, many discovering and rediscovering this Mecca. Baja has a renewed lease on life, and there’s a tantalizing possibility that this one will not be fueled by an unsustainable bubble of cruisers and spring-breakers, but rather led by visionaries and philosophers, poets and professionals, artists and scientists, with the only common thread being their efforts to weave the Baja lifestyle into their vision.

Approximately 7.5 million people around the world Google the word “Baja” each month. What are they searching for?  Baja is experiencing a renewed interest in its landscape, artisans, its environment, its lifestyle and how its citizens achieve wellness. It’s touching the entire peninsula. The interest in Baja is reminiscent of the Arabic folktale, “The Man Who Became Rich through a Dream”. The protagonist traveled on a worldwide quest, on the faith of a dream, searching for riches. Imprisoned, broke and penniless, a sympathetic policeman gives him money to return to his home. It was there he discovered a great treasure, one that had always been buried beneath the fountain in his own garden

Look to the city many would perceive to be the least suspecting candidate, Tijuana. The world’s busiest border shapes the views of more visitors than any other region. Artistic murals are now being installed over the graffiti. Much like the flower became a symbol of peace in times of war; could this gateway one day reflect what Baja has to offer? Within Tijuana proper, restaurants the likes of Mision 19 have captured international acclaim as Mexican food is becoming one of the world’s favorites. Right beneath our palettes, Tijuana is becoming to food what Seattle was to grunge music, with rivals in other Baja regions. The city now boasts its first LEED certified building, drawing international attention with its “bridges and skylights, a vast airy central chamber, and an aluminum skin to filter out ultraviolet rays.”  And the Business Innovation and Technology Center launched several months ago, promising a steady stream of thought leaders.

The world is taking note. At the other end of the peninsula, San Jose del Cabo hosting the G20 this summer, a landmark event for Baja. While it may be a political ploy to send the message that the coast is indeed clear. The fact is, it just may work since the coast is clear. But behind any smoke and mirrors, something real is happening and it’s a people’s movement. California, long viewed as forward-looking in protecting the environment, is now finding itself struggling to duplicate the groundbreaking success that Baja California Sur achieved in recovering the sensitive marine zone at the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park. There are efforts in both Tijuana and Los Cabos to develop some of the leading stem cell centers in the world, promising the fountain of youth that many have believed could be found in Baja for decades. Out of necessity, Baja is home to among the most advanced drip irrigation in the world. And among the next generation, many “entrepreneurs by necessity”, there are new concepts surfacing in marine biology, LEED certified development, organic farming, experiential travel, voluntourism, nomadic schools, agrotourism, medical tourism, and yes, even novel ways of making us love fresh roasted Mexican grown, organic coffee.

Baja is a lifestyle brand but it’s so much more. Baja living is the caveman diet of life. And this is what attracts these creative forces. At its core it’s about simplicity and authenticity, reminding travelers why they travel in the first place. People who can think out of the box have learned what Baja has to offer beyond the all-inclusive resorts and beneath the sandy surface and that’s the draw. Baja has long been the benefactor of the worldwide brain drain of creativity, an exodus of artists that have left their homes for Baja. Charles Stewart of Todos Santos (may he rest in peace) was one of the founding fathers of this movement in 1985. Now Baja California is becoming a gastronomical geo-center for foodies and wine connoisseurs around the world. Anthony Bourdain recently referred to Baja as “the new Tuscany” at a recent speaking engagement. Almost 90% of Mexican wine, many vintages and varietals winning awards around the world, come from the Guadalupe Valley and surrounding region, an area still untainted by the commercialism found in other wine regions. In Los Cabos, artwalks and organic markets are now common place, with the once little known Flora Farms becoming an epicenter. “[T]here’s some awesome shit going on down there right now. They got tired of waiting for the Americans to come back and just started making really great, really creative food. . . . Something amazing’s happening” said Anthony.

 Ultimately a big component to the direction this takes comes down to tourism. Contrary to assumptions one may draw from US headlines, Mexico was recently ranked the 10th most traveled country in the world. It’s also the second most rapidly growing country in Latin America, even while weaning off its GDP’s dependence on oil. And as impressive as Mexico’s rise through the ranks, Baja is one of its fastest growing regions in Mexico, whether defined by tourism or industrialization. Did you know Ensenada  boasts the highest preponderance of advanced academic degrees… in all of Latin America? Historically Baja California has been more integrated with the United States than just about any region in Central America. And while there’s no dispute that travel from the US has declined in recent years, the rest of the world is largely ignoring the US media. Travel from Canada grew over 50% in the last five years. More rapid growth is being experienced from Asia. And visitors love what they are discovering and the more adventurous stay.

Not only do Baja Californians make incredibly kind hosts, Baja has a plethora to offer, both natural and manmade. Baja California is home to a World Heritage site, the Gulf of California, which contains 39% of the world’s species of marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetacean. Baja is home of the Picacho del Diablo, a 10,154 foot mountain that’s a challenging climb; the oldest cave painting ever discovered on this continent; Catavina national park that rivals any in the world. There’s a plethora of wildlife, pristine natural wonders, one-third of the world’s whale species, endless sunshine and warm and mesmerizing, crystal clear waters, making Baja one of the best locations for sea kayaking, scuba diving and whale watching in the world.

Baja has a chain of missions that could keep any archaeologist occupied for a lifetime. The 1000 mile drive from the northern- to its southern-most tips, done right, is arguably the best road trip on the planet. From the Vendimia wine harvest in the Guadalupe Valley, to the Baja 1000, to the Todos Santos Film Festival, Baja has among the most unique and interesting ways to spend your time in the world, whether measured with a barometer of culture, gastronomy, history or merely a scale of pure bliss.  It’s exhausting just trying to describe what you can do and see in Baja. And yes, you can do absolutely nothing and literally witness the hands on your watch stop moving as we all have experienced, the double edged sword of time which takes on a different meaning in Baja.

While there are those lamenting about the continuing “crisis,” there’s an undeniable flurry of innovation at work within the region.  The most novel are worrying about “becoming too big,” as they struggle with not only how growth affect s their own goals, but also the region as a whole. In the foreground, Baja has quietly become increasingly prominent on the world stage, as a symbol of what the future might hold for us all, in ways that could not have been predicted even a decade ago. It’s Baja’s time.

About Baja.com
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel advice to Baja California, Mexico, supported by a full service travel agency. The site offers travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps, and articles about day trips, surfing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, kayaking, art galleries, whale watching, eco-tours, shopping, attractions, local events and news. Travelers can book directly online or utilize Baja.com’s state-of-the-art contact center, which provides bilingual customer support, expert information and sales 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To access the information and receive newsletters and invitations to special events, register at Baja.com. You can call us at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@Baja.com.

Baja.com represents a team of local bloggers, regional travel experts, photographers, artists, Baja aficionados and marketing and technology gurus. The only common thread among the group, as each member of our team will tell you, we are all fanatics about Baja.

 At Baja.com we’re always looking for meaningful way to harness and accelerate this creative energy that surrounds us in Baja. Consistent with our commitment to the region, we have created several programs to stimulate and support change agents within Baja. The first is called the “Baja Ambassadors”, a group of unique and diverse individuals who are positioned to shape the next decade of Baja. Among this group are people like Tim Means who worked with the World Heritage Foundation to repurchase the now protected Espiritu Islands; Luis Palacios, a young, energetic, Harvard-educated, marketing director for Baja California Sur’s Board of Tourism; Serge Dedina, the Executive Director of Wildcoast, sponsor of what was called the “best ocean campaign in human history” widely credited with saving the grey whale; and Andrea Tomba, an offroad racer and guide who symbolizes and embraces the Baja lifestyle. On another front we are collaborating with the Board of Tourism on a program we call “Baja Scribes”. This is designed to encourage top writers to visit Baja to create original content about Baja and help educate the world. Finally we are working with many non-profit organizations in accordance with our own commitment, including by giving a significant portion of our revenues to local charities and are committed to becoming a carbon neutral company by purchasing carbon credits. Our mission is to have a large impact with a light footprint and to continue to fuel the Baja Renaissance in any way we can. If you have an interest in these programs, please contact us. 

Baja is the Ultimate Wedding Destination

Couples looking to find everything they need to know when planning their destination wedding and honeymoon in beautiful Baja California, Mexico should look no further than Baja.com. Whether coordinating an elegant ceremony, an elaborate reception or romantic honeymoon, Baja California offers couples fantastic dining and seamless service in an idyllic setting for memorable celebrations.

For an intimate ceremony, couples can book their wedding at boutique hotel Villa Santa Cruz in Todos Santos. With just four luxury suites and a warm, casual atmosphere, Villa Santa Cruz feels like a private oasis for wedding parties. Villa Santa Cruz can accommodate up to 150 guests and includes ceremony sites on the rooftop terrace, stone patios, or on the beach. To take the worry out of wedding planning, Villa Santa Cruz works closely with Baja.com to offer wedding coordination services. With firsthand knowledge of the talented vendors in Todos Santos and extensive experience at the venue, Villa Santa Cruz ensures couples a carefree celebration.

Couples seeking a luxurious wedding experience will be delighted by the oceanfront offerings at Rancho Pescadero, also located in Todos Santos. Rancho Pescadero delivers unparalleled wedding accommodations with 27 oversized suites, almost all with breathtaking ocean views.  Rancho Pescadero’s personal wedding planner will assist in arranging a tropical cocktail hour at the pool or rooftop lounge complete with Mariachi band and fireworks, and sumptuous reception dinners in the restaurant or at the pool.  Following the reception dinner, guests can dance the night away in the courtyard or pool lounge. The ranch provides overnight accommodations for up to 64, and wedding packages also are available.

Pampering does not have to cost a fortune, as evidenced by another gem in Todos Santos called Serendipity.  This spacious hacienda-style oasis on the Pacific Ocean provides natural beauty on 12 acres of lush landscaping with a large pool, spa and ample areas to dine or dance the night away under the stars.  Miles of unspoiled beaches left to discover and the hotel’s traditional Mexican hospitality combine to create a tranquil ambiance for a romantic honeymoon or destination wedding. Serendipity offers a comfortable assortment of 10 king suites and private casitas with the personal touches of a bed and breakfast. Serendipity’s owner and on-site wedding planner ensures couples have an impeccable wedding experience.

Just a short drive from Southern California and located on the shores of Ensenada, La Casa de Los Siete Patios is designed to delight wedding guests and pamper honeymoon sweethearts. The private estate offers colorful bougainvillea flowers contrasted against white-washed walls, along with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, to create an enchanting Mediterranean atmosphere throughout the villa’s seven patios for which it was named. Every detail, from hand-painted Saltillo tile floors to hand-carved wooden furniture, make this exclusive yet comfortable estate the ideal venue for a destination wedding close to home.

For the ultimate in wedding day sophistication, the Costa Baja Resort & Spa offers five-star luxury paired with personalized service. Nestled in the red rocky, cactus-studded cliffs in the Bay of La Paz, the resort overlooks both the colonial city of La Paz and white sandy beaches leading to calm turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez. Every inch of the hotel has been designed to enhance the vistas, all while keeping Baja authenticity. The resort has a selection of indoor and outdoor venues, and wedding packages are customized by on-site wedding planners who make wedding dreams a reality.

Those looking for exquisite views of Baja California are never disappointed at Sunset da Mona Lisa restaurant. Located at the tip of the bay in Cabo San Lucas, the spectacular restaurant is the premiere spot to say “I do” while watching the sun set with the famous Arch in the background and having access to a secluded, pristine beach for flawless wedding photos. Sprawling over several levels, Sunset da Mona Lisa is an idyllic setting for an enchanting wedding for two or a lively celebration for up to 200 guests. Italian Master Chef Salvatore Messina will create a customized menu for the reception, combining local flavors from the Sea of Cortez. Sunset da Mona Lisa offers first-class service with many solutions to customize weddings to any couples’ needs and tastes.

Couples in search of unique activities to entertain and educate guests will find limitless options on Baja.com. Guests will lavish in leisure aboard one of The One Baja’s luxury yachts in the Sea of Cortez while enjoying up to three gourmet meals, such as fresh yellowtail sashimi matched with mango margaritas. Arrange a day for the guys sport fishing or fly fishing at Leo’s Baja Oasis, while the gals attend Surfari, a surf school for women in nearby Todos Santos. Guests that are not interested in sports will enjoy a week of cooking lessons at Todos Santos Cooking Adventures. Days are spent in the glorious nature of Baja, learning about the local plants and fish that give the area such a unique cuisine, while nights are spent with Dany Lamote, head chef of the famed Hotel California and Iker Algorri, owner of the Todos Santos institution Café Brown, learning to prepare these savory local dishes. Todos Santos Eco Adventures will elevate the level of any wedding activity in or around Todos Santos. The local guides and instructors share their deep knowledge and love for Baja through hiking, surfing, whale watching, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snorkeling, cooking, margarita-making and wine-tasting while getting to know the likes of local ranchers, potters, artists, chefs, spiritual leaders and fishermen.

When wedding festivities conclude, couples can head to picturesque Arriba de la Roca for a lavish honeymoon retreat about 45 minutes from Cabo San Lucas. Perched on the peak of a cliff 165 feet above the majestic Pacific Ocean, the exclusive adult-only boutique hotel is worlds away from the hustle of Cabo and offers both privacy and easy access to explore the natural sites and wonders. Arriba de la Roca ensures that couples will be pampered with four uniquely designed casitas offering the ultimate in luxurious accommodations. Complimentary home-cooked breakfast is served in the privacy of guests’ outdoor patio or in the great room. Couples may spend the day lounging around the pool or the Jacuzzi enjoying the outdoor kitchen’s complimentary snacks, tropical fruit and beverages. When the sun sets, the hotel celebrates with specialty cocktails and appetizers. Each night features a different offering and is the perfect way to settle in for a quiet, star-filled evening in one of Arriba de la Roca’s romantic rendezvous spots.

For additional information about these Baja California wedding and honeymoon accommodations, plus more destination information and assistance coordinating your trip, visit Baja.com or call toll free 855-BAJA-411.

About Baja.com

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel advice to Baja California, Mexico, supported by a full service agency with local travel agents.  The site offers travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps, and articles about day trips, surfing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, kayaking, art galleries, whale watching, eco-tours, shopping, attractions, local events and news. Travelers can book directly online or utilize Baja.com’s state-of-the-art contact center, which provides bilingual customer support, expert information and sales 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To access the information and receive newsletters and invitations to special events, register at Baja.com.

Baja Events for 2012 – Baja.com Favorites

The vibe on the ground seems to be “Baja is Back!” Of course Baja aficionados know Baja never went anywhere. However, there’s admittedly a growing resurgence of interest in the region. And as reported by Baja.com, the quickest growing segments are not the cruisers, 5-star resort dwellers or spring breakers, it’s those seeking a travel and life experience. And fortunately, as anyone that knows Baja can attest, the Baja peninsula is one of the world’s most pristine and untapped realms for exploration and personal discovery. Whether it’s food, music, culture, nature or adventure you’re seeking, Baja has a lion’s share.

In addition to our laundry list here of the best annual Events in the region, on Baja.com we’ve assembled hundreds of the top Events in Baja. We struggled here to come up with a sampling of top 14 of our favorites, just to get your mouth watering.  It was no easy task!

As these events often turn on forces of nature, the dates and times frequently change. Accordingly, please be sure to confirm the schedule before you travel. Feel free to email info@baja.com, local Baja experts, if you need any help in planning your travel.

JANUARY 2012 

Todos Santos: 1st Annual Todos Santos Music Festival

Last event took place January 5th through January 21st, 2012.

This was a charitable three-week long event at The Hotel California, featuring world renown Peter Buck of REM, Steve Wynn, Robyn Hitchcock, and Scott McCaughey. Concerts took place four nights a week and special guests, such as Chuck Prophet, Kevn Kinney, and the group The Elected made surprise appearances.

COST: This was a free event with a few seats sold for $5 each.

For More Info: Todos Santos Music Festival

 

East Cape: 2nd Annual Lord of the Wind Showdown (Los Barriles)

Last event took place January 12th through January 16th, 2012.

With a $20,000 USD prize offered to the winner, some of the best windsport enthusiasts in the world attended this event, putting on a spectacular show. Over 800 people attended and enjoyed music and beach parties for the entire event.

COST: the event is free for spectators, registration to participate was US$90 – US$115.

For More Info: Lord of the Winds Showdown

 

JANUARY- FEBRUARY 2012

Ensenada: The Peligroso at Todos Santos Island (January or February)

Last event 2011.

The competition only takes place when the waves are 30 feet or larger. While the event did not take place in 2012, typically surfers from all corners of  the world come together to take part in this unique, “paddle-in” surfing competition.

COST: the event is free for spectator.

For More Info: Todos Santos Island Big Wave World Tour

 

Mulege: Pig Races (February 12th, 2012)

No event roster would be complete without this one-of-a-kind event! Only in Baja! What more can we say? No, it does not end with a barbecue!

COST: The event is free for spectators.

For More Info: Mulege Pig Races

 

 

 

Todos Santos: Film Festival (February 28-March 3, 2012)

The 9th edition of the Todos Santos film festival takes place both in Todos Santos and La Paz from February 23rd through March 3rd. The most talented and innovative Latin American independent movie makers will present over 20 movies, documentaries and shorts from Mexico, Spain Cuba, Chile and Argentina during the first 5 days of the festival.

COST: about US$12/ticket per screening

For More Info: Todos Santos Film Festival

 

APRIL

Ensenada: 65th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (April 27th – 29th, 2012)

 Any sailor who knows his salt, has heard stories about the long trail of beer this race used to leave behind. This is a social experience and there’s always opportunity to hop aboard a yacht in Newport Beach, especially  if you are an experienced crew member and want to stick your thumb out.
COST: Entry fee goes from US$125 to US$225.

For More Info: Newport to Ensenada Sailing Race

 

Mexicali: NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally (April 28th, 2012)

For those not up to the Baja 1000, this offers everyone in the family a way to strap together an engine with some shoes laces and bubble gum and share in the family fun of a drive down the peninsula, sharing the community experience with a bunch of Baja lovers.  The winner is the participant that has the most fun!

COST: Free for spectators, participant registration goes from US$1600 to US$1967, plus a US$75 membership fee per person. US$100 late registration fee.
 For More Info: NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally

 

JUNE

San Diego, USA: The Baja Bash: Baja is Back (June 2nd, 2012)

Wildcoast, the international conservation team responsible for groundbreaking environmental projects and campaigns in Baja California, is behind this innovative and dynamic event that celebrates the beauty of Baja California. Surf legends, community leaders, environmental pioneers will gather at the the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier in San Diego on June 2nd to share ideas and experiences about the Baja they love.  We’ll see you there!

For More Info: Baja Bash in San Diego

 

JULY

Tijuana: Tijuana Beer Fest (July)

The Beer Fest features over 100 different types of beer and feature great music during these two days dedicated to the art of brewing (and tasting).

COST: entry tickets go for approximately US$8

For More Info: Tijuana Beer Fest

 

 

 

AUGUST

Ensenada: Wine Festival – Fiestas de la Vendimia

From the Latin word for wine, Vinum, and Demere meaning ‘to take’ or ‘take away’, the Vendimia is time for celebration. The two century long wine tradition of the Guadalupe Valley is the focus. For nearly three weeks every August wine aficionados have the opportunity to attend wine tastings, savor gourmet meals, attend workshops and concerts. Last year’s activities included an opera concert in a local vineyard with  an Italian dinner and wine tasting, a cheese party with artisan bread, house wine and live music.

COST: the price varies for each event during the Vendimia, ranging from US$100 to over US$1,000.

                                                                                                

 OCTOBER

Cabo San Lucas: Pimp N’  Ho Party (October)

The last event took place October 22nd, 2011

The Cabo Pimp N’ Ho Ball is one of the most unique events in the area, and regularly draws huge crowds. The ten year anniversary drew over 1500 people, with every one of them sporting their best duds for the craziest night of the year in Cabo San Lucas.

COST: tickets start at US$20 in July and increase by US$20 every month, up to $100 the night of the event.
For More Info: Pimp N’ Ho Party

Cabo San Lucas: Bisbee’s Black & Blue Fishing Tournament (October 23th – 27th, 2012)

The Bisbee’s Black and Blue is one of the highest paying fishing tournaments in Mexico, with a grand prize of over $1,000,000. With two back-to-back events in Cabo, the Los Cabos Offshore and the Black and Blue, the Bisbee is also one of the most active and popular of the fishing tournaments.

COST: registration starts at US$63,100 per boat.

For More Info: Bisbee’s Back & Blue Fishing Tournament

 

NOVEMBER

San Felipe: San Felipe Shrimp Festival (November)

Every year in November, the Shrimp Festival in San Felipe is celebrated with an abundance of succulent shrimp recipes, traditional tequila and regionally produced wine tasting  and folkloric dances. The event includes a competition that will reward the chef of the best shrimp dish.
COST: admission is free, US$5 and US$10 tickets are for sale for shrimp and drink tasting.

 

 

Ensenada: Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 (November)

The Baja 1000 is one of the most famous rally races in the world, covering 1000 miles of the most rugged, unforgiving terrain that the world has to offer. Over 200,000 people are drawn to this event each year, hoping to catch a glimpse. Over 300 cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs attempt to dominate the 1,000 mile mountainous course in hopes of “beating the Baja”.  This is an event that needs to be experienced to be understood, and spectators are encouraged to make their way out to view this popular race. In 2011 this was a loop starting and finishing in Ensenada.

COST: entry fee starts at US$3,000.
For More Info: Tecate Score Baja 1000

 

                                                                                                    

The Most Comprehensive Source Of Baja Travel Information Is Now Available Online

Hola Fellow Baja Lover!

I am pleased to announce the relaunch of the all new Baja.com! On Baja.com you will find the most comprehensive source of Baja travel information that has ever existed…and I am proud to say that our creative juices flowed directly from the source, Todos Santos (All Saints), Baja California – the most beautiful headquarters in the world!

“A dream hangs over the whole region, a brooding kind of hallucination.”
- John Steinbeck’s Baja observations.

Find the Perfect Place to Lay Your Head at Night

Baja.com helps you find the perfect hotel or vacation rental anywhere Baja, whether it be Cabl San Lucas, Todos Santos, Mulege, Ensenada or off the beaten track.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone…in Comfort.

You won’t be bored in Baja with our detailed activities listings. We have nearly every activity from skydiving and surfing to fishing and golfing, all with reviews so you can benefit from the wise words of those before you. And with the help of our schedule of events, you won’t miss the next private John Legend concert ever again!

Don’t Take a Chance on Places to Eat

From local taco stands to hidden gem restaurantes, Baja.com brings you mouthwatering Baja eateries, all in one convenient place, And with our award winning photography, you can almost taste the camaron poblano asada!

See Baja through a Local Lens.

With our up to the minute News & Views, our Community Forum, our Regional Amigo Bloggers, our trusted reviews and our regular Newsletters, Baja.com always has fresh content from local contributors, making Baja.com the leading sourch of information for the entire Baja Peninsula.

Unsure of the unknown?
An all new user-friendly platform awaits you atBaja.com. Our site is easy to navigate and fun to explore – you won’t get lost here and you won’t get lost in Baja – unless you want to!

On a Budget?
As a Baja.com member, you will have access to huge savings and insider promotions with our Special Deals!

Care to Share?
Review and rate your favorite places and help others learn from your experiences. Register and become aBaja.com member so you can review the restaurants, activities and hotels you’ve visited.

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