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James Pickell, CEO & President
Self-confessed serial entrepreneur. Addicted to challenges. Bores easily. Baja denizen and afficionado.
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Tecate—the ‘Heart of Baja’

By Carla White

It is quite simply one of the most ‘visitable’ towns in Baja, CaliforniaTecate. The ‘Heart of Baja’, Tecate is at the border between San Diego County and Baja California.  Just 35 minutes from Tijuana, 45 minutes from San Diego and 90 minutes from Mexicali, the town that was founded in 1892 exudes the character of a quaint Mexican hamlet. It also offers a ‘northern door’ to Mexico’s wine country in Baja, which – in the Valle de Guadalupe – is just a couple of hours drive from the border.

Rancho Tecate

Tecate is often referred to as being ‘mystical’, a place where native peoples came to revere the region’s famous Mount Cachuma.  At an elevation of approximately 1,775 feet (541 m) above sea level and its proximity to the ocean (less than an hour to the west), the city maintains a year-round temperate climate. The region enjoys an estimated 340 days-a-year of sunshine! Ringed by hills that often become snow-tipped in winter, romantic Tecate enjoys clear starry nights almost every night.  On very cold winter evenings, there will be frost and it rains enough in the area for a thick ground cover of shrubs to grow…but for the most part, this beautiful jewel of a town is hospitable in any season.

Arguably one of Baja’s most charming and accessible towns, Tecate is tranquil and at the same time fun; rustic yet boasting modern comforts and luxuries:  Tecate has something for everyone, from nature lovers to spa aficionados.  Heck, all in one day you could do yoga at one of the world’s top-rated spas (Rancho La Puerta), eat an elegant late afternoon lunch at one of Mexico’s most acclaimed restaurants (Asao) and share a cocktail at a local haunt with a local legend/author (Daniel Reveles).  How cool is that? You could spend a day here or just as easily, a week or more.  And given the fact that its quiet border crossing (perhaps the most quiet of any that offer quick access to major metropolitan areas) into the US is rarely busy, why not?

How to get to Tecate?  From San Diego, take Highway 94 east.

From Tijuana, Take the toll road (“cuota”) that parallels Mexico Highway 2, 30 miles east. Highway 2 then leads east about 80 miles to Mexicali by way of the notorious “Rumorosa Grade”.

From Ensenada take Mexico Highway 3 east. The highway is two lanes and is about a 75 minute drive to the border crossing.


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