A Guide to Enjoying Business and Culture in Tijuana, Mexico and Southern California
Just past the beaches of Tijuana and its landmark bullring, visitors pass two golf courses close to Rosarito. Bajamar has 27 holes and an 81 room hotel, and Real Del Mar has an 18-hole course and 71 guest rooms. The drive overlooks the shimmering Pacific with the pristine Los Coronados islands gracing the horizon. Rosarito is a seaside community that offers long, wide, white sandy beaches famous for surfing, fishing, parasailing, jet skiing,and horseback riding right along the water’s edge! Excellent shopping, great food, and a high-energy atmosphere explodes at night where live music, dancing, karaoke, and mechanical bull-riding can be found at one of the many clubs and quaint local bars along the strip. Whether you’re in the mood for a raging party or a quiet chat in a local restaurant overlooking the sea, Rosarito will fulfill your preference. Just south of the strip, nestledalong the soothing waters of the Pacific Ocean, the small village of Puerto Nuevo is the lobster connoisseur’s choice in Baja California. With approximately 25 restaurants specializing in preparing the fresh, locally caught crustaceans, there are a wide variety of dishes to choose from, all at a very reasonable price.
“Cinderella of the Pacific”
Just an hour drive south of Rosarito lies the port city of Ensenada, with a raw beauty and emerging potential earning it the nickname “Cinderella of the Pacific.” A comfortable Mediterranean-like climate, rustic, nautical feel, and warmth of Mexican culture mingle with fresh salt-air breezes, attracting visitors in great numbers by land, air, and sea. Ensenada is the second most visited port-of-call for cruise ships and pleasure boats in all of Mexico.
The city has a unique mix of sleepy Mexican charm and robust nightlife that satisfies the variety of tastes of those traveling through. The waterfront market features fresh, off-the-dock fish and shellfish served from a multitude of quaint, colorful stands offering some of the tastiest seafood cocktails and tacos on the west coast. Here one can also charter a local boat and experience world-class fishing firsthand. In late summer and throughout the fall, tuna, marlin, dorado, and other pelagic species are often just miles offshore of the busy port. Just to the south lie acres of vineyards and farms, and roadside stands sell locally grown produce, olives, and honey, among other palate pleasing fare. What Mexican ambiance the border cities have lost in dilution from its northern neighbor, Ensenada maintains and makes up for it by being far enough into the heart of Baja to possess traditional country charm, yet still close enough to enjoy in a single day’s travel.
Coastal Desert Jewel
The largest, northern most community on the western shores of the magnificent Gulf of Mexico, San Felipe poses a stark contrast to Pacific-side cities of Baja. Although only a four and a half hour drive from San Diego, this small city founded in 1916 as a commercial fishing port emerges from it’s desert surroundings with an oasis of cultural charm. Delicious Mexican cuisine and fresh seafood can be found throughout the city, the beaches are wide and white, and the sea is so warm and salty even the most well-fed visitors won’t have trouble floating in it!
The fishing on this side of the Baja peninsula is spectacular as well, with good catches possible right from shore, in a Mexican open boat called a “panga” launched through the surf, or for more serious anglers, from one of San Felipe’s famous “motherships,” which will take you deep in the gulf for multi-day fishing adventures. Other activities in the area include sailing, offroading in dune buggies, motorcycles, or “quads,” horseback riding,desert hiking, and of course, plenty of shopping, eating and drinking if you so desire. San Felipe offers visitors both a unique array of activities and a wonderfully warm, sunny climate.