jueves, febrero 16

Discover Baja California Tour: A Closer Look

Indigenous Elder from Misión Santa Catarina Community making pottery
These are the extremely interesting sites that we will be visiting during our Discover Baja California Tour weekend, you just can't miss it!


At Corredor Histórico CAREM Community Center, you will be treated to a delicious welcoming dinner and tour introduction.  Afterwards you can walk to the museum, and as you enter, you go back in time and surround yourself with handcrafts, weapons, monitors that explain the way of life of the indigenous communities and figures that show you what life in the Baja California Peninsula was like before Mexico was known as Mexico.


Located on the northeastern area the Baja California vineyards and wineries route, “ruta del vino”, San Antonio Necua is a 6,262 hectares Kumeyaay community; it is the only indigenous community of Baja California that has electricity, running water and other public services. The indigenous in this community earn their living by farming Guadalupe Valley vineyards, gathering firewood and raising livestock, crops on their land and selling traditional handcrafts and accessories. Although the dirt road is impassable during the rainy season, San Antonio Necua is the most accessible Baja California indigenous community.


This was the last of the new Dominican missions in Baja California and the only one begun after Mexico had gained its independence from Spain in 1821; was founded in June of 183 4 by a Dominican missionary named Félix Caballero. The mission’s site was chosen because of the agricultural potential; wheat, pears, grapes and olives were farmed at the mission which had around 400 Kumeyaay Indians in its care. This mission had little peace, conflicts with the Quechan tribe from the lower Colorado River and with other local groups were frequent. Félix Caballero was forced to leave this mission in 1840 after a rebellion took place.


Established in 1970, this winery that offers wine tastings, has a rich ancestry like no other. In the early 1900’s a group of Russian Christians settled in the Guadalupe Valley; and although the original Spanish Missionaries had planted some vineyards near their missions in this area, it was the Molokan Russian community that put their grape and wine producing skills, knowledge and experience from Europe to develop the valley’s full potential as a wine producing region. The winery has a production of 1,500 cases of different  wines and is run by direct descendants of the original Russian families.


Located in the Downtown Ensenada, you can enjoy some wine as you go over the amazingly beautiful environmental photography at the Terra Peninsular Community Center and Gallery, and learn more about what Terra Peninsular does. An art gallery, community center and working office all in one same space, you can enjoy the photography, learn or take a workshop or meet the personnel and ask them any questions about Terra Peninsular’s work and environmental conservation.

Mision Santa Catarina was founded in 1797 by the Dominican missionary José Loriente. The location was previously known to the native indigenous Paipai tribe as Ha'ketepohol, meaning “water that falls loudly”. Originally intended as a defensive fort against eastern intruders from the Colorado River area, as well as for a place to convert local Indians into Christianity, it was home to 600 converted Indians, making it the most populated Dominican mission in Baja California at that time. The mission often had to deal with cattle theft and attacks from the indigenous locals. In 1840, an attack left 16 Christians dead and the mission was burned and never rebuilt.


This is Mexico’s only cheese cellar, where you get rare access and learn and see how cattle is raised, what they eat, and how they are milked, then you go into where the cheese is made by hand, and learn about the types,  history and techniques in cheese making. Home of a famous Ricotta cheese and handmade butter, you get to enjoy then with elegantly, homemade bread.



One of Ensenada’s premier seafood restaurants; you get to savor the best fresh flavors of the Pacific Ocean. It has a great variety of dishes and serves tuna, oil fish, swordfish, oysters, squid, sea urchin, shrimp, flounder, clams, octopus, sailfish and many more types of fish and sea food. It has a colorful, modern and relaxed feel, with authentic regional cuisine that captures the may flavors of the sea in every bite.



This is probably one of Baja California’s oldest public buildings. Though it now serves as a public museum, it was originally designed to serve as a fortress, then it became a military barracks and then the City’s jail until 1986. It offers a unique and very interesting experience, as you walk and see the ex-jail’s walls which still have the markings of the convicts. At this museum, by staying for just a brief moment in one of the small cells, it is possible to experience a wide variety of emotions that go from simple curiosity to fear.


Established by North American Compañia Mexicana del Rosarito and designed by Gordon F. Mayer in the most luxurious way possible, it opened in 1930. Due to the prohibition, Americans frequently attended this hotel and entertainment facility. However its financial situation rapidly declined once the prohibition ended, and so it was put to military use during the World War II. Reopened in 1978, it is now a social, civic and cultural center that has an open air theater, museum and rooms that serve a variety of functions. The Hotel Riviera is one of several candidates that claim to have invented the Margarita drink.


Is a boutique winery that produces one read and one white that are sold in fine-dining restaurants throughout the world, is one of the Guadalupe Valley most emblematic wineries. Antonio Badán, the creator of El Mogor, was one of the pioneers that transformed the Baja California wine making scene; he convinced other viticulturers in the region, to start producing wine instead of selling the grapes that were farmed. At El Mogor you can taste some of the wine that is exported throughout the world.

Baron Balche was born when the Rios family acquired the land in the Guadalupe Valley in 1997, and had the first year of production of 2,500 cases in 2001. This winery uses top of the line technology, like gravity systems, automated temperature controls, fermenting in stainless steel containers and French and American wine barrels that smooth the wine’s texture. Baron Balche has an underground wine cellar that you can visit, in which the best wines of Baja California are stored for you to taste. This winery  has the infrastructure to produce 120,000 bottles a year, and is the community’s favorite because of their social responsibility policies.


Are we there yet? 


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