I’ve lived in San Diego for three years, and I’m ashamed to say I have never visited Mexico, even though the border is literally 15 minutes away from my house.
With my trusty travel buddy in tow (hi Crosby!), I set out to fix this.
Our first stop Thursday was a brand-new place called Cuatro Cuatros, just north of Ensenada.
It’s been open less than a year, and while they still have some kinks to work out, it’s definitely a place to go if you want to escape and get back to nature. It’s nestled in a working vineyard, and their “rooms” are actually beautiful tents with (thankfully!) bathrooms and showers inside, and little patios you can relax on: the ultimate form of glamping. We were given a walkie-talkie in case we needed anything, a flashlight to navigate in the dark, and a sweet caretaker named Ivan helped get our bags to our tent.
We only stayed there one night, but our favorite part was visiting the camp bar, which is on a restored boat – a boat bar! The bartender was amazing and gave us a lesson in Mezcal, which we enjoyed with worm salt and oranges.
Friday, we headed down to Ensenada for some amazing tostadas from La Guerrerense, a tiny food cart with big flavor. Then we went even further south to visit La Bufadora, a marine geyser. The pineapple piña coladas were a bonus.
For the final leg of our trip, we headed to Valle De Guadalupe. We chose to stay in a beautiful bubble room, nestled in the middle of a vineyard.
It was pretty awesome, not going to lie.
Very simple, but it still had a working bathroom, and heating and air. There wasn’t a whole lot going on other than the awesome views and nearby restaurants, so again, it’s the perfect place if you want to unplug and get away from busy life.
NOW FOR MY FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP:
This little (big) guy is named Salvador…although judging by the snickers from the staff at Finca Altozano after they told us, I suspect they just tell guests that to tease one of the waiters who is actually named Salvador.
If you only do one thing in Valle De Guadalupe, go here. The restaurant itself is beautiful, mostly outside, and on a working vineyard with farm animals.
Even better, Salvador the pig roamed around the restaurant to say hello to guests and get scraps of bread. There were also several sleepy dogs roaming around who would come and say hello occasionally. For the animal fanatic in me, it was such a joyful and fun experience!
The food here was my favorite, and you can’t go wrong with any of their tacos.
If you are looking for a fine dining experience, Fauna is your place. We enjoyed an 8-course tasting menu with drink pairings and the experience was so out-of-this-world, that I completely forgot to take pictures, if that tells you anything.
Overall, it was a great experience. I feel like in 5-10 years Valle De Guadalupe will have a solid foundation and will be a great option for good food and wine that is closer and cheaper than Napa Valley.
It was difficult to see the extreme poverty still in the area, and crossing back over the Tijuana border was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen – hundreds of people begging for money or trying to sell things to the drivers waiting in line.
Mexico now has a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to explore more of the country in the future.