baja in february?
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Nov 27, 2012 4:18 PM Last Post By: montereyjack
Nov 18, 2012 12:37 PM
baja in february?Hi all,
We're planning on driving in from LAX with about a week or a little over in february. We don't mind driving but also want some downtime - from what I've gathered from these forums, Ensenada, Guerrero Negro, and La Paz are good destinations, but does anyone have a more interesting itinerary to place us back in LAX? We don't want discos or big bars, but definitely cantinas with beer to while away the evenings. Thanks!
Nov 18, 2012 2:59 PM
1Car rental in Baja has been discussed pretty thoroughly here..
March will be whale season in Gurrero Negro, otherwise I can't think of a good reason to go there. I like La Paz in the winter, but it's not really a travel destination, and the people will be indoors, huddled around their heaters until the weather returns to its usual 120 degrees. Ensenada is a port town, and close enough to the Southwestern U.S. to make it somewhat worth going to for the people here.
Instead of a car, why not take the trolley/bus from San Diego, which IS a great travel destination, and take a charter plane south from the Ensenada airport. That would be interesting, a lot faster, and probably fun. And cheaper than a rental car, I would guess.
Nov 18, 2012 3:44 PM
2So fly from Ensenada to ... Loreto? Or somewhere else? And then we would have to rent a car down there to get around...
Nov 18, 2012 3:49 PM
Nov 18, 2012 3:53 PM
4I don't see where bikington says anything about renting a car, so I am supposing they are driving in their own vehicle. Top of my list would be Loreto, but that is one and a half to two days from the border. In Loreto there are restaurants to while away the evening with a beer. A malecon (which may be finished with it's remodel by February) to stroll the waterfront. Pangas to hire for trips to the white sands at Coronado Island. A nice drive into the mountains to visit the old mission of San Javier. Plenty to fill your days. North of Loreto, and closer to the border is Mulege (but closer only by an hour or so). It has restaurants and bars but no malecon. The beaches are south of town along Bahia Concepcion, an absolutely beautiful, huge bay, which you could access from Loreto as well. If you want to be closer to San Diego than those two places, the only place that sounds appealing to me is Ensenada. Ensenada has lots of restaurants and bars. I really don't know any specifics but there are beaches to be accessed. Weather would be much like San Diego. Loreto can be windy and cool that time of year. The days should be in the 70's though, and the sun almost always shines. Guerrero Negro is not appealing, though Ryon is right about it being the season to see the gray whales and their babies. La Paz is wonderful and has plenty of people about all year round, but is 3 days driving from San Diego and too far to be a destination for a week long trip.
I'm a little shy on details about possibilities in the northern part of Baja because we usually cruise right on through on our way to Baja Sur.
Nov 18, 2012 4:11 PM
Nov 18, 2012 4:55 PM
Nov 18, 2012 5:52 PM
Nov 18, 2012 7:19 PM
8There is a small flight operator that works out of Ensenada, flying between there, Isla Cedros, and Gurrero Negro. Yes, I believe it would be cheaper to use them than a rental car. There's also a bigger, private operation called Aerocedros that might take you as well.
But yes, I am assuming the OP means he's thinking about a rental car from LAX. Sorry if I'm wrong.
Posted from banned Tor exit router 18.104.22.168.
Nov 18, 2012 7:50 PM
Nov 19, 2012 10:26 AM
10Grab a flight to Los Cabos or La Paz and don't deal with northern Baja.
You don't have the time.
Nov 19, 2012 11:07 AM
11Good idea montereyjack. Flights to Cabo are relatively cheap. Rent a car there and head north. Loop around to Todo Santos and then into La Paz. The malecon in La Paz is a joy any night of the week but especially on weekends. Sit at a cafe and watch the world pass by. There are tons of hotels in any price range. Check out Chinatown, the big book store, the churches. It's a great place to walk and walk. On your way back to cabo loop the other way past Los Barriles and the east cape. Too full of gringoes for me but really beautiful beaches.
Nov 19, 2012 3:33 PM
12So, flights from Ensenada or from the US to Cabo? Is there a particular recommended charter company?
Nov 19, 2012 4:33 PM
13Fly from LAX to Cabo. Anything else wastes time. Begin your vacation when you rent the car in Cabo and then head out of that crazy place to Todo Santos, La Paz and a quick peak at the East Cape on your return to the airport. Those small planes out of Ensenada and Guerrero Negro can be very unreliable---ie. if there are not enough passengers they don't fly. And you would have to spend a day of your vacation getting to the airport. Not worth it. There are a steady stream of flights from LAX to Cabo. Should be a piece of cake to make a connection.
Nov 26, 2012 5:05 PM
14Sorry but that is ridiculous. You do not have to fly to Cabo. That is advice from people who do not know Baja. A week is too short to drive to La Paz. If you are renting a car, you need to make sure that the car rental company will let you take it past Ensenada, most will not. However there are companies that will allow you to drive to Baja Sur if you seek them out.
You need to get started fairly early in the day, if your flight into LAX isn't early then head down and spend the night in the San Diego area, then take off for Baja early in the morning.
It gets dark around 5:30 that time of year. You cannot drive after dark in Baja and you need to assume you are only going to make 30 mph or so driving the Baja highway south due to cows on the road, mountains with no shoulder and no guard rails, washed out roads etc. You should plan an itinerary that will relax you rather than have you sweating to make good time.
Remember to stop at the border and pull into the far right lane to get your tourist visa. If you get a good guidebook it will explain how to do this. Get a guidebook that has mile-by-mile markers because there are so many interesting things to see along the way. You only need this if you go south of Ensenada.
Possible itineraries: One night in Ensenada--a port town by the way, NOT a beach town--though this is very urban and maybe not the Baja of your dreams. There is a beach resort seven miles south of Ensenada called the Estero Beach Hotel. I haven't been there in years and I heard it's run down, but last time I was there it was a really pretty property and worth a look.
If you get an early start you can scoot on through Ensenada if desired and keep driving. The toll road ends at Ensenada and then you are on the real Baja Highway 1.
If you like wines and wineries, spend a night at a winery in the Guadalupe Valley--or a day in Ensenada with a wine guide who takes you out to some of the wineries. Otherwise drive straight through the Guadalupe Valley and down onto the farmland on the way to San Quintin. If you're tired when you get to San Quintin, this can be a good overnight, there are numerous lodgings on the bay but note you have to turn off the highway onto dirt roads to get to the bay. If it's getting on toward dark, this is a good stopping place. I personally like the Old Mill though someone told me it closed?? Not sure. There are a couple of hotels on the bay.
The next day, drive to either Guerrero Negro or San Ignacio and go whale watching. It would be unthinkable to me to be in Baja that time of year and NOT go whale watching!
The advantage to Guerrero Negro is it's closer, on all paved roads and the town is right off the highway. I used to like to stay at the little cabanas at Malarrimo which has a delicious seafood restaurant. You must eat there. Spend the night and they will take you out into the lagoon early the next morning you will be right in the lagoon with gray whales all around you. Very thrilling. Trip is around 3 hours costs about $40.
Now, if you're really into whales, don't stop at Guerrero Negro, drove on down another 90 minutes or so to San Ignacio and stay there overnight and have one of the whale watching outfits take you out to the lagoon there. I don't recommend driving your own car on this rutted washboard dirt road. I've usually used Kuyima. They have a website. The difference is that San Ignacio has friendly whales, so you may have one or more whales come up to your boat which is amazing. You can pet them. It's more hassle to get there though, so it's up to you to decide if it's worth it.
If you are into cave art, you can also hire guides to take you out to see cave paintings from San Ignacio, which is a pretty little oasis town with a beautiful mission. That is an all day excursion.
Otherwise, leave and then drive to Bahia de Los Angeles on the other side of the peninsula. Gorgeous place. Very rural and rustic. And quiet. There's basically like one cantina and one restaurant and otherwise it's just amazing scenery and incredible sea life. You can hire boats to take you out to the islands offshore and you will see lots of sea life. Ask at the cantina or at the little museum there. Relax! Then drive back up the coast, giving yourself two days to get back up and plenty of time to get across the border. Maybe the last night at the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel. Have fun! You'll be back.
Edited by: marlajfish
(3 star Hotel)
From US$74.55 per night
Isla HolboxBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$346.23 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.80 per night