Visiting Baja California
Baja California, or the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, is a part of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is south of San Diego on a beautiful peninsula and is an attractive vacation destination for families. To get the most from your time here, there are a few things that you should know and do. When traveling to Baja California from the U.S. by air, a permit fee must be paid; however, if traveling by car, no permit is necessary unless the visit is longer than 72 hours. While staying in Baja California, the best way to relax is by staying in a vacation rental. To find the right for rent by owner home for you and your family, look no further than Vacation Home Rentals. Through us, you’ll find one of the best selections of Baja rentals online. Baja vacation rentals help save money that would normally be spent on hotels, tips, and additional hotel services. While staying in one of the available Baja California Vacation rentals, you’ll also benefit by having the ability to mingle with nearby locals. Families are also able to store and prepare fresh local foods. At the end of the vacation, travelers must remember that some purchases are best disposed of prior to leaving the vacation rentals. Baja California’s vegetables and fruits, for example, and Cuban cigars are items that cannot be bought into the U.S.
Areas within Baja California
There are five municipalities in Baja, Mexico. Vacation rentals may be found in each of these areas, which include Tijuana, Mexicali, Ensenada, Rosarito Beach, and Tecate. Each of these are subdivided into smaller boroughs. Ensenada, which is the largest municipality, takes up a majority of the state and has 26 boroughs. Tijuana, which is smaller in terms of area than Ensenada, has a larger population but only eight boroughs. Mexicali, which is the capital of Baja California, has 14 administration boroughs. There are six boroughs in the Tecate municipality, and the relatively small Rosarito Beach municipality has only two.
Sightseeing in Baja California and Things to Do
There are many sightseeing opportunities and other activities to keep families busy and having the time of their lives while visiting Baja, Mexico. Rentals, for many families, are the ideal place to rest between active days. In Ensenada, you and your family may enjoy whale-watching, visiting the Marine Geyser La Bufadora, or Ensenada Bay. The Cultural Center of Ensenada, The Ensenada History Museum, and the City Gallery are also popular attractions. There are plenty of beaches in Baja California, including San Miguel and El Faro Beaches in Ensenada. In Rosarito, there are also plenty of beaches for tourists. While in Tecate, spend an enjoyable day at Tecate Park. In Mexicali, adults and kids will enjoy Nina del Sol, an interactive museum.
In Tijuana, the OMNIMAX theatre El Cubo is home to temporary exhibits from global museums. The downtown district is a popular destination where tourists can see the Tijuana Tower. There is also the monumental clock on Revolution Avenue, or La Revu. A group picture taken with the zebra-donkey
is also a must on La Revu.
Regional Foods and Dining in Baja California
Flour tortillas, enchiladas, and chiles cooked in a variety of ways, including stuffed, pickled, and dried, are very popular within local cuisine. Taco stands are common in Baja and serve a variety of tacos, flautas, and quesadillas. Other traditional Baja California dishes include machaca, a minced beef; rice, potato and vegetable stew called gallo pinto; and almejada, which is a clam dish. Surprisingly, Caesar salad is a dish created in Tijuana.
Baja California Weather and Climate
Tourists will need to prepare for the weather when staying in Baja rentals. The hottest time of year typically occurs from July through September. Even on the hottest days, the evenings are often cooler due to a breeze. Visit Baja California from January to March and you’ll experience the coolest time of year, when average highs are in the 70s and lows in the 50s.
When to Visit Baja California
The best time to visit Baja California and stay in one of our Baja vacation rentals depends on the type of activities that a person intends to indulge in. If your family is most interested in land-based activities, winter is likely the best time to travel to Baja California, as the weather is cooler and more comfortable. As summer is the hotter time of year, people interested in water-based activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving, may consider it the best time of year. To avoid crowds, plan around periods that are traditionally overrun with tourists, such as Christmas and New Year’s or during events or festivals. For example, in September, on Mexican Independence Day, cities are often crowded with Mexican citizens and tourists alike. La Paz’s Carnaval makes March a month where tourists crowd into the state and can make it difficult to find a rental.
Unlike what the name may have you believe, Baja California is the northernmost and westernmost state in Mexico. Its full title is the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California and it’s a favorite among cruise lines and day trippers from California. The most populated cities in Baja California Norte include Mexicali, Ensenada, and Tijuana. For a real taste of this fascinating state, you should stay in a Baja California Norte vacation rental.
Things To DoThe sea and sand are some of the biggest draws to this area. Boating, diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and whale watching are some of the hottest activities in Baja California. There are also places to hike along mountain trails in the north, or you can spend your time soaking up intermittent rays on the beach. The city of Tijuana offers a colorful view of the Mexican culture. Visitors love the cheap souvenirs in this town.
TransitMost visitors fly and take airport transfers when available, rather than driving through cities like Tijuana. Such drives can be daunting due to congestion. If you drive from the U.S., it’s important to understand and adhere to government and military check points.
Busses are a good way to see Baja California, but their schedules and the amount of time it takes to get from one point to the next are not as predictable as Americans expect. Taxis are an excellent way to see the towns, and you can employ one for very little money. However, make sure you negotiate the fee upfront before getting in.
ClimateBaja California Norte is divided into three distinct areas – the Pacific Coast, inland, and the Sea of Cortez. The Pacific coastal area’s temperature is moderate, but much cooler than the Sea of Cortez. The temps can vary by an impressive 30 degrees F. Pack with this fact in mind when you explore. You’ll find rain and cloudy skies around Ensenada, but blistering heat and sun 200 days out of the year just 80 miles inland. Winter brings storms and ushers in the rainy season. Snow is often found in the northern mountains during this time.
FoodAs you would expect, Baja California boasts delicious seafood. While here, consider trying some of the state’s traditional dishes including Gallo Pinto (stew that includes minced beef, rice, potatoes and vegetables), Machaca (salted beef), and Almejada (local clams eaten with hot sauce, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt).
NightlifeNightlife in Ensenada ranges from a traditional old school cantina to a modern salsa dancing club and everything in between. Night clubs and discos are also popular options. Some of the most relaxing nightlife exists on the deck of your Baja California Norte vacation rental, and best of all, there’s no cover charge.
A Baja California Norte vacation rental is the perfect introduction to this colorful culture. With towns like Tijuana, Ensenada, and Mexicali, it is decidedly less America than its southern cousin – Baja California Sur. But that is exactly why it’s such a fun area to explore.