Valle de Guadalupe Mexico is a hidden gem in Baja, California that has been coined as the Napa Valley of Mexico. Just an hour and a half south of the California border and you’ll find yourself in a rustic, yet sophisticated wine country. There are over 100 wineries in Valle De Guadalupe – each winery is beautiful and unique in it’s own way. Many of them hold world class, farm-to-table food options and have breathtaking views that make every sip of wine feel special. When you think of Mexico, tacos, tequila and Micheladas may come to mind but the wine is what thousands of people from all over the world come to taste. Now let’s dive into how to make a trip like this even possible…

IS VALLE DE GUADALUPE OPEN?

Yes! They are open year-round. The weather is usually gorgeous but gets a bit chilly at night during the winter. The busiest time to visit is late July-August. The best time to visit is in the Fall or Spring when the weather isn’t too hot and there are less crowds. You can also beat the crowds during the week. The wineries open around 11:00 am and close early from 4:00-5:00 pm. Some wineries request that you make a reservation beforehand but depending on where you go it isn’t necessary. Your driver can also call on your behalf to set up a reservation.

IS VALLE DE GUADALUPE SAFE?

Yes absolutely! Safety is definitely a huge factor to consider when traveling to Mexico. Over a million U.S. citizens have homes in Baja California and Valle De Guadalupe. The rates of crime are very low. It is always a good idea to learn some basic Spanish words but also have Google Translator app on deck just in case.

IS THERE UBER IN VALLE DE GUADALUPE?

Yes there is but I would not rely on it. Wait times are excruciatingly high. Taxis are also not a thing in Valle De Guadalupe. The best bet is to rent a driver. Every time I’ve visited, I’ve booked with BajaAround Tours. They are a safe and reliable company that drives you from the border and/or throughout the wineries all day. Bless their hearts as they wait for you at each winery. Their services are super affordable! They charge $50 a person to drive from the San Ysidro border, all day wine tasting and back. If you’re staying the night in Valle De Guadalupe, they will come pick you up the following day. I recommend not bringing your own car because 1. Drinking and driving is so unsafe and 2. The dirt roads are not all paved. 3. It is just too much of a liability and most car insurances do not cover out of the country expenses. You’d have to purchase separate insurance and that just sounds like a hassle to me. Also, download the free “La Ruta VCC” app (larutavcc.com) to access a map of restaurants, wineries, hotels and more.

HOW FAR IS VALLE DE GUADALUPE FROM SAN DEIGO?

A short 1 1/2 hour drive from the border. I recommend either Ubering to the border or leaving your car at the parking lot right off the last U.S. exit before you hit Mexico. It is $20 to leave your car there all day. If you Uber to the border, you can just walk over no problem. The Mexican border control just checks your passport and you’ll cross in 20 minutes or less. However, the trek to come back across the border isn’t as simple. There are apps that tell you how long the wait is at the border but unfortunately, they are not always reliable. If you’re traveling during peak times such as Sunday night or rush hour times like 8 am or 5 pm then you can expect to wait in the line for hours even if you’re walking over. Sometimes they have people walking around offering to take you in the bus line. If you see them, book with them for $10 and they will get you across the border much quicker. Lastly, don’t forget your passport! If you do, it is not the end of the world as they usually will accept a driver’s license but bring it to be safe.

HOW MUCH IS WINE TASTING IN VALLE DE GUADALUPE?

The tastings vary from $5-$20 and come with 3-5 tastings. Often times if you purchase a bottle, the tasting fee is waived. The food prices are just about what you would expect prices to pay in the United States especially since the food isn’t your typical Mexican street food. Valle De Guadalupe offers fresh seafood, quality ingredients and top notch cuisine. Stop in Ensenada on your way home to eat at Puerto Nuevo at Villa Ortega for lobster!

WHERE TO STAY IN VALLE DE GUADALUPE

Valle de Guadalupe hotels are boutique style and ranging in price. For the best prices, book on hotels.com. Consider staying at the Campera Bubble Hotel, which is one of the most magical hotels I have ever stayed at. Imagine staring up at the sky as you wake up. It is glamping style in a bubble. You’re completely immersed and surround by the vineyards. Pay extra for the bubble with a private bathroom and hot tub. You won’t regret spending extra for upgrades as you stare up at the stars while floating in your private hot tub.

WHAT ARE THE BEST WINERIES IN VALLE DE GUADALUPE?

There are so many Valle de Guadalupe wineries that it is impossible to hit them all in one day. The next day you might be too hungover to try any more wines so it’s best to narrow down your top 5 to hit in a day. Arrive in the early am. Here are some of my favorites:

El Cielo

In my opinion, El Cielo has the best tasting wines. Their grounds are gorgeous and you can even rent a golf cart to explore the vineyards. They also offer a private free tour of the cellar. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see a peacock roaming around the outside tasting area. They also have a luxurious resort you could stay at!

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Finca La Carrodilla

This winery has a beautiful view of the mountains and vineyards. It also has a stunning garden on the second floor of the building. Have your tasting there! They are known for their agricultural sustainability in the winemaking process.

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Vinna De Frannes

As you’re driving through the dirt roads, you may start to wonder where the heck the winery is at?! Perched up in the hidden hills is this unique metal and glass building that looks like a storage unit. However, once you’re inside you’ll see the beautiful desert landscape and vineyards as you enjoy your wine on the patio. We also ordered food here, which was delicious! The mushrooms, cheese dish and ceviche were mouthwatering.

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Monte Xanic – A reservation is required

Although a reservation is required, if you’re not able to make one just say you’re there for the restaurant. They will allow you to come in and then you order food but also get to order their wines. The vibe here is worth the exclusivity. I was blown away by the deep electronic sounds, the gorgeous pond and fire that we enjoyed our wine to. We also ordered oysters which were the best tasting oysters we have ever tasted in our entire lives!

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Bodegas Magoni

Not the most scenic of the wineries but they do have a cute sitting area under the trees. This place makes the cut because of their delicious tasting wines!

Cuatros Cuatros – The best view for sunset!

As you walk through the wood steps through the vines, you’ll find this cozy winery. They often times have a DJ and you can grab a seat on the pillows while you sip your wine. This winery overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It is a must see for sunset! The views are well worth the $50 to pay for the shuttle up there and you have a $50 credit to eat and drink with.

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SOME OTHER WINERIES THAT I HAVE NOT PERSONALLY VISITED BUT COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ARE:

Casa Frida

Lomita

Las Nubes

Xecue

Alximia – Has a dome

Baron Balche

Decantos – Has a cave


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What are your favorite wineries in Valle De Guadalupe? Comment below!

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