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Rosarito Beach News

Rosarito reborn
December, 2012

Rosarito reborn.
TravelAge West, December 3, 2012. By Mark Rogers.

Rosarito Beach has been a popular vacation destination dating back to the birth of tourism to Mexico. Back in the 1930s, Hollywood types and just plain folks began making the drive across the border at San Diego to Rosarito for a Mexico self-drive getaway, only 35 minutes south of the U.S. border. They came for the sportfishing, surf and Mexican culture — especially the cuisine. Like many resort areas in Mexico, Rosarito has seen its ups and downs. When drug cartel violence in Tijuana escalated, nearby Rosarito suffered. Americans began thinking twice about visiting and tourism figures plummeted. Now that Mexico’s drug cartels have shifted their activities away from Tijuana, Rosarito is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Rosarito Beach Hotel: Steeped in the past, fun in the present and looking to the future
November, 2012

Rosarito Beach Hotel: Steeped in the past, fun in the present and looking to the future Sun, sand and sea... just a few hours from Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Woman Magazine, November 16, 2012. By Regina Arnold.

Tucked away on a white sandy beach is Rosarito Beach Hotel. Opened as a lodge more than 80 years ago, the timeless Pacific tides and breezes of this Baja spa resort still have the power to restore the mind, body and spirit. Located in what was once part of the family mansion, the Casa Playa Spa is dedicated to pampering and nurturing hotel guests in an atmosphere of elegance and serenity.

The history of the Rosarito Beach Hotel has shaped the growth of west Baja California Norte. Its popularity gave rise to the city of Rosarito Beach 30 miles south of San Diego.

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Baja 1000 Winners 2012: Race Results, Video Highlights and More
November, 2012

Baja 1000 Winners 2012: Race Results, Video Highlights and More.
Bleacher Report, November 15, 2012. By Tyler Conway.

After battling difficult terrain and a stable full of the world's best off-road drivers for nearly 20 hours, Gus Vildosola Jr. came away with a dominant four-wheel win at the 2012 SCORE Baja 1000.

The race, a grueling 1,121-mile trek through one of the toughest courses in all of motorsports, was a gripping test of willpower for these drivers. Though racers on Thursday had their adrenaline pumping, that quickly began to wear down as nightfall hit and the.

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Recognition RCI Silver Crown Resort
November, 2012

Recognition RCI Silver Crown Resort.
RCI, November 14, 2012. By Ana Acevedo, RCI Mexico.

RCI is committed to strengthening the vacation ownership industry, thereby ensuring that all of our members benefit from a high quality vacation experience. In order to achieve this important objective, our Affiliated Resorts are evaluated annually based on specific criteria and scores received through Comment Cards completed by RCI Members who visited your resort.

This year, RCI is pleased to inform you that the resort Rosarito Beach Vacation Suites has been recognized as a RCI SILVER CROWN RESORT, in recognition of the customer satisfaction expressed by our Members. This recognition is based on maintaining high and consistent quality and service standards.

We’re convinced that this recognition is the result of your whole staff’s commitment and dedication creating vacation experiences for your guests that are unique and exceptional.

RCI sends you and your outstanding team members our most sincere congratulations and we thank you for continuing with our strategic business partnership.

Best wishes for continuous success.

Ana Acevedo
VP Special Programs
RCI Mexico


Take a Two-Nation Vacaation
November, 2012

Take a Two-Nation Vacaation..
Divine Caroline, November 14, 2012. By: Patti Morrow.

During tight economic times, vacationers are looking for ways to pack the most punch into their vacation. Unfortunately for many, travel abroad seems out of reach. However, with some careful planning, there’s a way to combine two top-notch destinations for nearly the cost of one: San Diego, California and Rosarito, Mexico.

1. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA

California’s southernmost city has long been considered a favorite vacation spot, and with good reason. The area abounds with great food, culture, beaches and activities – enough to spend weeks here. But with just several days, here are the highlights.

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Off the Beaten Track: A Life-Changing Experience for Horses and Tourists
November, 2012

Baja 1000 Off the Beaten Track: A Life-Changing Experience for Horses and Tourists.
Baja.com, November 13, 2012. By Carla White.

Some might call this a Pony Tale, but it is a story of good works, happy outcomes and Baja travelers who see Mexico in a way they never thought possible. It about Pretty Horses of Baja Rescue (and how everyday travelers can support the cause by visiting, riding and playing with the ponies — not to mention wine tasting, eating BBQ and more).

The main highway from north to south through Baja parallels the coastline, running through Playas, Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo, Cantamar, and southward. At many points along this route, visitors can stop off at restaurants and bars for some tacos and beer, or drive down a road to find a snatch of beach, or pop into an abarrotes (mini-mart) store for a soda.

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A Love Letter to Tijuana
November, 2012

A Love Letter to Tijuana..
abc News, November 12, 2012. By Marcelo C. Baez.

Remember the first time we met? It was in the late '90s, back when Revolucion avenue was still packed with Americans in Tommy Hilfiger rags. Baby, your fame was legendary: "a place where you can buy anything, do anything, regret nothing" is how my first tour guide used to sell you. Of course, those were pre-9/11 days; back then, on my second visit, I didn't even take my American passport with me because when it came to crossing "la linea" (getting back to the States), I'd simply yell "American citizen!" to the immigration official who would quickly allow me back to California.

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Sugar Rush: Boozy Ice Cream from Tepoznieves in Tijuana.
November, 2012

Sugar Rush: Boozy Ice Cream from Tepoznieves in Tijuana.
Sweets, November 1, 2012. By Erin Jackson.

Tepoznieves is the premiere destination for premium ice cream in Tijuana. With over 60 flavors, narrowing down the options to one or two can be difficult, so don't. The scoops or "bolitas" here are mini-sized, and you can get up to 16 of them in one cup. The 4-flavor cup is about the same amount of ice cream as a two-scooper state-side, and costs about $3 US. I'd go with that size.

Grab one of the Spanish/English menus while you browse the multiple freezers, and sample a few flavors along the way. Some of the more unusual options, like corn, tamarind, and prune are worth trying, even if they don't end up in your cup. One thing to keep in mind: the ice cream is on the icy side, so it's more like sorbet (while the sorbet is more like granita). Another tip? Though some flavors may seem strange to visiting tourists, the tub marked "tuna" isn't as crazy as it may seem at first glance. It's actually just prickly pear (the Spanish word for tuna is atun).

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American tourists starting to go back to Baja
October, 2012

American tourists starting to go back to Baja.
CBS8.com, October 30, 2012. By Carlo Cecchetto, Anchor.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When was the last time you traveled to Mexico as a tourist? The fact is, a lot of San Diegans stopped going in recent years because of safety concerns.

But that might be changing, as News 8 discovered on a recent trip to the famous lobster village Puerto Nuevo.

The lobster village used to have dirt roads and a handful of family-run restaurants that made inexpensive lobster dinners that were world-famous. Today, Puerto Nuevo has paved roads, over 30 restaurants, dozens of shops and 400,000 visitors per year. Most of the tourists are Americans still coming for the Puerto Nuevo-style lobster. Lobster season just opened earlier this month.

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Hola Mexico
October, 2012

Hola Mexico.
Baja.com, October 22, 2012. By Ashley Curtin.

It is the unthinkable, the unimaginable, heck, it’s considered to be taboo in many people's eyes.

But with this breathtaking view awaiting me, there was no reason not to visit and experience the culture of Mexico.
We crossed the border into Tijuana with much ease and followed the rugged coastal road down to Rosarito, a small little beach town about 30 miles south of San Diego after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. This is where we spent three days bathing in the sun, drinking cerveza and eating tacos—lots and lots of them—while viewing the country through our own eyes.

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'Shine On Baja' Lights Up Baja's Pacific Coast from Tijuana to Ensenada
October, 2012

'Shine On Baja' Lights Up Baja's Pacific Coast from Tijuana to Ensenada.
Baja.com, October 21, 2012. By Carla White.

On Nov. 3, 2012, the sun will set at 5:49 p.m. Assuming fair weather, the western sky will transition from fiery orange and fuschia hues to the deepest purple-black of night. This is the time when the northwestern coastline of Baja California is peaceful, illuminated every few miles by light clusters that represent cities, towns and fishing villages. But on this special Saturday night - a changeable climate notwithstanding - there will be something different happening. At exactly 7 p.m., hundreds and even thousands of beautiful multi-colored ‘wish lanterns’ will be released into the atmosphere as ‘Shine On Baja’ lights up Baja’s Pacific Coast.

'Shine On Baja' is a nonprofit community art project and the brainchild of artist interior designer Debbie Shine, along with producer Robin MacKenzie. Both have a profound fondness for Baja and thought that there would be no better way to express this than through what they refer to as a ‘mob art’ event - the largest and possibly most unique in Baja’s history. Like many Americans who live or travel to this part of Mexico, the women feel that the region has been somewhat beaten up in recent years by negative media attention and misconceptions about Baja. ‘Shine On Baja’ is their real and symbolic way of sending a message of beauty and hope about the region’s present and future.

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Special Tasting at Mision 19: Baja California Culinary Festival 2011
October, 2012

Special Tasting at Mision 19: Baja California Culinary Festival 2011.
Gourmet pigs, October 2, 2012. By gourmetpigs.

The Baja California Culinary Festival, coming to Baja on October 11-14, includes special dinners at Baja's best restaurants with guest chefs from all over Mexico and the US. Last year I attended the dinner at Javier Plascencia's Mision 19 in Tijuana with these guest chefs. A 10-course tasting menu ensued.

First was a Tiradito de Hamachi with rabanos, charales, chicharron, preserved lemon, habanero, black salt from Chef Angel Vazquez of Puebla. This was paired with one of the best Baja wine, a JC Bravo Palomino 2010.

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For a Safe Mexican Vacation, Go to Baja
September, 2012

For a Safe Mexican Vacation, Go to Baja.
TravelersPress, September 30, 2012. By Patti Morrow.

Turquoise waves lapping on sugar-sand beaches, colorful colonial cities, mouth-watering – and sometime eye-watering – food, and friendly, warm locals. These are the imagines that used to come to mind when planning a vacation to Mexico.

But the reputation of mainland Mexico’s troubled border cities has unfairly impacted tourism in the majority of peaceful Mexico vacation spots. One spot that refutes Mexico’s image challenge is the Baja California Sur peninsula, just below California, which is one of the most diverse, fun-packed, and safest vacation spots to be found.

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Border Week: Rosarito-Ensenada Bike Ride
September, 2012

Border Week: Rosarito-Ensenada Bike Ride.
San Diego Union Tribune, September 23, 2012. By Sandra Dibble.

The Rosarito-Ensenada bicycle ride, a tradition in Baja California, will start in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The event has been held since 1980 (twice a year since 1987) and has become an important tourism indicator for the state. For years the ride drew largely U.S. participants, but that proportion plummeted to as low as 5 percent by spring 2008 as U.S. tourism fell sharply for a variety of reasons. Organizer Gary Foster said he has seen the numbers climb back up slowly; he expects about 20 percent of Saturday’s estimated 4,000 riders to come from north of the border..

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US tourists deterred by border crossing, not violence: Sanders
September, 2012

US tourists deterred by border crossing, not violence: Sanders.
San Diego Red, September 14, 2012. By Alexandra Mendoza.

t’s not the feeling of insecurity what is keeping US tourists away from Tijuana, but the long waiting times at the border crossing according to San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

The officer, who visited Tijuana to be a part of a Bi-National Dialogue with his peer Carlos Bustamante, Mayor of the Mexican border city, emphasized the need to raise awareness in federal authorities from both sides of the border about the importance of investing in the busiest crossing point of the world. The event was organized by the Institute of the Americas of the UCSD.

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South of the Border Part 2: Food in Baja
September, 2012

South of the Border Part 2: Food in Baja.
CardPlayer.com, September 13, 2012. By Katie Dozier.

I’m back in Vegas for a bit, and despite the many great food options in this city, I find myself missing the food in Baja. Most of the food I’ve enjoyed there has been traditional Mexican, and the fresh tortillas, salsas, and peppers are beyond compare!

Luckily for me, fellow Grindette Katie Stone has also made the move to Rosarito, and when I was recommending places to her, I couldn’t help but wax poetic about one place in particular.

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Planning ahead: October's Baja California Culinary Fest.
September, 2012

Planning ahead: October's Baja California Culinary Fest.
Los Angeles Times, September 7, 2012. By S. Irene Virbila.

It’s just a month off, the second annual Baja California Culinary Fest celebrating Baja Med cuisine. Held Oct. 11-14, it takes place in cities throughout northern Baja. What’s happening? Special dinners, cooking classes, competitions and music -- and a slew of guest chefs from Sinaloa and California.

Hey, it's not that far. Travel south to participate in the six-course guest chef dinner prepared by Luis Osuna, Marino Maganda and Julian Portugal of Sinaloa, who will be cooking alongside Bernard Guillas of La Jolla (Calif.) and Javier Plascencia, Miguel Angeles Guerrero and Benito Molina of Baja.

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September Events in Baja
August, 2012

September Events in Baja.
San Diego Red, August 24, 2012. By Eleonora Ferri/Baja.com.

The Baja summer is slowly cooling down as September marks an end to vacation for many.

But as crowds thin, the easy access and incredible variety of Baja activities and events promise to endure.

September brings more tastings and festivals, including the Mole Sauce Festival and Mariachi Music Fest.

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Vino Mexico!
August, 2012

Vino Mexico!
The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2012. By Luis Garcia.

WE WERE WATCHING the kids swim in his backyard pool in Los Angeles when my friend Juan Carlos, who grew up in Tijuana, began raving about a life-altering bowl of chicken soup he'd recently eaten.

"It was at the Mexican version of the French Laundry," he said. "You know—a fancy, farm-to-table place in the middle of Mexican wine country."

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Unwinding in Baja's Wine Country, 35 minutes from Rosarito Beach
August, 2012

Unwinding in Baja's Wine Country, 35 minutes from Rosarito Beach.
San Diego Union Tribune, August 10, 2012. By Wendy Lemlin.

Traveling down the Ruta del Vino (Wine Route) in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), I caught glints of morning sunlight reflecting off the glass walls of the 20 “eco-lofts” scattered among the boulders and scrub vegetation high up on the hillside. If it weren’t for those glints, I might have passed by Hotel Endémico Resguarde Silvestre, so seamlessly does it blend in with the natural habitat.

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Tijuana’s rebirth leaves wild parties behind
August, 2012

Tijuana’s rebirth leaves wild parties behind.
San Diego Red, August 23, 2012. By Colón Navar.

When people from out of town hear “Tijuana” the first things that may come to their mind are alcohol, sex and violence… a scene far from the city’s current reality where it is known internationally by its culinary boom.

It is true that the region’s gastronomic awakening is nothing new for those living here, one eats deliciously well in Baja California and we’ve always had a weakness for certain flavor, from the classic tacos to Chef’s new creations like the ones from Javier Plascencia, Miguel Ángel Guerrero and Martín San Román.

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Mexico: Five Burgers Worth Checking Out In Tijuana
August, 2012

Mexico: Five Burgers Worth Checking Out In Tijuana
aht.seriouseats.com, August 23, 2012. By Erin Jackson.

Tijuana may not be known as a burger destination, but on my latest trip across the border, I sampled a representative cross-section of Tijuana's burger options, including fast food, food truck, and fine dining versions.The good news: there are tasty burgers to be had in TJ, and they're cheap.

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Valle de Guadalupe Wineries
August, 2012

Valle de Guadalupe Wineries.
Union Tribune San Diego, August 19, 2012. by NA.

Valle de Guadalupe Wineries in Baja California stands as the largest and most famous wine-producing valley. The annual Vendimia festival celebrates the grape harvest every August.

See video...


Border Week: From blues to ruidosón.
August, 2012

Border Week: From blues to ruidosón.
Union Tribune San Diego, August 19, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

The Baja Blues Festival on Saturday in Rosarito Beach brings together musicians from both sides of the border in a fundraiser benefiting children’s charities in Baja California. Performers include San Diego’s Michele Lundeen, 145th Street Blues Band, Stony B Blues Band as well as Coyote Mike & the Wetbacks of of Ensenada. At the Rosarito Beach Hotel. Festival gates open at 9:30 a.m. with performances scheduled from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Regular admission tickets are $20 advance purchase, $25 on the day of the event. Children under five free. Shuttle service available from San Ysidro. For full details, go to bajabluesfest.com

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Tourists feel safe in Baja California
August, 2012

Tourists feel safe in Baja California.
San Diego Red, August 18, 2012. by Alexandra Mendoza.

Nearly 81 percent of Baja California visitors from the United States consider the state to be much safer than what the press says, as evidenced by the study "Tourism Trends" conducted by research agency CrossBorder Group.

The report states that 51 percent of US tourists crossing the border into Tijuana perceive Baja California to be “very” or “somewhat” safe, while 31.9 percent consider its safety to be “neutral.”

This has resulted in an important growth in tourism; high numbers were recorded during the first half of the year, mainly in hotel occupancy.

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Tijuana Experiences a Gourmet Renaissance
August, 2012

Tijuana Experiences a Gourmet Renaissance.
The California Report, August 17, 2012. By Richard Adams.

To most Americans, the chorus from a Manu Chao song pretty much sums it up, "Welcome to Tijuana, tequila, sexo, marijuana...." For decades, Tijuana has just been known, at best, as a place for tacky souvenirs, cheap tequila shots and ladies of the night.

The food? Not even an afterthought, until now.

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Wine In a Boat: Las Vendimias at Vena Cava
August, 2012

Wine In a Boat: Las Vendimias at Vena Cava.
OC Weekly, August 16, 2012. By Dave Lieberman.

How the Valle de Guadalupe has changed! Fifteen years ago, there were about a dozen wineries; now there are more than sixty, with more seemingly springing up every day. Ten years ago, what was being produced was quite frankly awful, sticky-sweet wine that couldn't have held a candle to Ernst and Julio up here; now, there are wines that compete favorably against Californian and even French wines.

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Guadalupe Valley aims for domestic, international wine prominence
August, 2012

Guadalupe Valley aims for domestic, international wine prominence.
Union Tribune San Diego, August 15, 2012. by Loic Hostetter.

Guadalupe Valley, the most famous wine-producing area in Mexico, plays host to vintners of every stripe — from establishments turning out millions of bottles a year to those making just a few hundred.

Those products are being widely circulated, and sampled, this month as visitors hit the Baja “wine route” and nearby Ensenada during the annual Vendimia (wine harvest) festival. The 17-day event, which ends Sunday, is expected to draw more than 50,000 people, according to the Baja California tourism secretary.

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Ensenada among the “101 Best Places to Eat in the World”
August, 2012

Ensenada among the "101 Best Places to Eat in the World"
San Diego Red, August 14, 2012. by Alexandra Mendoza.

Ensenada’s iconic seafood stand “La Guerrerense” made it to Newsweek’s the “101 Best Places to Eat In the World”.

Inside the weekly edition from August 13 to 20, the culinary-themed article featured on the cover, lists gastronomic spots throughout the world, based on recommendations made by 53 renowned chefs including Anthony Bourdain, who early this year visited the stand, owned and managed by Mrs. Sabina Bandera.

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Valle de Guadalupe Wineries
August, 2012

Valle de Guadalupe Wineries.
Union Tribune San Diego, August 14, 2012. By NA.

Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California stands as the region's largest and most famous wine-producing valley. The annual Vendimia festival celebrates the grape harvest every August. There are now 65 wineries in the valley, differing in their wine making philosophies and size.

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New Casa Blanca Restaurant
August, 2012

New Casa Blanca Restaurant.
expatbaja.com, August 11, 2012. by expatbaja.

The new Casa Blanca opened this August - a new elegant upscale dining experience with a fantastic view, fresh Baja fusion cuisine located inside the old Rosarito Beach Hotel.

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Unwinding in Baja's Wine Country, 35 minutes from Rosarito Beach
August, 2012

Unwinding in Baja's Wine Country, 35 minutes from Rosarito Beach.
San Diego Union Tribune, August 10, 2012. By Wendy Lemlin.

Traveling down the Ruta del Vino (Wine Route) in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), I caught glints of morning sunlight reflecting off the glass walls of the 20 “eco-lofts” scattered among the boulders and scrub vegetation high up on the hillside. If it weren’t for those glints, I might have passed by Hotel Endémico Resguarde Silvestre, so seamlessly does it blend in with the natural habitat.

Read more...


Rosarito Concert Series 2012, Mexicali en la Playa
August, 2012

Rosarito Concert Series 2012, Mexicali en la Playa.
North Country Times, August 10, 2012. By Edward Sifuentes.

The Mexicali en la Playa music and arts festival drew thousands of tourists to Rosarito Beach on July 21.

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SCORE Drops All U.S. Races for 2013
August, 2012

SCORE Drops All U.S. Races for 2013.
motorcycle-usa.com, August 10, 2012. by JC Hilderbrand.

SCORE-International will no longer promote or host races in the United States. The long-standing desert gurus behind the Baja series will focus all of its attention on the Mexican-based races starting in 2013.

“We are excited to offer the racing community a three-race SCORE Desert Championship Series in 2013 that involves only our legendary Baja races. These three races have always been the cornerstones of SCORE.” said Sal Fish, CEO/President of SCORE International.

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Mexican Culinary Delights Becoming World-Renowned
August, 2012

Mexican Culinary Delights Becoming World-Renowned.
Fronteras, August 9, 2012. by Alisa Barba.

Much of mainstream San Diego likes to forget we have a neighbor to the south. But in doing so, we miss so much.

You’ve heard, perhaps, about the food revolution going on in Tijuana? If not, check out FOX News, or Carrie Kahn on NPR, or even theNew York Times.

It’s all about one Chef Javier Plascencia in Tijuana, who has been shaking up the food scene there with new restaurants that take advantage of local fruits and vegetables, as well as new, artisanal food producers in Baja California, creating award-winning cheeses, olive oils and wine.

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XXII Fiestas de la Vendimia, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California: 50 Ways to Leave Your Liver at Baja's Annual Wine Harvest Festival
August, 2012

XXII Fiestas de la Vendimia, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California: 50 Ways to Leave Your Liver at Baja's Annual Wine Harvest Festival.
OC Weekly, August 9, 2012. by Bill Esparza.

The Vendimia has become more local these past couple of years due to the drop in US visitors yet the events are sold out--locals have caught on that this is the premier Baja fiesta. What has been neglected by the news is that there are a ton of Americans living in Baja like Dennis Sein and Bo Bendana from Newport Beach, who bought a house on Rosarito Beach because they love beach living but couldn't afford to do it in California. They're planning on opening a Baja-Med restaurant soon in Rosarito. "We love it down here, and can't believe people are afraid to come down, I mean just look at how amazing it is," said Bendana.

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First Photo of Robert Redford in Director J.C. Chandor’s Thriller All Is Lost
August, 2012

First Photo of Robert Redford in Director J.C. Chandor’s Thriller All Is Lost.
shockya.com, August 8, 2012. by Karen Benardello.

The first photo of Robert Redford in the upcoming open water thriller ‘All Is Lost’ has been released by Lionsgate and Roadside Attraction. The film, which was penned and is being helmed by Academy Award-nominted writer and director J.C. Chandor, just wrapped principal photography at Baja Studios in Rosarito, Mexico.

Redford stars in a solo performance of one man who is lost at sea. He must battle against the elements to stay alive.

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Baja Norte Rides Again
August, 2012

Baja Norte Rides Again.
Travel Age West, August 7, 2012. By Mark Rogers.

Baja Norte, and Tijuana specifically, faced some hard times over the last four years. A combination of violence in the streets and a stuttering economy delivered a knockout punch to the region's tourism. This year has seen a major turnaround for the region. The violence has shifted away from Tijuana, and Baja Norte tourism is expected to benefit.

"Southern California thought Tijuana was going to disappear," said Mariano Escobedo, president of the Tourism and Conventions Bureau, Tijuana. "Then they noticed it was still here, so they're coming down to see the destination for themselves."

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200 photos for 200 years of Mexico
August, 2012

200 photos for 200 years of Mexico.
LA Times, August, 2012. by Christopher Reynolds.

As Mexico marks its bicentennial, staff writer Christopher Reynolds has pulled out 200 photos from about two-dozen trips over the last 20 years.

Look closely among the faces and landscapes and you'll spot a perfect cross cut in a cactus, a donkey in disguise, a fake Muslim minaret, an artwork made of seeds, three really loud bedspreads, a coyote on an island, a coatimundi on a mountain and a freelance fire breather on the streets of Tijuana.

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Border week: Vendimia in Baja's Guadalupe Valley.
July, 2012

Border week: Vendimia in Baja's Guadalupe Valley.
Union Tribune San Diego, July 29, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

Baja California’s annual vendimia, or grape harvest festival centered in the Guadalupe Valley, gets going this week and will last through much of August. Events include vineyard concerts, wine tastings and a paella contest. Some events are sold out, but there’s still a chance to partake in the celebrations. For a full listing, go to this link.

This week’s vendimia events include:

Saturday: Festival of Cheese Bread and Wine starting at 11 a.m at the L.A. Cetto Winery in the Guadalupe Valley. Tickets are 250 pesos (about $19) and can be purchased in advance through the winery’s website at www.cettowines.com

 

 

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Anthony Bourdain's fave Tijuana restaurants and bars.
July, 2012

Anthony Bourdain's fave Tijuana restaurants and bars.
Union Tribune San Diego, July 11, 2012. by Keli Dailey.

Anthony Bourdain is in town Friday for Comic-Con, promoting a graphic novel collaboration called Get Jiro! (Vertigo: $24.99) It's a futuristic tale of master chefs ruling Los Angeles like crime lords. The art's by Langdon Foss, known for his Heavy Metal work, and Get Jiro! writing credits go to Bourdain and Joel Rose (Kill the Poor and La Pacifica).

Speculations on Twitter expect Bourdain may sneak in a side trip to Tijuana. Because anyone who caught the "No Reservations" Baja episode this past May knows Bourdain's appetite for chicken necks at Kentucky Fried Buches, sous-vide beef tongue at Misión 19, and that blossoming culinary scene south of the border en total.

 

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Rick Bayless on holiday in Baja.
July, 2012

Rick Bayless on holiday in Baja.
San Diego Red, July 4, 2012. by Andrea García.

Famous Chef Rick Bayless, host of TV show “Mexico, One Plate at a Time” is on vacation in Tijuana and its surroundings.

But Bayless didn’t come back alone; he brought 35 of his top collaborators to visit Tecate, Ensenada, Rosarito Beach and the Guadalupe Valley.

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Robert Redford in Baja for film, visits Tijuana.
June, 2012

Robert Redford in Baja for film, visits Tijuana.
Union Tribune San Diego, June 20, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

ROSARITO BEACH - Robert Redford, the actor and director, has been in Baja California this month filming a new movie at the Baja Studios in Rosarito Beach.

“All is Lost,” written and directed by J.C. Chandor, tells the story of a man fighting for survival while adrift at sea. The 75-year-old Redford is the only actor in the film.

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Actor Robert Redford visits Tijuana
June, 2012

Actor Robert Redford visits Tijuana.
Union Tribune San Diego, June 18, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

TIJUANA — Robert Redford, the actor and director, has been in Baja California this month filming a new movie at the Baja Studios south of Rosarito Beach.

Written and directed by J.C. Chandor, “All is Lost” tells the story of a man fighting for survival while adrift at sea. The 75-year-old Redford is the film’s only actor.

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Vendimia: The Incredible Baja Wine Festival You've Never Heard of
June, 2012

Vendimia: The Incredible Baja Wine Festival You've Never Heard of.
LA weekly, June 04, 2012. by Ali Trachta.

Like many Southern Californians and, of course, Anthony Bourdain, we've been relatively obsessed with Baja lately, especially upon hearing that its wine country both "feels like Tuscany" and/or is "like Napa, only better," depending on which region you feel more like one-upping.

This preoccupation led to a conversation with Jim Pickell, CEO of Baja.com, during which he gave us dozens of tips on where to eat, stay, booze and beach all over Baja, most of which are available in detail on his website. The greatest scoop he gave us, however, was that of Fiesta de la Vendimia -- an almost monthlong wine festival and raucous party in Baja that nearly no Americans seem to be aware of.

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A New Breed of Younger, Hipper Expats Flock to Tijuana.
June, 2012

A New Breed of Younger, Hipper Expats Flock to Tijuana.
Fox News Latino, June 6, 2012. by Rebekah Sager.

A year ago, Jill Holslin’s San Diego condo was foreclosed on. A professor of Rhetoric and Writing at San Diego State University, she made a radically unconventional decision—she walked away from her home and moved 15 miles south across the US border into the city of Tijuana.

Holslin’s not alone. A new breed of expatriates are leaving the US and calling Tijuana home. They are younger, hipper and speak Spanish. They love the culture and don’t live in the city simply because of the cheap rent. They are reinventing the face of Tijuana, once a mecca for American retirees moving to the city for its affordability

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The New Tastes of Baja.
May, 2012

The New Tastes of Baja.
San Diego red, May 31, 2012. by Baja.com.

What are the gastronomic Baja buzz words these days?
*Exciting *Organic *Fresh *Sustainable

And what do they mean?
The buzz words reflect the revolution in Baja’s food and dining culture: a 180-degree shift from heavy, traditional dining to new-age cuisine that takes full advantage of the abundant bounties Baja offers.

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Tourism, commerce and jobs in Baja.
May, 2012

Tourism, commerce and jobs in Baja.
San Diego red, May 15, 2012. by SanDiegoRed.com.

SAN DIEGO. - The Mayors of San Diego and Tijuana, Jerry Sanders and Carlos Bustamante respectively, gathered this past Tuesday at the Institute of the Americas at UCSD to share their vision about this border region which they described as “enviable” and “privileged”.

Before dozens of members, both Mayors talked about the advances made on both sides of the border mainly on the tourism, commercial, and safety areas.

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Anthony Bourdain's Baja Episode of No Reservations Will Make You Want to Cross the Border Immediately.
May, 2012

Anthony Bourdain's Baja Episode of No Reservations Will Make You Want to Cross the Border Immediately.
LA weekly, May 15, 2012. by Ali Trachta.

The Baja California episode of No Reservations begins with a soundtrack of gunshots and sirens peppering news reports of violence in Tijuana. But against this noise we see Anthony Bourdain strolling into town looking unafraid. He knows what you're thinking: "Wait, isn't Tijuana dangerous?"

The short answer, we learn, is there is no short answer. Yes, it's been a hotbed for drug-related violence in recent years, which has caused Americans largely to stop going. So what does one find just over the border these days? A city that's stopped caring, apparently, about catering to our vices and is now in the midst of a renaissance, especially when it comes to the culinary scene.

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Tax free meetings in Mexico? You bet
May, 2012

Tax free meetings in Mexico? You bet
ADH Events, May 10, 2012. by Alexander deHilster.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when planning your next Mexican meeting:

1. Tax Free in Mexico is not a reimbursement. In this case, you don't pay the money and get it back, as is sometimes the case with VAT promotions for tourists. If you set up your Tax Free meeting correctly,  you will never be charged the 16% (or 11% in coastal and border areas).

2. It begins and ends with the Venue. All services for which you receive the tax benefit must be booked through the hotel or venue with which you sign the contract. You will want the Venue to subcontract other required services, such as lighting and audio, meals, entertainment, etc. You can tell the hotel what you want, but it has to show up on their bill.

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Are Americans safer in Mexico than at home?
May, 2012

Baja California's less-beaten path
Water slides, waterfalls, flying go-carts and more, down south

SD CityBeat, May 8, 2012. by Derrik Chinn.

"Then we turned our faces to Mexico with bashfulness and wonder as those dozens of Mexican cats watched us from under their secret hatbrims in the night. Beyond were music and all-night restaurants with smoke pouring out of the door. 'Whee,' whispered Dean very softly."

So goes the arrival of two gringos, high on wanderlust, at Latin America's front door in Jack Kerouac's 1957 beat classic On the Road. And so goes the recommended mindset for stepping into any summertime adventure south of the border, an experience that rarely fails to feel simultaneously vintage and timeless, not to mention understatedly accessible for San Diegans who live mere miles up the road.

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Are Americans safer in Mexico than at home?
April, 2012

Are Americans safer in Mexico than at home?
lonelyplanet.com, April 30, 2012. by Robert Reid.

Every week or so I get asked, ‘Is it safe to go to Mexico?’ I had always said, if you’re thoughtful about where you go, yes. But after my most recent trip there, I’m changing my answer… to a question:

Do you think it’s safe to go to Texas?

To be clear, violence in Mexico is no joke. There have been over 47,000 drug-related murders alone in the past five years...

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Anthony Bourdain in Baja
April, 2012

Anthony Bourdain in Baja.
usaweekend.com, April 26, 2012. by Nancy Mills.

Food guru Anthony Bourdain, 55, visits Finland, Portugal, Malaysia and Croatia in the eighth season of Travel Channel's No Reservations.

But his favorite is Baja, Mexico. "There's an incredible culinary scene going on there at a time when the tourist industry has been pretty much devastated," he says. "I was really impressed by the do-it-yourself attitude of the chefs. They’re cooking as innovatively as they can for Mexican clientele. Parts of Baja, Mexico, are really beginning to resemble Tuscany".

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Robert Redford Confirmed for Rosarito Beach Movie
Favorite February, 2012

Robert Redford Confirmed for Rosarito Beach Movie.
The Hollywood Reporter, February 9, 2012. by Pamela McClintock.

BERLIN - Marking his return to the big screen, Robert Redford will star in All Is Lost for writer-director J.C. Chandor.

Glen Basner's FilmNation announced Thursday that it is handling foreign rights to the film as the European Film Market got under way. The high-profile project has landed Lionsgate as domestic distributor.

All Is Lost is the exhilarating journey of one man's fight to survive. The film is set entirely at sea, and Redford - who was last seen in theaters in 2007's Lions for Lambs - is the only cast member.

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Baja beaches packed for Holy Week
April, 2012

Baja beaches packed for Holy Week.
Union Tribune San Diego, April 9, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

TIJUANA - Baja California’s tourism sector is celebrating its most heavily traveled Easter vacation period in five years, a welcome boost as destinations statewide gear up for the summer high season.

From Rosarito Beach to San Felipe, the state’s beach destinations were packed during the four-day Easter weekend, when many Mexican families traditionally hit the road. Statewide, 338,000 people were traveling, a 13 percent increase over the same period in 2011, said state tourism secretary Juan Tintos.

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World's top divers come to Tijuana
April, 2012

World's top divers come to Tijuana.
Union Tribune San Diego, April 19, 2012. by Mark Zeigler.

Usually, the only diving you’ll see in Tijuana is in the penalty box during soccer games at Estadio Caliente.

But the real thing comes to Baja California’s High Performance Sports Center today and Saturday, and we mean the real thing. What you see at the Tijuana stop of the FINA Diving World Series is essentially what you’ll see this summer at the 2012 Olympics in London.

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Rosarito Beach [Hotel Pier] Sportfishing, Alive and Well.
March, 2012

Rosarito Beach [Hotel Pier] Sportfishing, Alive and Well.
San Diego Reader, March 30, 2012. by Tom Gatch.

From the standpoint of “petro-tourism,” it very well could be that nearby Baja California peninsula, with its Mediterranean-like coastal climate and uncrowded beaches, is one of the best draws for Southern Californians looking for a quality bargain getaway.

And these days, it’s one that keeps getting better as soon as you drive across the international border. At the current exchange rate, regular gasoline at the state-run Pemex stations runs about $2.97 a gallon, as opposed to over $4.30 a gallon in San Diego and Los Angeles.

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Baja's cuisine wins tourism honors.
March, 2012

Baja's cuisine wins tourism honors.
SanDiegoRed.com, March 27, 2012. by Editorial.

TIJUANA - Baja California cuisine is basking in another sweet success.

This time, it’s Mexico's President Felipe Calderón delivering the good news Monday at the start of a tourism conference that draws an estimated 7,000 travel industry experts from around the world.

He announced that the “Baja California Culinary Fest,” held in October, had won the federal government's tourism award in the area of gastronomy.

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DOIN' VINE! The Story of Baja Norte's Valle Guadalupe Wine Country.
March, 2012

DOIN' VINE! The Story of Baja Norte's Valle Guadalupe Wine Country.
San Diego Reader, March 22, 2012. by Tom Gatch.

A warmer and sunnier than average winter season in 2012 has been the barer of good news for the wine producers in Baja Norte's Valle de Guadalupe, which lies just a few miles to the northeast of Ensenada. Many of the most popular varietals grown here hail originally from the Mediterranean region, where dry and sunny weather entices the robust Graciano and marvelously rich Tempranillo grapes in Spain as well as the rich, complex Nebbiolo and Sangiovese strains in Italy to grow ripe, plump and juicy on the vine.

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U.S. expats want tourists to return to Baja California.
March, 2012

U.S. expats want tourists to return to Baja California.
Union Tribune San Diego, March 20, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

Ensenada - In their campaign to bring back U.S. visitors, Baja California authorities are increasingly looking to a new source of support: testimonials from members of the state's U.S. expatriate community.

Through family connections, business contacts, social media, radio programs, promotional videos - any means that are at hand - residents such as Tillie Foster have been gladly stepping up to support their adopted home.

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The best of Baja
March, 2012

The best of Baja.
Union Tribune San Diego, March 11, 2012. by Eleonora Ferri.

The vibe on the ground seems to be that “Baja is back!” Of course, Baja aficionados know Baja never went anywhere, but there’s a noticeable resurgence of interest in the region. And as reported by Baja.com, the quickest-growing segment of tourists is not the cruise ship passengers, guests at five-star resorts or students on spring break; it’s visitors seeking an authentic travel and life experience. Those of us familiar with Baja already appreciate its pristine environment and natural beauty. Whether it’s food, music, culture, nature or adventure you’re seeking, Baja has it all.

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Oh, Susanna.
March, 2012

Oh, Susanna.
San Diego Reader, March 8, 2012. by Tom Gatch.

For a fledgling fine dining establishment to succeed in one of Baja's tourist-oriented coastal towns like Rosarito Beach, it would seem almost mandatory that the ownership would be obliged to procure a prominent location in a high traffic area along with some kind of eye-catching signage that might help provide a good platform to successfully compete against the many already existing restaurants and bars that aggressively vie for a piece of the local tourist dollar.

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Tesoros de Mexico: Rosarito Beach Hotel
March, 2012

Tesoros de Mexico: Rosarito Beach Hotel.
Mexico a boomers guide, March 11, 2012. by N/A.

Sometimes the obvious is right under our nose. Case in point… The Rosarito Beach Hotel….How many times have I driven down to Rosarito to spend a few days chillaxin at their great spa and staying in a splendid beachfront suite. I’ll tell you, at least a dozens times a year.

It has an amazing history. It was built in 1925 by a Los Angeles business group and then sold to Manuel Barbachano.

Manuel Barbachano is a fascinating man in his own right. Not only a visionary but an entrepreneur and a shrewd businessman. He built what was to become the first electric and phone company in Tijuana. He also bought a small 12 room hunting and fishing lodge called “Rosarito Shores” (Now The Rosarito Beach Hotel).

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Anthony Bourdain: Baja is the new Tuscany
February, 2012

Anthony Bourdain: Baja is the new Tuscany.
LA Weekly, February 10, 2012. by Ali Trachta.

We don't think any stone was left unturned by the end of Anthony Bourdain's speaking engagement last night at Santa Clarita's College of the Canyons.

We know his new "death row" meal (used to be bone marrow, but is now uni atop perfectly cooked sushi rice, preferably on a beach under a palm tree with a beer in his hand). We know how he keeps his 4-year-old daughter from the clutches of fast food's "the king, the clown and the colonel" (by stealing the head of her favorite Barbie doll, dipping it in chocolate and putting it in a McDonald's wrapper)....

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La Bufadora, Baja - Escape from SoCal Sprawl.
February, 2012

La Bufadora, Baja - Escape from SoCal Sprawl.
San Dieto Reader, February 7, 2012. by Tom Gatch.

Punta Banda is a narrow, mostly barren finger of land that pokes out into the Pacific Ocean at the southern end of Bahía Todos Santos near Ensenada.

Near the very tip, busloads of bug-eyed tourists regularly stare out at the myriad of sharp, guano-covered outcroppings as they munch on crispy churros, waiting for the next influx of water to surge through the mammoth boulders at the base of the world’s second-largest blowhole, then spurt high up in the air to ultimately dissolve into a fine, cool mist that offers momentary relief under the blazing Baja sun.

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Relaxing in Rosarito
February, 2012

Relaxing in Rosarito.
Adam Mclane, February 22, 2012. by Adam Mclane.

One of the commitments that I made for 2012 is to rest better. I know, that sounds silly. But with all the stress and craziness of 2011 I forgot to take more than a few sporadic days off. That’s not healthy or sustainable.

With that in mind, and Kristen’s parents in town for the week, we jumped on the opportunity to take a 36 hour getaway down in Mexico.

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Rosarito Beach in Baja: a food excursion
February, 2012

Rosarito Beach in Baja: a food excursion.
Mostly Mommyhood, February 19, 2012. by Krista.

Have you ever had a vacation where you just eat the whole time?

I didn’t know that’s what our trip to Rosarito would be when I planned it as a surprise for Brian’s birthday one year. At first, I didn’t want to tell him my plans in case I couldn’t make it work. I had heard about amazingly affordable resort deals in northern Baja, and it just seemed to good to be true. But once I nailed down the details (it really is value-priced!), it had become this big secret, and I decided to keep it going.

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A tribute to mariachi that you won't want to miss
February, 2012

A tribute to mariachi that you won't want to miss! (At the Rosarito Beach Hotel).
examiner.com, February 22, 2012. by Gil Sperry.

The words inscribed in perpetuity into the stained-glass mural over the entryway have been true since 1925: "Por Esta Puerta Pasan Las Mujeres Mas Hermosa Del Mundo". But, in addition to the most beautiful women in the world, they have also included some of the world's most honored musicians of both genders, as well.

Soon, in a magical musical evening, the doors beneath this inscription will open once again to celebrate a unique Homenaje al Mariachi, honoring the recent Patrimony Award bestowed upon the genre...and the country of Mexico... by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization).

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Show a slice of Baja California’s leisure life
February, 2012

Show a slice of Baja California's leisure life.
Union Tribune San Diego, February 12, 2012. by Sandra Dibble.

TIJUANA - In the KPBS-TV travel show "Crossing South," host Jorge Meraz focuses on a range of leisure activities in his native Baja California.

While producer Steven Javitz shoots video, Meraz sings opera, plays golf, sips beer, tastes tacos, rides a roller coaster, and flies a ultralight plane above the Pacific Ocean. The 35 year old host laughs frequently and never seems at a loss for words.

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Weekend Getaway: Baja's Guadalupe Valley, a 40 minute drive from Rosarito
February, 2012

Weekend Getaway: Baja's Guadalupe Valley, a 40 minute drive from Rosarito.
www.johnnyjet.com, February 3, 2012. by Catherine Stribling.

As I veered off Interstate 5 onto highway 94 towards Tecate and the Mexican border, I found myself humming James Taylor’s “Oh, Mexico.” Although LA’s January this year has had more than its share of 80-degree weather, I had a bad case of the post-holiday blues that I hoped to chase away with a weekend in Tecate and the Guadalupe Valley, two lesser known gems of Baja California.

Since I’ve come back to LA, I can’t stop talking about Tecate’s laid-back charm, the beauty of the Guadalupe Valley, and how well I ate and drank.  Serious foodies and wine folk, start planning your trip! There’s a food and wine explosion going on in Baja you don’t want to miss.

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Bringing back Baja's Tourists
January, 2012

Bringing back Baja's Tourists.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 6, 2012. by Lori Weisberg.

When Juan Tintos returned in 2010 to his old post as Baja California’s tourism secretary following a nine-year hiatus, he faced a daunting challenge: reviving the state’s ailing tourism industry, stricken by persistent fears related to drug wars and crime.

Today, Tintos is bullish about Baja California’s prospects for much more robust tourism, fueled in part by growth in spending among tourists living in Mexico, as well as Hispanics north of the border. Although tourism spending and visitors have dropped considerably from early in the last decade, those numbers are starting to climb back from the depths of 2009, Tintos hastens to point out.

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With new movie, Baja wants the movie spotlight again
January, 2012

With new movie, Baja wants the movie spotlight again.
LA Times, January 3, 2012. by Richard Marosi.

Reporting from Rosarito Beach, Mexico - Hollywood made a big splash here when it sank the movie replica of the "Titanic" in an enormous water tank built specifically for the cinematic spectacle. The films "Master and Commander" and "Pearl Harbor" followed, with the cannon shots and explosions from those productions rattling high-rise condos and palapa bars up and down the craggy Baja California coast.

But fears of drug wars and incentives from rival production facilities all but shut down film-making at Baja Studios, a 35-acre facility on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Also closed was the Titanic-inspired theme park, which once drew thousands to gawk at the mementos from Hollywood's second-biggest box office film of all time.

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