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Baja Fever
By Greg Niemann

Greg Niemann

Greg Niemann has had Baja Fever all his life; some of his favorite childhood memories go back to romping around Ensenada beaches during the early 1940s. He bought his first Baja hideaway in 1971 and still has a beach home there. A long-time Baja writer for various publications, Niemann is also the award-winning author of Baja Fever, Baja Legends, Palm Springs Legends, Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS, and Las Vegas Legends. Visit Greg's website.




Rosarito Beach Hotel Turns 100
Rosarito Beach Hotel Turns 100
There are culinary urban myths around the world, and Baja California is no exception... Read more
Was the Caesar Salad Born in Tijuana?
Was the Caesar Salad Born in Tijuana?
There are culinary urban myths around the world, and Baja California is no exception... Read more
Trout Streams in Baja
Trout Streams in Baja
While the piscatory stars that put the Baja California fishery on the map are saltwater species, there are freshwater fish in Baja... Read more
The Helping Hands of Baja
The Helping Hands of Baja
Back in 1986 I set out alone from Cantamar with my Baja-based CJ-5 Jeep loaded with toys... Read more
Visionaries Develop Cape Baja Region
Visionaries Develop Cape Region
Until a handful of visionary pioneers nearly three-quarters of a century ago decided to invest in resorts near the tip of the Baja California peninsula... Read more
Bobby Van Wormer’s Legacy
Bobby Van Wormer’s Legacy
Bobby Van Wormer Sr., a Baja icon in the East Cape region, left a legacy in the developing of several popular sportfishing resorts... Read more
Hamilton Ranch Baja
Warm Welcome at Hamilton Ranch
Certain old ranches have become part of Baja California folklore, especially those that had small airstrips and catered to Americans... Read more
Cielito Lindo Baja
The Cielito Lindo Menagerie
Still a legendary Baja place, the Cielito Lindo Hotel, Restaurant, Bar and RV Park in San Quintín at one time was also a mini-zoo... Read more
Loreto Padre
The Luck of the Padre
Big lotteries have always been a source of fascination and unbridled hope with many ticket holders dreaming of the mega-millions in the offering... Read more
Dentist of Santa Rosalía
The Dentist of Santa Rosalía
Almost everybody who traveled the unpaved length of Baja before the 1970s mentioned their experiences with a legendary dentist... Read more
The Pearl of La Paz
The Pearl of La Paz
It was pearls (perlas) that attracted Hernan Cortes to La Paz but he was unable to sustain his colony of Spanish settlers back in 1535... Read more
Vizcaino Baja
Looping the Vizcaino Peninsula
In looping the Vizcaino Peninsula back in 1990, our first destination was the fabled Malarrimo Beach, the north-facing landmass that serves as... Read more
Casa Diaz
The Casa Diaz Legacy
Rather than enjoying an idyllic island-studded bay, early visitors to Bahía de los Ángeles were attracted to deposits of gold, silver, and copper... Read more
Baja Islands
Baja Islands of Fiction
One of the oldest and longest-enduring erroneous legends about the land called California is that many Europeans believed (Baja) California was an island... Read more
Titanic Rosarito
Baja’s Historic Halfway House
Back in the 1940s I remember my Dad driving the narrow old road from Tijuana to Ensenada. We went through hills stark and barren with white grass like peach fuzz... Read more
Titanic Rosarito
Blockbuster “Titanic” Filmed in Baja
When “Titanic” Director James Cameron accepted the Motion Picture Academy’s Oscar for Best Picture of the Year in 1998 he threw out his arms and proudly said... Read more
Cape Cabo San Lucas
Early Characters on the Cape
One of the first Europeans to jump ship in Baja California and live among the Californios was Englishman Captain Thomas Ritchie... Read more
Santo Domingo Baja
Padre Traders of Santo Domingo
Around the time the United States was being formed, another drama was being played on another part of the North American stage, the area called New Spain... Read more
El Rosario Baja
Loop Back in Time
Take a time machine back 100 years or more. For the real thing, take a day-long driving loop into the rugged Baja mountains out of ... Read more
El Rosario Baja
Cerveza Tecate – The Pride of Baja
The most ubiquitous symbol in Baja California is undoubtedly that of Tecate Beer, the “cerveza” that is a source of pride to Bajacalifornios ... Read more
El Rosario Baja
The Last Outpost
The modest village of El Rosario, some 220 miles south of the U.S. border, could be considered as the birthplace of the northern Mexican ... Read more
Baja's First Settlement
It was conquistador Hernán Cortés, the conqueror of Mexico, who personally went on to Baja California in 1535 to establish the peninsula’s ... Read more
Guerrero Negro
A San Ignacio Village Smithy
Throughout Baja California and Baja California Sur you have probably noticed local families with Anglo surnames. Many of those Anglo-named families ... Read more
Guerrero Negro
The Tony Reyes Legacy
Yellowtail were all over the channel between Punta La Gringa and Smith Island. It was hot stand-up fishing action, the feisty yellowtail chasing ... Read more
Guerrero Negro
White Salt, Gray Whales, and the Black Warrior
There was no warrior there, even though the translation of Guerrero Negro means “Black Warrior.” The name “Guerrero Negro,” the largest town... Read more
Cruz Roja
Cruz Roja – Helping Hand in Baja
Most people appreciate a comfort zone, even when they travel. They want to feel safe and protected. That’s why they buy automobile insurance... Read more
Buena Vista
Buena Vista Launches East Cape
These days when you think of the East Cape of Baja California Sur, fishing resorts automatically come to mind. However, it wasn’t... Read more
Guadalupe Valley
Beyond Guadalupe's Wineries
What else can one do in a famous wine valley besides partake in winery tours and enjoy samples of the of eclectic palette offerings?... Read more
Rancho Meling
Rancho Meling
Even though it’s been a quarter century (1996) since I last visited the historic Meling Ranch up in the high country of the San Pedro Martir, apparently it hasn’t changed much... Read more
Mariachis – The Tempo of Mexico
Mariachis – The Tempo of Mexico
The uplifting sounds and homey folk lyrics of mariachi music has become an integral part of the Mexican culture and history. Indeed... Read more
Cows with an Ocean View Baja
Cows with an Ocean View
Americans have been flocking to the Baja California coastline seeking ocean view properties for years. To about 7,000 cows... Read more
Camping on the Baja beach 1985
Camping on the Beach – 1985
Instead of prairie schooners, horses and wagons, our three vans formed the circle around our camp’s outer perimeter. Assorted tables and boxes... Read more
Wyatt Earp in Baja
Wyatt Earp in Baja
Legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp was perhaps best known for the infamous 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone. But the part-time... Read more
Walker’s Army Overthrows Baja
“Unexplored” Baja Lures Adventurers
As a schoolboy in the 1920’s, Marquis McDonald was intrigued by explorers and dreamt of possible adventures. While still a young... Read more
Walker’s Army Overthrows Baja
Walker’s Army Overthrows Baja
The most infamous American to set foot in Baja California was likely William Walker, a diminutive southerner who went there to establish... Read more
Pirates in Baja
Pirates Hit Jackpot in Baja
Pirates, those sword-dueling adventurers of yore have long been romanticized in opera, novels and movies. The reality... Read more
Horseback in Rosarito – 1957 Style
Horseback in Rosarito – 1957 Style
Vince and I scrambled up the rocky bluff from the beach. At the crest, we looked back to catch the early morning sun bouncing off the ocean. We... Read more
Inspiring Travelers to Baja
Inspiring Travelers to Baja
Some months ago, Baja enthusiast and fellow author David Kier (Baja California: Land of Missions) threw out this tickler via the Baja Nomad Forum: “Who were the Baja... Read more
Pasqual the Clam Man
Pasqual the Clam Man
“Clam Man here. I’m the Clam Man. Wanna buy some clams? My clams make you horny,” the bearded old man chanted as he dragged a full gunny sack through our... Read more
Calimax Puerto Nuevo
New Calimax for Puerto Nuevo
Beginning in the mid-1960s, I’ve watched the lobster village of Puerto Nuevo, B. C. grow from a few small dwellings on a dusty bluff to a vibrant tourist... Read more
Clambake Tile
A Moonlight Clambake
“Here’s one,” Leila said, “Left foot.” So I dove down, felt her left foot and pulled the small clam out of the sand beneath her toes. The water... Read more
Mama Espinoza Baja
Baja’s Colorful Cliffside Palettes
They’re considered the finest examples of cave art in the Western Hemisphere. Yet the centuries-old paintings in Baja California have been available... Read more
Mama Espinoza Baja
Mama Espinoza and the Flying Samaritans
Doña Anita (Mama) Espinoza of El Rosario, a legend among Baja travelers, is also credited as founding the Flying Samaritans... Read more
Colonel Estaban Cantú
Street Bargains – Baja Style
Many Americans have a hard time passing up outdoor markets and garage sales. On Saturday mornings they are out among a veritable... Read more
Colonel Estaban Cantú
A Tale of Two Leaders
Before Mexican statehood came to Baja California (Norte) in 1952 there were a series of territorial leaders and governors... Read more
The Legend of the Lost Mission
The Subtle Surprises of Santiago
One of the most restful villages on the Baja California peninsula wasn’t always that way. A mission established in 1724... Read more
The Legend of the Lost Mission
The Legend of the Lost Mission
The Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church had for over 70 years defied incredible physical odds in establishing a foothold in forbidding... Read more
Hotel Serenidad Santa Rosalía
Hotel Serenidad: Fly-in for a Pig Roast
Mulegé to many Baja travelers means the Hotel Serenidad, a tropical fly-in resort down near the mouth of the Santa Rosalía (or Mulegé)... Read more
Santa Rosalía, Baja’s Copper Town
Santa Rosalía, Baja’s Copper Town
The sparkling Sea of Cortez looming in the distance is a refreshing sight after miles and miles of mostly barren land. However, first-timers driving down... Read more
John Steinbeck’s Baja Adventures
John Steinbeck’s Baja Adventures
John Steinbeck, California’s most prominent gift to the world of literature, was yet another American attracted to the wilds... Read more
The First California Winemaker
The First California Winemaker
Much has been written lately about the fine wine and vineyards of Valle de Guadalupe near Ensenada. But it was a Baja California mission outpost... Read more
Fishing & Golf Tourney in Loreto
Fishing & Golf Tourney in Loreto
Talk about something new! The flyer from the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto clearly said “Fishing and Golf Tournament.” Now, I’d been in... Read more
Rancho Santa Ynez
Rancho Santa Ynez
Because of its strategic position far from anywhere, many Baja travelers along Highway 1 spend the night in the Cataviña area, an enchanting... Read more
Ensenada’s El Rey Sol
Ensenada’s El Rey Sol
Serving French and international cuisine along with local Mexican fare, the El Rey Sol in Ensenada is Baja’s most honored restaurant and still reigns... Read more
The Towers of Tijuana
The Towers of Tijuana
Tijuanans call them “Las Torres,” the twin, 28-floor, 295-foot skyscrapers that in 1982 became Baja California’s tallest buildings. The west tower... Read more
Van in the Sand
Van in the Sand
It was summer of 1983 when Leila and I left San Felipe for a day visit to the community of Puertecitos. Back in the mid-1970s, I had bounced down that... Read more
Rosarito’s Legendary Hotel
Rosarito’s Legendary Hotel
There’s a graceful old dowager in Baja that seems to wear her age well. She’s the legendary Rosarito Beach Hotel and Spa, the first and still the biggest... Read more
Catching Baja Fever
Catching Baja Fever
An acquaintance who knew I was a Baja buff once commented that she and her husband had gone down to Baja California the previous summer. “We had a great... Read more
Bahía de los Ángeles Pioneer: Dick Daggett
Bahía de los Ángeles Pioneer: Dick Daggett
Today’s travelers to Bahía de los Ángeles, that idyllic little village on the sparkling Sea of Cortez are usually interested in fishing and... Read more
“Bullitt” Goes to Baja
“Bullitt” Goes to Baja
The Baja 1000, the “Grandaddy of Off-road Races,” will celebrate its 50th anniversary in November 2017. Through the years many well-known participants... Read more
When the Socialists Invaded Baja
When the Socialists Invaded Baja
The Mexican Revolution that began in 1910 spawned many changes for that country. Along with radical political upheaval, there were also stories of heroism... Read more
“Seat Your Beautiful Selves” - La Fonda on the Bluff
“Seat Your Beautiful Selves” - La Fonda on the Bluff
I heard through the Baja grapevine that Orest “Joe” Dmytriw (Who answers to either “Joe” or “Dimitri”) had reopened the original La Fonda... Read more
Arturo Grosso – Baja’s Road Builder
Arturo Grosso – Baja’s Road Builder
Baja’s long-anticipated eastern connection with the Transpeninsular Highway (Highway 1) is nearing completion. Soon travelers, especially... Read more
Scammon's Saga
Scammon's Saga
Today, one of the most exciting encounters Baja California visitors enjoy is to get close and actually pet a whale. Over the past few decades, whale... Read more
The Russians Of Guadalupe Valley
The Russians Of Guadalupe Valley
In case you haven’t noticed, the Guadalupe Valley has mushroomed in importance with more wineries, restaurants, accommodations, attractions... Read more
The Case Of The Mysterious Traveler
The Case Of The Mysterious Traveler
In the late 1940s, the pavement of Mexico Highway 1 ended not many miles south of Ensenada. The smooth macadam road abruptly came to an end... Read more
A Baja Dental Holiday
A Baja Dental Holiday
When asked recently about dental care in Baja, I had to admit I was stumped. I had not been to a Mexican dentist in over 20 years, and back then... Read more
Lost In The Dump
Lost In The Dump
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right dirt road in Baja. On a map, a single road might be shown leaving a highway to take you straight... Read more
Loreto Welcomes Adventurers
Loreto Welcomes Adventurers
The Loreto panguero who took us fishing that day was as old as dirt. Turns out he was a couple of months younger than me – well, that’s still... Read more
Big Tuna and the Storm
The Big Tuna and the Storm
The tuna hit the bait hard, snapping me out of my reverie. It was 1998 and we were fishing out of Baja’s La Paz area. Leaving Punta Arena, we... Read more
Day Of The Dead
Day Of The Dead
It was chilly as we approached the cemetery late that moonless night. Lights from numerous candles and a few flashlights cast eerie illumination... Read more
Mexicali
Mexicali
Mexicali, the state of Baja California’s capital and second largest city, was a hot (120+ degree days) barren desert with dust storms and... Read more
Rancho La Puerta
Rancho La Puerta
The bucolic border village of Tecate may be home to the famous brewery, but it’s the Rancho La Puerta spa that really put Tecate on... Read more
The Case Of The Missing Fan Belt
The Case Of The Missing Fan Belt
It was May 1976 and the Baja Highway was only a couple of years new. A buddy and I had driven to La Paz and Cabo, looped the old dirt road through... Read more
Mr. Smith in Baja
Mr. Smith in Baja
He was once again on my mind as I bounded down the dusty Baja dirt road from Santo Tomás to La Bocana. “He” was Jack Smith (1916-1996) and I idolized... Read more
A Big San Felipe Welcome
A Big San Felipe Welcome
San Felipe, that northernmost village on the Baja California peninsula near the broad, sandy mouth of the Colorado River, is unlike most Mexican towns... Read more
Boy Detectives on a Baja Beach
Boy Detectives on a Baja Beach
"There’s another one," said Fritz, pointing to the sand in his authoritative manner that came with being the oldest kid in the family. Indeed... Read more
The Seri Indians Of Tiburon Island
The Seri Indians Of Tiburon Island
In 1905 Professor Thomas Grindell and a party of three others never returned from a gold-seeking expedition to Tiburon Island in the upper reaches of the Sea... Read more
Annex Baja 1890
The Filibuster of 1890: Plotting to Annex Baja
In a clandestine 1890 meeting, the San Diego conspirators reviewed their plot to seize Baja California. Smug in anticipated success to establish... Read more
Riviera Casino Ensenada Baja
Jack Dempsey's Ensenada Casino
When I was a kid, I was in awe over the large white castle on the beach, a hybrid of Spanish and Moorish style with tile roof and wondrous... Read more
Diving for Urchins Baja
Diving for Sea Urchins
The rusty old engine sputtered to a halt. Ohmygod! Surely Luis was in trouble. He was on the ocean floor at a depth of 25 meters (75 feet) and that.... Read more
Mulege Prison Baja
The Prison With Open Doors
Baja’s languid picturesque village of Mulegé has endured an interesting life. The lush valley town straddles a fresh water river that empties... Read more
El Marmol Baja Onyx
When Baja Cornered the Onyx Market
While El Marmol means "marble" in Spanish, the product from the central Baja quarry of El Marmol is actually the more valuable onyx. At one time this... Read more
Caliente Tijuana
The Glitter of Agua Caliente
At first, it seemed the racing gods didn’t want Tijuana to have a racetrack. The original track, the Tijuana Jockey Club, was destroyed twice in its first year... Read more
La Unica Baja
La Unica, a Baja Hideaway
Imagine being on your own private island with a small staff cooking meals and bringing made-to-order drinks at your command. A place where you can lay on the... Read more
Los Corondado
The Mysterious Islas Los Coronados
Just offshore from northern Baja California, the intriguing Islas Los Coronados have long captured imaginations and nurtured tales of yore. Being only 18 miles... Read more
Mike's Sky Ranch
Mike’s Ranch in the Sky
It’s rare that an entrepreneur switches from one type of business to another, and rarer yet when the change is a drastic one. But 45 years ago Mike... Read more
Puerto Popotla
The Village of Puerto Popotla
Fishing villages are scattered throughout Mexico, dotting the coastlines of Baja as well as mainland Mexico. Hardy pescadores (fishermen)... Read more
Kayaking Mulege
Kayaking Conception Bay
By the late nineties it seemed that every second car heading down Baja’s Highway 1 had been festooned with brightly colored polyurethane torpedoes... Read more
La Paz
The Tranquility of La Paz
When people ask what my favorite place in Baja is, my first question is favorite for what? I have favorite fishing spots, favorite secludeds... Read more
Guadalajara
Guadalajara: Mexico's Second City
The trio of guitarists enthusiastically belted out the melodious “Gua-da-la-jara, “Gua-da-la-jaaaa-raaaa,,” drowning out city noises and reminding.... Read more
San Felipe Baja
Into the San Felipe Desert
Way up the canyon Bruce waved his arm that all was clear. I turned to the next dune buggy in line and gave it the go-ahead signal. It slowly climbed... Read more
El Pescadero
El Pescadero: Respite on the Tropic of Cancer
I found a captivating newer resort in an enchanting old setting, right on the Tropic of Cancer. Actually that imaginary globe-circling demarcation... Read more
Real del Castillo
Finding Real del Castillo
It was back in 1998, and my timing for an adventure into Baja California’s northernmost mountains could have hardly been worse. The punch of violent... Read more
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