pixel

"Next Time" Surprises to Discover in Baja
By Misty Tosh

"Next Time" Surprises to Discover in Baja

By Misty Tosh
@bigsweettooth

Road trips to Baja always start off a thing of beauty. You say to yourself – "This time I'm definitely going to kayak over to Espiritu Santo and camp in a protected cove with the incredible wildlife. No, really...this next trip, I truly do intend on surfing a break besides Cerritos. Honestly, I really believe that this trip I'm gonna finally track down that lady who lives at the top of an enormous mountain and slaps up the best tamales ever (or so a fisherman once whispered). It's all going to happen on my next trip." But, then, road trip reality sets in hard and you find yourself doing none of these things.

Instead, you are SUP'ing and jet skiing in Buena Vista; you are cavorting with rescued puppies in a beautiful church in San Javier; you are chowing on smoked fish in a sports bar in Los Barriles; and you watching the Academy Awards al fresco in a new wine cafe in Todos Santos. No, things never go down as planned once you hit Highway 1, but the final result ends up being more exquisite than anything you ever dreamed. Simply because the surprises all came at a time when you needed it most – a time when the road has beat you down so hard, all you can do is drift into the next available town and see where the dust settles. And, yet again you always manage to happen upon the most delightful finds that make Baja one of the most intoxicating places to visit on the planet.

Roadrunner Cafe
Roadrunner Café Bread
Loreto Islasé
Loreto Islas
Loreto Islas Rosé
Loreto Islas Rose

Here are 5 surprisingly luxurious thrills in the Baja that are almost worth the trip alone.

Next Time Baja Map

1. Fresh Baked Bread at Roadrunner Café & Bakery – Los Barriles
Man can only have so many tortillas a day before he just simply eschews them forever. As in you never, ever want to see flat dough again. But bread becomes appealing once again the moment you enter this cheerful expat café just off the 1 as you enter Los Barriles. The heavenly scents of fresh baked scones, breads, cookies, and pastries tickle your nose as you enter the front door and any caloric sense you might have had is immediately obliterated. Still warm bread fresh from the oven is tossed on the table with breakfast and not knowing, you just slather on a little butter and jam out of habit. It’s only upon first bite that the dark absoluteness of gluttony gently embraces you. Yes – you are about to wolf down 4 slices of bread…and bravely ask for more to go with your meal. No other bread on earth should be served but the loaves coming out of this kitchen. It’s just that good.

2. French Rosé at Loreto Islas - Loreto
Oh, the margaritas in Baja are sublime. No need to tell the bartenders how to make them; they just know what a killer marg is all about. But, sometimes – the tummy can turn from a bit too much acid. Enter vino. It’s the next best thing and somehow dresses life up a notch. Suddenly, you’re feeling sophisticated and charming all over again. The way you might have felt before you became a road dog. Not many places in Baja know good wine outside of Cabo and Valle de Guadalupe, but all you have to do is enter the colorful seafront oasis of Loreto Islas to get back to some crisp grape in the form of rose. What a dazzling item to spot on the menu at this top rated seafood restaurant on the malecon. Their French rose is perfectly sweet, perfectly chilled and perfectly bubbly – a gift from the wine lords after a long trek through the desert.

3. Massage by Sergio at Agnes’ Boutique – Loreto Bay
If there was a ever a place Thai masseuses were needed in spades, it’s at every Pemex station in Baja. Sadly, that is never to be. But, there is a place just south of Loreto where you can get a massage worthy of a traditional Thai massage house – one that will simply blow your mind. In a super cute boutique owned by a doll named Agnes, there is a back room. In this room, you will find loads of candles flickering, fragrant cotton sheets folded down and a sturdy massage table ready to be collapsed onto. Agnes (a masseuse herself) knows that when folks come in shattered from the road, the person to hand them over to is her husband, Sergio. He’s build like a brick house, he’s studied massage in Thailand, and he never says a word during your session. He just knows how to pull, knead, stretch, elongate, and stroke all the bitter elements of road tripping right out of your body…and does so with the grace of a Zen master. Go for 90 minutes – you’ll wish you did 2 hrs. No harm in popping by on the way back North though…he’s available daily to make your body sing again.

Contact: cale_mx(at)yahoo.com or 011-52-613-114-9691

Roadrunner Cafe Loreto Islas Rosé
Palapa San Javier
Hotel Jardines Baja
Hotel Jardines Garden

4. Blended Margarita at Palapa San Javier – San Javier
The road to San Javier from Loreto used to be all treacherous dirt paths and heart attack material. Now, it’s just a splendid day in the country since it’s been pristinely paved and conditioned to be one of the better roads in Baja. At the top of this trek is a tiny village with a beautiful mission; one of the best preserved in the whole peninsula. However, what is even more astonishing is the tasty blended margarita that Ernesto whips up at the bar/restaurant that flanks the church. It’s a wildly addictive mix of silver tequila, fresh lime, orange liquor and lots of ice that magically does not melt. The village mutt’s keep you company as you sip away and contemplate what life would be like living in a small Mexican village at the end of a beautiful paved road. Sounds wonderful…and oddly doable.

Contact: No phone, but if you are facing the mission – it’s on the right

5. Shower at Hotel Jardines – San Quintin
This oasis of a hotel is a sight to behold when you need a stop over point from lower Baja to the border. It’s about ½ mile off the 1 and literally awash with greenery - a vibrant jungle in the middle of muddy roads and pet friendly to boot. The rooms are cheap, the wi-fi free and fast, and the coffee in the morning is on them. But the most phenomenal thing ever is the water pressure in the shower. The hot water is freakishly instant and the intense blast of steam and agua you get are practically reason enough to stay another night. Ah, but the border calls. Time to head home, just so you can day dream about the “Next Time” road trip you’ll be obsessing about the minute you exit Mexico.

4.7 146 Reviews
  • user logo
    Tony Vigil
    From logo

    My wife and I were in Baja the 1st week of October. Insurance through Baja Bound was quick and easy. Thank you

  • user logo
    Mark Sokol
    From logo

    Easy to obtain, good quality, auto insurance for Mexico.

  • user logo
    Kyle Spahn
    From logo

    I have used Baja Bound for years. Very easy and affordable.

  • user logo
    Pim Handgraaf
    From logo

    Great company. unlike their competitors, Baja Bound answers the phone and you're talking to a real person. Highly reccomend!

  • user logo
    Rebecca Marie Serratos
    From logo

    We've used Baja Bound Mexican Insurance for years, its quick, easy, and affordable. Whether you drive across the US/Mexico border once or...

  • user logo
    Teresa Stricker
    From logo

    Great service and prices!

  • user logo
    Edward Ramos
    From logo

    Great service, quick response time.

  • user logo
    Juan Zavala
    From logo

    Excellent

  • user logo
    benjamin bakke
    From logo

    Easy insurance for peace of mind

  • user logo
    richard colman
    From logo

    This is an update to my previous review. Baja Bound, unbidden on my part, reached out to me to assist. They coordinated a contact with...

  • user logo
    Rivera Jose
    From logo

    Quick easy to navigate website

  • user logo
    masa SAL.
    From logo

    Good seevice have use baja bound for many years good price....

  • user logo
    jos en elly balemans - wouters
    From logo

    We were trying to get an insurance for our RV in Mexico, we come from Europe and we drive with Belgium license plates. I tried a lot of...

  • user logo
    Isi Soto
    From logo

    Easy to get and the price is right

  • user logo
    John I. Mitchell
    From logo

    Professional and affordable.

  • user logo
    Clarissa Gomez
    From logo

    Thank God I had a safe trip but it did have me at peace knowing I was fully covered. The staff were friendly and very helpful.

  • user logo
    Michael Marble
    From logo

    Best Mexican insurance

  • user logo
    Rail1riders
    From logo

    Quick, easy, well designed website and not just for Baja. Good rates for temporal residente gringos. We’re now living in Jalisco. Printed...

  • user logo
    Jeff Dippel
    From logo

    Honestly their app is so fantastic and saves all my info I can literally buy the same insurance for my Baja trips in less than 45 seconds...

  • user logo
    Hector Cortez-aponte-cabrera
    From logo

    Been with Baja Bound for a while now. Never had the need to file a claim, until recently while in Baja. Someone crashed into our vehicle....

  • user logo
    Charles Gee
    From logo

    Incredibly fast and painless. Paid about $180 for a month of coverage. It was easier than going on line.

  • user logo
    Chyla Nava
    From logo

    Great, easy to use service. I haven't had to file a claim (and hope I never have to) but the online portal is very easy to use, and it's...

  • user logo
    Kierian Kuklok
    From logo

    I have been a customer for years and when I really needed them they stepped up in every way. I had a freak accident to my car and they...

  • user logo
    Lourdes Montoya
    From logo

    Easy, fast, and affordable.

  • user logo
    Aj
    From logo

    Reasonable prices and we thought best chance to actually get results if we needed them.

  • user logo
    Benny Marquez
    From logo

    Great company and they use CHUBB which is a top notch insurance company.We got our policy online 30min before crossing the border and were...

  • user logo
    Adrianna Dorsey
    From logo

    Great company, great prices, and even better customer service. We've lived in Baja for 7 years and have used them for the past 6years....

  • user logo
    Gary Counts
    From logo

    So convenient and easy to navigate thru the online process. I'll never use any other Mexican insurance service!

  • user logo
    Joey Digiovanni
    From logo

    Easy to work with 😉. Always courteous and helpful. Have used them for all trips to Mexico. Easy website to navigate

  • user logo
    Jolene Bibian
    From logo

    Shauna at Baja Bound was AWESOME!! We had specific questions about how to quote the policy based on our vehicle type and she was super...

  • user logo
    Rebecca Newell
    From logo

    Great service!

  • user logo
    Maria Elena Smith
    From logo

    Easy and affordable.

  • user logo
    Mehdi Fahid
    From logo

    I reapplied for my Baja Bound Mexican car Insurance yesterday and I spoke to Ms. Shauna. This lady processed my application quickly and...

  • user logo
    Benjamin Driebe
    From logo

    Absolutely fantastic, I already forgot her name because I have a terrible memory but the woman that helped me on the phone was wonderful,...

  • user logo
    richard carr
    From logo

    fast replies and great price!

  • user logo
    Juan Zuniga
    From logo

    I just would like to know if you guys are going to update the fastpass direction any soon, during the month of January the lane changed to...

  • user logo
    Richard Schweiger
    From logo

    Very professional, very helpful, great policy, I couldn't be happier with Baja Mexican Insurance, the friendly smiles and ease of it all in...

  • user logo
    Ryan Frisby
    From logo

    We use them every time we travel to Mexico. Luckily we have not needed their services yet but getting insurance through them is quick and...

  • user logo
    Jan Muhammad
    From logo

    I need a tourist visa for maxico I'm from pakistan help me sir

  • user logo
    Tracy Moore
    From logo

    Very easy, quick, and professional

  • user logo
    robert kepper
    From logo

    They are very good . There website doesn't show you need a title to bring a vehicle across the border.I was stopped and told I had to...

  • user logo
    Edilver Martinez
    From logo

    Our go to Baja car insurance, everytime we take a visit down south . Usually it's for a day trip either for a quick getaway with the family...

  • user logo
    Daniel “Dan M” Markofsky
    From logo

    Third time working with Baja Bound and they made it easy! Thanks!

  • user logo
    Steve Bender
    From logo

    Have never needed to use the insurance fortunately but the website always works great. Can buy a policy in about a minute.

  • user logo
    Jose Paez
    From logo

    Had a great experience getting insurance at Baja Bound, before I always stoped at the border to purchase my insurance, not anymore. By the...

  • user logo
    JUSTINE SERRANO
    From logo

    I purchased insurance through them & CHUBB for our trip to San Felipe. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to our vehicle having an oil...

  • user logo
    Christian Minor
    From logo

    Team were on point, provided inside information, prices were great and they had my proposal already in the system when I called back....

  • user logo
    George
    From logo

    Excellent customer service

  • user logo
    Kellye Pummill
    From logo

    Fast and easy!

  • user logo
    Jennifer Toups
    From logo

    Baja Bound is and has been my go to Mexico insurance company. The website is extremely easy to use, keeps all your info for a quick...

  • user logo
    Cesar Lopez
    From logo

    Very convenient, great price !!

  • user logo
    Louis Schneidman
    From logo

    I had an awesome experience with Baja Bound. Family owned and highly personal, top notch customer service. I have total peace of mind...

  • user logo
    Phil Noble
    From logo

    If you’re looking for Mexican Insurance that you can trust and feel good about while traveling in Mexico, you’ve found the right place....

  • user logo
    Jeff Bunker
    From logo

    Great coverage options . Price buy and print policy , very quick and easy , highly recommend them when driving in Mexico

  • user logo
    Burrell DeVine
    From logo

    Easy to navigate and very competitively priced! I had to call in and add an additional day, they couldn't have been any more pleasant to...

  • user logo
    Nereyda Torres
    From logo

    Me gusta la asuguranza porque la puedes comprar por un dia y te asegura en Mexico por el tiempo que vas ya sea hasta por mes (Translated...

  • user logo
    james whitmer
    From logo

    Best insurance I've had so far

  • user logo
    Matt B
    From logo

    I always use Baja Bound to source my insurance while traveling to Mexico. Fortunately, I have not had to file any claims. I do appreciate...

  • user logo
    Refugio I. Rochin
    From logo

    Excellent online and by direct phone. Spanish and English with proven response to questions. Website is very informative about driving in...

  • user logo
    Kelly Carney
    From logo

    Yara is very helpful and explains everything. Love working with companies like this.

  • user logo
    Slumdog Gump
    From logo

    Changed some money. Good rate and friendly people.

  • user logo
    Jeff G
    From logo

    Went down to TJ June 11 2020 No problems going into TJ but the way back was a ordeal 6 hours in line to get back into the USA but no...

  • user logo
    don letson
    From logo

    Great renewal process, if only south Dakota would do the same for car registration.

  • user logo
    len buckholtz
    From logo

    SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD. OLD GUYS LIKE THAT. WILL DEFINITELY USE IN 6 MONTHS IF STILL RUNNING AROUND THE WILDS OF BAJA.

  • user logo
    Susana Judd
    From logo

    Easy, quick and fair prices. Easy to deal with if needed.

  • user logo
    Seismic Waterfinder
    From logo

    Very excellent service, needed insurance for Mexico, price was fair. The custumer service rep was Yara

  • user logo
    Nicolas Dervé
    From logo

    Very good ans very fast. We hope all will ben good if we need it.

  • user logo
    Blake Glassco
    From logo

    I will never drive south of the border without Baja Bound in my center console. I was in an accident a couple hours south of Ensenada and...

  • user logo
    JohnPaul Gemelli
    From logo

    Baja Bound could not have made it an easier ... also, I made a mistake and called them having to leave a message ... but, they called back...

  • user logo
    Jeff Brandt
    From logo

    so far so good, however I have read good things about them

  • user logo
    Sengoz N
    From logo

    SERIOUS.

  • user logo
    Kenneth Trass
    From logo

    Getting a policy was simple, Provided more than provider for price comparison.

  • user logo
    Esther Valencia
    From logo

    Super easy to purchase just the coverage you need when crossing the border in your own car. I especially appreciate the fact that I was...

  • user logo
    Larry Cottingham
    From logo

    Great service, very helpful people there.

  • user logo
    Luis Cortes
    From logo

    Easiest way to purchase insurance when traveling to Mexico. I have used their service for the last 7 years and it only gets easier and...

  • user logo
    j dougher ty
    From logo

    EZ Peasy insurance purchase. Great service every time I've used them. Had to cancel one time when my travel plans went away - no problem....

  • user logo
    Paul Niehouse
    From logo

    Extremely easy to acquire a policy. Many options available. Reasonable rates.

  • user logo
    Colin
    From logo

    Super-easy and instant. Very happy with initial purchase.

  • user logo
    Howard M Elster
    From logo

    2nd year with Chubb. No problems

  • user logo
    Cyndee Congrove
    From logo

    Great customer service, quick, friendly staff helpfully answered all questions, very patient with my learning curve on a new product. Would...

  • user logo
    Art Eugenio
    From logo

    I've had Baja Bound insurance for more that ten years now with thousands of miles logged in Baja. Fortunately, I've only had one fender...

  • user logo
    Gabe Matthews
    From logo

    Where do i start..... you dont know you have good insurance until you have to actually use it. I have had Baja Bound INS for over 5 years...

  • user logo
    keith berkley
    From logo

    Been going to baja for 45 years. This is best insurance company i have come accross.

  • user logo
    Ryan Perkio
    From logo

    I have been using BajaBound Insurance for 15 years - multiple trips per year. Their website is easy, their coverage is great, and the...

  • user logo
    RaMon McBride
    From logo

    I have not had any claims thus far so rating is based on ease of purchase.

  • user logo
    Larry French
    From logo

    By far the best service for Mex insurance in Baja. They are personally there for you if you have problems south of the border.

  • user logo
    Tudor Thomas
    From logo

    Baja Bound makes buying insurance for going south of the border as easy as it gets. The website is the easiest I have used and the staff...