- Created on Thursday, 20 September 2012 21:36
- Written by Imperial Valley News
Mexicali, Mexico - Baja cities like Tecate and Mexicali typically enjoy 350 days of sunshine a year, while the warm waters San Felipe’s Sea of Cortez stay above 60 degrees, even through the winter.
Tecate, Baja’s heart between two oceans, is home to two world-class destination spas, Rancho La Puerta, and Rancho Los Chobacanos. The often undiscovered ranch, Chobacanos, allows a flexible length of stay and keeps pre-Hispanic traditions alive with spa treatments like Temazcal, a detoxifying ancient sweat lodge treatment. This fall, the ranch will also open a fair trade farmer’s market, Pacha Mama. Visitors seeking a low-key weekend getaway may wander Tecate’s quaint open air art and food markets and sample sweet breads at El Mejor Pan.
To the east of Tecate, Mexicali surprises many visitors with its abundance of Asian eateries and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Founded by a group of Mexican-American, Chinese, Indian and Japanese immigrants, Mexicali is now a melting pot of cultural fusions with more than 100 Chinese and Cantonese restaurants lining the city’s Chinatown. Visitors can choose from museums, shopping, parks, a zoo, or off-roading at Laguna Salada, Rio Hardy or La Rumorosa, a famous winding road featured in 007’s License to Kill. The region also offers prime hunting for quail, dove, ducks and much more through February.
September also marks the start of shrimp season in San Felipe, a quaint fishing village where visitors can try jumbo blue shrimp and quintessential recipes like Shrimp Costa Azul (bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with crab meat and cheese). The 20th annual San Felipe Shrimp Festival will celebrate this deeply engrained seafood culture in Baja’s shrimp capital on Nov. 1-4, offering cultural events, entertainment, wine and tequila tastings, a shrimp cook-off and regional folk art. Nestled where the desert meets the sea, San Felipe’s unique eco-system offers snorkeling, scuba diving, the Puertecitos Hot Springs and the thousand-year-old “Valley of the Giants,” a natural reserve forest of the world’s largest Cardon Cactus.