Hola Riders! Have you ever wondered what a riding adventure in another country would be like? We just completed a unique ride through some of the most beautiful terrain of Mexico's Baja Peninsula and it’s a trail ride we won’t ever forget. It’s also a trip anyone can do and all it takes is a passport and a spirit of adventure.
Viva La Mexico
We’ve been to Mexico many times and love it whether watching the huge waves of the Pacific or relaxing on the white powder, sand beaches of the Caribbean at Akumal Bay. The residents are friendly, the food is fantastic, and it’s always an adventure. On the Pacific side is where the best riding is, however, and the strip of land separating the deep blue Pacific from the Azure waters of the Sea of Cortez is officially called “Baja California” but most people simply know it as Baja.
It goes without saying this is where the world famous Baja 1000 race is held each year, and we’ve even raced in the event. The problem with racing through Baja though is you really don’t get to experience or even see a lot other than the dust cloud ahead and we’ve always wanted to go back just for some trail riding. Thanks to the Rosarito Beach Tourism and Conventions Bureau and the State Secretary of Tourism, who both work tirelessly promoting their wonderful part of the world, we got our chance. This time we were headed back to Baja just for fun!
Too Much Fun
Armando Carrasco is the President of Tourism in the Rosarito area but he also works tirelessly promoting events and staging activities through the aptly named Too Much Fun Promotions. Too Much Fun hosts all types of activities from guided tours to motocross races, but regardless of the event, they do their absolute best to make your experience enjoyable. We know quite a few riders who regularly ride, race, and vacation in the Rosarito area and they praise it for the relaxed atmosphere, excellent weather, proximity to beaches, the food, and the people. Inland from the beaches the Rosarito area has become famous for its many vineyards which produce their own unique, high quality wines thanks to a Mediterranean-like climate. Cattle ranches were the original agricultural business in the region and it still plays a large part, but today you can find farms of all sizes with widely varying crops, including olives.
We were there to experience The Grape Adventure Ride which was an off-road tour with a stop at local wineries. Any chance to go riding sounds great, but the Grape Adventure Ride through Baja would really be something special and there was no way were going to miss it. Armando and Too Much Fun quickly arranged everything we needed, including a Side x Side to ride, and all we had to bring was our helmets, a camera, and be ready for the adventure.
Arriving in Rosarito, we settled into a beautiful hotel by the beach called the Rosarito Inn. Too Much Fun makes the arrangements using hotels that meet their standards, and we found the Rosarito Inn to be perfect. We even had a balcony overlooking the ocean! After an excellent dinner of Lobster and Margaritas, it was back to the room for a good night’s sleep with the ocean breeze flowing through the drapes and the room.
Morning began with an excellent breakfast, and then a check of the gear and a quick driver’s meeting as we loaded up the machines for our day’s ride to the Valle de Guadalupe – The Guadalupe Valley. A trusty Rhino 700 would be our ride for the next couple days. Heading out of the parking lot, it was impossible not to be excited, and we quickly were out of town and on the open trail with nearly 60 miles ahead of us. It didn’t take long to realize this would be no Sunday drive and the trails had a little bit of everything: some open terrain, some tight trails, hill climbs, and ledges to cling to. It seemed like only a few miles back the ride had started on the beach with the waves of the Pacific only steps away, but now we had climbed into the high country. We always like a challenge and Rick was doing an excellent job of piloting the Rhino through the Baja back country. The air was fresh, the sun beamed down as our Rhino hummed along, and a dust streak trailed behind to mark our route. Already this was one of those “once in a lifetime” adventures. Along the way we stopped from time to time for snacks, water, or to snap a few photos at the wineries we visited, and one thing we noticed in every photo was that every person was smiling. Who wouldn’t be?
As the sun began to settle behind us, we wound our way through beautiful vineyards intermingled with cattle ranches, and our anticipation grew with each mile we clicked off. Before long we had arrived at our destination which was called the Hotel at Valle de Guadalupe, but it was really like a fine hacienda. What an awesome place! We must admit that thoughts of living there sounded even better! The rooms were excellent with everything you could want, and the bathroom had the biggest shower we had ever seen. It would easily be possible to wash your quad in the shower, or better yet, there would be plenty of room for you and at least a half dozen “special” friends! Bueno!
It didn’t take us long to clean up as part of the trail flowed down the drain and we were treated to wine tasting followed by a fantastic dinner. We would sleep very well again this night. Morning came with the sun piercing through the window, and once again after a hearty ranch breakfast, we were saddled up and back on the trail.
On our way back to Rosarito, we saw the most beautiful, scenic views in Baja as we crossed creeks, sierras, and huge ranches, thanks to understanding land owners. All we had to do was close the gate behind us, and it made us very appreciative of Armando’s efforts. There is no way the average tourist will ever see or experience anything close to what we did on our adventure. We didn’t really want it to end, but before long we were back at our beach hotel in Rosarito. It was all over too fast, but even now we can still smell the desert sage. Mexico had captured us once again.
What Does it Require?
The most important thing you’ll need is a passport to cross the border. We chose to fly into San Diego, and as part of the package, Too Much Fun had covered all travel arrangements from the airport to the hotel. Travel time to our first night’s hotel was about a ½ hour and crossing the border wasn’t any problem. Armando and Too Much Fun want the entire adventure to be enjoyable, relaxed, and completely stress free, and to make sure that happens, they take care of all the details. They’ll even pick you up and drop you off at the airport! We felt very safe and riders of all skill levels are welcome. It’s much like a land going version of an all-inclusive cruise, although rather than running aground, thanks to a careless ship’s captain, you’ll be riding over it. Here’s what’s included with the trip:
The cost is $965 per person for the ALL-INCLUSIVE TOUR that includes:
- Transportation every day including from and to the San Diego Airport.
- Dinner at Puerto Nuevo Village with Lobster & Margaritas
- Hotel Condo at Rosarito Inn Thursday.
- Breakfast La Estancia Rest on Friday
- Lunch TACO TIME
- Free day Friday
- Hotel at Rosarito Inn Friday
- Breakfast Oceana Café Saturday
- Entry Fee for the Ride from Rosarito – Valle de Guadalupe - Rosarito
- Lunch La Mentada Carne Asada
- Wine Route with 3 winery tastings
- Paella Dinner/Party at Hotel Valle de Guadalupe
- Hotel at Valle de Guadalupe
- Breakfast @ Hotel Valle de Guadalupe
- Lunch at La Nopalera
- Dinner Party
- Hotel at Rosarito Inn Sunday
- Mexican Breakfast Monday
- UTV Rental per person shared ride for two days
- All TIPS included
There’s even a bonus available and if you can get a group of 10 people together, the 11th spot is free! The ride is great for couples and probably even teens, but regardless of whether you go by yourself or with everyone you know, you won’t be disappointed. For riders of all skill levels, it’s an awesome adventure and one you will never forget. Each time we think of it, we can’t help but smile. The Grape Adventure Ride truly is Too Much Fun!
Special Thanks to the Rosarito Beach Tourism and Conventions Bureau, the State Secretary of Tourism, Armando Carrasco, and everyone else who made this trip possible. You greeted us like family and we loved visiting you!
Too Much Fun Promotions
P.O. Box 120089
Chula Vista, CA 91912