Baja California

Region

Mexican seven seas fish: Pescado siete mares

Mexican seven seas fish is a specialty of La Cenaduría, a lovely old adobe restaurant in San Jose del Cabo. It combines fresh red snapper filets, a mild salsa roja, and just enough manchego cheese to melt over the top. The description of the preparation that I was given mentioned only “red sauce;” since this […]

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Shrimp in damiana and tequila sauce: Camarones al damiana y tequila

Damiana is a small, yellow flowered shrub that grows wild in Baja. The leaves and stems are picked fresh when the plant is flowering, and dried to make liqueur. It is used frequently with tequila, and some say that the original margarita was made with damiana liqueur and not “that French stuff.” The best damiana […]

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Seabirds at Mulegé — Photo by Trevor Burton

Oases on the Sea of Cortez

The rugged Baja California peninsula and the Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California, have been bewitching hardy visitors for decades. Some of the early fans were John Steinbeck and Earl Stanley Gardner, who took time out from Perry Mason to produce a magnificent photo book on the Sea of Cortez and its villages. Until […]

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The ubiquitous land crab — about the size of the palm of a hand © Barbara Sands, 2010

Johnny’s Beach on Baja’s Golfo de Santa Clara

“If you’ve ever traveled the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez, just south of the town of El Golfo de Santa Clara, you may have had lunch at a beach restaurant called “Johnny’s Place,” which is located on a long stretch of sand known as “Johnny’s Beach.” You might have wondered about the name; […]

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Mexican fish cocktail: Ceviche

Originally from Peru, where it is generally made with corbina, ceviche is a seafood cocktail served anyplace in Mexico where fresh fish is available. It has been “mexicanized” by the addition of ingredients such as tomato, avocado and cilantro. It is important to use only the freshest fish, from unpolluted waters, to make ceviche. Since […]

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Fish “Meatballs”: Albondigas de Pescado

A delicious and economical way to use just about any firm, white-fleshed fish, this is a common meal along Mexico’s Pacific coast, especially in Baja California and the Puerto Vallarta area. The albóndigas, served in the tomato broth, can also be made with leftover poached fish. Ingredients: For the albóndigas: 1 pound firm, white-fleshed fish filets, ground in […]

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Baja California’s Sailing Safety Tips

Mexico’s prime cruising season is between November and June (once the hurricanes have stopped) and these are the favored times for sailing in Baja as well. Sailors do, however, warn of periodic strong winds from the north, northwest and east on Baja’s Pacific Coast. Some note that the Sea of Cortés can be dangerous from […]

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Mexican fish tacos: Tacos de pescado

Perhaps the most famous Baja street snack, and certainly one of the most frequent reader requests, fish tacos differ a bit from place to place, but are always served with the same basic selection of garnishes. A thin avocado sauce, vinegar-marinated onion rings, shredded cabbage salad, and a selection of red and green salsas are […]

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Ferries in Mexico: the Pacific coast 2009 update

For many travelers, driving down the Baja Peninsula, taking a passenger/vehicle ferry across to Mexico’s mainland and then exploring the interior is a pleasant way of experiencing a wide variety of topography. This Page provides basic ferry information to assist travel in either direction. Reservations are recommended any time of year. Many prefer to make […]

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Fishing boat in the Sea of Cortez

Overfishing in the Sea of Cortez: Are sustainable fish farms the solution?

It is occurring at an alarming rate — native populations of fish, mammals and other Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California) inhabitants are declining, some to the point of near-extinction. Most people familiar with the issue agree on the reasons: commercial overfishing; bycatch victims of all species in commercial and local fishermen’s nets; environmental […]

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A little girl is attracted by the scent of hot, sugary churros, a deep-dried bread. The owner of this cart in Tijuana cooks this delicious treat on the spot. © Henry Biernacki, 2012

Retiring And Living Around Tijuana

Posted by Mack on Abril 24, 2000 I’m looking for information on living in Tijuana or nearby for the winter moths at first. Need any info I can get please. Rents ….whatever. Thank you Posted by alex in TJ on Abril 24, 2000 There are two nice areas of Tijuana. Playas de Tijuana is the […]

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Baja stuffed clams: Almejas brujas

Many varieties of clams are to be found in the Sea of Cortez, including the famous chocolates and patas de mula. For this Mexican stuffed clams recipe, we used the large, yellow-shelled botijones, which have a long, firm white foot, although any type of large, hard-shelled clam may be used. Clams should be soaked in […]

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Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S. – Mexico Border by Sebastian Rotella Norton

Cogan’s Reviews “The action never stops at the border. There is no other place like it on the globe. The international boundary stretches for almost two thousand miles, from the Pacific Ocean through the mountains, the deserts, the valleys of the Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico. The region is a vast world unto […]

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Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California by Bruce Berger

Cogan’s Reviews The title of this travel book sounds a bit odd to us now. But the question of whether Baja California was an island was in doubt for a very long time. In fact, as late as 1737, a map was drawn by a German Jesuit that showed the peninsula as an island. Now, […]

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Miraculous Air: A Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico by C. M. Mayo

Cogan’s Reviews Most of us think of the Baja Peninsula as a vast, sprawling, empty, underpopulated space on the Pacific Coast with hundreds of miles of desolate beaches. To a great extent, that’s what it is. For many, it’s a place to avoid, except perhaps for the resorts on the extreme southern tip – Cabo […]

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The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

Cogan’s Reviews So far I haven’t managed to make it to the Baja. Hopefully that will be corrected in the next year or two as my wife and I work our way through the list of places we hope to visit in Mexico. However, while reading Steinbeck’s book, I found myself looking up various guidebooks […]

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Monster truck from Mexico's Baja 1000, the world's toughest motor vehicle race © Baldwin race team, 2013

Mexico main event: Baja 1000 rerun on TV

If you missed the November excitement of the Baja 1000, you can see the December version, minus dust and exhaust fumes, on ABC or ESPN the day after Christmas. The world’s toughest motor vehicle race followed an 883-mile desert loop designed by the devil himself, out, up, down and around, across washes and over boulders, […]

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Tarahumana Ojo de Lago 1997

Secret places in Mexico

As a child, I sometimes read comic books for entertainment. I did not believe in flying dragons but they certainly stimulated the imagination. As an old-timer, older than dirt, I read travel writers just for fun. I do believe some write at great length about Mexico without ever visiting. Case in point: Smarter Travel magazine […]

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Traveler’s Guide to Camping Mexico’s Baja by Mike and Terry Church

Available from Amazon Books: Paperback A while ago, I reviewed for MexConnect another useful book by Mike & Terri Church: Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping, 3rd Edition. LINK That book — in 512 packed pages — covers all of Mexico, and even Belize. Eighty pages are devoted to the Baja. A few months before that, I reviewed another book […]

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Driving Baja: A Guide for First Timers

Driving Baja: A Guide for First Timers By Rachel McMillen Trafford Publishing, 2009 Available from Amazon Books: Paperback Driving Baja: A Guide for First Timers tries to answer questions that first-time Snowbirds who are thinking about driving (perhaps with RVs) down the Baja are likely to ask: “…could we really do it? Is it safe to drive […]

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I Love Baja!

I Love Baja! Pursuing the Dream of Living in Mexico By Mikel Miller Publisher: AdelanteBooks.com (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico) Original eBook ©2011, updated eBook ©2015 Kindle Edition, $1.44 US Pages: Estimated 197 The title of Mikel Miller’s new book, I Love Baja!, was inspired by locals who again and again told him, “I love Baja!”. These same […]

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Seabiscuit Stamped Envelope (44 cents) © United States Postal Service, 2009

US postage stamps and Tijuana, Mexico’s Seabiscuit connection

In 1934 during the depths of the Great Depression, horse trainer Tom Smith was living out of a stall at Mexico’s Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana. Flat broke, Smith shared the stall with Noble Threewit, who trained horses for a friend of Charles Howard. Howard was seeking a trainer for his new horse, Seabiscuit, a […]

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Cejas and the great escape: Dog rescue in Tijuana

The mean streets of Tijuana have at last dispatched something other than media reports of killings, kidnappings and cartels. The bloody, dusty, bullet-ridden streets of Tijuana have wached Cejas emigrate, even without proper papers. You may be wondering, Who is this Cejas of whom she writes? Is he a Mexican hero? Is he a famous […]

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Chinese man in Mexico

Sweet And Sour Times On The Border

Less than 500 metres south of the U.S. border, in front of a ochre-stuccoed shopfront signed ‘Café Nueva Asia’, a technicolor banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe hangs side by side with a red paper lamp bearing Chinese characters. Although nearly three months have elapsed between the Feast Day of Guadalupe and Chinese New Year, […]

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Introducing Rick Gage: Murder in La Paz and Death Mask of the Jaguar by Murdoch Hughes

Cogan’s Reviews With these two thrillers we find ourselves in the world of hard-boiled private eyes – a la Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler – but with a difference. Both stories are squarely set in Mexico. Murdoch Hughes has created a private eye, Rick Gage, who has given up his former career as a detective […]

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Tijuana

Tijuana: a taste of Mexico on a budget

Tijuana: A Taste of Mexico Part I: While white sand beaches and lobster by candlelight are part of a typical vacation for many tourists, I’ve never been much interested in the overpriced and frankly elitist form of pastime that this sort of vacation offers. I’m more of a working stiff who likes to wander the […]

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Tijuana hotels and dining

Tijuana hotels and dining

People in Latin countries are usually out visiting in the evenings, having fun and listening to street musicians and eating at any of the well-lit taco stands on the corners. Tijuana: part II: A good meal to round out my day… and a place to lay my head at night Dining Out I like a […]

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A close-up...

Tijuana: Serious shopping for the serious shopper

Tijuana: A Taste of Mexico Part III: Mercado de Artesanias Recently we have heard and read much of “outsourcing” in economic terms. And it’s true that by the large-scale outsourcing of services and manufacturing, we are incrementally destroying our own economy. But the key is the term “large-scale,” since only the larger losses truly affect […]

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Viva La Baja! Relocation and Real Estate Guide to the Baja California Peninsula by Molly McHugh

Molly McHugh’s recently published Viva La Baja! Relocation and Real Estate Guide to the Baja California Peninsula provides concise, easy to use information for anyone interested in north or south Baja. It is obvious that McHugh’s objective is to provide an excellent product that will be useful for people of all ages and from all walks […]

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Cooking on the Sea of Cortez: Culinary adventures in Baja California

Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, also known by the less lyrical name Gulf of California, supports more marine life than any other body of water on earth. It is no surprise, therefore, that divers, fishermen, and seafood lovers from all over the world find the Mar de Cortez an alluring and gracious host. Like an enormous […]

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Tequila, Lemon and Salt: From Baja – Tales of Love, Faith and Magic by Daniel Reveles

Cogan’s Reviews The location for these nine stories is the town of Tecate in the Baja. I must admit I’d never heard of it until I came across this book. It sounds like a mildly attractive place, located 34 miles east of Tijuana. Tucked away in the extreme northwest of Mexico, it couldn’t possibly be […]

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In the Shadow of the Volcano: One Family’s Baja Adventure by Michael Humfreville

Cogan’s Reviews This one is a little different from your usual travel adventure in that the people involved set out with the definite intention of “roughing it.” And they seem such an unlikely pair. They are Michael Humfreville and his newly-wed wife, Mary Ann. The two were married in California in 1973. Both were employees […]

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Baja California Sur – Overview

LOCATION: The state of Baja California Sur is located in northeastern Mexico, on the peninsula of Baja California. It is bordered to the north by the state of Baja California Norte, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the south and east by the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of […]

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Living/Crossing Tijuana/San Diego

Posted by alex in TJ on Mayo 02, 2000 HOUSING: There are two nice areas of Tijuana. Playas de Tijuana is the little strip between the Ensenada toll road and the ocean. The other is near the American Consulate north of Aguas Calientes and is more centrally located. Rents run $350 to $400 per month, so […]

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The malecon or boardwalk in San Felipe on Mexico's Sea of Cortez © Robert Miller, 2012

San Felipe: Baja California life on Mexico’s Sea of Cortez

I had dreamed about moving to Mexico for decades. As retirement approached, I began to look seriously at places to check out. Having lived in San Diego for decades, going to Mexico along the Baja California coastline was never a problem for me. I had an aging Mother who would be joining me, so nearby […]

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A little girl is attracted by the scent of hot, sugary churros, a deep-dried bread. The owner of this cart in Tijuana cooks this delicious treat on the spot. © Henry Biernacki, 2012

Crossing to Tijuana: The Blue Line

The people waiting at the Civic Center either went to get someone out of jail or take the train to the US-Mexico border. That was life, dia y noche in San Diego and the most charming way to enter Mexico, via Tijuana. Immediately after 2nd Ave. the Blue Line: San Ysidro-Tijuana, ran in both directions. That was […]

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Mexico living takes advantage of great weather to take things outdoors. This home is in Mission Viejo in Rosarito Beach, Baja, California © Baja 123, 2012

Mexico real estate: Beach bargains in Baja

I looked at him with what could only be described as pure skepticism. “Affordable, direct ocean view Mexico real estate and just steps from the beach?” I said. “Show me.” As realtor and expat Max Katz drove me to a beachside community of Las Gaviotas on Rosarito Beach in Baja, Mexico, I imagined myself once […]

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Former Oregon residents Loretta and Joe Taylor found their paradise in Baja, Mexico © Patti Morrow, 2013

In Mexico, Baja beckons expats

Married, single, young, old, with kids in tow, retired or entrepreneurs — Baja Mexico is enticing expats with its promise of a better lifestyle. The choices are unlimited. The colorful culture of colonial and fishing towns, low home prices, world-class surfing on the crashing waves of the Pacific, snorkeling in the crystalline fish-rich waters of […]

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Cactus flowers pose amid sharp thorns in Mexico's San Felipe desert © Bruce F. Barber, 2013

Mexico’s San Felipe: A living desert museum

San Felipe is the center of a living museum that has witnessed the passage of a continuum of men, women and children for the past 2- to 3,000 years. Whereas evidence of their existence remains in most of the canyons draining the nearby Sierra San Pedro Martir, it stands in abundance in shell mounds lining […]

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Driving into Loreto, you get another view from a mountain ridge of the beautiful Sea of Cortes, referred to often as the world © Ed Kociela, 2011

Driving the Baja Highway

The Baja 1,000 is considered one of the most dangerous, but exciting, races in the world. It winds through mountains and desert in the most remote parts of Baja California with drivers dodging Mother Nature’s homespun hazards like rugged dry washes and rapid changes in altitude. They also deal with free-roaming livestock, rattlesnakes and one […]

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Did you know? Mexico was once the world’s major source of pearls

This month’s Did You Know column highlights the pearl, the beautiful birthstone associated with the month of June. The history of pearl collecting in Mexico goes back a very long way. When Spanish explorers sailed into the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California) in the early 1530s they encountered Pericú Indians wearing necklaces strung with red […]

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The blocks between Avenues Revolución and Constitución have secret shopping passages to be explored. Remarkably inexpensive stained glass pieces attracted my attention.

Baja California – Ensenada and Tijuana

The word baja (meaning lower in Spanish) has come to be synonymous with the rugged, arid landscape of the Mexican state of Baja California. Its proximity to alta (upper) California, once Mexican territory but now a state in the United States, has made its gateway, Tijuana, the most visited city in Mexico. There competition dictates that one should […]

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Ensenada Info

Posted by Rafa Gonzalez on Julio 04, 2000 Hello, My name is Rafael Gonzalez, I currently live in San Diego, CA and Pili Trabado is my sister in law. By her request I will try to give you some information about Ensenada, Baja. I lived there for a great part of my life and I […]

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A Tijuana Jail

This is another vignette of one of my experiences in Mexico. It is not a complaint or criticism, just an account of brief adventure. A lot of people would be reluctant to admit that they had spent three days in jail. Who hasn’t violated a traffic regulation or fudged on their income tax. The ironic […]

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Baja California – The Wedding

I rented a small house in La Gloria, in the hills between Rosarito Beach and Tijuana. It was a cozy place. I had painted inside and out and landscaped the yard. A willow tree shaded the back patio and there were a couple more trees. The architectural design was pretty neat and there was a […]

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Baja California – Hotel Playas Ensenada

Doors are locked. Lights extinguished. The world belongs to the nocturnal creatures, the ocean, the breeze, and a trickle of night people. Time is irrelevant. The past, the present, and the future assume the same dimension. Men in tuxedos. Trousers rolled up and shoes cast aside. Ladies in fashionable evening dresses, held up to their […]

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Interactive Map of Baja California, Mexico

Interactive Map of Baja California, Mexico

Interactive Map of Baja California, Mexico This interactive map shows the state of Baja California, the northern section of the Baja California Peninsula The state capital of Baja California is Mexicali. Other important locations in Baja California include Tijuana, Ensenada, Buenavista, San Felipe and Rosarito Beach. Note: There is no such state as Baja California […]

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Baja California Peninsula

Interactive Map of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

Interactive Map of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico This interactive map of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula includes the states of Baja California, the northern section of the peninsula, and Baja California Sur. The state capital of Baja California is Mexicali. Other important locations in Baja California include Tijuana, Ensenada, Buenavista, San Felipe and Rosarito Beach. The […]

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Tell me about Rosarito Beach

Posted by Bill on Mayo 15, 2000 Over this past weekend, the L.A. Times ran a large feature article on the ups and downs of living in this popular Baja Norte community. This is a “must read” for anyone thinking of relocating to the area. (The article follows this thread.) Posted by Braulio in Mexicali […]

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Living the retired life in Ensenada

Posted by Norm Wain on Junio 28, 2000 Wanting to be reasonably close to San Diego for my family in California and Kaiser HMO, I am probably moving to the Ensenada area later this year and hope to connect with people via e-mail who will be willing to answer some questions for me. I lived […]

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TAGS – States, Regions, Cities

Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México (State of), México City, D.F., Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas,

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Paul Carrigan's car

The Baja Highway from top to bottom

Despite advice to the contrary from 99% of the people we asked, we took the Baja Highway south early in 2006. I pulled into Mr. Kelly’s trailer park in Oceanside on February 2 and said, “Mr. Kelly, I’ve got an idea.” Kelly, my first college roommate, said, “I love it when you have an idea!” […]

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Trailer tales from La Bufadora, Baja California

Anyone you talk to in Baja with a roof over their head has a story or two to go with the roof. Jack Smith of Los Angeles Times, joyfully chronicled his home building adventures in his book, God and Mr. Gomez, Ben Hunter did the same in his book, The Baja Feeling. These gentlemen started […]

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Did You Know? Mexico in the Guinness world records: part two

An earlier column described several Guinness records and their connection to Mexico and Mexicans. This month’s column examines four more very different Guinness records which do not involve quite as much physical activity. In movie images, Mexico is almost invariably associated with cacti and it should, therefore, come as no surprise to find that the […]

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A newbie Gabacho in Mexico

I parked my car on the US side of the border as I had no idea what to expect if I drove into Mexico. Will I need a passport? Some kind of international driver’s license? Better to be safe and walk across and scope it out. So I walk through the heavy, iron, bird-cage looking […]

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Tortilla run: a day in Tijuana

We woke at 7 a.m. to the blaring horn of the propane truck ” beepbeeeeeepbeepbeeeeeeeeep ” and wonder if he will ever buy a muffler for that dang truck. We dress quickly so that we can get to the tiangis early. We aren’t sure what we want to buy, but we know that the best deals are […]

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Back to Baja: Some favorite dishes get a makeover

Mexican Kitchen There are few places more relaxing than Baja California, and no time better to go there than winter. This Mexican peninsula that straddles the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez seems to have been created for relieving stress and renewing the spirit. The “winter blues” are banished here, where the only blues […]

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Baja communities play a key role in conservation

“Ah Maria! Ah Maria!” Juan calls excitedly from the bow of his 18-foot fishing panga, the Caribbean Queen. We’re just outside of Baja California’s Magdalena Bay, and I wonder if Juan is exclaiming jubilant Hail Mary’s, when the reason for his excitement comes into view – a domed turtle shell floating on the ocean surface in the […]

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