Baja Mexico: Where to Relax and What to Do

May 1st, 2018 by

Driving to Baja Mexico? Great! Make sure you make the most of your trip. Get to know THE best places to go, after all, it is quite a long journey! 

The world’s second longest peninsula, Baja Mexico, covers over 140,000km of surface area and separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. This incredible state offers to its visitors, amazing landscape, wildlife and delicious food. Plus, there are plenty of beaches to relax on in Baja Mexico, from the serene bay of Balandra beach to the party beach of Tijuana! Here are our favorite places to visit and things to do while we’re on vacation in Baja Mexico:

 

Wine and Cheese Tour

Ensenada, Baja Mexico

One of our absolute favorite things to do is relax in the sun drinking amazing wine and chowing down on some incredible food. So, inevitably, the Ojos Negros Valley wine and cheese route is top of our list. Located not far from Ensenada, this beautiful valley is home to artisan cheese maker La Cava de Marcelo.

You will be given a guided tour of the dairy-farm and even get to meet the cows, before the best bit…tasting the cheese! You can have accompanying wines to enjoy with your cheese. It is all simply delicious! You can even purchase some cheese for yourself to take home as well as other delicious locally produced goods.

Take a taxi or book a trip from your hotel so you can fully enjoy the experience.

 

Playas de Tijuana

Tijuana, Baja Mexico

Discover the hustle and bustle of Tijuana beach. Popular with the locals this vast beach is full of color, culture and city-life. Simply sit on the soft sand or stroll down the boardwalk and take everything in.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, showers and amenities so you can happily stay for a day or even for an entire week! There are loads of places to visit in the city of Tijuana, including the famous Bull Ring. Alternatively, just wonder around the city and experience old Mexico.

You can also walk all the way to the US/Mexico border and view the wall that stretches out to the sea, a strange and poignant sight. Decorated with artwork designed by its many visitors, it can be an often-sorrowful sight as you witness families, friends and loved ones, separated, and now reunited once more through a fence of steel.

 El Popo Market Baja Mexico

El Popo Market

Tijuana, Baja Mexico

Escape the tourist traps with a visit to El Popo Market. This busy, authentic marketplace is crammed with everything you can imagine! From fresh food to traditional pottery. This is the perfect place to buy all your trinkets and souvenirs to take back home. You will experience true Mexican culture, with the air filled with fragrance and dried spices, you are surrounded by colour and noise. Soak up this true taste of Mexico and ‘shop til you drop’.

 

Balandra Beach

La Paz, Baja Mexico 

This tranquil beach is located just outside of La Paz. The calm waters and the golden sands are surrounded by a rocky, mountainous terrain, making Balandra beach seem even more secluded. Take a walk through the cool, clear water at low tide to view the spectacle of the Mushroom Rock. The sea never really comes up very high, usually only knee deep, making it a great place to take children.

There’s plenty of parking here too so it’s a good place to visit if you’re driving to Mexico for a vacation! Make sure you take lots of water, sunscreen and supplies as there aren’t any shops, restaurants or toilets.

 

El Parque de la Bandera

Ensenada, Baja Mexico

Get ready for a lively, vibrant show when you visit El Parque de la Bandera. You will be mesmerized by a fantastical display of music, lights and ‘dancing’ water. Starting at around 8pm almost every night you can join the crowd of excited bystanders waiting for the show to start. Children simply love this attraction as the water shoots out from the ground in time with the music in a show of brilliant movement and color. Enjoy the show while eating ice cream, cotton candy or churros from one of the many street vendors surrounding the area.

Before the show be sure to take a walk down the esplanade and around the marina to look at the boats and the wildlife, you can sometimes even see the seals relaxing on the rocks.

A great evening out for the whole family to enjoy.

 

santa-maria-beach-baja-mexico

Santa Maria Beach

Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico

Located right at the very end of the Baja peninsula, Santa Maria Beach is the perfect location to soak up some sun and relax.

This is also a fantastic beach for snorkeling, with an abundance of little fishes to swim alongside and you may even be lucky enough to see the Gray Whales breaching just offshore.

If you’re driving from the US to Mexico this beach is ideal as there is free parking, bathrooms and showers so you can get clean-up before getting back into your vehicle!

 

These are just a few of our favorite places to visit while touring Baja Mexico, the list could go on and on!!! We would love to hear where you love to go when you’re vacationing in Mexico. Be sure to get in touch, email info@xborderauto.com and we might even feature you and your travel tips on our blog!  

Remember, stay safe while visiting Mexico, do your research and if you’re planning on driving your own vehicle to Mexico make sure you purchase Mexican Auto Insurance before you travel.

You can get your Mexican Vehicle Insurance online, quickly and simply, with XBorderAuto today. Get a quote and find out how much it will cost to insure your vehicle for your Mexico vacation.

Looking for more travel tips to prepare you for your trip to Mexico? Visit our handy Travel Tips area, where you will find a load of helpful tips, tricks and information to guide you on your way.

Mexico City Travel

April 5th, 2018 by

Taking that amazing drive from the US to Mexico City for a short vacation? Mexico City is a big place so we took a road trip down there to bring you our favorite eateries, adventures and top locations to experience Mexico’s incredible culture and history; from lunching on a beautiful balcony looking over the Zocalo to cheering on the Technicos at the Lucha Libre wrestling, we had an amazing time! So, without further ado, here are the best places to eat and visit to ensure you get the most out of your Mexico City travel adventure.

Where to eat on your Mexico City travel tour:

Get ready for a taste of Mexico with our top places to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner while exploring Mexico City:

Breakfast

For the best brunch in town visit El Cardenal Alameda. Despite it’s location (in the Hilton hotel) this is restaurant offers authentic Mexican delights from chilaquiles to vanilla concha. One of our personal favorites is the Huevos a la Veracruzana, this is dish we have searched far and wide for online and there are hardly any clear recipes to be found! Essentially it’s fried tortillas, Mexican bean sauce all topped off with delicious scrambled egg. If anyone has a good recipe, we implore you to share it with us!

You may want to call ahead and reserve a table – they get pretty busy over the weekends, we’ve seen queues out the door!

Lunch

Take in the city over a long lunch on the balcony of El Balcon del Zocalo.

Enjoy gourmet dishes looking out at the main square and the incredible cathedral of Mexico city. El Balcon del Zocalo offer traditional Mexican food with a contemporary twist. Enjoy their unique dishes with the local wine from Guadalupe Valley or, even better, choose their tasting menu which pairs each dish with a delicious wine to suit.

The service is impeccable so if you’re undecided on what kind of dish you fancy simply ask for a recommendation and they are more than happy to suggest something. So if you’re looking for a lunch or evening meal that truly takes it to the next level this restaurant is a MUST. 

Dinner

For beautiful dishes both visually and in terms of flavour visit La Capital, your taste buds may not forgive you if you don’t!

This place blew us away with it’s lively atmosphere, knowledegable and friendly staff, fantastic variety of dishes all of which we assume would taste delicious based on what we ate there…

We ordered a range of dishes to have a taste of everything from fish tacos to the stone soup, all followed by unforgettable fresh and fruity cocktails and exquisite desserts. All dishes were presented beautifully and the bill was a very reasonable price.

What to do on your Mexico City travel tour:

Just taking a short break to Mexico City? Here are our top three attractions and experiences for you to visit while on your trip:

Mexico City Travel Experiences and attractions

Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral to get some culture and history while on your Mexico City travel tour. This incredible cathedral is one of the largest in Latin America and is situated right on the main square, making it very hard to miss on your trip! Admire the incredible architecture and intricate design while marveling at it’s impressive size.

Make sure you have plenty of time to explore as there is plenty to see, from the ornate golden altar to the pendulum in it’s center that measures the building’s movement over time. It’s an incredible and interesting place to visit, what’s more, it’s actually free to get in! We recommend going early in the morning as it can get quite busy.

Lucha Libre: Mexican Wrestling

Lucha Libre is essentially Mexico’s version of WWE, this colorful and exciting tradition is truly a spectacle to behold! There are three main arenas you can visit to watch the Lucha Libre, we would personally recommend the Arena Mexico and to get your tickets before you go. Once you’re at the arena there are plenty of food stalls to grab something to eat before the entertainment begins. There are also LOADS of memorabilia stalls so you can pick up some goodies to remember your trip or take back home as fun gifts for your friends and family.

Whether you’re cheering for the Tecnicos, or the Rudos you’ll be sure to get caught up in the action and have a fantastic time!

Salon Tenampa

Although this is technically a bar/restaurant we’ve included Salon Tenampa in our ‘What to do’ section because of their amazing Mariachi music (and huge tequila menu)! Going to see a Mariachi band is a key experience when traveling Mexico and Salon Tenampa is THE place to see not just one but many! Founded in 1925 this festive salon is steeped in history, color and Mexican tradition.The bar is full of music, singing and dancing and is truly an experience to remember (or not depending on how many tequilas you’ve had). Make sure you put this lively bar at the top of your to do list!

Mexico City offers a wealth of history, adventure and incredible places to eat, so on your road trip be sure to include this on your list of destinations. For more AMAZING places to visit on your travels around Mexico read Visit Mexico: Must see Attractions. Or looking for somewhere to relax after your Mexico City trip? Check out our guide to the Best Beaches to Visit in Mexico.

Have you been on your own Mexico City travel tour? Let us know! We would love to hear where you ate and what you explored while visiting this amazing city… who knows, we may also even add your recommendation to this article! Get in touch: info@xborderauto.com

Remember: If you are driving your own vehicle from the US to Mexico City you must buy Mexican Auto Insurance to make sure you’re covered for your trip to Mexico. Get your free Mexican Vehicle Insurance quote, quickly and simply, online today.

Visit Mexico: Must See Attractions for your Trip

March 22nd, 2018 by

Mexico has it all…wildlife, history, fantastic food, incredible culture, amazing adventures. Let us guide you through some of the top attractions you must see when you visit Mexico:

Historical Attractions you NEED to see
when you Visit Mexico

The Ruins in Coba
History and adventure
Drive through the jungle to the Coba ruins, surrounded by nature and wildlife these are truly a site to behold. Under the canopy of the jungle walk or bike around the site, see the scribe stones before scaling the heights of the pyramid. The pyramid is 42 meters tall with 120 steps, climbing this piece of history is no easy feat but it is well worth it for the remarkable view from the top. Spectators can see a breath-taking view of the whole settlement amongst the jungle which is stretched out in all directions.

Rio Secreto in Playa del Carmen
Unique adventure in historical natural caves
Visit Mexico and be one of the first to explore this amazing underground river. Swim or hike through these incredible tunnels and ancient caves on a magical journey under crystals, stalactites and stalagmites. There are plenty of excursions to book with tour guides to take you through and teach you about this amazing natural site. A great alternative to the normal attractions on offer, our only advice would be to accept the walking stick when they offer – it comes in handy when navigating the trickier areas of the site.

Visit Mexico Chichén Itzá Mayan Ruins

Chichén Itzá Mayan Ruins
History and adventure
This is one of the most beautiful Mayan ruins in the state of Yucantán, a must see on your Mexican vacation. Some describe this incredible world heritage site as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The focus of the site is the giant stepped pyramid temple, named El Castillo, is remaining evidence of a once incredible city that was central to the Maya empire. This great site is thought to date back from A.D. 750 to 1200. Don’t forget to pack plenty of sun cream and water as it you may end up spending a good few hours exploring or even booking on one of the tours to learn more about the site.

Rosary Chapel, Capilla del Rosario in Puebla
History and culture
This incredible chapel will take your breath away. From the outside it is quite unremarkable, you would most likely walk straight past but trust us, this is a building you won’t want to miss. Once you enter you will be in awe of the ornate architecture, lavished with gold and intricately designed; life-sized statues watching as you walk through their holy chapel. You can feel this history and the presence of thousands of people who have worshiped, married and passed on here. You can spend hours admiring the art work or simply sitting to take it all in.

Must See Wildlife Attractions when you Visit Mexico

Visit Mexico Wildlife Whale Watching

Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas
Exciting trip out for the whole family, seasonal tours
Be one of few to witness these incredible mammals. There are plenty of excursions available to take you whale watching, the guides are usually very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and tend to love their jobs (who wouldn’t!). Just be conscious that these tours are seasonal and are usually between December to April and you are never guaranteed to see a whale. However, it is extremely likely that you will see a whale during January and February so if your trip is primarily to see whales we suggest you book then!

If you’re feeling more adventurous you could book a tour that even takes you right in the water to swim with whale sharks, these tours tend to be from La Paz, Holbox Island or Cancun.

Diving at the Palanca Reef in Cozumel
Nature and adventure
Take a dip into the deep blue on a magical scuba diving experience when you visit Mexico. The Palanca reef in Cozumel offers and abundant variety of marine life to swim amongst, from sharks and eels to huge angel fish and sea turtles. Even without the creatures the coral reef is a sight to behold. The visibility is usually around 100ft and you will have opportunity to visit different locations including the Palancar Horseshoe, Gardens, Bricks, Caves and Pinnacles. If scuba diving isn’t your idea of fun you can see a lot from just snorkeling and a few not-so-deep-dives!

Visit Mexico Wildlife Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies at the Reserva Mariposa Monarca
Wildlife attraction, great for families
Situated near the State of Mexico border in Michoacán you can find thousands of beautiful Monarch butterflies that have flocked to the Mexican highlands to hibernate for winter. This incredible biosphere reserve is another of Mexico’s world heritage sites and is open seasonally, from October to March. We recommend visiting on a sunny day as these wonderful creatures are rather weather sensitive, seeking shelter amongst the trees when the clouds cover the sun. The reserve is set amongst the mountains and forest which means that although you can drive to most areas a short hike may be needed to access some the harder to reach sites.

The Eco-Archaeological Park of Xcaret
Wildlife and adventure for families
This amazing park has everything – and we mean EVERYTHING – from tropical jungle trains to swimming with dolphins, the park showcases Mexico’s remarkable biodiversity and cultural heritage in all its splendor. Although this may not be the most authentic presentation of Mexico, it’s guaranteed fun for all the family and will give you a taste of Mexico all in one place. You may need to spend a couple of days here during your Mexico visit as it has everything! The children will be unable to resist the underground river swims and the incredible array of wildlife the park has to offer. Adults can enjoy the food and the more ‘grown up’ activities including Mayan archaeological sites or their spectacular wine cellar.

Know of an attraction or destination that’s not featured on our visit Mexico blog?
We’d love to hear from you!

If you have discovered an amazing destination on your visit to Mexico we would love to include it on our visit Mexico blog post. Simply get in touch on: info@xborderauto.com

Remember: Always get your Mexican Auto Insurance before you visit Mexico if you are planning on driving!

The Best Beaches to Visit in Mexico

February 27th, 2018 by

Beaches to Visit in Mexico

We know that the first thing you’ll want to do after crossing the Mexican border is feel the silky white sand in your toes and take in the fresh sea air. So we’ve explored and researched the top beaches to visit in Mexico; here are a variety of amazing beaches that will suit all types of vacationers on your visit.

 

Balandra Beach in La Paz
Great for families
This amazing beach is located on the Eastern side of the Baja California Sur peninsula. If you’re taking children this is the place is one of the best to visit in Mexico as the water rarely rises above your waist height. You can keep the whole family entertained by renting a kayak or paddle board or simply enjoy the untouched scenery.

 

Playa del Amor in Cabo San Lucas
Secluded and romantic cove
Escape to lover’s beach, this secluded beach can be found off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. Take yourself a picnic and plenty to drink as this beach can only be accessed by water taxi but trust us it’s worth it for the opportunity to snorkel amongst the amazing rock formations. Keep an eye out for seals, jumping stingrays and pelicans that often visit the area.

 

Visit Mexico Beaches Playa Norte

 

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres
Watch the sunset over the sea
Situated north of Cancún this five mile long beach is a beautiful place to watch the sunset over the calm sea. This palm tree lined beach has plenty of places to eat, we suggest tasting the delicious seafood while enjoying the chilled vibes.

 

Playa del Carmen
Coral reefs and nightlife
Situated along the Yucatán Penisula’s Riviera Maya strip of the Caribbean shoreline visit this popular town to experience the relaxing palm-lined beach juxtaposed against the opulent nightlife and shopping destinations. There are plenty of attractions surrounding this resort so you could make it your one stop for your visit in Mexico.

 

Punta Negra, Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco
Quiet beach, popular with locals
Walk down the long set of stairs and find yourself on the quiet Punta Negra beach, a favorite with the locals. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the ocean or read in the shade of the big cliff edge surrounding the beach. This beach is perfect for total relaxation, just remember to pack food and drink as you won’t find many vendors or restaurants.

 

Visit Mexico Beaches Cozumel

 

Cozumel Island
Untouched, incredible scuba diving
This small island in the Caribbean Sea is a scuba diver’s dream, home to the Mesoamerican Reef and the Museo Subacuático de Arte’s submerged sculptures. You can dive in the eco park amongst the dolphins, manatees and sea turtles or adventure in the wild jungle. If adventure isn’t your idea of a vacation you could always lay on the soft white sand taking in the Caribbean climate and the calm shores towards the south of the island.

 

Tulum, Quintana Roo
Amazing history and spectacular coastline
After visiting the archaeological ruins of Tulum relax on Yucatán beaches with your pick of traditional Mayan spa treatments or just take a swim in the calm clear waters. This beach meets all requirements of a vacation – adventure, history, culture and relaxation.

Fabiola costa esmeralda best beaches

Costa Esmeralda
Relax and get away from it all…
This beautiful beach in Veracruz is the perfect place to totally unwind. The beach comes as a recommendation from award winning blogger, Fabiola, author of the My Heart of Mexico Blog. Here’s why she loves this amazing beach:

Costa Esmeralda still retains that laid-back, secluded air without the big resorts and the crowds of tourists. You can just unplug, get lost, and get away from it all.”
– Fabiola, Author of the My Heart of Mexico Blog

 

Mazatlán
Sandy beaches and fishing
This historic Mexican resort town is famous for its big-game fishing and the beautiful, romantic old town landmarks. This lively coastal town will not only offer you history but also beautiful beaches, amazing food, traditional music and a friendly welcome from the locals who are said to treat you like ‘old amigos’.

 

Mexico is a fantastic country and with an abundance of activities and attractions it makes the perfect road trip vacation for all! Before you venture across the border don’t forget to print all of your Mexican auto insurance documents and get essential tips for driving in Mexico. If you’ve not yet purchased your Mexican vehicle insurance find out why you need it and get a quote.

Travel in Mexico

February 16th, 2018 by

Travel in Mexico: Essential Information

We have put together the information you need for when you travel in Mexico, from details of mandatory documents such as the Forma Migratoria Multiple Mexican tourist card to popular destinations for you to visit while traveling in Mexico. If you’re traveling to Mexico with pets there are multiple requirements you should be aware of which we have detailed in the article below. If you would like any more information we are always happy to help, just get in touch via email or take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page where we answer the most popular questions people have when they travel in Mexico.

Mexican tourist card:

  • Not all Mexican Insurance Companies will tell you about the Mexican tourist card, known as Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM). When traveling in Mexico some visitors require a FMM and they can be obtained at the border crossing.

Travel In Mexico Feature Image

Medical insurance:

  • As well as Auto Insurance for Mexico, you should call your US medical provider to find out exactly what they will and will not cover while you travel in Mexico.

Traveling in Mexico with pets:

  • If you have the right documents then traveling with your furry friends is relatively easy. You need an International Certificate of Good Health issued by a licensed veterinarian who has examined your pet. You will also need a Proof of Vaccination against rabies and distemper, administered at least 15 days before your pet travels to Mexico.
  • We recommend you bring proof of ownership. Keep it with your Mexican auto insurance documents.
  • Upon returning to the US, if you have the correct documents and the US border guards don’t suspect your pet of being ill, there is unlikely to be any need to quarantine your pet before crossing the border.

Popular destinations and activities:

  • Just minutes from San Diego, Baja California is the ideal location for a break. With towns like Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada, there’s plenty to see and do. And once you have your  Mexican Auto insurance to travel in Mexico, there’s nothing stopping you!
  • The wine country of Guadalupe Valley offers beautiful vineyards and has been described as “what Napa looked like 20 years ago”. When you’re traveling in Mexico it is an absolute MUST to stay in one of the rustic ranches and sample award winning wines.

Guadalupe Valley Feature Image

  • Baja offers fabulous nature experiences, including some of the best bird watching and great fishing spots. Most spectacular of all are the whales. Baja provides some of the best opportunities to spot grey whales while they migrate from the cold northern waters of Alaska to the warmer climes of Mexico.
  • Baja has some fantastic golfing destinations. Whether you want a short break or something much longer, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Baja.
  • For the more adventurous of you, there are plenty of great sporty activities to get involved in. Sea kayaking on the azure waters surrounding the land, scuba diving in a unique paradise suitable for beginners and pros, plus some of the best wave hunting for surfers of anywhere along the Pacific coast.