San Diego is one of the best cities to visit in all of California. Los Angeles and San Francisco might see higher numbers of tourists, but San Diego has a lot of advantages, including its beautiful ocean views, amazing museums, and key landmarks like Balboa Park, the USS Midway, the San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld.
Another major advantage of visiting San Diego is its proximity to the Mexican border. You can drive out of Downtown San Diego and be at the border in less than half an hour, and this opens up a lot of different possibilities in terms of day trips. Day trips into Mexico from San Diego are very popular, and here are some of the best options available to you. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Day Trip to Tijuana from San Diego
2.Day Trip to Rosarito from San Diego
3.Day Trip to Ensenada from San Diego
4.Day Trip to Puerto Nuevo from San Diego
Day Trip to Mexico From San Diego (Small Towns, Beaches)
- Day Trip to Tijuana from San Diego, Photo: f8grapher/stock.adobe.com
- Day Trip to Rosarito from San Diego, Photo: Victor/stock.adobe.com
- Day Trip to Ensenada from San Diego, Photo: cesar/stock.adobe.com
- Day Trip to Puerto Nuevo from San Diego, Photo: David/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: Bruma
Countless people head to Mexico each and every year on vacation, drawn in by the country's unique identity and charms, its world class cuisine and lively festivities, its friendly people and historic architecture, its beaches and beauty, and many of those people choose to visit the Baja California peninsula, with Ensenada being one of the most popular resort cities in this part of Mexico.
Sitting on the coast, looking out over the Pacific Ocean, Ensenada is a stunning port city, surrounded by pristine wilderness and housing many interesting landmarks and attractions like the Museum of History, Riviera de Ensenada, and Regional Historical Museum. Gray whales can be spotted migrating through the local waters each year, with wineries and luxury resorts all around the surrounding area. Bruma sums up the best of Ensenada living.
Bruma - Luxury Private Estate in Ensenada
Situated in the tranquil, southern part of Ensenada at Valle de Gaudalupe, Bruma is a luxury living and events destination, offering private villas, a cozy bed and breakfast, a highly rated restaurant, and a winery. It’s a wonderful place to visit on one’s travels, while also being one of the best Ensenada wedding venues too.
- The Winery at Bruma - The history of wine making in Baja California goes back several centuries, though the very best wines didn't start to be made until the late 20th century, and the Valle de Guadalupe is where most of the area's finest wines are produced. Bruma serves as a fine example of this, with the sea breeze from the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean microclimate of the area offering the perfect conditions for the growing of premium grapes. All of the wines are grown and made with love here; even the bottles and labels are chosen and designed with care to reflect the identity and personality of the place. A range of reds and whites, as well as rosé wines, are available, with tasting sessions running from 11am to 5pm on Thursdays through to Tuesdays.
- The Bed and Breakfast at Bruma - Those searching for the best bed and breakfast in Ensenada can head to Casa 8 at Bruma. Named in honor of the 8 premium suites that make it up, this cozy and comfortable bed and breakfast offers an idyllic home away from home in the heart of Baja California. Each suite has been strategically positioned to offer intimacy and privacy to each guest, while also allowing everyone to feel connected and enjoy easy access through to the main house, where you'll find the kitchen, an outdoor lounge space, a communal living area, a swimming pool, and a deck. All 8 rooms are unique, with their own identities and one of a kind features.
- The Villas at Bruma - Many people dream of a luxury life in Baja California, and Bruma gives you the perfect option to make that happen, offering a range of deluxe, private villas, decorated and designed to a flawless standard, blending elements of contemporary convenience and natural inspiration to offer living that is luxurious, harmonious, and simple all at once. If you've ever dreamed of waking up and being able to enjoy a delicious breakfast while gazing out onto a beautiful vineyard, taking a walk around tranquil, awe-inspiring lands, having a dip in a biodynamic swimmable pond, and feeling totally relaxed and at ease with the world around you, the villas of Bruma might be made for you.
- Events and Weddings at Bruma - If you're planning a wedding in Mexico, Ensenada is the perfect place to be. The beauty of this part of Baja California is unparalleled, and choosing Bruma as your wedding venue is sure to guarantee many magical moments and happy memories for you and your partner, as well as all of your guests, to look back on. The relaxed, intimate nature of this venue helps to provide an aura of romance that can't be found elsewhere, with the luxury Casa 8 bed and breakfast rooms available for guests and the services of the Fauna restaurant able to make your special day even more incredible.
- The Restaurant at Bruma - There are some highly rated restaurants in Ensenada, and Fauna, the on-site restaurant at Bruma, stands out as one of the very best, both in terms of its aesthetics and its extraordinary menu. Offering a 'back to basics' approach, this restaurant pays homage to the roots of Mexican cuisine, making use of fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients and classic recipes, bringing out the best flavors in every element, rather than creating complex or convoluted dishes. Creative Chef David Castro Hussong leads the culinary team, being well known for his vibrant experimentation and innate ability to take simple dishes and turn them into so much more.
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When is the Day of the Dead?
Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, from October 31 to November 2. This is the time when Mexicans take the time to remember and honor their departed loved ones. While it may seem like it’s supposed to be a sad occasion, it’s not. In fact, it’s a very festive and colorful, since people are celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. During this time, people visit cemeteries to decorate the graves of their loved ones as well as spend time in their presence.
Back home, Mexican families also create beautiful altars called ofrendas, where they display photos of their loved ones. It serves to not only honor the spirits of their ancestors but welcome them as well.
One very important fact to note is that the Day of the Dead was recognized in 2008 by UNESCO as part of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage. This is due to the undeniable significance of the practice to Mexican culture, which makes it unique.
History and cultural background
Mexicans are known for keeping close family ties, even with those who have passed away. Even in pre-Hispanic times, the dead were always buried close to where the family lived, and people would have their own tombs near or even underneath the house. This was because it was believed that those who passed away still existed, only in another world.
Eventually, the Spanish introduced Catholicism and integrated the concepts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day with pre-Hispanic customs, making it the holiday that most people know today.
The Day of the Dead, however, remains premised on the belief that once a year the spirits of the dead return to the world of the living to be in the presence of their loved ones. They also believe in the concept of angelitos, or “little angels,” who are the spirits of babies and small children who died. The angelitos are said to return to the world of the living on the 31st of October to spend time with their families for one day and then leave. The adults arrive the day after.
Offerings and practices
- Home: Of course, the living don’t just wait for their dearly departed to return to the land of the living. They get ready for their arrival by preparing all the foods they loved when they were alive. These offerings are laid down before the altars prepared in their homes, and it is believed that the spirits will consume the essence of the food offered to them. Afterward, when the spirits return to their world, the family shares the food with their friends and neighbors and amongst themselves.
Aside from food, there are other items that are commonly found in altars, including sugar skulls, which are inscribed with the names of the deceased loved ones. There’s also pan de muertos, which is special bread that is traditionally baked for the occasion. Finally, are the cempasuchil or marigolds. These flowers are known to bloom during this season and add a special scent to the altars.
- At the cemetery: Eventually, the practice of burying people close to their homes was replaced by the use of cemeteries. Nowadays, most families have a separately decorated altar at the graves where their loved ones are buried. Most villages had the practice of spreading flower petals on the paths leading from the cemetery to their homes as a way to guide the spirits. Others make it a point to spend the night at the cemeteries, where they have picnics, play music, and enjoy each other’s company, presumably with the spirits of their ancestors in attendance.
Halloween and the Day of the Dead
Día de los Muertos and Halloween have a lot in common. For one thing, they both come from beliefs about death that are heavily influenced by Christian practices. Both are also based on the premise that spirits return to the world of the living at least once a year. The difference, however, is that Halloween portrays spirits are malevolent spirits that seek to harm the living (which is why children dress up as monsters for protection), while the Day of the Dead is based on the belief that these spirits are family and friends who are welcomed back.
With the continuous mixing of cultures and the evolution of customs, the Day of the Dead continues to change to suit the signs of the times. In fact, Halloween festivals have become a common part of the holiday in Mexico, with children wearing masks and donning costumes bought from markets right next to the pan de muertos and sugar skulls. They even hold costume contests, altar contests and, of course, go trick or treating.
Día de los Muertos for visitors
While the Day of the Dead is mainly a family celebration, it’s actually an ideal time for tourists to visit Mexico, where they can witness these celebrations first hand while enjoying the beauty of the fall season. There are many public displays and events that allow tourists to take part in the holiday. Tourists are even welcome in cemeteries, so long as they abide by the customs and act respectfully. The event, after all, is about honoring the dead.
Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead in so many ways, depending on the region, so you can visit different areas and have different experiences of the same occasion. Just make sure that you plan your next trip to Mexico ahead, so that you’ll know where to go and what to do to make it in time for this unique holiday. More importantly, make sure you learn as much as possible about Mexican culture and beliefs in order to make sure that you experience the more solemn aspects of Día de los Muertos as well.
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Hurricane Season in Mexico
Hurricane season in Mexico happens from the month of June until October. In some cases, the season can extend to November. This season impacts the Yucatan Peninsula (Cancun), Mexico’s Pacific coast, Mexico’s Gulf Coast, and from Baja California going south.
In other words, Mexico’s hurricane season starts in late spring and goes on until late autumn. Sometimes hurricanes can happen during summer or early autumn as well. The frequency of hurricanes starts to diminish as the overall temperature of the season goes down. Generally, hurricanes tend to be unpredictable. Thus, it’s difficult to determine how many storms will take place during a given year, their strengths, and whether they actually make landfall.
About Hurricanes in Mexico
Summer in Mexico is when the temperatures are at their highest. During this time, Mexico experiences a lot of hurricanes, which are storms that came from the oceans where they gather intensity and end up on land. These hurricanes usually hit the Pacific coast of Mexico and sometimes along the shores of the Yucatan peninsula or Gulf of Mexico.
Much like other natural calamities such as earthquakes, hurricanes can be quite unpredictable. More aptly referred to as tropical cyclones, a hurricane is one of the most intense types of cyclones thanks to its sustained wind buildup which can go up to 74 miles per hours. The hurricane becomes stronger as it moves across the ocean, but it tends to break up when it hits the land. But when it does take landfall, the hurricane has the potential to do lots of damage to property and structures, especially to the ones near the coast that it hits. Even after it’s gone, the hurricane leaves heavy rains and floods further into the land.
Although Mexico has its own hurricane season, it’s possible for some years to go by without any hurricane activity at all. Unfortunately, there are also years when hurricanes just come in quick succession at varying intensities.
One of the more notable hurricanes to ever hit Mexico was hurricane Wilma, which hit the Yucatan Peninsula back in 2005. The hurricane did a lot of damage to Mexico’s most popular tourist destination, Cancun. Another one would be Hurricane Patricia, considered by meteorologists as the strongest storm ever recorded. It made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico back in October 2015. Fortunately, the fears of damage and casualties never happened.
Right now, Mexico has employed some weather monitoring and communication technology, as well as better building specifications to help deal with the hurricane season. This will greatly reduce the amount of human risk which happens during storms. However, hurricanes remain to threaten both communication and power facilities as well as transportation systems.
Life during Hurricane Season
Those who live in regions often affected by hurricanes have learned to live with the hurricane season. They are usually prepared and know how to respond to a hurricane situation. Most common structures like hotels and homes are built to survive most storms. Of course, you can never really predict if a structure will be able to withstand the force of a hurricane, but the improvements on the infrastructure do mitigate lots of risk.
Homeowners in Mexico also make it a point to insure their homes in order to mitigate their losses in case of a hurricane. There are also warning systems as well as evacuation routines to help communities evacuate when necessary.
Travelling to Mexico during Hurricane Season
If you’re planning to visit Mexico, you should at least know if you’re going during the hurricane season. This will help you decide what to bring, what to do, and where to go during your trip. Note that not all tourist destinations are affected by hurricanes even during the peak season, so knowing the climate of your destination of choice is also important.
But you might be wondering why anyone would ever go to Mexico during hurricane season. The answer is that there are actually some advantages to planning your trip to happen during those times of the year:
- For one thing, fewer people will be travelling to Mexico, allowing you to huge crowds of tourists sharing the destinations with you.
- There are also a number of travel perks such as hotel and airfare discounts, allowing you to save up on a lot of travel expenses.
- The hurricane season also happens to fall within the summer holidays, which means that families will want to travel together.
Of course, the trade-off is that you’ll risk getting caught by a hurricane which can totally ruin your trip. But considering how most hurricanes don’t even make landfall and that they don’t frequent tourists’ destinations, it’s really worth the risk. The exception is when you plan on going to some beaches. After all, hurricanes hit the coasts first, so the chances of your vacation being ruined by a storm is a bit higher.
Before you go, make sure you do the following:
- Get travel insurance so that you’re covered in case your trips are canceled due to the storm. Make sure you know what the policy covers.
- Most hotels in areas prone to hurricanes have hurricane policies and guarantees. Double check that the hotel you’re booking has one. This will guarantee that you will get some form of help in case your accommodations are affected by the storm.
- Make it a point to monitor the weather patterns of the area you’re visiting. Check out the National Hurricane Center’s official website for reliable forecasts and other reports.
- Make sure you have soft copies of your valuable travel documents such as passports, flight tickets, driver’s licenses, hotel reservations, and more. This is so that you can easily print a copy in case you lose your documents to a hurricane.
Want to minimize the chance that you encounter a hurricane? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Pick an inland destination, since hurricanes don’t usually make their way into the inner parts of Mexico.
- Ride a cruise, since ships are capable of changing their routes and itineraries when they find that the original path is hit by a hurricane.
The truth is that most travelers can visit Mexico without experiencing a hurricane at all. But in case it happens, you’ll be glad you knew about these tips.
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