If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you have never been to Baja. This is a magical place that hits your soul and never leaves. I am fortunate enough to have been traveling South since 1983.

In the 80’s, the roadside was plastered with Corona Beer stands where you could buy beer by the case. Those were the days when the surf line-up consisted of one local on a swap meet board and a couple dolphins in the distance. We bought cheap roadside tacos and fresh bread from the Panaderia.

Now it’s tough to find a surf line-up not filled with surfers and fisherman. The Corona beer stands are overrun by OXXA stores (selling all kinds of good stuff) and the taco stands still sit in the same places.

I like to go on a weekday to avoid the crowds and discover the real adventure that now resides on the roads of the Valle De Guadalupe. The best parts can be found in the wineries and the restaurants. Almost every place is down a dirt road and feels undiscovered. The doors are open, the signs are welcoming, and the wine is terrific.

It’s nothing like Napa where you feel like you need a reservation and a Porsche to get through the gate. As a matter of fact – a good old fashioned pick-up truck does just fine in the Baja wine country. I have made countless friends in the last twelve months of traveling through the Valle. All you have to do is stop and say, “Hello.”

Most wine owners are unassuming and willing to tell their story. I was surprised to hear how successful many of them were. They are almost untouchable amongst their corporate lives in Mexico City, yet here they want to share every detail of their passion for wine.

I could talk about each and every wine and what I love most about them but this story is more about encouraging you to get in your car and drive South. In less then an hour from the Tijuana border you will reach Hwy 1.  From there, head East and look for the first sign that catches your eye. Don’t be afraid to hit the dirt road and create your own adventure.

Get out of your comfort zone and see what genuine Baja hospitality is all about. The restaurants are a little harder to find but if you ask a local, they will tell you where the best chilaquiles are every time. After you spend a day down there, you will know why Baja is calling.

Jim Riley

CEO of Adventure