We made a map of all our favorite restaurants and stuff to do. Check it out.
Baja SurfnSkate Eat, Drink & Have Adventures Map
We have a great little shaded mini-ramp, and a DIY bowl with more weirdo features than you can probably imagine. We welcome skateboarders and roller skaters of every skill level and offer lessons. We also have loaner skateboards, pads & helmets, too.
We can also give you directions to our amiga Ana’s DIY Skatepool outside of Ensenada, and there are some other fun spots you can check out in Tijuana and Ensenada, as well.
Surfing & Beach Funtimes
Super serious Baja surfers are secretive about their favorite breaks. But there’s a long, mellow and usually completely empty break at the La Misión public beach. Well, empty but for the dolphins, anyway. We have two loaner foam boards (6′ and 8′) and men’s L & XL spring suits you’re welcome to try out, plus beach chairs, boogie boards, a skim board… and you can rent tables, chairs and palapas on the beach on weekends and holidays, as well.
Surf break forecast for La Misión
Water temperature & ratings
The Beach (la playa)
Our nearby La Misión public beach is super nice! There are vendors with cocktails (the fish kind and the liquor kind). There are also vendors who will bring a chair and umbrella out for you (for around $2), cowboys with horses you can ride, a couple of guys with ultralight dune buggy airplanes that offer rides, and we always see dolphins. Highly recommended. **Pro tip: ask for a price before you let anyone make you a cocktail: “Cuantos cuesta (how much does this cost),” especially if they’re trying to give you free shots. Once the drink is in your hand the price is a lot more expensive!! If you’re not good with big numbers in Spanish, you can ask “en dolares?” and often they will show you their phone calculator. The exchange (cambio) is usually around 20:1, meaning 20 pesos to U$1.
Unless its super windy, there’s always a pilot at the beach offering rides on a Mad Max flying dune buggy that looks like it was made from a jet ski. Just head over to Alisitos Beach (which is right by our freeway exit) or the public La Mision beach off the highway and look for the flying machine! Usually U$30 for a short flight, $50 for a longer flight that goes over both beaches.
The Best Hikes in Baja includes our very own La Misión Estuary hike! But you can also just head up or down the hill from our front door to find super gorgeous hikes and views. Ask us about the hot springs in the valle beyond our place. Consider basic precautions, though: rattlesnakes are pretty common, but also usually pretty easy to avoid, as well.
Tour Wine Country
Valle de Guadalupe is justifiably famous world-wide for their many awesome wineries and exceptional farm-and-fisherman-to-table culinary offerings. 90% of all the wine from Mexico has been produced from Valle wineries for over a hundred years – though the area has only been discovered recently by wine lovers at the NY Times, Conde Nast Traveler and LA Times, who liken the Valle to California’s Sonoma County as it was decades ago. It’s a short but incredibly gorgeous 30-minute drive from La Misión village. Talk to us about arranging a Wine Tour where you can experience a multi-course gourmet meal with wine pairings at any of the 200+ wineries in the Valle. Finca Altozano and Vinícola Alximia, two of our favorites, can both be found on our Baja SurfnSkate Eat, Drink & Have Adventures Map.
Mexican craftspeople have lots of workshops and storefronts lining the street in a neighborhood called Popotla, which is super easy to find on the free road between our place and Rosarito. If you’re looking for the perfect jewelry, sculpture, planter, art, furniture, clothing, textiles, leather… you can find it and buy it directly from the person who made it. There are also uncountable small craft shops in Ensenada, a 30 minute drive from La Misión village by the coastal or the Valle route (we like to loop it; up the coast, back through the mountains).
Mexico is famous for cuisine in the first place, but it’s also become increasingly common recently for American chefs inspired by Mexico’s exceptional culinary reputation to relocate to our side of the border to open their restaurants. Baja features the best of traditional Mexican cooking, creative new chef offerings from both sides of the border, and to-die-for street food. Tijuana has amazing restaurants and you don’t really even have to plan ahead; just stroll down Avenue Revolución in Zona Centro for more choices than you can imagine. 30 minutes away is the Valle with hundreds of wineries and farm-to-table restaurants. And just minutes from us are dozens of patio restaurants hanging over ocean cliffs offering fresh-caught seafood (including local lobsters), margaritas and more. Our favorite nearby places have fresh-caught local tuna sashimi, especially. The sushi here is soooo good. Ask us for notes on the closest local restaurants or check out our Baja SurfnSkate Eat, Drink & Have Adventures Map.
Want to catch your own dinner? Rent a kayak and fish the estuary, cast right into the surf, or go on a fishing boat that tours nearby islands. There are lots of options and we’re happy to help you find the right one.
Diving: Scuba, Snorkle and Kayak Adventures
We got scuba certified with Baja Blue Divers. Diego, who speaks fluent English and Spanish, also offers lots of diving tours including day tours to Todos Santos and more. We’re happy to introduce you through whatsapp, and he knows tour operators on the Sea of Cortez side, as well.
We are a short drive North to the nearest dunes, where you can rent quads at Arenales or try your luck on a sandboard (like snowboarding but way less clothing required). Baja is famous for off-roading; explore some of the best off-road trails in Baja Norte or stay with us for the next SCORE race.
Moto or Car Drives
On a nice weekend – and they’re almost all pretty nice around here – we see riders motoring through our village on their way in every direction. There aren’t a lot of highways in Baja, but so far every single one of them we’ve driven is gorgeous; head up or down the coast, or take Hwy 1 through the mountains, valleys and ejidos to the Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada or all the way to the Sea of Cortez; it’s all incredibly awesomely beautiful. English doesn’t have enough superlative words to adequately describe. But Baja Travel Club did a pretty good job writing about it. Getting a street bike up our dirt driveway would probably be challenging for all but the most expert rider (dual sport = no problemo). We’re working on a garage option off the paved road and we’ll update this info when we figure it out.
Okay, we’re not mountain or street bikers, but we have seen lots of them and we know there are tons of trails and lovely highways. Here’s a decent overview of some of your choices. There are pretty regular Saturday bicycle races on the Ruta del Valle, so if you’re into this, you probably already know where to look them up.
Ride the estuary trail or on the beach. You don’t even really have to plan ahead; the La Mision public beach has several vaqueros waiting with horses to ride. There is a number on a sign at Magana’s – their rides lead through the Estuary and onto the beach. We’ve been on a few different rides and all of them let you run the horses full out on the beach, which is SUPER fun.
Kayak the Estuary with knowledgeable local guides to tell you all about local flora and fauna. There are also loads of Eco Tours out of Ensenada, if you want to range a little further from La Misión village. The best time to kayak is in the winter, when the Estuary is famous for all the birds that migrate through on their way to even warmer Southern weather.
TBH it’s a little sketchy, but it’s super close (just a few miles down the free road) and only U$30 per person: zipline at Pikin Adventure Park. We had a great time there! There is another zipline in the mountains we’re planning to check out, we’ll update afterwards.
Skydive & Ultralights
Tandem skydive and – what are the ones that jump off a mountain? Ultralights? those too – can be arranged at Alisitos Beach right by our place. We have not done this yet, but we see their sunset jumps on weekends all the time! If you are a thrill seeker, this thrill is very accessible. They have a trailer at Alisitos Beach, and a sign at the freeway entrance (not exit) heading North from Alisitos. And there are a few operators who do airplane skydiving in Ensenada, as well.
No matter which adventures you choose – or none at all – you’ve got a place to hang out at Baja Surf & Skate. There’s no prettier view in Mexico than the one off our porch, so we’ve got plenty of chairs, rockers, benches, hammocks, and places for you to kick back and check it out. We also have a social area with a billiards table, ping pong and a fire pit (that we use seasonally; wildfires are a problem here).
WHAT ELSE? Let us know what kind of adventure you’re looking for!