Edible SD Weekend Escape: Wineries, Street Food, and the Maglén Resort in Valle de Guadalupe
We jumped in the car with little more than a hotel reservation and a scribbled list of restaurants and wineries in hand.
Heading south on the 5 freeway, our destination was Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s wine country, which sits just 70 miles from the US border and 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
We were looking forward to a weekend trip that was close enough to avoid a flight, but, because it required a passport, felt like a real getaway.
A few twists and turns through the border crossing and our journey began with views of Baja California’s coastline to welcome us.
Friday: The Journey is Half the Fun
10:30am Depart San Diego
After you cross the border, take in sweeping ocean views as you drive south on the 1D toll road along the Baja California coastline. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Coronado Island in the distance.
12:00 pm A Street Taco Stop
About an hour into your trip, stop in Rosarito for some no-frills street food. The town’s main street is dotted with open-air taco shops that, at first glance, are barely distinguishable from one another with their red Coca-Cola logos and simple black and white signs written in identical bold font.
Head to Tacos El Paisano (use Google Map to navigate there) for made-to-order carne asada, al pastor, and fish tacos for 20 pesos each. Ask for “todo”, the works, for a swipe of avocado and fiery salsa, chopped onion, and fresh cilantro, and pile on the sweet radishes, juicy limes, and blistered jalapeños.
12:30pm From Sea to Valle
Continue on the coastal 1D road and enjoy panoramic views of pastoral farms and rugged cliffs that dissolve into the beaches below before turning inland onto the 3, La Ruta del Vino, The Wine Route that leads into Valle de Guadalupe.
Gaze at the cascading vineyards, olive groves and stop to shop at the roadside stands that blanket both sides of the road as the hills rise steadily around you.
2:00pm Arrive at your Oasis
The Maglén Resort is nestled among century-old oak trees, smooth boulders and sloping embankments with views of the surrounding rolling landscape, about an hour from Rosarito.
With three different hotel collections on the property there’s something for every type of traveler. For a romantic getaway choose a Tesela bungalow that features a glass wall overlooking the sprawling valley with fire pits, hammocks and a pool just steps from your door.
Settle into your accommodations, all of which offer modern comforts like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and room service, while honoring the natural beauty of the surroundings.
7:00pm Baja-Med Dinner
Dine at Cantera Cocina del Valle, conveniently located on Maglén Resort, to experience Baja Mediterranean, a regional fusion of Mexican ingredients styled with a European flare. Executive Chef Joel Quintana Torres celebrates the region’s bounty with unexpected flavor combinations while honoring its traditions.
Try the Tostada de Pato, crispy corn tortillas piled high with deeply braised duck, crunchy cabbage, tart green apple and bright orange zest. And don’t miss the Atún Aleta Azul, coriander encrusted blue fin tuna seared over a wood-fired grill with a light soy sauce.
Sip on estate wines available only on the property and round out your meal with a unique dessert like the vivid sweet and earthy beet and berry ice-cream served with warm churros on top.
Saturday: Wineries, Farm to Table, and So Many Views
9:00am Breakfast with a View
Wake up to views of the Valle and head to Maglén Resort’s second dining option, HaChe.
Sit inside for a cozy start to the day or dine on the patio to take in the mountain views.
Order a fresh juice and plate of chilaquiles, fried corn tortillas doused in red or green salsa with spicy chorizo, melted cheese and red onion on top, add a sunny side egg to fuel yourself for a day of wine tasting at the neighboring wineries.
11:00am Wine Tasting
Almost three-quarters of Mexico’s wine production takes place in Baja California, much of it concentrated in Valle de Guadalupe, so you can choose from over a hundred wineries in the region, ranging from small boutique to industrial wineries.
Most wineries in the region require an appointment, but the Maglén Resort can do the work for you by arranging a wine tour and transportation for the day.
Don’t miss the architectural landmark, Encuentro Guadalupe, a hotel and winery that juts out from the hillside along La Ruta del Vino offering unmatched views of the Valle. Tasting room hours are 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
*Keep in mind there is a two bottle maximum limit per person for bringing alcohol back across the border.
2:00 pm Lunch Like a Local
When lunch crosses your mind, you can either stay put at the winery’s restaurant or arrange for transportation to one of these nearby gems. Deckman's en El Mogor turns out farm-to-table dishes from their open air kitchen, while La Cocina de Doña Esthela offers rustic, no-frills home-style cooking that has drawn a cult following.
5:00 pm R&R at the Maglén Resort
After lunch head back to Maglén Resort to relax poolside or nap in a hammock. Order a drink from Cantera Cocina del Valle’s bar and kick back on the patio for golden hour by a fire pit.
Arrange for a wine tasting of Maglen Wines to try their Chenin Blanc, French Colombard, Nebbiolo, Syrah, Tempranillo and Barbera blend, and their special blend of Dolcetto, Zinfandel and Cabernet.
7:00pm Dinner Al Fresco
Venture 10 minutes up the road to Finca Altozano for “country barbecue” on a relaxed outdoor deck overlooking their garden, vineyards, and sculptures. Finca Altozano is also home to Chef Javier Plascencia’s seasonal pop-up restaurant, Animalón, tucked under a century old oak tree with a monthly menu celebrating the region’s exceptional ingredients, all sourced from nearby gardens, ranches, and coast.
Sunday: Say Farewell with a Taco
10:00am A Leisurely Morning
Sleep in and make some fresh coffee in your room to enjoy on the private patio of your bungalow.
Already a warm day? Take a dip before packing and getting on the road.
11:00am Baja Brunch & The Sacred Heart
Head straight to KM Taco Surf in Rosarito for a brunch of carne asada and al pastor tacos. Head north and wave goodbye to the giant Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue on the hill as you make your way to the border.
If you make a vow to return to Valle de Guadalupe, you’ll find it just a little more tolerable to leave.
Plan Your Weekend in Valle De Guadalupe
Getting There: The hotel can provide transportation to/from San Diego, with a pick up point of your choice, for $210 USD (each way, up to 14 people) or $123 USD (each way, up tp 3 people), or you can drive yourself. It is an easy drive, and Google maps work especially well.
Stay: Maglén Resort
Ensenada - Tecate Highway Km 90.8
Fraccionamiento Las Lomas, 22766 Villa de Juárez, B.C.
Phone: +52 (646) 152 12 84
Accommodation options include: single rooms, studios, suites, starting at $235 USD to $550 USD.
Maglén Resort is located in the heart of Mexico’s wine capital, and combines stunning modern architecture with its idyllic naturural surroundings, making it the perfect place to rest and fall in love with this region. It features 50 rooms, three swimming pools, meeting and event spaces, a wine cellar, two restaurants, car rental, transportation and tours.
Tacos El Paisano in Rosarito
Address: Encino P, Centro Carretera, 22710 Rosarito, B.C., Mexico, Encino P, Centro Carretera, Rosarito, B.C., Mexico
Hours: Daily, 9am - 11pm
What to Order: made-to-order carne asada, al pastor tacos
Address: Ensenada-Tecate Highway Km 85.5, San Antonio de Las Minas, 22766 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C.
Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 1pm to last reservation 8pm
What to Order/Style of food: “Table-to-farm” cuisine served in a relaxed indoor-outdoor atmosphere. Menu changes regularly with seasonal ingredients sourced from the estate or other local producers.
Address: Ranchos San Marcos, El Porvenir, Ejido San Marcos, B.C.
Hours: Daily, 8am - 5pm
What to Order/Style of food: Rustic country-style breakfast and lunch spot featuring range of gorditas, thick corn tortillas stuffed rich fillings, fresh tortillas and machaca, shredded seasoned beef, and barbacoa de borrego, pit-roasted lamb. Also known for corn hotcakes with maple syrup.
Tecate- Ensenada Highway Km 75, Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 Ensenada, B.C.
Phone: +52 (646) 155 27 75
Hours: Tasting room hours are 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
What it is: The resort’s modern design and architecture contrasts beautifully with the boulder-strewn hills. Enjoy stunning views of the valley from the tasting room and restaurant.
Arranged through Maglen Resort based on your needs, enquire with the hotel for more details: email@example.com
Sacred Heart Statue
Where: Enter from the free road, Km 44 at Villa de San Pedro. First right and then left on San Antonio de Padua to San Marcos. Continue on the paved road to the top of the hill.
What: Landmark statue located on the hills to the east visible from the highway.