Bike tranquil desert and rugged coasts of the length of Baja, from Tijuana to Los Cabos. Explore the Guadalupe wine valley, mission towns, and national parks on the road less traveled.
Trip Dates 2021: March 4 to 14 (full) April 6 – 14 (8 spots) November 8 – 16 (7 spots)
Desert and Ocean Splendor
You may have been or heard of Baja races and fun rides, usually never south of Ensenada where impressions of Baja “sur” – the south – may bring to mind touristy Cabo resorts, margaritaville cantinas, and whale watching with any cycling involving bikepacking – off road riding and camping to avoid poor roads and rundown hotels. However, in recent years roads and cities have improved dramatically. You will be thrilled to find, as on trips to far-flung places like Vietnam, Baja has quietly become an amazing place to ride featuring hundreds of miles of newly-paved roads, upscale hotels, sublime landscapes, with little traffic, offering tranquility on the road less traveled.
Join us in Baja during this special time, riding on tranquil roads through expansive landscapes rivaling Joshua Tree, Big Sur, and fire-red mesas of Idaho, past towering cactus spread across valleys as far as the eye can see and along blue lagoons, under warm, bright blue skies on roads with little traffic. Indeed, what is most striking about Baja is tranquility and wide-open spaces making it the ultimate social distancing escape: almost 3/4 of Baja’s 3.3 million residents live near the border cities of Tijuana and Ensenada. The rest of the 55,366-square-mile peninsular is remote, an increasing amount of which has and is becoming preserved as federal and private nature and marine reserves.
Three things make for a great bike trip: scenic rides, friendly locals, and good grub. Baja delivers on all of these, in spades – with a bonus of warm sunny weather and clear skies. With travel restrictions and uncertainty to traditional places in Europe and Asia, come enjoy equally fabulous and kind people, legendary cuisine, and pleasant riding. Over the last 25 years we’ve experienced how fleeting these off-the-radar places are, often disappearing within a few short years and now Baja too is changing quickly with new hotels, roads and ever-expanding towns, but for now come ride easy peaceful miles on the road less traveled, enjoying the peninsula’s desolate and sublime rugged beauty. Ride it now before you miss out on another place when it was special.
BHUTAN TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
• Seamless travel: ticketing, transfers from San Diego and airport departure and visa assistance. • Travel the length of Baja’s remote canyons, small towns, rugged coastline, fire-red mesas, nature preserves, and cactus plains. • Explore the ever-popular Guadalupe Wine Valley with wine tasting. • Culinary highlights of Baja from delicious street eats, fresh seafood, to legendary venues, such as Mision 19. • Comfortable top boutique hotels in each destination • Ride newly-paved roads with little traffic. • Ride as much or as little as you’d like. • Trace Baja’s historic missions and towns. • Stay in Loreto and La Paz, two of Mexico’s most picturesque and up and coming small towns. • Feast on delicious Baja style cuisine and seafood. • Enjoy warm sunny weather throughout. • Stay on to enjoy whale watching, deep-sea fishing, sailing, and other activities along the Baja coast. • Professional guides with two stocked sag wagons.
Baja Experts with over 25 years organizing cycling trips
Why us? After crisscrossing the peninsula and other places in Mexico over the last few years, no one knows these roads better. Our journey travels the length of Baja, riding from Mexico’s up-and-coming culinary destination, Tijuana, into the bourgeoning Guadalupe wine region, through nature preserves of towering-cactus, palm-fringed oases, small rustic towns, historic missions, high-desert mesas, jagged coastal cliffs, marine national parks and rugged islands on the azure Sea of Cortez .
Note: Baja the ideal safe-distancing destination, close to home with easy and frequent connections, populated with few people, Mexico’s safest state, with a familiar culture.
"Thank you for a perfect bike trip! I can't imagine a better place for a trip than Baja, close to home, great cycling, landscapes, and the food was awesome. I'll be back again. Thanks too to Willard and Ivan!"
Los Angeles, CA
Victor lived and raced at the top level in Los Angeles for over twenty years, much of that for the legendary cycling club La Grange. Victor competed in stage races throughout the U.S.A., Mexico and Latin America during this time. In recent years, Victor returned to to live again in his native Ensenada, where he continues to ride and race as a top-level masters-category racer while pursuing his entrepreneurial interests, including founding of one of the city’s most popular breakfast spots, the Casa Antigua Café.
7-11 pro-team sprinter, Olympic rider, and top criterium racer on the US scene, John Brady is arriving from Dublin to lead the third year of our special pro edition Baja trip. During his career John raced in Mexico and later toured the country extensively. Riders on this trip can expect paceline riding, higher miles, pro tips and coaching, along with John’s colorful stories from his pro peleton days. March 4 Trip only — Sold out
Willard raced as junior in Los Angeles and later co-founded VeloAsia, organizing the first cycling trips to Vietnam in 1994. Willard has coached Olympic and national champion riders and organizing several competitive cycling teams. Over the last three decades he has also managed gyms focused on strength, conditioning, and martial arts. Most recently, Willard launched a vintage bike renovation and bike-build service The Super Fred.
Destination and Trip Details
In our third season of cycling Baja, we’ve refined this trip’s routes, places to stay, dining, and training of a world-class support crew with over 20 years’ experience leading trips. This journey is fully-supported with two sag wagons. Riders can expect seamless travel to and from Baja, beautiful and safe rides, professional mechanical and ride support, plenty of delicious local Mexican cuisine, hot showers, a good night’s sleep, and cultural activities on the side. This 10-day trip is limited to only 12 riders. However, this trip may be also organized as a private, custom tour for you and your friends or family of any size. Contact us for full details.
Pre-Departure In addition to a comprehensive pre-tour preparation packet sent to all riders for this Baja trip, please contact us for any questions and information they may need.
Arrival & Departure Please contact us before arranging your flights for recommendations, or even for booking a ticket. If you are flying in, you’ll want to arrive into San Diego or Tijuana Airports, with departure from Cabo San Lucas. We will arrange transport from the airport in San Diego for you to join us in Tijuana, including a stop to obtain your required visa at the border.
Hotels In places with options, such as Guadalupe and La Paz, we stay at the best properties available, such as Encuentro overlooking the Valle de Guadalupe, while in other places, such as Cataviña, we stay in the only hotel available, simple and rustic yet comfortable.
Day-to-Day Our Baja trips are designed for moderate to advanced riders comfortable riding 2-5 hours at a steady pace, though all riding is optional—our Sag wagon is always nearby, even for a catching a quick lift up climbs. We ride as a group, though faster riders may ride ahead if desired or add additional mileage. We typically depart mid-morning around 9 AM each day, with a break for a pleasant lunch. Afternoons after arrival with include some time free, or we will have scheduled sightseeing, such as visiting the historical Jesuit missions along our route. Mornings before we depart also provides some time to see local sights.
Health, Medical, and Covid-19 Safety Procedures While we are optimistic a vaccine will bring safety to travel again, until then Baja remains a safe destination, close to home, low population density, outdoors travel and dining, , warm sunny weather, miles and miles of remote rural travel, quiet small towns, outdoor dining, two well-ventilated vans for distancing, staff Covid-19 testing, small group size, and safety procedures including masks off the bike. Participants are requested to provide a Covid-19 test or proof of vaccine prior to the trip and we will arrange an antigen test in Los Cabo for your return trip. All make Baja a safe trip and one of the safest destinations for travel in the world during the pandemic. Baja features robust emergency response (including air evacuation) thanks to the popularity of the Baja 1000 motor race and motorcycle tours. Medical facilities in larger towns such as Cabos and Tijuana are world-class.
Dining Our past travelers will tell you our trips are as much as about the food and culture as the riding. In fact, after 20 years our Iron Chef Vietnam culinary cycling trip remains our most popular. Meals feature a variety of the best of Baja, from the most delicious tacos in the world, fresh seafood, including lobster, grilled and rotisserie meats, sinful chilaquiles, heaping bowls of fresh guacamole with handmade chips always served with piping hot flour tortillas with fresh salsas.
Our first stop, Tijuana, is famous for its street food, especially mariscos, birria and of course, tacos of all type, with dinner and wines planned by famed chef owner Javier Plascencia (right) at his elegant cocina de Baja, Mision 19 (Read more about his efforts in the New York Time’s Master of a New Tijuana). Pleasant weather means we dine outdoors whenever possible. Guadalupe-produced vinos are available throughout our route. Our van is stocked with typical rider’s fuel, including carbo mix, bars, bananas and other fruit, but also a variety of cold beverages and local snacks popular in each location.
Hotels We stay in top boutique hotels in each destination, or in a couple of remotes places, the only accommodations available. If you are seeking a private trip, we can modify any aspect of the trip, including hotels, staying at the newer resorts in the Guadalupe Valley, for example.
Money Matters ATM’s are ubiquitous along our route and credit cards widely accepted. Aside from alcoholic drinks and souvenirs, you will need only small amounts of pesos mostly for hotel staff and tips. We recommend allowing for about $10-20 per day for such expenses.
Weather & Climate The weather in Baja during our touring season is always sunny and warm, very little or no rainfall, and typically reaching into the 70s to 80s midday, dry but not humid. Evenings are pleasantly cool, but not cold.
Trip Cost: $3,980
Transfer from San Diego
Covid-19 safe travel procedures*
All transportation and entry fees
Snacks, bottled water, and sodas, all meals and other non-alcoholic beverages
Wine tasting in Guadalupe
Bike assembly, disassembly, and daily maintenance
Not included with trip:
Rental bike (available below)
Required visa fees ($25)
Single room (+$925)
Airport transfer at end of trip
Wine or other Alcoholic drinks
Customary guide and driver gratuities
Trip cancellation, travel, emergency medical insurance (recommend, please request information)
Rental Bicycle Option (+$350): – 2019 Pinarello Prince Disc – Experience the legendary ride quality in Baja on a Pinarello. – Carbon T700 Asymmetric Frame – Shimano Ultegra 11 speed gruppo & hydraulic disc brakes – Available sizes: Sizes 46.5cm, 51.5cm, 54cm, 56cm, 59cm
*Covid-19 Travel Safety Procedures While we are optimistic a vaccine will free us for safe and healthy travel again, but until then Baja is a safe destination, close to home, featuring one of the lowest population densities in the world (about nine person per square kilometer), warm sunny weather, miles and miles of remote rural travel, quiet small towns, outdoor dining, two well-ventilated vans for distancing, staff Covid-19 testing, small group size, and safety procedures including masks off the bike. Participants are requested to provide a recent Covid-19 test or proof of vaccine prior to the trip. To board a flight back to the U.S., passengers must show a recent antigen test, which we will help arrange in Los Cabos. This testing will take about one hour and officials are currently working to have testing kiosks installed at the airport. All make Baja a safe trip and one of the safest destinations for travel in the world during the pandemic.