The Guadalupe Valle or Valle de Guadalupe as it is in Spanish, is an area in the northwest of Mexico, just 70 miles from the U.S. border crossing.
The small area is home to some 6,000 residents and is famous for its vineyards and wineries.
There are 100 different wineries in the valley! But how to get to Valle de Guadalupe?
Let’s find out.
How to Get Valle de Guadalupe from San Diego
The easiest way of getting to Valle de Guadalupe is from San Diego, California – unless you’re already in Mexico!
You have a few different ways of getting there and there are advantages and disadvantages to them all.
Let’s take a look at the options.
Getting to Valle de Guadalupe by Car
From San Diego, it will take you around two hours by car to get to Valle de Guadalupe.
This makes it one of the easiest and most efficient means of transport.
It does, however, mean you’re responsible for getting through the border and having the right paperwork and insurance, for example, which can be daunting.
Also, many drivers don’t like driving on Mexican’s roads with their different signs, etc.
Driving on Mexican toll roads and freeways is very similar to driving in the United States, but you will see speed limits written in kilometers per hour.
In local towns and cities, there are still many old Mexican road rules that apply.
For Example – You’re not allowed to turn left at green lights. Rather, you need to wait until you see a green arrow. Furthermore, be aware of pedestrians and cyclists!
Traveling to Valle de Guadalupe with a Tour Company
There are many tour companies that organize trips to Valle de Guadalupe from the U.S.
Options include day trips for wine tasting or longer stays.
Lots of these collect you at the border at Tijuana so you just need to make your way there.
There are many positives to getting a tour company to transport you:
- Firstly, you don’t need to navigate yourself and can spend the journey relaxing.
- Secondly, if you’re wine tasting, there doesn’t need to be a designated driver!
Also, when you book a tour guide, they know all of the best places and how to get there.
You don’t need to worry about logistics. If you’re going for the wineries, there really is no better way to do it.
The Best Valley de Guadalupe Tour Operators
Once you’ve figured out how to get to Valle de Guadalupe, you’ll need to have a think about your itinerary.
Some of the best organized tour operators include the following.
Club Tengo Hambre
The I’m Hungry Club as it translates into English is a trendy tour company that was started by two food-loving bloggers.
The tour takes you through lots of craft beer and wine stops and you get to try food at six different places!
Boca Roja Wine Adventures
This company started operating tours to the Valley in 2016.
There are six in the team, and they take small groups (up to 14 people) on customized trips.
The team lets you have a say in where you go, or you can let them decide your itinerary.
Baja Wine and Dine Tours
These are available for up to six people.
You get three tasting sessions as well as lunch. You can even customize the tour and add on extra vineyard visits if you wish.
Your own personal chauffeur will do all the driving.
Most of route to Ensenada from San Diego is a beautiful Pacific Coast toll road.
Expect to take dirt roads in between vineyards in the valley, however, so make sure you have a car that can handle that sort of bumpy terrain.
If you do decide to use your own vehicle, be mindful that U.S. liability insurances isn’t accepted in Mexico, so you’ll need to purchase a waiver for the time you’ll spend in the country.
If you don’t want to use your own car, you can always rent one.
Renting a car
Before renting any car in the U.S. though, check that you will be allowed to take it into Mexico.
This might mean you’re charged more or that you need to put down a larger deposit.
It is possible to hire a car in Mexico.
It’s important, though, to be mindful that the advertised rental rates you see online won’t include insurance – and this is government mandated so there’s no way around it.
Border crossing timings
On your return journey back into the U.S., you’ll often be in a long line for a long time.
Here are some tips on how to time your crossing so that it isn’t so long.
Lots of residents of Tijuana commute into the U.S. each morning to go to work in San Diego.
They then head back in the evening after work. This means that these are the busiest times to cross the border.
At the Weekend – You can expect the busiest times to be late Saturday as party-goes head home and Sunday afternoon when the weekend trippers are finishing their trips.
Check out the Customs Site
There is real-time information on the U.S. Customs and Borders Site that tell you how long the wait is for pedestrians, drivers, commercial vehicles, and land ports.
If you monitor this site, you’ll be able to head to the crossing when you know there isn’t such a long wait.
Use the Ready Lane
If you have select identification (SENTRI passes, Global Entry cards, and passport cards), you can use the Ready Lanes.
These are a little bit quicker because the systems use the cards’ RFID chips to identify people. A standard U.S. passport isn’t enough.
Get a SENTRI Card
If you cross the U.S.-Mexican border often, you could apply for a SENTRI card.
This means you’ll undergo advanced screening and have to pay a fee but once you have the card, you’ll be able to use the border express lane for a period of five years.
Everyone in the vehicle must have the card, though.
Final thoughts on how to get to Valle de Guadalupe
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the different ways of getting to Valle de Guadalupe.
Whether you go by car or use a tour guide, we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic time!
Don’t forget your passport!