This trip could also be called The Introduction to Baja Tour… because it will leave you craving for more! This ride provides you with a sampler of the what of Baja has to offer the adventure rider. PLUS the unique opportunity to swim with whale sharks!
Ride overview and description. This trip is about 40% off-road, 20 % beat up pavement, and the rest is good pavement, but its ALL adventurous! It’s an easy to intermediate ride from a technicality of the riding standpoint. Some rocky roads, a couple of steep rocky hill climbs, and some sand are the most challenging parts of the ride.
Your trip will begin at RawHyde Ranch in Southern California where we’ll gather together on Sunday night and spend some time getting to know each other with an orientation and a great welcome dinner.
$3,995 on your own bike
$4,795 With rental of a BMW GS
(based on availability)
Most models of the BMW GS available
Baja Essentials schedule:
Rancho Santa Veronica
We depart RawHyde and make our way south to the Mexican border. We’ll cross into Mexico at the sleepy checkpoint of Tecate, and from there it’s about a 40 minute ride to our hotel. Our first night will be spent at an old bull fighters training center now turned into a moto hangout called Rancho Santa Veronica. RSV as we call it is a sprawling hacienda that harkens back to the “old way of life” in colonial Mexico. It’s a safe, clean, and unique way to spend our first night in Mexico.
The Compadre Trail
Today is nearly all “off-road” beginning with a 50 mile off-road section heading south down what’s known as the Compadre Trail and as we head toward the historic Mike’s Sky Ranch for our second night. There is a great story to Mike’s, and it’s just like Kevin Costner’s movie Field of Dreams where “if you build it… they will come.” Fifty years ago a guy named Mike built a 60 room motel in the middle of nowhere… and now people come in droves to experience the remote splendor of Mike’s Sky Ranch… Mike’s is now legendary in Baja as it sits on the Baja 1000 race course and is one of the most iconic “moto resorts” in all of Mexico.
We leave the venerable Mike’s Sky Ranch and head toward the Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez and the beach town of San Felipe where we’ll have a late lunch by the water, and continue on toward the incredible Bahia San Luis Gonzaga or Gonzaga Bay and one of the most picturesque waterfront boutique hotels in Mexico.
Alfonsina’s in the name of our lodge for the night, and the front door of your room is only 20 feet from the water and the sunrise over the bay is nothing short of spectacular! Dinner at Alfonsina’s will be fish tacos, crafted from the daily catch of the hotel’s own fishing boat.
Bay of Los Angeles
Today begins with a run on brand new pavement down to the iconic Baja-must-stop Coco’s Corner where the pavement disappears and becomes one of the rockiest segments of the trip. We rejoin the pavement at Hwy #1 where we head south for about 50 miles on the main paved road till the turn off for the Bay of Los Angeles. We have two ways to get into the Bay of LA area depending on timing… If we arrive “early” we’ll take the dirt into the Bay of LA and if we’re running late we’ll take the paved road in… and take the dirt road “out” when we leave. Our hotel for the evening sits once again on the tranquil waters of the Gulf of California in another truly spectacular setting!
Bay of Los Angeles
Today is a rest day in the Bay of LA to either relax, or take a boat out to see the whale sharks. Whale Sharks are considered the world’s largest fish. They are the largest living non-mammalian vertebrates in the world. Whale Sharks are gentle plankton eaters and pose no threat to humans. They are slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet sharks and the largest known extant fish species. They are technically a shark, but they only eat plankton and are not a threat to humans. As it happens November is a perfect time to go swimming with these gentle giants and you can schedule a boat to visit with the sharks right at our hotel. Learn more about whale sharks here.
Depending on how we rode “into” to the Bay of Los Angeles we’ll begin our return toward the US via the “other way” with a visit to the historic 1700s era mission known as San Francisco de Borja which has been declared a Mexican heritage site. From the mission we’ll run up the Pacific coast of Baja to the beach town of Erendira. This quaint Baja enclave is the home of Coyote Cal’s International Hostel and Surf Resort. Perched on a high bluff just a few yards from the Pacific Ocean with the best sunset views you’ve ever witnessed is undoubtedly one of the coolest places in Baja. If Dr. Seuss built a hotel on the edge of the ocean then Coyote Cal’s would be the place!
Our last day of riding is a pretty long day as we have to return to the US today, but the run up the coast is truly spectacular. We’ll have lunch in Ensenada before winding our way north through Baja’s wine country toward the same border crossing we used as we entered Mexico. Once we’re back on US soil we’ll head for RawHyde … and if all goes according to plan we’ll roll into RawHyde Ranch about 7:00 PM where showers and dinner await. You’re welcome to spend the night at the Ranch and depart after breakfast in the morning on Monday.