Valle de Guadalupe is in Baja California, not far from the US border or Ensenada. The Mexican wine region is just 90 miles from San Diego, making it very accessible if you live in Southern California.
The drive down to Valle de Guadalupe from San Diego is actually a very soothing and picturesque drive along the Pacific Coast. Here’s a step by step guide on getting to Valle de Guadalupe. It’s straightforward and you’ll be rewarded by exquisite food and beautiful vineyards with great wine.
Crossing the border to Mexico from downtown San Diego is actually a 15 minute drive on average. Simply get to I-5, head South and follow the signs. You’ll reach the border crossing in a few minutes.
Once you reach the border crossing you’ll notice that the 2-3 lanes open up to several more lanes. You are going to want to be on the far right lanes before you go through customs.
Once you’ve gone through customs, stay on the far right lanes since your first turn will come very fast.
You want to take the far right exit Highway 1, PLAYAS DE TIJUANA, ROSARITO-ENSENADA. This exit goes up a bridge and makes a wide “U” turn that merges with VIA INTERNACIONAL.
Keep going straight and follow the sign ROSARITO ENSENADA SCENIC ROAD (don’t worry, you won’t miss the sign it’s massive and in English)
As you continue your journey, you’ll notice that many signs are not consistent or there is no continuation of an earlier sign. This could be confusing but don’t worry, we got you covered.
The next sign you’ll see is going to be PLAYAS DE TIJUANA, ROSARITO – Cuota (toll way). You want to make sure you are on the right lane. After this sign (same street) you’ll start going uphill.
Continue on the same street you are on, the next sign you’ll see is PLAYAS ROSARITO ENSENADA, ideally, you want to remain on the right lane.
Now, as you are coming downhill from the street that you’ve been on for some time, make sure you’re on the right lane when you see the sign ENSENADA CUOTA. You’ll be making a right turn right after this sign.
Make a right at ENSENADA, PLAYAS DE TIJUANA. This street will merge with Highway 1.
Stay on your left lane now since you’re on Highway 1 and it will take you all the way to Rosarito, La Mision (exit to Valle de Guadalupe) and Ensenada. You can now enjoy cruising along the coast.
You have to cross two toll booths that are on Highway 1. Don’t worry, you can pay in dollars, pesos or debit card (no credit cards accepted).
After the second booth, you’ll need to keep an eye out for signs to La Mision as this is the best and fastest way to get to Valle de Guadalupe. The exit to La Mision is subtle so just pay attention to the road signs.
This is the exit off of Highway 1 that you want to take LA MISION (along with two other signs to LA FONDA and PLAZA DEL MAR. Be careful when you exit as the exit is a sharp turn and comes to a STOP sign.
[If by any chance, you missed your exit at La Mision. Keep going straight towards Ensenada. Valle de Guadalupe can also be accessed by Ensenada by taking the Highway 3 exit that’s located in El Sauzal – don’t miss this one too!]
At the STOP sign, make a left and follow the road. This road will take you all the way until your last turn to Valle de Guadalupe. You’ll go uphill most of the time and go through La Mision, once the road starts leveling up, you’ll be closer to the exit to Valle de Guadalupe.
Finally, you’ll see the much anticipated sign BIENVENIDOS RUTA DEL VINO (Welcome to the Wine route), VALLE DE GUADALUPE where you’ll make a left and start the descent towards the Valle de Guadalupe!
Valle is bisected by these two highways (that are paved) and then connected by a series of dirt roads. So once you get to this point, you can begin exploring Valle de Guadalupe by going straight (left) or making a right.
One last word of advice, make sure you abide by the laws as you would back home (i.e. following the speed limits, don’t drink and drive, etc.).
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