At the beginning of the month, I went to Valle de Guadalupe for two nights. This was one of the best trips I have taken in a long time and maybe one of my favorite vacations ever, (even though we only went for two nights). It was such a special place – different from anywhere I’d ever been – since getting home all I’ve been able to think about is my next trip back. I’m going to warn you – lots of superlatives ahead… I can’t stop gushing.
Two Nights at Cuatro Cuatros in Valle de Guadalupe
Obviously one of the reasons that this trip was so amazing is that right now travel definitely still feels like an incredible amazing luxurious novelty. Both this and Palm Springs just felt so wonderful and decadent because of that. But novelties aside, Valle de Guadalupe (especially Cuatro Cuatros, where we stayed!) is just such a magical place. It felt really different from anywhere I’d ever been (I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico but never in this region!). It felt so restorative and far away (without being that far away at all).
I got home and just felt so, so refreshed and recharged. I didn’t post about the trip to Instagram as I just wanted to be in the moment and enjoy my surroundings (and all that good food!) But I knew I’d want to do a blog post when I got back so I did take notes and lots of photos (which I’ve only just gotten around to editing, whoops).
I also wanted to share two articles that helped with planning the trip! Valle de Guadalupe: Baja California’s Surprising Wine (and Food) Destination (Conde Nast Traveler) and Culinary Tour of Baja, Mexico (Travel & Leisure).
To get to Valle de Guadalupe, we flew to San Diego and rented a car and drove to Ensenada (Valle de Guadalupe is a quick drive from that. It’s about 2 hours or so in a car and such a pretty drive – the coastline is beautiful. Be prepared for border delays, especially on the way back. I know there are other ways to get there (flying to Tijuana) but that’s what we did and it was nice having a car (you definitely need your own car, this is NOT a trip where ubering will suffice!).
We stayed at Cuatro Cuatros which is just an absolutely incredible place.
This is one of the most magical places I have ever stayed. It came highly recommended by a few different friends. I am torn between wanting to tell everyone who reads this blog to GO, IMMEDIATELY… but also not, as I can’t stop thinking about going back and don’t want it to get all booked up and suddenly cost a million dollars a night.
They have these amazing little cabins that look like little wooden boxes tucked into the hills. Those were all booked up but they had one glamping tent (I believe it is called a simple cabin on their website) left, so we snagged that. The cabin was about $200 a night and included a free (delicious) breakfast. I loved it so much. I am definitely an indoor kid who does not enjoy roughing it but I realized that glamping is something I can really enjoy.
This is my perfect level of outdoorsiness.
A (spacious) tent, but with it’s own bathroom, air conditioning, wifi, a heater at night (it does get cold), and a big, comfy king sized bed? Sign me up. They give you walkie talkies just in case you wind up needing something, but it’s really just the perfect mix of rustic and luxe.
I thought the layout (tent/cabin) hybrid of the cabins was so unique and cool. You feel like you’re camping but then you have a working shower/sink/toilet in the back. Just such a smart idea!
Breakfast is included with your stay and it’s amazing so I would say DEF take advantage of it. A full menu, great coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice.
On our first night, we had dinner on property at the restaurant at Cuatro Cuatros.
Neither of us were prepared for what was in store. We walked through a little path on the vineyard, thinking we were walking to the restaurant. Not so. From there, we were greeted by a van that drove us a very rickety 15 minute ride through the cliffs. And when we arrived at the restaurant, my jaw just about dropped: this place is SO SPECIAL.
My drink was garnished with a cricket! I was not brave enough to try it.
This view!!! It felt as though we were in the cliffs of Croatia or Greece. I know I have said the word magical quite a few times in this blog post but that is the only way to describe it.
The next day, we went wine tasting. I am going to be a little blunt here – we both agreed that the wines were only medium and the food and cocktails were both phenomenal. Wine tasting is a big draw to the region and it is a lot of fun, but we weren’t exactly ordering bottles back to send home. I would 100% do it again though – it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great! I will say that we went on a day where not every winery was open. So we may have missed out… I really wish that we’d been able to get to Mogor Badan.
Wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe
We went to two wineries. As I mentioned above, a lot of times the wineries here are closed (weekdays etc) so I recommend calling ahead and making reservations.
Our first stop was Las Nubes Bodegas y Viñedos. Conde Nast Traveler called this one “impressive to architecture lovers as it is to wine connoisseurs—the tasting room offers panoramic views of the valley, and the blends offered here showcase the regional affinity for experimentation”
The second winery we visited was Adobe Guadalupe. It was really pretty and there’s a hotel on property. But again, wines were just medium!
Other wineries that I had heard great things about:
- Mogor Badan. This was closed which was such a bummer as it has some of the areas most acclaimed vintages, a restaurant, and a farmers market. The restaurant is Deckman’s En El Mogor and it’s supposed to be great!
- Clos de Tres Cantos – A Mayan temple meets historic monastery — known for its red wines.
- Vinos Casa de Piedra
In between wineries we stopped at Finca Altozano for some much needed snacking. Loved the food here!
This was our view driving into our dinner at Fauna. I loved it. There was so much of this. These dirt roads, feeling like you are in the middle of absolutely nowhere (and then getting to the end of the road and arriving at an incredible restaurant).
Our dinner at Fauna was insanely good. We splurged on the tasting menu which was just… BEYOND. A really, really special meal. Both of our dinners (here and Cuatro Cuatros) were absolutely incredible. This may be obvious but was something I hadn’t thought of: you can make reservations on Open Table.
We were driving around and spotted this pretty backdrop. The blogger in me couldn’t help it… needed to take a photo!
Well this food looks incredible! That breakfast is calling my name. I’ve shockingly never been to Mexico and clearly I need to go!
an indigo day
It was the best trip ever – highly recommend!
Looks like an amazing spot! I’m definitely adding to my travel bucket list.
And Grace, you just look so happy — glowing really!
that’s so sweet, thank you!
This looks beautiful!! I definitely want to recreate this trip. Did you have to purchase additional insurance to take a rental car into Mexico? Not sure what that process is like as I’ve only driven a rental within the states.
I didn’t rent the car so I’m not positive but I don’t think so. We didn’t tell them where we were driving it.
Hi Grace and KG! You do need to have additional insurance if driving a rental car from the US into Mexico. I made the same drive 2 years ago and the additional insurance costs about $35 per day through Hertz. You can tell them at the counter in San Diego and they will add to your rental car plan!
thanks, so helpful! I guess we did the wrong thing here, oh well!
No worries, Grace! I wouldn’t have known to either. Thanks for the info, Emily!! 🙂
Ah! I’ve been waiting for you to post about this trip since you first mentioned you were going. It looks even more incredible than I imagined – looking into dates RIGHT NOW.
I love Baja so much and have been dying to go back!
it was the best!
Looks amazing! Did you have to have a negative Covid test to cross back into the border when driving? Wasn’t sure how that works! Thanks!
We did not!
How cool! I’ve never heard of this area but what a unique take on a winery weekend! Thanks for sharing your experience! Can’t get over those costal views either
it was incredible!!!
Curious, was this a sponsored trip? Or did you pay for it on your own?
Hi! Thanks for the question. No – nothing was gifted, discounted, or paid. We paid for this trip with our own money. You might be new here (if so, hi and welcome!) but any gifted, discounted, or sponsored trips will always be disclosed as such. Even if it’s just a media discount or a free meal, that would also be disclosed.
What was the cool wall made of? It looks like metal. The food and views look amazing. That looks like glamping to the next level. When you return, will you try to book a cabin or are you hooked on their amazing glamping experience?
I am not sure! I think I’d do the tent again 🙂 and not sure what the wall was made of but it was very cool!
Omg! My boyfriend and I are planning a similar trip when we go to California next month and this is so helpful!! We have reservations at Baja Omakase, but past that, I have no idea what we’re doing . So this is coming at the exact perfect time!
Oh, and can I ask which car rental service you used? I’m seeing mixed things about being able to drive rentals into Mexico.
My boyfriend handled the whole thing (I don’t even have a drivers license) but I think it was Enterprise in San Diego. We may not have done the right thing based on what others are saying (though it worked out!), so I would do your own research if you are worried. Have so much fuN!
What a wonderful place!
Lisa | lisaautumn.com