Mexico Madness Tour

California, United States of America, Americas

Mexico's Baja California Peninsula is a contradictory land of desert, mountains and sea, with an austere and uncluttered horizon. Baja offers exhilarating adventures that will restore your sense of freedom and beauty. Alternatively, it may blind your intellect with margaritas and buckets of cold cervesa.

Baja is truly one of the last frontiers. The Mexican roads are in very good condition but because they are narrow, they still require your full attention. This is a ride for experienced riders only. Don't expect your mobile phone to work in most places. Same can be said for your credit card. But the people are friendly and the scenery is amazing! This is a ride every motorcyclist should do at least once.

This tour is offered as two separate options. If you have enough time, ride both directions!

Option 1:
North to South, San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, six riding days plus one day cruising the Los Cabos Area.

Option 2:
South to North, Cabo San Lucas to San Diego, seven riding days with different overnight destinations.

Organised by California Motorcycle Tours

Mexico Madness Tour


Itinerary

Day 1, Monday. San Diego to Ensenada (125 miles)

We'll cross the border at Tecate, about 50 miles east of San Diego, and take the long way to Ensenada. Between Tecate and Ensenada we'll ride through the Guadalupe Valley, the largest wine producing region in all of Mexico. Ensenada is not as much a tourist town as it is a genuine Mexican city, offering all of the services you would expect in a big town - supermarkets, hospitals, plenty of shopping, and much more. We can visit Hussong's Cantina, opened in 1892, where it's hard to beat the margaritas and live mariachis that help make this one of the most famous bars in the world. Ensenada is the last big stop for loading up on the essentials that start to get scarce as we enter Baja's wide open spaces. From here to Cabo San Lucas you can pretty much forget about TV and mobile phones.

Day 2, Tuesday. Ensenada to Cataviña (235 miles)

South of Ensenada, we'll pass through several small agricultural towns separated by fun and twisty roads. From El Rosario the road turns inland into the central desert region. Near Cataviña we'll see many wonders of nature - an idyllic oasis of cactus, smooth lava stones, glistening pools, and a desert strewn with house-sized boulders.

Day 3, Wednesday. Cataviña to San Ignacio (240 miles)

From Catavina, we'll continue south through the central desert until we again return to the Pacific near Guerrero Negro and the huge evaporative salt ponds. The highway again turns inland toward the small village of San Ignacio, finding it off to the side of the road where a plantation-size mass of palm trees sits atop an underground source of water at the end of a huge arroyo. A short distance from our hotel is the Town Square, surrounded by laurel trees and the scene of the town's activity. This early 16th century mission is a magnificent structure with walls four foot thick. Most of Baja's missions have either been destroyed or are down miles of unpaved road, so this mission is a real treat.

Day 4, Thursday. San Ignacio to Loreto (180 miles)

We'll head east from San Ignacio and get our first glimpse of the Sea of Cortez near Santa Rosalía. After lunch in Mulege, we'll ride along beautiful Bahia Conception before passing the inspiring scenery of the Sierra La Giganta mountain range near Loreto. Loreto is considered the oldest human settlement on the peninsula of Baja California dating back nearly 12,000 years. Loreto has come a long way from the dusty days when the blacktop first came to town in 1972. With its sweet water oasis and arid climate, the weather in Loreto is marvelous with more than 300 sunny days and a year-round temperature averaging in the 80's (F). Loreto is the historical capital of Baja California, Jesuit Padre Juan Maria de Salvatierra founded the Mission of Nuestra Senora de Loreto in 1697. It was the first mission and later capital of the Californias.

Day 5, Friday. Loreto to La Paz (230 miles)

South of Loreto the road turns inland as we emerge from the mountains to a huge agricultural valley near Ciudad Constitución. Then the road leads us again into the mountains as we near La Paz, situated on a wide bay of the Sea of Cortez. As the capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz has a population of 160,000, but has the flavor and charm of a much smaller town. It's a beautiful town with a wide walkway along the bay. People are friendly, nobody stares, hustles, or begs. In spring and late fall the climate is perfect, with temperatures in the low 80's.

Day 6, Saturday. La Paz to Cabo San Lucas (135 miles)

The minute we leave La Paz, nature takes over. It's an austere, uninhabited, uncluttered landscape of desert and sea. Barren hills and mountains studded with forests of giant Cardon cacti tumble down to the Sea of Cortez. Our final destination is Cabo San Lucas, located on the same latitude as Hawaii, at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula west of mainland Mexico and approximately 1,000 miles south of San Diego.

Day 7, Sunday. Cabo San Lucas

Relax for a day and enjoy beautiful Cabo San Lucas before catching your flight home. With a world class marina in the center of town, Cabo remains somewhat clear of franchises and its night life is no doubt the best in a thousand miles. Cabo has excellent beaches, upscale shopping, very good restaurants, world-class golf courses, and quality water sports facilities.

:: DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY:: Option 2: Cabo San Lucas to San Diego [South to North]

Mexico Madness Tour - 7/14 days

Day 1, Monday. Cabo San Lucas to La Paz (135 miles)

If we came south via Highway 1 and the east cape area, we'll ride north via Highway 19 on the Pacific side. There are several excellent surfing beaches in the area between Cabo San Lucas and our lunch stop in Todos Los Santos. The desert is thick with different varieties of cactus as we find our way to the beautiful city of La Paz.

Day 2, Tuesday. La Paz to Loreto (230 miles)

North out of La Paz, we'll traverse rugged desert on our way to the agricultural region around Ciudad Constitución. Agriculture in this dry area is only possible because of a huge underground aquifer. From here, the road turns east and takes us across the Sierra de la Giganta mountains to the Sea of Cortez and our destination in the historic city of Loreto.

Day 3, Wednesday. Loreto to Mulege (90 miles)

This is a short day which will allow plenty of time to enjoy the scenery along Bahia Conception. The small town of Mulege is just inland from the Sea of Cortez, along the Mulege River in the midst of a palm forest. The town has narrow streets with small shops and stores and plenty of history.

Day 4, Thursday. Mulege to Guerrero Negro (180 miles)

We'll continue north along the Sea of Cortez to the mining town of Santa Rosalía before turning west. After lunch in San Ignacio, we'll continue northwest to our destination of Guerrero Negro on the Pacific side, well known for its huge salt-producing evaporation ponds.

Day 5, Friday. Guerrero Negro to El Rosario (225 miles)

We'll ride north from the coastal flat-land into the mountains of the central desert. After lunch in Cataviña, we'll continue back towards the Pacific and our destination of El Rosario, a well-known pit stop on virtually all of the Baja 1000 off-road races.

Day 6, Saturday. El Rosario to Ensenada (160 miles)

We'll follow the Pacific going north through small farming communities, then turn inland and ride through scenic inland valleys. After a stop in the Santo Tomas Valley wine region, we'll find our way into Ensenada. This seaport town has all the services and night-life of a big city, while retaining its small town atmosphere.

Day 7, Sunday. Ensenada to San Diego (125 miles)

We'll take the inland route from Ensenada to Tecate, riding through the Guadalupe Valley, the largest wine producing region in Mexico. We'll cross the border near Tecate and finish our ride on beautiful highway 94 into San Diego.

At our farewell dinner, we can re-live our adventure before saying "adios" to new friends.

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