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Ensenada’s Todos Santos Bay Becomes One of Six World Surf Reserves

Because of the consistency and quality of its waves as well as vibrant marine life and history, San Miguel is where Mexican surfing started, today the Todos Santos Bay was inaugurated as the world’s sixth surf reserve. This means that no construction can be made on either of the five beaches, Salsipuedes, San Miguel, Stack’s, 3emes, and Todos Santos, and that access must be guaranteed. A win for surfers and ocean lovers!

Surfers coming back from the paddle out

The project started in 2007, when a group of friends found out that developers wanted to built ports and piers at their favorite surf spots. So, they got together and called the Surfrider Foundation asking for help. Surfrider told them they could protect their spots, but they would have to fight, no one would do it for them. Since then, an international collaboration between Surf Ens, Pronatura, Save the Waves and Costa Salvaje has helped the San Miguel bay become an international surf reserve.

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Kids describing what surfing means to them

Each of these five beaches brings something to the beaches of Mexico. San Miguel was the first spot to welcome American surfers. Although it is now private, Salsipuedes has gained an international reputation for the quality of its break and beach. 3emes and Stack’s welcome surfers of all levels while Todos Santos/Killers attract big waves and welcomes the Big Wave Tour.

Can you see Todos Santos in the distance?

The event was held at San Miguel, the first Mexican beach to welcome surfing in the 50s and today an iconic spot, both for American and Mexican surfers. It started with a paddle out, followed by a dance by an indigenous group, and a talk by people who supported the project and, most importantly, those who put the project together.

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Ensenada surfers celebrating their success

The event really was an international success. It is great to see that surfers will be able to keep enjoying these great breaks without fear they will be developed upon. And thank you to those surfers, who for the past seven years have fought hard to keep their beaches free. Thank you for your hard work!

One of the many reasons San Miguel is a world surf reserve
One of the many reasons San Miguel is a world surf reserve

Although the waves today were not the famed San Miguel waves, this meant that people were there to listen to the speakers (and were not distracted by the break’s famous rights).

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to discover the beauties of Baja California.

It doesn’t have to be Friday for you to eat at a food truck!

Right after the Boulevard Aguacaliente on the libre (free) road to Rosarito there exists a hidden food truck haven; have you heard of Estacion 55 yet? It’s relatively new, about six months old or so and is definitely worth the trip to Tijuana or a perfect lunch break on your way south.

How far are you from burgers, pizzas, tacos and crepes?? Closer than Paris or Sydney!
How far are you from burgers, pizzas, tacos and crepes?? Closer than Paris or Sydney!

So, you’re probably wondering what’s available? Well, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a burger, pizza, fish tacos, tortas (burger-sandwich hybrid), empanadas, or crepes, you are sure to find something to suit your appetite. It’s the perfect place if your friends are picky eaters because there are meat, fish, and vegetarian options. (But, for lack of a liquor license, not the best place if you want to support local breweries!)

Tuna tostada loaded with guacamole and salsa
Tuna tostada loaded with guacamole and salsa

There are many ways to go about eating at the restaurant. You can either go for your meal and dessert, just your meal, a sampling of all the trucks, a snack, or just for dessert. It’s up to you!

Cheese, corn, and "rajas" empanada... Yummy!
Cheese, corn, and “rajas” empanada… Yummy!

As an appetizer, order one of the many combinations of empanadas. All are $19 pesos ($1.50 dollar) and accompanied by a boat of salsas. There are various types of empanadas you can order, chorizo with Oaxaca cheese (the king of Mexican cheeses), corn and rajas, picadillo, as well as other great combinations.

Try everything!
Try everything!

If you are craving fish and shrimp, try Ta’Costeno. Whether you ask the waitress what she recommends or you go for the “try everything for $150 pesos (about $12 dollars)” platter you will find your meal delicious.  I highly recommend the “try everything” platter, you try every taco and get the agua fresca of the day. If you aren’t too hungry and don’t want to try everything, give the shrimp taco or the tuna tostada a try.

Looks good and the shell shaped plates are awesome! Even if you’re not crazy about octopus, the Tentaculo Negro is a must try!

If you’re not in the mood for seafood, give Via Bistro a try. It’s a brick oven pizza with all kinds of combinations. And if you don’t feel like trying any other food truck, order a greek salad as your appetizer and a pizza as your main meal. Whatever you order, make sure you try the sauce; it’s the perfect companion to your tasty pizza.

Make sure to ask for the daily special, it's not on the menu but can surprise you, today's was ricotta cheese with basil
Make sure to ask for the daily special, it’s not on the menu but can surprise you, today’s was ricotta cheese with basil

And, the best for last, DESSERT! Make sure you try Rodante’s crepes and macaroons. The crepes are usually Nutella, caramel, Suzette (orange), berries, or apples. Obviously you can never go wrong with Nutella, but it’s always nice to try something new!

Apple crepe
Apple crepe

After eating all that food, there was no place for the tortas and burgers. However, considering everything else was exquisite, I can only imagine those are both great. The burgers have an eating contest, kind of like Man v Food; where you have to eat a GIANT burger, 1 liter of soda and french fries, all within 30 minutes. Are you capable?

Will you try?
If you make it, the meal is on the house!

I’m sure you can tell you should eat there, but the best part was the price. Sharing between four friends, we spent $100 pesos each (about $8 dollars)! How great is that?

 

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to discover the beauties of Baja California.

Taco Fest, What Tijuana Does Best!

There was a lot going on this week-end, from the Craft Beer Expo to the Tijuana Rumble Fest, there was something for every taste. However, I was feeling hungry and knew there were two more beer fests (one in July on the Revolucion and another in August at the CECUT), so I decided to go to Rock’n’Taco. A festival where rock and tacos were combined to offer a fun afternoon.

It sure attracted a lot of people!

The event was held on the world famous Revolucion between calles 8 and 9. The event was free and welcomed 20 local taquerias and seven local bands. As the night went on, the bands were better. Some bands even came from Ensenada.

Taquerias everywhere!
Taquerias everywhere!

You could find a little of everything, from the famous Kokopelli seafood and vegetarian tacos to soy based tacos, and obviously delicious meat tacos. There were birria tacos, adobada tacos, regular beef tacos, everything tacos!

Birria tacos… YU-MMY

I believe this was the event’s first time, however there’s a good chance they will be able to make this an annual one. I’ll be sure to keep you posted if it happens, I didn’t know about it until the day before. I’ll make sure you are aware ahead of time next time!

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to discover the beauties of Baja California.

Week-end Idea: the CECUT’s Expo Artesanal

Are you not sure what you should do this week-end? If you passport hasn’t expired and you want to explore Mexico, not just Tijuana, drive to the CECUT, Tijuana’s cultural center. There’s currently an artesania (craft) fair you should definitely check out.

The CECUT set itself up with tents, food, and a fun concert.
The CECUT set itself up with tents, food, and a fun concert.

There are vendors from all over Mexico,such as Michoacan, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Nayarit. You name the state, it will most likely be represented. The variety of crafts being sold goes from organic make-up to intricately woven dresses and copper bathtubs.

The hand sewn dresses cost around $400 dollars, once you see the work that goes into it, you'll understand.
The hand sewn dresses cost around $400 dollars, once you see the work that goes into it, you’ll understand.

But if you’re looking for a small souvenir, you’ll also be able to find it, there is cool Mexican jewelry. From beaded necklaces and bracelets to silver earrings and cuffs, there’s something for everyone. There are even little backpacks and key-chains if you just want something small.

Little souvenirs you can take home... You can even pretend you traveled elsewhere than Tijuana!
Little souvenirs you can take home… You can even pretend you traveled elsewhere than Tijuana!

But the crafts are not the only reason you should visit. There is an abundance of food, drink, and salsa sampling from all over Mexico (think cool alcoholic beverages you’ve probably never heard of). If you get thirsty, you can buy a mug of café de olla, a typically Mexican way of making coffee or atole, a fruit and milk based hot drink (not the best idea considering the day’s heat but luckily the night was cooler!).

Mexico's typical atole and café de olla booth. You can also buy a cool mug for $35, it's way more eco-friendly than the styrofoam cups they usually come in!
Mexico’s typical atole and café de olla booth. You can also buy a cool mug for $35, it’s way more eco-friendly than the Styrofoam cups they usually come in.

The food involved your typical tacos and meat-based meals, however the ingredients were fresh. If there is a picky eater in your family or group of friends, you will be able to find something for them. Pancakes and nutella crepes were available for those afraid to try something new; and for those of you who have already tried tacos, try branching out by eating a huarache (beef on cactus).

Freshly made tacos!
Freshly made tacos!

To add to the already pleasant atmosphere, there was a great band playing in the background. The show went on until 11, when the band stopped and the booths rested until 10 am tomorrow morning.

Typical Mexican candy booth.
Typical Mexican candy stand.

If you can’t think of anything to do this week-end, definitely think of going to Tijuana. This event is a Mexican experience and you will get to see much more of Mexico than if you were to visit TJ on a regular week-end.

Intricately woven mantle pieces, also available as pillowcases.
Intricately woven mantle pieces, also available as pillowcases.

I’m hoping to hear about your experience; please share it in the comments!

To get to the CECUT: after crossing the border, stay on the route that says ZONA RIO you will see a big ball on your left. That’s the CECUT.

 

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to see what Baja California has to offer.

Tijuana’s Kokopelli Tacos: An Explosion of Flavor

What used to be a food truck in the center of Tijuana, and is now located in the Zona Rio, Kokopelli is a cute taco restaurant specializing in grilled fish, shrimp, octopus, and portobello mushrooms.

Jelly fish swimming around you as you eat
Jelly fish swim around you as you eat

When you first sit down, the friendly waiter will bring you an interesting assortment of sauces to try with tortilla chips. Don’t be fooled by his smile, some of the salsas he is offering you are deadly! They go from least spicy to the spiciest; even if you know this, you will not be prepared for what you may accidentally taste.

The salsas, the ones in the front are the deadly ones and as you go further up, they become less spicy.
The salsas, the ones in the front are the deadly ones and as you go further up, they become less spicy.

These tacos are mostly for seafood lovers, however there are some vegan and meat-eating options. The portobello mushroom tostadas are delicious and different from anything else you’ll find in Tijuana. And considering that Tijuana’s main market is meat-eaters, it’s nice to find a vegetarian alternative.

Funky: cheddar cheese, portobello mushrooms, spinach and a goat cheese based sauce.
Funky: cheddar cheese, portobello mushrooms, spinach and a goat cheese based sauce.

The presentation of the food is quite interesting, from aguachile filled boats to regularly presented tacos the restaurant gives its food an interesting touch. Although I don’t have a picture of it, I highly recommend the Gringos en Vacaciones (Americans on Vacation); it’s a shrimp taco with red sauce and spices, and it’s delicious!

The Pineapple Aguachile: pineapple, lemon cooked shrimp, jicama, avocado
The Pineapple Aguachile: pineapple, lemon cooked shrimp, jicama, avocado

The cool thing about Kokopelli is that it supports local breweries. Border Psycho in Tijuana and Agua Mala from Ensenada are a few of the local beers they support. These offer pilsens, IPAs, stouts and pale ales among others. And of course, the regular Tecate, Indio, and other Mexican beers are available.

Have you tried the Border Psycho?
Have you tried the Border Psycho yet?

So, if you are bored of eating the same thing every day and want delicious and affordable fish, shrimp, octopus, or mushroom tacos, try Kokopelli. You will enjoy the change of scenery and love the food!

To get there: after crossing the border, stay on the left, going towards Zona Rio. After the scissor roundabout and right before the Moctezuma roundabout, take a right. You’ll see a stop light, at the light keep straight and it will be on your right, before the next road.

 

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to see what Baja California has to offer.