Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico

Rosarito Beach Baja California Mexico
Rosarito Beach - Baja California, Mexico
Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico (8/4-11/2013)

An hour away from San Diego but a world apart, Rosarita offers a safe and accessible Mexican adventure with great year-round weather, beautiful beaches, and nice restaurants.

Rosarito is located about 20 miles south of the U.S. border from San Diego, California. The 35-minute scenic drive via a good toll road has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.

Rosarito Beach Baja California Mexico
Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico
Vendor Rosarito Beach Mexico
Vendor - Rosarito Beach, Mexico
Rosarito Beach is a wide sandy beach that has palapa style restaurants on the sand with decent Mexican food and well-priced Mexican beer and margaritas. Many activities are available such as fishing, surfing, and horseback riding on the beach. If you want to get a bit crazy at night, there are some lively beach clubs such as Papas & Beer and Club Iggy’s. The clubs are located in the same area making for easy barhopping to find the one you like best.

Rosarito Beach Hotel Rosarito Mexico
Rosarito Beach Hotel - Rosarito, Mexico
View from Our Hotel Room Rosarito Beach Hotel Mexico
View from Our Hotel Room -
Rosarito Beach Hotel
We stayed at the Rosarito Beach Hotel and had a great time. It is very well located right on the beach where we could walk to many things. During the day, we enjoyed the palapa restaurants ordering drinks, guacamole, and tacos saving some room to enjoy some very nice local restaurants at night. We liked Susana’s and El Nido. The Rosarito Beach Hotel has a nice restaurant with a good value weekend buffet and they offer a Mexican floorshow and karaoke bar. Before a night out we relaxed in the Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean.

Store Rosarito Mexico
Store - Rosarito, Mexico
Also, next to the Rosarito Beach Hotel is a large shopping arcade offering traditional Mexican crafts and souvenirs and the beach clubs are couple of blocks down the street. Taking a walk out on the pier located in front of the hotel provides you a beautiful view of Rosario Beach (see photos). The Rosarito Beach Hotel has a variety of rooms ranging in price from simple ocean view rooms in the old hotel to upgraded suites in the new hotel. Don’t forget to pick up a Fast Pass when returning to the U.S. reducing the wait to about 45 minutes.

Puerto Nuevo Village Lobster Dinner Mexico
Puerto Nuevo Style Lobsters
Lobster Restaurants Overlooking Ocean The Arches Mexico
Restaurant Overlooking 
the Ocean at The Arches
Puerto Nuevo lobster village is a must stop located about 15 minutes south of Rosarito. It is located along a beautiful rocky shore and has more than 35 restaurants all serving delicious Puerto Nuevo Style lobsters garnished with beans, rice, and homemade tortillas (see photo). We like one of the original restaurants, Ortegas, at the far end of the village. Puerto Nuevo is a fun stop and the lobster is wonderful.

Also located nearby is the Paradise Cove restaurant on the beach with good food and music on occasion. For more adventure, you can drive about hour south to Ensenada and la Bufadora, where you can witness a sea geyser that rises up to 59 feet.

Gourmet Lunch Finca Altozano Restaurant Guadalupe Wine Valley Mexico
Gourmet Lunch at Finca Altozano -
Guadalupe Wine Valley, Mexico
Seafood Lobster Lunch at The Arches Mexico
Seafood Lunch at The Arches
A nice day trip is visiting the Guadalupe Wine Valley about 45 minutes drive from Rosarito. They are producing some very fine wines. Visiting the wineries means venturing off the road onto dirt roads. You can arrange a wine tour of several nice wineries or take a drive, like we did. We liked our visit to the L.A. Cetto winery and having a gourmet lunch at Finca Altozano, an open restaurant overlooking a vineyard.

Travel Tip... When you arrive in Rosarito, do visit the Rosarito Visitor’s Center located a few blocks north of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. They have good maps and will help you with directions and suggest activities.

Traditional Mexican Dancers at Rosarito Beach Hotel Mexico
Traditional Mexican Dancers 
at Rosarito Beach Hotel
About Rosarito... The main town of Rosarito runs along the beach for about four miles on Boulevard Benito Juarez consisting of hotels, condominiums, restaurants, gift shops, and curios. Rosarito’s economy is largely tourist-based with high rises that are predominantly hotels and resorts. With a drinking age of 18, its beaches and dance clubs are a popular destination for young people from the United States during Spring Break and Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

Rosarito Beach Pier Mexico
Rosarito Beach Pier
Getting to Rosarito... From San Diego, there are a couple of options to get to Rosarito. We found driving our car was fine. If you don’t want to drive in Mexico, you can take a taxi after crossing into Tijuana for about $15 – ask before getting in. Taxis can be found on Francisco I Madero, one block over from Av. Revolucion, between Carillo Puerto and Calle 4ta. There are also yellow shared taxi vans that will take you from Zona Centro in Tijuana to Rosarito for less than $2.

If you take your car, it is important to buy liability car insurance that can be purchased online or at numerous agencies at the border. Even if the accident is not your fault, you will be held until that's cleared. We bought insurance online for about $90 for a week with daily rates much lower.

Map Northern Baja California Mexico
Map - Northern Baja California, Mexico

Driving directions... Rosarito is easily accessed via a very nice toll road (Mexico 1D - Cuota) that runs along the Pacific Ocean. It costs less than $3 each way. After crossing the border at San Ysidro, follow signs that read “Enenada-Rosarito Cuota” getting into the 3rd lane (counting out from the median). In about 100 meters you'll be on an overpass and a 4th lane will bring on merging traffic - move over to the 4th lane and an off ramp to the right will take you to the Via International/Carretera Mexico 1D. This is the main highway to take you to Rosarito, Ensenada, and the western part of Tijuana (Las Playas).

Please see our other 5 blog posts on Mexico:

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