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Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

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Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

Hi, I'm so confused by the various reviews on here. So i wanted to do a 2 day one night trip to mexico from san diego, hit tijuana and then go on further. i was initially going to go to rosarito and enjoy the beach and relax - maybe go horseback riding ... but then i keep reading reviews that its a dump and ensenada is better and i also keep reading enseanda is crowded and rosarito is more relaxing. im not sure what to do. should we visit rosarito and stay in ensenada? or visit ensenada and stay in rosarito. ill be there next week and the weather seems to be warm, compared to the weather in the east coast right now. any recommendations on hotels, i kinda get the impression las rosas is the way to go in ensenada and was looking at las rocas in rosarito... please help! i remember a quote from entourage arrie said something like yea we did it in cabo and the lady responded no that was in rosarito. ha. anyway it will be me and my bf and i speak spanish - we are renting a car as well. oh yea and is that lobster area in between?

a bigger question actually is, is there another resort beachy town close to san diego other than these two places?

Edited: 07 January 2010, 20:38
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1. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

Cabo is the nicest place in Baja IMO, but it is at the other end of Baja from Tijuana, Ensenada and Rosarito.

This question about hotels and places being dumpy is somewhat like asking about why some people dislike national park accomodations and give them bad reviews. Baja is, after all, not California, but Mexico. There are parts of Los Angeles that strongly resemble Tijuana, but to me, Tijuana is immediately different (more seedy) than anyplace I'd find myself in L.A.

Are you renting a car in the U.S. and taking it over the border? Or are you walking over the border and renting a car there?

To me, Rosarito is the nicest of those three places (although it's been 10 years since I've been there), with the prettiest beaches and a more authentically Mexican town. There's been a lot of construction in Rosarito since then (indeed, it probably tripled in size in the mid-80's to mid-90's, so that it grew to look very urban and lost some of its charm, I think).

I do have one suggestion, in regards to preparing yourself culturally for your adventure. Go to Google news and search Tijuana and Rosarito. You'll see the kinds of upscale neighborhoods that have gone into Rosarito (so you'll see it's not a dump) because the real estate market is picking up again, there. But you'll also see some other stories about December in Baja and changing conditions in Baja (which are in part related to the influx of warm weather seeking folks in Baja).

Hopefully someone will come along and help with the hotel issue, but your question might be answered more quickly if you posted on the Mexico forums, under Baja California.

Weather is indeed predicted to stay warm through next week (in the mid-80's).

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

thanks! we are renting a car in san diego... ill post it in the other forum.

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3. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

Most rental companies don't allow taking their vehicles over to Mexico. Tijuana has had some difficulties lately ... I'd suggest doing a search of the SD forum and reading through what has been said recently.

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4. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

what about ensenada or rosarito - we were thinking of just stopping by tijuana and seeing what its all about and then heading south. is it worth leaving the car on the other side of the border walking to tijuana and then walking back to cross with the car? is there a fee to cross the border?

also the car we reserved includes mexico and the insurance.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

As RamblinSal mentioned, do a search in this forum and you will find out that most of us, not all, but most do not recommend going past the border period.

San Diego, CA
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6. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

Check out this 48 Hours Mystery from last week. A regular, normal family driving back from Ensenada

cbsnews.com/stories/…main6044922.shtml

San Diego
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7. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

IF you are traveling from NYC to Mexico I think you should go INTO Mexico like fly to Cabo. Are you planning any time here in San Diego or is this just a "Mexico trip"? IF it is a Mexico trip then I suggest you go to other areas of Mexico that are further from the border.

Also not sure WHEN you are coming. IF you are coming now in winter then the water will be cold there and further south will be better.

Mission Viejo...
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8. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

The rental car issue is not about fees or charges, it's simply that rental companies prohibit their cars from being taken across the border. There are numerous legal, damage, and theft issues and that's probably how they prevent it. Also be aware that Mexico uses the Napoleonic legal system; so in an accident the driver will be jailed until guilt is determined. Since US auto insurance is not valid, many Mexican companies sell insurance on the US side of the border. As I understand it, the insurance basically posts bail and a financial guarantee so you won't be held.

TJ has sadly become a third-world area with a lot of desperate poverty...that's the main issue for most tourists. Be prepared to have 5 year olds begging for food and money; also don't bring any valuables and watch for pickpockets. The other issue is an ongoing battle among drug cartels for control. That's not a big worry for most tourists, but things happen : latimes.com/news/…1294578.story

It's really sad for the average Mexican who are warm and welcoming. Most will tell you that Northern Mexico is no longer the "real" Mexico.

Edited: 08 January 2010, 04:36
Mission Viejo...
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9. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

Sorry didn't see that OP has a car allowed into Mexico and has insurance. That said, everyone's caveats need to be taken seriously. Many friends and colleagues who love Baja or have relatives there do not cross the border anymore. The upside is lodging rates should be very good; the LA Times travel section recently tried several hotels in the area you're interested in, and they were only 10-20% occupied.

Edited: 08 January 2010, 04:42
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10. Re: Ensenada or Rosarito or both? HELP!

I'm glad you solved the one issue (about finding a car rental company that will let you go into Mexico). Just be aware that your U.S. plates will make you stand out as a tourist.

With tourism off so steeply, that means there are fewer tourists to blend in with. I recommend you not stop in Tijuana at all (past the mandatory stoplights, where you will get enough of a taste of mercantilism, Mexican style) and head to your accomodations. I still think Rosarito is nicer - but do check google news. People on this thread are not trying to scare you, but they want you to be very sure about what you are doing.