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Is 3 days in Valle de Guadalupe enough? Here’s a sample itinerary for visiting Mexico’s premier wine country

This Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary will give you an idea of how many hours to spend on wine tastings, places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more!

VALLE DE GUADALUPE WEATHER

I spent almost a week wine-tasting and eating here, but I will only share a Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary in this post. It will be enough time, I promise!

Valle de Guadalupe is just a 2-hour drive from San Diego so it has been a popular destination for Southern Californians. To be honest, you can easily do this as a day trip, especially if you live in San Diego.

I also met a lot of people from LA when I visited Valle de Guadalupe for a weekend! It’s impressive how they drove all the way from Los Angeles to see Mexico’s wine country!

Within this 3-day Valle de Guadalupe weekend, expect to eat, drink, and sleep. Nothing more. There are over a hundred vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe.

Although you are not expected to visit them all, note that there aren’t other things to do here. It’s purely a food and wine experience.

You will be driving a lot within Valle de Guadalupe because this area doesn’t have public transportation. It’s really a car area so you have no choice but to drive.

Wine-tasting prices in Valle de Guadalupe start from $15 (for 3 reds and 1 white). If you want to buy bottles, there are very good ones for as low as US$20.

Make sure to book the restaurant reservations in advance since weekends in Valle de Guadalupe are super busy. The good ones will be fully booked for sure.

I had to miss many places to eat here since I didn’t make the reservations in advance. You can’t just walk in since they are always booked. Valle de Guadalupe uses OpenTable for reservations.

When doing a wine tasting, you must aim to visit as many wineries as you can so don’t drink all the wine. Just try it, identify the notes, and move on to the next one. Wine tasting does not mean that you have to get drunk. The more wineries you visit, the more you’ll learn about Mexico’s wines.

I also noticed that Valle de Guadalupe is more popular with Mexicans than foreign tourists. All the restaurants and wineries I went to were packed with locals, and it’s a great sight since most places in Mexico are always touristy.

🍷 Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary notes

valle de guadalupe weekend
  • Wine-tasting activities and restaurant hours in Valle de Guadalupe always change their opening and closing times. With this, the hours of the restaurants in this article are not always accurate.
  • All tastings and restaurants must be reserved at least 2 weeks in advance. When you visit during December (the coldest month in the Valle, you can just walk-in.
  • The busiest month in Valle de Guadalupe is August, which is the grape harvest season. At this time of the year, expect higher prices, difficulties in booking restaurants, and many travelers going to the valley.

🚘 Day 0: Getting to Valle de Guadalupe (Thursday)

Valle de Guadalupe is located in Ensenada but there are no airports in Ensenada. To get to Valle de Guadalupe, you have to fly to Tijuana.

You can rent a car at Tijuana Airport, which costs around $20 USD per day. The rental car offices are right in front of the arrivals area. There will be different companies there you can choose from (Avis, Budget, Europcar).

I booked my rental car in Tijuana online so it was ready when I arrived. I paid a security deposit of US$250 for the 4-day rental, which will be returned once I bring the car back to TJ.

Many people drive from Los Angeles or San Diego for a Valle de Guadalupe weekend. Crossing the border and going to Mexico is easy and fast.

However, since this is a very busy border, you may encounter long lines going back to the US. To avoid long lines, you can apply for a Sentri or Redi Lane pass. This will be helpful if you frequently cross the US-Mexico border via Tijuana.

From Tijuana, it will be a 2-hour drive to Valle de Guadalupe. Take the coast route (towards Rosarito) because it’s safer. You can also go inland through Mexicali but there will be many checkpoints there and rough roads.

Make sure to take cash at the airport. There are ATMs right next to the rental car offices. While many wineries in Valle de Guadalupe accept credit cards, you still have to have cash.

4:00 PM – Arrival in Valle de Guadalupe

Friday sunset is a good time to arrive and start your Valle de Guadalupe weekend. Most hotels have pools and also sell wine on their property. Check-in time in Valle de Guadalupe is at 3:00 PM.

Valle de Guadalupe is also almost always cold, and these properties have heated pools. You can go to an early dinner as soon as you’ve settled down.

Many of the restaurants in Valle de Guadalupe have outdoor seating, so it’s nice to arrive right just before sunset.

6:00 PM – Dinner at Bruma Wine Garden

Bruma Wine Garden is a pop-up by Bruma and is a must-add to your Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary. It has outdoor seating that overlooks the vineyard. Trees cover the restaurant (there is no roof!), and large tables are for big groups.

Their wine selection didn’t have many Mexican wines but they are big in European wines (Spain, Italy, and France). I ordered a bottle of Nebbiolo from Casa Jipi that cost $30 USD.

They serve high-quality food. Appetizers are mostly seafood and they also have steaks on the menu. I also loved the Spanish croquettes with crabs as a starter.

🍇 Day 1: Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary (Friday)

9:00 AM – Breakfast at Salvia Blanca

Salvia Blanca is a boutique restaurant nestled in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, known for its farm-to-table dining experience. It offers a menu infused with local flavors and ingredients, set amidst the picturesque landscapes of Mexico’s premier wine country, providing a unique culinary journey.

I didn’t plan on going here but the resort owner I was staying in recommended it. It was also just a 5-minute drive from my place.

Salvia Blanca has really good breakfast food. I ordered the machaca with eggs. Machaca is salted beef that has been dried in the sun and pounded (like corned beef). You need to try machaca because it is a typical breakfast in Baja, California—I am sure you’ll love it!

For dessert, I had the Basque Cake, a Spanish-style cheesecake bathed in a blueberry compote with berry ice cream and nuts crumble.

They have bands playing every weekend and they also have their wooden cabins if you’d like more options for places to stay in Valle de Guadalupe.

10:30 AM – Wine tasting at El Cielo Winery and Resort (with lunch)

El Cielo Winery is a big resort that offers everything if you choose to stay in one place. The property has restaurants and many different activities.

I didn’t stay here and I only did El Cielo’s signature wine and chocolate pairing ($120 USD) as this is one of their best-sellers. Their chocolates are from a local provider in Tijuana and were handpicked by their experts to pair with their wines perfectly.

Should you get hungry, they have two restaurants within the property called Latitude and they also have an outdoor barbecue lunch every Saturday and Sunday.

The barbecue lunch is highly recommended as they serve borrego and lechon that are slow-cooked around fire for 6 hours.

1:00 PM – Wine tasting at Cava Maciel

Cava Maciel is a boutique winery renowned for its artisanal wines that reflect the region’s unique terroir. It offers visitors intimate tastings and insights into winemaking amidst the picturesque landscape of Mexico’s premier wine country.

I loved the tasting at Cava Maciel because the staff was super friendly! It was a very casual tasting and I love their reds here. I also loved the vibe of the place!

They don’t really serve food but I ordered a big cheese platter (Oaxacan/Queretaro cheese) for only US$17. You can opt to do the tasting at the bar or their outdoor seating but I prefer the bar.

All the wines I had in Cava Maciel are vintage 2015. My favorites are their Alba Cabernet Sauvignon and the Via Lactea Merlot. The Appogeo Nebbiolo was really good, too, and I brought a white (Venus) home!

2:30 PM – Wine tasting at Montefiori (Paoloni)

Montefiori (Vinos Paoloni) is a boutique winery known for its Italian heritage wines. Set amidst scenic vineyards, it offers a unique blend of Italian winemaking traditions and Mexico’s rich terroir, producing exceptional wines that reflect the Paoloni family’s passion.

I walked into Montefiori without reservations. They do the tastings in their restaurant so they didn’t really mind. I wasn’t required to order food, although I saw appealing plates from the other tables.

The restaurant at Montefiori is a glass structure on higher ground overlooking their vineyards. The tasting cost $25 for 1 white and 4 reds.

Paoloni’s Sangiovese and Nebbiolo are my favorites here, and I did buy a bottle of Chardonnay to go! They also have accommodations called Villas Montefiori, which cost $200 per night.

3:30 PM – Wine tasting at Don Tomas Vineyard

Don Tomas Vineyard is a boutique winery known for its artisanal wines, showcasing the rich terroir of Mexico’s premier wine region. Visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and breathtaking vineyard views.

During this wine tasting, I found my favorite Nebbiolo on the planet in Don Tomas! All of their tastings are accompanied by very small snacks that complement the taste of the wine but these “snacks” are really small and not filling.

If you are hungry, Don Tomas has a restaurant where you can order small snacks. Better yet, add $10 USD to your tasting to get a cheese platter.

🍷 Vineyards and wineries in Valle de Guadalupe usually close at 4:00 PM. After this, you can go back to your hotel, dip in the pool, rest, shower, and get ready for dinner! There really isn’t anything else to do but relax and chill at this time.

7:00 PM – Dinner at Deckman’s

Deckmans is a celebrated outdoor restaurant offering farm-to-table dining. Renowned Chef Drew Deckman utilizes locally sourced ingredients to create gourmet dishes, embodying the region’s culinary richness amidst scenic vineyard views.

Deckman’s is my favorite restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe because it offers so many meat options! I always order the steak and the bone marrow here—they do it really well!

I highly recommend their tasting menu (9-course). It consists of small plates with meat, seafood, and vegetables varieties—all for $85! This is the best way to try all the dishes at Deckman’s. I truly enjoyed their tasting menu.

I also love the open kitchen layout of Deckman’s where you can watch all the kitchen action. The restaurant area is big but all their tables and chairs are outdoors.

Use our interactive map to add more places and nearby attractions to your Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary!

🍾 Day 2: Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary (Saturday)

9:30 AM – Breakfast at Las Gueritas Quail and Rabbit

Las Gueritas Quail and Rabbit is a must-add to your Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary since it’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays! This is a great spot for foodies who are looking for local street food stalls with great food quality in Valle de Guadalupe.

The restaurant’s casual and cozy setting reflects its commitment to simplicity and tradition. Expect a warm, inviting atmosphere that feels like being welcomed into a Mexican family home.

Since it’s only open on weekends, you can expect long lines. You also can’t reserve here as it is on a first-come, first-served basis. I am always here before it opens at 10:00 AM since the food runs out fast. This food stand is worth it, so put it on your itinerary!

11:00 AM – Valle de Guadalupe zipline experience

The zipline experience in Valle de Guadalupe is a thrilling outdoor activity that spans 3.5 kilometers (approximately 2 miles) across five lines, coupled with a suspension bridge.

Renowned as a top-rated adventure, it offers breathtaking views and exhilarating moments. It is popular for groups and families seeking fun and excitement amidst the valley’s stunning landscapes.

Deciding whether the zipline adventure in Valle de Guadalupe is worth doing depends on your penchant for thrill and adventure. You don’t have to do this; you can replace this activity in your Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary with another wine tasting.

You have to be at the venue 30 minutes before the zipline adventure starts. There is no fixed hour to do this activity as all are dependent on the weather.

However, it is always recommended to do it before noon as it can get really hot in Valle de Guadalupe (depending on the month you are visiting).

1:00 PM – Lunch and tasting after the zipline

The zipline area has a restaurant and sky bar overlooking the valley of Guadalupe. You can add $59 USD to your zipline adventure and get a set lunch.

This area is by the Pacific Ocean and is probably the only restaurant that has ocean views. Since this is a 30-minute drive from the center of Valle de Guadalupe, you can spend the full afternoon here.

3:00 PM – Go to the beach at El Sauzal (during summer)

If you’re still in the mood for some adventure, you can go to the nearest beach called El Sauzal, which is a 15-minute drive away from the zipline adventure.

There are bars open here (especially during the summer and harvest season). This is also a picnic and barbecue area with great views of the Pacific Ocean.

❄️ If you visit during winter, you can visit the Wine Museum (it closes at 4 PM) or just return to your hotel, rest, and prepare for dinner.

Dinner at Fauna

Fauna is probably the most booked restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe. I’ve tried many times to book a table here, but I’ve had no luck. They are always full, and the available hours are really late (e.g., dinner at 9:30 PM or lunch at 5:00 PM).

Fauna is located in the same compound as Bruma Wine Garden but they serve very different food. Order the tasting menu as they are also paired with drinks (not only wine but beers and other liquors, too).

The waiters and servers here are very impressive. They’ve explained the tasting menu and pairing very well. I think this is one of the best services I received during this trip! I love it when waiters know what they are talking about.

Unfortunately, you have to book your dinner at Fauna at least a month in advance since they are always fully booked. I’ve tried to eat here twice in two visits, and I was only able to get a table on my third visit!

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🥂 Day 3: Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary (Sunday)

11:00 AM – Check-out your hotel

Check-out in Valle de Guadalupe hotels is at 11:00 AM. By this time, make sure you are all packed and ready to go to your next destination. But first, have brunch before your drive home!

111:30 AM – Farewell brunch at Casa Frida

Casa Frida is the perfect spot for brunch as it is located at the exit of Valle de Guadalupe town, towards Tijuana where you will be driving back home. But apart from that, visiting Casa Frida for brunch is worth it.

Known as the most instagrammable restaurant, Casa Frida is particularly lively on Sundays for brunch. They even have DJs on weekends! The food is good, the wines are great, and there are many tasting experiences that you can book for brunch or simply look at their a la carte menu.

Reservations at Casa Frida can e only done by phone or in person. I encourage you to book at least 2 weeks in advance, especially for groups.

2:00 PM – end of Valle de Guadalupe weekend itinerary

If you are driving to the US from Valle de Guadalupe, note that lunchtime is a very busy time at the border, regardless of whether you have a Sentri Pass or not.

Looking for more travel tips for Valle de Guadalupe?

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2 Comments

  1. We are going down with a large group in April will we have problem if we make
    are reservation with in the next week do think that will be ok.

  2. Hi Trisha. I loved your post. I recently moved to mexico. I wanted to know what is the best time to visit valle de guadalupe. I am planning to visit in the month of july or august.

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