For those in the know, the home of the famed Baja 1000 is just 75 miles south of San Diego in the coastal city of Ensenada. Wide Open Excursions has epic tours departing from the sunny shores of this seaside city. Our guests can explore the vast expanse of northern Baja’s wide open spaces from this world-class racing destination. Pristine beaches, beautiful desert vistas, steep inland canyons, and quaint villages on the Pacific Ocean. It’s all there for you, and all starting and finishing in a vibrant location legendary for the planet’s most famed off-road race.
We will cross the international border south of San Diego for a picturesque drive down the Baja coast. Sweeping vistas of the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean and a quick surfside snack are the prelude to arriving in Ensenada. As you are welcomed by the soaring Mexican flag, enjoy some of the local scenery. This is the Port of Ensenada, where cruise ships bring in tourists by the hundreds. You will get to experience a completely different side of Baja. A brief journey just south of town brings you to the peaceful serenity of our world-famous Estero Beach Resort.
Settle into one of the resort’s guest rooms, then find your way into the restaurant at 6:00 for your first official “Driver’s Meeting.” You’ll be greeted by a professional guide and receive important route and safety information. You’ll make the acquaintance of the Baja Challenge cars with a lap around the track at Estero Beach and afterward, you’ll have a chance to socialize with the guide and the rest of the group over dinner.
An early wake up will be rewarded with breakfast, hot coffee and orange juice. Once your baggage is loaded into a chase truck, strap yourself in for the first leg of your Baja adventure. With radio communications checked and the 2.5-liter fuel injected engines warmed-up, we’ll head out of Ensenada for the wilds of Baja.
Mountain passes and twisting ranch roads lead to the rich pastures of Ojos Negros (spanish for Black Eyes). Soon, we’ll climb up miles of surprising trails lined by the rich vegetation and old growth timber of the “Pine Forest,” located in the Sierra de Juarez mountains. We’ll take an exhilarating run east into the high desert until we meet our crew busily preparing a safari-style lunch. Sizzling fajitas of shrimp or chicken are being prepared by your personal chef.
A high-speed sand wash that descends down into El Diablo dry lake kicks off your afternoon driving. The cracked clay surface and towering mountains make a great spot for photographs and “wide open” running.. A final push over Zoo Road and some epic “whoop-de-dos” will take us to the sparkling waters of San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez.
As you drive into the George Hotel parking, our crew will greet you with a warm smile, salsa, chips and the best beer you ever had. Join us poolside before taking a leisurely walk for a mesquite-grilled dinner at the El Indo steak house.
The memories of yesterday’s adventures are still fresh in your mind as you awaken to the sunrise over the richly colored waters of San Felipe’s tranquil bay.
Breakfast is served, while the day’s itinerary and driving route are determined. Just as local fishermen are returning with their morning catch, we’re off into the Baja outback. Today’s travels may lead us to giant canyons and twisting sand washes (with names like “Matomi” and “Huatamote”) located to the south and west of San Felipe. These routes are more rhythmic and perfect to hone your off-road driving skills by finding that perfect adhesion in the berms. Don’t worry – we’ll stop at key points to take in the cactus forests in these rustic canyons. A morning of exhilarating driving will be topped by a hot lunch – safari style – in a beautiful remote location.
Chase the afternoon light as your group makes its way toward San Matias and the base of the Sierra San Pedro Martir National Park. A rustic, decal-splattered sign with the words “Mike’s Sky Rancho” looms just ahead. For the next 25 miles, you will enjoy one of the finest runs in all of Baja, with swooping terrain, technical switchbacks and optional car-launching jumps. A final splash through Simpson’s Creek announces your arrival at world famous Mike’s Sky Rancho.
Time to relax. A cold drink around the pool is perfect. Soon the smoke of a mesquite wood fire fills the air. A family-style dinner waits, followed by cocktails and off-road videos in Mike’s legendary bar that Baja racers have called home since 1966. Don’t forget, it’s lights out at 10:00pm.
A gentle knock on the door awakes you to the crisp, clean air of Mike’s. The smell of freshly-ground coffee is a fragrant prelude to the Mexican breakfast waiting in the dining room. With meals complete and bags packed, your guide will lead you into one of the most mind-bending trails in northern Baja.
This morning will be highlighted by an incredible run from Mike’s down steep mountain passes filled with boulders and tight narrow trails. Upon reaching Walker’s Corner, you’ll conquer fast roads and mountain trails as you enter the lush green fields of the farming village, Valle de la Trinidad.
After a drink and a quick snack, the final run back to Ensenada begins. It will take everything you’ve learned over the past three days to guide your team through the tricky washes at El Alamo before arriving back through Ojos Negros in great shape.
Your tour ends where it all began – with a quick late lunch and shower at Estero Beach. Our staff will help celebrate the completion of your life-changing adventure with a cold drink. Change into fresh clothes before bidding your new Wide Open friends farewell. Then heading back to San Diego.
"To say I loved it is a big understatement!” Your entire organization is first rate, professional and really loves taking care of the customer; please pass on my deep appreciation for their service and attitude. You really have a first class team and we look forward to seeing you again soon"
~ Christian Conshohocken
• Driving a $100K Baja Challenge Race Car
• Orientation & Professional Saftey Equipment
• Professional Guides & Support Crew
Rate based on double occupancy
All vehicles are manual transmission
You must be 18 yrs old with a valid driver’s license and or at least 16 yrs of age with a valid driver’s license and parent/guardian present inside the vehicle with minor.
We ask that you only drive our Baja Challenge vehicles at speeds which are comfortable for you. Our guides tailor each tour to individual clients needs and comfort levels. Yet if you must know, our vehicles have a top speed of 90+ mph.
If you are driving you must have experience with manual transmission. Unfortunately we do not have any vehicle with automatic transmissions. As for the off-road aspect of the trip, our professional guides will teach you all you need to know to conquer Baja.