I find myself visiting the motherland on a monthly basis since it is only two hours away from Los Angeles.
Indulging in the Mexican flavors, music, and beaches are worth every mile of that drive. Many people hesitate at the idea of visiting our neighboring country with fair reasoning. I have travelled alone various times, with friends, and family members who have all trusted me as a guide and translator. I ask them to give me one day, or two, to take them to Mexico so the country and culture itself can prove how beautiful and alive it is.
You could eat, play, and see Mexico in one day. Heading south on highway 5 takes me directly to an enormous Mexican flag lined by the immense US-Mexico border that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
The border crossing is very quick and easy, Mexican officials stand by. Travelers are simply given a red or green light into the country. As traffic flows passing the barrier, I usually take the ramp on the right leading me northwest through the scenic toll road called Via Internacional toward Rosarito and Ensenada. Once the highway reaches an end, I take another right heading south on Highway 1D (again toward Ensenada). I drive south on this highway for 18 miles with exquisite views of beach communities and new development lining the extensive ocean. While exiting at Rosarito, I merge onto the main street aligned with American commercial stores and restaurants separated by small Mexican businesses in between. I arrive at a unique restaurant named La Estancia serving rare meat as well as traditional Mexican dishes. The authenticity of the flavors, restaurant decor, and occasional serenade make La Estancia my first go to place in Mexico.
My days in Rosarito are usually followed by a visit to the Rosarito Beach Pier and relaxing under the palm shade in wooden lounging chairs next to shore. Sitting in the midst of Americans, the local people haul their businesses by each table offering their goods or services. You are able to drink water out of a coconut, get a brain freeze by a pina colada, or order a drink of your choice from the bar runners. The irresistible arrangement of fresh fruit with chili powder and lime juice pass you by - you will surrender every time. With all the refreshing snacks and drinks, you are left with nothing to do but simply enjoy the beach in the energy of a Mexican fiesta.
You are free to sit back and relax, swim, tan, ride horses along the beach, or even ride four-wheelers in the sand dunes nearby. There is nothing else I could fathom asking for when I reach this point, especially around great company such as friends and family.