Baja California

At One with Nature in Ensenada's Wine Valley: Endémico

A spectacular lodging in Ensenada's Wine Valley integrates luxury, simplicity and nature

Now comes the fun part:

A guided tour that zig-zags up a nature trail from Encuentro to the eco-lofts that are much higher up on the rocky hillsides (you can also be transported via jeep or van).

This hike, narrated by Santos-Mena, gives meaning to the hotel's name, Endémico (native to a specific region).

Each plant, no matter how insignificant it might appear, is given its context and importance to the ecosystem of the area; each bird is remarked upon and even the lichen that crawls over ancient stone facings is given attention.

As the path winds upwards, different angles of Ensenada's wine valley are revealed until, with unexpected suddenness, you curve into the hillside and find yourself in a tranquil canyon that faces west, towards the sunset.

Finally, you can get an up-close-and-personal look at the remarkable containers that are, in reality, hotel rooms.Each has its own deck, most with small fireplaces, and its own breathtaking view.Inside, even on a cool night, the small self-contained rooms are warm, plush and impeccable.

Eco-lofts at Endémico in Ensenada's wine valley.

Meandering past the habitats, you at once feel excited by this hidden treasure in the hills of Ensenada's wine valley and calmed by the absolute tranquility of it all.

Especially when you come to the top, to the luxurious infinity pool and Endémico's outdoor restaurant, where patrons get to enjoy light meals and breakfast.

Endémico's infinity pool overlooking Ensenada's wine valley.

It is easy to understand why Encuentro Guadalupe and Indómita, Aventuras Educativa have partnered.Together, they are offering a chance for people to see what is called "El Otro México," the other Mexico. In and of itself, Baja is a different world than mainland Mexico, with its rocky and remote coasts and harshly glorious deserts.But Ensenada's wine valley differs even more, in some ways resembling Napa Valley, with its floor carpeted in olive trees and vineyards and huge rocky outcroppings.

The groups are currently offering a special promotion for residents of Ensenada (a package that includes lodging at Endémico , wine tasting, a bottle of wine and a guided tour, for $70, double occupancy required).

But even without a special promotion, this unusual property is worth a visit, at least, if not a stay for a few nights!

Where is Endémico?

Endémico is at kilometer 75 on Highway 3, Tecate-Ensenada, in the Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada's wine valley.

What to expect: Bring hiking shoes, binoculars (red tail hawks are abundant), and a camera. Rooms are small but plush, with sparkling bathrooms, and awesome views from individual decks.

When to go: Ensenada's wine valley is wonderful at any time of the year, with typical valley coastal climates: warm in the day and chilly at night.

Think about going online and checking for meteor showers or lunar cycles: This is the perfect place to enjoy them!

How to contact Endémico: (646) 151 6137

How to contact Indómita, Aventuras Educativa: Visit their facebook page, at Indómita, Aventuras Educativa. To find out more about the special package, Encuentro=Indomita + Ensenada, call (646)

155 27 75.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for Baja, California, supported by a full-service travel agency staffed with local "Travel Savants".Baja.com offers Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. To contact Baja.com, call 855-BAJA-411 or email info@baja.com.

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