Epic 1100-mile Go Baja ride By the staff of Dirt Wheels
The lure of Baja may just be a far-fetched fantasy for some. Racers and seasoned travelers have discovered the mystery of Baja, and its unique experience keeps them coming back. But, for those who don’t have the adventurous spirit or a big racer budget, there is still a way to experience the best of Baja in a UTV or behind the bars of an ATV or dirt bike. Go Baja Riding Tours has been hosting all-inclusive four-day and seven-day Baja tours for over 35 years. They recently let us tag along on a seven-day Ensenada-to-Cabo tour to see what all the hype is about.
7 DAYS TO CABO
Most people book seven-day vacations in Cabo and rarely leave their resort; however, the Go Baja trip is more about the journey than the destination. Every day is different, and every night the hotel is different as well. It’s the quickest way to see much more of Baja than you would during a race or stuck in some resort.
TRIP OF A LIFETIME
If you’ve ever spent a week straight in the seat of a UTV or riding an ATV at your local ride area, the days kind of blur into each other, as you tend to ride the same trails over and over again. Do the Baja tour for a week and you will build a story of daily memories that will last a lifetime, because every day is different, every trail is different and every stop is unique. Our tour was exactly 1100 miles long, with terrain that changed almost like clockwork as we headed down the peninsula.
TERRAIN AND SCENERY
When we hit the dirt just south of Ensenada on day one, not only was it the start of an unknown journey, but we were actually on the Baja 1000 racecourse. This piece of smoother-than-expected dirt took us away from civilization immediately. Thirty miles later the Pacific Ocean appeared, and we were treated to a view of the coastline for more than an hour. While the trail is fun to drive, this is the section of the trip where you might rather be sitting as a passenger to soak up the scenery.
The rest of the day included more incredible views and trails along or near the Pacific Ocean. Each day the route took us from one side of the Baja Peninsula to the other. For the most part, the route takes you on the same terrain racers have been using to get down the Baja for decades. However, some of the rougher or torturous sections were cut out. Don’t get us wrong, there was still plenty of infamous Baja hills, rocks, sand washes, cacti gardens and silt beds to keep you on your toes.
For those who are not worried about the route being too easy, the crew can assist beginner drivers if needed. The experienced crew has been riding and racing these same trails and dirt roads for decades and happily share all of the history they know, along with old war stories and racing battles.
You spend each night in a different town and a different high-end hotel—well, high end for some of the smaller towns is clean and quiet (which is just fine) but also adds to the character of the trip. In the larger towns, such as Loreto and Todos Santos, five-star accommodations are provided. Food for the entire trip is just authentic enough to give you a taste, but safe enough not to worry about it. Your luggage is all transported by truck, so there’s no need to carry it with you each day. Special diets can be catered to, as well as certain travel needs. It’s also possible to do the Cabo trip from south to north, or if a few people need to fly in or out at a midway point, that can be arranged as well.
COST AND CONTACT
The four-day Northern Baja tour starts at $2095 for bring-your-own-buggy customers, and $2395 if you need a rental. The Cabo trip is $3895 if you bring your own car, and $4595 using one of their new Honda Talon or Kawasaki KRX rentals. Prices are per person in a two-seat buggy. Don’t worry, though, there is plenty of time on the trail to swap seats to let both customers drive. That price includes all hotels, meals, gas, daily car maintenance and snacks on the trail.
Just get yourself to San Diego, California, and let the crew do the rest. If you do the Cabo run and bring your own car, it will be shipped back to the starting point in Ensenada and will be waiting for you upon your return. A short two-hour flight from Cabo to Tijuana will get you back to your truck, trailer and OHV. If you feel like extending your stay in Cabo a few extra days, you can do that, too, but it’s on your own dime.
To book your next Baja adventure, or if you want to learn a little more about the small details, call Bruce and his team at (951) 687-0808. Their website (www.gobajariding.com) has all the details as well.