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Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

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Auckland Region...
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Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

My sisters and I have a trip planned to the United States for September this year. They have finally let me plan a trip to Mexico on the end of our trip. We will be leaving out of Las Vegas and headed towards Mexicali. My question is, as tourists, where is the best place we can / should go in a car out of Mexicali? I had originally started looking at Puerto Penasco, however have recently discovered it is not the best place to get to experience real Mexico. We would ideally like to stay within a tourist (safe) town, but would like to see monuments, markets, real culture, eat and drank outside of the resort environment. Is there a town that can be recommended near the ocean that could offer us a bit of everything within range of a drive?

Or, is it best to stay in Mexicali City and venture around surrounding towns / coasts or beaches from there? Or head to a coastal town?

We would like to be able to venture out, but of course, as foreigners, don't want to venture into the wrong neck of the wood.

Any help / recommendations would be greatly appreciated! p.s on a tight budget

San Diego
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1. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

La Chinesca is a one of a kind place in Mexicali; It is the only identifiable Chinese district in Mexico. It has a unique blending of Chinese and Mexican cultures and unique foods. instant-mex-auto-insur.com/baja-log/…

Mexicali, Mexico
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2. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

Mexicali is no more than one century old, so there isn't much to see in terms of old Mexico like in cities at the lower part of the country. In Mexicali you may want to try the Chinese food and the tacos. You'll notice that there are a lot of night clubs, not dance clubs, but cantinas, bars, and the sort. Many of them. If you're under 24 and you like to party, you'll have plenty of options. Stay in the town's hotel zone (around Blvd. Justo Sierra) and you'll have plenty of restaurants and nightlife. If what you're looking for is to experience something more "local", you can head to the far West of the city, in Fracc. Virreyes where you'll find a menudo ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menudo_(soup) ) restaurant which is also a mini-museum. I think they only operate in the mornings. Ask where you can eat "carnitas de puerco" and "carne en su jugo", too. There are "nice" cantinas (like Los Remedios Cantina where most nights you can enjoy a Mariachi and sometimes a Norteño band) and there are more modest cantinas, like" Las Chabelas de la F" where you can taste some of the best chavelas ( …wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerveza_preparada#Chavela ) in town. If you want to travel a bit, take south and visit San Felipe's port in the Sea of Cortez. The beach is similar to Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) but there isn't that much tourism infrastructure, so you'll find the town more "local" and authentic-ish. To the West of Mexicali, up at the sierra, there's a town name La Rumorosa that you may want to take a quick look, buy some bread there and eat at La Casa del Abuelo and Tacos Lalo. Just the trip up and down is worth it for the scenery. I hope I gave you some helpful pointers. If you have any question about the city and the surrounding area, I'll be happy to help you. Best regards and have a good and safe trip.

Edited: 4:50 pm, January 18, 2014
Tempe, Arizona
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3. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

Or if you have the chance, fly to Merida, Yucatan, MX. Very affordable & very. Safe. From there you can travel to many Mayan sights and if lucky find some great little towns along the way. Progresso(30 mins North of Merida by car) has some intersting things to see. So much to do in the Yucatan. Happy to give you more info if interested.

Baja California...
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4. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

what to do first in Mexically in september???

First thing is to look for a cool place :)

and then go adn eat chinesse food :)

Lompoc, California
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5. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

I lived there @2yrs with my Mexican husband. i'm American. Be careful driving around in a car with CA plates the corrupt police in Mexicali can pull you over and you may have to pay to be let go.

Lompoc, California
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6. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

I lived in Mexicali for 2yrs. I am an American and used to drive my car around Mexicali with CA plates I was a target for corrupt Mexicali police who wanted money until I finally started taking taxi's and buses.

Lompoc, California
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7. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

Chinese food at El Rincon de Panchito.

Mexicali, Mexico
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8. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

i would recommend san felipe 2 hrs away from mexicali

in the night thereis mexico traditional stuff like the beach tiendas and churros

9. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

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Costa Mesa...
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10. Re: Heading into Mexicali, what shall we do?

Depends on how long you are planning to stay, but I suggest to drive to Valle de Guadalupe, beautiful wine country with great food and cute accommodations. It's about two hours of drive from Mexicali, or you can cross Tecate border to be closer. It is said to be the next Napa (California Wine Coutry) of Mexico. My husband is from Mexicali so we visit there often, and usually stay in Valle de Guadalupe for a night or two.