5. Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Why go? Slightly off the beaten track from the usual tourist haunts of Cancun, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta, Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California is worth the extra journey. Home to more than 90% of Mexico’s wine production, the region also boasts an increasing number of top-notch restaurants, not to mention year-round sunshine and access to some of the best seafood in the country.
What to eat and drink: A wine tasting is an essential part of any trip to the Valle, and La Lomita and Vinos Pijoan are two of the best. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California, the Valle is home to incredible fresh seafood, with some varieties you may never have heard of, like the Pacific Geoduck, a giant, phallic-shaped mollusc.
La Cocina de Doña Esthela: Named after its ever-present chef-owner, Doña Esthela’s kitchen is a favourite with locals and foodie travellers and serves the best breakfast around. Order huevos rancheros or her signature machaca con huevos (dried beef with eggs), followed by sweet café de olla – sweet coffee served in a clay mug with cinnamon.
Encuentro Guadalupe: Stay in one of this eco-resort’s stylish cabins with a glorious view across the valley and drink the wine produced in-house over a menu of red snapper tiradito and oysters.
Corazón de Tierra: Chef Diego Hernández-Baquedano designs his daily six-course menu based on fruit and veg from his onsite orchard and the freshest fish and meat available that day.
Whilst in the area: A trip to Baja California isn’t complete without some time in Ensenada, the vibrant seaside town just 40km from the Valle. For superb sea urchin tacos, go straight to La Guerrerense, a street stand run by Doña Sabina and her two sons.