Where is the ranch located?
Rancho La Bellota is located in Baja California just 1½ hours south of the Tecate border, about halfway between Tecate and Ensenada on Hwy 3. The beautiful wine country of Baja, Valle Guadalupe, is located 25 minutes away from the ranch.
Is there electricity?
The ranch is completely off the grid, without electricity, cell or Wi-Fi access. Cabins are lit by candlelight and battery powered lanterns. The common areas, such as the dining room, living room, patio areas, etc., are lit by candlelight or kerosene lamps in the evening. In case of an emergency, a cellular phone connection is available nearby, but our guests enjoy being “off-line” for the weekend.
How do we get there?
We typically meet in La Mesa and carpool as a group to the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate. Leaving our cars on the U.S. side in a secured lot, we walk across the border (200 yards) to meet up with our ranch hosts. As a group, we are then transported by our hosts to Rancho La Bellota to begin our weekend. We are brought back to the border to pick up our cars at the end of our stay. Prices include transportation to and from the Tecate border crossing.
How do we carpool to the border?
Carpools are arranged once we have confirmations from all participants. You may drive with a friend or be asked to drive or ride with others to the border. If you are uncomfortable driving, we will drive you.
NOTE: You will not be asked to drive in Mexico – We handle that for you, saving you the cost of gas and Mexican auto insurance!
What is the ranch like?
The location is a rustic and traditional guest ranch, on the model of what you would have found 100 years ago in Baja California.
How many guests can the ranch accommodate?
There are five cabins. We limit our groups to 10 guests (double occupancy).
What are the cabins like?
The cabins are rustic but charming with clean, comfortable beds, wood burning stoves for cozy warmth, in-room baths with hot and cold water, showers, flush toilets, etc. All linens are supplied.
What activities are available at the ranch?
The focus of Baja Rancho Art is primarily art workshops – plein air painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, and photography. However, the ranch is government certified as a destination resort for horseback riding and bird watching. Osprey, various owls and hawks, quail, and a pair of nearby nesting golden eagles can be seen on ranch property from time to time. The hiking trails are extensive, and there is a small spring fed pool for cooling off after a day in the field.
Baja Rancho Art also offers local Valle Guadalupe winery tours, wine tastings and off-site luncheons (luncheons must be pre-arranged). Transportation to and from the wineries is included for those who wish to go (a minimum of three guests is needed). The region specializes in red wines; many highly rated by Wine Spectator Magazine. Locally produced artisanal cheeses, oils, honey, olives, and breads are also delicious.
Your trip can be anything you want it to be – you decide!
How much does wine tasting/lunch at a winery cost?
The cost of wine tasting and/or winery lunch is not included in your registration. Wine tasting at most wineries is $8 – $10 per person. Winery lunches range from local cheese platters to artisanal wood-fired pizzas to gourmet paella and five course meals. Prices can range from $10 to $40 per person. Let us know what your group would like and we can help you choose a place to eat. Prior arrangements must be made at some wineries; we handle that for you.
I haven’t been on a horse for years… Are the horses and ranch staff patient with a novice?
The Ranch owners, Raul and Caroline Aguiar, have been matching up horses and riders for over 20 years. Their horses are expertly trained; steady, calm, and safe. A guest with no experience can ride and enjoy the scenery – rather than worry about the horse!
Can I drink the water?
All fresh water at the ranch comes from a natural spring. While we feel it is safe to drink, the ranch also offers plenty of bottled water, both in the cabins and dining room. If concerned, we recommend guests drink bottled water for peace of mind.
What type of food is served at the ranch?
The ranch offers healthy preparations of traditional Mexican meals. No lard is used. Carne asada, chilies rellenos, tostadas, seafood, grilled vegetables, and chicken are often featured. Vegan and vegetarian meals are available with prior notice. Dinners also include homemade desserts. These delicious meals are served family style in the candlelit dining room.
All Ranch meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and bottled water are included in your registration. Alcohol is not supplied by the Ranch, but you are welcome to bring your favorite adult beverages.
Groups of 8 or more will be treated to rotisserie-grilled lamb on Saturday night at no extra charge. Groups of 7 or less may request the grilled lamb for an additional price – $100 for the group.
I have special dietary needs. Can the ranch accommodate me?
The Ranch owners are happy to accommodate special dietary needs with prior notice.
What months is the ranch open?
The Ranch is open year-round, but August is very hot and January can be chilly. Baja Rancho Art typically books groups February to July and September to December.
What are the costs and how do I pay?
We require a 50% deposit to book a workshop. You may use our PayPal links located on the specific workshop page or pay by check payable to Baja Rancho Art. Or, you may choose to use PayPal to pay in full when you register.
Balances are due 30 days before departure or in cash upon your arrival at the Ranch. Please contact Baja Rancho Art at BajaRAnchoArt@gmail.com for questions about payment details.
For current rates, please refer to our Reservations and Pricing tab on the home page.
Where can I learn more about the ranch?
To learn more about Rancho La Bellota, please visit the Aguiar’s website at www.bajarancho.com