Let the backdrop of rustic ranch life
in Baja California be your creative inspiration!
Helen Shafer Garcia - Watercolor, Patio Study
The 2,800 acre ranch sits in an oak lined valley just north of Baja’s scenic “Ruta del Vino” between Tecate and Ensenada, approximately 50 miles south of the border.
It is a working ranch, as you would have found in Baja California over 100 years ago. Oaks and sycamore trees, seasonal creeks and springs, rugged hillsides, boulders, wildlife and livestock, and the local wineries provide inspiration for painting, sketching, printmaking, ceramics and photography.
The owners are a wonderful couple, Raul and Caroline Aguiar, and they built the ranch with the help of many friends twelve years ago. Raul is a third generation rancher. He has a strong drive to keep to original methods, and to keep the history of Baja ranching alive while so much of the coastal area is being developed and lost forever.
We meet in La Mesa to carpool to the U.S.–Tecate border, then park our cars in secure lots on the U.S. side. This allows us to cross back in just minutes at the end of our stay. We are driven to the ranch by our hosts, saving you the cost of Mexican auto insurance and gas.
A passport is required for re-entry to the U.S. More information can be obtained at Crossing U.S. Borders.
— Paula A.
— Nicole T.
There are many scenarios to choose from. Our hosts can transport us to any painting or photography location, on or off the ranch, though we often simply take a short walk and find a beautiful spot to spend the day.
Our new printmaking studio (indoors) and clay studio (outdoors) provide our guests with all the equipment they need to create original works of art.
— Ellen S.
A visit to the wineries for painting, photography, sketching, tasting, or lunch can be arranged for a group of three or more with prior notice. The wineries are approximately 25 minutes away and offer very inspiring landscape and architectural subjects. Regional wines complement meals ranging from casual to gourmet. Off-site meals and wine are paid by the guest (except on Wine Weekends).
Guests supply their own art materials unless stated otherwise. Beginner art materials are available at the Ranch at cost, experienced artists should bring their preferred medium.
The ranch is certified by the Mexican government as a destination resort for horseback riding and bird watching. Osprey, various owls, hawks, and quail are plentiful. A pair of nearby nesting golden eagles can be seen on ranch property from time to time. Hiking trails are extensive and levels range from easy to difficult. There is a also spring-fed pool by the cabins for cooling off after a day “in the field”.
To learn more about Rancho La Bellota, please visit www.rancholabellota.com
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