Baja California Native Paipai and Kumiai Arts Retreat – Art, Horses, and Wine

Baja California Native Paipai and Kumiai Arts Retreat – Art, Horses, and Wine

DATES: Mar 28 2023 - Apr 04 2023

Discounted price: $1,985*

Reserve your space now – A 3% fee is added to cover PayPal costs. To pay by check, contact Ellen Parry at

Enjoy a ranch lifestyle while learning native arts from Baja California’s indigenous peoples.

8 days, 7 nights, Women only

We will meet in San Diego, California and cross the US/Mexico border at the charming and historic town of Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. While we will be just 50 miles south of the border, you’ll feel a world away!

This culturally immersive travel experience is set at an authentic backcountry horse ranch in the foothills of Baja California. The property is a rustic yet comfortable retreat from the modern world. Our group, the Women’s Travel Tribe, has booked the entire 2,800-acre ranch for a week of indigenous crafts, hands-on learning, cultural explorations, horseback rides, and off-the-grid living.

Join us and find your inspiration in this rustic setting and its surrounding communities. For our week, we have invited two indigenous artists, Daria Marical and Virginia Melendrez to teach us their crafts of pottery and basketry.

Daria Marical is a native Paipai tribal member and potter from the village of Santa Catarina, B.C. She is internationally known for her beautiful ollas and figurative forms. Paipai hand-built pottery has been created for centuries. The traditional pit firing method creates hot spots and uneven temperatures during the firing process, casting unique fire patterns onto the surface of the clay. What Daria and her people produce are truly amazing works of art which reflect their dedication to their culture and history.

Virginia Melendrez is a Kumiai native of San Jose de la Zorra, a region with a rich tradition of basketry. The Kumiai of Baja California and the Kumeyaay of Southern California are known as the “Indians of the Oaks”. The international border split them into two groups, but they share a common history and many traditional crafts. The Kumiai have been basket weavers for hundreds of years; the art form is passed through the generations, mother to daughter. We will collect native willow shoots right on the ranch property, and Virginia will lead us as we create our own willow baskets in the traditional way.

You’ll share a cozy cabin heated by a wood burning stove. Horseback rides will take you through scenic foothills of northern Baja. We’ll go wine tasting in Valle Guadalupe, Mexico’s famous wine country. The region is also known for its artisanal cheese making traditions. What better way to celebrate the two than a wine and cheese tasting before luncheon at a local winery?

We will visit the port city of Ensenada for shopping and enjoy a margarita at its birthplace, the former Riviera Hotel and Casino. A stop at Hussong’s Cantina, Baja’s oldest watering hole, is a step back in time. All locations offer ample scenery for capturing the unique feel and flavor of Northern Baja California, a region with one foot in the past and one in the modern world.

Feeling at home on the ranch, we’ll enjoy delicious, healthy preparations of traditional Mexican food, served family style. Meals offer time to learn the lifestyle and history of this special region of Mexico from our host; he traces his ancestry back to the days of the missions. Originally from Portugal, his people came to the Baja peninsula over 300 years ago as guards for the mission priests.

Join us to experience the welcoming people and relaxed pace of life unique to Baja California!

See our daily schedule or our descriptive itinerary for more event details.

What’s Included?

Small group (maximum 10 participants)
Professional group leader throughout
Our ranch owner is our guide in each destination
All accommodations (7 nights)
7 Breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Transportation to and from San Diego to Tecate border
Transportation in Mexico (private van)
All workshop activities and materials, horseback riding, 2 off-ranch excursions

What’s Not Included?

Flights to/from San Diego
Passport/visa fees
Wine tastings and 1 lunch off the ranch
Flight insurance
Shuttle cost to travel from hotel to designated meeting point – TBD

Accommodation Style

You can expect a comfortable cabin accommodation with private bathrooms on this trip. We’ll be staying at a privately owned working horse ranch which is off the grid. Lighting is by kerosene lamps and candles in public spaces and solar powered lamps in the cabins. Cell phone/camera chargers are available. For this particular trip, single occupancy is discouraged but available with a $500 surcharge. Double occupancy is highly preferred. This is a working horse ranch, no daily housekeeping is available. Your room is your private space.

Payment Terms

Deposit: In order to secure your spot this our tours, a $900 deposit is required. Please do not ask us to hold a space for you. Only your deposit secures your spot. However, our ‘book with confidence’ policy ensures that this deposit will be 100% refundable until January 27th, before the tour start date, after which it becomes non-refundable. Payment can be made by check, money order or Paypal.
Balance: The payment balance will be due 45 days prior to the start of the tour.
Cancellations: If you cancel 45 days before the tour start date you will receive a 50% refund of the balance amount. Within 44 days of the tour start date there are no refunds.

Book Event

$1,985 PAY IN FULL
Native Paipai and Kumiai Arts Retreat
Available Tickets: Unlimited
To add your name to the wait list, contact Ellen Parry at
Native Paipai and Kumiai Arts Retreat
Available Tickets: 7
To add your name to the wait list, contact Ellen Parry at
Native Paipai and Kumiai Arts Retreat
Available Tickets: 7
To add your name to the wait list, contact Ellen Parry at
Daria Marical & Virginia Melendrez


Daria Marical & Virginia Melendrez

View Instructor Profile

COST: $1,985*


March 28, Tuesday, 9:00 am – Carpool from San Diego, meet at U.S.–Tecate border.
April 4, Tuesday, 3:30 pm – Return to U.S.–Tecate border.
Cost: $1,985*
Instructors: Daria Marical & Virginia Melendrez
Instruction Type: Native Paipai and Kumiai Arts
Instruction Level: All levels welcome
Materials: Workshop materials will be provided at the Ranch. Experienced artists are welcome to bring your own projects and are free to work independently.

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