"Please enjoy traveling through our Website. Relax & Grab a margarita and Browse a bit. Don't forget to check out the fun RussBus Van Trips that we have available. Below you'll see our latest blog post. We hope to see you in Peñasco soon."
~ Russ & Naomi

Monday, December 31, 2012

Plans for 2013


Russ & Naomi's List:  
10 (Easy)Things for You to Do in 2013

Visit Elegante Crater

Check out a Sunrise in San Felipe

Take the bus & visit Alamos or El Fuerte
Try a Momia or a Sonoran Hotdog
Go Wine Tasting on the Baja

Explore Mexico's Copper Canyon
Search for Sand Dollars at Low Tide
Visit the Petroglyphs near Caborca
Get Sprayed by the Bufadora
Eat Oysters  at a local Oysteria

We can help you put 
small group trips for 
these or other Explorations! 

So. . . Let's Go! 



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wine Tasting in the Guadalupe Valley, Baja

  An “Adjective” View of Wine Tasting In the Guadalupe Valley  

                                                                                                                               by Naomi Black 

Russ and I recently took a fantastic group of ladies from Cholla Bay over to the Guadalupe Valley (just north of Ensenada on the Baja of Mexico) for a tour of some of the wineries and vineyards to be found there. It was an extremely fun trip!

I love to travel! And I absolutely love wine country! Every year, I have to get up to northern Arizona to visit my favorite winery, Page Springs Cellars. 

Page Springs Cellars

I want to see the vines heavy with grapes, just before the harvest and enjoy a glass of wine and some pecan pralines on their deck which overlooks Oak Creek. It is one of my favorite moments each fall.  

Luscious grapes just ready for harvest

However, this trip is after the harvest and I have to admit I was concerned that there would be no luscious bunches of grapes hanging from the vines and I would be disappointed. Yet the fall colors were really lovely in the Guadalupe Valley, with the grapevine leaves turning to gold and to red. The autumn landscape was awe inspiring, with its vineyards, olive trees and vast gardens which are still being harvested. 

Red and gold colors of autumn

On our first day, we visited the tiny cave tasting room at Tres Mujeres (or, Three Ladies). Each of these three ladies designs her own signature wine, which is called an artisan wine, and each wine bottle includes that particular lady’s signature. Overlooking the valley, this tiny winery was simple and tranquil. 
Tres Mujeres Winery

Next, we visited Mogar Badán, with its Tuscany style buildings and cool, dark wine cellar filled with oak barrels, it is simply vintage wine country! 

Mogar Bodán entrance

Across the way, the young workers in cowboy hats and blue jeans were busy moving tractors around and setting up a Farmer’s Market. We had to stop and buy fresh produce, tortillas, honey, olive oil, artisanal breads and cheeses and freshly made sweets. Wondering about that word, artisanal? Well, here is the definition: 

                 Artisanal (adjective) Made by a skilled worker (an artisan) such 
               as a specialty item. Often applied to foodstuffs.

Ok. So here is where I stop and explain the title of my story. Adjectives are very important in wine country. At any wine-tasting, you will hear an amazing variety of adjectives! Seriously, there is a point when it all becomes just a tiny bit ridiculous… To prove my point, listen to these descriptions:

                “If you like bright, focused, mouthwatering red fruit – this wine is for 
                    you. The brisk acidity of this wine heightens the red fruit profile of 
                    tart cranberry and bing cherry with subtle blanched almonds and 
                    vanilla tones accent the nose and palate.”

                  “Syrupy black cherry and cedar dominate this wine. Hints of green
                   peppercorn and tingly, savory herbs also grace the palate with a 
                   light dusty spice on the finish.”


"Huh? Crazy. Seriously."    (Just my opinion.)

I am not sure about all this wine tasting jargon. But, one highlight of our wine tasting came when one of the wines was described by its “fruitality”. I am just going to say that “fruitality” is a super cool word. . . it is a noun, I understand. But what a great word!  Wine (made from grapes) has an obvious fruitality. Of course! Fruitality.  Futility.     . . . Oh! I get so confused. 

On with the story! Later that same afternoon (humor intended) we stopped off at the Hacienda Restaurant (which came highly recommended by our friend Randi Alcott of Las Conchas) and what a great stop! Down a side street and thru a dry river bed and completely out-of-the-way, we searched to find it. 

Lunch at La Hacienda Restaurant and Vivero
And, then we lingered at this wonderful restaurant in the midst of a plant nursery (Vivero en Espanol). They had a great selection of wines, as would be expected along with delicious entrees which were beautifully presented! Each lunch was truly a work of art from the chef!

We continued on to a main street shop featuring Wines and Cheese. In the low ceiling building, we were presented with a long counter of cheeses. Ladies with long knives shaved delicious slices of cheese off for us to taste. Jalepeño cheese, with its green flecks throughout a white cheese, was just perfect and several of us had to purchase a chunk to take home. Wow! Yum.

Onto Santo Tomas winery and we stood looking up and up and up at rows of wine bottles in a grand new tasting room. 

Bodegas de Santo Tomas
The specialty here was the final tasting, a sweet deep red wine which is part wine and part port. (Just so you know for sure that I am not a wine snob, I bought a bottle of this because I am going to pour it over vanilla ice cream. And no, I am not joking.) 

Overlooking San Antonio de las Minas
The view was spectacular as the sun set and we stood on this hill overlooking the quaint town below. And then we returned to Ensenada for a night on the town.

Rows and rows of bottles a L.A.Cetto

Our second day in the wine country included more wine tasting and many, many more wine purchases. 
Processing wine.  Aging wine. 
A visit to the Monte Xanic winery which overlooks it own lake, which was built as a part of the irrigation plan. We learned about the delicate balance of the vineyards and the water in the earth below. Apparently, there will be no more water wells granted to be built, so this valley has a value that is being protected. 
Monte Xanic irrigation lake

This landscape here is truly spectacular even in the autumn, with no grape on the vines. I loved every minute of discovery here in the wine country of Baja. I love the “Fruitality” of this place! It is Simply Lovely!

Lovely (adjective) Exquisitely beautiful.

…and that’s an adjective you can believe! 

Lobster and Wine. Perfection on a platter. 

Ensenada Express
Small group, personalized van tours to the Guadalupe Valley by Peñasco Recreation. 
Contact Russ for details: mexicoruss@gmail.com

NOV 2012    With the Ladies on our Ensenada Express Wine Tasting tour

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This is the time of the year

With the cooler temps on their way, it is a great time to make plans to explore the beautiful Sonoran desert just north of Puerto Peñasco.

It is fairly easy to navigate the Biosphere known as Pinacate but the very best way to see it is with a qualified guide.  Someone who knows the desert and loves the desert will point out things to you that you may have otherwise missed.

From Puerto Peñasco to the field station at Nayarit through the gates and following the loop.  The loop will take you to Elegante Crater, Cerro Colorado, and back to the field station.  Then a short drive down the road to Shuck Toak at Pincate visitors center for an interpretive discussion about this dynamic area. The whole trip is 135 miles and a fairly long day but it is so worth it.

 A family from Minnesota at Elegante Crater

Peñasco Recreation is a qualified and registered tour guide service to this wonderful areaIf you would like to schedule a group outing we would be pleased to assist you in making your day in the Sonoran desert the very best it can be.

On the edge of Elegante

The Pinacate visitors center is an engineering marvel.  It sits just a few miles off the main highway but it feels a world away!  It is a totally self sufficient "Green" building.  It uses solar and wind for its power, it has rain water cisterns and has a weather station.  The audio visual room plays a short documentary about the desert and previous peoples who lived here. 

Lets go do something!  Give us a call on our local number 638-113-4591 to schedule your group outing.  From the states simply dial (011521) before the local number.

Let me show off one of my favorite places in the world - to you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year in Peñasco!

Oh October you are finally here.

With the daytime temps still in the 90's and water temps in the mid 80's and humidity levels dropping off it is the best month (in my humble opinion) to swim and play on the beach.

One of the greatest things we have here in Puerto Peñasco is of course our beaches.  Like anywhere else sometimes things can get a bit untidy and care must be administered.  

Thankfully we have a great resource here in Puerto Peñasco known as CEDO (center of education of deserts and oceans) http://www.cedointercultural.org take a look at their website and you will get an idea of the great work they do.  This month CEDO is inviting all of us to help them with their "Beach clean days"   

The really cool thing about this Beach Clean Days is that all of the trash that is picked up is tabulated and sent on to the Ocean Conservancy to be included in their data base.  This beach clean up happens everywhere around the globe and added to the database to gather a better understanding of the human impact on our beaches.  

For us here in Peñasco the first Beach Clean Day of 2012 is Saturday, October 27, along the Las Conchas beaches.  

The second one is November 10, along the downtown Rocky Point beaches.  

This is the 10th year that CEDO has participated in this great event!

Wouldn't you love to join us for this worthwhile fun filled day of clean up? 

We love our beaches!  Welcome home to you and to the month of October! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ahh!!! September in Mexico!

September in Puerto Peñasco starts what is known as the best time to be at the beach.  The weather is still warm and the water is still warm.

You can spend hours out on the beach collecting special things to take home.

Adults love going to the beach for various reasons, but do you know how special the ocean is for kids?  They love it! The wonderment of how big it is.....the amazing things below the surface, the mystery.  Bring your kids or grandkids to the beach, they will never forget it!

Its a great month to plan your get-away to the closest beach to Phoenix or Tucson!  Just 4 hours away for those cities.  If you need help deciding what to do send me an email, mexicoruss@gmail.com.  Be sure to check out the tour pages and other pages on our website.  Plan to take a while.  Kick back and enjoy!  Enjoy your September!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In mid-July 
we invited a great travel agent event.

Please read all about it at  


All the "Come Visit Mexico" People!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Summer Is Upon Us!"


 "Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You'll wish that summer could always be here."
~ Nat King Cole


dog days  (noun)

1. the sultry part of the summer, from July  to August.
2. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.


"Drive your car down to the sea  
All the while you build a scheme
Take her hand and walk on with her 
 Make it real your Summer dream.
Smell the warm and salty air  
See a wave reflect a beam
Stop and find a pretty shell for her  
 Make it real your Summer dream.
~ Beach Boys


“And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact 
same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore,
we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. 
And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, 
we are going back from whence we came.”
~ John F. Kennedy



A Fun Summer Song


Sunset on the Sea of Cortez with the view of the Baja in the background.

“Three things tell a man: 
his eyes, his friends and his favorite quotes.”